The Night Ken Kesey Gave His Magic Away
MEMOIR | ROBERTO LOIEDERMAN
In January 1966, novelist and countercultural leader Ken Kesey held a three-day event in San Francisco called The Trips Festival. This story is Roberto Loiederman’s recollection of the festival — a mind-bending event, as well as a dramatic turning point for Kesey, and those who attended.
My “Haunted” Lamp: Murder, Mystery, and Remodeling
MEMOIR | ASHLEY MEMORY
A lamp purchased second hand seemed to be the ideal addition to her home until an investigation into the mysterious engraving on its base revealed a macabre history. As she discovered grisly details about the lamp’s previous owner, her home life became agitated, and she wondered… Could the lamp be haunted?
Long-Haired Disco Boys
MEMOIR | TERRY BARR
The 1970s in Birmingham, Alabama, was a time fraught with racial tension and confusing questions of identity. Author Terry Barr found the music of that era confusing, as well. Southern rock competed with Glam and Disco, and for a long-haired guy like Terry, finding his place, his sub-culture, and the accompanying music wasn’t easy.
MEMOIR | SARAH K. LENZ
After Sarah Lenz’s father gives her a creepy antique photograph depicting her three great uncles who were struck and killed by the same bolt of lightning in 1914, she sets out to discover their story and figure out why postmortem photography haunts her. “Lightning Flowers” is a thoughtful and moving meditation on what it means to remember the dead and confront one’s own mortality.
Handling Shit and Finding Love
MEMOIR | BETINA ENTZMINGER
“The Beak in the Heart: True Tales of Misfit Southern Women,” is a collection of dramatic portraits of the author’s “misfit” female ancestors and a candid, intimate memoir about family secrets and breaking free of the narrow confines of being a “proper” southern woman. In this excerpt, Betina Entzminger tells the story of two of her “misfit” aunts who had the strength to handle the blows dealt to them by adversity, disappointment, and heartache in the South of the 1950s. This is a touching story about finding love, freedom, and fortitude.
The Darker Side of a Night with Hunter Thompson
MEMOIR | ROBERTO LOIEDERMAN
In this brief memoir, Roberto Loiederman recalls a night in San Francisco, in the summer of 1965, that he spent with Hunter Thompson, the half-mad, cosmic prankster, and creator of gonzo journalism. For Roberto, the early days of the counterculture — the days of psychedelic rock, drugs, and free love — weren’t quite as romantic as they are remembered.
MEMOIR | EMLYN CAMERON
Misfire is a story about a day when a friend takes Emlyn Cameron shooting. They leave the suburbs of Northern California with a shotgun, two handguns, a 22. calibre rifle, two AR-style rifles, and a black powder muzzleloader, to go shooting in a remote location. It looks to be a simple holiday lark, until things start to go awry.
Lights in the Night
MEMOIR | RANDY SPENCER
In the 1990s, there was astronomical research that showed that Washington County, Maine was second only to area 51 in Nevada for UFO sightings in the U.S. This story about mysterious phenomena in the night skies of Grand Lake Stream, Maine is from master fishing guide and award-winning author Randy Spencer, excerpted from his new memoir, “Written on Water: Characters and Mysteries from Maine’s Back of Beyond.”
Coming in on a Wing and a Prayer
In the 1950s, Jerry Vis had an uneventful, blue-collar, stickball-in-the-street childhood in Paterson, N.J. That is, until his father, who had been no more than a vaporous, bring-home-the-bacon presence, nearly killed himself with alcohol and suddenly got religion.
A Crack Up
Virginia Evans wrote the first draft of her novel in 61 days. Seven days a week, she was at her desk with coffee by 5:00 am. She wrote 98,000 words while working three part-time jobs, with two children at home under age four. Then she defied the odds and managed to secure a literary agent. All of that turned out to be the easy part.
Playing Air Guitar in Paris
As a young man, Roberto Loiederman read Henry Miller’s “Tropic of Cancer,” and George Orwell’s “Down and Out in Paris and London,” which inspired a dream: to be broke in Paris one day. In his 70s, as a tourist in Paris, a sudden event gives him the chance to live out his youthful dream. Temporarily, anyway. This is a story about how we are all pretenders, to one degree or another.
Ashes in California
After his father dies, Emlyn Cameron returns to his hometown in California, which is menaced by COVID-19 and massive wildfires, to unpack their relationship while sorting the contents of his father’s storage unit.
This is a beautifully written and touching essay about the life and death of the brilliant, kind, and infinitely creative Charles Cameron — a man we here at PenDust Radio knew and loved very much. We are honored to publish his son Emlyn’s eloquent words.