Yesterday was Henry’s day for a few hundred souls at Golden Gate Club in the Presidio. Amazing stories from amazing people who all were touched in incredible ways by our mutual association and love for Henry Dakin, the philantropist/inventor/author/dear friend who called himself a typesetter and building manager while maintaining the Petri dish for visionaries we referred to early as The Gallery and later as just it’s street name, 3220 Sacramento St., San Francisco. Old car garage morphed into penthouse meeting space with satellite dishes and monitors everywhere.
I recall all the Petaluma friends I’ve met touched by Henry. People who worked with him, whose projects were funded by Tides Foundation, who may have gone to an event at 3220. Happens often when talking with a person I like that 3220 is a core memory.
For me, wow! I was a single mom trying to live as a freelance writer/publicist and sometime secretary when I started to be aware of 3220. It was never just about Henry; it was the people and projects drawn to his willingness and ability to help. Amazing to me that someone so very quiet could gather so many gregarious social entrepreneurs.
He is deeply missed by many and a wildly-varied many it is.
The Memorial included Tibetan monks, singing bowls, Steve Halperin playing the Steinway, Georgia Kelly (director, Sonoma’s Praxis Peace) with her heavenly harp music, teachers from San Francisco Waldorf School singing (very beautifully!) Spotted – will have to find her name – my son’s teacher from kindergarten who sewed him a quilt with his name on it and shortly after left to teach in Africa awhile. My son’s Eurthymy teacher, Astrid, who I had written an article on for Dance Now! – there is magic in Eurthymy!
Recall so much! My son, Jonathan’s 6th B-Day party in the penthouse meeting space I rented to non-profits for events. We had a kid party going, attempting to make astronaut paper toys with boys a bit too unsettled to focus, when Henry said he’d like me to meet some people. Three women and a man – who had just skied to the North Pole! You did what? Amazing Grace, folks.
I found my greatest work (so far) at 3220, connecting the US Education Department to Waldorf Schools as they were looking for a model for charter schools (now 158 Waldorf-based charter schools in the country?) maybe more. I found funding (secured by others) for Californians in Dialogue for the Common Good, a year-long project spanning the state, bringing especially college students into the soup of what keynote speaker, Frances Moore Lappe’ calls “Living Democracy,” helping create Toolkit to Take Back Democracy and Toolkit for Media Literacy. Pulled Jerry Brown into the mix for a book-signing by telling him Frankie Lappe’ was part of that. He’s a fan of such idealistic stuff as Living Democracy and Media Literacy – knowing how important it is for people to stay involved in local government – and to see straight when hearing slanted news!
Those were but two of my highlights at 3220. Perhaps the last wave there. There was an earlier wave of activity featuring a whole collection of Russian allies and Americans, Center for Citizen Initiatives among those, who were instrumental in breaking down Soviet Communism and helping establish American-style business practices. Thousands of letters critical of the government printed in Pravda; seemingly endless visits by 3220 people to bring Soviet protege’s here and help change come along.
More than once, huge video screens in Red Square at Russian New Years (and in 3220 upstairs) courtesy, San Francisco/Moscow Teleport, and clowns on the streets of Moscow who could not be arrested, thanks to wild-man Joseph Golden, no longer with us. American-style freedom was coming to Russia? Yet now like Havana, Cuba when our businessmen treated it as their resort, there is rampant Black Market activity, prostitution and organized crime. Why? Could this crime backlash have been avoided? Seems we are much better friends w. Russia; that is essential. Gorbachev brought Perestroika and some good changes.
Suffice it to say miracles could and did happen at 3220. Save the Tuolumne River got legislation passed; Beyond War became Foundation for Global Community and kept on going; Bioneers in its 20th year!
Henry told me two years running at Bioneers that Bill McKibben’s 350.org message was important, and 350.org is linked in Petaluma with our own Daily Acts and Trathen, its founder, who was just named President of the Board of Transition Town USA – watch the 350Garden Challenge go national? Hope for yes. Will follow that action and get engaged.
So here we are on our small Oasis Farm just outside Petaluma proper, my partner, Wayne, and I, Wayne who I met at Henry’s when his bro, John Morgenthaler, had published Stop the FDA! which Henry thought was a great idea – when the FDA was attempting to block purchases of common supplements – like Vitamin C – by calling them “untested”. Untested except by millions of people for thousands of years!
Henry had done with John’s book what he did with what impressed him: bought 20 copies and handed them out to whoever he felt could hear the message. So very many good solid ideas and research (still) passes through the hands of friends of 3220.
Expect some who shared 3220 will remain friends for life; I’m open to that. Find me on facebook, I said: CONNIE MADDEN. And YOU, dear reader? You can add a comment to the Obit in SF Gate Guest Book if you knew Henry or sign on to Henry Dakin Memorial Community page in facebook.
There is huge work in front of us just to survive on this planet let alone do so with grace – so I’ll follow Henry’s lead and “Spread the word; work is fun!”