by Debra Keipp, February 21, 2018
(I asked Bruce Anderson the following random questions about his run for the KZYX Board of Directors. My questions are in italics…)
Mark Scaramella has voiced his dislike of anthropomorphizing in the AVA. So what's up with the little dog and tomcat given voice in the daily website?
Lots of anthromorphs among our readers. We try to provide a little something for everyone.
What old crime stories from the AVA stick with you?
"Killed Without Dying," about the Laytonville woman raped by the Lake County cop, then shunned by her community like it was her fault.
Were you ever a Republican? Ever registered as a communist?
Way back, I registered as a Republican to vote against an even worse Republican in a primary. The Communist Party USA was not ballot qualified in California. I was never a communist but have known lots and lots beginning with my first political involvement with CORE in the Bay Area, circa 1962. I'm a socialist, not that many people make the effort to know the diff between the two.
What do you think about the state of unions in the US; can they no longer serve their purpose in the Trump years and dumbing down of government?
Quick story: An old guy I knew was a warehouseman represented by the ILWU. Harry Bridges himself saw my friend walking home one day and pulled over to ask him if he wanted a ride. Can anyone imagine that happening now?
When were you in a union, and which local?
I was a Teamster when I drove a cab in SF in '67.
Is it true you followed Peoples Temple to the Valley after reading that Esquire magazine article from the 1970's about best surviving nuclear fall-out was on the Northcoast?
No. I remember the article, though. I'd never heard of the Peoples Temple until I got to Mendocino County where I was soon aware of Jim Jones' influence in the County, which was then pervasive.
What drew you to Anderson Valley, the name?
Pure coincidence. My late brother and I were driving around looking for a rural place to rent under the delusion that urban delinquents would somehow be less delinquent under the redwoods than they were under streetlights.
How do you prefer consuming grapes?
What’s your favorite rose?
What were you doing in Borneo when you met your wife?
How many continents have you traveled?
Touched down in Scotland for a week, lived in Southeast Asia for four years.
America as continent, Scotland as a country because everyone in Scotland looked like me, even the women — large, loud, florid.
How many books do you read per week?
Two or three counting books on tape and magazine journalism.
Most memorable read of late?
The Sellout by Paul Beatty, the truest (sic), bravest fiction I've read in a while.
New writers you presently enjoy?
Beatty and.... I don't read fiction anymore unless an occasional New Yorker short story grabs me, which few do.
You prefer fiction or non-fiction?
I notice you reprint "Rabbit Hole" a lot? Why?
The one we've all disappeared down? You lost me.
Remember when DA Vroman was curiously found dead, slumped over the steering wheel of his vehicle? Were you satisfied with the diagnosis in Norm Vroman's death?
Nothing curious about it. He died of a heart attack.
What's your best memory of Norm Vroman?
The time he testified for a criminal against me. The guy was full of surprises.
I recently read Kym Kemp's evaluation of Tony Craver vs. our current Sheriff. What's your best memory of Tony Craver?
I much admired Craver's forbearance as he kept the shrieking hippies of Earth First! apart from shrieking loggers whose work site the shrieking hippies had disrupted. I admired Craver, I admire Allman.
As editor of the AVA, a writer and avid reader, where do you guest speak?
I appear nightly in my office. I used to get out more but I don't feel it's worth the effort anymore. Anybody who wants to hear from me can read my paper.
Your nephew whom you helped raise, has made you proud, eh? You hand out scholarships at AV high's graduation ceremonies gifted by the Miner-Andersons? How much in scholarship money has been gifted to students over the years thus far and what's the name of the fund?
Approaching two mil, I believe. Which pocket it comes out of I don't know or I'd mug him myself. The Boonville schools are unique in the county for the amount of outside financial support they get.
So Bruce, you usually look pretty dapper, even in 100+ degree Valley heat — Panama straw hat, starched linen long sleeve shirt w tie, nice casual pants... Hardly scuffling clothes, did you roll up your sleeves first before you punched that guy at the Point Arena school board meeting? Weren’t you arrested? What made you wanta punch that guy?
Gee, Debra.... For the record, I was convicted of multiple counts of misdemeanor disturbing the peace in that one, not assault. I did 35 days in the Mendo County Jail.
Would you please print in the AVA, a progression of your mug shot photos taken over your lifetime, similar to "Catch of the Week"?
I would if I had them. Of maybe a dozen, only two I had coming.
What’s your opinion of Jonestown: Mass murder? Suicides? CIA or a child custody battle?
Murder. Anybody who thinks the CIA and the FBI can organize something like that has never met any of their reps. Child custody was one of several pretexts The Monster invoked to kill his church. There was no greater conspiracy, in my opinion. A lot of powerful California Democrats helped make it possible.
Would you say it was ultimately attributed to a custody battle melt down by Jim Jones who ordered Leo Ryan and his Congressional entourage to be fired upon by assassins when they were sent to retrieve young Jon Stoen from Jonestown in Guyana on their mission to return the boy to California?
It's attributed to lots of things, but I think it was Jones, deep in an amphetamine psychosis, who bore sole responsibility.
Tim Stoen is just now retiring from his position as Asst D.A. at Ten Mile Court in Fort Bragg? How does that happen... A life in law enforcement after setting off Jonestown? Have you ever discussed Jonestown with Stoen or Jackie Speier?
Stoen stopped talking to me after I reprinted an excerpt from David Talbot's revelatory book on San Francisco's fraught 1970s, "Season of the Witch," which makes it very clear that Stoen, as always acting for Jones, helped rig a city election for George Moscone. I like Stoen on a personal level. I regard him as a tragic figure who, after all, lost his son to that maniac. I think lots of us admire Stoen's courage in carrying on after a tragedy that would permanently cripple most of us.
Speaking of which: another layer of icing on the cake of life! I see you are running for the KZYX Board of D! What's your platform?
Agitation for a truly public public radio station, fiscal transparency, end to the station's legacy blacklist, emphasis on purely local news. Basic reform of what amounts to a publicly-funded private club. The station has been dominated by, in the words of a recent gm, "toxic personalities," for a long time, so toxic they've often made me re-consider my commitment to non-violence.
You admit you have a tin ear for music... I'm at least liking the jazz shows I hear on KZYX. Hands off on those, okay, Bruce?! No cutting the jazz on KZYX, you hear me?
I admit no such thing. I don't think my ear is any tinnier than anybody else's, but music just isn't a primary interest with me. I went through an opera period where I tried to systematically learn about it, but anymore I only listen to that classical music show every Wednesday morning on KZYX while I'm peddling my papers. I enjoy it very much. The kid who presents it is a good host because, apparently, he studied music. I always learn something from him. If elected, I promise not to disturb the jazz shows.