I Drive To Bonny Doon


Did I tell you Burt and I drove through Bonny Doon a couple of weeks ago, you know, where they make the delicious wine?

I hadn’t been there in many years and what stuck in my mind was apple trees, lots of apple trees but I didn’t find them. What I did find was a magical ride through light and dark (lots of dark because the redwoods are thick and mood-provoking here–which made me think of living in a small cabin and having to keep the lights on all day and the fire going which made me feel very cozy–and I wanted to stay but I was driving the car and there was no time to gather wood).

These days there aren’t many places where you can experience light and dark, dark and light, over and over, because so many of the trees that create the dark effect have been removed from the landscape. That means a lot of folks will never know that special feeling–and driving on a two-lane road with twists and turns and a heavy growth of redwoods, does awaken sleeping emotions and feelings.

When I think of Bonny Doon, I feel like it belongs to San Mateo County–but, you know, it doesn’t–it’s part of Santa Cruz County. It’s a secret kind of place…should I feel guilty talking about it? Secret because I didn’t see the turn off sign until I was upon it.

Here’s what I wanted to tell you before I forget: Did you know that the great science fiction writer Robert Heinlein and his wife Virginia lived in Bonny Doon? Maybe you know that Heinlein was the author of “Stranger in a Strange Land”. 1962 Hugo award winner.It was about a Martian who founded a religious movement on earth.


In the 1990s I was sitting in a dentist’s chair in San Mateo. Anaesthetic was being administered and as I was drifting away my dentist came to talk with me. He brought up Robert Heinlein, commenting that he had been a dear friend. (Heinlein died in Carmel in 1988 at age 80) My dentist then revealed that he often visited the Heinleins at Bonny Doon–my dentist knew a lot about the latest equipment, techniques and materials used in denistry, a field that has been changing rapidly, maybe more than any other medical field.

Anyway Heinlein was fascinated with the new materials being invented. Small, light, incredible things……

That was fascinating, I thought but then he added something more provactive, he said that the Heinleins were always naked when at home. They were probably living their writing, I thought as the anaesthetic put me into a gentle sleep.

You can’t I say I don’t tell you everything….