We won a little and lost a lot, depending


“Prime Green” was the color of the light rising from the horizon at Manzanillo Bay, flashing before Robert Stone in the autumn of 1966. Mr. Stone had come to Mexico for Esquire. His assignment was to find his friend Ken Kesey, who had become a fugitive from the drug police in San Francisco. Kesey was living in a complex of dilapidated concrete buildings several miles from the bay, alongside a crew of bohemians featuring Neal Cassady and his parrot Rubiaco. The neighbors were scarce; the beaches were empty; the marijuana was seeded but plentiful. Esquire declined to publish Mr. Stone’s account of the scene. In common with most editors at upmarket magazines, they wanted something to confirm their advertisers’ stereotype of the bohemian as criminal. But Mr. Stone’s memory of the visit to Manzanillo stands today for the exalted capacity for wonder and awe, the intensity of illumination available in “The Sixties” for those who knew how to find it.

more from the NY Observer here.