Saturday, May 1, 2010

Coincidence - Under Construction

by Rick Hempy

I wrote in my first, (and only), post about something, beyond the shared experience of our youth, that seems to connect this little band of gypsies. While I have been busy flailing around trying to define what that thing is, my friends have been telling me just that in their recent posts.

I spent a very pleasant two hours, this afternoon, listening to our friend Danny spin Beatles tunes, and try to keep up with his ever-increasing fan base. I chatted with Jo, Dub and Wade. It was a great time as always. My wife, who has long since decided I have lost my mind, considers my Friday retreats with Danny, and friends, further evidence.

Earlier this week I had a wonderful exchange with another friend I admire very much. We spoke of the divergent paths that brought us both to the place that we are now in our lives. I was both grateful and happy that my friend trusted me and loved me enough to share something that intimate. Some of our conversation dealt with tolerance, some with dreams, much with spirituality, and most with love, in some form or fashion... mostly love.

Lo and behold, while off on my quest, my compadres here have been having much the same conversation. Dub wrote a wonderful piece about tolerance, and a renewed effort to focus on the things we share, and an understanding and acceptance of the things that make us different. Jo noted earlier that we all have something to offer here, and challenged us to create a masterpiece. Most recently, she wrote about dreams, and how they might spring from a most basic need for love. She qouted Linda's very profound observation: "Everyone wants to love and be loved, simple as that".

Coincidence? ...that brought us here? I don't want to harp on the "connection" thing, but I have been curious in that regard. To quote another old friend, "The game is afoot". I have satisfied myself with the notion that this is a coincidence of our own design, (in order to avoid too much chasing my own "tale"), though we do have Dub to thank for dragging us to the alter.

We are gathered, coincidentally, quite by chance, with purpose and resolution... to craft a purple masterpiece, made of tolerance and love, respect and compassion... and love ...did I say love? ...mostly love.

But we can't call it Barney - that's been done.


  1. Coincidence is God's way of remaining anonymous. ~Albert Einstein

    Whatever brought us together here, I'm so grateful for your uplifting point of view, Rick. You bring clarity and poetry with your words.

    EmmyLou was icing on the cake.

    Thank you.

    ...and tell Gayle that if she comes to the Friday night hangout at Danny's Place, I'd love to visit with her!

  2. Rick. Even now, in recalling why I want to respond, I'm choking back the pressure of sentiment. So there were tears lurking as I read the Barney line, and just as you've always been able to, once again you made me laugh...out loud and continuously (how can the mention of the harmless, ever-so-lovable purple dinosaur do that?), right up until this box welcomed my reply.

  3. Just as you've always been able to make me laugh... since the second grade. I love the bus pic. I tried to respond earlier, but google insisted I had been drinking an would not allow me to log in without repeating nonsensical words composed of squiggly lines. Apparently they haven't heard about my brain damage.
    fyi - the video is emmylou harris and steve earle doing a song written by townes van zandt. That's Townes at the end.

  4. You give 'Purple Masterpiece' a whole new meaning....

  5. Jo, love that quote about God and coincidence.

    Hey, speaking of love, I LOVE Emmy Lou. Really, what's not to love? We saw her at Wolftrap here last summer. She is still, to this very day, absolutely real, and unbelievably talented.

    And you, Rick. Well. You know how highly I think of you. And as for all of you, the opportunity to once again share our stories with each other is brilliant. Totally, absolutely brilliant.

    Hey, I'm on the bus, y'all. xxoo

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  7. Had to remove last comment due to unforgiveable typos.

    So, y'all! When I say I'm "on the bus," I'm referring to Ken Kesey and the merry pranksters. We're merry, eh? I say yes.

  8. From the MSNBC site:

    For some 15 years, the 1939 International bus dubbed “Further” has rusted away in a swamp on the Kesey family’s Willamette Valley farm, out of sight if not out of mind, more memory than monument.

    That is where Ken Kesey — author of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” and hero of a generation that vowed to drop out and tune in with the help of LSD — intended it to stay after firing up a new bus in 1990.

    But four years after his death, a Hollywood restaurateur has persuaded the family to resurrect the old bus so it can help tell the story of Kesey, the Merry Pranksters and the psychedelic 1960s.

  9. Remember 1 phone and 1 TV? No text and no way to find out what we were doing??? Miss the old days when life was simple or so we thought. Paul's Pizza? Drive-ins? Love-Peace-Loving everyone? Longview Lake? Raytown Road with our muscle cars? Parents who did'nt watch our every move? Parties? No drama? OH and Griff's!Skipping school? Football games?Basketball games.

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  11. Yes indeed Reya... did you know one of the actual pranksters was Steward Brand, founder of Whole Earth Catalogue (he's continued to be a very interesting intellectual until even now though he and i differ with our views on nuclear power) and Ken Kesey comes to life in the story by Tom Wolfe, Electric Kool Aid Acid Test, though Wolfe wasn't at all part of the tour, except later seeking out Kesey and Leary, to tell the story.

    I've gotten to be pretty good aquaintances with Joanna Hartcourt Smith who lives in Spain and has a very interesting podcast and blog called Future Primitive (she's a friend on Facebook and accessible, mention i sent you) who was Leary's girl friend and confidente until he died and was involved with him prior to and after his imprisonment and knows parts of the story the rest of us couldn't begin to imagine.

    I've also met a writer in Peru who hates Joanna and thinks she worked with the FBI to imprison Timothy, and the whole complicated story just gets so sad to me, knowing that we are really talking about chemistry which has altered consciousness evolution in a way that had to happen for us to be where we are today.

    and Vicki, yes my dear, all of that is like a clear lake in my mind. that and more, including you and other friends and watching the subtle changes we started having as we tip toed past 17 and 18.

    The stories we all should be telling now are what we've learned since then and how we can be of most help to each other and a world in need of all of our best thinking and loving.


  12. Thanks for your insight Rick! I still cannot get over that BUS....reminds me of the dress colors I had in high school...


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