“making use of what the school calls “wasted space.”
While playing disc golf in the Pioneer Cemetery with Ed Corbin, a Native American approached us after we threw our frisbees at a tombstone, finishing Hole 1.
‘What are you doing! You are defiling sacred graves. This is an outrage!”
Picking up my disc, I approach.
“Allow me to retort. What the dead miss most about life, is….GAME! They love the sound of people having fun, and enjoying good comradeship. Their souls rise to the challenge!”
The first day I met Ed he suggested we toss the football he got out of the dumpster in Broken Alley. A graduating student – threw it away! He was done having fun at the UofO. Time to make his first million. Ed took me to this patch of dried grass that lie between the university and the Pioneer Cemetery. We conversed as we tossed. In our get to know one another, we are comparing our experiences with LSD. We concured we had both achieved a level of enlightenment, and thus could never fully be members of society – again!
Not but a hundred yards away sits Mark Gall in his office. He is the head of the Education Department. After we became friends, he asked me for ideas in rearranging his office. He owned no sense of space. I rehung the framed prints in the conference room – too! We ended up playing golf with Clifford, who was the great grandson of Quanah Parker. Cliff lived with my old girlfriend, Marilyn. When I went to their home, there were three teenagers in residence. They all had this amazing jet-black hair that transported me back in time. Six hundred years ago, these satin haired people were the only kind of people! M is part Metis. Parker invented a new religion along with John Wilson that involved the ingestion of peyote. This woman is of Parker’s tribe and claims she descends from the woman who helped Lewis and Clark.
Ed’s mother was surnamed Wallace. She gave my friend, the middle name, Malcom, because he descends from king Malcom. Ed is kin to Cavanagh who was a Plymouth Brethren from whom the Evangelical Rapture Religion was born. I tried to save Ken Kesey’s cottage. I found out his Nest novel was taken from a student paper he wrote about the damming of a river that destroyed the Sacred Fishing Ground of the…..
Ken Kesey was a Wild Man. He gave people Free LSD. Ed Corbin – was a Real Wild Man! He is the Last of The American Woodwose! After my fist post about the death of Ed, I suspect his people wonder – how far I will go! I am going all the way! My friend was a Raging Alcoholic who was drinking himself to death. Mark and I convinced him to go to Serenity Lane. He was sober for around sixty days. Then his Harvard friend, Tom-Tom called. As usual, he was drunk. Tom taught on a Novato reservation and rode bareback. He penned poems about the Native American Cosmology. He married into the Schlumberger family. They went to Europe together. I could hear the ice cubes chinking in his glass of Scotch. I knew if Ed did not cut his friend off, he would join him in a long distant cocktail. I was right.
When Ed went to Tom’s wedding in Houston, he spotted a nudy bar by the airport. The next evening this billionaire family sent a limozine to bail him out of jail. He had caused quite a scene with the naked women. Ed told me they had a device that turned the lights green.
When I was twelve, I has a tough decision to make. Should I be an architect, or an artist. I chose the latter. I know the architectural plans to build elevated buildings over the Sacred Graves of The Dead – cost a pretty penny. The excuse the UofO came up with to do this, was, the…..SPACE WAS WASTED! May I retort…..Ed and I made use of the space for three years. It was our Sacred Tossed Disc – GROUND! We felt the dead – were playing with us!
“UO Athletic Director Rob Mullens says the idea solves two problems. “First, it’s not like the dead people are doing anything there, so it’s pretty much wasted space,” he says.”
For the reason many Western Tribes adopted aspects of Judeo-Christianity…..On this day, July 14, 2021….I John the Nazarite, declare the Pioneer Cemetery…The Sacred Ground of the Celtic and Germanic Peoples. This “space” is the first sacred ground dedicated to the White Man, The Pale Face Pioneers…forever and ever!
I just discovered Rose Abrahamson wants the Lewis and Clark statue – melted down! I will be counter-attacking this…..Enemy of Art! Who does she think she is? The destruction of Art does not honor her! This melting down of an idol does not give her the power of a goddess? How smug she is – that she is rendered above all others! Jacob was a son of Abraham. Mark Gall believe he owns dual citizenship because his mother was a Jew. We have argued about the Zionists who he compares to Native Americans. He will not listen to the truth the Jews conquered Canaan land, and are not indigenous. Does his ilk feel that land is “wasted” on the Palestinians – who have gone to war over more of their land being confiscated – by Jews! Perhaps Sacagawea is looking for peyote buttons?
