I have decided to donate my grandfather’s books to the Springfield Library. As to what connection my city has to Ina Coolbrith, that connection, is me. I own a small newspaper-blog that is a registered business in Lane County. I am the only newspaper in Springfield. Ina would love Royal Rosamond Press. I hope she can be a cornerstone in the new library, as well as Jessie Benton, who wrote a journal from her husband’s notes he took while exploring the Willamette Valley. Jessie is my kin.
President: Royal Rosamond Press
My grandfather founded Gem Publishing because no one would publish his books. He taught himself how to write. He went back to his roots in the Ozarks and wrote about ‘His People’. He considered his writing – art. He taught Erl Stanley Gardner how to write and type in the Rosamond home in Ventura California. I keep encountering rude folks in Springtucky who think they are the Salt of the Earth Rednecks, and just may kill a man to prove what liars they are.
I found this letter two days ago on the Rosamond photo file I got several years ago. I could not make out the signature, and googled Sulphur Mountain and Santa Paula. This is a letter from the famous director, Gaston Melies, the brother of the even more famous director, Georges Méliès.
I was in shock. I considered the thousands of hours of research I have done without receiving a dime, and now, at the bottom of the shaft of the mine I have dug for myself, I find a gem. I now owned the engine that drove my grandfather, that kept him going forward, he never giving up. Did he tell everyone around him Gaston will make a movie from his story ‘The Finding of the Last Chance Mine’, one day? If not, there were plenty more stories where that came from – a veritable mother load!
Why wasn’t I told about this letter? Why didn’t my grandmother tell me she was Bohemian Grove Wood Nymph? The sad truth now hit home. Being a writer, a gambler, a poet, a drifter, a artist, and a free spirit, are not good things to be, especially when they are associated with ‘Being a Failure’. Royal Rosamond failed to strike it big, and take his Rosy family to Hollywood where they would be rolling in doe. Instead, Mary Magdalene Magdalene was forced to make hats in order to feed her four beautiful daughters – and her husband who took the pen name, Royal. This is why Mary told him not to come home when he failed to sign that book deal with Homer Croy who wrote ‘They Had to See Paris’ starring the most famous cowboy of the time, Will Rogers. Roy Reuben Rosamond, was all washed up. He was a has-been wannabe. This prospector never saw his beautiful wife, and his four daughters, again, but for my mother, Rosemary Rosamond, who went to Oklahoma City to see the abject failure, one last time. Roy had a newspaper stand and tutored young folk in the art of poetry.
If you are a creative person, you know for every star, there are a thousand souls who did not make to the Big Tent. In biographies of famous people you notice there is a creative group that surrounds them. If you are authoring a biography, you string connections together and hang them on a tree.
Francis Ford starred in Gaston’s movie ‘The Ghost of Sulphur Mountian’. Francis is the brother of the really famous director, John Ford, who is known for his Westerns. Roy Rosamond claimed he was a real Cowboy, so did Joaquin Miller who amused the Pre-Raphaelites and European Royalty with his Western garb. This image was tailor-made for Miller by Ina Coolbrith the darling of the Bohemian Club. Then there is the Salon Jessie Fremont had in San Francisco that Mark Twain and Bret Harte attended. The Western Star is born. Now add to this the artwork of Thomas Hart Benton, and Christine Rosamond Benton, then you behold the core cultural movement in America, that left the East Coast, high and dry.
Last, but no least, is Jack London’s Last Chance Salon in Oakland, and Steinbecks ‘Grapes of Wrath’ that John Ford directed. Sprinkle in the Radical Republicans, who did battle with the folks that starred in ‘Birth of a Nation’ and what you get is gritty Westernized Socialism and a Commie Witchhunt.
I can now see my mother knew about this deal to secure her father’s story, and make sure Gaston owns the copyright. Rosemary flirted with the idea she would be a movie star, and once dated a B Actor named George. She used to show us his picture and ask;
“How would you kids have liked to have been George’s children and be born in Hollywood? He asked me to marry him. Instead, I married that SOB father of yours.”
Drats! Our story is tailor made for W.C. Fields who stepped on my aunts toes at a tennis match. This got the attention of Errol Flynn, who sent his friend over to give Lillian an invite, with phone number!
You see, it took over ten years to gather together my family history, because the women in the family had grown bitter – wrathful! Here is a video of the other man Rosemary should have married. His father owned a vast tract of Lima Bean fields in Camarillo, just east of the little town of Santa Paula where Gaston moved his movie company ‘Star Film Ranch’ in 1911. He was following a trend. Some say tis was the film capitol of California. The Rosamond household was not but twelve miles away at ‘Ventura by the Sea’. Did Gaston make a search of the local talent for his next movie?
