To email KapnKen Click on:
|_ FURTHER _|
on facebook as Ken Babbs
on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/therealkapnken
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2014
Now it's winer
banging on the door, let me in, let me in, no way, Jose, you gotta stay
out there with the wild animals and dormant trees while we luxuriate in
a warm house
kept that way by the bounty of firewood provided by the generous trees
that sprout and
grow and get old and topple over and say, come cut me up.
Went over to Jay Smith's house with my
wood splitter and we split up a huge load of thick
chunks that were stacked next to his house. Serious business.
Split and stacked, let's have a beer
and be proud, not to mention, warm, eh Jay?
The woodsplitting and stacking duo.
Ken Kesey died in 2001. Here he is as a young boy with his mother,
A journalist wrote this in 1966, two
years after Sometimes A Great Notion was published.
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2014
The latest qestion
and answer session has been moved to has been moved
to another page loaded with questions and answers. Click on:
My Marine Corps
helicopter squadron fellow pilot and good buddy from 1962-63
is restoring one of the helicopters we flew in Vietnam. We inherited
from the squadron we replaced and the helicopter was passed on to the
whose patches are shown in the pic, all the way to 1965 when the helo
over to the South Vietnamese Air Force and they flew it until 1969. It
ended up in a grave yard in Oklahoma, was bought by a guy in Oklahoma
donated it to Bob Fritzler and his restoration project.
The white patches in the photo cover over a hundred bullet holes in the
To learn more about the chopper and about the restoration there is a
you can get all the details. Also a donation page where you can push a
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 13, 2014
Here's a snippet of
a longer number I did with the band Woodknot at
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 2014
Cougar Mountain Tatberry Jam a few years ago:
End of the summer
vacation for students and teachers. But here in Oregon
September is always a nice month, what Kesey called, our second spring.
Speaking of Kesey, I received an email from a guy in Florida doing an
on Kesey (actually on Kesey's book, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest) and
he emailed me some questions. Here's one, with my answer.
What do you think is the legacy of Mr. Kesey?
A double sided coin, one side his great writing and the other side his
The word showman is very close to the word shaman and Kesey was both.
said his greatest work was the bus because it wasn't art written on a
shown in a movie but was art out amongst the people, living art. This
artist part of his legacy. The human part is his humanity to his fellow
women. He summed it up by saying, "People in the know know what sets
apart is their knowledge that the carrot is better than the stick, that
before justice and the only compass you can trust is love to guide you
mean streets of money mad America and, remember, the most important
is be kind."
MONDAY, AUGUST 25, 2014
I did an interview
for CNN for the ten part series they were doing on the Sixties.
I was in the final episode, number 10 entitled Sex Drugs and Rock N
Roll. I told
them I didn't know anything about that and they laughed. You can still
see the show
on repeats on CNN and also on Youtube.
Here I am on the show, all gussied up with my hair slicked down and my
MONDAY, AUGUST 18, 2014
Here's the regular me which the day of
the interview I was going to look like
but my handlers (ha ha) wouldn't let me, durn.
MONDAY, JULY 21, 2014
Obviously, I've been
off the website for a long while, even off of the computer,
gone on a long trip (by airplane, ha ha) and back to catch up on
around the homestead. Deep into it, might be a while longer before I
the website again.
Meanwhile, it was brought to my attention the last few days have been
anniversary of Woodstock, but it wasn't any big deal to me, just wait
the 50th anniversary, that will be a big deal.
Here's a pic of me and son Simon at Woodstock, watching a puppet show.
SUNDAY, JULY 6, 2014
Hay is in the funky
hay shed, now must cover with a tarp, save the goodies for winter.
Lest we forget, like the squirrels, must prepare for winters storms, so
oak all split up now, been sitting in rounds for a year, got out the
wood spliter and went to work. Now to stack in the woodshed.
FORTA 14 A RESOUNDING SUCCESS
photo by Ray Sewell
Three generations of
Babbses bringing in hay bales used for benches
on the Fourth of July. Son Isaac, Father Ken, Grandson Lukas.
