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Evolving Casparado Tradition

Jerry leads Gertie

Happy Hallowe’en! Remember the wonderful Caspar Hallowe’en Parade?

From 1999 until 2005, when so many Casparado children were eager to join Gertie the Gorse Monster on parade down Caspar Road, we hosted a picturesque mixture of celebration and mutual wonderment. (We know this because we have the pictures, here.

Jerry leads Gertie

While there is disagreement about when the current (ahem, if I may coin a phrase,) Caspar Movement began, it easily traces roots back 25 years to meetings brought on by the purchase of the Caspar Lumber Company lands. Residents's allergic reactions to their visions of fences and oceanfront condominums on the bluff between our village and the Pacific, were salved only by re-inventing community. As Grail Dawson expressed it, “You Casparados are so good at reaction, I imagine you'd be even better at proaction.”

If you want to be
sing your village.

— Franz Kafka

Hence, visioning of what Caspar Wants to Be, the purchase of the Headlands as a State Reserve, of the old schoolhouse for a Community Center, our Hundred Year Plan ... and smaller triumphs, like the kitchen addition, clearing the Eucalyptus forest, our solar panels. We have been blessed with the right people just as we needed them, and so have been able to achieve communal successes with heart-warming regularity.


Our Community Center, the embodiment of Caspar's “friendly ghost-town” spirit thrives because it's meant as a gathering place for Casparados and Coasters alike, not a destination ...but, as we were reminded by Caspar's first employee, Pat Ackley, who relocated from Iowa to be our first Coordinator, “This is my coast, too,” and visitors find a warm welcome when they come upon our events.

With the Hallowe'en Parade, Caspar's been at this conscious village business long enough to have watched the birthing and evolution of traditions like a Gorse Festival (celebrating that most of us, like Gorse, are invasive transplants), The Caspar World Folk Festival, and CasparFest, a celebration that will probably return. Likewise, durable traditions like Fourth Sunday Breakfast and Pub Night keep growing, changing, and bringing their different audiences to our Center.

Our children have grown up and we are grateful when they grace us with their participation and service. The Hallowe'en celebration grew up and moved away( but not too far, to the street in front of Frankie's in Mendocino.) Administration of the Center, so long and ably managed by Dalen, now in the capable hands of Sienna and Millie, keeps the evolution on track by providing the most comfortable venue on the Coast. Dalen, having retired to the position of Executive Chef, is preparing for two upcoming Caspar landmark events, the Harvest Dinner and the 17th consecutive New Year's Party.

It's a good season for thankfulness and appreciation. Isn't it miraculous to have lived in a place where we could feel our traditions evolving? Join us for the Harvest Dinner and New Year's Party, while we sing this extraordinary community in this glorious place.

Like Sienna says, “See you HERE.

Michael ;>
Caspar list co-manager
email any response or thoughts to

posted 29 October 2016

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Caspar Community Center
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Caspar, California 95420 - box 84
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