Maggie McKaig

Profile Updated: August 25, 2010
Residing In: Nevada City, CA USA
Spouse/Partner: Luke Wilson

Occupation: musician/theatre director/teacher/writer/gardener/
Children: Lucked out with two really wonderful sons:
Tennyson McKaig Wilson, born 1983, graduated from SFSU, More…lives in San Francisco, works as media planner for Engine Company 1.
Bryn McKaig Wilson, born 1986, has spent some time at Sierra College, works for the Briar Patch Natural Food Coop. He's a great cook, and plays a mean violin.

The 40th reunion is now past and gone, but the people and events of that weekend will certainly carry on in my memory. A big cheer and thanks to the committee for all their time and work putting together the weekend long extravaganza. Although I felt I was generally in a stunned state of sensory overload, I really did enjoy catching up with the few old friends, and new ones, that I managed to have a coherent conversation with. Thanks to all those who took the time to share their reminiscences with me. I did notice, however, and not just with me, a rather hilarious tendency. This is the type of exchange I frequently observed last weekend (and experienced myself). The conversation would go something like the following:
"Do you remember when (we/you/I) did/went/tried (etc) ________? I've never forgotten that time/day!" And the other person would look absolutely bewildered, because they had no memory whatsoever of the other person's very memorable and life changing incident! So it was great hearing about many things that I did, or said, or experienced, that I didn't remember at all! Filled in many blanks I didn't even know I had! Which is good, I think. I was rather disengaged from any social scene for most of my high school years, and so it was with quite a bit of trepidation I decided to come to the reunion. But now I am very happy that I did.

A special thanks to Kate Keller Wilson, who was the hostess with the mostest, and I had a ball staying with her. And Susan Edwards Ogle, that was a brilliant stroke, arranging all those massages.

It is a amazing to read through the various bios up here. There's a lot of info about me on my website, but basically, I've been married 32 years to a great man, Luke Wilson, and we've lived just outside of Nevada City, CA for 22 years. Our two sons are wonderful, and happy with their lives. Tennyson lives in San Francisco and works for a media planner for Engine Company 1. No current girlfriend. Bryn still lives in Nevada City, and is a chef at our local Natural Foods co-op. Lovely girlfriend. Luke and I own a five acre rancho, complete with horse, dogs, pasture, pond, fruit trees, gardens galore, right above Deer Creek, with a view of the Sutter Buttes. Luke is a musician and a luthier--his shop is right next to the house. He has a junior partner, Jon Wondergem. It's a lively business.

So, how did I get here? Two years after high school, after working at various retail shops in Palo Alto, I went searching for my dream job, and found it working for a woman who owned a ranch up by Mt. Lassen, and a farm in Grass Valley. I wanted to ride horses, and ride horses I did. I learned how to garden organically, and take care of bees, sheep, cows, and learned to cook lots of food for hungry ranch workers. I also managed to graduate from Sierra College with an associate in science degree. I thought I would head on to UC Davis and then vet school. But my employer had also introduced me to herbal medicine, and I decided I wanted to attend the Dominion Herbal College in British Columbia.

Thinking I would earn a little money first, and, feeling a huge desire to see the prairies, I managed to get a job on a ranch in Alberta, Canada, in 1976. That same year I joined a band that played country music around Calgary. I had never played country music, but the guys in the band needed a girl singer, so they offered me $75 a gig, food, and beer, so I bought a steel string guitar and a flat pick. It was fun, so I kept doing it. I never did get to the Dominion Herbal College, but the work and study I did on my own served me well, and I became recognized as a specialist in Natural Rearing techniques, and gave workshops for many years on how to care for various critters without lots of drugs and chemicals.

I kept playing music all the while, and I've played many kinds of music over the years, including classical, bluegrass, jazz, folk, folk rock, Celtic, Gypsy, and for the past year have had lots of fun playing accordion in a European Café band. Somewhere along the way I was also certified as an Orff Schulwerk music teacher.

