Tag Archives: india

Missing Berkeley Series – Larry Thrasher

Missing Berkeley Series – Larry Thrasher

From my “Missing Berkeley” series– Meeting Larry Thrasher from Psychic TV– 2000

Berkeley California

Every day I passed by a gray building with covered windows that grace pictures of Meher Baba’ and wonder what is inside. You imagine that there might be some secret gathering of mystic people or philosophers inside planning the outcome of the world. Or is there something else going on? One day those same windows become filled with trinkets that beckon you. Little bits of joy that three people have worked hard to collect to brighten your day.

You think you recognize the man’s name that you are talking to as you listen to the magical words filling your brain. Stories of a musical group do not really register as you are too busy carefully writing down notes.You hear tales of journeys, faith and hard work while you feel like you are gazing at every small oddity of the world.

Suddenly tales of the tabla and India are somehow introduced into the conversation and you hang on to every word. Originally you are told, part of the treasured items came from a store on Melrose Avenue in Hollywood. The rest found their way by themselves to be loved, cherished and sold. Of course not everything can be perfect in this little store of wonder.

Suddenly stories of the city wanting them to comply with their beige canopy world rules fill your ears. Understanding completely, you nod your head as you have gone through the same thing yourself once upon a time. You know first hand that creativity and passion seldom mix with the straight edge population of the world.

Then you hear his thoughts of turning part of the store into a place where artists might build an art scene from scratch, like in the film Cool School. Life should be nothing but a world full of art and music without rules and regulations.You seem to return back to conversations about India where merchants are not suppressed like they are here and hear that India is all about life, community and culture.

He speaks about poverty being worse than what you have seen in the film Slumdog Millionaire.People in India are far happier than in America but their biggest fear is of globalization. Even with the high poverty level, people are very well educated and there is more brain power there than there is in America.As I am shown a very old Victorian knife taken out from inside the counter, I hear how each time he steps on Indian soil he feels like he is home. The smells of diesel and curry that fill the air are now very comforting to him.As I feel the smooth canvas bags made by the organization Prithvi I am told that the money received for these bags are for the village women that construct them to make their lives better. I hear about non profits I have never heard about like: World Sisters United, Kuya International and other groups that have merchandise in the store or receive support.

You realize that you were right in your assumption that this curio shop was exactly what you had thought it was. In two hours you had been fed visual curiosities and had answers about some of the world that you had no idea about. I walk down the street looking at his name in my notebook. Wading through the files of my aging mind it finally clicks. I have just enjoyed a couple of hours of conversation with Larry Thrasher who used to be in the band Psychic TV.

You start to remember a few of their songs but instantly the strains of the tabla overtake you as you do not want to lose the soundtrack of the last few mystical hours.

This was written early 2000- Life is a mystical and tragic thing. It is a journey often full of fear, when it ought to be full of hope. It’s fascinating to look back on your life and feel as though most of it was a precursor to the rest of it; to what was always supposed to be. Thanks to Sage, Larry and Timigin for their hospitality. Linda SeccaspinaI could have written a lot more about Larry Thrasher but this was about the story of the curio shop and that was not my mission. Psychic TV was a famous video art and music group that performed psychedelic punk, electronic and experimental music.

Did You Know This? “The Rest of the Story”

Did You Know This? “The Rest of the Story”


Clipped from The Ottawa Journal, 18 Feb 1976, Wed, Page 81


Mr. Stewart Drummond, 60 year-old area farmer and agricultural equipment specialist will spend the next two years in India establishing a 600-head dairy operation that is expected to provide food for thousands of Indian residents. He and M r. Lyle Miller, originally of P akenham , will supervise the use and maintenance of a variety of agricultural machinery on two, adjacent 1000 acre farms, one of which is owned by Mr. Dilawri of Dilawri Motors of S tittsville and the other by the Indian Government. 

Co-funded by the Canadian and Indian Governments, the project is under sponsorship of the Canadian Hunger Foundation. Mr. Drummond has had a life-long interest in and aptitude for agricultural machinery. He has sold and serviced many lines of farm machinery and was working with farm machinery for Difawri’s in Stittsville when Mr. Dilawri approached him last summer about the India project. Mr. Dilawri, who is a native of India, had questioned the sending of powdered milk to India, when he knew India had more fertile land than the United States, and with irrigation could support their own farms and dairy herds. 

Mr. Dilawri is arranging the negotiations between the Indian and Canadian governments. Mr. Drummond and Mr. Miller will be in charge of the assembly and operation of four tractors.

trailer loads of new farm^equipment, plows, discs, tractors, and harvesters, sent for the project as well has two milking parlours. They will also be involved with the installation of irrigation system s. Three hundred of the 600 Holstein cows to be sent to India have arrived. 

Most of these animals have been raised on Canadian farms. Mr. Drummond, before leaving, travelled to the United States where he studied a particular line of machinery at the factory where it was manufactured. Now in India, Mr. Drummond will be involved with the project for at least two years, with expected intermittent trips to Canada during this time. 

The project, which has been in the planning stages for some time, may go on for several years. Mr. Drummond, who flew to India with brief stop-overs in Amsterdam and at the Persian Gulf, is now waiting for the arrival of the unassembled equipment which left Canada by boat and is now temporarily docked at Bombay. 

From there it will be shipped overland by truck to the project site which is in the foothills of the Himalayas; in Punjab province, for assembly. Once the machinery is opera ting, Mr. Drummond will begin to train natives of India in its servicing and operation with the ultimate hope that the farms will provide both employment and a source of fresh milk to Indian residents.

February 26, 1976 Almonte Gazette

Kyla Baron added

I am a granddaughter of Stewart Drummond. My mother is Mildred (Millie), his eldest daughter. I was speaking to her yesterday about his trip to India and she said that it was not a scam and that he was there for many months – almost missing her wedding in Sept. ’76.

In fact, he wrote her a letter to tell her that he wouldn’t be home for the wedding at all. The Dilawri family of Ottawa had a farm machinery dealership at the time and they hired Grandpa to put the machinery back together when it arrived at the Indian farm because it had to be put on a ship all in pieces due to logistics.

There were insurmountable issues with the project though – the machinery sat in pieces at the Indian port for a long time because the infrastructure it had to travel on to get to the remote farm was horrible. Grandpa worked very hard for a long time to figure out how to get it to the farm but in the end, I believe that was what killed the project.

The Dilawri family paid for Grandpa to stay in a very nice house/hotel while he was there but he clearly missed Grandma’s cooking because he lost 20 lbs while he was in India! 🙂 Anyway, just wanted to clarify the story.

Thanks Kyla for this added information.. I appreciate it


Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place.Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun andScreamin’ Mamas (USA)


For the Love of Laura Secord — The Rest of the Story

The Story of Caroline La Rose– Charleston Lake

Did You Know we Once Had a Grand Hotel? The Grand Central Hotel

Did You Know They Moved St. Paul’s Cemetery?

unnamed (1)