Why The Road Beyond Modesto Requires Multiple Recordings of Handel's MESSIAH


Because from my Swedish aunt, who was really my grandmother,

I learned, despite the harmonies in the music, that

"His yoke isn't always easy; His burden isn't always light."


Because from her brother, my father and also great uncle,

I learned dogged persistence with the help

of Newtonian science against anything the world

hurls at you--including sometimes boring baroque

repetitions, da capo al fine, eventually leading to--but careful,

you need to time your breathing--a Hallelujah Chorus.


And because from his niece, my cousin and also, of course,

my birthmother, I learned patience, detachment, hope.

You see, a girl, she had to listen every spring

to my Italian uncle, her father, and thus my grandfather,

running the gamut of notes, higher and higher,

so that his Trumpet Might Sound just right.


All of the above lived formative years in McPherson, Kansas

and must have always voted Republican.


Finally because from my mother, a California girl, mistaken

for a Mexican back in Kansas when she married my father,

I am still learning longevity (without any help from her genes)

and adventure. In 1932, after meeting Governor Roosevelt

and Eleanor on the train, she cast her first ballot for FDR.


And because today at ninety-six she still trades off at the wheel

with me, despite the heat and increasingly dangerous traffic,

on long freeway drives north and south, finding new criss-

crossing highways through the Central Valley to keep us alert--

three hours from "Comfort Ye" to an "Amen" Chorus

hardly making a dent in that long, long multilane road.

                                                                        August, 2003


Even Handed

            for my mother


You were even handed. Your garden bloomed,

Your dinners bloomed. If I ever got spanked,

I knew what I'd done wrong.  And I forgive

You now for making me wait forever in the car

While you looked in antique stores.


In the evening, I wanted to hear stories

From your childhood. To me they were antique:

"I rode a pony to school; his name was Buster,"

You said, evening my sheets and blankets.

"In those days I wore a big Taffeta bow in my hair.

One time the wind blew so hard my bow whistled,

But I didn't know where the sound came from.

Thinking it might be gypsies, I got scared. At first 

Buster shied, then took off at a gallop. We got home

Fast that day."


                                Your words made me think

Of my own walks home: no farms, no orange groves,

No smudge pots, no gypsies, no ponies--just suburban

Streets and cars, except the park and the nearby canyon

Where I lingered, hoping later I'd see you driving home

From shopping or a meeting. I liked a smooth ride.


One time you were in pain, stretched out

In the back seat on the way down the coast from Ventura.

A wool blanket covered you up to your shoulders.

I asked my father, "What's the matter?"

"Dog bite.  She needs to sleep now.  Be quiet."

I couldn't help disturbing: it was you

Who had saved me from the dog.


And that wasn't the end of your troubles:

Hosed water in my aunt's house, perfume added

To your flowers, lawn furniture sawed in two,

Peanuts down my windpipe despite your careful

Warnings--the list could go on from here.


"Didn't you ever do anything wrong

When you were little?" I asked, already dozing.

(You were rising to subdue my lights.)

You stopped.  And said, even handed, "Of course,

But I don't dare give you any new ideas."

                                                                    from A Hollow of Waves (1983)


Shop Talk

                for my father



Lights in the hall turn out,

And a heat lamp fills my moon.


Your arms hold round me still

While I pant and wheeze.


"It's called asthma. Try to relax;

Normal breathing; don't panic."


You make it a game: "This is how

A doctor tests the stomach."


Probes prove spongy and pin me

Down to laughs and grunts.



"Since you're feeling no

pains in the abdominal region,


Roll over on your stomach:

I'll check for diseased tissue."


Your hands circle rib by rib;

My lungs tap lightly hollow.


Your fingers spring in my mind.

The black one you hit with a hammer.


I know a photograph by memory:

I tug your pant leg in the shop.



Then you made do with a band saw,

A corner for levels and planes.


But whole rooms lit up the new house;

Work turned out games by the moon:


A lathe, equipment for welding, two

Carpenter's tables clamped roundly, blades


Spongy in drills; a telescope lens

Sprung from the basement; ham radio, photo-


Enlarger, a way hammered through my wall--

Names woke me mornings, broadcast on air.



Before my birth you had something

Called tuberculosis, checked into


A hospital for an uncertain spell.

