inkwell.vue.149 : Peter Simon: I and Eye - Pictures of My Generation
permalink #26 of 61: David Gans (tnf) Tue 7 May 02 07:14
    
She is.
  
inkwell.vue.149 : Peter Simon: I and Eye - Pictures of My Generation
permalink #27 of 61: Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Tue 7 May 02 09:14
    
Truly!

Peter, you've got some great shots of, what would you say, counterculture 
philosophers from the more spiritual side of the fence? Ram Dass, Chogyam 
Trungpa, et al. Were you or are you involved in a particular practice? Or was 
this all part of the larger cultural whirlwind?
  
inkwell.vue.149 : Peter Simon: I and Eye - Pictures of My Generation
permalink #28 of 61: Chris Florkowski (chrys) Tue 7 May 02 09:19
    
And what is it with that Arica photograph?
  
inkwell.vue.149 : Peter Simon: I and Eye - Pictures of My Generation
permalink #29 of 61: Gary Lambert (almanac) Tue 7 May 02 10:50
    

By the way, for those of you who haven't seen the photographs we're
talking about here, a good many of them are on Peter's website
(www.petersimon.com). But I strongly recommend seeing them in the book,
where they are beautifully reproduced and thematically organized, and
brilliantly illuminated by Peter's narrative. And while I'm on the
subject, it should be noted that you can order the book from the very
same website, and receive your copy autographed by the author his own
self!

One thing that I found quite striking about the book is just how vivid
some of these pictures have remained in my memory since I first saw them
in print (thirty-plus years ago in several cases). This is especially
true of one haunting image that appeared on the front page of Rolling
Stone (hard to believe, I know, in light of the present-day all-Britney-
all-the-time travesty that now carries that name). It's a picture
of a beautiful, sad-eyed, waifish 16-year-old named Jennifer Thomas,
standing amidst the debris of a vacant lot, with an American flag
wrapped around her as a shawl. The story that goes with that image is at
once infuriating and heartbreaking. Peter, could you tell us a little
about Jennifer's story, how you learned it, and how that unforgettable
picture came to be made?
  
inkwell.vue.149 : Peter Simon: I and Eye - Pictures of My Generation
permalink #30 of 61: jessica (gobeyond) Tue 7 May 02 12:27
    

 [ Oy. A senior moment right here, in front of gopod and everybody:
   sorry about getting that book title exactly wrong. I blame the 60s. ]

 There's still a nude beach here on Maui (though development may kill
 it soon), and the feeling is much the same, probably because it takes
 a bit of climbing to get over the cliff to get there and the tourists
 don't often bother (the clothed ones, that is). On Maui, though, it often
 looks and feels like the 60s never ended!

 In fact, I started reading your book in the communal kitchen of a
 farm near Huelo, and the dreadhead deadhead naked gardeners came in
 from their chores to see what was up, utterly unselfconscious. In the
 corner is a table/altar full of crystals, with pictures of Ichazo and
 Yoginanda and Ganesh and Tara.  Your book is like a history text to them!
  
inkwell.vue.149 : Peter Simon: I and Eye - Pictures of My Generation
permalink #31 of 61: Peter Simon (paytesimon) Wed 8 May 02 17:42
    
Hi there, folks. Sorry for the delay in responding. This morning (5-8)
I spent some time posting, but pushed the wrong button and lost all my
thoughts to the ethers of cyberspace. So I'll try again now...

(1)I'm glad Cynthia is still gorgeous!
 
(2)I did get quite heavily involved in the spiritual movement during
the mid 70's, and searched the USA for a guru and new age community.
During my travels, I came upon quite a plethora of scenarios. This is
all detailed in my chapter "Searching For The Spirit" from I and EYE.
After various false starts, I wound up getting hooked with with the Ram
Dass satsang, and even wound up living with he and his devotees for an
extended time in Berkeley. I also saw the teenage guru (at the time)
Mahaji, Oscar Ichazo (of Arica),David Gaskon (of "the farm), Trumpah
Rimpoche, Swami Muktenanda, Yogi Bajan, and countless others. I learned
a lot, but wound up realizing that the answers lie within...But got
some great photos along the way.

