San Francisco and Ripple Wine, 1968

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, where the youth was an aspiring poet. Three years later Doubleday published his antiwar poem in a protest anthology alongside Ginsberg and a cornucopia of venerated writers.

"How does it feel? To be on your own
Like a complete unknown
Like a rolling stone?"
- Bob Dylan, Like a Rolling Stone

like a complete unknown

(A work in progress)

Mixing history, homage, and memoir, those years are relived in Rhody’s personal account of the mimeo revolution and his coast-to-coast journeys, a homeless teenager driven by the specter of the Vietnam war draft while seeking his own revelation as ineffable as Ginsberg's “cloud.”

In addition to Ginsberg, the Diggers, and Abbie Hoffman, Rhody mingles with a host of lesser-known counterculture luminaries including Steve Abbott, d. a. levy, and Randy Wicker. His insider look at the outsiders’ world preserves a glimpse of Americana and the legendary anti-Establishment Sixties not seen through the eyes of journalists, celebrities, or historians.