Kapn: A peace president! Finally!
-- Guten

Didn't kesey say, it ain't over till the fat lady gets high and votes?

Kapn: Ha--sorry for waking you up so early.

Yah, me too, a real sorry cat.

Nah---it's a good day for our country, Kapn.

Hey, being a real sorry cat is an old jazz term for someone who can get down with it. I bumped into a real sorry cat at the line to the checkout at the market. I'm sorry, he said. I'm sorry, too, I said. I'm sorry three, he said. What are you sorry for, I asked. I'm sorry five, he said.



I gets a reminder: don't forget to vote.

Hey, thanks for the reminder, I almost forgot, were it not for the twenty or so flyers come in the mail every day telling who and what to vote for, so disgusting in the waste of perfectly good paper, and by the way we vote by mail in Oregon and I did so a week ago and those flyers keep coming and people keep calling on the phone telling me who and what to vote for and when I tell them I already voted they want to know who and what I voted for, and oooooh la la I won't start on the emails, I even got one from j. mcain, I gues obama doesn't like me.
-- kapnken

Kapn, We just got home from the poll (see snapshots). The line was small at 7am here on the west side of Phoenix. Maybe two dozen people outside AZ Recreation Center for the Handicapped when we arrived, growing by a person or two every few minutes.
-- skypilots Ali Bob and Mica



In a fantastisco reading performance from his new book O the Clear Moment, Ed McClanahan wowed a crowd at Tsunami Books last night, eliciting many belly laughs and sighs of contentment. Next up for Ed is an appearance at the University of Oregon on Election Night, Tuesday the Fourth.

Cover of the book done by Ralph Steadman. Here's Ed after concluding his reading, having a sip.

Phil and Scott Landfield, Scott's the owner and host, and George and Scott with Scott holding a chapbook signed by Babbs

Jan and Phil Dietz and Ed and Clint, the Cottage Grove DJ come to interview ED

Book signing


Old buddy, Ed McClanahan has a new book out.

The title is O the CLEAR MOMENT, and Ed is on a West Coast reading tour, soon to be Eugene. He was in San Francisco and Skypilot AreWeReally? sent some pictures.

Ed, reading at the Booksmith, his daughter, Annie on the right. Ed and S.Clay Wilson of underground comics fame.

For a video of Ed and Annie singing "Jack The Bear," for Ken Kesey in the new book, click on




The Search for the Secret Pyramid

We knew the Merry Pranksters could dig up something in Egypt, but Keez needed a guide for this trip. Enter Charlie Perry, A.K.A. Smokestack El Ropo

"Bukra fil-mishmish is kinda the Egyptian version of the Mexicans' Mañana. It translates as 'Tomorrow, in the time of the apricots.' But dig: There isn't any apricot season on the Nile...." - Charlie Perry

Dear Charlie: (letter from Ken Kesey)

Downwind by a couple decades, peeking back through cracked mind mirrors. You see, Rolling Stone is publishing a chunk of "The Search for the Secret Pyramid" they sent us on in '74, and Jann has asked me to come up with the Most Memorable Scene from that historic assignment. A grand gallery of Egyptian etchings comes flapping to mind . . .




The CHANGE that is happening is happening all over.

A FEARSOME mutant fish has started killing people after feeding on human corpses, scientists fear.

They reckon that a huge type of catfish, called a Goonch, may have developed a taste for flesh in an Indian river where bodies are dumped after funerals.

Locals have believed for years that a mysterious monster lurks in the water. But they think it has moved on from scavenging to snatching unwary bathers who venture into the Great Kali, which flows along the India-Nepal border. The worry is that the Goonch will move into the ocean and travel worldwide.

This is comparable to the plunging markets, wise old heads surmise. Pictured is a Goonch caught roaming the Willamette River in Oregon or is it the Mekong River in Vietnam, the source is unclear.






Hey now ­ greetings from NC!

Thought you might enjoy this clip of Ken we shot a few years ago.

-- Bob Bowser


That Kesey vidie is so perfect. He is saying profoundly insightful truths so casualy. You know I remember when people talked like that often, I think in general a stupid blanket has been covered over us. Tell me, I'm curious, is that what it was like hanging around together? That kind of interesting conversation, besides all the fun and pranking, was that how it was? For my own self I will say if there is one thing I was brought into as a young person first coming accross the prankster lore and actions was the concept of the"Now" and it has stuck with me well into my fifties and I am so thankful for the lesson. I try to pass it on and still try to stay in the moment as often as I can remember to do it. There is a gravity that pulls you away into the past and pushes you into the future also. But it is true, only now is.

--- Skypilot Sparks

Yep, Kesey could always be counted on to lay it out straight. We are so overloaded with sensory input from media and ads you gotta git away from the TV and the stores. The streets still offer a lot of now action, and there's nothing like lying on your tummy in the grass and watching a couple of bugs go at it.

-- kapnken

"The Sixties ain't over till the fat lady gets high."

One time, in the early days of free flowing curbside enterprise, Kesey and I were walking along in Eugene and came acroos a little kid selling truffles on the sidewalk.

"Those look good," Kesey said. He leaned down and asked, "What's in those things?"

"Chocolate," the kid said. He couldn't have been more than five or six. His Dad, a gangly fellow with a sparse beard, stood to one side.

"Is there any Pee Oh Tee in them?" I asked.