Royal’s story appeared in West Coast Magazine. A similar story about a mine, along with ‘The Squaw Girl’, appeared in Out West magazine in 1911. There is mention of a “dramatic copyright’ which indicates Royal was writing with the movies in mind. This puts my grandfather at the epicenter of the first California Movie industry. Was he aware of the movie ‘The Squaw Man’ that Christine Rosamond’s first biographer mistakenly attributed to Roy? How much money did Tom Snyder receive for getting it wrong? That book did not sell, and was a abject failure. My daughter, her mother and aunt, and my surviving sister, backed this losing effort.
Below is an article on how to brand your company or non-profit organization. This is made extremely easier if your kindred owned businesses with your company’s name. This morning I purchased a business card, and other items whereupon is the name
ROYAL ROSAMOND PRESS
My grandfather was a Newspaperman – of sorts! He sold 400 copies of The Oklahoman, and 200 copies of the Oklahoma Times, at his newspaper stand in Oklahoma City. He tutored young people in poetry and had plans to build a Poet’s retreat on the Buffalo River.The Ozark Historian, Otto Rayburn, was supportive of this.
It is the objective of my newspaper to restore the dream of these two men who published their own magazine. Rayburn published ‘Arcadian Life’, and Royal’s Gem Publishing, published ‘Bright Stories’. Royal also published one novel under ‘R.R. Rosamond Publishing’ founded in 1931 in Ventura where it was published.
If any respectable gentleman or company owns, or is seeking to own a resort on the Buffalo River, and is seeking a name with great branding, let me know. I see;
THE ROYAL ROSAMOND INN
President: Royal Rosamond Press
Message Board Post:
Otto Ernest Rayburn (1891-1960)
Otto Ernest Rayburn was a writer, magazine publisher, and collector of Arkansas and Ozark lore. Vance Randolph, in his introduction to Rayburn’s autobiography, Forty Years in the Ozarks (1957), defined Rayburn as a “dedicated regionalist” and added, “There is no denying that, in the period between 1925 and 1950, Rayburn did more to arouse popular interest in Ozark folklore than all of the professors put together.”
Otto Rayburn was born on May 6, 1891, in Hacklebarney settlement, Davis County, Iowa, to William Grant Rayburn, a farmer, and Sarah Jane Turpin Rayburn. The family soon moved to Woodson County, Kansas, where Rayburn grew up. In 1909-1910, he attended Marionville College in Marionville, Missouri. In the spring of 1917, Rayburn bought forty acres near Reeds Spring, Missouri. In June, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and served in France. He was discharged at Camp Funston, Kansas, in May 1919. For the next few years, he taught in Kansas and Arkansas schools.
In 1924, he became school superintendent for the Kingston Community Project of the Board of Missions of the Presbyterian Church. He regarded the six years he spent at Kingston (Madison County) as one of the most important epochs of his life. On September 26, 1925, Rayburn married Lutie Beatrice Day of Hopkins County, Texas, and brought her back to Kingston. They had two children. He was attracted to Kingston by its isolation, “a community that has a splendid highway in but no road out.”
In Kingston, he published his first magazine, Ozark Life: The Mirror of the Ozarks, beginning in June 1925, edited jointly with James T. (Ted) Richmond. The sixteen-page paper struck the tone that continued in virtually every periodical Rayburn ever undertook from then on, a tone that the late twentieth century calls boosterism or hype. Kingston is “Nature’s Beauty Shop,” and the King’s River valley is “one of the fairest dimples in the face of the smiling Ozarks.” He also wrote a column, “Ozark Folkways,” for the Sunday Arkansas Gazette for eight years beginning in 1927, as well as the column “Ozark News Nuggets” in the Sunday Tulsa Tribune.
Rayburn and Richmond sold the magazine in 1931. The same year, in Eminence, Missouri, Rayburn started The Arcadian, sometimes known as The Arcadian Magazine, with the subtitle, “A Journal of the Well-Flavored Earth.” Rayburn wrote much of the material himself, but he also published poetry, fiction, and commentary by other writers. The Arcadian Magazine ceased publication in mid-1932. Rayburn enrolled at East Texas State Teachers College in Commerce, Texas, and published another magazine, Arcadian Life, subtitled, “A Journal of Ozarkian Lore and Pastoral Living,” at Sulphur Springs (Washington County) and Commerce, Texas, from 1933 to 1936. During the summer of 1936, Rayburn received his World War I soldier’s bonus. He returned to Arkansas and discovered Caddo Gap (Montgomery County), a village in the Ouachita Mountains. He taught in the Caddo Gap school and had a writers’ workshop at the Shadow Haven Tourist Courts, owned by Ida Sublette Cobb, a poet and the mother of promin!
ent Republican politician Osro Cobb.
