Reader, Hot-hand, Writer

P Thought

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1980 for me was a brief time of singlehood. Divorcing, moping, living in an upstairs hovel apartment in town, I had a job within walking distance, working at a sheltered workshop for retarded adults (most of whom had recently lived in the state mental hospital in Salem, sent into communities to group homes instead), a truly awesome job for me at the time: load up the van, go swimming, play basketball; train and supervise clients working in the recycling, macrame manufacturing, or rug-weaving operations. I really enjoyed that job.

Anyway, that job sent me with other staff and a van full of clients to the Special Olympics in Eugene. The whole idea of our job was to help "normalize" the adults in our charge, who had lived in mental institutions most of their lives. Dressing appropriately, conversing, rules of the road. . .at the Special Olympics we line them up in lanes at Hayward Field, fire 'em off, shout 'em stumbling or staggering across the finish line, then hug 'em and give 'em a medal, which they'll refuse to stop wearing at work and around town for the next six months. Oh well, the Special Olympics draws lots of support from the general public, and the Who's Who was present. I met two famous people there that day. I shook hands with Senator Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts, a Special Olympics bigwig, and I played hot-hand with Ken Kesey! I got him two or three times, but he pretty well burned me up.

That's not what I meant to write about, but I had to, sorry. I was going to write about the book I'm reading now--that got me started on Kesey--and I got to thinking that when I choose books, it's the author I'm choosing really, more than the particular story. When I find an author I like, I read more of ther books and kind of study their thought, style, and development, as well as finding about ther life. That habit grew in the course of my teaching career. I didn't do that with Kesey. I think by the time we played hot-hand, I had read One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, as had everyone else who read books at all, and some time later, I forget when, I read his bigger, better book, Sometimes a Great Notion. In my later reading, when I started to pay greater attention to authors, I guess I viewed Kesey as a one-hit wonder (well, two hits). Then he died.

(Hang on, Jack, the son of a gun is comin'. . .)

1643466295460-1766120935.jpg


Whew! Sorry, after that first paragraph I fingerfumbled somehow and posted when I was just getting started.

So now you know what I'm here to write about, unless you gave up trying and put me back on your ignore list. I did like Kesey. I'd "taught" Cuckoo's Nest in English several times, and used him as topic for kids' required research, writing, and speech/presentation assignments. Long ago, too, I'd read Tom Wolfe's Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, which is pretty much a Kesey biography, or at least a cultural travelogue featuring Kesey and his famous bus. Anyway, browsing the bookstore for my next read, the subtle cover design caught my eye, and I thought I'd try another title of his.

I haven't finished the book yet, but it wasn't the story I was going to write about anyway, it was the writer. Merry Prankster though he was, Ken Kesey was a powerful and highly trained writer (after his U of O wrestling career he had a graduate fellowship at Stanford, studying writing under the great Wallace Stegner). In this story about a bunch of derelict fishermen in Alaska Kesey's realism is tight, you can see the characters and their surroundings, hear them too, but somehow things are dripping a little around the edges, sometimes sort of glowing strangely, and while the story is clearly a comedy it skims over deep tragic oceans and bays of philosophy and warning.

I'm glad I chose this book. The boy can write. And he's very good at hot-hand.
 
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Harry Styron

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1980 for me was a brief time of singlehood. Divorcing, moping, living in an upstairs hovel apartment in town, I had a job within walking distance, working at a sheltered workshop for retarded adults (most of whom had recently lived in the state mental hospital in Salem, sent into communities to group homes instead), a truly awesome job for me at the time: load up the van, go swimming, play basketball; train and supervise clients working in the recycling, macrame manufacturing, or rug-weaving operations. I really enjoyed that job.

Anyway, that job sent me with other staff and a van full of clients to the Special Olympics in Eugene.
It was fortuitous that you had such an engrossing job working with people facing profound challenges, rather than being in a position to mope over your own situation.
 
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nojazzhere

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1980 for me was a brief time of singlehood. Divorcing, moping, living in an upstairs hovel apartment in town, I had a job within walking distance, working at a sheltered workshop for retarded adults (most of whom had recently lived in the state mental hospital in Salem, sent into communities to group homes instead), a truly awesome job for me at the time: load up the van, go swimming, play basketball; train and supervise clients working in the recycling, macrame manufacturing, or rug-weaving operations. I really enjoyed that job.

