The Missing Mural

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With the unveiling of the Kesey mural in downtown Springfield, THE KESEY FAMILY has entered the ART WORLD, and thus are subject to GREAT SCUTINITY. You can say, Ken Kesey does not have the homefield advantage, anymore, because he is dead, and no member of his family is a citizen of Springfield. I am a citizen of Springfield. Much is being done in my name. Any literary or artistic maneuvering, is coming from the Kesey Children, and…………?  One can say they or the psychedelic Priory de Sion. You don’t want to cross them. I get it that we all got old, and started families, but, not all of the old hippies became famous authors, or, famous anything. Is this mural a closure of some kind?

“Turn out the lights, the parties over!”

I could not help but step on Kesey toes, because on 4th. and Main, there stands a LITERARY GIANT – on steroids – and not on LSD. Ken wrote two great books, like other great writers. You get more than one. However, Ken’s literary career had rocket boosters attached to them, as noted by Wolfe in his ‘Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test’. Many writers have attached themselves to Kesey’s star, because, they took LSD, and could relate! Now that the mural is finished, it is in need of a title

“The Sterilization Of The Cuckoo’s Nest’.

Within minutes of hugging my childhood friend, Nancy, I was telling myself;

“Walk away, Jon. Before you get in trouble. Before you say something wrong, and lose your dear friend again. You need Nancy. The both of you are holding pictures of your dear friend Bill.”

Here is a painting done by my late sister, Christine Rosamond Benton titled ‘The Crossing’


“This is how I dealt with Bill’s death! Christine said.

Bill was the love of Christine’s life, as Bill was the love of Nancy’s life. On October 9, 1964, our beloved friend was killed by a freight train when his car stalled on a railroad crossing. When I came home from the funeral, I held my mother, and we sobbed. She said this;

“Oh my son. I don’t know how you are going to go on living without your dear friend.”

A year later, I am living with Nancy, Carol, and Keith on Pine Street. We are taking LSD with two members of the Jefferson Airplane who were fucking two Swedish Airline stewardesses, who had an apartment down the hall. Nancy and I made a pact, to go on living, the best we know how. Bill was a brilliant artist, poet, and playwrite – and a studied non-conformist! He was eighteen years nine months of age. Bill Arnold’s epic poem ‘The Migration of pertinence’ may never see the light of day. His lover let me read it after the funeral, then stowed it away. When we were fifteen, and while watching the sun set on Mount Tamalpais, Bill suggested we swear an oath.

“If one of us should die, then the survivor should do all they can to get their work into the public eye so it can be seen.”

When I visited Nancy and the Creamery in 1986, she suggested I write the history of the Hippies because I recalled so much. I remember looking at Erin’s mural when I left. A year later I began ‘The Gideon Computer’ that is unfinished, and has morphed into this blog. The story is about the ‘Last Hippie of the Future’ . It is Science Fiction. My protagonist is Berkeley Bill Bolagard. Is he the red,white, and blue, butterfly depicted in Erin’s mural?

When friends opened the Blue Luna in Eugene, Marilyn Reed invited me to come hear her husband, Kenny Reed, perform. Sitting at the bar having a club and soda, I am joined by the beautiful waitress that just got off work. We talk. She asked what I got in my binder. I tell her she doesn’t want to see what I got.

“Why can’t I see?”

“Because I got nasty works of art in here!”

“I insist!” she cried.

I watched her ears turn a crimson red as she took in the erotic art of Jirayr Zorthian, who Nancy introduced me to in 1965. I saw him working on a ‘Pussy Shot’ painting in his studio. I am watching this beautiful woman study the close-ups. She is telling me she needs to go home, and, would I walk her to her car. She is on fire! We start for the exit. Just then, Marilyn shows up.

“C’mon! Kenny’s starting. You get to hear me sing!”

I had never heard Marilyn sing. I looked at the burning ears of beauty as she stood at the bottom of the stairs, waiting for me. I shrugged my shoulders. She understood. I am extremely loyal to my friends – and my ex-girlfriends!

Here is one of the most famous paintings in the history of art, by my kindred, Thomas Hart Benton, who was Zorthian’s idol.

Jirayr did many murals in the Benton style, and his children are finding them. Some, are still lost. In 1967, Nancy, Christine, and myself, lived with the Zorthian sisters in a commune titled ‘Idle Hands’.

When I first lay eyes on the Kesey mural, I knew it was all wrong. Books are STODGY – looking! Books look dry! Books are devoid of precious bodily fluids. Books and words can turn women on, if they are erotic in nature. There was, and is not, anything erotic about the mural. It is DE-SEXED! The LSD flashbacks have been scrubbed away, and the bookcase – sterilized! But, more than that, it is……..UN-BALANCED!

STODGY: dull and uninspired.

“some of the material is rather stodgy and top-heavy with facts”

This is how you fix that! Render an image of Venus on a Half-shell by Botticelli, opposite Ken, with her arm atop the shelf, too, which means she has to let go of her snatch, exposing for all the world to see why a million young Americans took drugs. It was not to get tight with Ken, but get in bed with a beautiful young woman, who is YOUR GUIDE to the Really Big Show! Note how Mr. Wind has got to blow on it to cool it down!


We never got stoned to read a book unless it was written by Tolkien.

