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19-01-28 - Gene DeSmidt put the following message on Facebook today (with the photo of the rock from below):
MEMORIES OF TASSAJARA: Does anyone remember the name of the SF Chronicle paper hat wearing stone carver who made this sandstone circle back in the 80's (it got cracked and restored and seems like a significant metaphor for the recent fires and floods that Tassajara has endured)
Gaelyn Godwin answered: That would be Rob Gove. He collected “Roshi rocks” so Suzuki Roshi could decide which ones to use. And carved many circles!
Rob Gove was an older student when I arrived at Sokoji in Sept of 66. There's a Richard Gove listed as attending an August, 1965 ZC board meeting and I assume that's him - either his correct name or a mistake. He got Suzuki Roshi to go speak at the San Francisco Art Institute where he studied for three years and that contributed to the significant number of early students who studied or taught there. He was sort of like Dan Welch in his style - sit hard, work hard, encourage others, lots of energy,. My first Saturday there I worked with him during work period. He was no nonsense, focused on the sweeping with not a second wasted. He was at Tassajara in the first two years, 67-68. I remember working on the phone line with him before the first practice period, him demanding I walk out on a big sycamore limb a ways that I did not feel safe doing. He wouldn't let me get out of it. I'd say he had an alpha personality but didn't seem to have any ambitions within Zen Center other than to practice. He went to Italy to study sculpture. There's a roundish beautiful marble piece he did in the stairwell at Page Street, or there used to be. He showed up for a while again in the eighties. He was at Tassajara and Green Gulch Farm some. - DC
From Rob Gove Sculpture dot com (lots of beautiful photos of his sculpture there):
Sculptor Robert Gove has lived and work in Carrara, Italy for over 40 years. His work is informed by his background in Zen Buddhism and his love for Carrarese culture and marble.
Robert Gove has been living simply as an ascetic, sculpting in Carrara, Italy for over 40 years.
His education – a degree in philosophy from Kenyon College followed by three years of coursework at the San Francisco Art Institute – informs his artwork and fosters his passion for both carving stone and expressing the spiritual tenets by which he lives.
During his time in the Bay Area, he became a student and devoted practitioner of Zen Buddhism. One of Shunryu Suzuki Roshi’s first students, Robert received monastic training in 1967 and 1968 at Carmel Valley’s Tassajara Zen Mountain Center, the first Zen training monastery outside of Japan. While living and studying at the monastery, he built stone walls and created numerous works of art that remain to this day.
San Francisco Art Inst/ZC page
A stone circle Rob made at Tassajara, now broken like many great sculptures