Anyway, that job sent me with other staff and a van full of clients to the Special Olympics in Eugene. The whole idea of our job was to help "normalize" the adults in our charge, who had lived in mental institutions most of their lives. Dressing appropriately, conversing, rules of the road. . .at the Special Olympics we line them up in lanes at Hayward Field, fire 'em off, shout 'em stumbling or staggering across the finish line, then hug 'em and give 'em a medal, which they'll refuse to stop wearing at work and around town for the next six months. Oh well, the Special Olympics draws lots of support from the general public, and the Who's Who was present. I met two famous people there that day. I shook hands with Senator Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts, a Special Olympics bigwig, and I played hot-hand with Ken Kesey! I got him two or three times, but he pretty well burned me up.

That's not what I meant to write about, but I had to, sorry. I was going to write about the book I'm reading now--that got me started on Kesey--and I got to thinking that when I choose books, it's the author I'm choosing really, more than the particular story. When I find an author I like, I read more of ther books and kind of study their thought, style, and development, as well as finding about ther life.
My roughly ten years working as a Special Ed teacher in public schools was a great experience.....when civilians found out what I did, I used to get praised for my efforts. While I like a compliment like anyone else, I'd have to explain that my "care" for my students started at 8:30 AM and ended at 3:30 PM, school days......it was their parents and families who deserve the "medals" and accolades.
BTW.....what book did you NOT write about? ;)
 

elihu

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Hey P Thought… I’ve been an RN for near 40 years now, my wife is a BCBA and a psychologist and I used to help her with her kids. I said that to say this- I think you write and communicate well so quit admonishing yourself!

Hot hand eh?…reminds me of slap jack!
 
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P Thought

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My roughly ten years working as a Special Ed teacher in public schools was a great experience.....when civilians found out what I did, I used to get praised for my efforts. While I like a compliment like anyone else, I'd have to explain that my "care" for my students started at 8:30 AM and ended at 3:30 PM, school days......it was their parents and families who deserve the "medals" and accolades.
BTW.....what book did you NOT write about? ;)

Yep. My time in SpEd, the first six years of teaching, was a great foundation for teaching later in the "regular" classroom. Most regular-ed teachers are not people who had any trouble with school, and they don't understand that it's NOT so easy for everyone else, or that students who fail at reading writing or arithmetic are not usually stupid. I learned to meet students where they are and try to help them move forward, which is not the same as trying to drag them all to where I want them. And I agree with you about the parents and families.

It was fortuitous that you had such an engrossing job working with people facing profound challenging, rather than being in a position to mope over your own situation.

Oh, Harry, I did plenty of moping. There was a tavern within walking distance, too, and within stumbling distance home. I actually envied my Downs-syndrome friends: their sorrows vanished quickly, and they had very little to worry about.
 

nojazzhere

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Yep. My time in SpEd, the first six years of teaching, was a great foundation for teaching later in the "regular" classroom. Most regular-ed teachers are not people who had any trouble with school, and they don't understand that it's NOT so easy for everyone else, or that students who fail at reading writing or arithmetic are not usually stupid. I learned to meet students where they are and try to help them move forward, which is not the same as trying to drag them all to where I want them. And I agree with you about the parents and families.



Oh, Harry, I did plenty of moping. There was a tavern within walking distance, too, and within stumbling distance home. I actually envied my Downs-syndrome friends: their sorrows vanished quickly, and they had very little to worry about.
I personally never had trouble with reading.....could read long before I ever went to school. Largely because, growing up, I always saw my parents and grandparents reading. We ALWAYS had reading materials around, (books, magazines, newspapers, etc) plus we read every week from the church bulletin on Sunday. A HUGE revelation for me when I began teaching, and strongly emphasized reading for my students, was that most of them never witnessed others at home reading, nor did they have anything TO read. No books or magazines.....no TV schedules, and BTW, WHAT'S a NEWSPAPER??????? Maybe the only things with alphabet letters on them were the directions on frozen dinners. :(
But as to reading comprehension, many of my Special Needs students simply weren't able to retain anything when reading. We could sound out an unfamiliar word on a page, and when the same word recurred one or two sentences later, it was completely foreign and new to the student. Understanding the "point" to even a simple sentence or short paragraph was truly beyond their abilities.
But, like you said above, they had huge capacities for joy and happiness. Unless they had emotional issues as well as their learning disabilities, they generally came to school every day feeling good about life. I also learned that for many of them, their home lives were miserable and bleak. School, (for them) was something they looked forward to. ;)
 

teletimetx

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Hey PT, thanks for the post. Just added Sailor Song to my list.

