4/27/07 Special Edition
Here's the eulogy Billy Craddock wrote in the Los Gatos/Saratoga Times Observer, dated Tuesday, February 6, 1968. His column was called The Vicious Circle: Eulogy To Moriarty - Cody - Cassady (February 3, 1968)
"With the coming of Dean Moriarty began the part of my life you could call my life on the road." Jack Kerouac and"On the Road", Neal Cassady, author of "The First Third" an autobiography (1949) which enlightened Buddha, Allen Ginsberg and "Howl".The faster-than-light, holy beat power behind On The Road is gone. Cody, the incredible, always moving, sad-mad Dharma Bum is dead. The smiling TV tells me that Neal is dead in Mexico...dead beside the rail-road tracks. "One Time I rode a freight from New Mexico clear to L.A. - I was eleven years old, lost my father at a siding, we were all in a hobo jungle. I was with a man called Big Red, my father was out drunk in a boxcar...I didn't see my father for months."
On The Road
Dean Moriarty was my all-time hero in high school, when I dreamed of the then- fading (nearly faded) Beat Generation. He was the personification of restless, searching holy, hopeful untamed youth. Dean Moriarity, who ( I learned a year after reading On The Road) was Neal Cassady, a one-time resident of humbly beautiful (long before Old Town 'art' center) Los Gatos. A great Titan.... a Super-hero had set foot in my home town.Two years ago, out of high school, into college (and many other important things), at a party near San Francisco given by super-hero No. 4, Ken Keasy, I met the immortal Mr. Cassady face to face and burned my brain, but lived to tell of it. "That's Neal Cassady, Man! That's Kerouac's old buddy!" from an excited friend.Cassady danced beneath a flickering strobe-light, moving as only the original impossible Neal Cassady could move. Saying, "Yes and hello there my friend, may the sun as it always does do it more in this particular configuration in which we are coming to you from just to the left of the angry red planet and if you don't believe, then by george you just better have a quick drink and then leave the room because nothing that'll happen here will come even close to convincing you...." "He's crazy!" "No, he's Neal Cassady. A Holyman. A Beat-saint." A thousand-thousand unbelievable storys (sic) about his mad adventures, told and repeated and marveled at and re-told. Neal Cassady....a legend. At parties he'd say, "I'm going out to roll the VW. Anybody wanna come?" and off he'd go to roll the car. Keep the wheel of life turning. Just for fun. "He's the best driver in the world. He drove a car without brakes from Colorado to Berkeley...non-stop." "He talked for three weeks once without stopping or repeating himself." "He drove a speed-boat right into a huge banana-boat in Mexico...just to show he could do it.""He was knifed in L.A. by the Mafia, but he hit the guy with his suitcase and talked the cop out of arresting him while still holding the knife in his side." He did other things...much more exciting, much more marvelous, that the newspaper would never print. His friends know. Forty-two years at six-thousand miles an hour. In Santa Cruz I watched him auction off paintings behind a beautiful monologue without the artist even suspecting what was going on. At the Big Beat he danced with a skeleton on Halloween. Pantomiming all-life with his eighteen-year-old body. Moving, moving, moving. Mr. Cassady, you left too soon. You left without saying goodbye...or maybe you said it a long time ago. When I learned of your death from quietly mourning Andrew, I flashed once again on the finity of this tiny scene. And followed it up with a flash of the infinity of the Big Scene. You saw it, Cody. You danced to it, Moriarty. You lived and laughed with it, Cassady. PEOPLE OF THE EARTH, YOU ARE FORBIDDEN TO FORGET. "Ah, man, don't worry, everything is perfect and finel" On The Road Part Three Chapter Three.
Note: As you can see, this is a very special edition, with pages removed and personal notes scanned in to properly convey the intimate nature of the messages. Going forward pages will be archived and the site navigation will offer the full site content.
Happy Birthday Carolyn!