(3) Not sure why my art director loved that Arica photo so much. I
would have used it smaller. I think she liked the way it spoke of the
"brainwashing" effect of the spiritual movement. The photo you refer to
Chris shows students hooked up to headphones and looking at abstract
art on the wall - sort of a bizarre image. The Arica Institute in the
mid 70's had a sort of Nazi-like quality in the sense that Oscar was a
bit of a dictator, but a somewhat more benevolant one. 

(4) Gary - that shot of Jennnifer Thomas was originally taken for a
local Boston newspaper called "The Pheonix." It was a big local story
about how the cops clubbed and beat her for wearing the American flag
which originally had been wrapt around her father in his casket. He had
been a WW2 veteran,I think. Rolling Stone caught wind of the sad story
and ran the shot on the front page. Far be it for them to do such a
thing now, in this age of interchangeable culture. I'm touched that you
remember it from when you first saw it published. Actually, quite a
few people have remarked to me the same.

(5)Jessica - I've actually visited that beach on Maui quite a few
times. I think it's called McKenna? I recall one incident in 1973 going
there with a brand new lover that I had met after a Ken Keasey lecture
on Oahu. I went body surfing for about 15 minutes, and when I returned
to our blanket, I couldn't help but notice a good looking dude making
quite the moves on her. I was into sharing, so suggested we go into the
nearby woods and do a three-way scene. He thought about it, but
declined. When she and I walked over the rocks and back to the car, I
asked "Would you have done it with him right there if I hadn't returned
when I did?" She replied "Well, variety is the spice of life..." I
couldn't disagree. Ah - those were the days!! Stay tuned......
  
inkwell.vue.149 : Peter Simon: I and Eye - Pictures of My Generation
permalink #32 of 61: jessica (gobeyond) Wed 8 May 02 20:44
    

 Ha!  It's Little Beach at "Makena", actually, but the rest of the
 description is apt enough!
  
inkwell.vue.149 : Peter Simon: I and Eye - Pictures of My Generation
permalink #33 of 61: Chris Florkowski (chrys) Wed 8 May 02 21:34
    
>This is all detailed in my chapter "Searching For The Spirit"

Though it sounds as though my experience of the book is unique, I was
having trouble finding my ground in its pages. So the first chapter I
dove into was "Searching For The Spirit", because I felt that was were
I was likely to make the best connection.  That Arica image troubled
because it *did* convey an impression of brainwashing. I read the
caption hoping for explanation or context.  The caption only
re-inforced that impression: ' Delivering the Arican message at the
Learning Center in New York City, 1976'.  Does this impression jive
with what you experienced when you made the image?    
  
inkwell.vue.149 : Peter Simon: I and Eye - Pictures of My Generation
permalink #34 of 61: jessica (gobeyond) Thu 9 May 02 12:41
    

 As an Arican, I'll try to get some more specifics about that photo.
 My memory is that it was in a gallery that displayed the 'yantras'
 (geometric figures that we use in meditations) and invited the public
 to try them out in a simplified way while listening to music (which
 may or may not have been specific to the yantra being viewed). In
 fact, if my memory is correct, using them that way was never actually
 a part of any Arica practice that any of us really did (except when
 posing for Peter!).

 My mother once asked if Arica was 'brainwashing', because her friends
 had raised that concern.  Having met many of my Arica buddies, she
 didn't have that impression herself (thankfully).  I told her it
 wasn't what her friends feared at all, but it certainly did help you
 clean out the musty, dusty corners of your mind.

 Looking forward to your anecdotes about the making of the photo, Peter.
  
inkwell.vue.149 : Peter Simon: I and Eye - Pictures of My Generation
permalink #35 of 61: Chris Florkowski (chrys) Thu 9 May 02 13:11
    

>In fact, if my memory is correct, using them that way was never
>actually a part of any Arica practice that any of us really did
>(except when posing for Peter!).