When it was time for Ed to enter Serenity Lane, he cut his own hair and shave his beard off. Then he put on the ugliest jacket in the world.
“When was the last time you wore that ugly thing?” I asked.
“I’ve never worn it. I found it in the dumpster. It’s one of the few things I have left after you and Katrin threw out all my good stuff!”
The RENFRO stone above was the 14th. hole. I made a map. Rosy’s Boneyard was hole 4. So sacred! So sacred!
John of ‘The Way’
“Although a bit weird, the university’s aspirations probably don’t shock anyone familiar with the “University of Nike.” Even before being flooded with Phil Knight’s money, the UO was ambitious. The university in 1963 was doing exactly what it’s doing now: casting its gaze on nearby land, seeking to acquire real estate and build not only new academic buildings, but its reputation as well.”
“Rose Ann Abrahamson, a descendant of Sacagawea and a Shoshone-Bannock woman, weighed in on the decision during the meeting.
“I feel that it should just be melted down,” Abrahamson said. “That’s my opinion. I feel that it’s entirely offensive and it should be obliterated. But if it can be utilized to give a message to give a greater message to educate the public, that would be an opportunity. So I’m very pleased with what is taking place, and it’s been a long road.”
Big moon peyotism was introduced as a variant of the Peyote religion in the 1880s that incorporated Christian, Caddo, and Delaware religious symbols with the consumption of peyote intertwined from Caddo and Delaware rituals. The plant itself, peyote, had been used for spiritual practice by the Mescalero Apache in the 1880, and their use of it influenced other tribes like the Comanche and Kiowa. Peyotism inquires all of the same traits found in other religions such as a doctrine, a ritual, and ethics. The doctrine includes the belief of the actuality of power, incarnation, and spirits. It soon spread all over the Indian Territory while its native people were searching for spiritual help. Peyotism at this point, was a spiritual path that was soon to be taken in Indian Territory.
The University of Oregon has developed a novel concept to facilitate its expansion, making use of what the school calls “wasted space.” The university will build an athletic center for women’s sports and place it on stilts over the Pioneer Cemetery.
UO Athletic Director Rob Mullens says the idea solves two problems. “First, it’s not like the dead people are doing anything there, so it’s pretty much wasted space,” he says.
Second, Mullens says, despite the recent success of the UO women’s basketball team, “no one really cares that much about women’s sports or comes to watch them. So with this new facility, the women can go play sportsball by themselves and free up places like Matt Knight for real sports.”
He points out the new Center for Ladies Innovative Teamwork in Sport will be conveniently located near Gerlinger and Susan Campbell halls, “traditional locations for women’s stuff on campus.”
“The cemetery is located close to Hayward Field and other sports facilities,” he points out, adding, “When they are done with games and practice the girls can go watch the men play and cheer them on.”
The stilts over the cemetery is an old idea made new again. According to information from the UO libraries, “For many years the cemetery was considered as a viable space for future university growth.” In 1963, Lutes and Amundson architects designed a plan that “envisioned placing buildings over the graves by means of stilts and enabling navigation through raised walkways and bridges.”
UO interim spokesperson Molly Blancett says that using the old stilts plan with some modifications will also save the school money.
“Really the only thing different about architecture these days is that we need to plan for bigger earthquakes,” she says. “In this case it would only fall on dead people, and we just need to make sure living people can evacuate.”
Blancett says that, with limited attendance at women’s games, evacuation should be easy, and the school will install emergency slides re-purposed from soon-to-be decommissioned Boeing 737 Max 8 airplanes.
- I had a psychic hit that there was trouble coming. Add to this posts on facebook I read where Trump supporters declared they will fight to the death, one did not need to be – that much of a Seer! Why then didn’t any of our spendy Intelligence agencies SEE what was coming? How about foreign spies? Do Russia and Israel keep a close score which way the wind is blowing in our Un-United States? How about black leaders and journalists? Did they sound a warning – that went unheeded. AFTA was being blamed – before hand! Did the FBI get fooled by this right-wing smokescreen? I don’t like the Capitol Insurrection Hearing, so far, because THE MAIN TARGET of these white militias – is black people.