Then other words: "Depression," "the Navy,"


"World War Two."  You proved allergic

To penicillin. Pearl Harbor pinned you


In the tub. Back home in California,

Bathing was fun for me, your hands


Circulating water. I grew up probing

Broad gestures from your talk.                        from A Hollow of Waves (1983)



An Adopted Story


         for my birthparents


   I can only guess what happened:

   a young man sailed home from war

   and was released from service.


   It was VJ Day or a week or so

   after--a month gone by since

   the blast at Hiroshima. Maybe


   that man had written a woman

   back home, thinking their love

   unwounded.  In any case, what


   better way to celebrate than

   to conceive a child, making a baby

   boom--or, more likely, that was


   the farthest from their minds.

   What followed (however) had its

   own momentum and wouldn't quiet


   down--so many possibilities for

   error, why a child turned out

   unwanted, except by other parents


   listening to a cry.                                      

        from A Hollow of Waves (1983), first published in the "KSOR Guide to the Arts" (June, 1984),

                                                                              reprinted in "Southern Oregon Currents" (1991)


Hungry for Action

                           for my sister Althea


The Sea Lion Restaurant, where we used to go

            out to dinner,

had a fenced-in pool for seals

            outside in the parking lot.

Indoors, we'd watch breakers

            squirm over rocks, up the sides

                        of windows at high tide.

Dinners oohed and aahed in sets with the waves.



After our fish and chips,

            we'd feed the seals--

                        buying tiny perch

wrapped in newspaper, still wet

            and pungent from the sea.

When the seals smelled us breaking

            toward their fence,

                        they swam, and jumped,

and clapped their flippers, barking

            for a meal.



As we drove the beach road home,

            you became a seal:

                        propping yourself up

on your arms in the back seat,

            answering every question with a bark.

Back home you squirmed

                        up and down the stairs,

            your legs unused behind you.

Some days you wouldn't speak a word;

            on others everyone

had to be a seal with you.



Older by six years, I had my own ideas:

            like trading M&Ms,

"one bright shiny red one

            for two dirty old brown ones."

Later we roughhoused

            the hallway--a game called "Block."

                        I shouldn't mention

how you and Missy got caught

            hurling rocks at moving

                        cars on Chautauqua.

The policeman who brought you home

            wondered where you had thrown your clothes.



Other falls: a rock-smashed finger,

            the nail divided for years.

It all flips back to that day in '52;

                        we picked you up

at the hospital.  Outside a nurse

            held you

                        near the car window.

You were crying, your face

            like a big M&M,

                        a bright shiny red one.

You squirmed and hollered

            the whole way home.



Somewhere along that road

            I suggested:

"I think she's hungry. Why don't we stop

            and feed her a hamburger?"               from Searchings for Modesto (1993)



Aunt Bona

                                                                                        for Livona

Cracks in your house from an earthquake

I never felt, my cousins' black-and-white photos

Taken before I was born--I waited a long time

To go with you to your mountains. You had

To run errands. That blind dog, Henry, wouldn't

Get into car. Groceries for the inn,

The last gas station in La Canyada, the uphill

Drive in a car you said "knew the road,"

Blooming yucca in the chaparral, yellow pines

On high ridges.

                            I learned a few things

From you on those drives: why trees grow best

On northern slopes, how icy it can get

In Lady Bug Canyon, where the old road runs

Down the opposite cliff. Together we declined

Cut-offs to Palmdale and Mount Wilson, felt

Warm air near Chilao, found a place to look

Into Devil's Canyon.

                                    The arrival at the cabin

Resumed your chores. Rooms needed air, cedars

Water. Rattlesnakes and fire stressed danger

(I needed reminding). Sparse trees and mountains

Below Waterman burned once, up from the desert.

Views took in a city and an ocean--Catalina Island

On a lucky day. Blackouts for war, you told me,

Exposed enemy flares. Dry fall inclined to red

Hunters, but the deer knew a few things about

Seasons: they found a green outside your door.   

                                                    from A Hollow of Waves (1983)  



The Danger of Arsons


                Labor Day? No,

                    I'm thinking of big-cone pine trees

                        tall around my aunt's cabin.

                Squirrels would be eyeing us,

                    foraging, gnawing,

                        pitching thorny scales down

                as we bounced

                    a plastic birdie over a flimsy net.

