LOOKING BACK AT HERE & NOW . . . with the passing of our dear old friend klaus bach on saturday june eighteenth in the eleventh year of the twenty-first century a true waterbed pioneer passed into history . . . and though he spent the later years of his earthly existence blessed by the wonderful clear water and the glorious fresh air of lake huron . . having once again retreated back to the wilderness . . a permanent vacation of sorts . . and a dream come true . . just the same, he continued to pursue his innovative artistic bent and generous philantropic activities . . now perched somewhere up there on a great limestone island known to some as the final vestiges of the niagara escarpment , and to others as the land of the manitou

. . . you might have even caught a glimpse of klaus , disguised as nothing more than a humble purveyor of organic peanut butter , from the lofty white peaks of the lacloche mountains rising up from the other side of the legendary north passage . . . why people came from all around to catch up on the latest red neck gossip . . a little bit of oriental wisdom , the occasional herbal remedy , line dance etiquette . . and of course , his favorite, the newest environmentally sensitive indoor/outdoor home designs , many of which were known to have found their inspiration up there in his magical little cuckoo clock workshop . . . as they all sat around there savouring all the good old fashioned european hospitality, the fragrance of fine imported aromatic teas and spices . . good natured back-woods banter . . the music , the poetry, and the art . . and all the other enigmatic curios scattered around here and there in his rather idiosyncratic new world health food store

. . . we watched as the heavens opened , weeping in sympathetic harmony , as his family and friends sent out a stirring rendition of the battle hymn of the republic . . once again mingling in the breeze and catching up with each other in the candle light of the wake donna his wife, stephanie his daughter, and andreas and leanne, his son and his wife had so lovingly prepared for us . . . it amazed me just exactly how much interest there still was in stories from those early days of rock ’n roll, bean bag chairs, freeform furniture, and waterbeds . . how surreal to chat with jan bronstein again . . hadn’t seen hide or hair of each other for decades . . . here we were now reminiscing about the innocent beginnings . . a time before waterbed heaters, frames, and insurance companies . . . we laughed about some of the totally insane moments . . . just imagine putting the brakes on at one hundred miles an hour and launching a two thousand pound waterbed from a trailer . . whoops . . just what every director needs when his movies are starting to sag a little . . . and oh, did we forget to mentioned the train . . . and the totally unexpected demise of what was to become an entire phantom industry . . an industry with a great future . . and an even more unbelievable past . . steve and andré . . halcyon . . the waterbed gallery . . bla , bla , bla . . and the dangling conversation

. . . it was just at this point that i recalled the words klaus left with me “small is beautiful” . . and all the great friends and characters we met along the way . . clive and ross and pamela , bubbles , jack whyte the artist , bonnie of the two isles , rainer and nanna , friends of friends , rick and michael ,the two brians , brian horning , and bryan with a ”y” holmes . . mark , rj , sandy , and a pair of robs . . one of whom had handcrafted all of those fabulous mike meyers onyx, pine and leather tressle baggamon tables . . mary two-foot and donald grant , whose likeness to a negative photograph of ulysses s. grant provided to be the inspiration for his nick name “ the general” . . his sidekick , the eminent lord michael asti-rose , who drifted off to the west coast to write the star week article . . the sikhs of vancouver island . . and a real parsi princess firoza suraliwalla, whose forefathers , if memory serves me well , had come all the way from persia to the gentle undulating shores of the indian sub-continent and all the tolerance, understanding and kindness shown there . . . when i told her of the tiny little village and the cheerful happy little stream that wound its way all the way up down and all around her ancestral home she was shocked . . how did you know that . . she asked perplexed

. . . have you ever listened carefully to the song of the birds and the bees in the trees . . and the wind and the rain . . . for if you do , it’ll pretty soon become quite plain . . . as you remember all kinds of old friends . . . just exactly how those words are actually reflected in . . none other than . . that’s wright, you got it . . your very own last name

. . . so here’s to you klaus . . one of my favourite little stories from the summer of 86 i’d like to share with you now . . wherever you may be

