Tribute to Elana – Jon Werner

[ Note from Christopher: Jon was not only a subscriber to Elana’s Dreams Word newsletter, he also wound up being one of her team that helped make editorial plans for the newsletter. He has been invaluable in my own process for this site.

IMAX is a format for motion picture theaters with spectacular extra large images and surround sound. ]

Just shy of the one year anniversary of the passing of my mother, I lost my good friend Elana. She finally lost her years long fight with breast cancer.

In my opinion she was the world’s greatest electronic music fan!

In my conversations with her, she said her start in the electronic music genre was after seeing the Ron Frickie IMAX film “Chronos.”

When I lived in Los Angeles, I was an avid listener to Pat Murphy’s electronic music radio show “Alien Air Music”.

Through this show I found out about an upcoming CD release party for “Dali, the Endless Enigma” to be held at the California Museum of Science and Industry’s IMAX theater, right after showing the IMAX film “Chronos.”

I dragged my friend Ron Vollrath to this event. After the screening of “Chronos,” Michael Stearns, the film’s soundtrack composer, stood up and invited the audience to stay for the CD release party of “Dali, the Endless Enigma.” Each musical artist took their favorite Dali painting and composed a work around it. A still of the Dali painting that inspired the artist was projected on the theatre screen as the composer’s work was played.

After the presentation, I went to a small folding concession table to purchase my CD copy of “Dali, the Endless Enigma”. This is when I first noticed Elana carrying a stack of her “Dreams Word” newsletters as she was talking with the composers. I inquired about her newsletter and she gave me a copy.

I was very impressed with the quality of her work and and later took subscriptions for me and my younger brother Michael. I wanted to get all the back issues for him and me as well.

This is before Internet E-Mail so she had an open telephone line during certain hours of the day. I called her up because I wanted to tell her about my good friend Jeff Filbert. I met him on my first trip to Kennedy Space Center in Florida. His knowledge of this genre of music is encyclopedic and he would be able to make important contributions to her “Dreams Word” publication in the future.

As previously stated this is all before the Internet. “Dreams Word” was an ink to paper publication about an obscure genre of music. Over the years, Elana accumulated a mountain of debt trying to get the subscriber base large enough to lower the printing and mailing costs to make it an economically viable publication. Eventually “ink to paper” “Dreams Word” had to cease publication. In any economic system, income has to exceed or at least be equal to expenditure or eventually it will cease to exist!

In I992 I got laid off from my dream job as a Space Shuttle Main Engine Assembly mechanic at Rocketdyne in Canoga Park, California. What was once the aerospace land of milk and honey, post Cold War, quickly turned into a dust bowl! With tens of thousands of other laid off aerospace workers to compete with for the dwindling number of jobs that still existed. I decided to go home like my dad did post WWII from Douglas Aircraft. At least my resume should have some “WOW!” factor back home.

The phrase in the movie “The Right Stuff” about funding is most apt. “NO BUCKS, NO BUCK ROGERS!”
“Dreams Word” ceased publication and I lost contact with Elana.

In 2009 I bought rny house. I broke down and bought a new computer and upgraded to a DSL Internet connection, I had been getting by with 56K dial up. I looked her up on the Internet and found out she had developed stage 4 breast cancer. THERE IS NO STAGE 5. I reestablished contact with her to see if I could possibly be of any assistance. In 2010 I sent her some of my first time home buyer tax credit money to get her car repaired and running again.

Like this genre of music, “Dreams Word” was way ahead of its time and was a publication made for the Internet – before the Internet even existed, or just in its infancy.

With the Internet, publication costs are much lower, no printing and mailing costs to deal with and you only have to create one master!

She has done some significant work! Music historians will be referencing her work for generations to come if we could only get it posted on the Internet.

I wanted to get “Dreams Word” scanned in and posted on the Internet. That if nothing else, it would be a living memorial to her as to what one person with meager means and a group of like minded enthusiasts can create!

I quote her often in my correspondence: “THE FUTURE IS OURS TO CREATE” and the other quote is “IF YOU DO NOT HAVE MONEY, YOU HAVE TO BE CREATIVE!”

Her partner and caregiver has promised to finish the project she had started. “Dreams Word” and the dream does not have to die with her! I hope you will stop by and take a look and possibly support the project?