Coyote Nose Volume #1, Issue #03

Then Spanky said, “Fellas! What we need is our very own clubhouse!”

To which Alfalfa replied, “Aaaaand howwwwww!”

Then, in true DPW fashion, one saw hammers and nails flying, old pieces of plywood and railroad ties being transformed into a makeshift bars and tables, with images of Darla and Buckwheat slapping paint over the boards and themselves and scrawling the words, “Our Gang” over the top of it all. And even Petey the dog had a hammer in his mouth, and a paint brush tied to his tail.

It was somewhat in this fashion that our beloved “Beach Club” was born on our work ranch twelve miles north of Black Rock Desert back in ’98. I remember it was Will Roger, Rod Garrett, Flynn Mauthe, and I standing there in the middle of a vacant and shadeless desert chaparral, wearing ankle boots to ward off snake bites, and trying to imagine a place to live. About a month later found a small four trailer bivouac with a few logs around a fire pit, which in the years to come would become the heart and soul central of the DPW; the Beach Club.

The Beach Club –

Where work-a-day friendships are forged for life.
A game of cards can go all through the night.

Where a tired crew goes for food and drink
I woke up with a tattoo from there, I think

With 7:00 am meetings and the breakfast bell
A nice place for some shade, some cool in hot hell

You can imagine the stories and songs by the fire
With warm times like these, it’s hard to retire.

So many times it blew down
To be hammered back up
Each time with more flair
Each time with more love

We work very hard, and we play hard, it’s true
So Saturday nights finds a party-bashed crew.
We might even have tapped a keg or two…
Our club house, our Beach Club
It’s all gone, it’s all through. Boo hoo hoo!

So why are we crying? Last week’s column I mentioned our headaches with zoning laws, which has brought in scrutiny from the health department. The Beach Club was never an unsafe place to eat and drink, but one can find infractions in a hospital kitchen if they want to look hard enough. So we were forced to tear down our clubhouse, and all the tears, laughter, and memories with it. We might as well have just thrown the family photo albums into the fire, wedding pictures and all! Well you can burn down the church, but you can’t burn out a person’s faith! The DPW gang will surly find another way for our worship!! The Coyote said so.

{Jackrabbit note: for photos of the Beach Club dismantling and some great shots of the ranch, snow on the Granite range, and other hints of home, visit }

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Speaking of DPW worship, We’ve been forging a new playhouse in the city, (San Francisco), and we all had a solid ball getting together and talk talk talking last Wednesday night at a quant little bar that I work at called the Bacchus Kirk – (925 Bush St. between Jones and Taylor). Bacchus is the god of wine and drink and such, so worship we did. A little quip that Danger Ranger, Michael Michael wrote:

‘Beyond Bacchus

A good Bay Area DPW turnout last night and… at an appropriately named place, in view of this year’s Burning Man theme. Bacchus of course, being the pagan god of wine, intoxication, and ecstatic celebration. But perhaps lesser known is the term “Kirk” which is a Celtic word meaning circle or church. I look forward to next Wednesday’s services, when the good Reverend Coyote will hold forth at the Church of Bacchus.’

Thanks for the kudos. m2!

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This years theme does encompass gods and ceremonies and I’m informed that the city design has been altered a bit to match it. Ceremonial processions are a large part of this years activity, so the Man standing at 100′ at the center of the city will have four, yes four promenades radiating out from him to create an “all roads lead to the Man” feel. The city is going back to being a clock, and these four lamp-lit walkways will be lined up with 12:00, 3:00, 6:00, and 9:00. It adds up to an additional 64 spires, and the lamp lighters are, again, surprisingly undaunted. My spire crew that sledge-hammers them in then pulls them down afterward are cocking an eyebrow at me though.

David Best (builder of last years “Temple of Joy”) swears that this year’s temple will definitely not be taller than the Man. Talking to him last year, he informed me that the temple was one foot shorter than the Man. What he said to me was, “anything that I build will always be one foot shorter than the Man – no matter how high I build it.” I think I catch his drift…

* * *

Some mini items and goings-ons, and such:
Congrats to Dr. Jessie Jones (manager of the Center Camp Café, Camparctica) and Machaela McCormick (I like the way that name rolls off the tongue – she’s the Café volunteer coordinator), Dr. Jones popped the question, and put quite the sparkler on her finger. I think that the diamond companies have been in cahoots with the gals to trick us fellas with some crazy formula of two months salary for a ring. Sheesh! What are ya gonna’ do? They even set a date for September 27th, 2004. I smell one hellova party!

One small bump for the road: Hangin’ at the work ranch one afternoon, Flynn asked Big Daddy just how he got so big.
“Ketchup,” was his stoic answer.

All for now till next week.

Coyote Nose

About the author: Tony “Coyote” Perez-Banuet

Tony “Coyote” Perez-Banuet

Tony “Coyote” Perez-Banuet has been coming to the desert to build and strike Black Rock City since 1996. A professional musician for over twenty years, Burning Man culture was an easy shift for him. He co-founded the Department of Public Works of BRC in 1998 and has been the City Superintendent ever since. Known as the “Bard of the Desert”, telling stories around the campfire is among the things he does best. He has been blogging under the moniker of “Coyote Nose” for many years, and he is Burning Man’s first Storytelling Fellow.