Updated: Aug 25, 2019
"I ain't dead yet, my bell still rings" -- Bob Dylan
Greetings Underground 68 friends and soulmates. Here are updates from some of the counterculture avatars you got to know and love in the film. As you'll see the counterculture is alive and well.
I'm starting my third year teaching fourth grade at a charter school in Boston. Lately I've been thinking about what will come next after teaching. I want to stay in education, but don't know if teaching is what I want to pursue in the long view. I want to pursue college access supporting first generation and low income students get to and through college. This past summer I got married to my high school sweetheart and we are settling into newlywed life in Boston.
Since I met the U 68 crew in the basement theater of Leverett House a little over a year ago, and saw some of you at the fantastic premiere at the Brattle, I’ve gone through the regular rhythms of the academic year, teaching my Roman poets, Virgil, Catullus and the rest, advising students and continuing archival research on Bob Dylan, with two trips to his archive in Tulsa. U 68 came back into focus with the summer, as my wife Joan and I headed for the Bay Area, in June, Vallejo for a night and Santa Rosa for the next, for consecutive screenings of the film. Peter has described these events and told you of our lunch in Napa, where one highlight among many was meeting Suzanne, till then a familiar voice on the telephone from the time Peter and I started working on the project. In addition to the California trip, I introduced a screening in New York on June 18 at a gathering of the Harvardwood folks. Otherwise the first part of the summer involved much travel, giving the Jeremy Morse Lecture on “The Art of Bob Dylan’s Songwriting” at Bristol University in the UK, then Classics conferences in Thessaloniki and Munich. In July Joan and I were study leaders on a Harvard Alumni Association cruise of the Baltic, which included meeting Lech Walensa. The high point was St Petersburg and the art of the Hermitage Galleries. We are now enjoying the tail end of the New England summer, seeing daughters and 9-month-old first grandson, and walking our new rescue dog Carlos Santana.
My first album of songs, entitled “Midnight on the West Side, and Other Songs” is almost finished! We are down to the final mix. My sound engineer and I are collaborating well together. I’ve learned so much about recording! But I’m still humbled every time I listen to The Beatles while pumping iron at the gym…I’ve also been shopping for new guitars—an Eric Johnson custom shop Stratocaster, and a Gibson SG Standard ’61 re-issue are very tempting…
My writing continues. One of my earlier plays, “Costas the Barbarian,” has found a producer. There is still some final rewriting to be done, but after that, the money chase begins. Here is a short synopsis of the play:
“On the eve of his fiftieth anniversary, a Zorba-like, Greek immigrant, whose Waspy, New England wife never truly accepted for who he was, has bought a one-way ticket back to his homeland, with the intention of abandoning her, his family and the American dream…”
I also have two other full-length plays, “Release” and “New Haven Dream,” which are in circulation, and begging to be produced. A fourth play, “Dream of Passion,” is in development. It takes place in the back office of a small, Off-off Broadway theater in NYC. It concerns the behind-the-scenes, sexual intrigues, power struggles, etc.
I teach acting again in the Fall at NYU, and am always in training as an actor. There’s nothing like being in the trenches…! Off to Crete on August 20th for a beach vacation!
CHRISTINA SCHLESINGER The poetry and performance event, BIG BROTHERS@TOMBOYS, at SPARC in LA was fantastic with terrific readings by Dinah Berland, Eloise Klein Healey, Eric Gordon, Deborah Lott, Penelope Moffet, Delores Deluce, Carol Schlanger, Dan Lovato and an outstanding performance by Viva. The event honored Big Brothers, the legendary Venice lesbian bar where the founders of SPARC first met as young artists, joining together to paint the History of Venice murals for the Venice Pavilion.
We shared a slice in the loaf of spoof Yes, from the aloof Where we are who we are With no proof As the song's right note Just sounds good as it is Suggesting a bliss Beyond our knowing Resonating in feeling
This reaches you from Natomas Farmers Market in north Sacramento where the Ron Goldberg Quartet are playing a typical summer gig. Summer is our busiest season for performance. And I am applying my music composition studies to improve songwriting. Have started writing a songbook for environmental science. Recently drafted "Nitrogen Fix" about the nitrogen cycle.
My new book, The Desire for Mutual Recognition: Social Movements and the Dissolution of the False Self, was nominated as Best Non-Fiction Book of the Year by Routledge Press. I invites Harvard/Radcliffe comrades to check out my blog site at www.petergabelauthor.com (the latest is "Coopting the Beatles" about Google's recent ad synched to John Lennon's "Help!"), and to write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
"He's made hundreds of films and videos that no one ever heard of." -- Ariel in Underground 68
Instead of a tombstone or obituary to mark my passage through this concrete world full of souls I've created a website with links to my collected works. Collected works, not complete works. I didn't include "Diapering Techniques for Infants and Toddlers" nor "Hand Washing Procedure for Public Health Nurses." The 32 films I included are a smorgasbord of tide pool science, Belizean nightclubs, small college football, bat caves of West Texas, a meditation on parasitic ideas and the illusion of free will, and more, with lots of music and dance to keep your head spinning. Put it all together and you get...me! See https://www.petercoonradt.com