FRIDAY, JUNE 19, 2014
The B Boy Band, Simon,
(George Walker), Eli, O.B. and KapnKen.
There's a beaver in
the creek, havent't seen him but he's been
chewing down the volunteer cherry trees alonside the drive,
downed three so far, drops the trees across the drive, I have
to go out with the chainsaw and the riding mower and the
trailer and cut the trees up. Here's some shots of yesterday's
Cow likes the leaves. I put some fencing around the remaining trees.
SATURDAY, JUNE 7, 2014
Happy to report my
riding lawnmower is up and running again,
SUNDAY, MAY 31, 2014
found out it was the clutch safety switch gone bad. I taped
the plunger in making the switch work all the time. Got a new
switch on order.
THURSDAY, MAY 29, 2014
My old trusty riding
lawnmower quit on me. Something in the electricals
I figured, one of those danged safety on/off devices, supposed to
me from getting off the mower with the blades still turning. I looked in
the manual and found two such gizmos, one operated by the clutch, the
other operated by the blade on/off lever. Manual faked me out. From the
looks of the drawing the gizmos were in the back, under the mower.
So I spent an eon or two jacking up the rear end and blocking it so it
fall on me when I was under there but double dang, couldn't find the
anywhere. Finally looked at the engine and there they were, on either
of the battery. Did all that jacking for nothing. Then the battle was
the switches off. Once that was done, too late in the day to do any
now must go to my mech pal and look through his junk box, see if there
are any replacements I can use. Stay attuned.
TUESDAY, MAY 27, 2014
What to my surprise
when I went out to get the paper this morning
I found this blocking my way across the bridge.
Nothing to do by hie back to the house and get the chainsaw. My wife
has to get to work and this job must be done post hastey.
Okay, got the branches and trunk cut off at the edge of the bridge, now
to drag the debris off the brdge.
Just in time for the car to cross the bridge, after I get the chainsaw
of the way.
Another surprise. I thought the heavy rain yesterday had loosened the
roots and the tree toppled over. It toppled all right, chewed through by
a beaver. A beaver! A beaver working along the creek. Oh happy day,
a real live beaver, and this, the beaver state, and the beaver a big
from the size of those chips.
SATURDAY, MAY 24, 2014
My loyal 74 pickup
truck, a little battered but not too beat, wood hauler and
hay carrier and general all around farm truck, took a nose dive. I
the oil requirements and the engine seized, that is to say it
Much to my surprise, where once there was a surfeit of Chevy 350 engines
now they are scarce and expensive. What to do? Went on Craigslist and
found a beat up truck with an okay engine. Bought the truck and now the
plan is to put its engine in my truck and send the beater to the
should be worth a couple hundred.
Went to L.A. to do
an interview with CNN for a ten part special they are
doing on the Sixties. They wanted me for the final episode: sex drugs
rock and roll. I told them I didn't know anything about that but the
is a two-sided coin and the other side is love peace and happiness which
I can expound upon for two or three hours. Worked out most of the
interview was about Kesey and the Pranksters and the 1964 bus trip to
Madhattan and back, plus some hardballl questions about what the
legacy of the Sixties is.
Interview went great, the crew (and it was a lot of people, all young)
great and when I was done I walked the beach from the Santa Monica pier
Venice pier, got wet and sand slogged when I stepped into a sinkhole,
my clothes dried by the time I reached Venice and from there I went to
and much to my delighted surprise, Keith Hornsby, LSU student and
basketball player, son of Bruce Hornsby, sat next to me on the plane,
making it a quick flight as we gabbed the whole way.
FRIDAY, MAY 2, 2014
Here's a blast from
the past, a 15 minute mashup of Lovelight and The
Other One, done by the band Woodknot performing at David and
Amanda's place in Lorane, Oregon on May Day many years ago,
how much wood would a woodknot knot if a woodknot would not
wood, yers truly on yak and bone celebrating The First of May,
the first of may, outdoor screwing starts today.