I guess that is part of why I am asking the question.  The image
creates an impression, it was chosen *FOR* the book because of that
impression, but that impression may be false. 
  
inkwell.vue.149 : Peter Simon: I and Eye - Pictures of My Generation
permalink #36 of 61: Gary Lambert (almanac) Thu 9 May 02 15:45
    

And while we're on the subject of spiritual questing and devotion --
let's talk baseball!

Peter, your chapter on your love for baseball in general and the Mets in
particular struck as resonant a chord in me as anything in the book. I
was touched by your recollections of your relationship with Jackie
Robinson and his family. And that great picture of you and your dad in
the dugout with Jackie and Jackie Jr!  I also really liked the
confluence of Tom Seaver and Thoreau that occured during your canoe trip
up the Concord and Merrimack, and your observations on the ways that
baseball and the counterculture didn't always coexist too comfortably in
the late 60s. I experienced some of that while straddling both worlds --
I was both hippie and jock at high school, and it wasn't always the
easiest divide to negotiate. But I managed to balance those passions,
and fell for both the Grateful Dead and the New York Knicks with almost
equal fervor in 1969 (and often thought of them as being very much
alike, in their genius for collective improvisation). I was still aware
of the disdain some of my countercultural comrades had for competitive
sports, but I didn't let that bother me much. I fondly remember (sort
of) attending a Mets-Phillies game at Shea while high on acid with my
brother -- I couldn't tell you any details of the contest, but I vividly
recall being mesmerized by how pretty the tarpaulin looked during the
rain delay!

What are some of your fondest baseball memories, Peter?
  
inkwell.vue.149 : Peter Simon: I and Eye - Pictures of My Generation
permalink #37 of 61: David Gans (tnf) Thu 9 May 02 15:59
    

<exhaling thick plume of pot smoke>

Sports jocks!  Feh!
  
inkwell.vue.149 : Peter Simon: I and Eye - Pictures of My Generation
permalink #38 of 61: David Gans (tnf) Thu 9 May 02 15:59
    

I do like the idea of goikng to a ballgome high on acid, I must say!
  
inkwell.vue.149 : Peter Simon: I and Eye - Pictures of My Generation
permalink #39 of 61: David Gans (tnf) Thu 9 May 02 15:59
    

I'll just let those typos stand.
  
inkwell.vue.149 : Peter Simon: I and Eye - Pictures of My Generation
permalink #40 of 61: Gary Lambert (almanac) Thu 9 May 02 16:10
    

Heh! And then there was Dock Ellis of the Pittsburgh Pirates, who also
liked the idea of going to a ballgame high on acid, only to find out
that he was his manager's last-minute choice to pitch that day -- and
went out and pitched a no-hitter!
  
inkwell.vue.149 : Peter Simon: I and Eye - Pictures of My Generation
permalink #41 of 61: Gail Williams (gail) Thu 9 May 02 18:44
    

Perfect, Gary.  You set up one of the links I posted recently in the WELL
Sports conference --  an audio file about seeing that game. It's funny, and 
it's an amazing mixed-up slice of history.  History really was mixed-up at
that time, with most counterculture people living the intermittently
double life, doing staunchly non-counterculture things we loved.  

<http://loveofthegame.bizland.com/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderfiles/davidland
er.mp3>  just for fun.
  
inkwell.vue.149 : Peter Simon: I and Eye - Pictures of My Generation
permalink #42 of 61: Peter Simon (paytesimon) Thu 9 May 02 22:09
    
 Well guys, so glad my baseball chapter has stirred so much
conversation!!! Growing up with Jackie Robinson as practically a member
of our family in the fifties imprited a love for the game for LIFE.
Sure, I was derided by my freak friends in the 60's and 70's for still
being such a FANatic, but I just didn't care. HEY - didn't the DEAD
sing the national anthem once at Candlestick before a world serious
game? So there!!!

