Twin Oaks commune founder dies at 77

Kat Kinkade.

Kathleen "Kat" Kinkade, the woman who took the notion that "it takes a village" to new heights by founding in 1967 a commune in staid Louisa County, died July 3 at her beloved and long-lived Twin Oaks community. The Washington Post, which went in depth for a 1998 magazine story, has her obituary, as does the Twin Oaks site.


I'd like to get in touch with any of the original members of Twin Oaks, who were there when it started, in June, 1967.

They were S.C. "Dusty" Dsstephano, Rudy Nesmith, Connie Aldrich, George Griebe (then Kathleen's husband), Joe Anuszkiewicz and "Scott" who was from Madison, Wisconsin, besides Kathleen and Josie, who was then named "Susan."

I'd also like to hear from anyone who attended Bill Sheppard's Walden Two conference in August 1966, or who attended the ones I organized (Intentional Community) at Illinois University's Allerton Conference Center, in the Augusts of 1967, 1968 and 1969.

I live in Cedar Falls, Iowa, where my phone number is:

(319) 266-8669

My blog is

Or, leave a message for me here.

Jerry Baker

I was recruited by Dusty in 1967 when he lived near Emory University in Georgia. I had just returned to Atlanta after hitchhiking to Haight Asbury and practically starving. He put me up for several months in his apartment. Dusty was intellectually intense but very interested (like me) in finding a girl friend. I think this was part of his motivation for community; I know it was a large part of mine. He drove a big motorcycle. We ate spaghetti each night for nourishment and attended Walden Two meetings at Rudy's apartment also near Emory. I do not remember Rudy's wife's (or girl friend's) name, but I remember that they had a pet skunk. Not many people attended the meetings. I remember Dusty talking about Katherine Kincaid and her daughter.

Just before the time of departure for Twin Oaks, I decided not to go and stayed in Atlanta. Dusty, Rudy and others left for Virginia. I did not hear from them again but occasionally came across news about Twin Oaks. Today I read in the NYT that Katherine Kincaid had died. I did a search and found your blog.

Dusty was kind to me and I remember the group in Atlanta as hard working, intelligent, idealistic, somewhat cultish, but generally good people.

Hello Joe,

Rudy's girl friend was Connie Aldrich. I think they were married, by the time they went to Twin Oaks, but Connie didn't like it there, and they got divorced. Rudy stayed, and Connie left.

I think Dusty, whose name was "S.C. Destephano," may be living at a place in upstate New York. According to, there is someone by that name, living there, and an address is given.

I wonder where you are living now.

Best wishes,

Jerry Baker


I stayed in Atlanta, got married, finished college, worked at a University as a programmer, got divorced and retired after 30 years. I still live in Atlanta.

I recognize Dusty's last name -- Destephano -- but did not know (or have forgotten) his given first name and initials. He was not very tall, shorter than I am at 5 ft, 6 inches. For a brief time he dated a girl named Dawn, but I think he felt guilty because his mind was completely focused on communal living and Twin Oaks.

One other detail I remember about Rudy: he kept a honey bee hive in one of the windows of his apartment. They were interesting people but far more serious than I wanted to be at the time.

The idea of communal living of course was not unusual in the late sixties. Not too long before meeting Dusty, I had tried to "colonize" an island in the Bahamas with a few other friends. It was quite an adventure and a very quick failure.

I really had very little involvement with the Twin Oaks and Walden Two project and cannot tell you much more about the Atlanta-Emory perspective. My interest turned to phenomenology and European philosophy and so made a 180 degree turn from B. F. Skinner. However, I never gave-up the left-wing direction of my political thinking.



I seem to remember that in July of 1965, Dusty's girl friend was Kay Cothran. At that time, I put a short classified ad in the "New Republic
Magazine," looking for others interested in Walden 2. She replied to my ad, and mentioned it to Dusty, so that's how I met him. I think I must have met Rudy Nesmith through Dusty, and I think that somehow Bern Billing was in Atlanta for a while, but when I met him in 1968 he was in Seattle.

I think Bern might have bought them the offset printer that they used to print their "Walden Pool" newsletter. I remember once Dusty mentioned taking copies of it or some other printed material over to Agnes Scott College.

Dusty apparently lost his scholarship to Emory, after a while, so he transfered to Georgia State.

Rudy and Dusty, in the summer of 1966, rode their motorcycles to St. Louis, to meet with me. They also told me about visiting Clarence Jordan, at Koinonia, at Americus, GA, and visiting Bert Garner, at Maryville, TN.