Rose “Rosebud” Feliu-Pettet, a long-time friend of Allen’s, author of the definitive account of Allen’s passing, passed away herself this week. She’d been suffering from a particularly virulent form of cancer, bile duct cancer She was 69.
For more of Rosebud on Allen – see here: “Well, I met Allen a long time ago, about 1964, I was living in this crazy dinky kind of collective called Kerista, a sort of benign Manson family [sic] . There were about eighteen people living in a store front on Ludlow Street (on New York’s Lower East Side), and one day Allen came by…I didn’t have a clue who he was, although I’d read Howl and been wildly impressed, so when this oddball beard guy appeared & was so sweet, I got down & laughed & sat on his lap & tickled (him) and asked him his name. Allen was pretty surprised I think that some school girl liked him, just for being a fine guy.” “So, he said, “If you ever need a place to stay, come over to my flat”, (5th Street then and Avenue C), and I did, for a year or two. He was always like UncleAllen, the guy you borrow a cup of sugar from down the hall. Sweet. But he worked always, hard, every day. Locked in the bedroom. Refuse(d) the phone – Wrote for two to three hours – Always reminded everyone to WRITE DOWN THEIR DREAMS”…
“I think of Allen at his farm in Cherry Valley, Allen in gumboots, Allen eager for rock & roll, Allen being considerate to all the folks who ask him for favors, Allen being a dirty dog with all the pretty boys. I love this guy.”
“He was right about the poem being a mind-breath, Herrera adds, “Each word depends on how your mind breathes.” .
It’s the Beatnik Shindig next Friday – Jerry Cimino’s ambitious gathering takes place in San Francisco. For all the details of all the activities (“the largest Beat gathering in 20 years”) go to BeatnikShindig.com. [2018 – this link is no longer available]
Among the (many) highlights – Philip Hicks’ talk, the psychiatrist who, back in 1955, gave Allen the green light (“How doctor helped Allen Ginsberg accept himself“)
and 89-year-old Al Hinkle (“Big Ed Dunkle” in On The Road), a “national treasure”, a font of authentic Beat lore