Oakland Fire Victim Cash Askew Had Deep Roots in Bernal Heights

cashaskew

Cash Askew

A few neighbors have alerted Bernalwood that one of the victims in last weekend’s horrific Oakland warehouse fire had roots in Bernal Heights. Cash Askew, 22, perished in the blaze.

Neighbor Paula says:

Cash Askew, one of the artists who perished in the Oakland fire, grew up in Bernal and also worked at Bernal Beast for a few years before she moved away to go to school.

Neighbor Jordan adds:

Cash Askew died in the Oakland fire. Cask was a graduate of Children’s Day School and she was in a band named Them Are Us Too.

Cash’s step-dad, Sunny Haire runs a dog-walking business and walks many a Bernal dog (including mine). Cash’s mom, Leisa Askew, owns Fix Studios on Valencia Street.

Neighbor Jordan adds that a memorial fund has been set up to assist Cash’s surviving family as they come together to recover. Bernalwood readers are encouraged to contribute.

The Washington Post published a profile of Cash Askew yesterday:

Cash’s stepfather, Sunny Haire, is a transgender man and skilled guitarist who for years worked as the manager of one of the last lesbian bars in San Francisco, the Lexington Club, he told The Washington Post. As a child, Cash would spend time with her stepfather in the Lexington Club, sipping cranberry juice and watching the clientele.

Since 2013, Cash had been performing in a musical duo called Them Are Us Too alongside Kennedy Ashlyn, whom she met while studying at the University of California at Santa Cruz. Some have described the group as “goth” or “synth-pop,” but the duo prefers to refer to its sound as “visceral,” “euphoric” or simply “feelings.”

Most of all, the two identified as “queer femmes” and connected most with underground, queer or transgender communities of young people in different parts of the country, Ashlyn told the Post.

“It’s our chosen family, our radical music community,” Ashlyn said, describing their circle as one of “creative, beautiful people who are not as highly valued in normative spaces as they should be.”

Them Are Us Too released its first album last year, and had since toured the country several times, Ashlyn said. Cash had been working on a new demo track for years, and the duo had hoped to finish writing a new album within the coming year. They planned to tour South America at the end of January, Ashlyn said.

This is “Eudaemonia,” from Them Are Us Too’s 2015 album, Remain.  It’s wonderful:

Once again, you can contribute to the memorial fund for Cash Askew’s family right here.

2 thoughts on “Oakland Fire Victim Cash Askew Had Deep Roots in Bernal Heights

  1. She was my neighbor for several years. I was always so struck by her beauty, depth, and quiet confidence. I believe she had so much to offer the world. My heart goes out to her family.

  2. Thanks for this post Todd! So unrelentingly sad this fire and now close to home too. Think I remember her from Bernal Beast, but the uncertainty is also part of the testimony to BB. They have always employed a wide variety of neighborhood “kids” who are interesting and not confined to convention.

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