Biographies: Avaton

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247621_10150194218244530_2859721_nAvaton was born in Medford, Oregon in 1927 and spent his early years in the fruit orchards his family owned until the Great Depression. Harry and David took them over, a well known commercial fruit brand. He was the second of the three children of Amos and Paula Turnbow.


avaton 011After spending time serving as an MP in the army, he took his discharge and attended the University of Nebraska. At university he became active in the school newspaper, starting a lifelong association with the printed word. While attending the University of Nebraska he became well known for ‘sleeping his way through Russian’. Using a tape recording of the language while he slept, he neglected daytime study and caused a stir when he passed his course in Russian. This led to his involvement and ascendance as a recognized authority in the area of self help tapes and self-hypnosis. Later he would launch the Sleep Learning Research Association, which he ran until turning his energies to the Awareness movement.

228627_10150195507739530_7620798_nAt university, he met his first wife, Jean, and they had six children. Later they would be blessed with eight grandchildren and six great grandchildren, with more in the future. His children remember fondly his love of nature and all things spiritual as well as his lively sense of humor. He encouraged all to make their own way in the world regardless of convention. All six remember being drafted into collating, stapling and folding back in the early years of C.A.C.

avaton dapperWhile at University he spent time pursuing several interests. While discovering more about sleep learning, he worked as a park ranger during the summer, where he acquired his love of nature. After graduation he entered the advertising business and was very successful, but found the atmosphere adverse to his particular desires. His Sleep Learning Association was taking off and demanding more of his time. Always the independent, he eventually decided the money in advertising wasn’t worth having a boss. He took his growing family and struck out on his own. After moving to the Pacific Northwest, Avaton became a small local business owner when he opened the very first head shop in Olympia. He continued to be an important local figure, patronizing the arts, engaging politically and offering loans to small local start ups, even after closing his shop. He was never one to seek out credit preferring to remain behind the scenes. A few years after his amiable divorce with Jean (the two would remain good friends throughout their lives), he met and married Vikki. She would join him in his work and daily life for the next four decades.

Dad_CacIn the years since founding C.A.C., Avaton has been the driving force behind the editing, inserts and “Wind from the Editor” that made C.A.C. so different. His eclectic taste made him and his work for C.A.C. unique. Always one to buck convention, (he loved Opera and football, classical literature and dirty jokes, technology and metaphysics) he found great satisfaction in defying the Powers That Be, by bringing the messages of Awareness to the public. His tireless energy and dedication made C.A.C. possible. He passed quietly at home on May 21, 2011, days before his and Vikki’s 42nd wedding anniversary and just a month shy of his 84th birthday. Headquarters is not the same without him.

Since Avaton’s passing, Strongbow has taken the reins and now fills the role of editor. He still uses the same templates originally created by Avaton. At headquarters it isn’t uncommon to find his notes scribbled across files or have comic strips he enjoyed, tucked in a pile of papers. His influence is still felt by all those at C.A.C.

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