I NEVER PROMISED YOU A ROSE GARDEN
BUT HERE IT IS
Been gone to Portland a few days, had dinner in a Thai place with two sons and their girl friends and one daughter and her boy friend and these chilluns are in their forties so they are not younguns anymore. Good time had by all.
Next day one of the sons picked me up at the hotel while my wife graded papers and then was going shopping. We headed to his place in Scapoose and worked on a rear end of a volvo he was selling to some guy, then we drove his hot rod bumper car around and around the driveway.
Then we resurrected his aluminum row boat from the junk pile for I wanted to go out on the water, an inlet off of the Columbia River but he kept putting me off and then it was time to head back to Portland again, for that was the big night of the trailblazers versus utah basketball game.
And a good game it was though we blew a 25 point lead to lose in overtime. Took the light rail a free ride from downtown to rose garden and back again. the rose garden was one loud place, ovewhelming with the music and yak, I shoulda taken ear plugs.
It was no let up with during timeouts the floor full of gymnastic lightly clad ladies and tricycle races and trampoline midget leaper sumersaulting slam dunkers and break dancers and more scantily clad ladies hoisted high atop mammoth men all clinging to one another most seemly.
Till at last, we slunk out, ears ringing, to the train which was packed full so we stood, hanging from the straps, relief at last, quiet sunday night Portland town with calm bar waiting for midnight nightcap and next day lunch with wife's father and his wife at old famous Jake's restaurant, then two hour drive home, cruise control set at 75, pick up dog at my brother's, finally across the bridge,
down the drive, to the house, yes a fire still going in the wood stove, our daughter had spent the night there, from her pad in town, she is a senior at the U of O.
Hello, my name is greg and i am from outside the dark city of rochester new york. During the short twenty years i have been in this time and place on earth, i have gotten to witness some very interesting things, get introduced to many positive figures, thoughts, and ideas. Currently i've been working on getting support for a community garden, which carries the benefit of basically free food to members of your community, as well as giving people a place to gather and talk with their community instead of just being shut off watching tv all day. I have already gotten a land offer from a local farm, and i am very excited about it.
I also had to let you know the culture is thriving stronger than ever; here at the least. The people, the attitudes, the awareness, the music, the vibes, life... Things are going well, and I am trying to help keep them that way, perspire, grow, move forward, and realize the true potential of this world we live on before we manage to go too far...
Hey Greg, great email, thanks. Funny, I was just thinking yesterday of ways for people to gather together in a positive way working on something and not just watching others perform and what did I come up with but . . .. community gardens!
You've got the right idea and it shows that others are on the same wave length. Yes, as time goes on and we withdraw from the buy buy buy, consume consume consume, sit on our corpulent asses, we will come up with other ways of enteracting and entertaining like book clubs and music gatherings where play the music, and film festivals where we make and show our own movies, etc etc.
Carry on the good work.
One of the memorable images in the Wolfe book about the pranksters is that image of your Vietnam novel's hundreds of pages hanging loose on the floor amongst the warehouse hangout preparations for the graduation.
-- Das Goh
My many thanks to Tom Wolfe for keeping the Vietnan novel alive in EKAT, still being published, still being read by thousands of young people, and plenty others, too.
Can you tell me or write something on your website about the protagonist of your book. Also, is it really called 'Who Shot the Water Buffalo', I thought it was 'Found a Bird Lost a Bird' ( something like that). When will it get printed?
Hey Scott, the novel is called Who Shot The Water Buffalo.
Lost a Bird, Gained a Bird is a selection from the novel that was printed up as a chapbook by Tsunami Press in Eugene.
There are two main characters, both young lieutenants in the marine corps, pilots in a helicopter squadron in Vietnam in 1962, the first Americans to go over there as a complete unit, till then it was individuals, called advisors. The story is what happens to the guys in the squadron during the time they are there.
I still have to sign the contract. I imagine it will be 8 or 9 months till the book comes out, a hardback.
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2010
This is the Chinese new year of the metal tiger. "The tiger is considered lucky and contains natural energies that are assertive, courageous, and self-reliant. The element of metal gives the tiger year an edge as well as speed of thought. Since tigers are also vain, you must be careful not to jump too quickly to conclusions without weighing options or understanding the consequences."
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 2010
Paul Biondi's Haiti Relief Benefit at the WOW hall in Eugene, Oregon.
