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Monday, 28 January 2013

Killaloe target practice 1975/winter bear meat/'our generation' not confrontational/

Hi Again, Kent
A bedraggled Chase & I are back from our afternoon hiking in this new snowfall. That's good that you've made arrangements with Kathy to retrieve your forgotten bags.

Re Killaloe Station, I spent some time up there in my CLM days. Several comrades lived in the area - the murdered Jon Penner (have you read my poem about him? - I'll copy it after this email) - and the husband & wife couple of Jim and Lynne Brown - she's the daughter of famous WW2 artist Leonard Hutchinson, & she's a talented artist as well.

I stayed with the Browns on their rented farm near Killaloe several times as 'the New Canada (newspaper) rep' for CLM. Locals used to drive by & shoot at their farmhouse from their pick-ups. One memorable visit, as I was settling in for the night to sleep in their livingroom, Jim handed me an antique .303 rifle with the instructions to, "Return fire if any of the rednecks start shooting at us from their trucks!"

It was either later on that visit, or on a similar one, when we visited Jon Penner for a CLM meeting at Penner's shack-like farmhouse. Suddenly Penner grabbed a rifle & fled out the door, shouting BEAR! MEAT FOR THE WINTER! Jim Brown thrust a bayonet in my hands, & rushed after the meat seeking Penner, who had already fired wildly into the thick woods. While they reloaded, I surged ahead into the cold dark brush after a potentially wounded bear, until common sense overcame the adrenalin rush & I realized what dangerous craziness I was heading into!  

Re War Objectors and how our generation of young Amerikans responded to authority & the Vietnam War, Jim Christy & I told parallel reminiscences at  dinner at their farmhouse Saturday night. My story was about attending a rock concert at Gulfstream Racetrack in Florida circa 1966-67 - Jimi Hendrix was the feature, but he refused to play in the pending electrical storm. But Chuck Berry stepped up & amazed & amused the wannabe hip young crowd with his by now old-fasioned riffs and duck walking antics. Suddenly a ripple of activity spread thru the crowd. A young guy had sneaked in without a ticket, & security guys were chasing him around the stadium.

My immediate response was to help him, & I rushed to where he was now being held captive by police & security guards. There were about 10 or so cops, & I was sure that many others in the crowd were thinking like I was, that we had tens of thousands of 'liberators' in the crowd. In my naivety I rushed forward, yelling for the cops to release the guy. Then I looked behind for the rest of the liberators - and OOPS one else was fucking there! So much for solidarity & any sense of politikal smarts among this generation. Christy's story was very parallel, with the Hell's Angels being the bad guys this time. But again, Christy had the same experience and as he put, a sudden moment of enlightened clarity that this hippie/flower children generation wasn't into confrontation, no matter how superior our odds were.  


Morley just stopped in to visit on his way home from groc shopping - now it's time to think about dinner & unwind further.

... maybe finish these thoughts about war objectors & the painfully slow evolution of our species on this hillbilly planet another time ...

peace & poetry power!
Chris ... and Chase wrffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff!

On 2013-01-28, at 12:13 PM, Kent Bowman wrote:

Hey Chris - Thanks for the offer. However, I would like to have my bags earlier, so as Kathy is coming to TO. within the next couple of weeks, I think I will make arrangements to visit her after all to pick up the bags and to say hello. I am very fond of both Rui and Kathy and believe that they are sympaticos with the rest of us. By the By, a play is being put on next summer in Killaloe on the hippie move to that area in the 1960s and Chris, a local businessman (i.e., Bonnechere Caves), will be playing the part of a war objector. It will also celebrate Barnie McCaffery, a fellow
W.O. who started the Wilno Express and successfully integrated into the Wilno community, documenting local history in song and story (Not an easy task if you are familiar with that area). Chris and his wife, Val, are lovely people who are great supporters of the Arts in their area. Chris tells me that he will be operating a local radio program and was pleased to receive my poetry book with the many Madawaska Valley Poems as well
as the double CD of folk music and, of course, New Orleans Will Rise Again. I am certain he would be interested in your new book and Morley's CD too. If you are interested, I will be happy to forward his contact information and inform him of any contacts you want to make. I will keep you
advised on this project and also mention that he told me that he is considering poetry readings in the caves (he now has musicians performing
there). All the best Chris and I hope to see you at the end of next month. I have just reviewed the pics. of our travels and cleaned them up and
there are some lovely shots of your amazing world. I am certain that we will want to do another winter visit in the future. Cheers, Kent



Strange death even the half-tamed winds

off Lake Ontario moan through Toronto ...

Leaves in High Park are telling stories

how trapped hours in your rusting car

the police took you to jail

instead of hospital.

They say you hanged yourself in the night!

You who were a semi-pro fighter

not fighting for glory

but for the peace of a needle in your arm.

This fighter hanged himself?

Cat burglar who clung to life on frozen sills!

You defeated the needle

and forsook the city's catspaw money

to live miles down a deserted road -

alone - in a house so haunted the moon

glowed through cracks at midday.

Strange they feared your politics

of democracy while you lived alone

writing novels and making magic

with your silver chloride half-tones.

The wind you now haunt

tells strong tales ...

the leaves are redder this fall.

Your murderers twist and turn

and don't know why

the full moon on the Ottawa Valley

glows brighter than the sun.

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