Common College

Youngblood - Photos & Stories

While I had worked on the university photo staff in college, my first real body of work was done for Common College between 1974 and about 1985. I got to photograph most of the students and many of the supporting instructors and guest speakers. Here's a few stories, behind some of the shots.

Ashland group

My Common College story started, in 1974 when I took the ferry out of Ketchikan, and hitch hiked down to Ashland, OR. I hoped to meet up with a gal who had made potato bread when I was at UNC in Greeley. I never saw her, but instead met the cast of characters of Common College at the Ashland Hot Springs. Barbara the college secretary with two small children had a tent I helped set up, several times, and I was invited to have dinner with the group. It was an interesting group, everyone pitching in to eat together, and talk about the Shakespeare Festival.

Jean Wirth

Jean Wirth, the president and founder of the small private college was a unique and serious educator, an English teacher with an eclectic community of students. An extended group of involved resourceful people made up a talented staff, no other college could have hired. When I arrived in Woodside California I helped clean up an old filling station, and Jean invited me up to a college dinner at her house. I was blown away, by the house and the company! Bill Patrick the Frank Lloyd Wright trained architect who designed the house was there. I can't remember the name of the guest speaker just back from SALT talks, and the conversations from personal to political were simply too much for me to handle. I left on overload, but was so intrigued I soon came back.

Steamy shoveling

A XC ski trip was planned and I was invited. With winter camping experience, I was thrilled to go to Hope Valley where I met more of the college group. Fun skiing and communal meals, this was a good experience, and a group of people I wanted to join! I hitchhiked back to Marin where I was staying with Dave's folks on a -20 crisp morning, riding in an old VW with a rusted out floor - I could see the road through the holes, but I had lots of gear on and was warmer then the driver. . .    Now I wanted to be part of this community, there was so much more to learn!

Peter Abrahams knew someone at North Face, and helped me get a job at the Palo Alto store. Soon I had a bike and was commuting up to Thronewood, a rambling old estate up on La Honda Road. I lived in a condemned building, sleeping under my rainfly - too many spiders. I didn't really know the caretaker couple, but Francis could dig a ditch without getting his white sweater or even his boots dirty!

We spread gravel on paths and shoveled manure for gardens, and this was one of the first important pics from that early period. Seems like there were always work parties, followed by community meals, usually at Jean's house, with speakers, music, and many political, environmental, book and film discussions, way more interesting than my college classes in Colorado.

Mark Roberts

Interested in photography, Jean sent me off to photograph Mark who was working for a floor laying company. Mark had blown up the cider and moved on to beer, and flooring turned out to be a good job for him. Years later, he was doing high end custom floor jobs from Hawaii to Oregon.

A favorite memory (with no pics) was waiting for the bus in the middle of the nite in Ashland, OR. Our group of maybe six were playing frisbee in the street by the few street lights. The bus driver was stunned when Mark, a long hair hippy type, was the only one to board the bus, "You all out here, to send him off?" he puzzled. Mark was traveling with four doubled bags of black berries, tied together 2x2. He went home to make the first blackberry wine to win the California State Fair wine competition!

Book reading

Jean used many book and play readings to introduce us to literature, and themes for discussion in our lives. Sometimes they were a evening read after dinner at her house, or often to a different location, from this boathouse in Marin, to an American River or Tahoe cabin, where we read major books over several days. Here's a short author list I remember, not in any order:  William Faulkner, James Joyce, Herman Melville, Jane Austen, Ernest Hemingway, Edith Wharton, F. Scott Fitzgerald, JD Salinger, Mark Twain, John Irving, Jonathan Swift, John Steinbeck, James Baldwin, Charles Dickens, Thomas Wolfe, Chaucer and Shakespeare. I likely missed some good books and this doesn't include the films we saw and discussed. . .

More trips and events, student and staff pics

(Click on any image below for a larger image "slide show" - arrow keys work well.)

