Why I Still Go To Wilsonia

The full title is too long – Why I Still Go To Wilsonia Even Though The Book Is Finished.

  1.  I like it there.
  2. I have friends there.
  3. Some people want me to draw their cabins. (Really?? After 272 drawings in the book? Yeppers. They want their cabin drawn their way. It’s okay. I love to draw.)
  4. It is fun there, especially over the 4th of July with the parade, ice cream social, silent auction, and potluck.
  5. Ahem. I have books to sell! The Cabins of Wilsonia  is for sale. Want one? This is the link.

Wilsonia and Grant Grove Tradition

Wilsonia is next to or perhaps even in Grant Grove. It’s a short walk, but people speak of walking to “the village” or even “the mall” as if it is a separate location. It is, and it isn’t.

There is a long tradition of a simple parade at Grant Grove on the Fourth of July. It consists mostly of Wilsonia folks, because they are the consistent residents in the area. The Park employees are transient, changing parks, working seasonally. The visitors are simply that – visiting, passing through.

It is short and sweet, simple and moving. (Duh, of course it moves, it is a PARADE!)

Last year was my first time attending. The parade was so short that it had to go around the circuit twice.

This year it was long enough to just go once. Lots of decorated Jeeps, Tracksters, and other fun vehicles, along with Park fire trucks. Flags, flags, flags, and several signs that read “May the Fourth Be With You”.


Gorgeous horse, poor photography.


Daughters of the American Revolution.


Hi, John!


Star Wars??

IMG_1336Fun wagon party!



The Fourth of July in Wilsonia

The Fourth of July is a busy day in Wilsonia. It starts with a parade at Grant Grove at 11 a.m. In the afternoon beginning at 1 there is a silent auction of really neat stuff at the clubhouse. At 1:30 is an ice cream social, also at the clubhouse. Then at 6 in the evening, there is a potluck and the silent auction concludes at 8 p.m.

I’ll be there with my neighbor/friend Robin, with boxes of books and the original drawings. (The drawings will be at the cabin where we will be staying in the Masonic Tract).

This drawing will be in the silent auction:

Meadow Cabin

It kind of gives the false impression of a cabin isolated in the woods instead of a cabin surrounded by 213 other cabins in a delightful community known as Wilsonia!


Through The Parks

In Tulare County, where I grew up and (except for a few misguided college years) have always lived, “Park” is often said with a capital “P” and means “National Park”. Maybe not for all flatlanders, but definitely for those of us in the foothills, particularly in Three Rivers.

A week or so ago, I made a quick trip to Wilsonia to deliver books to Neal Mixter, who will be selling them in Wilsonia.

My 21-year-old neighbor couldn’t remember ever driving through Sequoia to get to Kings Canyon, so we headed up together.

Like many folks, she wasn’t aware of Wilsonia until I began my book. Not that my book has made people outside of my circle aware – but that folks blow past this community of a collection of wonderful cabins without any inkling that it is there.


I recently finished this oil painting of The Four Guardsmen, so was really interested to see these giants in person.


It was morning, and the light was nice. No one was behind us, so I did that stupid tourist thing and stopped right in the middle of the road for a few photos. Obviously in my painting I have done a fair amount of logging and pruning and brightening up. The painting is actually from the other side , heading downhill.


These three orderly trees are just as you get to the museum. A photographer friend calls them “The Three Graces”; I have no idea if this is an official designation or not.


There were a few dogwood blossoms still hanging on near the General Grant Tree.


The old general is still looking strong. (Has anyone else noticed that in all the new signs he is simply referred to as “The Grant Tree”? Who stripped him of his title and why?) In two days, on Saturday, June 20, there will be a dedication of this giant sequoia as “a living shrine”. Sounds ceremonial and symbolic. The bigwigs involved in the dedication ceremony will have lunch at the Wilsonia clubhouse after their formalities. I wonder if I should be there to peddle my book. . . nah. They might ask me why I didn’t include any Park cabins and I would feel like a schmuck telling them the truth – “Because you all don’t maintain them and because they would have taken up too much space and not added sales to the book”. (Why does the truth make a person feel schmucky??)


Oh WOW! I’ve never seen wild iris in yellow before! It is so interesting to me to find new wildflowers and so interesting to realize that Sequoia and Kings Canyon don’t have all the same flora.

Such a fabulous day of clear views of the spectacular canyons of the Kings Rivers. I couldn’t remember which fork was which, but my neighbor was impressed anyway. We headed down toward Cedar Grove just to where she could see the river. The Kings makes the Kaweah look like a weenie little creek. Then it POURED on us!


IMG_1097On the way back down, we chose to complete the loop by going down 180 to 245 and then taking Hogback to Dry Creek Road. I remembered seeing Bachelor Buttons along Hogback and wondering about them several years ago. YEA! They were in bloom there again. Weird. These are not natives. Such a great color of blue!IMG_1100


Book Availability

The Cabins of Wilsonia books are now available in Wilsonia.


Neal Mixter is kind enough to take on the task of selling them whenever there is an event at the clubhouse. The “Village” – Wilsonia Village Inc. – will be making some money with each sale.

I plan to be there on the Fourth of July for the ice cream social, potluck and silent auction. I will also bring the unsold original drawings, but you’ll have to find me later to buy those.

Meanwhile, the book is available on Amazon and through my other website. It isn’t for sale on this website because putting a shopping cart on my blog is above my pay grade. 😎 (That’s smart-aleck-speak for I don’t know how!)