Thanx Be To Mom HAPPY BIRTHDAY with much love from George and Cathy. Mom, you deserve to have the best, most peaceful, and joyous birthday ever. I would like to send you this Thank You note from the heart: I have fond memories of the gifts you gave us throughout the years. You were great at teaching us about alternative ways of thinking. Among many other things, I’m glad you exposed us to the arts, to different religious beliefs and spiritual views, to the concept of equality and unity among our fellow beings, and by example, instilled in us the powerful lesson that those who use their creativity and resourcefulness will thrive.How lucky we are to have you for our mom. I am especially grateful to you for sacrificing so much to keep the Bancroft house. I always carry that restorative environment with me….the beautiful eucalyptus trees, the creek, the hills in which I could walk for hours… all are part of me, and are where I retreat when I’m stressed even now.I am grateful for the healthy way you nourished us. We were so lucky to have nothing but good, wholesome food served to us. Even though I didn’t appreciate it at the time, you "walked the talk", incorporating what you’d learned from your biochemist father. I think it’s awesome that you let us have our candy once a week (as a treat while we watched the Disney show every Sunday night), thereby ensuring we’d not become total sugar junkies like we wanted to be. I loved the fact that you let us have so many pets. Not every mom would let their daughter have white rats and a painted turtle, besides all the cats and dogs that were living with us. You were so generous in caring for those animals. I’m sure it’s due to your influence that I plan on being another Doris Day when I’m old(er) and gray(er), with a houseful of critters to keep me company. I must say, one of the most meaningful things you did for me was getting me braces for my teeth. I will always be indebted to you for making that sacrifice. I can’t even imagine how awful it would be to still have that horrid overbite! Thank you, thank you.I also have to let you know how much I appreciate your taking the time to read to us when we were kids. Not only did we lucky three get read to every night, we got to experience the joy of reading aloud while you made costumes in our glitter and sequin-covered family room. Such a treat! I love to read aloud to this day, and encourage my grandchildren to do the same. These are just a few of the many, many gifts you’ve given us. We received a marvelous education from you that not many kids can claim. As I age, my appreciation grows for the wonderful job you did, Mom, and whenever I get the chance, I let folks know about it. I feel blessed that I can call you "me Mum". Thank you from the bottom of my heart!
Cathy Cassady Sylvia April 28, 2007
More birthday wishes from: Jami, Becky, Zabett, Alice, Don Heim, Teresa Craddock & John Gourley
Site Voice - April 27, 2007
On our way to the dedication of Jack Kerouac Alley on March 31st, Jami and I were invited to stop in at Lundberg Studios in Davenport to see our friend, Teresa Craddock. Teresa’s late husband, Bill Craddock, was a close friend of Carolyn’s, as was she, and we have enjoyed knowing them both for many years.Davenport is a small town on Hwy. 1, several miles north of Santa Cruz. Davenport is not only known for whale watching from the cliffs and the old cement plant (that is still in operation), but also as a thriving arts and crafts community.Lundberg Studios is located in a beautiful, older house at 131 Old Coast Road and is truly amazing. They specialize in blown glass, globes, lamps and fixtures, (think Tiffany!), vases and many decorative and truly beautiful objects.Teresa’s sister, Rebecca, is the owner and Teresa works there, also. We got a tour of the glass works studio and got to watch as the artisans made many beautiful glass objects. It was great to know that the whole “crew” has been together for many years. A true “family” operation. Lundberg Studios offers wonderful tours, please call (831) 423-2532 for information, or visit lundbergstudios.com.Teresa was kind enough to write a fascinating history of Lundberg’s innovative work, and the founder, James Lundberg.Randy RattoPlease email Randy with any questions, comments or media inquiries.
