Susan Speaks: One of my heroes is at it. Again


Now, you guys know me. You know I’m a HUGE Metallica fan. You know I consider the band to have written the soundtrack to my life. Hetfield’s lyrics continue to be my own personal pacifier… not that I suck on them or anything. That’s sorta gross and I never really liked the taste of paper, anyway. And even I am not stupid or desperate or anything enough to suck on my monitor.

Then again, try singing some Metallica lyrics. That’s a form of pacifier, right there. Man, those words feel good in my mouth.

Know what else feels good?

An article I found a month ago, from the Marin Journal. It seems my hero frontman bought this HUGE ranch a bunch of years ago. He donated “330 acres of the ranch at higher elevations to the Marin County Open Space District” and then there’s another donation: “440 acres of his adjacent 500-acre property called Rocking H 1 Ranch in a conservation easement he donated to the Open Space District.”

So… am I reading this right? My heavy metal hero has donated SEVEN HUNDRED SEVENTY ACRES to conservation???

Hot damn.

But wait. The man’s not done yet.

(do you believe this??? Hot damn.)

He now wants “to cluster 27 homes on acre lots” — and these aren’t mere shacks, either. Nope. “Aside from several larger lots, homes would be similar in size to those in the Westgate development, and would range from 3,100 to 4,900 square feet. The 1,800-square-foot moderate-income units, clustered in several buildings, would be built in an area near ranch housing and barns along Lucas Valley Road.”


I’ve long yearned to live out there, close to some family, away from others, but where bike riding is an everyday part of the culture (I adore my car but would gladly dump it for my Trek Pilot. Or my Specialized Hard Rock. Wish I could do that here, in fact.). I love the light in the Bay Area. Yes, the quality of the sunlight. I love that there’s no snow on the mountainous roads. I love that nights are cool and days are warm. I love that usually, you don’t need to have air conditioning and you can leave your windows open all the time. I love the vibe, the music, the artsy bohemian types, the history — Haight Ashbury, The Fillmore. I love that my amazingly talented high-tech husband could have his pick of high-tech jobs. I love Book Passage and brunch at the Dip Sea. I love, I love, I love…

(okay, I don’t love the weird taxes, the sky-high cost of gasoline, and some of the other nuts and bolts of living out there. I DO see bad and the good. I really do.)

Want something else to love? Check this, from the developer: “described the project as a “win-win for the community,” saying the bulk of the land would remain as open space, cutting valley development potential. Hetfield wants “to set the standard” for fossil-free development, Warner said, adding the rocker “takes the righteous approach.” ”

Read the whole thing for yourself.

Hot damn. I pick some good heroes.



  1. Janiss

    March 8, 2011 9:34 pm

    That is amazing! I’m thrilled he is doing this type of good with his wealth.

  2. Alice Audrey

    March 10, 2011 9:14 pm

    Bike riding is in now way the culture around here. Or at least it didn’t used to be. When my kids were in preschool we would bicycle (with kid trailer) to the preschool which was only 6 blocks away. All the other parents expressed amazement. Um… yeaaahhhh.

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