April 9, 2019

Annelies Kuiper is of Dutch descent, born in Kenya, Africa eight years before Kenya received it's independence from Britain.  With no rights to Kenyan citizenship, it was difficult to find work so Annelies made the difficult decision to leave and has only been back to Kenya twice since 1974.

Annelise found work with a large hotel chain, which took her to Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Johannesburg,  eventually landing in 'romantic' Palm Springs where she lived for 11 years, playing golf and enjoying the resort hotel amenities.  After ending a second relationship, Annelies wanted to 'fall off the earth' and a friend recommended she move to the hi-desert.

In this episode, Annelies tells me how she found her place in north Joshua Tree:...

March 26, 2019

Pam Anders first experience with desert was after a drive from Oregon. Pam's first husband suffered with asthma and his mother, who was living in Twentynine Palms suggested they move down to improve his health. Arriving in the dark, they were a bit off course. With no signs or lights, they pulled to the side of the road and Pam got out of the Volkswagen to take a look around. She looked up and almost fell... the star-filled sky was like nothing she'd ever experienced. And the silence was nothing like she'd ever heard.

After a few years they went back to Oregon. In this episode, Pam says the pull of the desert was so strong, she had to return, this time on her own, taking a number of jobs simultaneously to support herself. She wor...

November 6, 2018

This episode is a little different than what you've heard so far. Typically, I sit down and have a casual one on one conversation for the entire 30 minutes. In this episode, I've had similar, shorter conversations with eleven desert women, asking them, in most cases, the same five or so questions. As you listen to the episode, you'll get the gist of the questions.

How did this happen? Well, I sometimes bring the podcast to community events. I set up a table, have some handouts and introduce the podcast to people who may not have heard of it. Some folks have never heard of podcasts in general, while some know many of the people I've interviewed.  Recently, I got the idea of not only setting up a table with information about the po...

July 23, 2018

In this episode, Catherine tells us it was only until after moving to the desert that she remembered traveling through the desert as a small child on family trips. In later years, she would visit alone, with her backpack, taking respite from the demands of life in LA. On one such trip, just before her 40th birthday, Catherine made the decision to move permanently.

Dr. Catherine Svehla is the hi-desert's "local mythologist". She is a cultural mythologist, storyteller, artist, activist and creates story-based programs to share the transformative power of myth.  Catherine is also the host of  'Myth in the Mojave', a storytelling podcast with listeners around the world. She founded and led the Hi-Desert Mythological Roundtable f...

June 6, 2018

A native New Yorker, Ivy Pochoda has discovered the pull of the desert. After moving to LA, she'd heard folks talk about going to the desert.  Eventually she took a trip to Palm Springs and, though nice, wasn't really the experience she was looking for. The second trip she booked a vacation rental 'near Joshua Tree National Park'. After driving for sometime past two entrances to the National Park, Ivy realized the definition of the word 'near'  had different meanings to her and the vacation rental owner. Turns out, the reward for all that driving was staying in what's known as The Tile House in Wonder Valley.

Growing up in NY, Ivy started playing squash, found she was very good at it and ended up traveling the world to play....

March 27, 2018

Gayle Austin, Tattoo Artist, Business Owner (photo credit Jenna Hunt) ~ Young Gayle in the desert.

Gayle's family moved to the desert when she was four years old and they got a bit of a chilly reception... it snowed!  In this episode, Gayle reminisces about exploring in the desert and a few of the festivals and events for which people traveled for miles to attend.  Even after two moves away from the desert, Gayle says she always knew she was coming back. She and her husband, Tom, were married in her parents front yard in 29Palms (old timers and the California DOT spell it: Twentynine Palms) and they now own 'Ink and Steel' their tattooing and piercing business in Joshua Tree. Gayle is involved in the Joshua Tree community servin...

March 20, 2018

Born in Pennsylvania, Barbara came west to California after graduating from art school and met a man, who she eventually married, who brought her to the desert for the first time.  Since then, Barbara became fascinated with this place and two places in particular: Giant Rock and the Integratron.

In this episode, from her 30 years of research, Barbara shares information about local legends and the spirituality of this particular area of the desert. We also talk about the 'myth' many visitors to the desert seem to have these days of the desert being a wide open, wild, wild west where anything goes - we assure you - that is not the case. Though this area does still carry the spirit of freedom and ingenuity in the face of necessity,...

January 16, 2018

Hilary Sloane Photographer, Writer

Hilary heads back to Tanzania Africa next week for three months, so I was thrilled she made the time to be on the podcast.  In this episode, Hilary discusses the life-change she experienced, bringing her to the desert permanently in 2009. With a 35-year career as a producer and stylist for print, film and commercials in the rear view, Hilary is now creating in a different way after using her first year in Joshua Tree to learn German and take photography classes online. Her photography is in galleries in Joshua Tree and Los Angeles and her writing has been in the local Hi-Desert Star, Luna Arcana and Palm Springs Life. Hilary's trips to Africa are with an organization called Raleigh Internationa...

November 7, 2017

 Kate by Anja Ulfeldt

Originally from New Jersey, Kate visited the desert 22 years ago. On the next visit, she arrived in the dark and what she woke up to the next morning convinced her to stay. In this episode, Kate talks about the influence the Wonder Valley area has on her work as a Sound Artist, the process of purchasing land in a tax sale auction and keeping track of the days of the week by when the local watering hole is open. Inspired sonically by the spaces she is in for the work that she makes. She has found the silence and desolation has transformed her life.

Mentioned in this episode:

Kate's Website

San Francisco Art Institute

Mills Sound Art Experimental Music Program

The Palms

August 22, 2017

This woman is a dynamo - on stage and off. An amazing singer, songwriter, artist, chef and marketing machine, she has a dream and is making it come true. She and her partner, Emvy Venti, are Bellstarr and can they can be seen playing out at many venues in the desert and Los Angeles. At this writing, Bellstarr is making their debut album 'chapter 1 Crash" and if you're in the Hi-Desert on September 22, 2017, join them and Dana Larson at Astronomy Theatre for the Arts in Joshua Tree for their debut album release party: "Equinox Alien Invasion" - click here to get your tickets and listen to Aydra's interview here.

Mentioned in this episode:

Aydra Jenson

Rimrock Ranch

Belle Starr


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