In 1940, Rayburn was commissioned by Duell, Sloan, and Pearce to write the American Folkways Series book on the Ozarks. Ozark Country came out in December 1941. His most successful extended piece, it went through four printings. In 1941, after Ozark Country was finished, he moved to the Rural Dale School in Saline County and in 1943 started another magazine, Ozark Guide. In 1945, he retired from teaching and moved to Eureka Springs (Carroll County), where he opened Rayburn’s Book House. In Eureka Springs, he gave guided tours, sold real estate, and managed the annual folk festival, in addition to publishing Ozark Guide. He published The Eureka Springs Story in 1954 and his autobiography in 1957.
Rayburn died on October 30, 1960, in Fayetteville (Washington County) after a short illness. An Arkansas Gazette editorial called to him a “Champion of the Ozarks” and noted that “His Ozark Folk Encyclopedia, a monumental collection. already has served useful purpose and will continue to do so.”
My uncle Vincent Rice became my art patron when I was sixteen. I had given him a seascape I had done, that he had framed and proudly hung over his mantle. Later, he would save a painting I did when I was thirteen, and frame it. I worked at Vinnie’s warehouse one summer, and he gave me his car, the 1957 Ford Fairlane in the photo above.
Vincent married Roy Reuben Rosamond’s oldest daughter, June. They had no children, and tried to make the Presco children their surrogate children, with little success. Vincent did his best to help us, he letting us live on the house on Glendon, for little, or, no rent. When he died, he left a good chunk of money to my siblings and I, and our cousin. I immediately made plans to acquire a scanner and new computer so I could publish historic letters and photographs on the internet.
Above are two photos that were on file at the University of Arkansas that I sent for. They appeared in the Otto Rayburn collection. Otto also was a good friend of my grandfather. Otto was a good friend of the artist, Thomas Hart Benton, the cousin of Garth Benton, who married Christine, Rosamond Presco, and born, Drew Benton. The Hand of Fate is at work here. Above are two letters from Rayburn that I will donate to the UofA. In 1998 I donated Rosamond’s ‘At Martha Healey’s Grave’ a small book I republished under my registered newspaper, Royal Rosamond Press Co.
The `Back to the Earth Movement’ was not invented by Hippie. In the 1930s many Americans were seeking a return to the Arcadian lifestyle
that was disappearing fast. My grandfather, Royal Rosamond, was at the vanguard of that movement, he leaving his beautiful wife and
four daughters to go live in the Ozarks where he was born where he would write four novels about the Billy Boys. He was good friends of
Otto Rayburn who bid him to find Californian poets who would contribute to his Magazine `Arcadian Life’.
The log cabin on the cover of this issue was built by Royal on his forty acres in Arkansas where he established a fishing retreat for
poets. Royal played the fiddle and collected quilts. He taught poetry in his attic studio in Oklahoma City where he died estranged
from his daughters. His wife, Mary Magdalene Rosamond, thought her husband quite the irresponsible Fool, and bid Royal not to come
home, she more capable then he of raising their children. One can say my grandfather dropped out of society. Five years ago I located
his unmarked grave and put a marker there. He was son of two roses, Rosamond, and Ida Louisiana Rose.
Lillian told me of the time she and her father went the dunes in Ventura where lived a colony of people in humble shacks. I am
wondering if this is not a splinter group of “The Dunites” that made a colony of Seekers in Oceana near San Louis Obispo. Royal called these people “his people” and visited them frequently. There was a Scotsman who played the fiddle for Lillian.
Professor Ernest Wood was a Theosophist working at the Theosophical Society in Madras, to whom Baba gave an explanation as to what he
meant by spirituality. Lillian said women from the Theosophical society befriended her mother Mary, and she thinks they contributed
to her independent nature.
It is important to understand we did not invent the core aspects of Hippiedom, so that we can establish a legitimate history that will
carry forth our best attributes. It is my plan to restructure the Family Creative Unity so it may last many lifetimes, and be enjoyed by all members of our family.
