Thursday, May 5, 2011

Onto Mrs. Barker... of the famous Barker's Ranch!
A friend (who would like to remain anonymous) sent these photos, and wrote the following kick-ass story for us:

She (Mrs. Barker) leased land in Death Valley (Panamint Valley) called "Indian Ranch"...just North of Ballarat...it was like a trailer park setting but kind of an Oasis type thing...they had a bar, and might have sold food...and she loved to play poker...so the people that rented space on Indian Ranch would play poker with her inside her trailer, they said it was a lot of friendly fun.

After her lease was up, Indian Ranch went back to the family that owned it (an Indian family) and I believe she passed away....but her trailer was towed to Ballarat where it sits today, and the two caretakers, George and Rocky Novak still live in it. George Novak is sitting next to Mrs. Barker to her left...this was taken in the early 70s.
Her original trailer (where Charlie visited her at Indian Ranch) burned to the ground . I always wondered if the Beach Boys Gold Record was lost in the fire, so I asked Rocky and George, but they didn't know. Her primary home was in the Los Angeles area, its been said she flew from Burbank to the small dirt landing field at Indian Ranch in her own small plane.
Bugliosi called her "Arlene Barker" in the book, but friends called her "Kirk Barker" - yes, Kirk!

I (Lynyrd) then asked: "So, Evidently, she sold "Barker Ranch", and leased "Indian Ranch" in Death Valley afterwards? Or, did she still own Barker's Ranch, and lease Indian Ranch at the same time"? "At what location were George and Rocky caretakers"?

I don't think she ever sold Barker Ranch - I think the Feds took it over and made it part of the "Death Valley National Monument" - I do know for sure though that the Myers fought and WON the Feds to keep Myers privately owned, and they still own it today. They say the Meyer Brothers are mean bastards...(Cappy's brothers I guess) they have shotguns...LOL
Rocky and George Novak are the caretakers (currently) at Ballarat. Ballarat is the ghost town (semi) in Death Valley, the last place of civilization before you turn right (the 17 miles) dirt road to get to Barker Ranch - actually called Wingate Rd...before you get to Goler Wash..
Trivia - in 1968 - Easy Rider filmed a segment there - where Peter Fonda takes his watch off and throws it in the dirt!!  Oh BTW, she lived in Burbank, Ca.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The second picture (below) is what the cafe at Ballarat looked like in 1969 when the girls (Simi Valley Sherry and Barb Hoyt) ran away from Charlie and they were eating breakfast and Charlie gave them $20.00 to get home.

39 comments:

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

Although I can't mention names,
I just want to THANK my friend, for a really AWESOME thread!

Thanks so much!
You Rock! LOLOL

Peace and Love... Lynyrd

Panamint Patty said...

AWESOME is the same adjective that comes to Patty's mind - thanx Lynyrd. Hope you get to visit us in Ballarat one day.

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

Thanks Patty!

All of this (thread) was a donation, and I'm extremely grateful.

All the folks that follow this case, are really cool cats.

Maybe I'll surprise ya (and myself-LOL), and show-up down there some day!

Peace... Lynyrd : )

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

I'll have to choose a week seperate from Circumstance though.
I don't think Ballarat could handle both of us, at the same time! LOLOL

katie8753 said...

Was Cappy's last name Gillies or Myers?

Lynyrd, BTW, I believe it was Cappy & Country Sue who pulled up at the Barker Ranch with a carload of groceries in October 1969 during the raid. The famous grocery list!! HA HA.

I know almost nothing about this area. Need to read up on it again. I think Charlie gave those Beach Boys' gold records to Mrs. Barker in exchange for letting them live there???? Is that right?

I think he stole them from Dennis Wilson? Or did Dennis give them to him?

katie8753 said...

Oh BTW Lynyrd, I didn't know your name was on that cafe at Ballarat in 1969. HA HA.

Mary said...

WOW!

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

((((((((((MARY))))))))))

TGIF!!!

Happy Friday!!!!

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

Katie said>>>>
"Oh BTW Lynyrd, I didn't know your name was on that cafe at Ballarat in 1969. HA HA".<<<<

Its just one more example of the many obscure, little-known details of this case.
The full name was actually "Lynyrd's Cafe Ballarat".
Most people don't know that.
Only the real inner-core, who were actually THERE remember the big red "Lynyrd" banner.
LMFAO

It got painted-over in 1970. : )

katie8753 said...

