A special thanks to all the beautiful people who made BFC’s 2016 West coast road show so successful. First off, to Mignon Geli who melted everyone’s heart with her flute music magic. Also along for the whole tour was the backbone man that represented the buffalo every night, spreading the word to save the herds, James Gilmer. New and existing supporters have already distributed 17,000 newsletters, signed petitions, and become local advocates helping spread the word of the sacred buffalo.
It all started in Bellingham, WA at The Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship Hall Thursday morning, September 15th. Thank you Spencer Morgan for helping set up the event and Spencer’s parents Ron and Kaye Morgan for making us feel like family and taking such good care of us.
Our next stop was Tulalip, WA for a show at the wonderful Hibulb Culture Center on Friday, September 16th with the Tulalip Tribe. We would like to thank Jennifer Fuentes for helping set up that event and giving us a place to stay. Thanks also to the whole Fuentes family for being part of our buffalo family. We were honored to have the local native drum and singing group open the evening. Special thanks to Lena Jones of the Hibulb Culture Center and to the entire Tulalip Tribe for such a warm welcome.
The Langley Whale Center, headed by Susan Berta, welcomed us to Whidbey Island, WA on Saturday, September 17th. Their mission, executed through the Orca Network, is to protect the dwindling killer whales of the Pacific Ocean. Thank you to everyone on the Langley Whale Center team including Lisa Kois, Windy Sign, and Cindy Hanson. And gratitude to Dana Lyons for his musical performance and to 11-year-old Jill Hein, who after seeing last year’s event, wrote a beautiful song dedicated to protecting wild buffalo. Lisa Kois provided us with the opportunity to talk with the children of Calyx Community Art School in the middle of a closed down state park.
On September 21st Sean Cruz welcomed us to Gilhooligan in Portland, OR to kick off the Jim Pepper Fest. Judy, our local family friend, fed, housed, and gave us a warm home all week.
Thanks to Loretta Guzman and the aptly named Bison Coffee for hosting us during a special afternoon.
That evening Patagonia (an amazing company that has supported BFC for two decades and who we consider our closest family) welcomed us for an event in downtown Portland. Thanks so much Leila Gassanova and all the great Patagonia staff.
On Friday, September 23rd we headed to Ashland, OR to Inger Jorgensen’s home for the private Stone House Concert with fantastic performances by Inger Jorgensen herself, Stephanie Johnson, Michael McDonald, Daniela Cobb, and the virtuosic Jeff Pevar who has toured with hundreds of renowned artists including Ray Charles, David Crosby, Stephen Stills, and Graham Nash. Thanks and praises to you all. Thanks to Phoenix Singalar along with his children Stella and Malea who welcomed us to their home for the night.
Our next show, in Williams, OR, took place at the Sun Spirit Farm on September 24th. It was a grand event packed with people who want to help the buffalo and Buffalo Field Campaign. Bamboozle and Diane Patterson gave amazing performances. Warm thanks goes out to Brian, Michelle, and their son Jaia for such an amazing event and for taking such great care of us.
Our first California stop was at Humboldt State University on September 26th. Thanks to Professor Tony Silvaggio, who heads the Department of Sociology and to Greta Montagne for welcoming us in her home and providing dietary tips for James.
We then headed to Alex Thomas Plaza in Ukiah, CA to meet up with Lara Anderson who helped organize a series of events for us. Thank you Lara! We are also grateful to Sergio for feeding the plaza that day with his homemade tamales and other delicious dishes. Thanks also goes out to the KMEC Community Radio, the Mendocino Environmental Center who helped with the festivities, and Allie and Greg for letting us stay at their place.
On Wednesday, September 28th we had two shows. The first was at Manchester Elementary school in Casper, CA. There, we blew up the buffaloon while all the kids were in class for a unanticipated treat. The kids were very interested in Mike’s message and ecstatic when they saw the giant blown up buffalo. That evening, we headed to the Casper Community Center where we had fun with Sue Mommy's Kitchen Band who we like to thank and Sergio again for another great meal. Thanks to Sashalaha for welcoming us in her home and for the private musical performance.
The next show was at the Pageant Theater in Chico, CA on Thursday, September 29th. The event was lifted with the humorous English-French-Spanish musical entertainment by Jonathan Richman. Thanks goes out to he and the Pageant Theater team including owner Miles Montalbano and his sister Nicole, with additional thanks to Jonathan and Nicole for welcoming us in their home
To close out September we visited Berkeley, CA’s Unitarian-Universalist Fellowship Hall to spend time with their kind patrons, Chris the Technician and Karen Picket who helped set up this and the next three events. Thanks goes out to them and to Karaj for his touching musical performance. Thank you Karen for letting us work out of your place for the next two days.
We kicked off October with a late-night music, comedy, and education show in Berkeley, CA at the Starry Plough Pub. We were treated to jokes from Alfred Clethen, jammed with the Smooth Beast and Karaj again, and got down with Funkanauts. Thanks to Tina for putting this together.
We had another double show on Monday, October 3rd. The first was at Canyon Elementary School where the kids were quite informed, attentive, and loved the buffaloon as much as the rest. The second show was in Mountain View, CA, a private house party at Karen Rudolph’s guest house. Karen also gave us her home for the next three nights.
October 4th we went to San Jose, CA to the Indian Health Center's Family Resource Center. Thanks to Kevin Murphy of the 500 Mile Spirit Runners for setting up this event and to Vernon for inviting us to the Center.
The next stop was at San Francisco State University on October 5th. Phil Klasky, a professor in the Ethnic Studies department, invited us to educate his class and opened it up to the whole college.
Our last presentation was at the Pacific Grove Museum on October 6th. A big thanks to Ximena and the Surf Riders group for spreading the word about the event and to Cathy as well. Thanks also to Jessica Faddis, the Museum’s event coordinator.
We spent October 8th and 9th in Browns Valley, CA at the Indigenous Peoples Days event in the Kullu Village at Sycamore Ranch. Thanks to the Tsi-Akim Maidu Tribe for welcoming us and to all the other tribes who joined us. Tabling this event was such an honor.
We are deeply indebted and grateful to each of you who made this tour such a great success. I am sorry to anyone I might have forgotten to thank, but know you are all in my heart and prayers. Until next year (unless you come visit the buffalo) be well, create change, and leave something we can be proud of for our children!
With the Buffalo,