My name is Thor Sigstedt and when people ask me where I am from, I have to say, “Idyllwild, California,” unless I stretch the truth a little and say, “Santa Fe, New Mexico.”
I was told some years ago that if asked this question, you talk about where you went to elementary school and, on that criteria, I “come from” Idyllwild.
If you remember me at all, I was known as Thor Kern, son of Mansi Kern who taught many folk’s kids up there how to dance. She taught at Desert Sun and entertained you all with her accordion and voice, folk danced up a storm around there, was one of the first ever dedicated organic food advocates and I remember classmates of mine hooting at her, “Gypsy!” back in the late ’50s because she always wore peasant dresses and long skirts, eschewing any other attire (except one day when she went hiking with Bob Beggs up toward Tahquitz wearing hiking shoes and trousers).
I did yard work and helped fold literature inserts for Jon Gnagy, and my mother taught his wife guitar lessons. I have many, many memories and so I wanted to pass on this link to a recent piece that mentions me and Idyllwild and my friend at the time, Robin Miller, with whom I built a two-story house: www.santafenewmexican.com/pasatiempo/art/from-buffalo-gourds-to-cast-iron-pours-artist-thor-sigstedt/article_2495a29e-a64a-59d6-abb1-6e3f79e51806.html.
Idyllwild was among the great influences of my life as I spent huge amounts of my time in the woods and trails. I can identify the smell of a ponderosa or sugar pine at the drop of a hat, including the way they sound in a gentle breeze, and that is just the start of my profound attachment to your bio-region.
Thor (Kern) Sigstedt