Kurt's Diamond Sufi Ranch
Mornings at the ranch began with the sound of a coffee grinder: a quick rattling sound then the steadily rising pitch of a high-rpm whine. "Morning," I'd say, entering the kitchen where Kurt was already a buzz of activity. "Catch," he'd command, tossing an egg towards me from behind his back. On good days, I'd catch it. "Yes!" he'd cry having turned to watch, then break into laughter and spinning on one foot in his sheep's skin slipper turn back to the stove; "Don't let the toast burn." Smoke beginning to rise, I'd move to the "Zen Toaster." We called it the Zen Toaster because if you weren't mindful, the toast would always burn. Vintage 1924, the Zen Toaster was simply naked coils near which slices of bread would lean; no timer, no-auto pop-up, nothing but a plug in the socket and metal coils glowing red hot from an electric current. No sooner had I turned the toast then Kurt was seated to the left of me, spinning on his stool with two plates of scrambled eggs and some bacon. Holding a piece of toast in his direction, he grabbed it from my hand with his open mouth, and simultaneously slid the plates down on the table while he took a big bite. This was swiftly followed by a swallow of coffee and a wink in my direction with his right eye. Seeing my open-mouthed expression, Kurt would point his finger at me and as I looked down at it he'd say "Boink," give me light poke in the ribs and crack up. "Eat," he'd say, digging into his plate of eggs and bacon as it it were the first meal he'd had in a very long time.
- Larry Barnett (Ranch resident 1974-1976)