Concert to benefit Ojai Lyme patient
Excerpted from the VC Reporter ( Posted: 3/18/2010 )
Artists and musicians band together to help pay for costly but effective stem cell therapy for Gavin Peters
By Michel Cicero 03/18/2010
It was only two months ago that a couple of local musicians tossed around the idea of a benefit event for a friend who’s been doing battle with chronic illness for more than a decade. As 86 Gallery owner and Tall Tales drummer Brook Dalton tells it, John Crerar (T.F.W.) initially suggested it while the two were hanging out at Dalton’s house. Dalton’s response was immediate and unequivocal: “It was like a motor skill — there was no need to weigh options or consider consequences, it’s just what you do.”
That attitude of stepping up is proving to be prevalent in Ventura’s arts scene and its six degrees of reach. By the time an announcement was made, and bands began to sign on and artists started dropping off art work, word began to spread like brush fire during a drought. Within a week, VCReporter received numerous e-mail and Facebook requests for coverage of the event. By press time, the benefit has grown to include 10-plus bands, an enviable cache of contemporary art (see sidebar), a craft fair and raffle prizes.
So what exactly is it about Gavin Peters that’s eliciting such big love? Peters, who lives in Ojai and was once a key figure at Skate Street skate park before it closed, is what Dalton describes as an “integral part of Ventura’s skateboarding and art scenes.” Sometime in 1997, a very fit and vibrant Peters began experiencing vision problems. Soon his muscle coordination began to suffer, and he would fall for no apparent reason. He bought a cane. He became fatigued and symptoms progressed, but doctors were at a loss to determine what was ailing him. Finally, in 2003, he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and then, in 2005, a costly blood test revealed Lyme disease, an infectious bacterial disease that is spread by ticks. There has been some controversy over Lyme diagnoses in the West, as it’s been thought to be limited to a type of tick that lives in the northeast U.S. But, as an increasing number of people in this neck of the woods are testing positive, that theory is losing ground.