Posts Tagged ‘Betty Belts’

True Generosity

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

Vernal Retreat

There is a place on Bali which my wife insisted we visit. It is a Botanical Garden. Seems sort of obsequious, the idea of building such a thing in a place where one could plant a broomstick and it would grow. But I assure you it is anything but.

The place is a model of true generosity.

The man whose dream and life works this was, is gone now, having become part of that more grand sonnet which time plays with us all. But his gift, it grows on. And it is beautiful beyond comprehension. German writer Stefan Reisner authored this, and it quite likely is his best work.

So the next time you think about what matters, consider this. Sometimes the most beautiful acts are going to be those which you will never get to experience first hand but you authored, anyway.

Oh and Donna (my wife) gets all this. She has ears like an elf and draws inspiration for her design work from places like this. As she and I come up on our one year wedding anniversary, I am blessed ever more to walk through a life wedded to someone whose sensibilities are timeless.

All of us should be so fortunate.

Dream well.

Donna Designing

 

A California Opus

Saturday, July 9th, 2011
Napa Orange Gold

Napa Orange Gold

Chapter 5 in the California Series.

I have not always lived in California. My Dad was going to college on the GI Bill in Milwaukee Wisconsin, at Marquette University. I had never asked him why, being from Hawaii, he chose the Mid West. He met my Mother there. That was where my two Brothers and I were born.

We were sick a lot as infants. The family pediatrician had told my parents that our Hawaiian genetics may have been to blame, as we did not tolerate the cold of  hard, Midwestern Winter very well. In fact, I ended up in the hospital. I remember the experience vividly. It was a bleak time of laying in an oxygen tent in a ward, and staring out a third floor hospital window, looking at the City, watching.

Eventually, the family moved to California where my Father explored his career as an Engineer. My parents bought a home in Whittier California.  The design of the first computer, as well as launch of the Space program, became a regular part of our household, via my Dad’s work.

In some ways, we were healthier in the warmer climate of California. However, a problem arose. I developed allergies. Those caused a lack of energy, and attendant respiratory problems. I began getting injections twice a month (one in each arm), which helped alleviate the symptoms. I still get a phantom muscle ache, when I think about those shots.

I recall days where one could not see the nearby foothills, which created the basin in which Whittier is located, such was the density of the smog prevalent in California in the 1960’s. It had been around this time that the massive citrus groves disappeared from the area, being replaced by housing tracts and strip malls. Part of a methodical, concreting over of the Los Angeles area.

I was already a swimmer at this point, having learned to bodysurf, ride foamies, and inflatable mats, at the beaches in and around Newport, Huntington, Palos Verdes and South Bay. I swam for a local AAU team. But those allergies were a persistent problem. The only time I had true respite, was when we were at the beach.

Due to my diminutive size, and sort of sickly nature, my parents decided that I needed to wait to get a surfboard. By this point, it had been a topic of discussion for a couple years. But my water activities, which included fishing and diving, kept me pretty busy.

I craved those idyllic long days at the beach. I have fond memories of ten hour days in the water,  a piece of chicken, or a few rice balls, snatched on the run, from the picnic lunch my Mom would have made, very early that morning, as she loaded up the white 1955 Chevy wagon, for the long (to me) drive to the beach. I had fallen for California.

Timeline

Timeline

(more…)

The Zuri Files: Westside Ventura

Friday, December 17th, 2010
Revolutionary Heart: Zuri Star

Revolutionary Heart: Zuri Star

I have a unique job, in that most of the time, I am drawn to subjects and they to me, not unlike a moon to a planet. I have never been able to figure out who is what in that constellation. But it probably does not matter.

This week saw a LOT of computer time as I worked on wrapping my commercial work for the year.

As I plowed the pixel fields of my hard drive borne library, I came across a project I had shot with Zuri Star as a collaboration of sorts. Zuri is a pretty remarkable recording artist and performer. But more than that, she and her family exemplify some of the very best aspects of America to me.