Amazon link to book

book on my other website, cabinart.net

Neighborhood Bookstore, Forgot My Camera

I was invited to participate in an event at someone’s home with a group of authors. The address was provided, so I asked Mr. Google how to get there.

Mr. Google misdirected me. My phone isn’t smart, but I am, and I found the house. (Was it a plot to keep me away??)

You know that saying about “keeping up with the Joneses”? In this neighborhood, these folks definitely were The Joneses – what a fabulous front yard! There were meandering paths, areas of river rock in different colors, almost unmowably shaped patches of perfect lawn, serpentine curbing dividing the spaces, an area called “the orchard” with a variety of fruit trees, pots of blooming zinnias, a small fountain, a blooming mimosa tree, Chinese pistache trees, and that’s just the part I remember! Oh, colored umbrellas, lots of colored umbrellas, red, yellow, green, blue, and probably others too.

The 10 or 11 other authors had paperback books that sold for $10-25. There I sat with The Cabins of Wilsonia for $80. Ahem. I sold one, sold some notecards, and met some wonderful people.

You never know. . . some of them own cabins in other places, one may need an illustrator for her next book, one was the mom of a former drawing student who reassured me her boy didn’t go bad (he was on the edge when he was in my classes and I was worried), and it WASN’T HOT OUTSIDE!!

All in all, it was a pleasant afternoon. Next time, as I pull out of my driveway and have the camera conversation with myself, I’ll go back and get it.

Local Authors Book Signing Event

Since self-publishing has become relatively easy – maybe if it doesn’t involve 278 drawings and learning to use Adobe InDesign and Photoshop and a scanner and finding a printer and choosing your own paper and designing your own cover and dealing with a company that bids improperly and blames the customer – then perhaps it is easy. . . I wouldn’t know about that sort of self-publishing – but I digress.

Since the boom of self-published books, there are many people with their own book to sell. There are many just in Tulare County alone, which is rather astonishing given the fact that we are the 3rd least educated county in the state of California.

Excuse me. There I go again. . . What I meant to tell you is that I have the privilege of being included in a group book signing event in Visalia at someone’s home. Here is the invitation, because YOU are invited.

The Cabins of Wilsonia is my book. You probably knew that. 😎 It has many drawings, because it is a story of a cabin community told in pictures and quotes from cabin folks.



Mr. Google, who knows all, can tell you how to get here. I will be asking him myself.

Wilsonia Books Available at Redbud Festival

The Redbud Arts and Crafts Festival is a long time tradition in Three Rivers.


This is redbud in bloom, which happens in March, not May!


Booths outside.


Neat furniture!


Interesting pottery!IMG_4738

More outside booths!IMG_4739

Inside booths!


This year I will have my books, The Cabins of Wilsonia for sale, along with the original drawings, some framed and some unframed. And, I’ll bring some oil paintings and some Mineral King tee shirts, along with note card packages.

Let’s have a few specifics:

WHEN: Saturday, May 2, 10 AM – 5 PM and Sunday, May 3, 10 AM – 6 PM

WHERE: Three Rivers Veterans Memorial Building, 43490 Sierra Drive, Three Rivers (about 1 mile upstream from Reimer’s AKA “the candy store” on the right as you head uphill)

WHAT: Art and crafts, shown and sold by those who make their own products (no “buy/sell” items allowed at this show), music, food, raffles

WHY: Because it is fun, spring, special, and Mother’s Day is coming

MORE INFO: Arts Alliance of Three Rivers

P.S. I accept cash and checks but not plastic because my phone is not smart like that.

About that book signing in Three Rivers

Nice afternoon. Nice place. Interesting authors. Low attendance. Good practice.

I didn’t realize there would be a schedule for each of us to do a reading.

Reading?? Ummm, did anyone notice that my book is a picture book?

Think fast, Central California Artist!  I just said that I am an artist, not an author and The Cabins of Wilsonia is a picture book. I showed a few pages, told of the idea behind the book which is to present a realistic look at cabin life today, told about getting people to talk about their current cabin experiences, read my favorite quote in the book, and then I read the conclusion.

The other authors were so kind, and asked interested questions. We had great conversations all afternoon among the 5 of us and the visitors. It was a privilege to hang out with the big boys and girls!

Next time I’ll take my camera so you can see what a nice place it was. (I might take some knitting too.)

Book Signing in Three Rivers

On Saturday, April 4, 2015, from 3-6 p.m. there will be a book signing at the Three Rivers Historical Museum.

It began as an event with 2 authors (I am an artist, not an author, but you get the idea?) Now there will be 5 of us with our books. They are Louise Jackson (a dear friend, fellow Mineral King cabin owner, historian and accomplished writer), Shirley Ross (don’t know her), Betty Luceigh (a poet), and Bill Clark (nice man, don’t know what he has written.)

Have you ever been to the Three Rivers Historical Museum? It is a very fine location.

I plan to set up outside on the patio by the fountain and pond. This will give me a nice view of the backside of Paul Bunyan.


Guess you’ll have to come!

The Three Rivers Historical Museum is across the street and downstream of Reimer’s, AKA “the candy store”. If you are heading up the hill, it is on your right before you get to the candy store. Paul Bunyan, a giant redwood statue carved by Carroll Barnes stands guard in front.

See you there?

P.S. I will have The Cabins of Wilsonia, along with some of the original drawings (a few in frames). If you buy from me on Saturday, the most deserving Historical Museum gets a %, which I am happy to share with them.