Located in the small coastal town of Davenport, California, Lundberg Studios has been producing quality paperweights since 1972. It first became known for its iridescent glass and Art Nouveau style. Later, its clear-encased weights with flower, bird, butterfly, and seascape motifs marked the emergence of a new form of paperweight.The late James Lundberg, founder of the studio, first studied
glassworking at California State University at San Jose during the late
1960’s. Classically trained in ceramics from an early age, Lundberg
worked his way through college as the assistant to the head of the
ceramics department, Dr. Herbert Sanders. Through his association with
Dr. Sanders, a noted authority on ceramic glazes, James became
fascinated with the chemistry of first glazes, and then glasses. He was
later to become an authority on the chemistry of colored glasses and one
of a handful of paperweight makers who formulated and melted all of their
own materials.A graduate tour took him to Germany, Italy, Spain, France
and England to continue studying glassmaking techniques. One of the
most important lessons that he learned was that very little was being done
with colored glasses. On his way home from Europe, he stopped in New York City and was introduced to Tiffany Art Glass. Struck by both the beauty and value of Tiffany’s work, he rushed home to develop similar iridescent luster colors. Today Lundberg Studios is the foremost replicator of Tiffany Style art glass.
In 1972, with the encouragement of L. H. Selman, James began applying his iridescent glasses and Tiffany decorative techniques to paperweight design. They were an immediate success and in such demand that a year later the studio moved to it’s present and much larger facility in Davenport.The
paperweight department of Lundberg Studios has consistently been staffed by
glass artists working in the Renaissance Studio tradition, with each contributing
his unique skills to the creative process.Out of the combined experience and
expertise of all the artists, a new type of paperweight began to be produced at
Lundberg Studios around 1978. Called the California Paperweight Style (or
torchwork) it represents a hybridization of two antique styles: the Art Nouveau
“ice pick” technique and the lampworking procedures of the French
paperweight. It allowed for the direct application of complex three-dimensional
imagery and enlarged the range of paperweights offered by Lundberg. By
1978 the studio was producing crystal encased weights in the new style on a
regular basis.Today the influence of Lundberg Studios can be seen in the works of many prominent glass houses and continues to be a leader in developing new designs and motifs. Examples of their work are included in almost every major museum and private glass collection.The studio houses the talents of several teams of glass artists who work to create the beautiful lustered lamps, vases, scent bottles and paperweights that have steadily become an important area of production.In 1989 James Lundberg developed the Worldweight. This earth paperweight, using a complex powdered glass drawing and several layers of specially formulated glasses represents yet another new style pioneered by Lundberg. The Worldweight has been used by numerous corporations, the President of the United States, Jacques Cousteau, and the National Geographic Society as a special award for achievement, and the demand continues for this very unique piece.The Master Craftsmen at Lundberg Studios continue to produce the Worldweight, in addition to their other beautiful designs, under the direction of Rebecca Lundberg.
Neal and Friend’s:
Dear Friends, this month we are going to deviate from the current format and focus on one of the Cassady families's closest friends. Bill Craddock. Billy was a brilliant writer who published two books and passed away too soon. Teresa, Billy's beautiful wife, has conveyed to us that she would like to get his existing finished manuscripts published...So we would like to introduce you to this wonderful man, husband, writer, friend and adventurer.