The Kwatro Quartet 4 For Haiti Relief performed at 5:30 PM, not a great time but they are used to playing in front of hordes or miniscules, so no big deal.
The Kwarto Quartet is:
Brian Chevalier xxxxxxxxEric Richardson
Babbs will introduce the Kwatro Quartet and then Brian who will do the everybody needs somebody to love song.
Babbs will introduce Walker who will do the Viper song.
Babbs will introduce Eric who will do the Monk's Blues song.
Then we will do the Rubicon Roundelay, which goes like this:
With suitable musical background, Babbs yaks:
In 49 BC a couple of years before I was born, Julius Caesar was the
governor of Gaul, north of the Roman territories. He kicked ass and
amassed a huge fortune and built up a large army. His boss in Rome
told Caesar to resign his command and disband his army or else he'd
be declared an enemy of the state and you know what that meant. Be
like thrown into Guantanamo today.
A witch hag had taught Caesar a tantric roundelay to help him
make big decisions. When Caesar flopped over, exhausted from doing
the roundelay, a rivulet of spittle ran out his mouth. Face in the
dirt, eye next to the spit, he saw it had the same course and shape
of the Rubicon, the river that divided Gaul from Roman territory.
Caesar took this as a sign he should go to the Rubicon.
Ancient Roman law said no general could cross the Rubicon with an
army. Caesar knew if he crossed over, it would mean civil war and a
war wouldn't be all that civil.
He was in a dither. What the hell. He decided to teach his
army the roundelay, let it make the decision. Here's how it goes:
Pat your head.
Rub your tummy.
Jump up and down on one foot.
Suck in your gut
Stick out your chest
And stand up straight.
Dosie do and turn around and start all over again.
In reverse, singing:.
Suck in your gut
Stick out your chest
And stand up straight.
Jump up and down on the opposite foot.
Rub your tummy.
Pat your head.
As Caesar and the army were doing the Roundelay, a group of
musicians came along and joined in with their instruments. One of the
soldiers grabbed a trumpet, blew advance and charged across the
river. Caesar cried out, "Let us go where the gods summon, the die is
The forces on the other side greeted Caesar and pledged their
undying fidelity. They begged him to teach them the roundelay. He
did, and from then on it was known as the Rubicon Roundelay.
At this point, the band does the lead-in to the folk medley, then;
Babbs does Turkey In The Straw
Walker does Old Man Tucker
Brian does Battle of New Orleans
Eric does Polly Wolly Doodle (if he wants to)
Then we all do our choruses together without instruments, a roundelay.
Then we do them again with instruments
Then we do a wild crazy go way out instrumental with whooping and
hollering extemporaneus musical wrapup to a nice back to earth ending
and we are done.
ALL ARE WELCOME
AIN'T NOBODY HERE BUT US CHICKENS
Why did the chicken go to the psychic?
To get to the other side.
Chicken sees another chicken on the other side.
Says, how do I get to the other side?
Chicken on the other side says,
You are already on the other side.
THURSDAY, JANUARY 21, 2010
Yesterday I saw the movie, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. Better go see it before it is gone, for it is not a popular wham bam action movie nor a sitcom type romance, but a truly trippy work. Terry Gilliam, the moviemaker, says he never took acid but first, in Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas, and now this movie, he does LSD type scenes and adventures that are the equal to or better than the one in Hair and the Dr. Kite number in Across The Universe.
During the shooting, Heath Ledger, one of the lead characters in the movie, died and it nearly ended the production. But three actor buddies approached Gilliam and said they'd do anything they could to help get the movie done. Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Colin Ferell were worked into the film, playing the character of Tony. Brilliantly done. Tom Waits as the Devil was terrific. Christopher Plummer is perfect as Doctor Parnassus and Lily Cole, whom I've never seen before, was equally great in the various roles she played.
Smoke a joint, have a drink, sit down and go for a funny, inventive ride through Terry Gilliam's imagination world both on this and the other side of the mirror.
Walker T. went to the movie with me. He said, "Ten seconds of this has more imgination than all of Avatar."
Are we in a groove yet? A little bit, but it's slow going, got all that cleaning up to do from last year, the weight to lose, the trash to take out, the paper and plastic and cardboard to recycle, the leftover pages from the old Vietnam novel to pack into boxes, okay, that's all done, nothing to stop me from plunging into a new book, this one called Cronies, all about the adventures Kesey and I and the rest of our pals got into and out of by the four skins of our teeth, or, as Cassady said, "Walked away from another one, Chief."