Up in the Air
The University of Oregon has a complicated history with Eugene’s Pioneer Cemetery, and complicated relationships with its own buildings today
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Students happily mill past cemetery markers, while buildings rise high above the graves. This surreal scene appears in drawings from 1963 showing a proposed addition to the University of Oregon campus: structures sitting on pilings over the Pioneer Cemetery.
The idyllic sketches make the cemetery on the south edge of campus look almost parklike beneath the edifices, with the long-buried dead a minor afterthought to the aspirations of higher education.
It’s sketches like these, as reported in the Daily Emerald back in the 1960s as well as a couple of student theses on the topic, that allowed Eugene Weekly to piece together the University of Oregon’s buried history with the Pioneer Cemetery — a moment when the UO decided it was a good idea to erect buildings over the dead.
Roxi Thoren, associate professor and department head of Landscape Architecture at the UO, sheds light on the architectural thinking. She says, cemetery aside, the idea of an elevated building was “standard architecture of the time.”
She says the idea comes from French architect and modern architecture pioneer Le Corbusier’s idea of a tower in the park. It’s “supposed to be a continuous horizontal green plane, and the city will be this expansive garden,” she says.
She calls the thinking of the time progressive and technocratic. “It’s about technology freeing us from the vicissitudes of nature,” Thoren says.
But looking back, the plans look strangely out of touch.
Although a bit weird, the university’s aspirations probably don’t shock anyone familiar with the “University of Nike.” Even before being flooded with Phil Knight’s money, the UO was ambitious. The university in 1963 was doing exactly what it’s doing now: casting its gaze on nearby land, seeking to acquire real estate and build not only new academic buildings, but its reputation as well.
In 1963, the architecture firm Lutes and Amundson created five plans for the UO to expand onto the land occupied by the Pioneer Cemetery. The most ambitious — and most unbelievable — was an idea to construct buildings over existing graves, presumably without disturbing them.
Thoren says the tower-in-a-park idea is a nice one, but she calls some of the unbuilt design examples, such as the plan for the cemetery, a bit extreme. “A tower in a park is one thing,” she says. “A tower in a cemetery is another.”
She adds that architects of the period often did not think about the world as it existed around them. They saw their desire to build as something paramount to the needs and limitations of the space it would inhabit.
The non-engagement with pre-existing conditions seems to have been at play with Lutes and Amundson and the UO. The plan depicts a landscaped graveyard with footpaths for students to walk on. Above them are buildings vaulted and supported by beams. Skybridges direct students from other areas of campus to their over-the-cemetery classrooms.
Basically, the UO wanted so badly to expand that it was willing to put buildings on stilts over a graveyard.
“That is shocking,” says Ocean Howell, associate professor of architectural history at the University of Oregon Clark Honors College, looking at the architectural drawings. He’s shocked not only by the premise of the plans themselves, but also by the fact that they were seriously considered in 1963.
Long before plans were made for grand buildings and skybridges above the cemetery, quieter plans arose to challenge the governing body of the Pioneer Cemetery. A fracture within the Odd Fellows Cemetery Association led to more than a decade of disputes over the land, many of them involving the university. The Odd Fellows Lodge owned the cemetery at the time.
The association split into two groups: the Odd Fellows Cemetery Association and the Pioneer Memorial Park Association. The Odd Fellows believed the new Pioneer Association wanted to hand over rights to the university.
Down the line the Odd Fellows changed the name of their association to the Eugene Pioneer Cemetery Association in hopes of disassociating with the Lodge and getting the rights to the property back.
The two groups went to court and, at one point, the Eugene Pioneer Cemetery Association argued that the Pioneer Memorial Park Association had allowed the cemetery to become so overgrown that it “constituted a fire hazard besides having an unsightly appearance.”
The five plans created by Lutes and Amundson called for the university to convert the cemetery into usable academic space. The strangest of them was the Le Corbusier-esque tower-in-the-cemetery idea.
This idea was backed by state Rep. Ed Elder and was known as Elder’s Compromise.
The plan included utility tunnels and vehicular circulation that “could be located within 30 feet of roadways where excavation without disturbing graves would be possible.” The plans also say “some ground floor service areas and stairways could be located in vacant grave areas.”