                Music from racquet strings,

                        from tennis shoes scuffing green 

                cement--and, above, that disorderly dining

                    until the dint of a well-chewed pine grenade

                        would touch earth near us

                but not explode.



                That cabin enforced love's labor:

                        excavation, rough-hewn granite

                    lifted into walls, fireplace, an outdoor

                        barbecue; additions

                out of lumber; a sleeping porch in-screened.

                    Head-severing shovels still rattle

                        about snakes in Aunt Bona's tales.



                Those branches diverted desert air

                            moaning in needles,

                disturbing summer dust.

                    Even the horseshoes clanking below

                in the meadow

                        didn't lighten gravity

                the time my father fell

                    out of a hammock

                        strung too taut between trees.



                Graminivorous, Mr. Pommerly

                    didn't eat meat with us, preferred

                        the quiet of those mountains.

                    Youngsters wasted more energy

                than he liked to see unchallenged.

                    Once he led us hiking the back trail to Horse Flats:

                dry, sandy creek beds,

                    tall granite boulders,

                        big ants bridging sticks on rapid legs.

                On his rations of water,

                    we stopped spilling parched words,

                        listened to deer flies instead

                    as, lumbering, we straggled

                his short cut home.



                And now I remember

                    learning how to syphon

                        water from the pool,

                    covering, carrying the end of the hose,

                        holding my fingers tight,

                until I traveled to upturned earth

                    where cedars had just been planted;

                trout fishing in a stocked pond--

                    not very sporting; rainbows still sizzle, too.



                But fall lifts to winter,

                    decomposing granite.


                            gas heaters burned

                the dry air drier

                    to the top bunk

                        where I lay dozing.

                            A boy,

                maybe six years, drowned once at night

                        when the pool, ice-layered,

                    wouldn't break up with sticks

                the way we had shown him by day.

                His unheard cry

                    falls on me

                        with the cabin's senseless burning,

                the danger of arsons

                    in those high hills.                

             from Searchings For Modesto (Talent House Press, 1993)



Uncle August

                                       for Aunt Frances

A summer month (named after you?)

Came back each year, timed with your visits.

It was still cool at night along our California coast.

You asked for more blankets.


In the morning you were awake

Making noisy faces, tossing me in the air.

You showed me once or twice how to jiggle the biceps.

My arms forever small, you promised me I'd get the knack

Someday. I never did.


You loved music--all kinds. Back home

You led the high school band.

One evening at the Hollywood Bowl you complained,

"Dang it. It's like listening to your neighbor's radio!"

And noisy lights kept flying overhead.


When the word got out to us from Kansas,

I stayed at home from school and cried. That afternoon

My mother took me to a movie,

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

You were Captain Nemo at the organ.


I never learned to play the violin

Or the piano either, but since you've gone

I've loved music--

All kinds.                                            from A Hollow of Waves (1983)



August Proceedings

                                                                                                                for Carmina


Right place, wrong time, 

a percentage born too early:

the mystery of pre-term labor.


It takes energy to breathe,

and some don't have enough--

an adequate blood flow

in the gut,

a resilient head

in a tough world.



A Digital Incorporated conference room.

August's seven-month birth,

snowstorm baptism,

and hard-knocks upbringing

you described

as white-gloved hands pointed

adjustable fingers

out of a cultural background--

a percentage for the artist.


The priest said, "He's alive."



First-born, you

must have felt the pain

by proxy, a rigid-hand

delivery with forceps

in the dark.


To the respirator--


later you gave me

every sense of history.



First-born, I

carried too much shock--

in that time,

at that place--

and had to lean on Susan

for the details,

the resilience

to hold up my hand,

unfurling each finger,

and start asking questions.

                                                   from Beyond Modesto, also appearing in The West Wind Review (1994)


Searching For Modesto

                                                                for Dolly and Virgil


I found fault with the map--

            my father's index finger

                        searching for. . .

"Here's Hanford, near the top."

I asked, "Where's Modesto?"

"The other side."

He didn't turn it over; his finger

            traveled up, off into the air,

                        beyond the map.



Nine years old, I hovered

            over the edge

of my known world: blue lines

suggested waterfalls

            where rivers ended,

                        red and black highways plunged

toward indeterminate North.

"Stop woolgathering," my father


"It's time to get into the Lincoln."



In those days any car was forced to weave,

                        driven down the Grapevine.