So, I'll be concentrating on writing until done, turning down all offers of huge moneys to play my trombone at humungous gatherings, can't let the train get sidetracked, no no no.
SATURDAY, JANUARY 16, 2010
We have to remember when these global catastrophes happen close to home to get a plane and fill it with power bars and fly over the stricken area and fling the food out the doors. Then go get another load. Gummint and Aid agencies have again proven they are so clogged with control and coordination issues they can't get anything done at the very first instance when food and water and medical supplies are needed. Drop it in from the air, by parachute even, let the people distribute, oh my, what a notion.
MONDAY, JANUARY 4, 2010 One Last Look At The Old Year
Before the Rose Bowl
Questions and answers that closed out the year:
Is there a proper place in today's society for LSD? More specifically, for Acid Tests.
Now if the point to life is to exist, then why not make as much love and joy and laughter as I can while I'm here?
Music is one way to do it, communion with friends and lovers is another...
I want to spread it over the world like what the Plague should have been. I want, one by one, each man, woman and child to fall to it, doubled over in laughter....
If I can achieve this with LSD or Mushrooms and "acid tests".... shouldn't I?
Hey Connor, you have set quite a goal for yourself. I think the Acid and mushroom taking is pretty much a personal thing, not something a lot of people should do in a big scene together, but what do I know? Your take on one person at a time is really where it's at . . . helping out spiritually and materially, extending the beam of light to others, turning on their inner light . . . music like you say is one way . . . many others, too . .. . good luck . . . say goodbye to two thousand and nine and hello to twenty ten, whole new ball game . . .
Who wins the rose bowl, OSU or OU?
As a Miami guy; just wanted your opinion.. Been a while since you told me I was an asshole. Ken used to be much more supportive than your ass.
Chris Hickman, from Kent (a while back)
what? I'm supposed to answer you after that soft insult? Oh well, I'm used to it, being an uncontrollable blabbermouth, spouting inanities too late to take back, but I'm trying to be a better person, starting in twenty ten with a back brace being my supportive device, gotta git up offa my ass and get something done, how many times you heard that line and just what is the line on the game, I saw the lineup but no mention of woody hayes's ghost prowling the sidelines with a pair of boxing gloves girded to his loins, look for a nike swooshing in to steal the pom pom and expose an Oregon beaver grinning from behind a feather, better duck before the fit hits the shan, feller, by the time it's over we'll all be none the wiser.
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 29, 2009
Walker and Ingrid got married over the holidays, adding their bright light to the lengthening of the days.
WEDDING SONG FOR INGRID AND WALKER
by Ken and Eileen
Walker was playing his guitar in a local dive
Ingrid had to get out of the house in order to thrive
When Walker noticed that woman so fine
He forgot what came next in the song's story line
Nothing came of that first encounter
Neither a wink nor a nod nor a joint discounter
The day came when Eileen asked Walker to play in her class
Ingrid sat in and listened with sober gravitas
Neither spoke to the other but, enboldened with grins,
Held themselves in check, no drool on their chins
Three months later he was emboldened to say
After seeing her outlined in the sun that bright day
"I was quite smitten on the Fourth of July."
She demurely concurred but was much too shy
Besides, he had a date with another lady
And to do anything then would be totally shady
So he called Eileen the very next day
And said he was emboldened to make his first play
Can you tell me her number he asked quite coy
I think giving her a call would be an appropriate ploy
Whirlwind is not a cliché to those who are in love
Nor is the expression they fit like a glove
It was campouts at the fair each and every summer
For the Bryn Mawr Dane and the dramatic strummer
Trips to the coast to the mountains and plain
Voyages abroad on the bounding main
Let's live together was a big step on the way
Their children nodded and joined in the fray
It all added up to this memorable day
When with rings of gold they give their binding troth
That to you and to me we do be betrothed
So Ingrid and Walker we wish you the best
And know when you're done here
You've earned a well-deserved rest
HERE'S SOMETHING TO REMEMBER IN THE NEW YEAR EXCERPT FROM A JERRY GARCIA INTERVIEW
IN THE REALIST, 1985
Pic from the Springfield Creamery Field Trip, August 27, 1972
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