My new book, From Trash to Treasure: The Splendors of Berkeley’s Cesar Chavez Park, is now off the press and available for sale on amazon.com.
I really owe this book to a dog named Mosey. Sheila Jordan, my wife, rescued Mosey from the pound about 15 years ago. He lived for the chase of tennis balls. Our relationship to the park developed like an addiction. First we took the dog to the park. Then the dog took us to the park.
In the process, our eyes opened to the splendors of this magnificent piece of earth that we are privileged to have within a 12-minute drive of our home. Over the past decade, several thousand photos from the park and of the park accumulated on my hard drive.
This little book features 157 of the best of them. It starts out with the obvious: views of the Golden Gate Bridge. (One of my sons finds my caption for the first of my bridge photos “a bit racy.”) Then come views of the City of San Francisco, Mt. Tam, and then the views north, south, and east. Often the greatest drama is overhead. There is a section of skyscapes, including some of the five-star sunsets we’ve seen during the past decade. There are pages of homage to boats, kites, model airplanes, the solar calendar, dogs, flora and fauna, especially birds. It ends with a gallery of people using the park — to walk, run, play ball, dance, play music, stretch, fish, talk, love, or just sit and meditate on the wonder of it all.
In a short introduction, I sketch the history of the place. Most first-time visitors don’t know it, but the park used to be the city dump. On the park’s hilltops we stand on 50-60 feet of garbage. It took a decades-long battle by a broad coalition of environmentalists to convert this offal to the feast for the eyes that it is today.
I plan to set up an ironing board and sell copies of the book on mild days at the park after the holidays. A portion of the proceeds (which are slim because the cost of producing full-color items is not cheap) will go to support the Viva Cesar Chavez Park organization that is in the process of being organized.
Putting this book together has been a pleasure unlike any of my previous book projects. I hope you enjoy it also. Click here to have amazon.com send you your own copy.