Summers were hot, dry--

            the tule fog long gone,

                        and unremembered


When steering wheels stopped turning,

            time on the road hit bottom.

In flat fields they gathered cotton

            instead of wool.



At Hanford

            brown lawns begged

                        their own excuses; Aunt Dolly

took me to a big pool


            with blue water and other children.

                        Uncle Virgil

drove his Cadillac 

            all over that valley. His cruising

speed at seventy,

                        he pointed his finger

            at chalk white soil

to alkaline to plant.

                        County lines meant something

            when on any road we traveled,

wavy pools suggested water

                        we could never touch.



A few years later Virgil drove us

            up to Yosemite in the Sierras.

                        Granite faces

invited waterfalls by day,

            fire falls at night.

                        We climbed to a place, where,

            if we leaned a little,

we could touch white water's plunge

                        over a ledge.



At nine years, though,

            I was allowed to travel on my own

                        to Modesto.

While I waited, Virgil placed

            a penny on the track,

and a freight train flattened

                        the copper face of Lincoln,

            "IN GOD WE TRUST,"

but on the lower half

            no changes:

                        "Liberty" and "1950"

from the Denver mint.



Aboard my car, the conductor told me:

"There's no stop in Modesto!"

But the Lamberts knew

            where to fetch me off the train.

                        We drove

in all directions:

            first a visit to a farm

                        with geese and chickens,

then a horseback ride

            through wavy grasses. . .

Ronald took me swimming

            in a brown river. . .

(I never had a look at the map.)          

      from Searchings for Modesto (1993), reprinted in The Prescott Street Reader (1995)



On First Seeing the Magna Carta in Jacksonville, Oregon

        December 7, 1986

                                        for Bengt


My right

to examine this document

is limited


by the poor lighting

(lest deterioration

proceed faster),


the muffled grievances

of my two-month-old son

confined to his snuggly,


the long line

of other living souls

behind me


taxing their patience

to decipher meaning

from history,


but most of all

by a 13th-century scribe's

long latinate hand


that had no direction

from his brain

concerning the need


for understanding ("villeins"

are mentioned somewhere

among those minute letters).


Rather, that hand

established an all-time

record for total number


of illegible words

on vellum beginning

in capital letters.



My son, who

quite recently

discovered his hand,


and now concentrates intensely

on gaining full control

of its mysterious movements,


fell fast asleep

before we quickly signed

the visitors' list for him.


Back home,

and at liberty

in his demesne,


the little baron

has louder grievances

we seek to understand.

                                 from Beyond Modesto, first published in Calapooya Collage/11 (Summer, 1987)


Tough Love

                                                                    for Cor and Joe


        Where you lived in Norfolk,

            gophers burrowed in the yard

                next door.

        I looked through the fence

            to watch them race

                from white sandy hole

            to hole. Sometimes they stood up

        on their hind feet, brown furry back

            to back for support.

                The yards there, near the sea,

            were flat and damp.

    Later you said about the neighbors:

    "Some people let everything run down."



        That night Joe set up a cot for me,

                clamping down the supports.

        Light out, I pretended

            I was a gopher--

                up on my knees,

        my hands flapping under my chin,

            my mouth and nose twitching.

                And next morning at six,

        I awoke you: the arm

            of my record player bounced

        on yellow plastic

                seventy-eight revolutions

            per minutes, the volume

        full blast, my voice

            squalling louder.

        Then you surprised me:

        "Turn off that racket this instant!"



        That was my first trip East,

            away from my parents.

                Months before in Alhambra

        I'd already displeased you: saw marks

            in the bench of a picnic

                table, water hosed

        into your house there.


                I tried to run away

        beyond train tracks, but your shout caught me

        "Where do you think you're going, mister?"



        In Norfolk I never got used to the weather.

            A thunderstorm flapped.

        You were inside taking a shower.

                When I twitched the buzzer outside

        and nobody answered,

            every bounce of thunder

                cranked my voice up louder,

        squalling your name--tough rain

            running off the roof

                onto concrete below.

        Then you opened the door,

            and your anger:

        "For the love of Pete, now what's the matter?"

        Still it felt good to dry off inside.



        Years later in school I'd read

            about Cordelia:

                how false a king's impressions

        of his daughter,

            how confusing language gets sometimes.

