This morning I awoke with the realization that Jackie Jensen and Ken Kesey led paralell lives in regards to their Sports history. They were both Golden Boys. Jensen excelled in sports at the University of California, and Kesey at the University of Oregon. Both men met their wives at college. Jackie met Zoe Olson who swam in the Olympics. Ken would have wrestled in the Olympics if not for an injury. These two athletes look alike. We just had Olympic Trials in Eugene. Jackie played for the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox. Why wasn’t Ken’s sports history promoted? People came from all over the world, many knowing Eugene is the home of the Pranksters, but, did Zane Kesey show up at the stadium in Further? Did visitors stick around to go to the Country Faire?
At the dedication of the Kesey Mural I talked to Chuck Kesey about the trophy sitting atop the bookcase. He ran down some of his brother’s athletic achievements. He had won many trophies. What became of Jackie’s trophies? I captured Springfield Mayor, Christine Lundberg, on video standing under Giant Ken. I told her about the oppression and censorship at the Emerald Art Association that I and other artists experienced. She assured me this had all changed, and Springfield was moving in a more inclusive direction.
What’s going on here? One has to wonder if the Nobody People are jealous of this history, and want to drag it down and pin it to the mat. The Kesey family demonstrated against the UofO abandoning its wrestling program, while Knight promoted Track Town.
Jackie’s brother Bobby, was a well know artist. The EEA was founded by the wives of men who owned logging companies up river, the same men Mim’s refers to who made it a point to not hire blacks. The Mim’s house is located arround the corner from the Cogswell House. Geroge Miller married a Cogswell. His brother, Joaquin Miller, used to accompany my father’s mother on the Frutivale Trolly when she and those famous poet went to San Francisco. This is a literary-newspaper history that needs to be amplified. My grandmother raised the Jensen brothers for a year. I was told their mother had a nervous breakdown, and went into a sanitarium. But, there was the hint she abandoned them.
Normal biographies about creative people include the creative people they came in contact with that had an influence on their creative history. If there are any historic people hovering about, they are included. The Jensen brothers and Zoe Olson did not make it into the two biographies of Christine Rosamond Benton, nor did Joaquin Miller and the artist, Thomas Hart Benton. Jackie and Zoe Jensen are two of the most famous people that came out of Oakland. Both went to Oakland High School where Robert (Bobby) Jensen taught art. Victor was a classmate of the Jensen brothers. They were role models for Mark and I. My brother played on Oakland High School’s only championship team. This fact was missed by the ghost writers, Tom Snyder, and Julie Lynch, who were hired by outsider and self-titled caretaker of my family legacy, Stacey Pierrot.
My friend Bill Arnold was in Jensen’s 9th. grade class, when my father’s mother walked in and began talking about me. Nancy Hamren was in this class, she later becoming well know for her yogurt at the Kesey family creamery. Bill heard my name and moved closer. Melba was telling the artist she raised during hard times, that I was a deeply troubled young man, and, if Bobby should ever have me in his class, could he take me under his wing, guide me in some manner. This famous watercolorist never approached me. He is not a shrink. If he had he would have discovered my watercolor of a sailboat had toured the world in a Red Cross show when I was twelve. I have found artists on the internet who prospered under the tutelage of Jensen who rendered boats in Jack London Square and the Oakland Estuary where I lived on my sailboat, and, on a houseboat like Victor Hugo Presco.
Yesterday I went to the Oregon Country Fair and found peace there, along with some forgiveness for my father due to the two chapters I wrote about him. Vic Presco was mentally ill, psychotic. What he did to his two sons – is against the law! He could have gone to jail. What people have done to me since Christine was killed by a rogue wave, borders on being criminal. Christine, Rena, and myself suffer from mental illness. The people around us tried to prosper from our disability and our creativity by making us out to be insane! My biography is forced to bring their extreme abuse and destructiveness out of the darkness. They will be exposed for the sake of art, and all creative people.