The number is good because of its rawness and storytelling and
the whole thing has a dynamite ending. I evened out the sound so
everything is clear. Listen to it here:
THURSDAY, APRIL 24, 2014
Took longer than I
thought to get all the photos from Easter into the computer
but here they are, a celebration of innocence and joy seeings how it
on 4 20 and there were many and varied takes on the conjunction, but
we did the usual: climbed Mt. Pisgah, the roundtop between Eugene and
points East, then descended to the pavilion at the bottom for potluck,
neat conjunction, this time of words.
Here, in the parking lot, Kit Kesey and
son Hendrix in his bug proof backpack
carryall, are ready for the climb.
THURSDAY, APRIL 17, 2014
I was the straggler, lagging behind,
and when we approached the top, the rest
of the gang was coming down. Liz and Eileen encouraging me on.
Here they come, Bill Thompson and his
dog. Sheryl Thompson and
Taylor Thompson and Taylor's girl friend (can't remember her name).
Zane Kesey and Jay Smith, a pause for the cause, 'cause they like to
The monument atop Mt. Pisgah that was
commissioned by Ken Kesey and
cast by Pete Helzer, with a relief on top of the mountains directly
prehistoric shells and leaves on the sides, two vertical slots through
monument, one (shown on the right) where the rising sun comes through on
the Solstice and the other where the setting sun shines through.
At the pavilion at the foot of Pisgah,
during the potluck, talking to Geneva
Kesey, Ken Kesey's mom, now 97, no longer able to climb the mountain and
has had to pass on the mantle of oldest to make the climb to me. I also
a second medal: the turtle award for the slowest to make the climb.
Her bag is bursting
out all over
SUNDAY, APRIL 13, 2014
The cow is mooing for relief
Her calf is chomping at the bit
Can't wait to suck upon her tit
(to the tune of Spring is bursting out all over)
Took time off from
doing the income taxes to go to the Kesey exhibit Friday
evening at the Springfield Museum on Main Street in downtown
fine exhibit with pictures and writeups of Kesey's life from childhood
and Springfield, high school in Springfield, college at the University
of Oregon, and
later life on his farm in Pleasant Hill, Oregon. Also were the pages of
his Jail Journal
played on a TV screen. A good crowd with aged pranksters in attendance,
from Springfield and South Eugene high school, old and new friends and
Further, parked outside, aglow with fresh paint and L.E.D. lights
moving along the
top and bottom of the bus.
SATURDAY, APRIL 5, 2014
Here's the puppet Kesey performed with
prior to the musical play
he wrote called Twister that had its first showing at the Eugene Armory.
The puppet's name is Blinky and is the reincarnation of the original
Blinky that Kesey used while in high school and college, doing his
Four characters in attendance, Sunshine
Kesey, Zane Kesey, Paul Magid (of the
Flying Karamozov Brothers) and Ray Sewell (of Chez Ray and G.D. coffee).
Outside the museum, Zane Kesey, Kapn
Ken, Paul Magid and Ray Sewell.
Meghann Cuniff, a
writer from The Orange County Register, came to Eugene
and interviewed me for her newspaper which is in San Juan Capistrano,
I lived for three years while I was in the Marine Corps. The article
on April first, so there is a suspicion I am this year's april fool.
TUESDAY, APRIL 1, 2014
Fifty years ago, a young Marine returned home to San Juan Capistrano
In a modest home off Ortega Highway, with the blinds drawn to block
sun, Ken Babbs poured his memories of Vietnam onto paper, crafting a
a young Marine pilot and his helicopter buddies meant to highlight the
absurdity of a war
he’d seen firsthand.
Then, he went on a cross-country bus trip and lost the manuscript.
