Jill Waldron with one of her beloved horses,Missy Holly. After a lifetime of showing horses, she now teaches others how to groom horses and drive a carriage.
Long-time Topangan Professor Jill Waldron, teacher, published poet, professional horse trainer and existentialist, leaves convention behind and lives in her own rural piece of paradise with two dogs and four horses.
Waldron is credited with turning quite a few young adolescent rebels toward more productive pursuits. In 1965-1968, she was teaching at the forefront of UCLA's Upward Bound program. The students were the offspring of La Raza Unita and the Black Panthers. She and her ex-husband, artist Raymond Keller, worked as a team, directing students in collage making and other art projects. Together, they were radicals reaching out to radicals and it worked.
From 1969-1998, Waldron taught an extensive number of subjects at Pierce College in Woodland Hills, including Poetry, American Literature, African Literature, Latin American Literature and British Literature.
Jill Waldron in her horse barn reminiscences about her full and interesting life in Topanga.
From 1974-1978, she hosted a show on KCRW Radio, "Poetry Now. She was also part of a group called Hit and Run Poets that met in restaurants to read off-beat poetry. It was the late Sixties and Seventies, a time when blacklisting controversial types who didn't adhere to the so-called normal imprinted patterns was rampant.
Professor Waldron says, During most of my publishing career I encountered a great deal of resistance to my academic and poetic publications from various authorities. When she returned to
Jill Waldron shows off her funky house in Old Topanga, filled with the memorabilia of a truly interesting life.
Pierce College, she discovered the textbook she wrote and used had been ordered to be shredded. The ironic result was that she received a National Endowment for the Humanities grant to teach teachers how to teach without a textbook.
The truth is that Waldron engaged her students and was an inspiration to many.
In 1973, Waldron bought her 1936 Salt Barn House in Topanga and moved in with her son Eric. The house has been renovated and transformed into a charming home, laden with antiques, books and amazing artifacts. It is a special experience to be on the inside of its wooden walls.
Her bedroom is a cozy loft that invites one to slip in for a little nap. The barn room is a separate building with Christmas trees and other ornaments up all year.