Give them what they want. Give them their money's worth.
-- skypilotclub motto
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 2011
GONG XI FA CAI
XIN NIAN QUAI LE !!
BEST LUCK and HAPPINESS
in the Year of the Rabbit!
Eat some carrots.
Ge Rui Ge
photo by Charley Plymell, 1963
Hi Capt! The Coast Is Clear! How'd she know? Har Har. Remember that favorite joke of Neal's? How did it Go? Yeah, I got this email from Mike Watt (bofus) who is playing bass for Iggy & Stooges down in Australia now if they're not blown away! Like he said, I scrolled down to that profile picture I shot of Neal and then gave Ginsey his camera back and told him to get a shot of the torn headliner, which is a famous photo. Neal was turned around looking at us in backseat instead of road. Neal was pissed by then at Allen who was telling him to slow down. Allen was sitting beside me. Ann Murphy was in front seat arguing continuously with Neal. Neal had traded her Chevy coupe for the old '39 Pontiac he was driving when this picture was shot on the way to Bolinas. It didn't seem like a good trade, so I imagine there were some pills involved. Anyway, he was driving fast on hills and curves around coast mountains from S.F. to Bolinas gearing the car down to slow down (the gearshift was on the floor) and pulling the handbrake. He turns around and tells Allen that the brakes are out on the car and continues fight with Ann. We had started out the day like a good picnic from our flat at 1403 Gough St. Neal had a shoebox of Panama Red and a few tiny white pills that Ann had scored. Just a family picnic y'know...memories of 1963. Charley Plymell
Charly Plymell and Neal Cassady, 1963
An ego pressed onward
Like a tight skirt in the night
Popeye and Olive Oyl
Swaggering down the street
Jumping parking meters
doing exercise gyrations
Expectations surrounded him
in crowds and beach boy cronies
Tarot card sharks and wood shooters
The Fastest Gun in the West.
I showed him pictures
Of Butch and the wild bunch
"Neal, Was he your father?"
That worried orphaned-look
I'll not forget.
He lived fast, his beds, death rows
to blow genius away, like The Doors,
A race over rails from time's windowpane
sun hot on the Mexican landscape--the
Railroad tracks chromed with cocaine.
-- Charley Plymell
Here in Denver Friday was offically declared Neal Cassady day. Big write up in the Denver Post and a party at the Mercury Cafe on Friday. Two of Neal's kids came to town for the celebration.
Neal would be 85 on the 8th and still the fastest man alive.
We are slouching towards friday with tonights low a minus 20. Whoo, that would set neal's wheels in motion.
skypilot # 56
As part of an effort to raise money for the University of Oregon to buy the Kesey collection that is currently being held at the university library, there was a reading at Tsunami Books of selected pieces from the Kesey collection.
KVAL TV was there to cover the event. You can read about it and view four vidies by clicking on:
http://www.kval.com/news/local/114345759.html Cai Emmons, one of the readers, is the one who put the reading together. She is a driving force behind the effort to raise the money.
ONCE MORE HERE'S WHERE TO GET THE BOOK
If you want to preorder the book, my recommendation is to get it through Tsunami Books in Eugene. That way you will get a signed copy.
Costs you $22. Free shipping in the U.S. You don't pay yet, not till the books are in.
Order by phone: 541-345-8986
Order by email: email@example.com
NEW NOVEL NEWS
They've set the publication date back to March 31. Fine with me. Gives us more time to correct all the boo-boos in the manuscript.
You may remember I was having a problem with the cover. They had the wrong helicopter in the picture, Hueys, but in 1962, the year the novel is set, there were no Hueys in Vietnam. The Marines were flying the H-34 Dawgs. Finally they got it right and here is the new cover.
Here's what a page of the proof looks like, with my corrections noted
HERE'S THE SALES PITCH
Ken Babbs, famously a Merry Prankster and the best friend and working partner of Ken Kesey has at last finished his first novel and the wait was worth it.
Lieutenant Tom Huckelbee, leathery as any Texican come crawling out of the sage, and Lieutenant Mike Cochran, loquacious son of an Ohio gangster, make an unlikely pair training to be chopper pilots on their way to Vietnam. The dynamic takes the reader from a couple of know-nothing young men straight out of flight school, to Marine aviators caught in the middle of a disorienting war.
Tough and comical, quiet and boisterous, and always vivid and poetic, Babbs is a writer at the top of his craft. Who Shot The Water Buffalo? manages to capture an early year of the war through the eyes of a young man discovering what it means to be beholden to another. A book not to be missed.
Eli has T shirts, hoodies and team jackets with Prankster Lettering
For all of you who have been inquiring about the status of my Vietnam novel, first, thanks so much for your interest and encouragement and support. I'm happy to report that I sent in the completed manuscript after extensive reworking with my good friend and editor, David Stanford, and now the book resides with my other good friend, literary agent number one in the New York publishing biz, Sterling Lord, who will be shopping the book this month of October, 2009. Stay attuned.
Well, he's still shopping it. 11-8-09
Someone said, when he heard I was a Marine helicopter pilot in Vietnam, "Thank you for your service," and I said if you want to thank me then start protesting the stupid war we are in now.
AFGHANISTAN, A DUMBER BLUNDER THAN VIETNAM
AND OTHER STUFF