For the rest of the story, click on:
MONDAY, MARCH 25, 2014
Being gone for a week, helping my wife
take care of her mother who fell at
home and broke her elbow and gashed her skull. Had an operation on her
elbow and stitches in her scalp and now is in a nursing home recovering
doing physical therapy to get her healed and her strength up so she can
but looks like she won't be able to live on her own and certainly can't
Weather was rainy all week until Saturday when we deemed it good enough
to go to the ocean and walk on the beach and I went in the water up to
knees and then, walking back to where we parked the car, the sky turned
black, the wind blew hard and the rain came down and we got soaked and,
when finally in the car heading out, lightning was hitting all around
THE '92 FIELD TRIP
In 1992, late
August, time for the 3rd Decadenal Field Trip, Jerry Garcia was sick
play so the Grateful Dead cancelled and Kesey changed the venue to his
farm and we nicknamed
it The Swamp Romp and built a stage and food and drink vendors set up
and we had auditions
for poets and musicians, Ann Waldman and Robert Hunter were the
headliners and the climax
of the day was Kesey performing The Sea Lion, a Northwest Indian story
he wrote, Kesey dressed
in costume, the event filmed by Gus Van Sant, I wonder what ever
happened to that footage.
THURSDAY, MARCH 20, 2014
Robert Hunter, pics by Dean Yeonas
Bus parked at the Swamp Romp, Neal and Jack pictured
Grand musical finale, everyne doing Gloria
THE VERNAL EQUINOX
MORE CAR BIZ
This is the way the
left side light looked on the old battered front end from numeros
with hard objects, everything wired and glued and duct taped and
caulked together and
working okay till I took my car to a pal to get the brake master
cylinder replaced and
after that was done and the brakes bled, they still weren't working
right for me so he said
let me try it and backed up a ways, then went forward and put on the
brakes and the pedal went
right to the floor and the car continued down the incline heading for
the rear end of a
new SUV he was working on and I yelled hit the parking brake and he did
but too late
and he swerved to the right and my left side mirror hit the bumper of
He wasn't happy. He said I'll fix the
master cylinder and buy you a new light but I said
way too expensive, get it at a junkyard. He gave me a ride home and a
week late said
he got the master cylinder fixed, there was a rod inside he didn't have
centered, but he
also said he was leaving for D.C. and hadn't been able to get another
side light. Is OK.
I caught a ride to my car, left a check for the master cylinder work on
the seat of another
car sitting in his yard and went home to search for a light on the
inernet. Found one and
ordered it but when it arrived, I had got the wrong light. No sweat, I
can make it work.
Wel, what the hell,
it works. I bought some aluminum colored paint and soon as
we get enough sunny days in a row I'll paint the whole front one solid
keep on trucking, er, cruising.
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2014
"A lot of people
wouldn't know they are alive unless they have photos of themselves to
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2014
prove it-from the cradle to the grave-actually. Everything in life,
directly or indirectly,
has a great degree of mystery...It's really difficult to define
anything. What's slow can
speed up. Love can turn into hate. Peace can turn into war. Pride can
turn into humility.
Anger to grief. How would you describe a chair, for instance-something
you sit on? Well, i
t's more than that. You can sit on a curb, or a fence. But they are not
chairs. So what
makes a chair a chair? Maybe it's got arms? A cross has arms, so does a
the chair doesn't have arms. Okay, so it's a post or a flagpole. But
those aren't chairs.
A chair has four legs. So does a table. So does a dog. But they are not
chairs either. So
a chair is a mystical thing. It's got a divine presence. There's a
gloomy veil of chaos that
surrounds it. And "chaos" in Greek means "air." So we live
in chaos and we breathe
it. Is it any wonder why some people snap and go crazy? Mystery is
ancient. It is the
essence of everything. It violates all conventions of beauty and
understanding. It was
here before the beginning, and it will be there beyond the end. We were
created in it
...St. Paul said, we see through a glass darkly. There's plenty of
mystery in nature and
contemporary life. For some people, it is too harsh to deal with. But I
don't see it that way."