Common College.Jean IMG_1290.jpg  Jean
Common College.Julie & DennisIMG_0602.jpg   Julie & Dennis
Common College.KevinIMG_0981.jpg   Kevin
Common College.Larry Degree Defense IMG_0600  Larry Degree Defense
Common College.Jean IMG_1304.jpg  Jean
Common College.Julie IMG_0657.jpg  Julie
Common College.Jean Weaver IMG_0630.jpg  Jean Weaver
Common College.Dennis & Mardie IMG_1279.jpg  Dennis & Mardie
Common College.Melinda IMG_1788.jpg  Melinda
Common College.Larry trip planningIMG_0602.jpg   Larry planning
Common College.Burton planning dinner IMG_1249.jpg  Burton
Common College.Jane IMG_1020.jpg  Jane
Common College.Barbara Goldman IMG_1646.jpg  Barbara
Common College. Mindy close-up IMG_0969.jpg  Mindy close-up
Commom College.Steve IMG_1886.jpg  Steve
Common College.Frank & PeterIMG_1653.jpg   Frank & Peter
Common College.Barry IMG_1788.jpg  Barry
Common College.Roberta? IMG_1421.jpg.jpg  Roberta?
Common College.Hedy & AnnIMG_1291.jpg   Hedy & Ann
Common College.Ann IMG_1416.jpg  Ann
Common College. Sorenson John Green IMG_1052.jpg  Sorenson John Green
Common College. John Crash IMG_1055.jpg  John Crash
Common College.Sking ??? IMG_1087.jpg  Sking ???
Common College.Burton in Checker IMG_0871.jpg  Burton in Checker
Common College.Crater Lake Trip IMG_1438.jpg  Crater Lake Trip
Common College.Borzoi, Ann & Pat IMG_1799.jpg  Borzoi, Ann & Pat
Common College.Snowy Borzoi IMG_1814.jpg  Snowy Borzoi
Common College.Winter Ski Camp IMG_1242.jpg  Winter Ski Camp
Common College.Melinda & Jean IMG_1107.jpg  Melinda & Jean
Common College.Andy Katz IMG_1301.jpg  Andy Katz
Common College.Colter Reading IMG_1306.jpg  Colter Reading
Common College.Ann teaching flying IMG_1435.jpg  Ann teaching flying
Common College. Diane & Mark IMG_0544.jpg  Diane & Mark
Common College. Leica Lee IMG_0555.jpg  Leica Lee
Common College. Jean & Megan IMG_0556.jpg  Jean & Megan
Common College. Rapp & Megan IMG_0557.jpg  Rapp & Megan
Common College.Yosemite climbing IMG_1224.jpg  Yosemite
Common College.Beth & Andy IMG_1232.jpg  Beth & Andy
Common College.Yosemite break IMG_1225.jpg  Yosemite
Common College.Eric & Dave IMG_1227.jpg  Eric & Dave
Common College. Barbara Goldman IMG_0529.jpg  Barbara Goldman
Common College. Chuck Pearson IMG_0491.jpg  Chuck Pearson
Common College. Unknown?? IMG_0527.jpg  Unknown??
Common College. Barbara Goldman IMG_0471.jpg  Barbara Goldman
Common College.Burton & Jean Backpacking IMG_1352.jpg  Burton & Jean
Common College.Rainy camping IMG_1354.jpg  Rainy camping
Common College.Herschel & Jean IMG_1356.jpg  Herschel & Jean
Common College.Backpacking campfire IMG_1357.jpg  Campfire
Common College.Mary Tussey IMG_1350.jpg  Mary Tussey
Common College. Backpacking IMG_1346.jpg  Backpacking
Common College. Climbing sunflare IMG_1348.jpg  Climbing sunflare
Common College. Wet camp morning IMG_1355.jpg  Wet camp morning
Common College. Kevin & Ed Roberts IMG_0989.jpg  Kevin & Ed Roberts
Common College. Ed & Caretaker IMG_0994.jpg  Ed & Caretaker
Common College. Dick Keys IMG_1016.jpg  Dick Keys
Common College. Dick & Jane IMG_1026.jpg  Dick & Jane
Common College.River tripIMG_0826.jpg Eric & Colter