I seem to recall that you inhabit the part of the valley near Eugene and Springfield, so maybe you have some additional perspective about Kesey and Mountain Girl, maybe. Those are some interesting stories. As a result of your post, just stumbled across Mountain Girl's book Primo Plant - which apparently now is something of a collector's item, at least in the original print.

Mountain Girl had a relationship with Kesey, briefly, then with Jerry Garcia for years.

Growing the medicinal herb is not my hobby, but now that I'm back in Colorado, well, I have friends or friends of friends...who are growers, etc.

There are a few writers for whom I run the table, so to speak. Among others, the English writer Penelope Fitzgerald. She won the Booker Prize for Offshore, a story about some of the characters inhabiting house boats on the Thames, in a time before house boats were fashionable, I suppose. She treats almost all of her characters with a light and humane hand and for me, writes books that you could easily read twice or more. Dry humour, effortless and precise. Novellas, mostly, as she can accomplish in a few hundred pages what others seem to require six or seven hundred ponderous pages...oh, the weight of being an important writer! Definitive!

Interesting counterpoint, perhaps - some divorces are mope worthy, others are worthy of a period of joy and celebration.

At any rate, thanks for the heads up.
 

loco gringo

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Huge Kesey fan. I haven't read Sailor Song in a long time. I just went and pulled it and Demon Box off the shelf to put in my reading cue.

For a period of about 10 years, I was spending several weeks a year in the PNW. I was already a Kesey fan at the time and would often take a Kesey book with me when I went up there. During my time there I discoverd the book Mink River by Brian Doyle, an author that lived in Portland, OR. I think I will put in the cue as well. Check out Mink River if you get a chance.
 
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Toto'sDad

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1980 for me was a brief time of singlehood. Divorcing, moping, living in an upstairs hovel apartment in town, I had a job within walking distance, working at a sheltered workshop for retarded adults (most of whom had recently lived in the state mental hospital in Salem, sent into communities to group homes instead), a truly awesome job for me at the time: load up the van, go swimming, play basketball; train and supervise clients working in the recycling, macrame manufacturing, or rug-weaving operations. I really enjoyed that job.

Anyway, that job sent me with other staff and a van full of clients to the Special Olympics in Eugene. The whole idea of our job was to help "normalize" the adults in our charge, who had lived in mental institutions most of their lives. Dressing appropriately, conversing, rules of the road. . .at the Special Olympics we line them up in lanes at Hayward Field, fire 'em off, shout 'em stumbling or staggering across the finish line, then hug 'em and give 'em a medal, which they'll refuse to stop wearing at work and around town for the next six months. Oh well, the Special Olympics draws lots of support from the general public, and the Who's Who was present. I met two famous people there that day. I shook hands with Senator Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts, a Special Olympics bigwig, and I played hot-hand with Ken Kesey! I got him two or three times, but he pretty well burned me up.

That's not what I meant to write about, but I had to, sorry. I was going to write about the book I'm reading now--that got me started on Kesey--and I got to thinking that when I choose books, it's the author I'm choosing really, more than the particular story. When I find an author I like, I read more of ther books and kind of study their thought, style, and development, as well as finding about ther life. That habit grew in the course of my teaching career. I didn't do that with Kesey. I think by the time we played hot-hand, I had read One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, as had everyone else who read books at all, and some time later, I forget when, I read his bigger, better book, Sometimes a Great Notion. In my later reading, when I started to pay greater attention to authors, I guess I viewed Kesey as a one-hit wonder (well, two hits). Then he died.

(Hang on, Jack, the son of a gun is comin'. . .)

View attachment 945707

Whew! Sorry, after that first paragraph I fingerfumbled somehow and posted when I was just getting started.

So now you know what I'm here to write about, unless you gave up trying and put me back on your ignore list. I did like Kesey. I'd "taught" Cuckoo's Nest in English several times, and used him as topic for kids' required research, writing, and speech/presentation assignments. Long ago, too, I'd read Tom Wolfe's Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, which is pretty much a Kesey biography, or at least a cultural travelogue featuring Kesey and his famous bus. Anyway, browsing the bookstore for my next read, the subtle cover design caught my eye, and I thought I'd try another title of his.