Howell told EW that it would, in fact, not be possible to construct to this scale above a cemetery without disturbing graves.
Much of the record over the debate comes fromthe Daily Emerald’s assiduous reporting on the university’s interest in the cemetery for several months.
In 1969, a bill was introduced in the Legislature that would allow for the cemetery to be condemned, then absorbed into the university and built over. It was not the first bill of its kind and, like the others, the bill did not pass.
The other plans for the cemetery that Lutes and Amundson offered seem to have gotten lost in the buzz of Elder’s Compromise.
One alternative to building over the cemetery was a plan for a “relocation in kind” which involved creating a duplicate of the existing cemetery somewhere else in Eugene, and moving the bodies to the duplicate cemetery. This would have freed up land for any building project the UO might’ve had.
Lutes and Amundson also suggested a relocation of the graves with a more consolidated design and relocation to a perpetual care cemetery where a fund is used for general maintenance and repair of cemetery grounds or, finally, a compression of the cemetery on the existing land.
The buzz over developing the cemetery finally died down for good when the university expanded elsewhere and the cemetery was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
Then and Now
These days, the UO is no longer trying to expand on or above the Pioneer Cemetery, but it is expanding nonetheless.
In December 2018, the university released its 10-year capital plan detailing how, over the course of the next decade, the university plans to renovate existing buildings and build new ones.
When asked about the plan for buildings on stilts above the cemetery, Michael Harwood, associate vice president and university architect at the UO, says, “I never realized we had this bad idea.”
As far as current involvement with the cemetery goes, Harwood says one of the university’s staff members sits on its board, but that’s the extent of it.
The 10-year capital plan is “our attempt to lay out for the future our capital needs,” he says. He calls the plan the “third link in a chain” that starts with an academic plan, followed by a space plan that assesses what spaces on campus are going to grow.
Harwood says there aren’t many new buildings in the plan “because we think that the space we have will accommodate our growth at the moment.”
Existing buildings will be renovated to be more accessible to alter-abled students, faculty and staff. Plumbing, mechanical and electrical systems will be replaced to “reduce the energy and maintenance costs,” according to the plan.
Some new buildings that were in the plan, such as Tykeson Hall and the Lyllye Reynolds-Parker Black Cultural Center, are finished and in use in the 2019-2020 school year.
Perhaps the biggest change to the UO is the creation of the Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact, which has already displaced several businesses on Franklin Boulevard.
The Knight Campus is not to be confused with the Knight Library, the William K. Knight Law Center or the Matthew Knight Arena, which are existing buildings for which the Knight family has made financial contributions to fund construction or renovation over the years.
The 160,000-square-foot first phase of Knight Campus is projected to be completed by 2020, according to the University of Oregon 10 year capital plan. Around the O says the Knight Campus is a “$1 billion initiative aimed at integrating research, training and entrepreneurship into a single, nimble, interdisciplinary enterprise.”
Historic Hayward Field was under construction the entirety of the 2018-2019 school year and is being pushed through for spring 2020, including late night work. It’s a prime example of history that did, in fact, get destroyed at the hands of the university when Phil Knight waved a good chunk of change in front of them and other donors followed suit.
The historic East Grandstand, where fans once watched Steve Prefontaine run by, was demolished, despite public outcry, protests by local activists and a call to preserve the structure.
According to the university’s online information, once renovations are completed, Hayward Field will include a new nine-lane track, spacious seats and a tower in the northeast corner that will feature “interpretive exhibits” and an observation deck.
The UO declined to discuss the Hayward tower with EW, referring reporters to the website, so Eugene will have to wait until track season to find out what exactly these “interpretive exhibits” are.
Hayward Field will also house classrooms and labs for the department of human physiology.
The Future of the University
Landscape architecture professor Thoren says that, for the time, ideas like the one for the cemetery were progressive and idealistic, but when we look back with hindsight they look a bit silly.
Time will tell if the same can be said for the university’s new and future developments.
In her work, Thoren is interested in “the role that place and landscape have in reinforcing cultural identity and also helping to create cultural identity.”
“One of the things that I love about this campus is the role that the landscape plays in structuring. It has a figure, and buildings fit into that figure,” she says. “But the landscape rooms are themselves important.”
