The Beat Generation in Venice will be talked about and studied for years to come. Many of the landmarks are gone, but some remain. The Gas House, the first coffee house, was bulldozed by the city of L.A. years ago. It was on Ocean Front Walk at Market St. The Venice West Cafe at 7 Dudley Avenue is now part of an expensive Italian restaurant. Larry Lipton, who wrote The Holy Barbarians, and put Venice on the map, lived at 20 Park Avenue, now a private residence.
The Temple of Man, at 1439 Cabrillo Avenue, was the home of Rev. Bob “Baza” and Anita Alexander. It was also the place where the great poets and artists of those times met and discussed the issues of the day, and eternity, and traded poems.
Baza was a mail-order minister, ordained by Universal Life. He could marry couples and perform other priestly functions.
When Baza died, the house was sold, and today is just another residence on one of the former canals. However, The Temple of Man lives on. Marsha Getzler has recreated the ambiance of the Temple in her back yard. She regularly conducts events at Beyond Baroque and other venues. On October 30, poets from Venice and Denver (a refuge for many Venetian poets) read and reminisced about the Beat days.
The next day, Halloween, the faithful gathered in the street at 1439 Cabrillo Avenue to remember the good old days. Then they departed for the poetry walls on the beach.