        In order to meet my parents

            we had to board a ferry,

                cross Chesapeake Bay

            in stormy weather. On deck

        the wind ran away with your white scarf.

            I fell asleep.

                You had to lift me, wake me.

        Staring, I saw

            you had that tough look again,

        determined to get us on that train.        from Searchings for Modesto (1993)


Tougher Love

                                                        a found poem based on Aunt Cordelia's

                                                                                   response to the above. . . .


        Joe and I loved your poem.

        Only one correction: the first

        Happened in Alhambra instead of Norfolk,

        The part about the gophers. Oh well, perhaps

        It doesn't really matter, poetic license.


        But two other things came to mind.

        Namely, the lemon pie that fell off the top

        Of the refrigerator, and every time you came for a visit

        You looked to see if it was still on the floor.

        Also the time you repacked Joe's suitcase,

        Removing his undies, substituting 

        Whatever caught your fancy--

        Such as the alarm clock. The first

        Thing Joe had to do in Odessa, Texas was buy

        New PJ's and underwear. Do you remember that?


        Oh, yes, about the last

        Part on the ferry and train:

        You had a Teddy Bear as big as you were. I had to carry

        You, the Teddy Bear, and all the luggage.

        Perhaps that explains my determination.           from Searchings for Modesto (1993)



Good Moves Back Stage

                                                                                for Benno Rubinyi and family


        A movement of nerves

                back stage before my reading. I tremble:

        "I think I'm almost ready."

                        You level: "Sit down. Wait a minute.

                Give everyone a chance to find a seat."



        Once my movements

                followed directions to your house--

                        passing through a carport,

                                opening a redwood gate,

                        feeling the lithe tension in the spring,

                then, after my release, hearing

        the slam of the latch behind me.



        Somewhere back then I must have noticed

                music from your fingers,

                        alive on a keyboard, sliding

                chords through glass doors

                        and louvered windows.

                My knock brought a thumping

        accelerando across the floor. The door

                swung open, the music stopped,

        and then the thumping withdrew into another room.

        For years that child was heard but rarely seen.



        But I saw your arm

                extended in greeting, a wide smile,

                        and an offer to find a comfortable chair

                near decorations on your wall:

                        violin, saxophone, clarinet;

                                piano keyboard, treble clef and

        trumpet round the corner. Then

                a woman's voice from the kitchen:

        "Susan, I think someone is here to see you."

                And a shout from back stage:

        "Ask him to wait a minute. I'm almost ready."



        From back stage, I've noticed,

                a play carries quick life.

                        You have to peek around a corner,

                squint at the lights.

        Though players are directed away,

                toward an audience,

                        their actions dance for you: sure movements

        in steps, bows--remembered lines someone set down

                in a prompter's script.



        "What piece is that?" I asked

                almost every time you finished playing

                        or put a record on.

        "Brahms' First Piano Concerto,"

                you said once; "sit down and follow the score."

        You point to black marks strung across pages. Your hands

                carry quick life

                        to a keyboard transplanted 

        to a nearby table or even the arm of chair.

                I am stretching with you

                        toward a coda, quickly turning

        finished pages. When the music withdraws

                into silence, you say, "Brahms was a real genius."



        From back stage I notice

                the audience getting restless.

                        It's nearly fifteen after.

        I say, "Thanks. Thank you for the good moves.

                Turn down the lights. I'm ready now.

                        I'm sure."                                                             from Searchings For Modesto (1993)



Summer Fun, 1960

                                                                                                        for Marjorie


        Milwaukee, Wisconsin

                still had road signs

                        fanning arrows--

        numbered escape routes. Summer, 1960.

                                My not-so-distant cousins,

        the Sopers, picked me up at O'Hare.

                I saw: Eugene, their grandfather,

        who looked like Carl Sandburg;

                        the Prudential Building, the tallest;

        the lake and a river, where,

                Marjorie, their mother, told me

                        about the Fire;

                                a computer on the Loop

                we never beat at tick-tack-toe.



        In Milwaukee: pitch and putt,

                a little swimming; thunderstorms at night.

                        The twins across the hall.

                                John downstairs

                        battles for harmony off a piano.

                Dave, the eldest, somewhere downstairs, too.

        Five growing boys drink a lot of milk.

                I can't sleep anyway. The air's seething.