Zuri in Blue

Zuri in Blue

Daughter of an American activist, patriot, and pioneer in organic farming in the US, Bill Allen, Zuri understands the bigger picture of writing and communicating in music and in her life. Co- incidentally, she had also become one of the cadre of amazing women whose names, design modus and momentum are in the fashion and promotional lineup for Donna Von Hoesslin’s female driven company, Betty Belts.

One day, Zuri and I set out to walk the West Side of Ventura, where I have owned a home and raised my children. The West Side has texture. Sometimes it feels like the oil fields of Texas, or clamor and bustle of Mexico. Sometimes you think it is like the inside of a big crack house. But the reality is, that the West Side of Ventura exemplifies something every country and community needs: a place to get started.

 Self Starter

Self Starter

You either love it or hate it. Zuri has a new song released by that same title: Love or Hate.

Historic Ventura

Historic Ventura

I look at my own self and life process: the West Side was where I bought my first home. Fleeing from an unsustainable real estate market in Santa Barbara, and needing to follow the growth track of my low margin Surf Industry company of the time, the West Side of Ventura had been the logical choice. And no surprise, Dave Wallace, a long time Ventura resident, surfer, waterman and real estate agent, was the one who pointed me into the West Side. He knew what I needed.

It is a pretty unique place with a lot of History. The Chumash lived there at one point. (A good sign.)

West Ventura

West Ventura

So Zuri and I took a little walk down Ventura Avenue, and wound up in the Ag fields eventually. A farmer’s daughter with a revolutionary heart, in the land and backdrop of the families who founded Ventura.

Farmer's Daughter

Farmer's Daughter

So you can see how this works.

There is always more than meets the eye.

Our work and communities are matters of the heart.

Cherish that.

Heart Driven

Heart Driven

I shot this on film and on the Canon Rebel T1i system. The file I found had a remarkable amount of subject driven work in it. Sometimes what I have managed to create and collect surprises me. Pays to be in good company.

True West

True West

American Christmas

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010
It takes more than flags. It takes people. Ventura Ca.

It takes more than flags. It takes people. Ventura Ca.

We have a problem residing in our country this Christmas. “Which one?” you might jump to respond.

The problem of which I write is one of recall, memory. Memory is a fundamental component in establishing progress for a vast array of reasons. But where our communities are concerned, it is even more pertinent.

I believe that we as a Country have forgotten what it means to be American. I really do. We had grown fat and insular the past several decades.  The affect was pinged out and the world responded to this, as an opportunity to parasitize this Country, to plunder it, and enslave it’s people. Our choices and attitude set the stage. You can see the affect of it in our very Government. We seeded our current spiraling demise.

Here is a perfect example of this.

Things look bad today. No matter where one is seated.

But the apparent slide of our country is far from over, or set in stone. (It could get worse.) However, I really see it being entirely possible to become whole and healthy again.

All it will take, is for us to choose to make sense, and side with our communities and their health. That means once again, doing what is in the best interest of each and every member of our towns. We will need to restore trust.

Here is a good article on trust. It is a long read, which most leaders will want to ponder: repeatedly.

It takes more than flying a flag. It takes more than soiled National pride. It takes resolve to live by the standards of God and our forefathers, which were placed at the masthead 234 Christmases ago. This will require each of us. We will need to “love and support our neighbor as ourselves.”

If we decide to take care of our own, everything changes. It worked for God. That is why we have Christmas. He took care of us. So now we have an obligation. We need to remember who that obligation is to.

The other night I listened to  Samuel Shoemaker and his brothers perform a song entitled Dancing Girl. The piece gives a very personal account of his experience in the Marines. At the end, I walked in to my girlfriend’s little shop.  Sam’s words had woken me up. I saw something with greater clarity than prior.

Shoemaker Brothers

Shoemaker Brothers

Donna came back to America from her adopted home in Germany about seven years ago. Determined to give the country of her birth another chance, she built a business founded on her passion for the Ocean, empowering women, design and ethics. She named it Betty Belts. A couple years ago she branched out into retail when she opened her little boutique called Betty B.

Ventura Storefront: Betty B and Donna

Ventura Storefront: Betty B and Donna

Like many small business people in America, her dreams and aspirations are simple: to make a living, and to inspire hope  and positive change in her community.