I haven't finished the book yet, but it wasn't the story I was going to write about anyway, it was the writer. Merry Prankster though he was, Ken Kesey was a powerful and highly trained writer (after his U of O wrestling career he had a graduate fellowship at Stanford, studying writing under the great Wallace Stegner). In this story about a bunch of derelict fishermen in Alaska Kesey's realism is tight, you can see the characters and their surroundings, hear them too, but somehow things are dripping a little around the edges, sometimes sort of glowing strangely, and while the story is clearly a comedy it skims over deep tragic oceans and bays of philosophy and warning.

I'm glad I chose this book. The boy can write. And he's very good at hot-hand.
This post was so long, I had to read it twice to make sure it wasn't one of mine! ;)
 

P Thought

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Hey P Thought… I’ve been an RN for near 40 years now, my wife is a BCBA and a psychologist and I used to help her with her kids. I said that to say this- I think you write and communicate well so quit admonishing yourself!

Hot hand eh?…reminds me of slap jack!
Mrs. Thought (I chased her down and married her soon after the time of the story I told) retired after 40 years' nursing. I can't believe she still loves me, but she says she does.

I never heard of no slap jack, but I suspect it's the same game! You whack your opponent on top of the hand, one hand or both, until s/he makes you miss, then switch places? I used to play hot-hand with my dad.
 

JL_LI

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Yep. My time in SpEd, the first six years of teaching, was a great foundation for teaching later in the "regular" classroom. Most regular-ed teachers are not people who had any trouble with school, and they don't understand that it's NOT so easy for everyone else, or that students who fail at reading writing or arithmetic are not usually stupid. I learned to meet students where they are and try to help them move forward, which is not the same as trying to drag them all to where I want them. And I agree with you about the parents and families.
There's more than a kernel of wisdom here and some stuff all too often overlooked by teachers. I was never a public school teacher. My teaching experience was at a higher level, teaching engineering skills to PhD level biological scientists transitioning into research instrument service and support. Before starting a lecture or a workshop, or hands on training, it's useful, almost imperative, to try to remember what it was like not to know the material you were presenting. The folks I was teaching were far from stupid, but they didn't have the core knowledge or competencies necessary to succeed in their new endeavor. Teaching them that was my job. Biological scientists may be great scientists but many of them avoided math and physics like a pestilent Petri dish. Sometimes teaching "about" something is enough to get someone started. Support scientists don't have to be able to design a device to support it.

@P Thought is right about this. Meet students where they are and help them move forward. The ones who are interested in some aspect of the product will learn more on their own. The other thing I did was find a way to include something the trainee already knew that HE could teach to the group. That breaks down barriers and builds cohesiveness. I learned things too that way, like what's so interesting 1mm below the surface of a mouse's brain.

There are some teachers I wish I could go back and thank. There are a few others I wish I could forget. I'm sure @P Thought was one of the memorable ones.
 
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Frontier9

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I had a friend who talked me into reading On The Road, Sometimes a Great Notion, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test... really enjoyed those books, especially Kesey's writing. My friend was deeply into the Beat Poets and in '82 he decided to go to the Jack Karouac Conference in Boulder, CO. I came along for the ride, leaving out of Syracuse, NY.
It was a weird and wonderful journey and once in Boulder, we somehow procured an invite to an after-hours party attended by none other than Allen Ginsberg, Ken Kesey and Mountain Girl - and plenty of others including Ginsberg's underage boy-toy of the moment. I felt out of my element, and being a rather shy person at the time, I found someone's guitar and sat in the backyard of the host's place and played quietly. After a bit, Kesey come over to me and said he liked the song I was playing and chatted for a while. I was 22 and didn't have much to say, but he didn't care about that. He treated me with respect and made me feel at ease. I treasure the memories of that night - got to meet Ginsberg, too. I definitely didn't know what to say to him! Kinda wish I had had the cojones to talk to Mountain Girl while I had the chance, but you know...

Image from Harvard University, Houghton Library, hou02925c01569ref
 

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P Thought

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I seem to recall that you inhabit the part of the valley near Eugene and Springfield, so maybe you have some additional perspective about Kesey and Mountain Girl, maybe.
I live on the coast, at a struggling deepwater port with a defunct mill industry, a shadow of its former logging activity, and what's left of a fishing fleet, but the lifelines of civilization reach from Eugene and Corvallis, whose respective universities have taught most of the educated people who remain here, and have braindrained us of many who no longer live here. Our daily paper is down to two days a week, press now outsourced, moved into smaller quarters downtown.