                        Conditioners only blow cold or hot.

        No escape from hooked flashes,

                scowling thunder.

                        I'll be tired for days.



        Friends by the lake--perhaps a little cooler.

                A mansion, I call it,

                        gas company people:

                                A girl named Linda.

                        Early seathings. A soft glide.

        She kept writing me from Jackson Hole.

        (Well, two months maybe.)



        On TV it's the Republican National Convention.

                Walter Judd keys us in:

                        conservative values.

                It points away from moneyed Rockefeller

        and overzealous Barry (who can wait four years),

        zooms in on Nixon, with Henry Cabot

                Lodge(d) behind him for establishment's sake.



        The weather cleared.

                Marjorie drove us to the Dells.

                        I took my first shot

                at arcing, clay pigeons

                        that got away.

                                I couldn't kick the racket

        as, sore-shouldered, I watched

                my cousins beat their own scores.

                        Rapid sandstone ravines. Ferns.

        Devil's Lake. Indian dancers.

                Someone recited Kilmer's poem about a tree.

                        The Wonder Spot: rubber balls looping uphill.

                Trout Fishing in America?

        Not long for me:

                standing on a bank, I jerked my line,

                        out of reeds; it shot toward me,

                found an escape route into my leg.

                        Marjorie never cursed my beginner's luck:

                the big one that didn't get away. I limped

        to the doctor with patience. Marjorie worried

                what my father would say.



        Milwaukee Braves.

                A final, three-game series with St. Louis.

        Eddie Matthews.

                Hank Aaron.

                        My cousins cheered.

        Knowing too well how a fish feels,

                I tried to get enthusiastic,

        let loose a yell when the Cardinals

                        scored a run. Scowls

                from my cousins. A little more distance

                                between us.

        A hook still fresh in my leg.                              from Searchings For Modesto (1993)





                    that was going on

                    back of our house

                    beyond the brick wall

                                and the end of open


                                sold off by a bank

                                            that liked to view

                                            its holdings

                                            turned to cash.

                                                        For us it meant fast

                                                        trenches scooped out

                                                        of fields we used

                                                                    to roam, mining

                                                                    quartz crystal

                                                                    of little value.

                                                                                    Home from school

                                                                                    it was afternoon

                                                                                    Civil War in former

                                                                        cub-scout uniforms

                                                                        or gray rebel yells

                                                                        spending daylight's



                                                            damp in the air.



                We couldn't wait

                for Christmas

                as advertised

                            in packages.

                            Maybe before the first rain:

                            wooden studs nailed

                                        to headers,

                                        iron pipes for plumbing,

                                        electrical wires,

                                                    and pried-out

                                                    "slugs" we took

                                                    for coins.


                Finally the right moment

                for tearing into boxes

                or crawling

                            through spaces

                            under a joisted frame.

                            Upright, trespassers, we walked

                                        through walls,

                                        knowing what would have

                                        to be a bedroom, closet,

                                                    hall or bathroom.

                                                    Climbing, too,

                                                    within certain limits

                                                                another loud game

                                                                before black tar paper

                                                                still unshingled,


                                                                            the under-roofing

                                                                            on the Abzugs' rafters.



                   Five houses in a row,

                 one after the other,

                 year after year;

                            and every time

                            a kind of disappointment

                            when all that wrapping

                                        paper off the floor

                                        burned metallic colors

                                        inside our chimney.

                                                    Rising land values,

                                                    accelerated interest,

                                                    good-bye to lots--

                                                                formerly bulldozed,


                                                                crackling from clods

                                                                            to dust

                                                                            to rid


                                                                                        of yellow grasses

                                                                                        and their potential

                                                                                        fires--now gouged out.


                    the grounds


                                the delvings even

                                into red clay

                                the Indian Natives must have

                                            buried or

                                            missions missed

                                            along those palisades.



                    By February,


                sized the storm drain

                            heading for the canyon.

                            Stucco sidings,

                            locked doors, off-limits.

                                        No more exposure

                                        to elements. No more

                                        access to cliffs--

                                                    that precipice beyond

                                                    twin eucalyptus,

                                                    edging, aging our view

                                                                of the bay, lost

                                                                to hyperdrive,

                                                                to growth

                                                                            and to commercials

                                                                            still in private hands--

                                                                            still in private hands.

                              from Searchings For Modesto