Common College.Rouge River IMG_0819.jpg  Rouge River
Common College.Eric & Eli Kayaking IMG_0820.jpg  Eric & Eli Kayaking
Common College.Lee w/ Rouge River salmon IMG_0682.jpg  Lee & Rouge fish
Common College. Jean's Poodle IMG_0806.jpg  Jean's Poodle
Common College. Barbara Morley Child IMG_0861.jpg  Barbara Morley Child
Common College. Morley Child w/ Onions IMG_0889.jpg  Morley Child w/ Onions
Common College. Ashland Shakespeare Festival IMG_0811.jpg  Ashland Shakespeare Festival
Common College.Jean & Burton IMG_0867.jpg  Jean & Burton
Common College.Megan IMG_0678.jpg  Megan
Common College. Lee reloading IMG_0805.jpg  Lee reloading
Common College. Burton Paddling IMG_0857.jpg  Burton Paddling
Common College. Phillip river drink IMG_0891.jpg  Phillip river drink
Common College. Phillip emptying pack IMG_0896.jpg  Phillip &: pack
Common College. Campfire Phillip IMG_0899.jpg  Campfire Phillip
Common College. Phillip at falls IMG_0892.jpg  Phillip at falls
Common College.Eli IMG_1866.jpg  Eli
Common College.Eric & Eli IMG_0636.jpg  Eric & Eli
Common College.Lee w/ dog IMG_1810.jpg  Lee w/ dog
Common College. Poodle clipping IMG_0842.jpg  Poodle clipping
Common College.Jean, Alejandro & Elisa Zaffaroni IMG_1501.jpg  Jean, Elisa & Alejandro
Common College.Zaffaroni IMG_1499.jpg  Mr. Zaffaroni
Common College.Flamenco group IMG_1503.jpg  Flamenco group
Common College.Eli Dancing IMG_1494.jpg  Eli Dancing
Common College.Bill Patrick IMG_1283.jpg  Bill Patrick
Common College.Hew IMG_1848.jpg  Hew
Common College.Sue Crane IMG_0658.jpg  Sue Crane
Common College.Guitar Hallway IMG_1514.jpg  Guitar Hallway
Common College. Bus Load IMG_0402.jpg  Bus Load
Common College. Bus Andy IMG_0409.jpg  Bus Andy
Common College. Mulege homes IMG_0412.jpg  Mulege homes
Common College. Mulege walk IMG_0415.jpg  Mulege walk
Common College. Eli in Truck IMG_0417.jpg  Eli in Truck
Common College. Jean IMG_0451.jpg  Jean
Common College.Eli translating IMG_0421.jpg  Eli translating
Common College. Dive truck IMG_0450.jpg  
Common College.Andy scuba IMG_0426.jpg  Andy scuba
Common College.Scuba loading IMG_0424.jpg  Scuba loading
Common College.Scuba Eric IMG_0433.jpg  Scuba Eric
Common College.Scuba PangaIMG_0427.jpg  Scuba Panga
Common College.Scuba Pete IMG_0431.jpg  Scuba Pete
Common College.Pete Bubbles IMG_0443.jpg  Pete Bubbles
Common College. Jeff & ??? IMG_0967.jpg  Jeff & ???
Common College. Jeff Paul Dance IMG_0964.jpg  Jeff Paul Dance
Common College. Carlos Gris IMG_0911.jpg  Carlos Gris
Common College. Juanita Brown IMG_0918.jpg  Juanita Brown
Common College. Money Attitudes w/ Carlos IMG_0922.jpg  Money w/ Carlos
Common College. Eli & Megan IMG_0917.jpg  Eli & Megan
Common College.Ann IMG_0516.jpg  Ann
Common College.Eli IMG_1413.jpg  Eli
Common College.Elizabeth Mark IMG_0495.jpg  Diane Smith & Mark
Common College.Jane IMG_1429.jpg  Jane
Common College.Eli IMG_1461.jpg  Eli
Common College.Andy Katz IMG_0530.jpg  Andy Katz
Common College.Jane & Barbara IMG_0531.jpg  Jane & Barbara
Common College.Jeff Litke IMG_0543.jpg  Jeff Litke
