Last night, I learned that Michael Clarke Rubel died. Most of you will not know who this man is or what he did. For some of you, a visual immediately pops in your head and hopefully some fond memories as well.
If you grew up in Glendora, Ca as I did or in a nearby town you most likely have seen Michael's (the only adult that I can ever remember addressing by their first name as a child) life work.
Over a number of years, Michael and a slew of helpers built Rubel Castle where an orange packing plant once operated. It wasn't grand or opulent, but it was certainly the most castle-like place I had ever had the privilege of roaming around in when I was kid. This place held such fascination for me. It was completely odd, magical and intriguing all at the same time.
It was also a commune of sorts as it was home to artists of all kinds and people who were devoted to the cause of seeing this place built. The news brought back a lot of memories of my friend Sue who introduced me to Michael and his world. Her mom later went on to marry him and undoubtedly brought much joy to him and others at the castle. I am saddened for their loss, but thankful for the opportunity to have been able to step inside a different world that captivated my imagination.
You can see a short clip here.