To email KapnKen Click on:

   _/        | 
  |_  FURTHER _|
       O        O
on facebook as Ken Babbs
on youtube:

audio files on: Soundcloud


Don Buchla, one of the first makers of a synthesizer was a wonderful guy. We got to
know him at the trips festival in Frisco in 1966 when he set up his synthesizer scene
on the balcony next to our electronic setup. He had ten speakers spread out on the
balcony which ran on three sides of the hall. He had a keyboard where you could
run your fingers along it and have the sound zoom around through the speakers.
He let me run his stuff whenever I wanted.

He liked getting on the bus and wanted to know if there was anything he could
make for us. We came up with the idea for the Buchla box pictured. It was essentially
a mixer with a couple of effects built in. My son Simon ended up with it and
eventually he sold it on ebay. It's now on display at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
in Cleveland.


Must apologize for neglecting the website. Been going gangbusters on my book and
haven't wanted to get off it for any other kind of computer work. I did take a break
last weekend and went to Seattle for the Duck Husky football game. Met up with my
son Isaac and grandson Dylan (who is a student at Washington U).

Got photobombed by two bombed Husky fans.

Went to famous Pike Stree Market down by the water, where they throw the fish around as
a tourist treat.


Went to hear John Swan and the Revalators open for Curtis Selgado on Friday night.
Here I am before the show, with Curtis.

Then last night to hear Moonalice and The David Nelson Band. Went onstage with old pal,
Steve Parish, where we got caught in the garish stage lights.


Taking advantage of the sunny fall days (give us some rain, please) to gather
the firewood while we may. First, the wonderful hydraulic splitter that makes
the whole splitting thing not only easier and quicker, but it's powerful enough to
split the gnarliest chunks. One minute vidie. Click on:


Then there is Dave Barton and his elephant which he uses to tow the logs to
the spot where we chainsaw them into rounds which we roll to the splitter. Three
minute vidie. Click on:



Old stove was alll wore out, inside cracked and warped, catalytic converter in
pieces, burned too much wood too fast, new one is up to date environmentally
sound and like the old one weighs a quarter ton so moving the old out and the
new in is the subject of this vidie. 2 minutes long. CLICK ON:



We inherited a big old antique heavy heavy safe on metal wheeels and had to
move it from Vancouver, Washington to Lost Creek, Oregon. Luckily, son Simon
and his pal, Casey, helped load it on the truck with an engine hoist, and when I
got it home, neighbor Rick Wetzel, unloaded it with the bucket on his tractor.
2 minutes. Click on:


"We may be sleazy and we may be hot but we are all we've got. Ritual is necessary for us to know anything.
You've got to get out and pray to the sky to appreciate the sunshine; otherwise you're just a lizard standing
there with the sun shining on you. We didn’t create the wave, we rode the wave. Many people rode that
wave and the wave is still going strong."

Someone asked him, “What’s your destination?”
"When you don’t know where you’re going you have to stick together just in case someone gets there."
He wanted to know if Kesey still takes acid.
"Don’t have to. All you have to do is bang on the side of the bus and we begin to hallucinate. One time a
friend of mine and I were taking LSD and thought we had written The History and Future of the Universe.
What we actually wrote down was something on the order of if you pick your nose long enough the world
will unravel.

"I really did have a sense that what we were doing was important, historically important, in a way that still
hasn't been understood or recognized. The Sixties ain’t over. The Sixties won’t be over till the fat lady gets high."
-- Ken Kesey




              Article by Andy Valentine. Photos by David Bassett. Other local writers are covered in this issue, also.



This is the design by Craig. Company selected to do the mural is Old City Artists
from Los Angeles. They also did the Simpson mural on another wall in downtown
Springfield, Oregon.


Working on the mural of the wall of the Odd Fellows Hall. Erik the honcho and Chris, one of the painters.


The Kesey family: Ken and Zane and Shannon, Faye and Jed, Sunshine in the pic.  Chris, Patrick, a tourist, Eddie and Erik.


Last night, in the early eve, the mural was unveiled. Street was closed off. Zane was there with the bus. There was live music, coverage by
the Eugene televison stations and a good crowd of Kesey's friends and acquaintances. Patrick and Crhis and Eileen. Patrick, Babbs and Eddie.


