Mutiny Radio Bathroom Self Portrait

I am a third generation, Bay Area, Californian.

Born in the projects of Lockwood Gardens, Oakland, CA 1953.

I moved at the age of three to the hills of Hayward and was raised in a dying agricultural Dairy community. My poetry draws on my youth in the hills of Hayward, adventures in Brazil, culminating with my living in the Napa Wine Country.

I have earned my living working in the Arts for thirty five years. I have worked for the San Francisco Opera, the San Francisco Ballet and for the last eighteen years have specialized as a Greens Designer for film. I have designed sets for Francis Ford Coppola: Tucker 1988, Jack 1996, Rainmaker 1997, George Lucas & Steven Spielberg: ET, Indiana Jones The Last Crusade 1989, Wolfgang Peterson: Shattered 1991 Peter Weir: Fearless 1993, and Alfonso Arau: A Walk in the Clouds 1995.

Published in

 Songs to the Sky Small Poetry Press: Editor David Alpaugh

Reflections On September 11th Collected Poems The Marin Poetry Center:

Editors Kate Pepper, Gabrielle Rilleau, Gloria M. Rodriguez

Chiron Review Issue 90 Spring 2010 Editor Michael Hathaway

Poetry Farmers Almanac Volume VI

Editor Anita Erola, Jennifer E. Hewwit & Copy Editor Eric Baxter


Chabot College Technical Theater

Mentor: Professor Merrill Curtis

Chabot College Community Theater

Mentor: Walter Buetnor

University of Berkeley Zellerbach

Mentor: Philip Heron

Greens Design

Studied under

Dean Tavolarous Production Designer for Apocalypse Now & The Godfather

Angelo Graham Production Designer Little Big Man

George Ziminisky Greens Designer Mrs. Doubtfire


1976 to 1986 San Francisco Opera

Assistant Key Propman 1983 1986

Apprenticeship San Francisco Ballet:

1976 1981 Fly man


International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees and Motion Pictures of the United States and Canada 1983 1986


Poet Laureate of Spanish Flats Ad Infinitum

Screen Credits


6 thoughts on “About

  1. Mr. Lake,

    I came to visit this site and to learn of you and your poetry perhaps via a more unique route than most. Please bear with me and I will explain.

    Since 1992, as a hobby I have been searching for, collecting, and writing about my experiences finding messages hitchhikers have left on light poles and guardrails as they waited for rides; amassing thousands of graffiti spanning from 1962 all the way through 2014.

    About 1½ years ago, I began developing a website to post the essays of my experiences and the logs of the actual messages; see http://www.hitchinscriptions.com/. Now I’m to the point of looking into what the meanings of some of these inscriptions may be and, where possible, finding out about the authors–primarily through Boolean-type internet searches; which brings me to this email to you. Back in August of 1996, among a dozen or so other hitchhiker inscriptions I logged on I-880-North, in Santa Clara at the First Street (westbound) on ramp, I found the following:

    Geoffrey Todd Lake
    Tony Ballard
    Jeff Pector

    I have no idea if you are one of the people of this graffito, and if so, whether you care, or care to remember; or if, conversely, this is an amazing blast from your past. If it’s any of the former, please accept my apologies and I will bother you no further. However, if it’s the latter, I would be most interested in your reaction. With this message to you, as it is with hitchhiking and in life in general, it’s mostly about the journey. I have absolutely no idea where this and any of the other similar queries I am now beginning to send out to others who may have written on a pole waiting for a ride will “drop me off.” But you don’t know unless you ask.

    Lastly, I thought I might pass along to you one of the many observations I have made in this endeavor; that the inscription written by the hitchhiker on a light pole at a highway on-ramp is the exact opposite of messages corked in a bottle and cast into the sea. For in the case of the thumber, it is the message that remains and the author who drifts away to the unknown.

    Sincerest regards,

    Mark E. Silverstein
    Las Vegas


    • Well this is very interesting. I am Geoffrey Todd Lake and Jeff Pector and Tom (not Tony) Ballard were my best friends in high school.

      I have no recall of this or even why we would have been in Santa Clara, my only guess is that as graduating high school seniors we went with Jeff Pector to Santa Clara College to check it out. Jeff ended up attending University Santa Barbara and we all went our separate ways, I have not seen Jeff since. Tom I saw again when I was twenty-three while working for the University of Berkeley’s Zellerbach theater. He came backstage after a performance; we met by chance and have never seen each other again.

      All three of us were radical students active in the anti Vietnam War movement. In high school I ran on a radical Student Union ticket and became President of Hayward High (1971) and Jeff Pector was elected the Vice President. We held the first Bay Area high school Student Strike with over two hundred students walking out of class and occupying the auditorium for three days. Our strike was a protest over the fact that eighteen year olds could not vote but had to sigh up for the draft. The strike was settle by the students returning to class per the strike committees agreement with the high school administrators, that they would discuss our demands if the students would return to class. After the students returned to class we went to the administration building to discuss the strike demands and both myself and Jeff Pector were stripped of our high school diplomas (my scholarship) and we were escorted from the school with official papers stating that if we returned to campus we would be arrested. This was all in 1971.

      So though I don’t remember writing our names on the pole, we did use to hitchhike together… so there is a little background on whom we were.


      • Very cool. Thank you for getting back to me and for the stories of your exploits in your early days. Based on your info, I have been searching for Jeff, and I think I found his whereabouts (Jeffrey Stuart Pector?) still in the Bay area. I have emailed him at a couple of addresses I found that may be his, in which I provided this link to your website. I also came upon a 1971 news article in which he was mentioned with respect to some of the activities you describe.

        If you wish, I’ll let you know what I find–and you can email me directly instead of communicating through this medium, if you like; your call.


  2. Your post has made me shift through the forty-four years since then and I vaguely recall that we went to Santa Clara to meet with other student activist. I also vaguely recall Tom, Jeff and I standing at that on ramp. What was used to mark are names, that after all those years it was still there?


  3. To answer your question on the writing implement, I believe it was pencil.

    One of the many amazing things I have learned on my journey seeking hitchhiker graffiti is that there is a strong galvanic reaction between galvanized aluminum and graphite—graphite being the ONLY non-metal on the galvanic chart.

    Per my website introduction page comes the following excerpt , http://www.hitchinscriptions.com/introduction.html :

    “I had no clue until I came to notice and question why messages written with a run-of-the-mill pencil on a light pole could remain intact and legible for decades, even in the harshest of weather conditions; while inscriptions made with so-called permanent markers may wear off or fade in just a few years. Through research, I have come to find out that due to an electrochemical phenomenon known as a Galvanic reaction, pencil “lead” (i.e., graphite) creates an extremely strong bond when it comes in contact with a galvanized aluminum surface. But for the formulation in the indelible marker, no such bonding takes place. Before this, I had no idea what a Galvanic reaction was, or if in fact I ever had learned it in chemistry class, this information was not indelibly marked in my memory and quickly faded away. And, with the difference in durability performance of these two writing technologies–one centuries old, the other late 20th century new–it begs the question as to which is really the true magic marker?”


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