Trip to Larry’s

The rain was temporarily over.  Oola, the mysterious one, and I traveled over the river and through the woods to a Thanksgiving feast with friends Larry White (the thin man of Thin Man Strings fame) and his partner and singer Jennifer, to  an evening of singing, Guitars, and champagne.

I first knew Larry as a fixture in Alameda, a music lover and player who made all-things-stringed available  to the local — and distant — music community.

Now Larry lives north, a mile from the Pacific, in the redwoods, with a terraced garden, and with 2 cats who like being  sung to.  He still buys used stringed instruments off the internet and gives them new life.

Larry White
Larry White in his shop

He and Mr. Wildcard, the mysterious one, had a feast — some would say a gluttony — of guitar talk.

The next day we drove down to the beach and to a world of tafoni. “What is tafoni?”, you ask.  Well if you have been around sandstone, you will probably recognize it, even without its name which means something like cave or perforation.  (Fortunately it does not mean anything like food, which subject Oola and I agreed needed a rest.)  If you want to know more that you ever wanted to know about tafoni, click here.  It is beautiful though and makes for wonderful abstract compositions.

Tafoni imitating a wave. Tafoni is the evidence of a world of sandstone reverting to sand.

We walked along the beach.  Well I walked on a fairly solid path above the beach.  Oola scrambled.  The mysterious one helped me out of my tight spots.  Larry leaped from rock to rock with the ease of a long legged shore bird, and Jenn got close to the breaking surf to gather up that special je-ne-sais-pas that makes one feel so good.

Larry and Jennifer
Larry and Jennifer

Then there were the pinnipeds.  The question of whether they are seals or sea-lions is for better heads than mine, but I think these are Northern Elephant Seals.  Oola is sure they don’t care what you call them as long as you leave them a relatively clean ocean with some food in it.

Northern Elephant Seals
Northern Elephant Seals

The mysterious Mr. Wildcard says that if you play music for them, they will come to the surface of the water to listen.  He proved that to me once long ago, by playing  slow tones on his flute.  Indeed, the seals came to the surface of the water, turned their heads to us, and listened until he stopped playing.  The seals in the picture above responded to the sound I make for Katrin the Great (our cat) when it is time for food.  At least the leader did.  Wouldn’t want to get any closer to that bruiser!  (Many thanks to my long lense.)

That night was full of fantastic stars.  And I didn’t even have to go outside to contemplate them.

Saturday morning, and Larry was off to his gig at the pharmacy in Gualala.  There he sells strings and instruments and leads an old timey music jam that lasts all day.

You can contact Larry at  Maybe join the jam.

The Mysterious one, Oola and I were off to Fort Ross; second try.  Maybe  it will be open this time.  More in the next installment.

By jandove



  1. Thank you so much for another installment of Oola’s adventures. I love meeting these new people and seeing the places that she visits.


  2. Happy to see your record of a trip to Larry & Jennifer’s. Spoke with Alameda today. who reminded me that The Thin Man (an honor we share) is out in the woods, not too far from David Dart & the other elves. Something in the American Dream called “Retirement”. For me, that’ll be when I have a set of 185 R60 15’s wrapped around the rims of my little Yaris. Relay my best thoughts to Larry. Jon Adams


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