The Kesey mural has been neutered. Sex is missing from the scene, along with ‘The Summer of Love’. Ken has been rendered a prepubescent nerd, who is not going to go get laid, but, is going to the library – in Springfield. Who is to blame? The mother? I suspect a lot of kids of hippies can not deal with their parents sexuality – because it was in their face! Let’s bring in a team of psychologists to study the Kesey mural. Or, lets not. One honest art critique will do. But, goddamn if he, or she, will ever work in this town again.



Man up! In my version, Ken can’t wait to get past his bookshelf, and into his bed. When I walk past that impotent mural, I will forever see her there, there! The Kesey Family are trying to screw her over.

I got to meet Dabney Zorthian, who may be recreating Benton’s Persephone. She was a lot of fun. There was no FUN in Ken’s mural. No…! The multi psychedelic colors have been bleached out! Indeed, it’s like the Sexual Revolution never took place! Not only is the Kesey mural a failure, it is a Monument to Censorship! No one can handle it! No one is mature enough, but the waitress at the Blue Luna!

I have spoken. It will do no good for any muralist to sneak about in the good night, slipping Tom Wolfe’s infamous acid-soaked drug-exploitation novel on the shelf – with the flick of a brush, or, that copy of Playboy wherein Mischelle McMindes does her Persephone pose. It’s too late! It is written! So be it!

“Look before you leap!”

This is the look we old Hippies expected to see. Damn! We will never get the full Monte, have it our way – before we die! Looks like the Church Lady – won again!

There is something very selfish about that mural. I can’t quite put my finder on it. I think we have been given some Un-Kool-Aid with saltpeter in it.



“Let’s say you and I retire to the library and smoke our pipes.”

Hit it boys!

Jon Presco

President: Royal Rosamond Press

The practice of adding saltpeter to troops’ food began during the Revolutionary War, according to Michael Blackstone, military historian and author of the bestselling Guns, Germs, and Whores.

“If you look at some paintings from the time, you’ll see evidence of raging, uncontrollable erections,” Blackstone said. “There’s one depiction of a visibly disgusted General Washington inspecting his ranks and noticing the bulges.”

“That’s about the time when the Continental Army decided it needed to do something,” Blackstone added.

Zorthian described his ranch as “The Center for Research and Development of Industrial Discards with the Emphasis on Aesthetics.” This meant he didn’t salvage just anything. He carefully selected what came onto the ranch with one basic requirement: it had to be hand-made. Jirayr built with his own two hands; an artist without any architecture or engineering background. He turned waste into art, and his land & property into an open art gallery and center.

Beyond the “junkyard” is a rich history that son Alan is keen to preserve and protect. The Zorthian siblings have made concerted efforts to keep a recorded history of their family’s work, and have photographs of their father’s murals in humidity controlled containers. As to where some of the original ones are, like the “Phantasmagoria of Military Intelligence Training,” they have no idea. While converting this photographed mural to a digital format, Alan emphasizes, “We would love to know where it is! It’s a 157-foot mural documenting the process of people in training preceding the formation of the CIA.”

WASHINGTON, DC – Boot Camp just got a little bit harder.

Military officials announced that Basic Training dining facilities will stop adding saltpeter to their meals, as part of sweeping efforts to reduce dangerous substances in troops’ diets.

The switch to saltpeter-free food is scheduled for March 1.

Saltpeter, or potassium nitrate, is an ionic salt added to rocket propellants, fireworks, and fertilizer. In the military, it has been used for centuries as a food additive that suppresses libido.

“Saltpeter’s job is to keep erections down, but we determined that any benefits were outweighed by its potential to cause cancer, glandular issues, and disorders of the reproductive system,” said COL Germaine Thompson, a public health researcher at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

The practice of adding saltpeter to troops’ food began during the Revolutionary War, according to Michael Blackstone, military historian and author of the bestselling Guns, Germs, and Whores.

“If you look at some paintings from the time, you’ll see evidence of raging, uncontrollable erections,” Blackstone said. “There’s one depiction of a visibly disgusted General Washington inspecting his ranks and noticing the bulges.”

“That’s about the time when the Continental Army decided it needed to do something,” Blackstone added.

Saltpeter was originally added to all troops’ food, but after the Korean War, the practice was limited only to basic training dining facilities.

Some groups have criticized the Pentagon for the upcoming change, claiming that it stems from the recent decision to allow homosexuals to serve in the military.

“Now that we got the gays, the DoD don’t want to impinge [sic] on their rights to get all turned on when they see other dudes,” said SPC Frank Alvarado, a paratrooper from the 101st Air Assault Division.

“I don’t care what you do in private,” Alvarado said, “but you come looking at me in the shower with a giant boner, I’m gonna double-leg you and ground and pound you. You’re gonna wish you ate some saltpecker [sic].”

Thompson denied any such motive.

“A soldier, sailor, Marine, or airman not distracted by sex can concentrate solely on being a better servicemember,” Thompson said. “In fact, gays in the military are those who need saltpeter the most, being surrounded by sexy dudes and all.”

The policy change is expected to have a significant effect on the U.S. economy. Thousands of miners, factory workers, and truck drivers will lose their jobs, and saltpeter-related stocks are anticipated to take a sharp dive.

Dress uniforms will also have to be altered to allow extra room in the crotch, to accommodate what clothes manufacturers refer to as the “husband bulge.” The uniform change alone will cost the military upwards of $450 million.

Nevertheless, Thompson stands by the military’s decision.

“In the end, we have to do the right thing,” Thompson said, “and in this case, the right thing is to let our boys be healthy, strong, and stiff as a guidon pole.”

About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
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