While skippin' through the lily fields,
I came across an empty space.
It trembled and exploded; left a bus stop in its place.
The bus came by and I got on; that's when it all began.
There was Cowboy Neal at the wheel of the bus to
never-never land.
~Grateful Dead

 

Cassady spent hours doing intricate double and triple flips with his hammer in what I thought at the time was just dicking around;


not knowing he was using the hammer the way a juggler or athlete would:

to stay trim, alert, ready.

~Ken Babbs

 


He was a good driver but bad on routes. No one paid much attention on how to get from one place to another. Then we got stuck in the mud in Arizona, which was fairly typical, not that we got stuck in the mud a lot, but we were always having those kinds of problems. Neal loved every minute of it.


Where is my toothbrush?

I was trapped and I was feeling awful and then I realized I had to brush my teeth and my toothbrush was in my purse. Everybody was so stoned it was impossible to communicate my problem. I'd go up to someone and say, "I really want to borrow somebody's toothbrush and I know that you would probably not want to loan someone your toothbrush, am I right?" and that person would say, "Yeah, you're right," and I got back on the bus feeling worse than ever and Neal said, " I don't mind if you want to use my toothbrush." "Really, Neal? Can I borrow your toothbrush?" "Well certainly, ma'am You certainly can and here it is."He brought out the toothbrush. It was wrapped in a clean, white handkerchief. "I'd be very proud to loan it to you, " he said. " And it's never been used. " ~Jane Burton


After our first night on the road when Cassady had been at the wheel nineteen straight hours, Kesey said someone should always ride shotgun with Neal and provide him an ear to address, otherwise with nobody listening, an edge of fear might enter his voice and draw the words on - like a flame of a candle sucks melted wax up the wick in fear of sputtering out, into darkness. Another person close by could forestall that fear.

Can you pass the Acid Test?