Kesey deserves statue of honor.Byline: Bob Welch There are a number of famous people of this name including:
ONCE, WHEN I was in Ketchum, Idaho Ketchum is a city in Blaine County, in the central part of the U.S. state of Idaho. The population was 3,003 at the 2000 census. It is in the Wood River Valley, adjacent to Sun Valley; the two communities share many resources and both sit in the same valley beneath Bald Mountain, , I stood by the snow-covered grave of Ernest Hemingway Noun 1. Ernest Hemingway - an American writer of fiction who won the Nobel prize for literature in 1954 (1899-1961)
Hemingway , whose writing inspired me in my high school years.
Once, after interviewing a blind 800-meter runner from Atlanta, I took him to the Steve Prefontaine Steve Roland Prefontaine (January 25, 1951 – May 30, 1975) (nicknamed Pre) was an American Olympic runner who inspired a running boom in the 1970s along with contemporaries Frank Shorter and Bill Rodgers. memorial on Hendricks Hills so he could feel the rock outcropping where his hero had died.
Once I ran my own fingers across the name of Springfield's Timothy Ownbey - a young man I'd written about - on the Vietnam Wall.
There's something important, it seems, about being reminded of people no longer with us - but who made a difference in our lives - and, thus, in our communities.
So I was heartened to hear that some local visionaries were pushing the idea to rename Eugene's Broadway Plaza Broadway Plaza is the name of various places:
Ken Elton Kesey, Kesey Square and place a bronze statue of him there.
This, after all, is a city not known for its passion for the past; if you lived here in the '70s, for example, you knew of the cool historic buildings that fell to urban renewal. And this, after all, is a time not known for its originality; the franchising of America has meant the homogenizing of America. With fast-food strips and cookie-cutter malls, distinctiveness has become an endangered urban amenity.
So amid this, the Kesey backers stepped forward to say: Here's an Oregonian like nobody else you've met. Let's call attention to him.
Good for them. Why? Because it's good for us.
"I look upon it as a visual cue to draw attention to the community's sense of itself and what's important," says Steve McQuiddy, former editor of the Lane County Historian and now back in Eugene after a stint in California. "It helps give people not only a sense of who they are, but where they are."
Nobody's going to put in a Ken Kesey statue in Des Moines Des Moines, city, United States
Des Moines (dĭ moin`), city (1990 pop. 193,187), state capital and seat of Polk co., S central Iowa, at the junction of the Des Moines and Raccoon rivers; inc. or Denver; he's as unique to Oregon as Oregon is to the rest of the states.
YOU DON'T have to buy into every facet of Ken Kesey to believe him worthy of honor. But Kesey offers a little something for everybody - from Springfield wrestler to out-there hippie, from Pleasant Hill farmer to nationally known author.
"Nobody touches on all that we are as a community like Kesey - Merry Prankster to conservative old Oregonian," says Douglas Card, a University of Oregon The University of Oregon is a public university located in Eugene, Oregon. The university was founded in 1876, graduating its first class two years later. The University of Oregon is one of 60 members of the Association of American Universities. sociology professor and local historian. "He combines so many of our warring factions. And he wrote the ultimate Oregon novel (`Sometimes a Great Notion.').'
He hobnobbed with the Grateful Dead but wrote about Oregon loggers, taught writing at the UO but swapped farm talk with guys in overalls who didn't know Yeats from Keats.
"I grew up in Richmond, Virginia," McQuiddy says, "and there you'll see one block after another of statues of guys on horses. Without getting into the politics of it all, the statues show something happened there and maybe it would be worth your while to learn something more about it."
Kesey, you see, is history, not in the flippant flip·pant
1. Marked by disrespectful levity or casualness; pert.
2. Archaic Talkative; voluble.
[Probably from flip. he's-out-of-the-picture way - we all pass on legacies - and not in a name-and-date way, but in the he-needs-to-be-remembered way.
Not deified de·i·fy
tr.v. dei·fied, dei·fy·ing, dei·fies
1. To make a god of; raise to the condition of a god.
2. To worship or revere as a god: deify a leader.
3. . Remembered. And that's all the sculpture does. This isn't some sort of noble, crossing-the-Delaware, er, Siuslaw pose, but a simple depiction of a man reading a book to three children.
"It needs to be done with a sense of perspective," McQuiddy says. "Let's not turn him into a hero. He was the personification personification, figure of speech in which inanimate objects or abstract ideas are endowed with human qualities, e.g., allegorical morality plays where characters include Good Deeds, Beauty, and Death. of many things. His life illustrated many of the things we find unique and powerful about Oregon. He was a member of this community. This was his home." (This meaning Oregon, not necessarily Eugene. Kesey was a man for all Oregon places, except, perhaps, Portland.)
That Kesey wasn't everybody's cup of mocha Mocha (mō`kə), town (1990 est. pop. 2,000), S Yemen, a port on the Red Sea. It was noted for the export of the coffee to which it gave its name but declined as a trading port in the late 19th cent. with the rise of Hodeida and Aden. goes without saying. But if we only honor people in our community who appease everybody, we'll never honor anybody. We'll live out our civic life as safely and predictably as a factory outlet mall.
As a community, we've memorialized Boy Scout-square types such as Alton Baker Sr., The Register-Guard founder who deeded land for the park named after him. And we've memorialized who-says-the-woman's-place-is-in-the-home? types such as artist Maude Kerns, who dared to defy conventional thinking in the early part of the 20th century and had an arts center named after her.
Such people, like Kesey, helped make this place what it is - and acknowledging them in some way reminds us not only of who they were as people, but who we are as a community.
To donate to the Ken Kesey statue, contact the Lane Arts Council, 485-2278, 44 W. Broadway, Suite 304, Eugene, OR 97401. Bob Welch can be reached by calling 338-2354 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.