Chester Anderson (1932- ) Papers [ca. 1963-1980]

1 box (.4 linear ft.)

Series title: The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720.

[Melvyl Cataloging: UCB Bancroft BANC MSS 92/839 c]

May 26, 1995, first visit to Bancroft to view Chester's Mss collection.

Heller Reading Room

11 Folders:

1:1 the Communication Company (San Francisco, Calif.) Jan. 1967

1:2 the Communication Company (San Francisco, Calif.) Feb. 1967

1:3 the Communication Company (San Francisco, Calif.) March 1967

1:4 the Communication Company (San Francisco, Calif.) April 1967

1:5 the Communication Company (San Francisco, Calif.) May 1967

1:6 the Communication Company (San Francisco, Calif.) June 1967

1:7 the Communication Company (San Francisco, Calif.) July-Sept. 1967

1:8 the Communication Company (San Francisco, Calif.) Invisible Circus n.d.

1:9 Fox and Hare: original typescript by Chester Anderson [p. 1 - 104] 1963-64

1:10 Fox and Hare: original typescript by Chester Anderson [p. 105 - 203] 1963-64

1:11 Puppies: original typescript by John Valentine (pseud. of Chester Anderson) n.d.

Folder contents:


Customer copy of sales receipt for Gestetner Duplicator Model 366 for $972 (with $300 down payment.) Sold to: Anderson - Hayward, 301 Broadway, SF, CA. Delivery address: 406 Duboce, SF. Dated: 1-17-67.

2 Be-In posters (8-1/2" x 11").

What would be the result if all the little kids used their water pistols (hand dated 1/10/67).

The Communication Company ... Our Policy. (n.d.)

trips by c. anderson (dated 1/13/67). [never seen] [list of bay area trippy places.]

Among some hundred horses stood the unicorn... [hand dated 1/13/67] [never seen]

The Pow-Wow [hd 1/14/67]

The reverse side has, typewritten: "we were going to start a daily newspaper, & this was to be in the first issue, but we ran out of ink. By the time we had more ink, we realized that, both being new to the scene, we didn't have the reportorial staff & community cooperation needed for a daily paper, so we're still going to start one someday.

"There were more than 25,000 hippies present, turning on & happy at the Human Be-In. The poster for the Be-In, included herewith, is typical Haight/Ashbury poster art. Now very famous, all these hippie posters.

"(The mystery sky diver, it turns out, was Owsley Stanley, San Francisco's major manufacturer of black market acid.)

One sheet, tpw: January 28, 1967. a poem of heroes for Ed White II. 3 essays on freedom, acid &c. 5 slogans. distributed on Haight Street by the communication company as a public service outrage.

for Col. Edward White II (hd 1/28/67) with hdw note.

Don't Drop Half Out (hd 1/28/67) with hdw note: *refers to Dr. Timothy Leary's battle cry: Tune in, turn on, drop out.

if you're not a digger (hd 1/28/67) with hdw note:

*the diggers are a non-organization of radical hippies. They believe & practice freedom -- 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.

The time has come to be free. (hd 1/28/67)

Every time somebody has turned on a whole crowd... (hd 1/28/67)

INVITATION TO THE PSYCHEDELIC COMMUNITY / put up / or shut up (hd 1/28/67)

If acid does what we know it does, why haven't we turned everybody on? (hd 1/28/67) with hdw note: "Timothy Leary's Psychedelic Celebration) (after There's this celebration tonight.) and "Lots of people did it!) (after Give it to the first person who sounds like he'll use it.) On reverse side is a tpw letter from Chester:

406 Duboce Avenue/San Francisco, Calif./February 9, 1967

Dear Thurl,

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,

[Signed Chester]

if you Really believe it / do it (hd 1/28/67) The Diggers state simply: their intent as a group is to establish and operate 1) a restaurant service ... (n.d.) (ComCo) with hdw note: This I didn't write, but it explains a lot.

Approximately public explanation approximately explaining ... george metevsky is pleased to announce ... (n.d.) (ComCo) With hdw note: I didn't write this/these, either. R.s.: Now newold news know splashflash ...

Photo-copy of envelope (approx. 8" x 12") with postmark of Key West, Fla. (May 31, 1973) to C.V.J. Anderson/Box 395/Mendocino/California/95460. Return address: Box 826/Key West/Fla. 33040. Lower left corner: Manuscripts 3/8. Side-wise printing: January.



The Digger Archives is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Cite As: The Digger Archives ( / CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 / All other uses must receive permission. Contact: curator at diggers dot org.