Tuesday, May 27, 2008

707 Hacienda Way

Galactic-Clay Crafter and Palmer Painter Karla provides yet more visual stimulation for us, this time by snapping a pic of PKD's infamous house in San Rafael (you know the one where the FBI/Birchers/Black Panthers/Militias blasted Dick's safe open). Not exactly the happiest of Dick's homes, 707 Hacienda Way was witness to many of PKD's darkest moments.

According to Sutin's bio, PKD's mother Dorothy and her husband Joseph purchased this house in their name because of Dick's poor credit. PKD, wife Nancy, and daughter Isa, moved in in June of 1968 (40 years ago). Sutin writes:

"...it was a suburban tract house with a lawn and a garden that did not thrive under new ownership. Grania Davis, who visited with her husband in 1969, received a Phildickian tour of the garden: "He took us around saying, 'This is the dead lemon tree, this is the dead rosebush, this is the dead lawn. The Unwelcome Wagon is coming to pick me up next week'"" (158)

Anne Dick describes the house (in remarkably similar language) in her memoir The Search for Philip K Dick which she wrote before Sutin wrote his bio of PKD:

"When Grania and Steve Davis came over to see Phil, he took them on a tour of his house. He told them, "This is my dead lawn. Do you want to see my garden? " He took them across the lawn and said "This is my dead tree." He took them to another spot in the yard, "This is my dead bush. I'm afraid pretty soon the unwelcome wagon is coming for me.""

In December of 1970 Nancy left 707 Hacienda, taking Isa with her. In June of 1971 two "speed freaks" who Sutin calls "Rick" and "Daniel" moved in. This scene, and its drug-fueled dark night of the soul became the inspiration for A Scanner Darkly.

In November of 1971 the break-in happened, and PKD's large wall safe was blown open with explosive charges. Read all about it in Paul Williams' article The Most Brilliant Sci-Fi Mind on Any Planet.

PKD left the house sometime around February 1972 (the month and year I was born), headed for a SF Convention in Vancouver, where as Sutin writes, "Phil tried his hardest to die."

Karla wonders if the fence seen encircling the yard was what attracted PKD to the house. I'm guessing subsequent owners have installed the fence to keep gawking Dick-heads at bay. Sorry residents of 707 Hacienda, I fear I've done little to alleviate the gawking.

I found this older picture of the house posted on the old Philip K Dick Slept Here website:

5 comments:

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pete said...

I think that in some essential way these two above comments are Phildickian. The enemies of reality have found the blog and are trying to shut you down!

I would also like to nominate Karla for the "Total Dick-Head" reader/contributer of the year award.

Zusty said...

Aww, warms the heart, it does.

I must say that an anime PKD cartoon has the potential to rule.
Also, Palmer Eldritch cosplay? Sign me right up.

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