Thoren adds, “If we begin to lose the landscape, we begin to lose part of what makes us the University of Oregon.”
Exhuming the Cemetery Dispute
Founded 1872 by Spencer Butte Lodge No. 9 of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Pioneer Cemetery was formally platted in 1892. Years later, a dispute arose over just who was the governing body of the Pioneer Cemetery.
According to The Eugene Pioneer Cemetery: A Historical Overview by Elizabeth Oster, a man by the name of Ben Dorris called a meeting in 1954 of the Odd Fellows Cemetery Association.
The Odd Fellows Lodge had owned the cemetery for many years but had failed to live up to the standard of maintenance that new cemetery laws required. The meeting appointed a new board of trustees in hopes of better maintenance.
The new board staged a takeover and executed articles of incorporation under the name Pioneer Memorial Park Association.
The stated purpose of this new organization was “to acquire the interests in the cemetery property held by the Lodge and the Odd Fellows Cemetery Association and to operate and maintain it on a businesslike basis.”
Others believed that the association’s true objective was to secure the title of the property so the cemetery could be destroyed and the land could be sold to the University of Oregon. They believed the new board was setting the stage for a business deal with its next-door neighbors.
In her 2012 thesis on the history of the Pioneer Cemetery, Elisabeth Kramer writes, “The relationship between the UO and the cemetery is like any association between longtime neighbors.”
To make things even more complicated, two years after the coup, in 1956, the Odd Fellows Cemetery Association changed its name to the Eugene Pioneer Cemetery Association in hopes of disassociating itself from the Lodge and once again acquiring the rights to the cemetery from the Pioneer Memorial Park Association.
Almost a decade passed and in January 1963 the UO wanted to expand but found itself bumping up against the nearby cemetery. Local architecture firm Lutes and Amundson created plans for the UO’s potential expansion.
In the midst of all this arose “Elder’s Compromise,” named after Oregon state Rep. Ed Elder, which proposed the plan, detailed by Lutes and Amundson, of constructing buildings above the cemetery, allowing for both expansion and preservation, on some level, of the historic cemetery.
A Daily Emerald article from Feb. 14, 1963, “Bridge It or Build On It, But By All Means Buy It,” urged the university to purchase the land and decide what to do with it, and supported Elder’s Compromise.
Another article quotes Harold Edmunds, chairman of the cemetery association, as saying the association “will give consideration to anything the university thinks practical…”
In September, the Eugene Pioneer Cemetery Association, the group that wanted to preserve the property, and the Pioneer Memorial Park Association, which owned and was responsible for maintaining the property, went to court. The Eugene Pioneer Cemetery Association charged that the Pioneer Memorial Park Association allowed the cemetery to become overgrown and unsightly.
Meanwhile, the Daily Emerald published yet another article about the cemetery controversy in October, saying, “The petitions filed last month alleged that it is not the intention of the present association directors to maintain the cemetery but to make available to the state board of higher education portions for the university campus.”
This reflects the suspicions of those who believed the Memorial Park group had all along intended to sell the land.
The case litigated until August 1964, when the Pioneer Memorial Park Association was dismissed from court because it proved to a judge that it “did not have the funds to maintain the property and no means of acquiring any.”
The Pioneer Memorial Park Association was freed from any allegations of letting the property become intentionally overgrown — it simply didn’t have the funds to maintain it.
In 1969, the university continued to try to acquire the cemetery property. A bill introduced in the Legislature would have allowed for the cemetery to be condemned, absorbed into the university and built over. It was not the first bill of its kind, and like the others, the bill did not pass.
In 1970, the cemetery had another day in court, and for similar reasons. Harrison R. Kincaid, a cemetery lot owner, brought the Pioneer Memorial Park Association along with university President Robert Clark and former President Arthur Fleming, among others, to trial for a suit in damages amounting to $200,000.
Kincaid alleged “the Pioneer Memorial Park Association and its associates were purposely allowing the property to degenerate in conspiracy with the university so that it might be condemned and then declared open for sale and rezoning, resulting in the relocation of the burials.”
If true, it would make the process of obtaining the land much easier for the university.
In 1971, a judge ruled in favor of the defendants because Kincaid failed to provide sufficient evidence that a conspiracy was happening.
