A Baby Boomer's Scrapbook
Though I refused legal marriage, Gary Kieber (2/27/1941-November 2006) and I were "together" from 1973-1985. Before I knew him, he had been married to a woman who had six children, been divorced, and lived for a time in the Buddhist Monastery in Bridgeport, MI; I met him in spring 1973 when I enrolled in the Beginning Astrology class he was teaching at Delta College Community Ed and he was living in a tiny 2nd floor apartment of the "Castle." My son (Ralph Braden, 3) and I moved into an upstairs apartment with Gary at 706-1/2 S. Warner Street in Bay City, MI in the fall of 1973 where we lived until June 1976. Gary continued to lecture/teach Marc Jones' Sabian Astrology, was interested in all things occult/spiritual including ceremonial magic. He led a 4-person occult experimental group (Prometheus) from 1973-1976 whose intent was "to establish clear/shareable communication between the realms;" the group was successful, but disbanded as friction between members developed.
Two friends (a psychologist and a contractor who Gary worked for occasionally) had bought the "Castle" building, an old 3-story on the edge of downtown Bay City, asked us to move into it until they had decided what to do with it; we did, in early June 1976, and daughter Charna was born a month early on 6/9/1976 in part as a result of the exertion of moving.
Gary continued to teach out of the "group room" downstairs at the Castle, offered astrological counseling, and lectured state-wide; he was a consumate speaker. In June 1977, we packed up my Subaru wagon, moved across country to Mt. Shasta, CA, lived in a tent on the mountain until the first week of October, then traveled north, finally to rent a house at 56 N. Tenth Street, Central Point, OR, where we lived until Christmas 1984.
Astrology and the occult sciences
were less-well received in Oregon; during this time, Gary drove a motor-route
delivering "The Medford Mail Tribune" through the Applegate near
Jacksonville, OR, and he purchased (and read) the 30-some volumes of "The
History of Civilization." He developed a relationship with Trillium, a
small commune in the hills of the Appegate, initially thinking to move us there;
when he further developed a personal relationship with a 21-year-old girl named
"Love," I gathered the kids and our two big dogs and headed back
across country to my family home in Coleman, MI.
I understood from his mother,
Frankie, that he had then gone north toward the Grants Pass area, living for a
time in what she described as little more than a shack and had left it, she was
told, without forwarding address. She eventually found him in Grants Pass, said
he had been diagnosed as schizophrenic and was medically supervised/supported.
Frankie died in 2005, in Brawley, CA; her daughter Diana appeared shortly after
the funeral as she lived nearby, and had done so for the many years Frankie had
been looking for her; Gary did not/could not attend.