Lanny’s Teachers (R.I.P.)

Some of my teachers have passed on. This page is dedicated to them.


William LeSassier (1948-2003)

William LeSassier (rt.) with David Winston


William (circa mid-1970s) explaining his unique “Pythagorean” system of creating herbal formulas with triangles













Juanita Centeno (1918-1992)


Juanita is prominently featured on the left side of this “Ethnic Diversity” wall mural in Lompoc

“If anyone has children, they better teach their children to follow the traditions that we’re leaving behind because it is later than we think…”

“Destroy Nature and you destroy yourself” ~ Juanita Centeno

Visit the Juanita Centeno Memorial Gallery at Lompoc Museum

More photos and memories of Juanita

1992 L.A. Times article about Juanita




Henry Hilgard (1936-2013)






Michael Moore (1941-2009)

Read Michael & Lesley Tierra’s tribute to Michael Moore.

From the Introduction to Medicinal Plants of the Mountain West by Michael Moore:

1. Be sure of the plant you are picking.
2. If the herb makes you sick, take less or throw it away.
3. If it doesn’t work, use more or forget it entirely.
4. Trust your own judgement above all.
5. That which stimulates can irritate; that which helps can hurt.
6. If you don’t get better or get worse quickly, call your doctor.



Ken Littlefish (1946-2012)

Colin Kingfisher and Ken Littlefish singing prayer songs at Nevada Nuclear Test Site in support of the Shoshone tribe.

Ken Littlefish
Ken’s Obituary

5 Responses to “Lanny’s Teachers (R.I.P.)”

  1. Didn’t know that Will LeSassier died. He was brilliant as was M. Moore. By the way, the person to the left of William is a most excellent herbalist by the name of David Winston who started Herbalist & Alchemist, from New Jersey. The man in profile behind William appears to be David Hoffman, an eminent British Herbalist. Amanda knows both of them well I would imagine. I’ve had the honor of studying with all of these fine folks at one time or another over the years. I am new to Santa Barbara and look forward to joining you on one of your herb walks, perhaps tomorrow.

  2. Thanks for the ID on the photo. William had quite an influence on me at a formative time in my life though we lost touch in later years. I have David Hoffman’s book, on Amanda’s recommendation. Amanda introduced me to Michael Moore, though I was quite familiar with his work, and we brought him out to Ojai for a great multi-day workshop with the 3 of us. I’ve been blessed with some great teachers and, sadly, had to witness their untimely passing. I look forward to meeting you one of these days.

  3. […] eat raw Giant Stinging Nettles (Urtica holosericea), as shown to me by one of my teachers, the late Juanita Centeno. This morning, on Good Morning America, we saw chef Mario Batali cooking up Stinging Nettles […]

  4. […] Stinging Nettles along Howard Creek at just the right stage for harvesting. I demonstrated how Juanita Centeno taught me to eat them raw. Then, after the walk had concluded, I returned to this spot and topped […]

  5. I knew Ken, he was a friend and brother. I just learned today of his passing… thank you for sharing.

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