What Melba did was try to embroil Bobby in the never-ending turmoil her son brought into the lives of all around him. Not once did Melba declare her son was mentally ill. I was her son’s Scapegoat. Because I was sensitive, kind, and loving, and because life was very hard for me, my mental illness was employed by people around me as a smokescreen to hide their disturbed minds, and at the same time rip-off my creative genius. Below are articles on creative people and mental illness. Above is a photograph of my watercolor that Rosemary posed her children in front of. Christine was not drawing and painting in the closet. The true drama that whirled around us, was the struggle two very close friends were having with their insane fathers. I have only touched the surface of the creative relationship between Bill Arnold and I.
The Rosamond gallery in Carmel should have been springboard for the surviving family artists, and writers for generations to come. Instead it was sold to a un-gifted outsider who was backed by Vicki and Mark Presco who had no creative gifts. They were cashing in and slandering the creative members of our family. They put obstacles in our path, just like Victor had in his psychotic need to get all the attention.
I just called the Crockett Museum. I am considering donating much of the history I own. Victor Hugo Presco lived in Crockett on a houseboat. He never met the author, Royal Rosamond, who was estranged from his family when he died. Their children married and had four children. I would like to bring these two grandfathers together in this humble little museum – along with Christine – who was born nearby in Vallejo. Vic used to deliver produce here.
‘The Gambler and the Poet’
Mary Ann Tharaldsen and I almost moved to Crockett that I believed would be the next Sausalito. I am glad I was wrong. Perhaps my ex should donate her painting to the Crockett Museum, and, Pynchon could be the curator in disguise? I see him showing of the giant stuffed sturgeon.
Here is a partial biography of Robert Jensen. I will have to pay $15 dollars to read the rest of it. I am looking for Terry to talk to him in person. I suspect the Jensen brother suffered from mental illness due to the hard life they had. Do you think Robert wants to be posthumously associated with these writers and artists? Do you see how this works?
The following biography, submitted April 2004, is from Terry Jack Jensen, son of the artist.
My father was born on December 15, 1922 in San Francisco, California. His parents were Wilfred Jensen and Alice I. Jensen. My father had two brothers; Jack E. Jensen and an older brother Wilfred (Bill) Jensen. Jack became a gifted athlete, All American College football and baseball player. Jackie played for the Yankees and Red Sox (MVP 1958). Bill was a business man. The family moved to Oakland when my father was in elementary school.
The Depression came along, and the family business (butcher shop) went out of business. Wilfred senior left the family and did not return until after WWII. Hard times hit the family hunger and malnutriti………………
Jackie Jensen, the blond rugged Californian who attained great heights on both the football gridiron and baseball diamond, also waged a complex struggle with anxiety that he seemed to have conquered only at the very end of his life, a life that ended too early. A member of the College Football Hall of Fame and an American League Most Valuable Player, Jensen is today most famous for his midcareer decision to leave baseball because he could not bear to fly in an airplane.
Jack Eugene Jensen was born on March 9, 1927, in San Francisco to Wilfred and Alice (Delany) Jensen. Wilfred owned a meat-cutting business and worked briefly as a patrolman, but he and Alice divorced when Jackie was 5 years old. Alice, an Arkansas native, worked at various jobs in San Francisco to support Jackie and his two older brothers. Alice and the boys moved several times during Jackie’s childhood, mainly in Oakland. Wilfred was the second of Alice’s four husbands.
Jack entered Oakland High School in 1941 and became an immediate sensation. Besides starring in baseball and football, he also wrote for the school paper, became class president, and was the idol of all the other kids in the school. In the spring of 1942 guidance counselor Ralph Kerchum, taken by the possibility of greatness in his student, recorded an interview with Jack and made a 78-rpm record for posterity. The questions were not probing (“What’s your favorite sport?” “Baseball.” “What’s your next favorite?” “Football”) but indicate the effect Jensen had on adults as a teenager. Kerchum became something of a surrogate father to Jensen, and remained a close friend for the rest of Jensen’s life.
Jack graduated from high school in January 1945, and enlisted in the Navy, as both his brothers had done. He enrolled in radio school hoping to work on a communications ship, but he was still in school when the war ended in August. He was then stationed at a base in Idaho, mostly playing football and working as a lifeguard. He stayed in the Navy until his discharge in the summer of 1946. That fall he entered the University of California on the GI Bill.
