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Sonoma County Gazette
Ramón Sender Barayón

A Hippie Reunion and Book Launch

Aug 31, 2017


By Erin Sheffield

To celebrate the successful 10 month run of “The Hippies,” the multi-media exhibition at the West County Museum, the Western Sonoma County Historical Society invites all alumni of Morning Star and Wheeler’s Ranches to its next quarterly general meeting. The public is also encouraged to join the Society membership on Thursday, September 21st at 6:00 PM to a potluck to be held at Epworthian Hall at the United Methodist Church, 500 N. Main St., Sebastopol.

Ramon Sender Barayon will be launching and autographing his 640-page history of the communes, Home Free Homeat the reunion. The book is a compendium of taped interviews, emails, and reminiscences by the open land communes’ alumni. As a resident of both Morning Star and Wheeler’s, Sender remained in touch with the denizens of the rebellion against consumerism and conformity in the late 1960s, and ties it all together with his personal experiences. The book is also available at the West County Museum, 261 S. Main St., Sebastopol, Thursday thru Sunday, 1:00 to 4:00 PM for $35.

Ramón Sender Barayón is a central figure in the history of the greater Bay Area counterculture: electronic music pioneer, and consigliere and chief remembrancer of Morning Star and Wheeler Ranch open land communes. This path started when he accepted Stewart Brand’s invitation to help produce the Trips Festival in January 1966, conceived byKen Kesey as a spin-off of the Acid Test concerts with the Grateful Dead and Merry Pranksters.

Sender then co-founded the Morning Star Ranch ashram with Limeliter Lou Gottlieb, in western Sonoma County, CA during the Summer of Love, later moving to Wheeler's Ranch until it too was shut down by County authorities.

Sender wrote various articles that appeared in The Co-Evolution Quarterly and The Whole Earth Review. He co-authored Being of the Sun (Harper & Row 1974) with Alicia Bay Laurel, edited and published The Morning Star Scrapbook and in 1980 published a future fantasy novel, Zero Weather. Also that year, A Death in Zamora, his family memoir about the execution of his mother in Civil War Spain, was published by The University of New Mexico Press, now in its second edition. 

2017 saw the publication of a 96-page Morning Star & Wheeler’s Communes: A Fast Run-Throughfor the Western Sonoma County Historical Society’s exhibit, “The Hippies” at the West County Museum in Sebastopol.

Home Free Home: A History of Two Open-Door California Communes, Morning Star Ranch and Wheeler’s Ahimsa Ranch is a compendium of over 300 photographs and graphics, years of correspondence, taped interviews and personal experience written by someone who was there from the very beginning.

For more information:  Erin Sheffield,, 707-481-3488. August 17,2017


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