Two letters about hills and mountains

The following are letters to the Berkeley Daily Gazette written by Bill in 1971, published in the “The open forum” section. (Information on Reverend Doug Smith’s Vietnam War Protest on Mt. Shasta can be found here.)

From the Mountain Top

(published August 20, 1971)

Tuesday morning I watched the sunrise from the summit of Mt. Shasta. I was with my friend Dough Smith, a man of peace. I had climbed Shasta on Monday, the 26th anniversary of the sunburst explosion over Nagasaki. I had climbed to be with Doug, to hug Doug, to support Doug. I had climbed to draw closer to my God and to myself. I had climbed because Shasta had begun to cast her spell over me since Doug had first shared with some of us his hopes and plans for the Shasta project.

As Doug and I watched the eastern edge of the earth ignite, we joined our voices in a sunrise greeting to God and his universe similar to Doug’s nightly sunset salute–three chanted shouts of “Hallelujah!” And as we turned to come down from the summit to Doug’s mountain top home, we saw the shadow of Shasta stretching to the sea, the shadow of Shasta reaching the ocean of peace.

Many men have climbed mountains for many reasons. Many men have written many words about climbing mountains. And now, after having managed to climb to the moon, men are climbing mountains on the moon.

William Blake wrote words about mountains and men” “Great things are done when men and mountains meet; This is not done by jostling in the street.” Those great things may be known to the mountain climbing man alone. There is always a very personal dimension to any mountain top experience.

Bu sometimes, by speaking from the mountain or by coming down from the mountain, a man touches people, reaches people–and changes take place.

Bill Trampleasure

1238 Grove St.

Look to the ‘C’

(Published September 1, 1971)

Most Berkeleyans have looked to their hills and observed the large letter “C” which looks out over their city and through the Golden Gate to the sea beyond.

Many Berkeleyans have noticed this symbol of a great university change color from yellow to red to green or blue depending on whether Stanford sympathizers, or freshman or other mischief makers have undertaken the latest paint job on its concreted countenance.

Some Berkeleyans have taken the half-hour walk up the Big C Trail behind the Greek Theater to be rewarded with an inspiring view of our beautiful Bay and the communities which sprawlingly nestle around and encroach upon its shoreline.

This Berkeleyan has found the view from “C” to shining sea a constant source of comfort and inspiration, a dependable provider of perspective, and a wide open secret place for quiet moments of meditation in the midst of life’s all too supersonic and stereophonic flight to tomorrow.

For some years I have been contemplating the “C” as the focus for writing some thoughts reflecting one Berkeleyan’s view of his hometown and of the one small ball we all call home.

Now my Sunday morning peace vigils at the “C” and the Gazette’s recently instituted limitation on length and frequency of letters have combined to give me the feeling and the forum for weekly communication of one man’s view “From C to Shining Sea.”

Concrete “C,”
Commanding view
Earth, sky, ocean too
Chaos of conflict
Challenge of change
Come on, commune

Bill Trampleasure

1238 Grove St.

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