A colleague at that sheltered workshop I mentioned had lived previously to that (in the '70s) in Port Orford, a very small fishing, ranching, and logging town to the south of us. At that time Mountain Girl lived there and my colleague knew her, is all I know. Wikipedia says she lives on the Kesey family farm now, outside Eugene.

I made a point of "teaching" One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest to my students because Ken Kesey is an Oregon author, probably our best one, surely our best-known one if you don't count Beverly Cleary. Also I always let my students peruse my big used-paperback collection (banned books and all), and they 'bout wore out several copies of The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test.

Edit: @Frontier9's post reminds me, working Kesey in class always slud us somehow into the Beats. . .go figure. Come the revolution they'll round up the teachers; we're a threat to both sides.
 
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teletimetx

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Come the revolution they'll round up the teachers; we're a threat to both sides.

No good deed goes unpunished.

Spent 3 months in Portland being a teacher's aid at the one alternative high school they had in 1971. All this Oregon stuff made me remember that Sometimes a Great Notion was also made into a movie - released also in 1971.

High profile cast, Paul Newman, Henry Fonda (not jr.) and Lee Remick. Kinda remember it as a pretty good movie. Might have to hunt it down for an instant replay.
 

P Thought

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Sometimes a Great Notion was a really good movie, as well as being a really good book. I understand Kesey was unhappy with the film version of Cuckoo's Nest, though, I think because it silenced the Chief, whose thoughts formed the book's whole narrative, and whose story was critical to Kesey's modern-times-vs-natural-man theme, turning him into a big strong lying nut that smashed a window and ran off.
 
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elihu

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Our local small town news rag was recently bought out by a millionaire with serious political leanings so I dropped it. Tribal warfare really wears me out.

Okay, Slap Jack-divide the deck into two piles. Each kid takes turns laying down a card (as fast as possible!) and when a Jack shows up both slap it. The slow kid with the hand on top gets to keep the pile of cards. And the winner is the kid who first gets rid of their cards.
 

Kandinskyesque

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First of all, I've really enjoyed reading this thread and have read through it a couple of times over the pas few days.
It's been almost like sitting in my favourite coffee shop on the banks of Loch Katrine eavesdropping on some convivial conversation instead of my usual ritual of reading the front page of my newspaper, reading the headlines, throwing the newspaper down in disgust before delving into my bag for my book or notebook.
I'll also add that that's a great photo of WC Williams in your profile picture.
I actually envied my Downs-syndrome friends: their sorrows vanished quickly, and they had very little to worry about.
I know exactly what you mean here, I've a sister 17 years my junior with DS (plays netball at the UK Special Os) and now in her late 30s I've watched a life of contentment that I could only dream of. They seem unburdened by our affliction of 'more' and well acquainted with the concept of 'good enough'.
Irrespective of my parent's, sibling's and community as a whole's generosity towards her and accommodation of her needs; I've came to believe that the 'repayment' we've all had in simply having her around has been a hundredfold.
They seem to have that way of evoking the better/higher parts of our nature; empathy, compassion, patience, tolerance; that we so called 'normal' folk have a difficult time evoking in one another (just my opinion/observation).

As for "Cuckoo's Nest", I must make an appointment with the bookshelf for a re-read when I'm finished this 5th attempt at Joyce's "Ulysses" (published 100 years ago last week).
I read "Cuckoo's Nest" back in January 2000 in the strangest of circumstances, while I brought in the first 3 months of the millennium as an end user on a Psych ward following a rather riotous few months on tour with a band. I've still never watched the film.
It didn't go down too well with the ward staff when they saw what I was reading, however, my shrink's guffaw when he heard about it has stayed with me in the subsequent decades.
I'll be sure to check out some of Kesey's other books, none of which I'm familiar and I'm open to any recommendations.
 

P Thought

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@Kandinskyesque, thanks for your kind words.

Early in my teaching c'reer it became obvious to me that our real abilities in reading, writing, and speaking come not from our English teachers, but from the reading we do.

My whole time teaching I tried to promote for my students, and cultivate for myself, a habit of always having a book going (not counting books required for school or work, unless you happen to love one), and never letting a day go by without reading from it, even if only for a few minutes. A critical part of that habit is being ready with the next book, so there's no lapse between them. Lapses are deadly to a daily reading habit.

Once my own daily habit was well started, I developed a backlog of books waiting their turn, so for more than twenty years I mostly avoided any re-reading.