                      Annabelle, M.G. and Erica,                 David Caldwell, George Walker, Bob Laird, Keith Haxby and Bill Thompson.

          Kesey's mother, Geneva and Sheryl, Kesey's niece.                                           Bill, Geneva and Zane.


                                                Jason and Keri from the U of O collections at the library. They had a table
                                                at the event.


The University of Oregon Library magazine did an article about the time
Bill Walton visited to view the Kesey collection. They also invited me and
Mountain Girl and Sunshine Kesey. Here's the cover of the magazine.


Here's the link to the article:

  UO Magazine Article

THURSDAY, JULY, 30, 2015

Was all set to go woodcutting today, but due to forecast of 105 degrees, no equipment
allowed in the woods so instead of cutting and splitting, we loaded the truck with
wood already cut.  With Liz Babbs and Dave Barton.


SUNDAY, JULY 26, 2015

Must apologize for being so lax on keeping up with the website, but am fullup busy
trying to get this book I'm working on done. A slow slog. It is called Cronies, and is
all about the adventures with Kesey, Cassady, the Pranksters and Friends. Starts in
the year, 1958, when I met Kesey at the graduate writing class at Stanford. I'm up to
1964 in the book, when we drove the bus to Madhattan and back. Here's a bit from
the chapter about driving through New York Streets.


         The round-mouthed slick looking guy on the huge Camel cigarette billboard blows
a smoke ring out of his mouth toward the bus passing by.
         “I need a cigarette,” Cassady says. “Cigarette for pilot, cigarette. Here we are, 625
Madison Avenue, Viking press."   
         Bus pulls up in front top full of pranksters waving and tootling flutes and calling
out to the pedestrians.

         “Go slow, slow slow,” Kesey tells Cassady through the microphone on top of the
bus down to the speakers inside.

         “Double park in front?” Cassady asks. “Is it illegal to double park in front? Yes it is.”

         A Viking secretary, green sheath dress, dark sunglasses, black hair pulled back
and held with a curved plastic gizmo whaddaycallit, thin gold bracelets bedangling
her wrist, comes up to the bus: “No, no, no, this is totally wrong. Are all these people
your guests?”

         “We’re the Merry Band of Pranksters,” Kesey says. “We’re on our way to the
Kool Place.”

         “Ken, the press is here and a photographer from the tribune.”

         She points to a short, brown-haired, mustachioed, officious-looking man wearing
rimless glasses, dressed in a brown courduroy sports coat over a white shirt fronted
by a brown tie, dark pants and brown loafers, who is fiddling with a small camera.
He scoots along the sidewalk until he is halfway down the side of the bus and, as he
aims in his camera, yells, “This way, Ken. Ken, give me vision. Ken. Ken Kesey,” he
repeats. “Give me vision, Ken. No. Not just the hand.” He scoots around to the front
of the bus, shooting all the while.

MONDAY, JULY 6, 2015

A Tufts group, four graduates this year, joureyed to the West to make their fortunes and
found bits of hay in their hair and down their shirts as they bucked bales to be used as
seats at the Fourth of July Barbecue up Lost Creek in Oregon. Asked if they like doing
it they shouted, BUCKING A!


                      James. Shana. Lucy. Morgan. Emily, the tuft foursome, plus one.


                       Also, Shana, in the red shirt, a former duck (U of O), part of the crew.


Hot summer day, where better to repose than in the shade, nestled close to the house.

1964. The bus, Further, on the New Jersey Turnpike, approaching the George Washington
Bridge, Empire State Building seen out of the side window, off in the distance, blurred in
the mist.

Toll taker at the George Washington Bridge, giving Cassady change. The toll was one
dollar and I gave it to Neal in nickels and dimes and pennies and the lady counted it.
"One cent over," she said. "Now, there's an honest toll taker," Kesey said.




Cut down a dead cedar tree in the yard, fire hazard, left a big mess to clean up.

Loaded the debris in the truck and took it to Lane Forest Products in Springield where,
for six bucks, I unloaded it in their wood recycle lot where it gets chipped and trucked
down the street to Kingsford where it is made into briquettes I buy at the market and
use on my barbecue.

My oh my how time do fly. Her's a pic from the Furthur Fest at the Country Fair
site in Veneta, OR in 1996

We thank you greatly. Tsunami staff. Jane. Meli. Scott. Nathan.


