Saturday, January 31, 2004

Hey, in October of 1834 Robert Forbes bought Bourienne's Napoleon from the estate of Henry Fernando Yonge (1811- 1834) by way of the Probate Court of Gadsden County, Florida. Yonge grew up on two parcels of Forbes Purchase land owned by his Daddy, Henry Yonge (1776- 1834)

Another character who has popped up in all this Forbes Purchase stuff (one of the world's greatest real estate transactions: deal closed by James Innerarity of Mobile for 5 cents per acre- May 25, 1804) is John Carnochan. He was kin to someone in Canorchan and Mitchel, Havana merchants, who bought the Forbes Purchase from John Forbes. Clifton Paisley in Red Hills of Florida claims that this quote is in the American State Papers, Public Lands,( I don't think so) "a large and valuable gang of slaves have not for the four years 1820, 1821, 1822, 1823, paid their own and plantation expenses." Paisley claims that this Carnochan quote is found in American State Papers, Public Lands, 4: 451.
The 1830 census of Gadsden County, Fl, shows that John Carnochan owned 63 slaves. Thought you'd like all dis stuff.
Make sure you remember that the 200th anniversary of the Forbes Purchase is May 25, 2004.


Friday, January 30, 2004

Of course, I loved Big Fish. The book was written by an Alabamian , almost every frame of the film was filmed in Alabama and all the extras are from Alabama.
The film really pleased me with the Burton touch applied to all the old Alabama myths: witches, lost swamps, spiders, mermaids, carnivorous trees, giant catfish, quick sand, giant water moccasins, mermaids, cave monsters, etc. etc.

To me, the big message of Big Fish is that love, understanding, tolerance and forgiveness should first be directed toward the members of one's own family and that the greatest examples of familial intolerance occur in the negative attitudes children develop toward their parents. This disparaging attitude of children toward parents almost seems universal and the Bloom boy's resolution of his bad attitude toward his Daddy is the key to this film.


(the official Big Fish website - directed by Tim Burton)

Thursday, January 29, 2004

Here's my son, Christopher. He's a freshman at Tuscaloosa County High in Northport. During Spring Holidays, he plans to crew on Sea Scout schooner in the Bahamas. This summer he may go to Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico and he has already been hired by the Black Warrior B.S.A. Council to serve on the aquatics staff at Camp Horne.

To say the least I am proud of my boy.

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

The Charlatans were the first truly psychedelic band that actually played while on acid. They were directly inspired by the Mystery Trend. The Charlatans started their career in 1964 at the Red Dog Saloon in Virginia City near Reno in the high Sierras, drawing audiences from their friends in San Francisco (notably the original Family Dog commune, and Kesey's Merry Pranksters). Later that summer they moved back to S.F. and started playing at the Matrix and other newly opened venues, including the Fillmore.

A version of "Alabama Bound" first appeared on "The Amazing Charlatans" album (Big Beat-UK). This version of the Charlatans' signature tune, "Alabama Bound" (based on an old folk song) was recorded later, for an LP that never appeared except as a French import. The Charlatans musical style could be described as early wild-west-Victorian-hippie rock, and was appreciated and even partially copied by many S.F. bands that came later, including the Grateful Dead, Quicksilver Messenger Service, and Country Joe and the Fish. I've heard the Grateful Dead do a version of this song in tribute (the same arrangement), along with David Crosby.

From Cap'n Skyp (a.k.a. Ken Babbs)

Dane Knezek is doing a paper on the Sixties and sent me a bunch of questions. Here's a couple:

6. Why didn't more of the prominent beats join Kesey's promotion of psychedelic drugs as an eye-opening agent?

Everyone does what they want; have their own agenda. Kesey wasn't a promoter, he was a performer.

7. What level of success did Kesey and the Pranksters achieve in popularizing LSD use, and in breaking down conformist ideology?

Just because we used LSD doesn't mean we were promoting its use. Dangerous drug if taken lightly; must be of sound mind and body and have good touchstones in life or else fall by the wayside muttering and mumbling like a ravaged mind sucked by venusians, which is a way, I guess, of breaking down conformist ideology.