“Over the past year, I’ve overheard Oakland natives complaining about the influx of hipsters moving to Oakland. However, this trend is as old as the city itself. Poseurs have been coming to the East Bay since the pioneer days. Today we honor one of these famous poseurs, Joaquin Miller, on his 175th birthday.”
Michael McClure is a late arrival hipster. When I first heard his prodigy’s music, I said to myself;
“It’s all over. This hot body oil throbbing lava lamp sex-rock shit will sweep hippiedom, and wipe out the Northern Beat peecoat scene with walks to the cold beaches while on Owsley’s latest batch of LSD.”
“Know thyself, was now “Check-out my white rock-hard musical cock – baby!”
I am speaking of Jim Morrison, whom McClure tried to educate, turn him into a real poet. No sooner was this magic trick done, then Jim is down in LA haunting the castle the rock group Love lived in, he camping outside Arthur Lee’s door in order to suck his magic mojo into his hot to trot being. Arthur was disgusted, as I assume was McClure.
In my Back to Reality Movement, let us remove Jim and McClure’s contribution, and go back to California’s traditional roots before LSD came along, and a legion of middle-class pothead achievers. The Beat Museum that McClure opened, is pathetic, way off the mainline in a geriatric way. Best to have founded a hipster museum in the home of Wanda Harkins on Pinehaven Road, she opening her home to real beats and hipsters for decades. Wanda was the host of wild bongo parties that resulted in a raid by the Oakland Police Department. Peter Shapiro of the Loading Zone was a guest, as was Jerry Rubin and Bruce Perlowin ‘The King of Pot’. Unfortanetly, when Wanda passed away, the glory days of Pinehave came to an end, we hipsters given the old heave-ho by Wanda’s overly ambitious second son, who we talked about dosing as far bask as 1968. This square failed in all his endeavors and then began cutting us down at the knees in some insane need to be a success. Being burned-out hippies, it was pretty easty getting the dope on us and busting our ass, where today, he is the Last Man Standing in what was once a good scene! I have met some Narco types before, but this dude takes the cake in order to get brownie points in some weird and very private contest he is having with hiself.
Above is a photo of the 13th. Street Four crossing a bridge in Venice California. From left to right is: Keith Pruvis, Tim O’Connor, Peter Shapiro, and, Jon Greg Presco. In the foreground in Tim’s girlfriend whose father was a famous Hollywood agent and good friend of Lee Marvin and Marlon Brando who were at her home quite alot. Tim’s father was a famous actor of the same name.
In 1968, The Four lived in a large Victorian house on 13th. street near downtown Oakland. James Taylor, Keith and I, moved into this incredible house two weeks after my fall at McClure’s Beach. James invited the rock band ‘The Loading Zone’ to come live with us. As ‘The Marbles’ they played at the first Trips Festival at Longshoremen’s Hall in 1966. Keith Peter, and myself were good friends of James Harkins who was one cool dude. He dropped acid with his fathr in 1965, and is a prolific artist and poet.
I was given a bedroom next to the sound room. It had a beautiful carved mantel. I was the artist in residence. When the Zone came home from a gig at the Filmore they would bring home members of famous bands who wanted to see the quintessential hippie scene that had made the San Francisco bay area famous all over the world. I would get a knock on my door and some band member wanted to come in and take a peek. One young man asked if he could watch me paint. There was a fire in the hearth. I worked late at night on large canvases provided by my patron and benefactor, Bob H. who grew up with Tim Scully, and was a good friend of Owsley, he helping him build the sound system for the Grateful Dead. Bob’s brother, Tim H. was a member of the Brotherhood of Eternal Love, and sold LSD in Europe. Bob had worked at the Livermore Lab when he was sixteen. He was a young genius who bid me to paint again after my fall.
“There is nothing new under the sun.” Check out the surfer chic.
SAN FRANCISCO — JERRY CIMINO, founder of the Beat Museum, steps out onto the teeming streets of San Francisco’s North Beach section. Standing under a 12-foot-high, six-foot-wide painting of Jack Kerouac and Neal Cassady, he opens his arms wide.
Slide Show On the Road.“Everything happened here,” he says dramatically. “We call this intersection, Broadway and Columbus, the center of the universe.”
Maybe so, if you’re someone whose heart flutters like a Lester Young tenor sax solo at the mere mention of the names Kerouac and Cassady. Because it was in this traditionally Italian neighborhood that an influential group of bohemian artists and writers coalesced in the late 1940s, eventually becoming known as the Beat Generation.