Retired now, I've relaxed that, and now I often enjoy re-reading a great book. Kesey's Sometimes a Great Notion is on my list for a second reread. Great book. And now that you mention it, I'll move Ulysses up in the queue. A friend and former colleague of mine reads it every June (ain't it?), on "Bloom's Day". I've made several false starts at Joyce's Finnegan's Wake, but so far that one's been too thick for my brick!
 

ping-ping-clicka

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1980 for me was a brief time of singlehood. Divorcing, moping, living in an upstairs hovel apartment in town, I had a job within walking distance, working at a sheltered workshop for retarded adults (most of whom had recently lived in the state mental hospital in Salem, sent into communities to group homes instead), a truly awesome job for me at the time: load up the van, go swimming, play basketball; train and supervise clients working in the recycling, macrame manufacturing, or rug-weaving operations. I really enjoyed that job.

Anyway, that job sent me with other staff and a van full of clients to the Special Olympics in Eugene. The whole idea of our job was to help "normalize" the adults in our charge, who had lived in mental institutions most of their lives. Dressing appropriately, conversing, rules of the road. . .at the Special Olympics we line them up in lanes at Hayward Field, fire 'em off, shout 'em stumbling or staggering across the finish line, then hug 'em and give 'em a medal, which they'll refuse to stop wearing at work and around town for the next six months. Oh well, the Special Olympics draws lots of support from the general public, and the Who's Who was present. I met two famous people there that day. I shook hands with Senator Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts, a Special Olympics bigwig, and I played hot-hand with Ken Kesey! I got him two or three times, but he pretty well burned me up.

That's not what I meant to write about, but I had to, sorry. I was going to write about the book I'm reading now--that got me started on Kesey--and I got to thinking that when I choose books, it's the author I'm choosing really, more than the particular story. When I find an author I like, I read more of ther books and kind of study their thought, style, and development, as well as finding about ther life. That habit grew in the course of my teaching career. I didn't do that with Kesey. I think by the time we played hot-hand, I had read One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, as had everyone else who read books at all, and some time later, I forget when, I read his bigger, better book, Sometimes a Great Notion. In my later reading, when I started to pay greater attention to authors, I guess I viewed Kesey as a one-hit wonder (well, two hits). Then he died.

(Hang on, Jack, the son of a gun is comin'. . .)

View attachment 945707

Whew! Sorry, after that first paragraph I fingerfumbled somehow and posted when I was just getting started.

So now you know what I'm here to write about, unless you gave up trying and put me back on your ignore list. I did like Kesey. I'd "taught" Cuckoo's Nest in English several times, and used him as topic for kids' required research, writing, and speech/presentation assignments. Long ago, too, I'd read Tom Wolfe's Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, which is pretty much a Kesey biography, or at least a cultural travelogue featuring Kesey and his famous bus. Anyway, browsing the bookstore for my next read, the subtle cover design caught my eye, and I thought I'd try another title of his.

I haven't finished the book yet, but it wasn't the story I was going to write about anyway, it was the writer. Merry Prankster though he was, Ken Kesey was a powerful and highly trained writer (after his U of O wrestling career he had a graduate fellowship at Stanford, studying writing under the great Wallace Stegner). In this story about a bunch of derelict fishermen in Alaska Kesey's realism is tight, you can see the characters and their surroundings, hear them too, but somehow things are dripping a little around the edges, sometimes sort of glowing strangely, and while the story is clearly a comedy it skims over deep tragic oceans and bays of philosophy and warning.

I'm glad I chose this book. The boy can write. And he's very good at hot-hand.
Thank you for your warm and thoughtful post.

a week ago I met and had to deal with "Nurse Ratched" from
"One Flew over the Cuckoos Nest. at the Highland E.R. on my second E.R. visit, WOW! She was the real deal! Mr Kesey certainly got lots of the subtleties and not so subtleties exact. What a little monster. I've worked in hospitals for about 12-13 years and I never met anyone like her, not staff, administrators, Doctors, Charge Nurses, or any of the patent stand-bys that I had to do.
A real piece of work .
 

Flaneur

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I read Cuckoo's Nest, a week before the movie hit our local theatre. The book was better, of course but the film was perhaps a wakeup, for folks who are happy to incarcerate 'others' and not have to deal with them, in public.
This novel, along with the academic study of Erving Goffman, informed my work as a Learning Disability Social Worker, for many years. The long term fallout, from the breakup of the total institutions, was profound and the lessons have not been learned, in a shrinking welfare economy.
 




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