Betcha Didn’t Know
a collection of helpful hints from little miss starstruck

THE OLD LAMPLIGHTER . . . and now, and with no further addooo, here’s our mysterious consumer guide come back all this way ‘n made special just for you . . . hiya there boys ‘n girls . . betcha didn’t know that the two-handed backstroke was originally invented deep in the backwoods of wales so that you too might keep an eye on the sky . . . just kiddin’ of course . . . but now how ‘bout that waterbed of yourse . . . all that motion startin’ to give you the notion that you must ‘ave been slightly flipped out when you let old albert into your life . . . well fear not dear friends . . for from time to time , and of course , when you least expect it , it’ll be my pleasure to share some of my secrets with you . . . so your old pal’s been lettin’ you down eh . . . well here’s a little trick that’ll more than even solve your problem . . . LIKE A LOG . . . for now instead of rolling that big fat old blob off / and / or your balcony . . . ya, why not lay fat old albert to rest in the garden . . of course . . and of course why didn’t i think of that myself , you say . . . THE OLD WISHING WELL . . . right , why not put him right , right beside the bubbling hot-tub that borders the babbling brook just kitty-corner from
the roots the leaves and the passion
that will spring forth in such dramatic fashion
from the perennial pleasures that are rooted so deep within the fragrant hill ‘n valleys of your darling old flowering bed . . . SMALL IS BEAUTIFUL . . . right on , and then boys and girls it’ll be time once again for a gentle ole fashioned picnic right then ‘n there , and of course all around all those silly , frilly , lily-white wine , yellow , mauve ‘n light blue ribbons that you still wear to remind us of all the mindless kindness and all the moderation and consideration of that receptive jolly old soul who so cleverly created the forefather of your deceptive old waterbed

only coming through in waves an epic poem by little miss starstruck

for would you believe that at the height of day
a blanket should be slightly cooler ‘n softer than hay
with lil’ ole you there all laid out ‘n dream
of the sheep ‘n the clouds and the toys that actually beam
and as you and yours drift off slowly into that bottomless swirl
. . . past the moon and the stars , and oh that beautiful girl

. . . and sooner or later
as you turn down the light
there to dance on a ceiling
that others might prefer to call the magic of night

with the wind ‘n the trees and the cricket
and all those other u know whats that play in the thicket
and of course buy now
you just know that it’s you that they’ve come for

we would be the last to know

and then when you come to that sudden final realization
that there’s more to this than simply elation
and the dew on the lily pads
and the waves of their creation
that you should think have absolutely no relation
are in fact all quite material in the explanation

and when the truth is finally discovered

for should they be lucky enough to notice
that the rose , the bleeding hearts , and the crocus
and all those other bold card playin’ actors
in the company of all those other unexpected doggy factors . . .
and you just know that the winks , the deceptions , and the lies
that by now have become the subject of oh so many sighs
are in fact buy now all that remains
of all those good old fashioned gardens and lanes
that still reflect in your eyes

come sail with me

and as it continues to become oh so perfectly clear
that the light
that somehow continues to shine on ever so bright
and the glow of your smile
and the warmth of your hearth
and all those other little earthbound treasures and pleasures
you’ll have coming ‘round once again
in the shape of none other than
you got it
your very own guiding early morning star

. . . not only that but would you believe
that these are only a few of the myriad of clues
flying high on the wind and the waves
that surround where you are

all been meant for you

and oh boy how ‘bout all your happy little elves
tucked neatly away in a shoe
each on their own little shelves
quite right . . . and though the change may appear only slight
in particular when you come round once again to find
that they’re still all surprisingly warm dry and bright

oh yeah , it’s really all quite amazing
‘specially when you discover we was wright

i'll be your hero

and then should you care to check out the aft
you might be fortunate enough to catch up with van raft
for for him the task of filling the holes
comes as easy as you know who scoring the goals

so i leave it all up to you

really , just c’mon back home
and watch how he cuts , shapes and grooms
all those cuddly little toys
that he makes so simply from foam

to the delight of all his faithful little pets and all the thankful little girls and boys   . . . and there then to fit in/and/or all about
that rather deceptive space that surrounds the rails of all that still remains of your trusty old orange crate