Sign of the Times...
Summer of Love AnniversaryGrowing up in San Francisco in a very proper middle class family in the 60’s was an experience. The Beats brought the beginnings of change to the City, with jazz, poetry and revolutionized literature with a good bit of distain for the stodgy society which smothered creativity and freedom of expression. The Purple Onion, Vesuvio’s, Enrico’s and City Lights were all places to be, to share ideas and to party. As times changed and revolution seemed to be upon us, the place to be moved to the Haight, where the poetry became even more revolutionary and the music went electric. We were going to change the world, but too many of us were caught up in the hedonistic aspect of our revolution to follow through, too many of us sold out and too many died. This site has been a revival of sprit in many ways, with visitors from around the globe sending emails of their memories and observation which have snowballed into a festival of experiences, people sharing memories which spark our memories! We have been able to connect bits of youthful times and places visited realizing that we shared stomping grounds, acquaintances, events, and other commonalities which in the end, bring us all closer together in the realization that while times have indeed changed, things often remain the same.As Randy and Jami gather these shared stories they will compile them and publish a synopsis, so don’t hesitate to share your stories…and come to the 40th Summer of Love Anniversary if you can because as we are all learning, the spirit is still alive and well.
Summer Fun 2007... Summer is packed with fun events! Randy and Jami had a wonderful time at the La Honda Faire!We had the opportunity to speak to so many people and listen to great music in beautiful La Honda Gardens - what a terrific event! Jami took a few fun photos - Randy was appropriately decked out in his finest tie-dye. We hope some of you were able to come and enjoy the amazing music, wonderful booths, fabulous food and all around fun. If you didn't - please do place this great event on your calendar for next year!La Honda is a small town in the Northern part of the Santa Cruz Mountains, so the drive from our Capitola home to La Honda is a beautiful one, we drive up the coast highway and back through the redwoods, a ride of a little under an hour. Visit our new friends Bonnie et al at www.la-honda-faire.orgHappy Summer, Jami Cassady-Ratto and Randy Ratto
John Allen Cassady
John Allen joined Randy and Jami at the Santa Cruz Blues Festival this year and what a spectacular line up it was!We attended the Sunday venue of this annual two day celebration which was headlined by the one and only Etta James with her fabulous Roots Band, followed by Little Feat, Robben Ford, Tommy Castro and last but hardly least, Nina Storey. We were lucky enough to spend a little time with old friends Wavy Gravy (he was a freind of Neal's as well) and the very talented Eric Fawcett Wavy Gravy was the MC for the event making the show even more tremendous!
Jami Cassady Ratto
The La Honda Faire was good fun, and now we look forward to a wonderful visit with my mother who will be here soon.We are also looking forward to July when we are planning to join Al Hinkle and his daughter, Dawn, in Lowell, MA for the annual Jack Kerouac Festival. Randy and I have never been to this event but my brother, John and my mother, Carolyn, have been there before.As this is the 50th anniversary of the publication of Jack’s groundbreaking book, “On The Road” we decided it is time that we go to see Jack’s home town and participate in the celebration. Our good friend, Stephen Edington will be doing an interview with Al Hinkle, (“Ed Dunkle”in “On The Road”) and has asked me to join in with some stories. Should be lots of fun. Please visit www.ontheroadinlowell.orgIn September is the 40th annual “Summer of Love” celebration in San Francisco. Please visit Summer of Love and for a blast from the past, visit the 30th anniversary website: SummerofLove.orgAnd who knows what other “happenings” are going on. If you hear of anything, please let us know.Jami Cassady-Ratto - May 26, 2007
Cathy Cassady Sylvia
My sister, Cathy, and her husband, George, have just spent a month with our mother, Carolyn, in Bracknell, U.K!Their letters were full of all the movies, (they watched "CCM" "Carolyn’s Classic Movies");British T.V. shows and news and documentaries; sight seeing (Windsor, Bath, London, TheGlobe, etc.) and quiet time at mom’s gorgeous place...the garden, birds, walks, and bonding.George was a huge help in fixing and/or upgrading lots of things in the house that needed a "man’s touch". They will be back for July’s addition with lots of stories and pictures, I’m sure.Here’s a picture of Cathy and I by the pool in Monte Sereno... 1955...cutest cowgirls in the West!
Carolyn is again on her way to California from her home in the U. K. to visit.A busy, vivacious woman, Carolyn will also be in the Big Sur area to be interviewed for and participate in the filming of a new a "Big Sur" documentary.
July is also the month planned for the release of her revised and expanded book, "Off the Road, My Twenty Years with Cassady, Kerouac and Ginsberg". The book may be ordered directly from Amazon UK until other outlets become available. Please be sure to contact your local independent bookseller to start requesting it!!
Summer is here!
New and exciting things are afoot!The family has many projects and ideas in the works...stay tuned! Neal Cassady was undeniably the real genius behind the Beat movement. He was a force of nature. The inspiration behind Jack Kerouac’s novel “On the Road”, the man Allen Ginsberg dedicated his landmark poem “Howl” to, the man who motivated and inspired William S. Burroughs, Ken Kesey, the Merry Pranksters, the Grateful Dead…and untold number of others.Who was this man? To the world, he was an icon of the Beat Generation of the 1950s and the psychedelic movement of the 1960s, the Holy Goof, Cowboy Neal at the wheel of the bus Furthur on the road to Nevereverland, To us, he was husband, father, and friend. We are the Cassady family, dedicated to bringing you the real Neal, the Neal we knew. Neal’s wife Carolyn Cassady and their children; Cathy Cassady Sylvia, Jami Cassady Ratto and John Allen Cassady wanted to bring the world the truth about the man, the myth, the one and only Neal Cassady.So join us in this odyssey of discovery, learn the truth behind the myth as we memorialize not the legend, but the man, Neal Cassady.