Lynyrd's Cafe/Coffee Shop. HA HA.

Is that your white pickup/camper out front??

I'll bet there's an autographed picture of Charlie hanging in the dining area. Maybe a barrel of pickles that diners can snack on while waiting for a table. LOL.

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

Barrel of Pickles???
AHahahaha

WTF?
That's the first I ever heard of that as an appetizer.
Must be a southern thing...

We generally just put-out a few bowls of pretzels. LOL

Mary said...

Lynyrd - you have never heard of fried pickles? I personally don't like pickles...but those that do say that fried pickles are the best. We need to get you out of Boston for a little bit.

stella1971 said...

Awesome read Lynyrd and friend!

BTW Mary - this Chas never tried fried pickles but they sound awesome! :)

stella1971 said...

oops - meant to type "this Canuck!"

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

((((((((((STELLA))))))))))

Honest to goodness, I was just thinking of you yesterday.
I was thinking...
"I wonder what ever happened to Stella"?

Great to see ya!

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

By the way Stella...
That's an interesting version of the "Toronto Maple Leaf"! LOL

Is that the "Cannabis Mapleus" leaf? LOLOL : )

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

Mary said>>>>
"We need to get you out of Boston for a little bit".<<<<

Prolly right.
I oughtta make the rounds next summer.
Florida for Mary... Texas for Katie... California for Kimchi, Lynn, and Patty... Canada for Stella...LOL

I'll tell ya what:
I'll come by in a big black bus, and everyone can just climb in, as we go! hahaha

katie8753 said...

Hi Stella. Your name sounds really familiar. Did you ever make comments on the You Tube video of LVH?

Stella, Mary, pull up a chair. Lynyrd, I'll have the #1 with a baked potato. What'll you guys have? BTW, Lynyrd, this is on the house...right? HA HA.

OK, but seriously folks...

I've been trying to read up on the Barker/Myer ranches in Ed's book. Boy, that place has got to be hard to find!!! Go to this boulder and turn left, continue to that waterfall and fork right, blah, blah, finally the bus breaks down and they walk 7 miles in the sun.

I honestly don't know how they even found their way back. LOL.

In October 1969, according to Snake Lake, Charlie ordered Zero & Cappy to go to LA to off her grandmother so she would inherit the ranch. The plan got axed because the car they were driving broke down. Sounds like a dumb plan anyway, if Cappy had brothers, why would she inherit it?

I guess when we get to that part of the book the people on this blog who know that area can fill us in with details.

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

It's LEFT at the waterfall, and RIGHT at the boulder! : )
Women drivers... LOLOL

katie8753 said...

All aboard the magical black bus!! Lynyrd don't forget to bring your guitar. I can't bring my piano, so I'll just play the spoons. LOL.

We'll head over to the spiral staircase and jam. HA HA.

katie8753 said...

That Miz Barker seems like a tough old boot. Playing cards with a bunch of men. I'll bet she didn't let Charlie put one thing over on her.

That yard looks nice and green. I wonder how she watered it.

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

Lots of booze on that table.

I remember when the budweiser bottles were short and stout like that.
No "longnecks" in those days.

stella1971 said...

Hi Katie - I don't think it was me that left comments re LVH - I tend to say nothing if I can't say anything nice. (LOL, or should I say... neigh!)

Speaking of books, I just finished Ginger Baker's autobiography "Hellraiser". In the part that deals with his Blind Faith days, he mentions that "the guy I was getting my cocaine from in L.A was the first person they arrested as a suspect in the Sharon Tate murders because he'd gone up to deliver the coke for her party". Anywhoo, Ginger goes on to state that the dealer (I'm presuming Pic Dawson?) unloaded all the undelivered Cielo coke to him on the cheap. When told the story, Stevie Winwood said "Ginger, how do you manage to get into these things?"

The book's a great read, but I'll take it with a grain of salt. I think ol' Ginge may have taken either one too many hits off the pipe or drumsticks to the head.

I don't always take the time to comment, but I always try to check in every couple of days or so to enjoy the collegiality and knowledge all of you here display. I am still very much a student of this case and this blog reminds me of the fun class in school that no one ever skipped.

I'll go outside and wait for the bus; if I'm not at the curb just honk twice. I'll bring a bit of the Mapelus Leaf for everyone as it tends to make my singing tolerable!

katie8753 said...