The well-built (5-feet-11, 190 pounds) Jensen’s athletic reputation, built in high school in neighboring Oakland as well as in the service, made his college football debut much anticipated. The first time he touched the ball, a punt return against Wisconsin, he ran 56 yards for a touchdown. By the end of his freshman year he was considered the finest back in the Pacific Coast Conference (today called the Pac-10), and was selected to play in the East-West Shrine game. In his sophomore season, the Golden Bears finished 9-1, with Jensen the fullback and best defensive back. The following season, 1948, Jensen was a consensus All-American, rushing for more than 1,000 yards and leading the team to an undefeated season. Jensen was injured early in the second half of the Rose Bowl game, and his Bears were defeated by Northwestern.
Jensen also starred on the baseball team at Cal. In 1947 he was the team’s ace pitcher, hit .385, and helped his team win the inaugural College World Series. In the regional final he outpitched future football Hall of Famer Bobby Layne of Texas, then helped his team win the final series against a Yale team that included future President George H.W. Bush. Jensen was academically ineligible in his sophomore year, but came back to help the team to a 31-17 record in 1949, earning All-American honors as he had in football.
By this time Jensen was one of the more famous athletes on the West Coast, both for his sporting exploits—he was universally called The Golden Boy—and his relationship with diving champion Zoe Ann Olsen. Jensen and Olsen both attended Oakland High School, though she was three years behind him. When they began dating in 1946, Jensen was a freshman at Cal and Olsen was 15 years old and still in high school. Olsen was a Golden Girl in her own right, and won the silver medal in springboard diving in the 1948 Summer Olympics in London. The two were blond, attractive athletic heroes, and the press could not get enough of their story.
After his junior year at Cal, in the spring of 1949, Jensen disappointed many Cal loyalists by forgoing his senior year, instead signing a contract to play for the Oakland Oaks baseball club of the Pacific Coast League. Jensen had been scouted by several major-league teams, including the New York Yankees, who reportedly offered him a $75,000 bonus. The Oaks matched the bid, and Jack decided that the Oaks offered a higher level of competition than the lower minor-league berth the Yankees had suggested he would get. Jensen hit .261 in his first professional season, after which he was sold (along with Billy Martin and others) to the Yankees.
I will be going out to Coburg today to plant another flower at the grave of George Miller, the brother of Joaquin Miller, a honorary member of the Bohemian Club that was a place for Bay Area Journalists to gather and compare notes. If Miller lived in the Bay Area, then he too would be a honorary member.
Elizabeth Maude “Lischen” or “Lizzie” Cogswell married George Miller. Lizzie was the foremost literary woman in Oregon. On Feb. 6, 1897, Idaho Cogswell, married Feb. 6, 1897, Ira L. Campbell, who was editor, publisher and co-owner (with his brother John) of the Daily Eugene Guard newspaper. The Campbell Center is named after Ira.
The Wedding of John Cogswell to Mary Frances Gay, was the first recorded in Lane County where I registered my newspaper, Royal Rosamond Press. Idaho Campbell was a charter member of the Fortnightly Club that raised funds for the first Eugene Library.
George Melvin Miller was a frequent visitor to ‘The Hights’ his brothers visionary utopia where gathered famous artists and writers in the hills above my great grandfather’s farm. The Miller brothers promoted Arts and Literature, as well as Civic Celebrations. Joaquin’s contact with the Pre-Raphaelites in England, lent credence to the notion that George and Joaquin were Oregon’s Cultural Shamans, verses, he-men with big saw cutting down trees.
A year ago I received in the mail a book I ordered on E-Bay. I quickly scanned it to see if their were any illustrations or photographs. Then, I found it, what amounts to my personal Holy Grail. Joaquin Miller dedicated his book of poems ‘Songs of The Sun-Land’ to the Rossetti family that includes Gabriel, Michael, and, Christine. Gabriel was a artist and poet, Michael, a publisher, and Christine, a poet.