Sent in by Skypilot John Taby from Pennsylvania who added:
doesn't it remind you of that thing Kesey said about mystery being more
than the answers? It seems to me that there are those among us
who are not frightened
of mystery, or chaos, but somehow manage to move on further, they are
not fools, but then
again they are not cowards either. A strange type of balance is
required and they got it.
More faith than sight perhaps. Just type-thinking out loud---over and
KESEY FILM NOW STREAMING ON OPB
offers a fresh look at this tie-dyed-in-the-wool Oregonian.
“Ken Kesey” presents rare interviews with Kesey family members,
his son Zane, daughter Sunshine, granddaughter Kate Smith, widow Faye
Kesey McMurtry and his 97-year-old mother Geneva Jolley. Additionally,
several authors weigh in on Kesey’s writings and antics: Michael
professor of literature at Willamette University; Robert Faggen,
of literature at Claremont McKenna College and Kesey’s
Ken Babbs, a Kesey friend, writer and lifelong
For the whole story, go to:
The dumb people are still out there but our job
is to love them whilst
enjoying our lives to the fullest knowing this country and we the
people will survive so git out there and feed the hungry, house the
homeless, teach the chilluns, git yer exercise, nuts and berries,
and roots, keep positive thoughts, big kiss to all the loved ones,
Can you please describe the Acid Tests?
The "acid test" was a thinly-veiled excuse
to show samples of the movie
the pranksters had filmed on their bus trip.
Certain unknowns placed a garbage can
full of Kool Aid in the middle of the floor.
The Merry Band of Pranksters was actually a band
playing a form of non verbal communication.
They set up at one end of the hall.
At the other end the Grateful Dead
played rock and bluegrass
and psychedelic wanderings.
Sometimes both bands played together.
Now, instead of Kool-Aid
we're drinking Tang
and showing lots of fang
like Howlin' Wolf sang
Doodlin' a Wang Dang
all dee doo dah day
and wasn't it Ray
who asked what'd I say?
and the dead who answered
no mercy in this land
with skulls buried in the sand
cloudy mumblings and utterings
rainbow spiraled imaginings
and wistful dreams
"spitfurther", they wrote
on a bus of some note
no meaning to denote
jus' reciting by rote
that's all they can tote
What do you think would be good advice for me to give
to students who are completly miserable with their lives
as an alternative to feed your head?
The old sixties coin may be a bit tarnished and
Drugs and Rock and Drool side rubbed down to where
the lettering is all worn out, but the other side of Love
Peace and Happiness still shines brightly, the lettering
full ridged and fruitful.
Love peace and happiness; extended in
the simple act of helping one another out, being kind
Practice this. Enjoy life. As Cassady said, "No
was ever happy, angry."
HERE'S AN OLD PAGE OF THE
PERFORMING AT A NEW
TUESDAY OCTOBER 15, 2013
Lane County will keep the cultural
touchstone that is the collected papers of native son Ken
Kesey, including drafts of his novels “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”
and “Sometimes a Great Notion.”
University of Oregon librarians, like the memorable Hank Stamper, said
“never give a inch”
when it came to other, well-heeled universities swooping in, buying the
UO-held papers from
the Kesey family and taking them off to Palo Alto, Calif., Houston or
For the rest of the story written by Diane Dietz in the Eugene Register
Guard click on;
Here's a Youtube from the Fourth of July, FORTA 13, done as we are
Eric Richardson on bass, Lou Crist on accordian, me on trombone, Rudson
on drums, Jon Sebree on congas, Simon Babbs on guitar and Walker T.
got to see Bruce Hornsby yesterday. He was playing at the NCAA track
University of Oregon, before the meet started, on a small
the south end of the field, a grand piano and a small drum kit in
an NBC camera filming, barriers around the stage and on the back three
placed where people coming in the East gate could mosey past and
stand and watch.
