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 Rhody was an aspiring poet. Three years later Doubleday published the youth’s 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
(A work in progress)
Those years are relived in Rhody’s journey through the legendary anti-Establishment Sixties - as a poet in the Mimeo Revolution, a homeless drifter for nearly a year, a Lower East Side head shop employee, a San Francisco hippie mailman - at all times seeking some revelation as ineffable as Ginsberg's "cloud."
Meet a host of counterculture figures Rhody knew or met before they became notorious. His insider look at the outsiders’ world preserves a glimpse of Americana not previously captured by journalists, celebrities, or historians.