Ken Kesey was an artist as well as a writer. David Mamet writes and is also an artist. Belle Yang is a writer and an artist. I write but can't do art, unless it's a horse. I'm pretty good at horses.
I bring this up as a thin pretext to exhibit Kesey's art in the attached illustration of one of his works, ``The Acid Test.'' Actually, this is a Kesey family work of art. He was joined in its creation by his son, Zane, and his grandson, Caleb, in 1996.
The painting was created over a poster of the famous or infamous 2nd Acid Test and Grateful Dead concert. The poster itself is quite a collector's item. I acquired the painting from an interesting man whom I haven't seen for several years. Think he's in Asia now.
The painting glows. But then it's a talented family. Kesey showed he could paint in his self-illustrated ``Kesey's Jail Journal.'' And of course the ``Merry Pransters'' bus is decorated with his art. (Mamet, by the way, illustrated ``Tested on Orphans: Cartoons by David Mamet,'' published by Trillium Graphics and David Salgado, and that's how I know Mamet's an artist.)
The back of the picture is signed by Arlo Guthrie and Wavy Gravy. It belongs in a museum, perhaps in California or Oregon.
I want it eventually in a museum because it has something to say, which is, it's by Kesey and his son and grandson, and Kesey wrote ``One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest,'' and that book was very important because perhaps no book, other than perhaps Steinbeck's ``The Grapes of Wrath,'' saved so much human suffering in the 20th Century in this country.
After ``Cuckoo's Nest'' came out as novel, play and film, lobotomies and shock treatments and over-medication took a dive in asylums and other mental health institutions – mental health laws changed for the better – and so the human race owes a lot to Kesey, as it does to Steinbeck. So the more people who see this painting, the better. And museums get more traffic than someone's living room.
Anyway, that's it, except to mention that Kesey was a damn good wrestler, just missing making the U.S. Olympic team by riding time (say the match ends 6-6, the wrestler who was in control for a longer time – riding time – is declared the winner.)
And Mamet was a wrestler, too, by the way, but not Belle Yang. And so was John Irving, and he wrote about it, did a book on his wrestling days. I wrestled, too. Wrestling is kind of a loner's sport, so it makes sense that some writers might be wrestlers.
Some are even wrestlers and artists, especially in Turkey and Greece where wrestling and art are very popular. Plato probably wrestled.
Causes Steve Hauk Supports
City of Pacific Grove Public Library, Pacific Grove, California; Animal Friends Rescue Project, Pacific Grove; Animal Welfare Information and Assistance,...