>>>Stella said: Hi Katie - I don't think it was me that left comments re LVH - I tend to say nothing if I can't say anything nice. (LOL, or should I say... neigh!)>>>

Oh Stella I hear ya!! There's nothing nice to say about Leslie. I won't go into it here. I think I've said it all elsewhere. HA HA.

>>>Speaking of books, I just finished Ginger Baker's autobiography "Hellraiser". In the part that deals with his Blind Faith days, he mentions that "the guy I was getting my cocaine from in L.A was the first person they arrested as a suspect in the Sharon Tate murders because he'd gone up to deliver the coke for her party".>>>

Who was that? There was no party that night..That's all embellished. Made up. There was no party planned that night. Sharon had no drugs in her system.

>>Anywhoo, Ginger goes on to state that the dealer (I'm presuming Pic Dawson?) unloaded all the undelivered Cielo coke to him on the cheap.>>>

Why would it be undelivered??? Unless it never happened.

>>>When told the story, Stevie Winwood said "Ginger, how do you manage to get into these things?"

The book's a great read, but I'll take it with a grain of salt. I think ol' Ginge may have taken either one too many hits off the pipe or drumsticks to the head.

I don't always take the time to comment, but I always try to check in every couple of days or so to enjoy the collegiality and knowledge all of you here display. I am still very much a student of this case and this blog reminds me of the fun class in school that no one ever skipped.>>>

I love that analogy!!! Cheers!!! Or do they say that in Canada? Or do they say "Bon Jour". I had a friend that took French in HS and she said "do you know how they say hi in French? De Donk. That's how we always greet each other. HA HA. De Donk!!

>>>I'll go outside and wait for the bus; if I'm not at the curb just honk twice. I'll bring a bit of the Mapelus Leaf for everyone as it tends to make my singing tolerable!>>>

Stella, I'm not sure about this book, but you are ALWAYS welcome here to say whatever you think.

I'm so glad you made "landfall" and commented. Please do so anytime you want.

I love to hear about others' experiences to enrich my own.

Please don't ever take my comments as a deterrent. They are simply questions.

And questions make TLB (or as Jimmy says HTLB) go around.

BTW Jimmy it's about time you made an appearance.

De Donk!!

katie8753 said...

As history has shown, sometimes I'm wrong. HA HA.

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

Hi Stella!!!
You came back! LOLOL

Stella said>>>>
"this blog reminds me of the fun class in school that no one ever skipped".<<<<

Wow... that's AWESOME!
I couldn't think of a better compliment, or a better way to be perceived.
I guess that means we're "fun yet informative". LOL
I guess that also makes me the "cool teacher"! LOLOL
I always wanted to be the cool teacher.
Charlie was the cool teacher. LOL
Unfortunately, his curriculum wasn't exactly in the school manual. hahaha

>>>>Stella said
"I'll go outside and wait for the bus; if I'm not at the curb just honk twice. I'll bring a bit of the Mapelus Leaf for everyone as it tends to make my singing tolerable"!

I'll definitely be coming-by Canada in the warmer months of july or august.
You'll be part of the "summer odyssey". : )

----------------------------------------------

BTW, Katie...
Ginger Baker was the kick-ass drummer for the power-trio "Cream".

Ya know... Cream:
Eric Clapton - Guitar
Kack Bruce - Bass
Ginger Baker - Drums

Some of their more popular songs:
"Sunshine of you Love"... "White Room"... Strange Brew".

Ringing a bell?

Great drummer... insane personality.
'Nuff said... LOL

Legend has it... him and the Bassist Jack Bruce had epic fueds constantly.

katie8753 said...

Okay I don't know the name Ginger Baker.

But I do know Cream.

In the White Room. with black curtains, near the station.....

Eric Clapton? Yes I know him.

The greatest guitarist since.....

I say Mark Knopfler. But others disagree.

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

Sorry...
That's "Jack Bruce", not "Kack Bruce".

The "K", is really close to the "J", and my typing sucks. LOL

Panamint Patty said...

Re Mr. Novak in the photo: Patty thinks she read where George has passed away and it's just Rocky Novak now at Ballarat. She also read that he'd like a nice ladyfriend if anyone is interested.

Kimchi said...

Nice post Lynyrd! Can't wait to see that bus outside my door! That would be a party to end all parties!

>Was Cappy's last name Gillies or Myers?<<

As far as I know, Cappy's last name was Gillies - I think the "Myers" name was her grandparents...I read where her grandfather used to dynamite Goler Wash to make it accessible from the West side...

