A Letter From Dirk
The Annual Waldo Wildlife Reserve Benefit

Waldo was a natural born conservationist. He was an expert Birder. He knew more about the Swainson Hawk than just about anybody.

Everybody called Waldo ‘Walt’ or ‘Tree’ when I first met him. Rarely was he called ‘Waldo’. He was the last student to walk onto the football stadium graduation night in 1967 because he was the tallest guy in our class. I was right in front of him. He was my best friend since we were on the Lincoln High Basketball team together in 1966. The Valley Oak League Championship was ours to lose and we lost it.

Driving home from a San Francisco Warriors game with the coach and his wife and the four
other players on the team, the coaches’ axle broke and we went careening off Hwy 580 and over a cliff. Waldo and I had been sitting in the back of the station wagon and I, to this day, have a vivid video in my head of Waldo sitting in the dirt just outside the wrecked car. He was spattered with blood (black) he looked dazed (black) the air clouded with smoke and dust (black). The directional signal clicking on and off was the only light. We climbed back up to the road and flagged down some help.
One player was out for the season with a broken collarbone and Waldo and I missed three games with lesser injuries. We had been so far ahead in the race for the championship, even though we lost a starter and Waldo and I were out for those games, it still ended up coming down to a championship game between Lincoln and Tracy High. We lost in overtime. No excuses for that.

Waldo and I went to Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington where we were roommates in room 409 in Tinglestad Hall. Towards the end of our freshman year, the Dean called us in together and offered us a deal: We could stay through the end of the semester and graduate our freshman year if we promised we would never come back. We took that deal. PLU had too much religion, too many rules and not enough fun for us. We were basically kicked out for having too much fun.

Next we attended Delta College in Stockton where we had LOTS of fun and both somehow ended up on the Honor Roll!? Waldo was a utility player in a jug band I started around then and actually played a couple gigs on stage with me! He sang backup and played cowbell and kazoo and was a special good comb player. If you knew Waldo, you’re probably laughing now. Waldo wasn’t much for the performing arts. He found that out about himself playing in that band, I think.

Our junior year, we enrolled at San Jose State where we rented several places together and had tons of fun. We turned on and tuned in and dropped out, pretty much.



We protested in anti-war marches and laughed a lot. We ended up in a hippy-type pad on 10th street. I’d work at writing songs while he would draw and paint.

He’s the only person I could ever have in the room while I was writing a song. Waldo was the epitome of an artist. Waldo was my ‘go to’ guy whenever I was especially jazzed about somethin’ or bummed about somethin’. In all our long friendship, that never changed. One day on a long drive we found ourselves talking with our minds… Really!

After I got into the big time music busyness, Waldo would come down to LA and stay with us. I’ve always liked my life best when he was there. He was funny and wise and absolutely unique. He was always coming up with a point of view that often changed and always deepened, in one way or another, my perspective on things. Waldo didn’t buy the American Dream. He had his own dream and it was firmly grounded in reality, in the true magic of reality. Generosity of spirit he had in spades.

These good folks are doing a right and beautiful thing with this wildlife refuge thing in Waldo’s name. Please come if you can. If you can’t, send them a check. Though my friend is virtually unknown to the world, he is in reality a giant of a man: Waldo big and glad. All who knew him loved him. His heart was made of moonlight.

I can’t think of a better way to celebrate this great man then to set aside a quiet place where all kinds of critters and growing things can live and Be unmolested by mankind’s endless silly strivings.

(Waldo would, for sure, not approve this message.)

Hope to see you there this Saturday.


Each of these concerts will feature Dirk Hamilton with Eric Westphal on bass,
Tim Seifert on drums and Gary Roda on lead guitar

Saturday May 30
— Event is 12 Noon to 6 pm, with Dirk's performance scheduled for 4 pm.

  3536 Rainier Avenue
  Stockton, CA 95204

  WALDO FEST is a benefit for the Waldo Holt San Joaquin Wildlife Conservancy.
  Please come and support this great cause...
  Also playing will be 'Stringin' Along' and 'The Water Brothers'
  For more information please call Eric at 209.462.4808 or go to:
Saturday, June 6
— 8:30 pm

    912 Yosemite Street
    Stockton, CA 95203
    Tel: 209.943.6938

Thursday, June 18 — 8 pm

    1111 Addison Street
    Berkeley, CA 94702
    Tel: 510.548.1761

— — — — —
For more information: dirkhamilton.com

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