told me he’d be there at eleven. I walked in a backdoor path used by
going back and forth from training areas, said hello to the security
like a volunteer worker for the track meet, white shirt, carrying
of O ball cap, sun glasses – she said good morning and I was inside the
I got close to the field a stern looking security guy asked me if he
me and I said I was supposed to meet Bruce Hornsby but didn’t know
said, “I heard a piano over there.”
piano tuner was tuning the piano. I asked a guy if he knew where Bruce
he said he went to the green room but should be back in fifteen minutes.
found a chair and sat and watched the fans stream in. I spotted Bruce
side of the stage. Taller than the people gathered around him. I went
we shook and hugged and the same with his son, Keith, just completed
year at UNC Ashville, where he played on the basketball team and was
in the country in free throw percentage.
“Remember what you said,
Babbs, you don’t live very long, get as much meat as you can.”
laughed. I told him, “You know how someone will give you the limp
doing it with him. “That’s when you tell him, ‘Get all the meat you
the good shake.
turned to Bruce. “What’s that joke about the trombone player you once
saying in an aside to Sonny, “I play the trombone, the bone.”
guy says to his ex-wife,” Bruce said, ‘I hate every bone in your body’
unison Sonny and Keith joined in – “‘except mine.’”
I aske Bruce what he was doing after the gig he said, “Nothing. I
vocal cords and can’t talk, so I’m laying low.”
Bruce and Sonny took the stage and did a jazzy duet, the
between them close and deep, Bruce standing up now and then and
at Sonny, both of them grinning all the time, the crowd
Vin Lanamana, the meet director, presented them
with bright yellow U of O ball caps.
The whole set was shown on the jumbotron
high above us.
It was time for Bruce
to go to the center of the field and sing
Star Spangled Banner so we said goodbye for now, to meet again in July
Bruce and his band come back to Eugene to play at the Cascadia Music
at the foot of Mt. Pisgah.
neato youtube of the night at New Zone art gallery in Eugene
I talked about my brother John's paintings. Good shots of the painings
great musical background.
the youtube of the art gallery talk was done by Hedda, who covers many
activities in Eugene. To see her many works, go to her website:
TAXES ARE DONE AND GONE
HAVE A COW
And a calf, as
purchased by our daughter, Liz, and parked in the pasture we
fenced in over the weekend.
Come on, darling,
time to drain the udder, is that an udder delight or what? I'll
tell you what, four gallons a day and that's with the calf taking half.
HERE'S THE WEBSITE FOR OXBOW FARM WHERE MILK AND OTHER
GOODIES CAN BE HAD
MY BROTHER JOHN DIED A YEAR AGO TODAY
photo of one of John's paintings by
I celebrated the
anniversary of my brothers death by tidying up his grave site and
sending in my income taxes, then had a whiskey and ginger ale, his
FOR AN MP3 CASSADY
POME, CLICK ON:
FOR THE SECOND HALF
OF THE CASSADY POME
NEAL POME 2
Here's a short youtube of Los Tres
Caballeros (KapnKen, Walker T. Ryan and
Eric Richardson) doing a musical and verbal number called Telephone
live at Tsunami Books in Eugene, Oregon in December, 2011.
Kapn' thanks for the hookup. Watched and listened with rapt ears and
I was taken back back way back to something I read along time ago about
elimination match for the Olympics. Given some kind of speed to compete
exhaustive pursuit he stood, his brain moving fast faster fast but his
body not quite
up to it, he trys to but fails, his wrestling career comes to an end.
But he was a stud
of the highest order. A champion rastler indeed. He had a tuff head and
minded as well. The instincts of a lion and the heart of a
saint. To you a best friend.
For us a champion. We all were the better for the encounter. The
synchronicity of it
all, the sum larger than the parts, brave hearts all. Thanks again
Kap'n, for the flash
Your friend, #43 johntaby shamokinpa "Love Never
AVAILABLE AT TSUNAMI BOOKS IN
$14 includes free shipping in U.S.
All books signed.
Dreher, on the left, came from Germany a few
me. Here's a short excerpt from the interview.