>>I think Charlie gave those Beach Boys' gold records to Mrs. Barker in exchange for letting them live there???? Is that right?

I think he stole them from Dennis Wilson?<<

Yeah Katie, I read the same thing..over and over..or as they say "the legend goes"..

I also know that Barker Ranch was built by a retired LAPD officer, back in the 30's I think..and the Barkers bought it from his estate.

katie8753 said...

Hi Patty & Kimchi!

I think I'll pass on Mr. Novak. HA HA. Maybe we can swing by there in the black bus and play a few hands of poker with him. Boy, I'll bet that guy has some tales to spin!!

We'll stop at Lynyrd's diner first for a "to go box". LOL.

Kimchi, I've read where Cappy's name is Gillies and Myers, but there are so many "a/k/a's" it's confusing.

I also read in Ed's book about her grandfather blasting an opening to get thru after all the flood damage covered up the roads.

The Gold Records....I'm pretty sure Charlie did get them. I can't remember if he took them, but I'm thinking that Dennis just gave them away. Dennis was pretty wasted a lot of the time and I'm thinking he did it to make up for not getting Charlie hooked up for a recording contract. But I've read thru so much stuff, it all kinda runs together sometimes. LOL.

I wonder how much the Barkers paid for that ranch???

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

((((((((((KIMCHI))))))))))

Kimchi said...

Well Patty, you're right: (From the Ridgecrest Daily Independent)

Ridgecrest, Calif. — 1920-2011

George passed peacefully in his sleep at home in Ballart on April 8, 2011, where he resided with son Rocky Novak. George was 90 years young.
George was born and raised on a farm in Whiting, Kan., on April 26, 1920. He worked as a cowboy/rancher. He served in World War II while stationed at Fort Richardson.
He met the love of his life Linda Durango. They married in 1944.
Shortly after the passing of his wife, he and his son Rocky moved to the Searles Valley where he did construction work for KMC and also the China Lake Naval Weapons Center.
In 1972, George claimed land in the Panamint Mountain Range (Novak Camp) and is also known Chris Wickes, where George lived and worked his dream of mining and milling up until his health no longer permitted.
George is preceded in death by wife Linda; parents Mr. and Mrs. George Novak, brother Jim Salazar; and cousins Lila Hart and Gerry Chambers.
He is survived by son Rock Novak, nephews and niece Dennis, Donna and Chris Hart; Wayne Chambers and Kennith Cole.
He will be truly missed by family and friends.
A potluck/campout celebration of George’s life will be held in Ballarat on May 21-22.

Ruckas said...

I would like to say a little about George Novack, George was a colorful old Desert Rat that I met some years ago at the Ballerat Cafe, George made me feel at home the first time I stepped onto that old porch and while he would tell his story's. You could see the youth in his eyes and feel the excitement in the air when he would talk of the past. I was last there on 4-20-11 and found out about his passing from Rock. George will be missed by those of us who were fortunate enough to cross paths with him. I always thought of John Wayne and Jimmy Stewart when listening to him talk. I am sure if you drive up to Novack's camp you will hear him in the water and the wind. God bless you George.

katie8753 said...

Ruckas thanks for that background on George. Some of those older guys are immensely interesting!! They are certainly missed when they're gone.

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

Ruckas:
Thank You so much for your commentary... much appreciated.

Welcome to the blog!
Hope to see more of you.

Peace... Lynyrd.

Ruckas said...

Hi All, and thank you for welcoming me to your blog.
I wanted to ask if any of you get out to that part of the Desert much, I go out about 8 to 10 times a year and have just introduced my 10 year old son to the area and that is all he talks about. It was great showing him all around Ballarat, Novak's camp and the Golar wash area.
We were climbing up the wash and he was able to see a fighter jet fly over us, I missed getting it on the video but you can hear the jet in the back ground and my son yell that was "AWSOME" it was a fun trip I just wish I would have hit the record button sooner. Trip on...

N.G.M. said...

i knew Kirk! She was awesome! Her granddaughter and I were great friends in the 80's. Kirk was adventurous and funny! And very down to earth. RIP grandma!!
I need to go find my friend again. It's been about 20 yrs since ive seen her!

N.G.M. said...

He sure did! Her granddaughter said it melted in the fire. Kirk was a very good person. I loved her!! I have a lamp she had given her granddaughter from the ranch, and she in turn gave it to me. Antique!