Here I stand near Nickajack where Alabama,Georgia and Tennessee intersect. Please send all suggestions and other unwanted comments to

Muchas gracias a mi buen amigo, babbs, para el t-shirt. Git yur skypilotclub t-shirt @

From: "robertoreg2003"
Date: Sun Oct 26, 2003 9:09 pm
Subject: What's Kesey Got To Do Wid Da Chukker?

I was partying in my bedroom at the house on 8th Street back in '73
and this guy at the party started looking at my Ann Charters book,
Kerouac. He opened it up to the pictures and pointed to Neal Cassady
and said, "That's my Dad." I will never forget the glow I felt when
I first realized I was with John Allen Cassady (He was named "John"
after Jack Kerouac and "Allen" after Allen Ginsberg.)
John had come to Tuscaloosa and opened an alternative movie
theatre on University Boulevard near Johnny's Restaurant. Here's an
interview where he mentions working as the projectionist here in

What is here is only a sample of the conversations I saved --
many of them were interesting but not relevant enough to include in
the "real" interview. Like this exchange, which took place after
John and I discovered we were both into Marx Brothers movies:

John: Duck Soup is my favorite. A buddy and I opened an alternative
cinema in a college town in '72 and showed all of them as well as
W.C. Fields, Laurel and Hardy, etc. Two shows per night for a week;
I saw them all 14 times each and know every line.
Me: That's great. My favorite was prob. Horsefeathers, like when
Groucho is in the canoe with Thelma Todd and she says "will big
strong man give icky baby the bad little football signals?" and he
says "Was that you or the duck? Because if it was you I'm going to
finish the ride with the duck?"

John: And then he sings "Everyone Says 'I Love You'" while
accompanying himself on guitar, at which he was quite proficient, a
leftover from their old vaudeville acts. He used surprisingly
sophisticated diminished chords as passing phrases in that
arrangement (not that I studied it or anything) and of course
finishes by throwing the guitar into the lake, argh! But showing
future Pete Townshends how it's done. Chico's version of the song
had a great line: "The great big mosquito and-a he sting you" (had
to have been there). Zeppo turned it into a torch ballad, and of
course Harpo ripped it up on the harp. Horsefeathers was indeed a
classic I had (almost) forgotten.

I don't know if anybody will fully believe this, but I knew all
about those diminished chords.

Anyway, I remember seeing John at the Chukker but he says he
doesn't remember it but he does remember the girl he picked up at my
party on 8th St. I'm pretty sure it was Betty Boswell.(Sorry, Craig)

When Kesey got inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, he
asked John to drive the bus because "Neal wasn't available to do the

Kesey also hired John to drive the Bus through England in 2000
when Channel 4 sponsored the "Searching For Merlin" Tour.

After Kesey spoke at the University with Leary in the early 90s,
Kesey partied at Tracy Priest's house on Audubon. Babbs says that
Kesey had fond memories of Tuscaloosa. Kesey actually played a video
of John's father at the party on Audubon. Babbs says that Kesey had
a big BAMA bumper sticker on the front of his desk on the day he

Anyway, if any of ya'll remember that long haired blond guy who
was the projectionist at the movie theatre where "Last Tango In
Paris" was banned, it was John Cassady, the man who inherited the
job of driving Further

And another thing. The Summer of '04 will be the 40th anniversary
of the famous road trip described by Tom Wolfe in "The Electric Kool-
Aid Acid Test". They came through Mobile because Babbs had been
stationed at Pensacola before he shipped out for 'Nam to fly Marine

In honor of the publication of the two new Kesey books, I tuned up
my weblog for kesey.

In honor of Fidel's 77th birthday, August 13,2003, I am giving Cuba a rest and looking at Kesey stuff on the Web. Check it out at

Sunday, January 25, 2004

Mary Jo,

Do you have a box on campus? I found three things you might like:

1) Weatherwax's IU guide, about 20 pages

2) A January '58 Alabama Review article by Auburn professor Henry P. Orr entitled "Decorative Plants Around Historic Alabama Homes- about 25 pages with an extensive list of ornamental shrubs, trees, fruit trees, flowers, bulbs, tubers and vines most commonly used on the grounds of antebellum homes in Georgia- 1820-1861

3) a Historical American Buildings plat of the President's Mansion (circa 1935) with the exact position of all trees on the grounds and on University Boulevard

Let me know if you want to the copy and deliver these.