Sausalito has lots of houseboats, but frankly the mud beneath the dock stinks real bad at low tide, so yuck!
the most expensive real estate in California, so why was I living there? The answer: careful lack of planning. I’d developed my business in San Francisco, then moved across the bridge to Marin because Adrienne hated the Haight; too noisy, she said. When paying rent, $1400 in Sausalito was about the same as $1400 in San Francisco. But buying a house was out of the question, in these latitudes.
So why not start with a mini-house, save up more money, then parlay up to a small fixer-upper, then up to better?
Marin land values are high, so there are only four trailer parks: One in Olema (too far), one off Highway 101 (nothing available), one near the bay (that mud aroma again), and one in San Rafael, where I found the house-trailer that Waneta was selling.
A heavy smoker, Waneta had laid a gummy layer over the interior, and the curtains were in tatters, but she accepted my terms, and I owned a tiny home. I bought file cabinets and elevated my bed off the floor, and somehow fitted in my working desk and musical equipment.
While living here, I produced the MultiString Shopper. With a classified ad in Bass Player magazine, I offered to buy and sell used Stick brand musical instruments, because there was previously no existing market for used instruments. I made a pretty layout, and forced a free lesson onto one page, and on the reverse listed the instruments for sale. Popular with musicians, and most unpopular with Stick Enterprises, the company selling new Stick brand instruments. But that’s another story.
Meanwhile, the trailer was comfy enough in the winter, but on summer afternoons it was like sitting inside a waffle iron, so I started engineering. First I built a wooden framework with two arms between which I stretched a tarpoleon. This arrangement provided a kind of parasol for the trailer during the hot afternoons.
Next, I decided to try water cooling,
so I bought a hose and a water-sprinkler, and rigged it up on the roof. When I turned it on, it created a nice cool mist, and a big circle of coolth. It did sprinkle on the road, so all the cars passing got wet, but you can’t make an omelette without breaking a few dishes, you know?
And so it was that, as I was up on the ladder, attempting to adjust the sprinkler system to act more refined, that I looked over the top of the trailer and could see Tom, the rugged contractor-type guy who ran the trailer park. He was standing in the middle of the road, legs wide, arms crossed over his chest, wearing a plaid short-sleeved shirt and his usual crew cut.
He was shaking his head in wonderment.
Our eyes met, across the top of the trailer. An irate expression crossed his face. He said, “What the hell do you think you’re doing?”
It was then that I realized that I had become a wacko.