Putting in a new drain field, old one all clogged up with roots and such, using
a newer method, called the infiltrator, which  is a series of four foot plastic
things hooked together all in a row, only need one line, looks like a long worm.


This is the Sundial Bridge, designed by an architect from Peru who said the
Sacramento River reminded him of places in his own country and the bridge
was meant to convey that. It hangs on cables from the spire, no footings in the
river. The deck is panels of blue plastic with lights underneath they turn on at
night. Quite spectacular and a big tourist draw. Strictly a pedistrian and bke
bridge, connected to the north bank river walk.

Talked for three hours up on the stage with the cast and director and friends
about Kesey.

With the director of the play, Ken Hill.


Scott Thompson, associate director, Shasta Foundation, Ken and Eileen, Ken
Hill, play director.

MONDAY, MARCH, 23. 2015

Going to Shasta College in Redding, California this week to talk to students and
go the the college production of One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest.

Here's a great article in the Redding Newspaper about the upcoming play:



"Tis the luck of the Irish, the Irish I say,
With a toodle aiee toodle aiee eee aie ay.

Just got back from Chicago. Did a performance with a monster power group,
Heat Leisure, named after the record we did together for Thrill Jockey records.
Here's the blurb:

HEAT LEISURE played Levitation Chicago at Thalia Hall this weekend!
Merry Prankster Ken Babbs; Van, Lain, and Jennings Carney (from Pontiak),
and Greg Fox (Liturgy, Guardian Alien) brought the house down!

Pics from her cell phone are by Lily, publicist for Thrill Jockey.

Also pics by Matt Anderson

Here is the link to a radio interview I did on WBEZ radio:



My good old friend from the early Sixties, Robert Stone, a terrifice writer, one
of the Stanford Stegner graduate writing class fellows, author of many fine novels,
died last Saturday in Key West, Florida.


Here he is in New York City in 2006. Here's a selection from one of his writings:

“Fiction must justify itself in every line.” Yes. I’m beginning to frame one—and along
rather Conradian lines. Prose fiction must first of all perform the traditional functions
of storytelling. We need stories. We can’t identify ourselves without them. We’re always
telling ourselves stories about who we are: that’s what history is, what the idea of a nation
or an individual is. The purpose of fiction is to help us answer the question we must
constantly be asking ourselves: Who do we think we are and what do we think we’re doing?"

Here's an mp3 sound file about Robert Stone:



Would you be willing to drop by one of these days and sit down for an hour of signing?

Thanks, Scott Landfield, Tsunami Books, Eugene, Oregon.


Sure thing, Scott. Glad to.


Now it's winter 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, Geneva Kesey.

A journalist wrote this in 1966, two years after Sometimes A Great Notion was published.

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 the chopper
from the squadron we replaced and the helicopter was passed on to the other squadrons
whose patches are shown in the pic, all the way to 1965 when the helo was turned
over to the South Vietnamese Air Force and they flew it until 1969. It eventually
ended up in a grave yard in Oklahoma, was bought by a guy in Oklahoma who
donated it to Bob Fritzler and his restoration project.

The white patches in the photo cover over a hundred bullet holes in the old bird.

To learn more about the chopper and about the restoration there is a website where
you can get all the details. Also a donation page where you can push a button to



Here's a snippet of a longer number I did with the band Woodknot at
Cougar Mountain Tatberry Jam a few years ago:

Feathers Will Fly


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 article
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 living art.
The word showman is very close to the word shaman and Kesey was both. He
said his greatest work was the bus because it wasn't art written on a page or
shown in a movie but was art out amongst the people, living art. This is the
artist part of his legacy. The human part is his humanity to his fellow men and
women. He summed it up by saying, "People in the know know what sets them
apart is their knowledge that the carrot is better than the stick, that mercy comes
before justice and the only compass you can trust is love to guide you down the
mean streets of money mad America and, remember, the most important thing
is be kind."


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 face

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.


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 everything
around the homestead. Deep into it, might be a while longer before I get on
the website again.

Meanwhile, it was brought to my attention the last few days have been the 45th
anniversary of Woodstock, but it wasn't any big deal to me, just wait until 2019,
the 50th anniversary, that will be a big deal.

Here's a pic of me and son Simon at Woodstock, watching a puppet show.