Gary, my fondest memory has to be enjoying the 6th game of the 1986
world serious with my wife Ronni, my sister Carly and her son Ben
Taylor. We sat in the press box at Shea all crunched together, holding
hands as the Mets staged that other wordly comeback. With the Mets
behind with 2 outs and nobody on in the ninth inning, and with the
scoreboard already congradulating the Red Sox on their world series
victory, the magic happened, much like what Garcia calls miracles
during a special jam. Then the Mookie dribbler through Buckner's
legs.......God we were in extacy - hugging and jumping, laughing and
crying - a dream come true! Where did you go Jackie Robinson? Somewhere
up there to toss us down some nirvana no doubt!

With free agency and players switching teams and loyalties year after
year, to say nothing about the greed and the unequal playing fields,
I'll never feel as in love with sport as I once did. I actually enjoy
my weekly SOFTBALL game now more than watching a Met game. 

As far as that Arica shot goes, I don't remember it as having been
"staged" per se. If it had been, why were all those chairs and
headphones already there? Honestly, I'm not sure exactly how the shot
happened. I will say, however, that Arica did seem a bit militaristic
for my sensibilities at the time, though I'm sure it helped some people
along the way.

On a completely other NOTE,I'd love all well-watchers to know that I
host a weekly radio show called "PRIVATE COLLECTION" every Sunday night
at 8PM to 10pm (EDT)on our local station here on the Vineyard (WMVY).
I feature rare recordings by legendary groups like the DEAD, BEATLES,
STONES, and artists like MARLEY, CLAPTON, DYLAN, CARLY (of course).
It's streamed on the web at mvyradio.com. Each week the show is devoted
to a certain theme, artist or genre. For example, all songs on this
coming Sunday's show will all be about (you guessed it) MOTHERS. Try to
turn on and tune in. Take care.......
  
inkwell.vue.149 : Peter Simon: I and Eye - Pictures of My Generation
permalink #43 of 61: Chris Florkowski (chrys) Thu 9 May 02 22:23
    

> As far as that Arica shot goes, I don't remember it as having been
> "staged" per se.

I wasn't suggesting it was staged.  One doesn't need to 'stage' a
situation to produce - even inadvertently - a misleading photo.  

I'm wondering why it - and other images - were included.  How did you
choose what to include in the book - and what to exclude.  I'd suspect
that - like the photographs - there was probably more writing produced
than was used.  How did you decide what to keep and what to edit out?
  
inkwell.vue.149 : Peter Simon: I and Eye - Pictures of My Generation
permalink #44 of 61: Gary Lambert (almanac) Fri 10 May 02 01:09
    

>Then the Mookie dribbler through Buckner's legs...

Which reminds me how much I love the picture in the book of Mookie
running out that roller -- appearing as a blur, as he so often did on
the basepaths. That was one of the great at-bats in baseball history --
the patient way Mook worked the count, with the Mets down to the last
strike of their year -- staying in control, not lunging at the bad
pitches, fouling off what seemed like a hundred balls at the time, and
that astonishing instinctive flinging of his whole body out of the path
of that *way* inside pitch, somehow knowing, in that tiny fraction of a
second, that if it hit him he would merely be awarded first base, with
no run scored, but if it missed him it was headed for the backstop and
the game would be tied. And then that last pitch where he was fooled
but committed to the swing, and got *just* enough of the ball to send it
on that fateful trickle toward first, and poor Billy Buck's achin',
hobbled legs...  That one at-bat told everything anyone could ever hope
to know about what a beautiful, thrilling, heartbreaking thing baseball
is.

But jeeze, Peter, I've *gotta* ask... what *was* it like to be a Mets
fan in Sox-crazy New England after that series?
  
inkwell.vue.149 : Peter Simon: I and Eye - Pictures of My Generation
permalink #45 of 61: Peter Simon (paytesimon) Sun 12 May 02 05:40
    
Gary - for the first year or two it was highly problematic wearing my
Mets cap around the Island....New Englanders WERE really devastated.
But asa the years go byu, the wounds do heal...I actually don't MIND
either the Sox or Yanks, and would root for them in ther World Serious
if the Mets weren't the opposition. By the way, the SUBWAY SERIES
(2001) was great fun too, but not nearly as exciting as 1986. 