I met Luke in Calgary. We had our first son there, and when Tennyson was two we moved back to California, and lived at the family cabin in Pacific Grove for a short time. Then we spent two years in Santa Cruz, where Bryn was born, and Luke worked at a violin shop called the Soundpost. In 1987 we moved back to Grass Valley, to the same farm I had lived on before, and Luke opened a shop on the farm.

In 1994 we bought our own little rancho. For years we were much involved in our kid's schools, and helped start two charter schools: Nevada City School of the Arts, and the Yuba River Charter School, which is a Waldorf based charter. I've directed over 50 youth theatre productions, both here in Nevada County, and in San Francisco, and I taught theatre at Bitney Springs High School for five years. I "retired" in 2006 to play more music, although I still direct a couple of plays every year for the Yuba River School's 7th and 8th grades.

Luke and I have recorded five records together, and are working on our sixth. We play a lot of gigs locally, with a couple of other musicians, and a few times a year we head out to play some other far flung places. Two Rat Terriers named Flora and Puck, along with a Border Collie named Rosie take us for walks every day. My 32 year old mare, Belle, does whatever she likes.

School Story:

Not so much a school memory, but lively things that happened outside of school during that time. Lots of these memories have one common factor for me, and that is Susan Edwards. As well as being one of the nicest people around, so was everyone in her family. I spent a lot of time over at Susan's.

There was a very memorable trip with Susan and her family, right before high school, to stay up at Lake Tahoe for a week or so. Susan and I were 15 years old, and rather mischievous, doing things like panhandling "spare change" over at Cal Neva, so that we could go see Buffalo Springfield at the Kings Bowl. It was an amazing concert, for a variety of reasons. We told everyone we were 16. Seemed to make a big difference to us. It was quite the experience... I think we even went both Friday and Saturday nights. Susan's parents got understandably quite upset when we told them how we had acquired the money for the concerts. We thought we were being very clever.

Susan and I often thought we were being very clever, and that attitude occasionally backfired. I recall some 8 track tapes at Macy's that we didn't pay for. Why would we do that? I don't know, but we were caught, and got off with not much more than a verbal slap on the wrists. We must have been very cute, or repentant, or both, perhaps.

Then, there was that wild week that Susan's parents went away somewhere, leaving Susan's brother Paul in charge.
Learned a lot of things that week!

I have recently started to wonder if my memories of that rather wretched Paly tradition, the initiation of certain freshman girls, are accurate. I really hated the whole thing, and so, I seem to recall that when it came time for our class to initiate the incoming freshman girls, I kind of flipped out, and started screaming at everyone. Does anyone have any coherent or not memories of that day?

Another memory: Borrowing Ed Louchard's VW Van one day, heading out the parking lot to who knows where, and as I got to the stop sign entering Castilleja St, and tried to brake, I discovered there were no brakes. And so, I just glided right out into traffic.

Then there was the time Ed, John Lusk, and I, and I'm not sure who else, went to Laguna Seca in John's bright orange Mustang. I hid in the trunk to get through the gate without paying.

Steve Turner. Hmmm. There was some episode where he was very stoned, or drunk, and I was in his van as he drove through Town and Country Village, and bashed into a few cars in the process. Back in the parking lot at school, the police came. I think they took Steve away--he was a wild child-- but left me, thanks to lots of friends who somehow helped convince the police I was an innocent bystander. I do remember the police being generally very tolerant of all the craziness the kids were getting up to in PA back then.

I think it is amazing I survived those years. I still think about Nancy Christiansen. We had a lot of fun together in junior high. Getting the news that she died was one of the worst days of my life. It was the only time I saw my dad crying, as he asked me "Why didn't you tell me Nancy was doing drugs?" It never occurred to me, because I don't think I could imagine anyone I knew dying of a drug overdose. My dad had been good friends with Nancy's parents, and tried to help the family out after her dad died. I wasn't really friends with Nancy that school year she died, as I didn't like the people she was hanging around with, and it did seem like they were probably doing some hard drugs, which scared me. But to overdose? Who would have thought. So so very sad... Wish I had said something...

Elementary Schools Attended:


Junior High School


Colleges Attended

Sierra College
Mills College, Certified in Orff Schulwerk

Posted: Dec 16, 2013 at 10:00 PM