Long before Jonestown, there was the scene around San Francisco that eventually went coast to coast on a bus of many colors.
Tom Wolfe's account of the trips of Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters, which featured a Kool-Aid laced with LSD or, as it was known, acid, came out in 1968. It was his first and allegedly best attempt at New Journalism.
Somehow I never read the book back then, but I was heavily involved in reading Shakespeare and the Brownings, among dozens of others, in those undergraduate days.
About two weeks ago, someone dropped the paperback version of "Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test" off here at the library as a donation, intended to go into the Friends of the Wimberley Village Library book sale this weekend.
I confiscated it and started reading, and I'm really kind of embarassed for Ken and the gang. Talk about feeling entitled. Wowee.
Today I saw in the papers that a first edition of the book signed by a bunch of '60s luminaries is to be sold at auction in California.
The story was accompanied by a photo of what I take to be the bus that Kesey and friends took across country to rip a tear in conventional American life.
They can keep the book. I'd like to buy the bus.
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