"Desperado in the comic book sense. I didn't know, but would see him with Neal when I lived briefly in the old Oak St. mansion."
That mansion is a shrine! First Owsley acid distribution center. It sure had
a cast of colorful characters
"Rumor was that he packed a gun."
Never heard that rumor. It is absolutely wrong. I can see how such a rumor
might have been started due to some tragic events in his teen years. Peter
was a man of peace and love, not violence.
Thanks to this list I spent a wonderevening with Anne yesterday. A reunion
after thirty years!
She, like most of us looks much younger than her age, was very mellow and
thoughtful. She did say though that life does not hold much interest for her, that it is her writing that keeps her going. She told me that she has written nine books that were not published though.
I only had a chance to glance at some of her books but I did read all the
Excerpts of "Dancing with the Devil" in the February 1995 issue of The New
Free Press Published by John Bryan in San Francisco. Kept me riveted. She
mentions Peter Angel there. Her current project is a book about women in the
cultures of the orient. Most of it is finished, has lots of photos. She
meditates a lot and is quite mellow and focused.
"What was your connection with Cassady and why did you live with his family?"
I am trying to catch up on old correspondence and it occurs to me that
while I have addressed the question of what my connection was, I have
not yet answered why I had moved in with them.
I am assuming that you did read my posts and know about how I got fired
from the Department of Corrections for visiting the Cassady family and
that it took me two years to win the case. I did not go on to relate how
inspite of the fact that the Hearing Officer ruled "Tabory acted
reasonably under all the circumstances" and ordered me reinstated, the
State Personnel Board ruled that even though I had "won a moral victory"
the Department of Corrections had a right not to reinstate me because
they claimed that they could not work with me "due to philosophical
differences". Interestingly enough the State Employees Association, the
union that I had paid dues to, refused to even represent me against the
Department of Corrections.
The two years of fightning them have left me impoverished and I then
took the first job that was offered me in the Santa Clara Community
Mental Health Services in San Jose. By that time we had all become close
friends and the Cassadys suggetsed that I move in with them. It helped
us both with the rent as well. I am not too sure exactly, but I think it
was about a year later that I moved into a house in Los Gatos nearby
where we were neighbors until 1968.
"OK, so now I ask, were the Beats themselves interested in academic acceptance? Did their, as you term it, "Pop" status hinder their work? Popularity can certainly be a double edged sword."
And while we are on the subject, are revolutionaries interested in being
accepted by the ordering institutions of the day? Would revolutions
succeed better if they were? and I swear I see it all the time, once the
revolutionary is dead (no longer a fright to the order?) How the mighty
jump on the deadwagon, the wild horses reigned in to a Respectable trot.
And isn't it the fate of all successful revolutions to become the
suffocating order of the future? No need for despair. There will always
be new revolutionaries and Cassadys and Kerouacs long after their
visions of enlightenment have become the neonightmare dogmas of their
descendants. The fences tighten, some break loose, they build new
circles, the circles tighten, new fences in the making, but more
breathing room. Maybe more windows - to the past, to the future.
So what about family? Did Neal want one? was he jealous of those family
men? What I know for a fact is that he did not want to live like a good
family man should. He was not about to sacrifice liaison romantiques to
the altar of family.
When Neal passed on, Max, the editor of the Berkeley Barb, asked me to
write an obituary. There I said that Neal's motto was: 'stay high, keep
moving, and give all of yourself away'. No one to my knowledge has ever
questioned these words. Does that mean that Neal did not want to
participate in our human destiny which is to continue to survive through
having children? I also know for a fact that he loved his children very
dearly. Even those whom he did not know. He felt very confident that
they were well equipped for survival and life.
Lets not forget that the entire structure of the suport system for
children,the nuclear family in the western world was in the beginning
stages of an ever accelerating, irreversible procees of loosening,
loosening. Lots of attempts of all kinds have been tried to reverse this
process, with utter futility. It is a fact that where not so long ago
the survival opportunities for an "illegitimate" child were severely
restricted, we now see the percentage of children born out of wedlock
increase steadily, just as their opportunities in life are getting
better and better. For very good reason.
Something to consider: The family was an infrastructure that from the
very beginning enabled a very few, very frightened, very helpless humans
who appeared on this earth full of hostile threatening forces (including
some of their fierce ancestors) to survive, to thrive and to conquer
everything in their sight.
We were built for family. The woman was built to provide the soft,
nurturing warmth of the womb, the mother's milk from her breasts for the
tender child not yet ready for the harsh world outside, the world that
was protected by the man equipped for his job with tough muscles and
tougher attitudes, scanning the horizons for food and for enemies. The
family sphere was the protected foothold with nurturance and warmth for
those inside and. It was also an alert force to ready to fight and
control any stranger from outside the family that may present a danger.
It was a design for success. It worked. But it was not meant to stay
that way forever.
We are now living in a point in history where the family mobilization
has completed its task. The world that was empty of people is now full
of us.The instincts that protected us from strangers approaching our
family fortress now are poised at strangers that crisscross our lives at
every turn. Now the same infrastructure that made the conquest of our
surroundings possible is beginning to become destructive to all of us.
Now instead of facing a world of threat outside the family unit, we are
looking at other humans all around us, each still imbued with physical
and emotional attitudes that have love for their own and an ingrained
alert suspicion toards those outside the family circle.
The early pioneers who sense that new ways are coming because they are
necessary, and who have enough enthusiasm, love, the spirit of life to
guide them, to try to communicate to others trust and confidence in new
- not yet present life supporting established structures, do not find an
easy, paved, comfortable road. Still, struggling more than most with
inadequate support systems, or well tested plans, they communicate
eventually a joy, a strength an aliveness, an attraction for followers.
And yes, drugs continue to have a very important role here. Tobacco,
alcohol, marijuana, psychedelics; the drugs that deal with stimulating
the physical energies, speed, cocaine, heroin, those dealing with the
painful aspects of life, heroics, cowardice, wickedness,
destructiveness, all are continuing to be experimented with more and
more. We will know more and more what we can do with them, what they can
do to us. The dangers and price they exact will become clearer and
clearer.It shouldn't surprise us at all that the pioneers with vision
and courage and communication talents have been at the forefront of
playing around with drugs, joyously, painfully, even succumbing to them.
Are we ready yet to honor holy martyrs also?