May 26, 2007


After Tom's 1970 visit to Japan, ostensibly to research the tancho cranes which most closely resembled the whoopers featured in Cowgirls, but most importantly to visit his brother/friend Darrell Bob Houston who was there on a year-long Alicia Patterson fellowship, Darrell Bob went to work for the LA Times and Tom returned to La Connor. During his time on the LA Times' national desk, Darrell Bob worked earnestly on his book, "King of the Midnight Blue," a fictionalized account of skyjacker DB Cooper, based on the gleaming persona of Neal Cassady.

Darrell Bob and Tom kept in close touch through letters between LA and La Connor. Darrell Bob shared both his euphoric joys and successes and heart-wrenching disappointments with Tom. Finally, in 1973, the latter began to pile up--immense and unforeseen events, both personal and professional, and even the strong, irrepressible Darrell Bob began to bow toward despondency. One day, Darrell Bob looked up from his desk at the LA Times to see none other than his friend Tom Robbins standing there, without a word, holding a sunflower "as big as a Volkswagen." The last they were seen from the vantage of the LA Times, Tom and Darrell Bob were headed north--to home. Is it a coincidence that on page 145 of Cowgirls, Tom describes just such a sunflower? "Giant sunflowers, like junkie scarecrows on the nod, dozed in one spot with their dry heads drooped upon their breastbones."

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Cowgirls, Page 145

Sissy distinguishes the horse-loving set from the cowgirls. To the former, admittedly or not, the magnificent steeds are merely "thousand-pound organic vibrators," sophisticated masturbating machines. They are given by parents to their little blossoming girls as a diversion from the temptations of boys, and some of those girls never quite outgrow their passion for a good equine romp.

That, however, is not the cowgirl way.

Further along--

"Their lives extended another day, flies buzzed everything within their range, monotonously eulogizing themselves, like the patriots who persist in praising the glory of a culture long after it is decadent and doomed."

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May 7, 2007

Cowgirls, Page 133

"Politics are for people who have a passion for changing life but lack a passion for living it."

Oh, that gopi/Krishna/Chink wisdom...

Shhhh...wait. Listen.
Is that a flute?

I must be going...

Ha-ha, ho-ho, hee-hee)

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May 6, 2007

Belly Up--or Down?

At the Kushiro tancho reserve in eastern Hokkaido, Mr. Takahashi, dedicated caretaker, explains that as a rule, the cranes mate for life. If one crane of a mated pair dies, the survivor will protect the corpse for a long period. If the corpse is belly side up, the survivor will "remarry" as if it recognizes the death, but if the corpse is belly side down, the survivor will not remarry. (

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