Common College.Mexicana flight IMG_0742.jpg  Mexicana flight
Common College.Steve Mader IMG_0735.jpg  Steve Mader
Common College.Steve IMG_0775.jpg  Steve
Common College.Steve & Jean w/dogs IMG_0774.jpg  Steve & Jean w/dogs
Common College.John & JeffIMG_0730.jpg  John & Jeff steps
Common College.John w/ flute IMG_0713.jpg  John w/ flute
Common College.Jean & Megan IMG_0710.jpg  Jean & Megan
Common College.Chichén Itzá IMG_0723.jpg  Chichén Itzá
Common College.Jenny&JohnIMG_0709.jpg  Jenny & John
Common College. Tired Megan IMG_0724.jpg  Tired Megan
Common College. Dive group meal IMG_0708.jpg  Dive group meal
Common College. Izamal Arch IMG_0721.jpg  Izamal Arch
Common College. Jeff on top IMG_0725.jpg  Jeff on top
Common College. Jeff inside turret IMG_0726.jpg  Jeff inside turret
Common College. Chichén Itzá Jeff Run IMG_0732.jpg  Chichén Itzá Jeff
Common College. Dive Boat IMG_0698.jpg  Dive Boat
Common College. Jean reef dive IMG_0751.jpg  Jean reef dive
Common College. Fish feeding IMG_0704.jpg  Fish feeding
Common College. Steve w/ fish IMG_0755.jpg  Steve w/ fish
Common College. Blue dive boat IMG_0757.jpg  Blue dive boat
Common College. Danny Crane IMG_0772.jpg  Danny Crane
Common College. IMG_0767.jpg  Hotel Dive Group
Common College. Sunny dive boat IMG_0761.jpg  Sunny dive boat
Common College. Jenny Vaughn IMG_0765.jpg  Jenny Vaughn
Common College. Steve Mader IMG_0776.jpg  Steve Mader
Common College. Jenny Vaughn grin IMG_0777.jpg  Jenny's Grin
Common College. Airport Dive Group IMG_0780.jpg  Airport Dive Group
Common College. Airplane Jenny IMG_0781.jpg  Airplane Jenny
Common College.Warren & Richard IMG_0548.jpg  Warren & Richard
Common College.Megan & Lee IMG_0628.jpg  Megan & Lee
Common College.Dr. Warren Vaughn IMG_0554.jpg  Dr. Warren Vaughn
Common College.Dr. Hogle IMG_0645.jpg  Dr. Hogle
Common College.John Green IMG_1467.jpg  John Green
Common College.Hanna Wendrick IMG_1458.jpg  Hanna Wendrick
Common College.John Green IMG_1463.jpg  John Green
Common College.Hanna Laughing IMG_1464.jpg  Hanna Laughing
Common College.Richard Vaughn IMG_1836.jpg  Richard Vaughn
Common College.Phillip Johnson IMG_1661.jpg  Phillip Johnson
Common College.Phillip w/ Cat IMG_1600.jpg  Phillip w/ Cat
Common College.John Green IMG_1465.jpg  John Green
Common College. Child w/ Hanna Wendrick IMG_1460.jpg  Child w/ Hanna Wendrick
Common College. John & Jeff IMG_1466.jpg  John & Jeff
Common College. Ann & Pat IMG_1469.jpg  Ann & Pat
Common College. John & Jeff IMG_1472.jpg  John & Jeff
Common College. Mr. Wendrick?? IMG_1477.jpg  Mr. Wendrick??
Common College. Hanna & Paul?? IMG_1480.jpg  Hanna & Paul??
Common College. Walden Marionettes IMG_1578.jpg  Walden Marionettes
Common College. Larry Christiani IMG_1580.jpg  Larry Christiani??
Common College. Puppet Juggling IMG_1581.jpg  Puppet Juggling
Common College. Puppet Audience IMG_1583.jpg  Puppet Audience
Common College. Skating Bear IMG_1586.jpg  Skating Bear
Common College. Larry Christiani IMG_1593.jpg  Larry Christiani
Common College. Piano Playing Puppet IMG_1594.jpg  Piano Playing Puppet
Common College. Clown Puppet IMG_1597.jpg  Clown Puppet
