Pat Ferrero, Loren Sears - Bolinas 1969 (photos: edith kramer)


Strange Tales

Fall 1968

Valerie Estes recounts a story of Richard Brautigan, Loren Sears, and Pat Ferraro.

I met one of my closest friends, Pat Ferrero, because of Richard and a cat.  At the time (fall of 1968, I think), I had a young Siamese cat named Xenobia, after the Queen of Palmyra in what is now Syria.  (I'm very fond of warrior women.)  [Xenobia was given to me as a Christmas present in 1967 by my ex-husband, Bob Morrill, whom I left 1 September 1967.] Zenobia came into heat. 

Richard was collaborating with an independent film maker, Loren Sears, who was working with KQED-TV in San Francisco on experimental visual projects. [See below.]  Loren and his wife at the time, Pat Ferrero Sears (she's gone back to her maiden name), had a male Siamese cat named Brewster. Richard told me that Xenobia and Brewster would be a good pair, so we arranged a "date." Richard and I took Zenobia to Pat and Loren's flat in the Marina, on Fillmore just south of Union, for lunch for the homo sapiens and a "date" for the felines.  (I don't know how we got there.  I didn't have a car at the time, and Richard never drove.  We usually took buses or hitchhiked.) 

Richard and Loren, as is the wont of many males, went off to talk about important things, leaving Pat and me in the kitchen. (She had served us tasty tuna fish sandwiches.)  Pat and I discovered each other and are still the closest of friends. (She has gone on to become an internationally-recognized documentary filmmaker.)  Xenobia stayed for a few days. The date produced lovely kittens, and they mated a second time. (I sold the first litter and gave away the second. Once I got a call from the "mother" of one of the kittens, telling me how wonderful that cat had become.) And Richard and Loren went on to their respective paths.

Valerie Estes. Email to John Barber, 27 April 2006.


Loren Sears, was Artist In Residence, The Experimental Project, 1967-1968 at KQED-TV, San Francisco. He was one of five artists paid to explore artistic aspects of television in KQED studios. This residency was funded through Rockefeller and National Endowment grants. Later, Sears directed several broadcast shows for KQED, 1968. He produced a museum-wide video installation as part of a performance for the San Francisco Museum of Art, 1969. 



Experiments in Art and Technology (EAT) - Berkeley - Aug 1969


“The Haight-Ashbury Quartet” and “The Pacific Lake” Featured at Schnitzer Cinema, Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, February 2013.


“Be- In” at Ann Arbor Film Festival, March 1968


Screening and Discussion at Light Reading, London, June 2007.


Radical Light: Alternative Film and Video in the San Francisco Bay Area, 1945-2000, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, September 2010.


“The Haight Ashbury Quartet” Screening at Downtown Initiative for the Visual Arts, Eugene OR, April 2007.


Winter Quarter appointment to Faculty at The Evergreen State College, Olympia WA, January 1973.


In the Beginning, There Was the Electron, article by Kris Paulsen


Radical Light: Bay Area Alt-Film, article by Tony Reveaux


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