After 1971, the Pioneer Memorial Park Association “ceased to be active concerning the cemetery,” according to Oster, who wrote The Eugene Pioneer Cemetery.
As it turns out, four Medal of Honor winners had been buried at the cemetery, qualifying it to be on the National Register of Historic Places. Once it attained that designation, talks of the university buying the cemetery dissolved.
Kramer’s thesis explains that by the late 1990s “the needs of the university had also adjusted as land was purchased to the east of campus, shifting the focus away from the cemetery.” — Asia Zeller
There once were two Kesey Murals in Springfield. My friend Nancy described the first one and got one of names of the artists, right, so I was able to restore the lost description of the mural that was painted on the outside wall of the The Creamery that Chuck told me the town leaders hated.
“It was the only mural for a hundred miles around, and, it had to go!” Said the husband of Sue Kesey, and brother-in-law of Ken.
“There was a caldron with marijuana plants!” Nancy, of yogurt fame, added.
“Wasn’t there a Unicorn?” asked I.
The unasked question at the unveiling (as far as I know) is………
How did Ken get so big? It’s like ‘The Attack of the Fifty Foot Author’.
Kesey towers over the Springfield Lilliputians, his family, and his friends. He is bigger than life! Why? What was the motive or inspiration of the folks that came up with this concept. He has a name. I captured him on camera. Let’s call him ‘White Rabbit’ for now.
I suspect this gigantism came about when the mayor and her people wondered how they could brand Springfield and put this little town on the map. In the middle of the night Ken was brought over, and staked down. As yet, the Eugenius don’t know what hit them. They thought the had Ken all sewn up and in their back pocket. Now, he is too big to fit there – or go home! The DeFazio Bridge would collapse under his weight. Remember how popular that bridge was when it was built?
I consider myself an Art Historian. Have you seen the show ‘Histories Mysteries’? I and others were investigating the Mysteries of the Priory de Sion, when Dan Brown came along and shrunk us. For a couple of years, about fifty folks got to do James Burke whose show ‘Connections’ was one of my favorite. Burke would show how one minor invention led to a bigger one, and after twenty more seemingly irrelevant connections, one alas arrived at the Great Invention.
In looking to see if I am on the right track, or, something is authentic, I look for Verivicators. I found many, but none was more HUGE than the appearance of Nancy Hamren on the scene. Nancy is the Grande Connector. She is the point of the compass. She sets the radius. She makes the inclusive and exclusive circle – and she may not fully know why and how.
In my sphere of reality, Nancy is the embodiment of my kindred, Jessie Benton, who was the patron of Brett Harte, and, Gutzon Borglum, who carved Mount Rushmore. Jessie wrote Fremont’s journals about his exploration of Oregon, and accounts of the Native of the Willamette Valley. The Pathfinder is kind of honored in the mural on the Emerald Arts building, two blocks from where Ken stands – like King Kong!
Jessie is the great-aunt of the muralist, Thomas Hart Benton, who was the cousin of the late muralist, Garth Benton, who was married to my late sister, the famous artist, Christine Rosamond Benton, who lived with Nancy in a famous Hippie Commune on Twenty-Second Avenue next to the San Francisco Panhandle. We lived with the Zorthian sisters, whose father was a famous muralist, who was inspired by Thomas Hart Benton. Jirayrl Zorthian is titled ‘The Last Bohemian’. Ken could be titled ‘The Last Hippie’.
Then there is Ralph Stockpole’s ‘Pacifica’. Ralph was a good friend of the muralist, Diego Rivera. I formed a bond with the artists who did a stellar job on the Kesey mural. I will rave about them in my next post.
What I have just done is make Ken’s image – twice as big! It is getting up there with Mount Rushmore. But, this GIANT may have been built on quicksand. Springfield may not have a rightful claim to Ken. Indeed, this may be a case of Creative Kidnapping.
This is where Chuck and Sue comes in, and members of the Odd Fellows who are up in the second floor looking down on us, as we seemingly look up at them. When I talked to Chuck I asked him if he has any old photos of the mural that was painted on the outside of his successful enterprise. He told me he has a dusty cardboard box up in the attic at the new Creamery. He was being facetious, pointing out his brother-in-law was the attention-getter in the family.