Common College. Puppet Materials IMG_1598.jpg  Puppet Materials
Common College. Unknown??? IMG_1790.jpg  Unknown???
Common College. Mindy at Ridge IMG_0661.jpg  Mindy at Ridge
Common College.Ridge Winery Tour IMG_0668.jpg  Ridge Winery Tour
Common College.Ridge.Danny Crane IMG_0688.jpg  Ridge.Danny Crane
Common College.Peg Paul & Jean IMG_0671.jpg  Peg Paul & Jean
Common College. Kayaks loaded IMG_1180.jpg  Kayaks loaded
Common College. Kayak prep IMG_1184.jpg  Kayak prep
Common College. River hamburgers IMG_1186.jpg  River hamburgers
Common College. Eli & Eric from water IMG_0821.jpg  Eli & Eric water
Common College.Eric & Eli IMG_0835.jpg  Eric & Eli
Common College. River discussion IMG_1183.jpg  River discussion
Common College. Unknown??? IMG_1196.jpg  Unknown???
Common College. Loading from bridge IMG_1191.jpg  Loading from bridge
Common College. Eli & Eric from water IMG_0841.jpg  Frontseat Eli
Common College. American River Camp IMG_0850.jpg  American River Camp
Common College. Barbara & Jean w/kayak IMG_1610.jpg  Barbara & Jean w/kayak
Common College. Unknown??? IMG_1221.jpg  Unknown???
Common College. Board meeting IMG_0622.jpg  Board meeting
Common College. Board meeting IMG_0623.jpg  Mrs. Katz & Barry
Common College. Dinner at Jean's IMG_0631.jpg  Dinner at Jean's
Common College. Jean & Smiths IMG_0640.jpg  Jean & Smiths
Common College. Megan Smile IMG_0647.jpg  Megan Smile
Common College. Steve Patrick IMG_0648.jpg  Steve Patrick
Common College. Ann Hogle & Megan IMG_0654.jpg  Ann Hogle & Megan
Common College. Danny Crane IMG_0662.jpg  Danny Crane
Common College. Unknown??? IMG_0923.jpg  Unknown???
Common College. Unknown??? IMG_0943.jpg  Unknown???
Common College.Melinda Haden IMG_1658.jpg  Melinda Haden
Common College. Phillip & ?? IMG_0595.jpg  Phillip & ??
Common College. Janes boyfriend?? IMG_1793.jpg  Janes boyfriend??
Common College. ?? & Jeff IMG_0619.jpg  ?? & Jeff
Common College. Lane & Denise IMG_1341.jpg  Lane & Denise
Common College. Roberta ?? IMG_1425.jpg  Roberta ??
Common College.Loading checker IMG_1448.jpg  Loading checker
Common College. BC trip stove IMG_1362.jpg  BC trip stove
Common College. Campground cooking IMG_1363.jpg  Campground cooking
Common College.Loading Checker IMG_1442.jpg  Loading Checker
Common College. ??? Lashing load IMG_1361.jpg  ??? Lashing load
Common College. Setting up tent IMG_1343.jpg  Setting up tent
Common College. BC motel group IMG_1365.jpg  BC motel group
Common College. Limo camp IMG_1373.jpg  Limo camp
Common College. UBC Jean & Ann Fricker IMG_1368.jpg  UBC Jean & Ann Fricker
Common College. Sue McKean IMG_1387.jpg  Sue McKean
Common College. Weary wet Eric IMG_1384.jpg  Weary wet Eric
Common College. Banff tent drying IMG_1391.jpg  Banff tent drying
Common College. Phillip Reading IMG_0575.jpg  Phillip Reading
Common College.Camera.Lee IMG_1893.jpg  Camera.Lee
Common College.Eli Reading IMG_1789.jpg  Eli Reading
Common College. Phillip IMG_0567.jpg  Phillip
Common College. ?? & Phillip IMG_0571.jpg  ?? & Phillip
Common College. Unknown?? IMG_0572.jpg  Unknown??
Common College. Phillip & ?? IMG_0587.jpg  Phillip & ??