Hey out there.....ask me more stuff. This is fun! Anyone else around
that has"I and EYE" and wants to feedback to me about it - good, bad,
ugly or indifferent? 
  
inkwell.vue.149 : Peter Simon: I and Eye - Pictures of My Generation
permalink #46 of 61: Linda Castellani (castle) Sun 12 May 02 10:17
    

Well, first off, let me say that this a just a gorgeous book.  My 
boyfriend and I have a fifty-something friend in San Francisco who is 
dating a twenty-something former opera star from someplace like Romania or 
Hungary.  They get along famously until it comes time for our friend to 
explain what life was like in the 60's or what a "hippie" is.  I suggested 
that they get this book and use it to get a sense of what life and times 
were like back then because the photographs are so richly evocative of 
the times that formed us.

I am curious about one thing, though.  In Stephen Davis' introduction to 
the book he describes you, in part, thus:

"He's a generous friend, a good husband and father, a masterful stickball 
player, a way-cool DJ and radio host, and a frustrated, unresolved 
weatherman."

Would you elaborate for us on what he means by that last bit about the 
weatherman?
  
inkwell.vue.149 : Peter Simon: I and Eye - Pictures of My Generation
permalink #47 of 61: Jonathan Kopp (jbk) Sun 12 May 02 23:31
    


Forget professional baseball - what about those softball
games at the Chilmark Community Center?
  
inkwell.vue.149 : Peter Simon: I and Eye - Pictures of My Generation
permalink #48 of 61: Peter Simon (paytesimon) Mon 13 May 02 21:39
    
Hi Linda - My good pal Stephen Davis refers to the fact that I often
dreamed about becoming a professional TV weather"person" during my
youth. My mother always discouraged it because she sensed that my lack
of mathmatical skills would compromise my abilities to learn the
intracacies of meteorology. Little did she (or I) know that TV weather
personalities often have no scientific background at all. I still do
have a passion for weather, and watch the weather channel habitually.

And Jonnathan - did you once play ball there with me? You'll be glad
to know I still play weekly at the age of 55, even after knee
operations!! But now the games are in West Tisbury, Fridays at 5pm. 
See you there!?! 
  
inkwell.vue.149 : Peter Simon: I and Eye - Pictures of My Generation
permalink #49 of 61: jessica (gobeyond) Mon 13 May 02 23:58
    

 Update: As I remembered, that Arica photo was taken at the Nine Rings
 Gallery, probably at the grand opening of it.  I had a lovely bunch
 of e-mails from friends with their (rather varied) recollections.  One
 fellow owns one of the paintings/yantras in the picture! The idea was to let
 the public try out a meditation =without= a leader leading
 it (an attempt to seem less 'militaristic'???). The chairs (available
 apparently in sizes built to your own body's specs) didn't sell (no
 surprise there). The gallery was on West 57th, next door to (or a little
 ways away from) the main Arica facility at #24.  So, that's enough about
 that...

 What I'm still curious about, payte, is the photo of Oscar himself.
 Might there be more story to your snapping that one?

 And while we're reverting back from baseballs to Babas, how's
 Ram Dass' health these days?
  
inkwell.vue.149 : Peter Simon: I and Eye - Pictures of My Generation
permalink #50 of 61: Peter Simon (paytesimon) Tue 14 May 02 05:00
    
Jessica - that shot of Oscar was taken for New Age Magazine - part of
a series of portaits I did at the time. I may have shot over 100
photos!! I remember a pose I got him into using swords.....

As far as RD is concerned, there's a great new film out called "Fierce
Grace" about his stroke and healing process. Maybe it will come to a
theatre near you!!! He's doing about as well as to be expected - slow
speech and paralized. He still lectures however and sees people about
the aging process, etc. Hope this helps.... 
  

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