El tema central de este Blog es LA FILOSOFÍA DE LA CABAÑA y/o EL REGRESO A LA NATURALEZA o sobre la construcción de un "paradiso perduto" y encontrar un lugar en él. La experiencia de la quietud silenciosa en la contemplación y la conexión entre el corazón y la tierra. La cabaña como objeto y método de pensamiento. Una cabaña para aprender a vivir de nuevo, y como ejemplo de que otras maneras de vivir son posibles sobre la tierra.

martes, 3 de enero de 2012

Bill Pester, un -hijo del sol- en su choza

Ur-hippies from Germany to California
Bill Pester at this palm log cabin in Palm Canyon, California, 1917. With his "lebensreform" philosophy, nudism and raw foods diet, he was one of the many German immigrants, who "invented" the hippie lifestyle more than half a century before the 1960s. He left Germany to avoid military service in 1906 at age 19, for a new life in America. (Photo Courtesy of Palm Springs Art Museum, Palm Springs, California)       

(...) In 1906 Bill Pester first set foot on American soil having left Saxony, Germany that same year at age 19 to avoid military service. With his long hair, beard and lebensreform background he wasted no time in heading to California to begin his new life.
He settled in majestic Palm Canyon in the San Jacinto Mountains near Palm Springs California and built himself a palm hut by the flowing stream and palm grove.
Bill spent his time exploring the desert canyons, caves and waterfalls, but was also an avid reader and writer. He earned some of his living making walking sticks from palm blossom stalks, selling postcards with lebensreform health tips, and charging people 10 cents to look through his telescope while he gave lectures on astronomy.
He made his own sandals, had a wonderful collection of Indian pottery and artifacts, played slide guitar, lived on raw fruits and vegetables and managed to spend most of his time naked under the California sunshine.
During the time when Bill lived near Palm Springs he was on Cahuilla Indian land, with permission from the local tribe who had great admiration for him. His name even appeared on the 1920 census with the Indians, and in 1995 An American Indian woman Millie Fischer published a small booklet about Palm Canyon that included a chapter on Pester.
The many photos of Pester clearly reveal the strong link between the 19th century German reformers and the flower children of the 1960’s…long hair and beards, bare feet or sandals, guitars, love of nature, draft dodger, living simple and an aversion to rigid political structure. Undoubtedly Bill Pester introduced a new human type to California and was a mentor for many of the American Nature Boys. (...)

(...) Remember "Bill Pester" of Coachella Valley

At the festival this year take a minute to remember one of the most amazing Coachella Valley residents, Bill Pester, THE original California Hipster. In the early 1900s Bill lived in a log hut near Palm Canyon. He led a natural lifestyle, practicing Yoga, giving spiritual advice, playing guitar, wearing longhair, beads and sandals or going barefoot, fifty years before the 60s!.
He was a well known character in the Coachella valley and famous people, such as Rudolf Valentino, would often drop by and visit Bill. The local Indians had great respect for him and welcomed Pester into their Canyon home. He appears on the Indian Census records from that time.
It is said that the roots of the 60s California Counterculture can be traced directly back to Pester, and that he even invented the "Hippie" lifestyle. Bill immigrated from Germany to the Coachella Valley bringing with him the German Lebensreform Philosophy and Naturmensch Movement, which came about in Germany in the 1800s and are the roots of the modern Counterculture.
Pester mentored the next generation of "Nature Boys" such as Eden Ahbez (author of the song Nature Boy, written about Pester), Gypsy Boots and others. This group went on to start and greatly influence the 60s Counterculture Generation. .
Much of Pester's life and legend is still a Mystery. Sadly there is not even a mention in Wikipedia of him! If you have any more information on Bill Pester, please post it here, or elsewhere. University of Arizona Professor Peter Wild is supposedly in the process of writing a book on Pester. (...)

Seven of California’s “Nature Boys” in Topanga Canyon, August 1948. They were the first generation of Americans to adopt the “naturemensch” philosophy and image, living in the mountains and sleeping in caves and trees, sometimes as many as fifteen of them at a time. All had visited and some were employed at “The Etropheon” where John Richter gave his inspiring lectures about raw foods and natural living. 
Members wombat fidus 7 bill pester 1917(http://curezone.com/ig/i.asp?i=27594)


Bill Pester was another "Nature Boy", who was born in Saxony, Germany in 1896.
He left Germany to escape the military service in 1906 and settled in the majestic Palm Canyon in the San Jacinto Mountains near Palm Springs, where he built himself a palm hut from natural materials.
To support himself he carved walking sticks from palm blossom stalks, sold postcards, and gave lectures on living a healthy lifestyle close to the earth. In his own words: "Man was intended to live in a state of nature. All man's troubles, sickness, anxieties and discontent comes from a departure from nature. I would advise you to go back to nature if you want to be cured; give up your extravagant habits, your high-priced hotel life, quit taking medicine and discharge your doctor. "Bill lived on Cahuilla land and was loved by the Native Americans. With his naturmensch philosophy, raw food diet and long hair, he was mentor to Eden Ahbez and to the American-born Nature Boys.

For a closer look into these fascinating characters who were the original "hippies" i suggest reading Children of the Sun by Nivaria Press. You can find it at a reasonable price if you scour the internet. Children of the Sun is a tribute to the people who through scorn, ridicule, and rejection paved the way for the future; with particular focus on those who were pioneers in nature cure, raw foods, and social reform from the conventional lifestyle toward a more natural existence.

And the best part of it all is that this took place from 1883-1949.

This magnificently illustrated book chronicles the philosophy, lifestyle and dissemination of Lebensreform, (Life Reform – “neither communism nor capitalism, but land reform”). In reaction to industrialization, from Hermann Hesse and the artist Fidus wanderings through pre-WW1 Germany in edenic bliss to Bill Pester going natural in a Palm Springs canyon. Pester, a German born immigrant, was counted in the 1920 census as one of the 24 members of the Cahuilla tribe.

These pics look like they're straight out of the 60's, but they're from approx. 1917. (Pester moved to the USA in 1906.)

Pester met a young American named Eden Ahbez (who eschewed capital letters) and became ahbez's 'mentor'. Ahbez and the other young Americans who followed Pester called themselves 'nature boys' (a loose translation of naturmenschen). In 1948, ahbez wrote a song about Pester and called it 'Nature Boy'. Nat King Cole recorded it, which drew media attention to ahbez. He appears briefly in this clip followed by footage from another TV show in which Cole performs the song. [video fehlt!]

The nature boys received some attention also from Jack Kerouac's reference to them in On the Road. And they became well-known in California simply because of their distinctive a

This story has been told before (esp. at the links in the previous paragraph) but I wasn't aware of it until I looked up Monte Verità.
Praymont. (http://www.gusto-graeser.info/Monteverita/Darstellungen/Ur-hippiesGermanyCaliforniaEN.html


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