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I Just Hitched in from the Coast: The Ed McClanahan Reader Paperback – October 11, 2011
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From here, I will confess that I do hope the author is indeed writing from his imagination when it comes to the family of "Skirvins" who are described in one story as poorhouse vagrants. Being a Kentucky historian, it called up one of my memories of old research I'd done about Absolom Skirvin, who was the first Sheriff of Grant County, Kentucky. He built their first log jail too. A little digging (with the help of my ever insatiable curiosity) turned up a Joel Skirvin who was murdered on August 15, 1864 for being on the "wrong side" during the Civil War. What side was the "wrong side?" Well, let's just say that even the clergy weren't exempt from being forced to choose a side. It was a war that drove people and even families apart. There's a roadside marker put up by the state that reads in part: "Geo. W. Wainscott, Wm. Lingenfeltger and John W. Lingenfelter executed at Williamstown, Grant co., by order of Gen. Burbridge - in retaliation for the murder of Joel Skirvin and Andrew Simpson, by guerrillas." It seems there was no less than thirteen Skirvins who served in the Civil War, all of them blood related, but not all on the same side of the conflict. The more I look into this stuff for this review, the more curious I have become.Read more ›
There's a new generation, with a new explanation
So if you go to San Francisco, be sure to wear some flowers in your hair.
Before there was an Occupy Wall Street, or the 1967 Summer of Love, there was the Merry Prankster, a group of hipsters and writers surrounded by writer Ken Kesey.
The Pranksters had an important historic role as they were considered the bridge between the beatnik movement and the hippie movement. Their exploits were chronicled in many great book's including Tom Wolfe's great book, The Electric Kool Aid Acid Test.
There is a lesson that Occupy Wall Street can take from the Flower Power movement: The Flower power people won. The war ended.
The hippie movement was a catalyst for bringing an end to the Vietnam war. They also created a cultural, fashion, literary and musical changes, many that have held up for the 44 years since the Summer of Love.
It also seems preordained that the great Merry Prankster, Ed McClanahan, just released his new book, I Just Hitched In From The Coast, at the same time the Occupy Wall Street movement arose.
McClanahan noted that he was more of a lover than a fighter. In separate, humorous chapters about how he almost burned his draft card but backed out and a day when Ken Kesey invited some radical black panthers to visit, McClanahan showed that he was not one to duke it out.
He wasn't punching police but scoring points for society in his own easy-going, friendly way.Read more ›