A memory of Billy ~ John Allen Cassady
My father was a complex and "highly evolved" soul. He was a man of many facets, of which I knew only a few. A "sparkling diamond in the rough," as my mother pointed out. He affected everyone who came in contact with him. Some viewed him as a lovable con man. They knew he was absolutely charming their socks off so that he could gain something for himself: Money, dope, sex, shelter or love. They knew that he knew that they knew, and they loved him anyway. He was mostly undeniable. If you study his childhood, it's amazing that he could balance all his passions in this life without bitterness or (intentionally) being hurtful to others. He could shift gears in a heartbeat. A loving father, husband, hard-working breadwinner, writer, rogue, driver, lady's man, philosopher, rapper, story teller, saint and sinner. They were all attributes within his grasp at a moment's notice, but his spirit and wisdom came through regardless of the situation in which he found himself, and by all accounts, he touched many of those he encountered in magical ways.Take, for example, an account by the brilliant writer William J. Craddock of his meeting Neal at a party in San Francisco in 1965. Bill, although his first novel "Be Not Content" was not published until 1970, was already an avid Kerouac and Cassady fan, so that when Neal walked into the second-story apartment where the party was being held that night, Bill was beside himself and was determined to meet his legendary hero. Neal was already talking non-stop to all who would listen, and after introductions Neal praised Bill on his writing endeavors and invited him to go along for a drive to get some cigarettes at the market down the street. Bill was thrilled that the almost-forty-year-old Dean Moriarty would consider rapping with the then teen-aged wanna-be writer, and Bill quickly agreed. Bill told me that they went downstairs and out onto Gough street, one of the steepest in the City. Neal, talking about writing and a million related subjects, stopped walking at a VW bug just down the hill, and said, "this is it." They jumped into the car and proceeded down the hill. Suddenly and without warning, Neal cranked the wheel to the left, and the car flipped over twice, crushing the top and breaking the windows. It miraculously landed on its wheels in the middle of the street. As you can imagine, Bill was horrified and afraid for his life, which was thankfully preserved, or we would have missed out on some great future writing by Billy!Neal kept the engine running and straightened her out, proceeding down the incline. Bill swears that Neal never missed a beat in his monologue while the car rolled, and acted as if nothing had happened. As Bill was searching for the door handle, Neal drove around the block and parked the disabled car exactly where they'd found it. It was then that Bill realized it wasn't Neal's car at all! Some poor kid had left the keys in it, thinking "no one's going to steal this thing." I can't imagine the owner's horror to return to his car and find the roof crushed, as if Godzilla had walked through town, it being still in the same parking place.Neal walked back up to the party, talking all the while, with the ashen-faced Bill in tow. Bill's summation of the experience: "we never bought the cigarettes!"Now, mind you, I don't approve or condone property damage of any kind--cars or otherwise--but the way Billy told the story made me laugh. I could just picture it, and that's the gift Billy had in his story-telling—whether verbal or in his writing. He was impressed by Neal Cassady, and I was duly impressed by William J. Craddock!John CassadyApril 20, 2007
BILLY, BILLY, MY BELOVED BILLY. HE WAS HUSBAND TO MY SISTER AND BROTHER TO ME. HE WAS WISE AND WONDERFUL, LOVING AND KIND. HE WAS GENEROUS WITH HIS LOVE AND HE WAS ALWAYS THERE FOR ME. THE BILLY I KNOW AND LOVE IS WITH US STILL. HE IS IN OUR HEARTS AND DEEP IN OUR SOULS. LINGERING IN THE SHADOWS QUIETLY WAITING TO HOLD AND ENCOURAGE.TO LOVE AND TO LET US KNOW WE ARE NOT ALONE. WE LOST HIM TOO SOON AND MY SELFISH HEART WEEPS WITH HIS PASSING. HE HAS LEFT US WITH HIS WORDS AND STORIES. LITTLE PIECES OF BILLY TO READ AND REMEMBER .THE MAN, THE WRITER, THE CARING BROTHER I LOVE. I SO HOPE TO SEE ALL HIS REMAINING WORK PUBLISHED SO THAT THE WORLD CAN SHARE IN THE WRITING OF MY BELOVED BILLY. I LOVE YOU FOREVER AND A DAY.
My Sweet Billy, I love and miss you terribly. I miss the way you would jump up when I would walk in and you'd say "Hey Kid" as you would wrap your arms around me and give me the biggest, warmest hug. That is just one of the many loving memories I have of you. I cherish each and every one. Not a day, moment or second goes by that you are not thought of. To have known you and to be loved by you is a feeling like no other. For that I consider myself one of the luckiest people alive. You are forever in my heart.