"I'm ready to go anywhere, I'm ready for to fade
Into my own parade..."
Mr. Tambourine Man, Bob Dylan
When 18-year-old Randy Rhody hosted a party for Allen Ginsberg, the famous beatnik said to him, “You shake hands with a cloud.” It was 1966 in Lincoln, Nebraska, and Rhody was an aspiring poet. Three years later Doubleday published the youth’s poem in a protest anthology alongside Ginsberg and a panoply of distinguished writers.
Those years are relived in Rhody’s journey through the legendary anti-Establishment Sixties, from his beginnings in the mimeo revolution; to months as a homeless hitchhiker and freight train hobo; to the Lower East Side’s Underground Uplift Unlimited; to San Francisco as a hippie mailman. Unexpectedly his quest brings him to an experience that changed his life forever.
Rhody portrays a host of counterculture figures he knew or met before they became notorious. His insider look at the outsiders’ world preserves a slice of Americana not previously captured by journalists, celebrities, or historians.
(A work in progress)