MONDAY, JULY 21, 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 here's
oak all split up now, been sitting in rounds for a year, got out the hydraulic
wood spliter and went to work. Now to stack in the woodshed.

SUNDAY, JULY 6, 2014


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.


         The B Boy Band, Simon, (George Walker), Eli, O.B. and KapnKen.

FRIDAY, JUNE 19, 2014

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.


Happy to report my riding lawnmower is up and running again,
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.

SUNDAY, MAY 31, 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 protect
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 wouldn't
fall on me when I was under there but double dang, couldn't find the switches
anywhere. Finally looked at the engine and there they were, on either side
of the battery. Did all that jacking for nothing. Then the battle was to get
the switches off. Once that was done, too late in the day to do any more, so
now must go to my mech pal and look through his junk box, see if there
are any replacements I can use. Stay attuned.

THURSDAY, MAY 29, 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 out
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 beaver
from the size of those chips.

TUESDAY, MAY 27, 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 neglected
the oil requirements and the engine seized, that is to say it overheated and
froze up.

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 scrapyard,
should be worth a couple hundred.


SATURDAY, MAY 24, 2014

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 and
rock and roll. I told them I didn't know anything about that but the Sixties
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) was
great and when I was done I walked the beach from the Santa Monica pier to the
Venice pier, got wet and sand slogged when I stepped into a sinkhole, but
my clothes dried by the time I reached Venice and from there I went to the airport
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:


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 took place
on 4 20 and there were many and varied takes on the conjunction, but locally
we did the usual: climbed Mt. Pisgah, the roundtop between Eugene and
points East, then descended to the pavilion at the bottom for potluck, another
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.


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 look.


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 East and
prehistoric shells and leaves on the sides, two vertical slots through the
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 copped
a second medal: the turtle award for the slowest to make the climb.


Her bag is bursting out all over
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)


SUNDAY, APRIL 13, 2014

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 Springfield. A
fine exhibit with pictures and writeups of Kesey's life from childhood in Colorado
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, students
from Springfield and South Eugene high school, old and new friends and the bus
Further, parked outside, aglow with fresh paint and L.E.D. lights moving along the
top and bottom of the bus.

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
ventriloquist act.

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, where
I lived for three years while I was in the Marine Corps. The article came out
on April first, so there is a suspicion I am this year's april fool.


Fifty years ago, a young Marine returned home to San Juan Capistrano and started
to write.

In a modest home off Ortega Highway, with the blinds drawn to block the California
sun, Ken Babbs poured his memories of Vietnam onto paper, crafting a story about
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:

                            REGISTER ARTICLE


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 and
doing physical therapy to get her healed and her strength up so she can go home
but looks like she won't be able to live on her own and certainly can't drive
any more.

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 my
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 us. Very


MONDAY, MARCH 25, 2014

In 1992, late August, time for the 3rd Decadenal Field Trip, Jerry Garcia was sick and couldn't
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.

Robert Hunter, pics by Dean Yeonas

Bus parked at the Swamp Romp, Neal and Jack pictured

Grand musical finale, everyne doing Gloria


This is the way the left side light looked on the old battered front end from numeros run-ins
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 the SUV.

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 color and
keep on trucking, er, cruising.


"A lot of people wouldn't know they are alive unless they have photos of themselves to
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 person. Maybe
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 important
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 out.




Oregon Experience offers a fresh look at this tie-dyed-in-the-wool Oregonian.
“Ken Kesey” presents rare interviews with Kesey family members, including
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 Strelow,
professor of literature at Willamette University; Robert Faggen, professor
 of literature at Claremont McKenna College and Kesey’s biographer; and
 Ken Babbs, a Kesey friend, writer and lifelong Merry Prankster.

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, fruits
and roots, keep positive thoughts, big kiss to all the loved ones, kesey
is smiling.

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 the Sex
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 practicality to
the simple act of helping one another out, being kind
and generous.

Practice this. Enjoy life. As Cassady said, "No one
was ever happy, angry."


                   RETURN GUANTANAMO TO CUBA


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 some such.

For the rest of the story written by Diane Dietz in the Eugene Register Guard click on;

                                          KESEY COLLECTION

                                     Here's a collaboration I did with James Kinkead. I sent him a recording of me doing some
                                     of my verbal ramblings and he added background. Came out purty
                          good. You can listen here and download it if you want.


