Joe Gould was one of Greenwich Village’s most famous personalities, celebrated for his exuberant and uncompromising Bohemianism, and for his elusive life’s work, An Oral History of Our Time — as well as for being profiled in Joseph Mitchell’s book, Joe Gould’s Secret. He’s seen here in a photo from the New York Star (July 7, 1948), at the annual fence exhibit by the Ravens Poetry Circle, where poets pinned their creations to a fence outside Judson Church, on Washington Square. And that’s the 19 year old John A. Keel, behind him.
And this is the last of the series. John continued to be a fan of the feature; and kept a file of the tear sheets that Binder sent him.
Just for the fun of it, here’s a sample of John’s schoolwork. He handed in this English assignment when he was 14: it included a few short original ditties, but was mostly a collection of his favorite poems, lettered by hand, and embellished with a few drawings and photos. His taste ran to limericks, Christopher Morley, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Edgar Guest. Looking at this little booklet, it’s hard to believe that a mere three years later, he would be working as a professional writer — and editing a poetry magazine in NYC!
It’s time for the Mothman Festival! The annual festival in Point Pleasant, West Virginia, will take place on September 18 and 19. There will be speakers, music, vendors, and all sorts of things. Take a look at www.mothmanfestival.com; and at www.mothmanlives.com and www.mothmanmuseum.com. And all hats off to Jeff Wamsley for organizing it!
And here, for the curious, is a notice about the first Mothman Congress, organized by Gray Barker back in 1968 (from Saucer News, #73, Fall/Winter 1968/69).
As many Keel fans know, one of John’s first forays into journalism was a column called “Scraping the Keel,” for the Perry Herald. Here’s an example of it — this is an undated proof sheet, but it was probably some time around 1946.