Struggle Mountain

Struggle Mountain is an intentional community on ten acres located down the road from the Land. The property was previously owned by Mildred Ligda and her publishing company, Hermes Press. Books were actually printed in what is now the small cabin at Struggle. California author Robinson Jeffers was one of Hermes writers and he actually lived there for a period. Mildred, who had experience in radical production for use co-operatives during the depression, had an affinity for the young community and in the mid seventies she sold the property to the newly formed Struggle Mountain Corporation.
The community still survives, and thrives.
Neil Reichline


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Front and back of Joan Baez's Album - One Day at a Time
Recorded while living at Struggle Mountain while husband David Harris
was serving time in jail for Draft Resistance during the Vietnam War.
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2007 marked the 37th annual Halloween party at Struggle Mountain. Jody has continued to play music at all of them. He was part of the Long Hall Band at the Land with Michael Ward. (For vintage Halloween photos follow this link Halloween Party . Add your own photos and commentary.)

Pictures of Struggle Mountain's Bathtub can be found here.




GOOGLE EARTH EYEVIEW
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Struggle Mountain and the trails across Page Mill.



EARLY STRUGGLE MOUNTAIN LIFE
EARLY STRUGGLE MOUNTAIN MEETING, 1971
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photo by Susan Shapiro, Norma's friend and college roommate
This was our first meeting, as I remember, an early inkling that this group at least wanted to act like
an intentional community. From left, Winter, John Olmstead, Neil, Norma, Larry Falk, Kathleen
O'Shea's daughter Kristin, Kathleen O'Shea, Jeffrey Shurtleff, Iris, Michael Vane. Neil


BIG HOUSE WITH LOGPILE AND MACKERAL SKY, NOV '72
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BAY UNDER FOG, STRUGGLE VIEW FROM ABOVE, NOV '72
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WINTER
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IRIS AND GEORGE FIX THE ROOF, NOV '73
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IRIS, SINGING IN THE COURTYARD, NOV '73
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STRUG SELF PORTRAIT, 1974strugnaked1637_copy.jpg

BIG HOUSE SUNSET SIDE, JUNE '74
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PURUSHA, JUNE '74
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BRIGID AND MAMA KITTY OUTSIDE PURUSHA'S, JULY '74
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BACKYARD BARBEQUE, JULY '74
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WATCHING NIXON RESIGN IN THE BIG HOUSE, AUG '74
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BOB COONEY DELIVERS THE NEWS, AUG '74
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GEORGE FIXING IRIS'S DOOR, SEP '74
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LIVING ROOM, BIG HOUSE, SEP '74
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DAVID CHAPPLE HOLDS CISCO IN REFLECTION, SEP '74
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POOL VIEW OUT SIDE CABIN DOOR, SEP '74
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IRIS AND CISCO
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CISCO AND THE PEACH, SEP '74
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SOL, CISCO, GEORGE AND KATHY, NOV '74
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JOANNE WITH WASH, DEC '74
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NEIL AND CISCO, DEC '74
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(this photo by George Abood)
This was the first time that any little kid had come up and held on to me. I remember how
wonderful it felt, a rush of feeling good, a glimpse into my future of being a parent. Neil

FULL MOON SAUNA, DEC '74
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GARDEN OUTSIDE SARA'S, OCT '75
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SOL, OCT '75
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FROM 1971-1979, NORMA AND NEIL'S HOUSE, OCT '75
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BIG HOUSE KITCHEN WINDOWS, JULY '76
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TOM PLAYS NORMA'S DAD'S GUITAR THAT HE REPAIRED, JAN '76
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struggleirisMay77.jpg When we moved back to Los Angeles we took a bunch of these prolific Struggle Mountain Irises with us to remind us of home. We transplanted them to every house we lived in. I left them in our last home together. Neil


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KATHY, FEB '77
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ABOVE BIG HOUSE KITCHEN DOOR, MAY '77
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JESSICA CODY AT THE WHEEL
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THE PORCH SHOWER, JUNE '77
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TOMMY AND THE JETS, JUNE '77
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NORMA AND NEIL'S, JUNE '77
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FOG ROLLS IN, JULY '77
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WINTER AND OAK, AUG '77
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GEORGE SPLITS LOGS, JAN '78
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STRUGGLE MOUNTAIN SELF PORTRAIT, FEB '78
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STRUGGLE FROM PAGE MILL ROAD BELOW THE PASTURE, JULY '78
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INTO THE WEEDPATCH, NOV '78
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BIG HOUSE SKYLIGHT UNDER CONSTRUCTION, JULY '80
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ELI, DEC '80
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NEIL, NORMA AND ELI'S CABIN, DEC. '80
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JOHN OLMSTEAD, PATSY AND GENESIS
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PURUSHA AT SUNSET, FEB '81
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OAK, ELI AND DAVID CAROUSING, EARLY EIGHTIES
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SUNDANCE
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photos by Neil


Jody and friends at Struggle Mt.
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photo donated by Jody


Sonny, Dale and Ken Z. playing ball
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photo by David Chappel



Jesse Dodd and Woodstock Bob March 31st 1982 - birthday boys
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photo by Patsy





Fireplace

Rough stone, smoke blackened,
time darkened mantel
and pale fire brick, chewed by near a century
of tree fall, building scraps,
old tool handles, broken furniture,
its looming dark mass anchors the house,
fixes the resident orbit,
draws us into its welcome grasp.

Katie could stretch out in its wide hearth opening,
stone cooled on a hot summer night,
but now we sit before the fire
bathing in warm woodglow
listening to embers talk:
the fir pitch cracking and spitting,
a fresh branch hissing,
the sound of logs suddenly settling to ash.

Cities of coals gilt vague memories
and dragon-tongued flames dance near
the curled hound’s sleep.
Here Jesse plots games and devices
and Katie dries and dreams after warm baths.
And I meet myself sitting quiet,
spellbound, beyond the limits of time, at this same fire
in other places, in distant years,
amazed at this wealth.


Tom Dodd



HERMES PUBLICATIONS BOOKPLATE
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Hermes Publications operated from the small cabin on the property that became Struggle Mountain. Mildred Ligda sold us the property in the mid-seventies. I obtained this mailing label (turned into a bookplate) during one of my scouting expeditions as a bookseller. It involved a bickering couple (cursing husband and drunken wife) and a snarling, snapping dog. But I love the colophon. --Mark




Peter Music was a frequent visitor to Struggle Mountain and a talented musician. He wrote this song to Struggle. The tune, alas, has been lost, but here are the words in his own hand:

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