The kid looked puzzled, glanced at his father, who shrugged.

"What's that?" the kid asked.

"Power of transportation," Kesey said. He bought a truffle.

We walked on. "Good thinking," I said.

"Yeah, dumkopf."

Stewart Brand and Kesey

The Whole Earth Effect

By Steven Kotler
Plenty Magazine

How did a publication with just a four-year run help shape a community so prolific that it went on to inspire Google, Craigslist, and the blogosphere; save six American rivers; and shape sustainable business practices as we know them today? Forty years after the first issue of the Whole Earth Catalog, this oral history of the publication, as told by those who made it and those who read it, tracks the long-lasting impact of a short-lived journal that altered the course of the world.

In the opening pages of The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Tom Wolfe describes
"a thin blond guy with a blazing disk on his forehead," wearing "just an
Indian bead necklace on bare skin and a white butcher's coat with medals
from the King of Sweden on it." This guy is stewart brand, a
Stanford-educated biologist and an ex­Army paratrooper turned Ken Kesey
cohort and fellow merry prankster who, in 1966, at age 28, had launched a
nationwide campaign to convince nasa to release for the first time a photo
of the entire planet taken from space. (He made buttons reading "Why Haven't
We Seen a Photograph of the Whole Earth Yet?" and hitchhiked around the
country selling them.) A few months after Wolfe's book was published, in
March 1968, Brand was flying back to California from his father's funeral in
Nebraska. He was reading a copy of Barbara Ward's Spaceship Earth and trying
to answer a pair of questions: How can I help all my friends who are
currently moving back to the land? And, more important, how can I help save
the planet?

While on that flight, Brand came up with a solution: to publish a magazine
in the vein of the LL Bean catalog-which he'd always admired for its immense
practicality-that would blend liberal social values with emerging ideas
about "appropriate technology" and "whole-systems thinking." He decided to
run NASA's photograph of the planet on the cover and to call the publication
the Whole Earth Catalog (WEC). The first WEC, published in July 1968, was a
six-page mimeograph that began with Brand's now-legendary statement of
purpose: "We are as gods and we might as well get good at it."

For the rest of the story click on:




R.I.P. Paul Newman 1925-2008

by Ken Babbs

When they were filming Sometimes A Great Notion over at the coast, Kesey and George Walker and I drove over to watch them shoot. Kesey and I were in my car and George followed in his psychedelic painted Lotus convertible.

The shoot was up on a landing, a long winding road, rising above the low clouds to a scarred flat top with a spectacular view of the ocean and town down below.

They were just finishing up and we met Paul Newman and talked and he said, "Let's go down to the tavern for a beer. They're shooting a scene with Henry Fonda." He looked at George. "You want to race? Loser buys the beers."

Nothing would make George happier. Paul turned toward his Corvette, then paused and over his shoulder said to George, "Ask Clarence there if he'd like to ride with you."

When George looked around for Clarence Paul sprinted to his car, started up and gunned down off the landing, George, realizing he'd been had, took off in hot pursuit. After that it wasn't a race because the road was one lane and there was no place to pass. Frustrated, all George could do was stay tight on Paul's rear end.

There was good natured razzing and bellyaching in the parking lot outside the tavern. Inside, there was a break in the shooting. Henry Fonda was pacing by himself, his arm in a cast, bent at the elbow, you remember the scene in the movie, he's playing pool and whirls around and catches a guy in the chest with his rigid elbow, knocks him ass over teakettles.

When on the job, Henry did not shmooze or talk to anyone, stayed by himself, locked into his role. Paul Newman, on the other hand, was wide open friendly, drinking beer and yakking, joined me in a game of nine-ball, continuing conversations all through the game. Yes, he won, and I paid for the next round.

A few days later, Kesey went over by himself and spent the night on the Joe Ben- trapped-in-the-water-by-a-log-shoot. It was done in a big tank, Kesey told me, and they filmed all night. They drank a whole case of scotch and never got drunk, the shoot was so intense.

Kesey and Newman became good friends and whenever Kesey and his wife, Faye, were in New York they got together with Paul and his wife, Joanne Woodward.

It was fitting they became friends for, when Kesey was in Hollywood after graduating from college, hoping to get into the movies, he was a Paul Newman lookalike. Their paths diverged, Kesey into writing, Newman into acting, then their paths merged, Kesey's book becoming one of Newman's movies. Similar guys. Strong men. Independent and successful.



Hud and Cool Hand Luke

Notion poster with balloon dialogue by Kesey

Bad day for Hank Stamper, loses his father Henry and his cousin Joe Ben

These are survival freaks selling expired sales date beer and sodas. They were also seen in the muck after Katrina, Andrew and several small squalls, Gretchen Mae and Alexis Susan near Key Largo...an unoffical report had them in the debris outside Glenda, Kansas when a low pressure evolved from a sorghum field ( it was later downgraded to a #12 Family Quarrel with thrown patio furniture, oaths against animals and overturned BBQ grills and Nehi coolers).

-- Dick M

After I left Florida I thought I was done with hurrycanes. But trouble follows wherever I go, and the undead corpse of Hurricane Ike came into Kalamazoo, Michigan like the thrashing tail on an alligator, following a long line of rainclouds. The result is being hailed as the third worst flood in Kalamazoo's history. After a week of sunshine many roads here are still closed.
 - Airy Ace