Betty B

Betty B

As I looked around her shop, I saw the handiwork of countless people in her fashion accessories and product mix. And I realized that it was not just Donna represented in that shop, but a cadre of human beings spread out across the globe, who each contribute to what at first glance is just a tiny shop off Main St in Ventura California.

Handmade

Handmade

Christmas!

Christmas!

And then I thought of the recent battles in City Hall, as our City Council continues to struggle with what to the community, seems to be a subject worthy of civil war: the choice of whether to side with the people they live with when setting policy, or to oppress them.  It occurred to me that the ripple effect of  poor choices by Governance at the City level has a global impact. That was sobering.

A Christmas wish from Ventura Merchants

A Christmas wish from Ventura Merchants

Though I am embarrassed for my town, and saddened by what I have seen City Government do to the people of Ventura, what gives me hope this Christmas is that people like Donna persist.

Persistence is a very American virtue.

Donna’s family is rooted in the History of this Country. They helped found it. She left that behind her at one point in her life. And yet returned with a very global perspective in hand, to engage in a manner that would make her ancestors proud.

Today, everyone fights a hard battle just to stay afloat. But my town, being of pioneer stock and temperment will prevail, and when it does, so will America.

We need to remember who we are this Christmas, and celebrate that.

Be authentic. It matters. So do you.

Have an American Christmas.

Fact of the Matter: Inconvenient Truths

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010
Ventura Palmset

Ventura Palmset

I got in a lively discussion on Global Warming the other day. More specifically Anthropogenic Global Warming.

It is a “given” that we humans have  the capacity to foul the Earth. It is also a given that the Earth by it’s architecture will cleanse itself.

In the civilized and educated Western world we typically endeavor to keep a clean house. Look around. PZEV vehicles are standard fare in our world and have contributed to a massive decline in hydrocarbon emissions from Automobiles. That is just one example in a huge list of things Western Culture embraces as a means of keeping air, land and ocean clean.

But we have a fly in that ointment, and ironically it is the “Global Warming” environmental chant so common in media today.

What you will find is a complete lack of understanding of the role of Globalism, Trade and Commerce among the proponents of that environmental group chant, which begins with a sort of chicken little fear mongering, that gets all of the uneducated to line up for the Kool Aide that can destroy Western Culture.

Tiny Bubbles of Light

Tiny Bubbles of Light

Seth Godin has this to say about a culture which has decided to stay deliberately misinformed.

Here is “The Deal” in a  nutshell. Our culture places a huge demand on durable goods. We used to make them here in the US. As the environmental movement acquired traction here, and a punitive method of regulatory control took effect, industry went overseas in order to avoid the additional expense and hassles that increased cost and decreased bottom line.

As a result, Western based Cities and Oceans cleaned up. Third world Cities and Oceans grew much worse.

Clean Wave

Clean Wave

The world is a space ship. Everything connects via atmosphere and is in turn moderated by weather. That is how the Earth maintains control.

The affect of the “Global Warmers” is actually promotion of a willful ignorance of weather, economic law, basic human greed, and puts control of hazardous effluent and exhaust into the arena of Third World entities.

Zuri Starr just returned from a tour in China, explained how dirty the place is, and how sick she became as a result of her recent time spent there. The same people who, in what I am pretty sure is a display of abject guilt, in ascribing to groups “fighting global warming” buy most of their durable goods which are MADE in China and other places with little to no ethical manufacturing process.

The net result is a huge dumbing down of Western Culture, environment and our power to effect positive and sustainable change.

Green Girl: Donna Von Hoesslin

Green Girl: Donna Von Hoesslin

It is evil.

One Volcano can spew more into the atmosphere than decades of industrial output. That is a really inconvenient truth.

Dr Ed Brenegar pointed out this very accurate essay, which explains why evil people promote ignorance, in the Servile Mind.

So let’s be honest.

Or not.

It is a big world.  Make a difference. You matter.

I like where Elliot Minor went in their endeavor to matter, at the direction of Tyler Swain. All Along.

Kool Aide fans click here. Your people are this serious. They made this.

Death Destiny

Deaths Destiny

© 2009 David Pu'u. All rights reserved.

home