The front yard of 1231 Curtis Street is ultra-Berkeley Quirky — peace signs, bright colors, tie-dye motif, happy words.
As things now stand, the door is in the top three for quirky Berkeley doors.
The SUV parked outside the house (a “LUVeRmobile) suggests the same quintessentially Berkeley quirky values.
Linda Mac and Mikee LaBash live here.
They were longtime collaborators with shaman/performance artist Frank Moore, who lived here until his death in 2013.
Berkeleyside published an obituary of Moore, detailing his remarkable and prolific journey of performance and writing, despite an inability to walk or talk.
The front yard is the tip of the quirky iceberg. The interior is stunning, reflecting a lifetime of work by the self-described wounded healer, Moore, and his creative, passionate collaborators.
The first thing you see when you come in the door, to the degree that you can focus on any one thing, is an upright piano, decorated, as is the front door, by LaBash.
Art abounds, much of which Moore painted using a brush attached to a headband, a quarter of the canvas at a time.
The woman depicted in the center painting is Patti Smith, whom Moore met at Berkeley’s Rather Ripped Records.
LaBash works as a graphic artist.
His work blends with Moore’s on the walls.
Behind the house is a studio where Moore met with visitors and friends.
The interior reflects Moore’s joy and creativity.
Over the years, Moore developed several different boards that enabled him to “speak” by pointing to commonly used words, or spelling out words. Mac was with Moore for 40 years, and her ability to understand his thoughts and speech patterns let her speak for him at almost conversational speed.
Mac and LaBash continue to catalog and make available Moore’s work, both online and at the Bancroft Library. The opening web page to Moore’s work:
I don’t think that I would have lasted long at a Frank Moore performance — I’m just not wired that way. But I do know that sitting and talking with Mac and LaBash in the home infused with the spirit of the wounded healer was inspiring and energizing and door-opening.
Tom Dalzell, a labor lawyer, created a website, Quirky Berkeley, to share all the whimsical objects he has captured with his iPhone. The site now has more than 8,000 photographs of quirky objects around town as well as posts where the 30-year resident muses on what it all means.
For a fuller version of this post, see Quirky Berkeley.
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