                                             CLICK ON
                                            OVER THE HILL


Here's a Youtube from the Fourth of July, FORTA 13, done as we are setting up,
Eric Richardson on bass, Lou Crist on accordian, me on trombone, Rudson Shurtliff
on drums, Jon Sebree on congas, Simon Babbs on guitar and Walker T. Ryan on

Click on:


SUNDAY, JUNE 9, 2013

         I got to see Bruce Hornsby yesterday. He was playing at the NCAA track meet
at the University of Oregon, before the meet started, on a small stage at
the south end of the field, a grand piano and a small drum kit in place, miked, with
an NBC camera filming, barriers around the stage and on the back three sides, ideally
placed where people coming in the East gate could mosey past and stand and watch.

         Bruce told me he’d be there at eleven. I walked in a backdoor path used by
athletes going back and forth from training areas, said hello to the security lady –
I looked like a volunteer worker for the track meet, white shirt, carrying binoculars,
U of O ball cap, sun glasses – she said good morning and I was inside the gates.

         When I got close to the field a stern looking security guy asked me if he could
help me and I said I was supposed to meet Bruce Hornsby but didn’t know where,
he said, “I heard a piano over there.”

         A piano tuner was tuning the piano. I asked a guy if he knew where Bruce
was and he said he went to the green room but should be back in fifteen minutes.

         I found a chair and sat and watched the fans stream in. I spotted Bruce the
far side of the stage. Taller than the people gathered around him. I went over and
we shook and hugged and the same with his son, Keith, just completed his sophomore
year at UNC Ashville, where he played on the basketball team and was number two
in the country in free throw percentage.

        Bruce introduced me to his drummer, Sonny. When I shook Sunny’s hand Bruce said,
“Remember what you said, Babbs, you don’t live very long, get as much meat as you can.”

         Sonny laughed. I told him, “You know how someone will give you the limp
handshake?” doing it with him. “That’s when you tell him, ‘Get all the meat you
can.’” Doing the good shake.

         I turned to Bruce. “What’s that joke about the trombone player you once
told me?” saying in an aside to Sonny, “I play the trombone, the bone.”

         “The guy says to his ex-wife,” Bruce said, ‘I hate every bone in your body’ –
and in unison Sonny and Keith joined in – “‘except mine.’” 

         When I aske Bruce what he was doing after the gig he said, “Nothing. I
damaged my vocal cords and can’t talk, so I’m laying low.”


         Bruce and Sonny took the stage and did a jazzy duet, the communication
between them close and deep, Bruce standing up now and then and gesticulating
at Sonny, both of them grinning all the time, the crowd enthusiastically applauding,
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 the
Star Spangled Banner so we said goodbye for now, to meet again in July when
Bruce and his band come back to Eugene to play at the Cascadia Music Festival
at the foot of Mt. Pisgah.

     WEDNESDAY, APRL 24, 2013

Here's a neato youtube of the night at New Zone art gallery in Eugene when
I talked about my brother John's paintings. Good shots of the painings with
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:


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.




FRIDAY, APRIL 12, 2013


photo of one of John's paintings by Kenneth Roberts

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 favorite drink.


                      CLICK ON:

               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 Fakeout
live at Tsunami Books in Eugene, Oregon in December, 2011.

Kapn' thanks for the hookup. Watched and listened with rapt ears and eyes.
I was taken back back way back to something I read along time ago about Kesey's
elimination match for the Olympics. Given some kind of speed to compete in the
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 was tough
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
of thoughts.
Your friend, #43 johntaby shamokinpa "Love Never Fails"   



$14 includes free shipping in U.S. All books signed.

Phone: 541-345-8986


                     NEW YOUTUBE

Christophe Dreher, on the left, came from Germany a few years back
to interview me. Here's a short excerpt from the interview.


"METALLIC FISH" oil painting by John Babbs


This Youtube isn't quite as meshy as the previous one but it's in the same
vein and needs a big broom to clean up the mess.


Youtube of KapnKen and ace guitarist, Don Latarski doing a totally
extemporaneus number called "The Mesh," at the Fourth of July




33 out of 42 paintings sold, all the money went to the college fund of
John's 9 year old great niece. Thanks to all for the help putting the
exhibit on and thanks to New Zone Gallery for great hosting.

