The Journey

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Peace, Love, and Music

Our neighbors for the weekend greeted us with smiles and offered any help we needed setting up.  Quickly understanding the concept, I helped our one set of neighbors get their pop-up tent in place.  When they heard that we were first-time festival goers, they’d quickly offer advice as to the best practices to get the most out of the festival. Hearing the stories about how long some of these people had been attending the festival was absolutely amazing.  One had been coming every year since 1969, others were at their 15th, 20th or 30th festival.  One guy, now in his 30’s grew up at the festival, first attending with his parents as an infant and continuing to make the trek now as an adult.  They came from all over, near and far.  The gentleman that has been coming since 1969, Allen, flew in from Ogden, Utah and rented an RV for the weekend with a buddy.  He originally grew up in the Philly area, but said that he’d never miss a fest, regardless of the distance that he might have to travel.  When I told him that this was our festival, he said, “Man I gotta give you a hug, this is gonna change your life!  There’s nothing here but peace, love, and music.” At this point, we were only there for about an hour, but I knew that we in a special place.  This wasn’t just a music festival; it was a community.

Youkilis, the Golden Retriever

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Dan and Sandy – Three Becomes Two

This was probably the most difficult podcast that I ever had to record. In this episode of “The Journey of My Mother’s Son” podcast, Sandy and I talk about our travels through California and the loss of our best travel companion, Youk. The end of April was very difficult for us and we’re still working through the grief process.  Youk crossed the Rainbow Bridge on April 24, 2024.  It was certainly the most difficult thing that we’ve had to deal with since we’ve been traveling.  Youk brought joy to such a large part of lives.  We literally planned our life around his schedule and well-being.  In return, he gave us unconditional love and countless memories that will last the rest of lives. He was a larger-than-life personality who impacted the world in ways we never could have imagined.  Countless people from all over the world have reached out to us since his passing to let us know how much they loved our best-selling author pup. In addition to Youk, we talk about our travels through several national parks in California (Joshua Tree, Sequoia, Kings Canyon, Yosemite, and The Redwoods), our project at the Southern California Railway Museum, our night under the Golden Gate Bridge, our Pacific Coast Highway Adventure, and of course, reconnecting with friends.

Many Little People

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Ben Oofana – Ancient Healing

From a very early age, Ben was drawn to indigenous cultures and their spiritual practices. He was particularly fascinated by the paranormal. Native Americans, like peoples of other indigenous cultures lived with a foot in two worlds, relying on the assistance of supernatural forces to assist them in their everyday lives. By the age of 12 Ben was reading everything he could find about tribal cultures. Around the age of 14 Ben began to learn of the traditional medical, psychological and spiritual practices of a number of different tribes of North America. It was then that Ben decided that if he ever found the opportunity, he would train under a traditional American Indian doctor. While still in high school, at the age of 17, Ben decided to live among the people he loved and admired and moved to a community of predominantly Kiowa and Kiowa-Apache Indians. During this time, Ben immersed himself completely in the culture and participated in the tribal dances and spiritual and healing ceremonies. It was there that Ben met his mentor, Horace Daukei, the last surviving traditional Kiowa doctor (Medicine Man). He immediately recognized Ben’s capacity to become a healer. Ben felt very fortunate because very few apprentices are chosen during a doctor’s lifetime. Ben formally began his apprenticeship under Horace at the age of 20 and continued for the next three years. As his assistant, Ben was able to see firsthand the phenomenal results of these traditional medical practices.

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