Nancy said there is a movie in the works – about Ken! I don’t see it. I see a movie about Chuck, Sue, and Nancy. Not only were they a Hip Anchor for this town, but an anchor for all Hippie Enterprises – all over the world. Millions of people have started tiny Bohemian businesses – that were real adventures!
The Kesey Family owned the Creamery that anchors the new family mural. The key word here is – FAMILY. There are several creative family legacies here, as well as extended families. This unveiling was a Family Event. It was a Harmonic Convergence of Family Ideals. I see a famous Japanese director bowing before Chuck and Sue, begging him to allow this humble director to immortalize them on the silver screen. Why would he want to do that? Because in Japan, Chuck, Sue, and Nancy, would be National Treasures. The two Kesey murals constitute an indelible cultural contribution that needs to be defined and recorded.
Chuck hires Samurai Warriors to protect the mural of the happy dancing milk cans, that will become famous cartoon characters in Japan. Schoolchildren will wear backpacks that look like happy milk cans with happy feet that dance while they run to school to learn about the honorable path of life – via a family business! Uncle Chuck is on all the talk shows. Giant banners with Nancy’s happy face are carried in massive parades!
I never saw more Winners in one place. As bubbles danced around our head, my childhood friend and I went back in Mr. Peabody’s Way-back Machine to the first Human Be-in at the Polo Grounds. Steve was with us. He was annoyed. I asked Nancy is she recalled us concluding;
“We don’t want leaders? Who asked for leaders?”
On stage appeared Allen Ginsberg, Timothy Leary, Michael McClure. We had no leaders, no one to guide us and make rules for us. We were a Family of Equals. We were counting noses. We thought we would live forever. Seeing Nancy again is a highlight of my life. We carry matching pictures that go back to when we were twelve, when one first leave the natal family circle, and form another circle, with your beloved friends. Yesterday, Ken was with his friends, his beloved family – and his fellow Pioneers!
To be continued…….
President: Royal Rosamond Press
Announced on the cover of the first edition of the counter-culture magazine San Francisco Oracle, the “Gathering of the Tribes” or “Human Be-In” as it came to be known, was the prototype of all 1960s counter culture celebrations. The Human Be-In precipitated the legendary Summer of Love, and made San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury the epicenter of the burgeoning hippie movement. The Be-In featured all the luminaries of psychedelic counter-culture, including Timothy Leary, Allen Ginsberg, Gary Snyder, Richard Alpert (Ram Dass), Dick Gregory, Lenore Kandel, and Jerry Ruben. Many of the Haight’s best musical acts also performed, including the Grateful Dead and Quicksilver Messenger Service. It was at the Human Be-In that Timothy Leary coined his famous phrase, “Tune in, Turn on, Drop Out”. LSD was provided en mass by the legendary chemist Stanley “Bear” Owsley, who was also the sound operator for the Grateful Dead and is the namesake behind the famous Grateful Dead dancing bears. The Diggers provided free food to the crowds, which were estimated in excess of 30,000. It was this huge number of spontaneously gathered celebrants that attracted national media attention to the psychedelic Haight-Ashbury community, and made everyone involved realize that a profound new movement in American culture was being born. The ethos of this new movement was a fundamental questioning of authority, a focus on individuality, decentralization, ecological awareness, and consciousness expansion through cultural openness and the use of psychedelic drugs. These ideas transfixed mainstream culture, and the phenomenon of the “hippie” burst full force into the public consciousness, transforming a generation.
When I read Kesey’s mural was going to appear on the Odd Fellows building, I knew several portals were opening. This morning, Zane Kesey posted pics of his fishing trip. He left Depoe Bay and went under an arch out to sea. He did not know the fishing trip from the movie ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’ was filmed here. McMurphy introduces his odd crew of madmen, as Doctors. The Pranksters are born.
I wrote this post at a low point of my life, when I felt forsaken. But, this is how the story goes, just when all seems lost, Perceval beholds the Grail.
At the end of my novel ‘The Gideon Computer’ Berkley Bill Bolagard is reunited with his book collection he thought he had lost. We had rare books in our home growing up thanks to my ancestors who conducted secret rituals non-members are not privy to, but, there I am, the Master Augur making a templum before a two-dimensional book-case.