I really like my painting I got at the auction yesterday. John's skill
as a painter totally surprised me. The one I got which I think you
called 'reflections'  has metallic gold,  silver and bronze paint underneath,
that changes with the light and as one moves past it.  It has so much
life and liveliness. I am just tremendously  pleased with it and  am
eager to pick up the other one I bought, "Night Fishing".  Tell John
"thank you" for me and I will keep him in my thoughts.
There is a message I think, in all these paintings. It is about
preciousness and clean water and the life within it.  It is also
about precariousness, where one misstep and the you fall in the
water on slippy rocks and maybe lose everything in the rushing
cold river.  Over and over he shows the interplay and the moment
of capture that highlights the shimmery life-water-man thing. 

Thanks for an awesome exhibit.
Cheers,  MG

SATURDAY, MAY 19, 2012

Walker T. Ryan and KapnKen got together to rehearse the song they
would perform at John Babbs's Remembrance on April 21.

You can see it in its glory and glitches on youtube. Click on:





SUNDAY, MAY 13, 2012

Here it is: an insider's look at the foibles, fiascos and celebrity events of
the Merry Pranksters, still going strong after almost fifty years.

Written in a smometimes humorous, sometimes serious mode by "Sometimes
Missing," a Prankster who was not always there (and is now deceased), this
book describes happenings never before revealed, with philosophical insights
into the workings (and lack of work) of the extended family.

John Babbs was a writer, photographer, painter and fly angler. He was also
the author of Yellow Leaves, a novel of angling and romance.

You can order PRANKSTER MEMOIRS from Tsunami Books,
in Eugene, Oregon

$12 includes shipping in the U.S. Call or email:

phone: 541-345-8986


John was the younger, smaller, quieter Babbs. In the dedication of his book,
"Prankster Memoirs," John wrote "For my brother, Ken Babbs, whom I've known
all my life, but he hasn't known me all of his." John, like Kesey's brother Chuck,
was On The Bus. Pranksters of the Earliest Order. John's Prankster name was
Sometimes Missing.


"Prankster Memoirs" has some great photos of John the Fisherman. Before I
interviewed him about his novel, YELOW LEAVES, John dropped off a copy of
the book with a note, which read in part, "I am available most days - when I'm
not playing basketball or fishing!"


John described YELLOW LEAVES as "a novel where romance and trout fishing
intertwine with passionate intensity." Here's wishing John Babbs Great Fishing
in the Great Beyond. Fish on, John!!!


Tripp Sommer


$12. Free shipping in the U.S.
Call or email Tsunami Books.
phone: 541-345-8986


Let's put faces on these guys who are mining Parvin Butte to the detriment of the
quality of life of the people who
live on and around the Butte:

The McDougal Brothers and Greg Demers.

Parvin Butte photo by John Bauguess

The McDougal Brothers, bought Parvin Butte, right outside of the community
of Dexter and plan to level the whole mountain, taking out the rock and selling
it for a railroad bed in Coos Bay, way over by the coast. They started by clear cutting
the trees, then excavating, without a site review, paying the fine as part of doing business.
The noise is horrendous, the impact on the neighbors' lives is huge, but they care not
a whit, for, to them, like the military, this is merely collateral damage.
The citizens are fighting back.
There is a facebook page: HelpSave Dexter and a website



Here's Walker T. Ryan, ace singer guitarist. Pic isn't from the gig, but by going
to his website you can see a vidie of Walker doing Big Road Blues, live at Tsunami
Books in Eugene on December 16, 2011.

Here's a youtube of Walker T. Ryan doing "Stealing" along with Ken Babbs in
the green room of KLCC studios, Eugene Oregon, December 16, 2011, before
they joined up with Eric Richardson to go live on the air as Los Tres Caballeros.


      CLICK ON




                                                                        MOVING BOOK STUFF TO A NEW PAGE
includes info about book and some
interviews and reviews and youtubes


Putting all the other book reviews and interviews on another webpage.
Click on:


Putting all the other reading youtubes on another webpage.
Click on:




I've saved the old frontpage and you can go to it by clicking on:

You can look at all the old pages (60 in all) by clicking on:


you are flier number

Free website hit counter