Common College. Faulkner reader??? IMG_0593.jpg  Faulkner reader???
Common College. Lee IMG_0957.jpg  Lee
Common College.Larry.Degree IMG_0599  Larry.Degree
Common College. Larry toast IMG_1202.jpg  Larry toast
Common College. Trainer Laurel?? IMG_0956.jpg  Trainer Laurel ???
Common College.Jenny & Jean IMG_1639.jpg  Jenny & Jean
Common College. Jenny Vaughn Dressage IMG_1634.jpg  Jenny Vaughn
Common College. Jenny after show IMG_1638.jpg  Jenny after show
Common College. Jenny w/ Dog IMG_1636.jpg  Jenny w/ Dog
Common College. Ann Geoffrion, SRI IMG_1027.jpg  Ann Geoffrion, SRI
Common College. Computer Night vert. IMG_1029.jpg  Computer Night vert.
Common College. Computer Night hor. IMG_1031.jpg  Computer Night hor.
Common College. Computer Night papers IMG_1035.jpg  Computer Night papers
Common College. Ann at keyboard IMG_1036.jpg  Ann at keyboard
Common College. ?? Pajaro Dunes Tennis IMG_1139.jpg  ?? Pajaro Tennis
Common College. Jean's Livingroom IMG_1336.jpg  Jean's Livingroom
Common College. Burton's Ben? IMG_1339.jpg  Burton's Ben?
Common College. Eli & Russel Crane? IMG_1819.jpg  Eli & Russel Crane?
Common College. Melinda Hayden IMG_0663.jpg  Melinda Hayden
Common College. Sue & Hew Crane IMG_1822.jpg  Sue & Hew Crane
Common College. Zaffaroni Family IMG_1841.jpg  Zaffaroni Family
Common College. Trish Hooper directing IMG_1817.jpg  Trish Hooper
Common College. Pat & ??? IMG_1832.jpg  Pat & ???
Common College. Burton & Ben IMG_1842.jpg  Burton & Ben
Common College. Zaffaronis IMG_1843.jpg  Zaffaronis
Common College. Sadie Smith, Sally's Mom IMG_1845.jpg  Sadie Smith
Common College. Sally Smith  & John Hooper IMG_1850.jpg  Sally Smith & John Hooper
Common College. Helen Hooper McCloskey IMG_1846.jpg  Helen Hooper McCloskey
Common College. Smiling Jean & Jenny IMG_1849.jpg  Smiling Jean & Jenny
Common College. Eli loading birdcage IMG_1859.jpg  Eli loading birdcage
Common College. Mindy, Eli w/ bird IMG_1858.jpg  Mindy, Eli w/ bird
Common College. Miller's Crucible reading IMG_1791.jpg  Miller's Crucible
Common College. Sausalito Boat Houses IMG_1792.jpg  Sausalito Boat Houses
Common College. Sir  & Jean IMG_1873.jpg  Sir & Jean
Common College. Steve Reading IMG_1861.jpg  Steve Reading
Common College. Steve & Carol IMG_1876.jpg  Steve & Carol
Common College. Carol reading IMG_1904.jpg  Carol McKernan
Common College. Steve haircut IMG_1891.jpg  Steve haircut
Common College.Jean on stump IMG_0541.jpg  Jean on stump
Common College. Steve Mader w/ Beanbag IMG_1853.jpg  Steve Mader w/ Beanbag
Common College. Steve w/ cigar IMG_1890.jpg  Steve w/ Cigar
Common College. Steve & Al Boissevain w/ tractor IMG_1882.jpg  Steve & Al Boissevain w/ tractor
Common College. Boissevain Passive House Tour IMG_1884.jpg  Boissevain Passive House Tour
Common College. Georgetown Twain/Hart Retreat IMG_1889.jpg  Georgetown Twain/Hart
Common College. Logs w/ sprinklers IMG_1906.jpg  Logs w/ sprinklers

Yea, more stories to come. . .    Maybe one of these days!
Hopefully other's who participated in the Common College experiment will tell you their stories!