The Pontifex Maximus is a ‘bridge builder’. Ken was a bridge builder to other dimensions. My Janke kindred built a theme park for the Oddfellows. Ken made a theme park in Springfield and Eugene – that spread all over the world! Consider Kesey Enterprises.
“The Jankes turned out to be entertainment entrepreneurs as well. They bought up a dozen acres on the south side of Belmont Creek and established Belmont Park and picnic grounds. Patterned after the beer gardens of their German heritage, it offered a 300 person dance pavilion, a carousel, a running track and walking trails, an ice cream parlor, plenty of picnicking space and of course drinks – beer and plenty of sarsaparilla (which might have been spiked with cocaine in that era). The Jankes made a mutually profitable deal with the Southern Pacific to run weekend picnic special trains from the city to Belmont Park. The place often hosted large crowds, with one notable affair being 8,000 people for an Odd Fellows fraternal gathering.”
A curtain hangs on the side of the Odd Fellows Hall that will part at 5:30 P.M. today. This image of Ken was taken at the Calliope Company warehouse where the Pranksters lived for a month. Ken is looking at the city my ancestors help build. I can see Oakland across the bay, reflected in the pupil of his eye.
And, the books fly off the shelf. The air is filled with the sound of rustling wings as the pages of time are turned. What a long strange trip it has been.
Two days ago I found what constitutes the Literary Bohemian Holy Grail. I found an essay by titled ‘Kesey and Pynchon – A Trip to the Wasteland’.
What the author contends is the novels ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’ and ‘The Crying of 49’ by Thomas Pynchon are Grail Romances replete with Grail Knight and the Fisher King. Alas I have a credible author and scholar who I can refer to in regards to I owning credibility and being able to point to how two writers – who do not know each other – have arrived at similar conclusions. Consider Ken Kesey’s Search for Merlin in England which my newspaper has reported on.
The Holy Crusade and the Holy Grail go hand in hand. Islamic terrorists killed writers and cartoonist in Paris. I am a cartoonist who began a cartoon in 1986, titled ‘My Christ Complex’. That same year I began ‘The Gideon Computer’ after my childhood friend, Nancy Hamren, suggested I author the history of the Hippies because I could recall so much. I chose to write about the Last Hippie of the future, who helps destroy the shame-based computer that goes after all the Free Souls and Free Thinkers. I got sober when I noticed my novel was coming true.
Today’s Twin Pines Park in Belmont, a refuge for kids, families and the arts, conceals a rowdy past. Here’s an easy cache to introduce its history.
In the 1870s, Belmont was a whistle stop on the Southern Pacific railroad, an aspiring suburb to San Francisco and a base for tycoons like William Ralston who had built country mansions in the canyons and hills to the west. In 1876, two German immigrants brought some industry to town. Carl Augustus Janke and his son Carl Ferdinand founded the Belmont Soda Works just north of The Corners (now Ralston and El Camino). The Jankes manufactured a variety of fizzy drinks, most notably sarsaparilla, and delivered them to San Francisco and points south along the railroad.
The Jankes turned out to be entertainment entrepreneurs as well. They bought up a dozen acres on the south side of Belmont Creek and established Belmont Park and picnic grounds. Patterned after the beer gardens of their German heritage, it offered a 300 person dance pavilion, a carousel, a running track and walking trails, an ice cream parlor, plenty of picnicking space and of course drinks – beer and plenty of sarsaparilla (which might have been spiked with cocaine in that era). The Jankes made a mutually profitable deal with the Southern Pacific to run weekend picnic special trains from the city to Belmont Park. The place often hosted large crowds, with one notable affair being 8,000 people for an Odd Fellows fraternal gathering.
With drink and crowds came trouble. Drunken brawls were not uncommon, and on one occasion a shoot-out between gangs left a man dead (some modern problems are not new.) A private jail was installed at the park, beneath the dance hall floor, and the Southern Pacific put special police on its excursion trains. But as Belmont and other Peninsula settlements grew, the weekly influx of rowdies was seen as a problem that outweighed their commercial benefits. Under pressure from the locals, the railroad cancelled its party train specials by 1900. Belmont Park went into a quick decline, and was mostly subdivided for other uses. The present park and the civic center are part of its remains, with little to show of its checkered past.