|Full Text:||January 28, 1967
a poem of heroes
for Ed White II
3 essays on freedom, acid &c
distributed on Haight Street
by the communication company
as a public outrage
[End of text]
The items that he sent, and presumably personally numbered, in red pen, are: (1) for Col. Edward White II, (2) Don't Drop Half Out, (3) if you're not a digger | you're property, (4) The time has come to be free, (5) Every time somebody has turned on a whole crowd of people at once, (6) Invitation to the Psychedelic Community, (7) If acid does what we know it does, why haven't we turned everybody on?, (8) if you Really believe it | do it.
On item (1) is this hdw note: "All the 1/28/67 material - we distributed 500 copies of each sheet - comprises A Poem of Heroes, dedicated to Col. White, one of my very few personal heroes, who died the day before."
On item (2) is an asterisk by the title, with this footnote: "* refers to Dr Timothy Leary's battle cry: Tune In, Turn on, drop out."
On item (3) is an asterisk by the first line, with this footnote: "* The diggers are a non-organization of radical hippies. They believe & practice freedom [underlined] - which includes feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, sheltering the homeless, befriending the stranger, &c &c, all for free, that being their thing. I'll send you an essay on the conservative & radical factions that explains it all.
"The diggers have Dropped Out. Abandoned the establishment & especially its values. Very radical, very active, very political. I'm one."
On item (7) is an asterisk at end of the sentence "There's this celebration tonight" and a cross at end of sentence "Give it to the first person who sounds like he'll use it" with these footnotes:
"* Timothy Leary's Psychedelic Celebration."
"+ Lots of people did it! [did it underlined]"
On reverse of item (7) is a typewritten letter addressed Dear Thurl, and signed Chester, with the return address: 406 Duboce Avenue, San Francisco, Calif., February 9, 1967, as follows:
I did move to San Francisco, 1/7/67. Moved in at this address with Claude & Helene Hayward.
In San Francisco what's happening is a drug-oriented social revolution centered in a neighborhood called Haight/Ashbury (those being the main intersecting streets thereof). A psychedelic community has sprung into existence, based essentially on pot & LSD. (Note: the pill inclosed with this letter is 1000 micrograms of LSD -- hereinafter & henceforth called Acid. Divide it in half & share it with thine frau.) The operating principles of this community -- more than 20,000 people -- are Love & Freedom.
And it's a lovely place. Everyone wears long hair and odd clothes & strange jewelry. I myself have grown a beard, given up cutting my hair, returned to boots, taken to wearing things & beads around my neck, & look generally quite picturesque, but fairly drab within my environment.
Naturally, I leapt into this community with the joy of an otter in water. With the 2nd BUTTERFLY check I made downpayment on a Gestetner silk-screen stencil duplicator & Gestefax electronic stencil cutter, with which Claude & I have set ourselves up as The Communication Company. The piece of paper headed thus explains what we're doing.
Most of my writing lately has been for the company, and is enclosed. I'm also at work on a novel: THE LOVE FREAK, set in & playing with this community. This is the one I expect to be a best seller.
Anyhow, I'm now a community leader and, since it's a revolutionary community, a political/revolutionary/ultraradical leader as well. It's all enormous fun, & I wish you would come out here & join me. You'd have no trouble supporting wife & Kind here. In fact, within six weeks the company will probably be able to afford to hire you. We're beginning to make money.
Claude is advertising manager for the _Sunday Ramparts_ -- the newspaper published by _Ramparts_ magazine. He & I have interested the magazine in the hip community (whose members, including us, are called hippies). So the magazine is using me, at $2.00 an hour, as a researcher, investigating the community & pulling stories out of it. What this means is that I'm being paid to do what I'd be doing anyhow, a very dolce arrangement.
Why have you not written? Did you get THE BUTTERFLY KID? Shortly I'll send you a copy of FOX & HARE similarly duplicated. But why have you not written?
The Communication Company (a member of the Underground Press Syndicate) is about to publish:
High Tea (with notes)
A Handbook for Unicorns
Poems Good & Bad (i.e., every poem of mine I can still stand)
The Changes, a magazine of basically literary pretensions
The Underhound, a satire mag I used to run in my North Beach days
all of which, along with everything else we put out that's appropriate, you'll get for enjoyment & archives.
I am exceedingly happy. Money is no longer a problem. I'm high most of the time & about to get high the rest of the time. I'm busy, creative, engaged, involved, having a ball. Why haven't you written?
I'm also writing a regular column on Total Art for the San Francisco ORACLE, a subscription to which I have entered in your name.
All the stuff in this mailing I wrote.
Love & joy,