Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Scissors In The Arm

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Pickin at the Toomey Family Reunion

Mama Tried jammin'

Saturday, August 12, 2006

1965 Fincastle Bluegrass Festival Pt2

1965 Fincastle Bluegrass Festival Pt1

Thursday, November 17, 2005

"MIND STALKERS" In Lexington Part II

A report dated May 5, 1959, comments on an experiment involving psilocybin (a semi-synthetic version of the magic mushroom). Subjects who ingested the drug became extremely anxious, although sometimes there were periods of intense elation marked by "continuous gales of laughter." A few patients felt that they "had become very large, or had shrunk to the size of children. Their hands or feet did not seem to be their own and sometimes took on the appearance of animal paws...They reported many fantasies or dreamlike states in which they seemed to be elsewhere. Fantastic experiences, such as trips to the moon or living in gorgeous castles, were occasionally reported."Isbell concluded, "Despite these striking subjective experiences, the patients remained oriented in time, place and person. In most instances, the patients did not lose their insight but realized that the effects were due to the drug. Two of the nine patients, however, did lose insight and felt that their experiences were caused by the experimenters controlling their minds."

One subject who could be found, spent only a brief time with Dr. Isbell. Eddie Flowers was 19 years old and had been in Lexington for about a year when he signed up for Isbell's program. He lied about his age to get in, claiming he was 21. All he cared about was getting some drugs. He moved into the experimental wing of the hospital where the food was better and he could listen to music. He loved his heroin but knew nothing about drugs like LSD. One day he took something in a graham cracker. No one ever told him the name, but his description sounds like it made him trip—badly, to be sure. "It was the worst shit I ever had," he says. He hallucinated and suffered for 16 or 17 hours. "I was frightened. I wouldn't take it again." Still, Flowers earned enough "points" in the experiment to qualify for his "payoff in heroin. All he had to do was knock on a little window down the hall. This was the drug bank. The man in charge kept a list of the amount of the hard drug each inmate had in his account. Flowers just had to say how much he wanted to withdraw and note the method of payment. "If you wanted it in the vein, you got it there," recalls Flowers who now works in a Washington, D.C. drug rehabilitation center.

Dr. Isbell was among the group of distinguished American scientists who had enthusiastically embarked on studies under CIA contracts. His principal responsibilities had been research to find a synthetic substitute for codeine (the government feared the U.S. might be cut off from all its usual sources of opium). But Dr. Isbell's report for the first quarter of 1954 noted that clinical studies at his center were also concerned with “intoxication with diethylamide of lysergic acid.”

In his quarterly report to the CIA, he claimed new insights, including an evaluation of whether the drug's effects varied according to race, age, and social and economic status: “We have now studied the subjective changes induced by LSD-25 in more than 50 former narcotic addicts. The symptoms observed appear to be identical with those observed in groups of non-addicts or for different composition with respect to race, age, social and economic status, and personality types.... The effects of LSD-25 appear to be specific and are not related to any of the factors mentioned above. This is a matter of great interest, since the subjective effects induced by LSD-25 have been studied more intensively and more thoroughly in a greater diversity of populations than any other drug with which we are familiar, including morphine and alcohol.”

Dr. Isbell refused all request for interviews. He did tell a Senate subcommittee in 1975 that he inherited the drug payoff system when he came to Lexington and that "it was the custom in those days.... The ethical codes were not so highly developed, and there was a great need to know in order to protect the public in assessing the potential use of narcotics.... I personally think we did a very excellent job."

Dr. Sidney Gottlieb was the director of the CIA's Project MK-ULTRA from 1953 to 1972. EVERYTHING pertaining to his work on "mind control," "truth serums," poisons and their delivery systems, and chemical, biological, and radiological warfare was ordered destroyed in 1972 by his colleague and mentor, CIA Director Richard Helms. Of course, not everything got destroyed. Certainly there was mis-direction that was allowed to slip through the cracks, but a number of investigations over the years have turned up damning evidence as well.

The Worlds First Bluegrass Festival

The Worlds First Blue Grass Festival
Fincastle At Cantrell’s Horse Farm 1965

The first Blue Grass Festival held anywhere was a three day event held at Cantrell’s Horse Farm (formerly The Poor Farm). It was about a mile Northeast of Fincastle, Virginia. It was billed as the “Roanoke” festival, however, because no one knew where Fincastle was. Unbeknownst to the locals at the time, it was truly an earth-shaking event in retrospect!
They never realized what was taking place was a change in the music industry. It set the stage for the recognition of (up to 1965) an obscure form of music called “Blue Grass!” Labor Day week September 3rd, 4th and 5th, 1965 was the date of this first Blue Grass festival ever held, however, let’s first explore the events that led to the momentous occasion.

It all began when a Boy Scout leader by the name of John Cantrell decided to host a Boy Scout rally at his farm (the old Poor Farm) in 1963. The rally site was a huge old hay barn on the property. After the rally was over, having cleared up the barn, Cantrell decided to have a County Music Dance. The entry fee being very small (with children free), it caught on very fast as a family affair, good clean fun. Rain or shine, the barn dance went on. The Cahoon boys assured Cantrell they would pull out any stuck cars or trucks free, if only he would not cancel on account of rain. These barn dances drew a big crowd of boisterous, but well-behaved, fun loving people.

The barn dances led to a Blue Grass Theme Park on the property west of the barn in the sparsely wooded area there. This also took off to success. At this time a promoter name Carlton Haney joined with Cantrell and booked several big names involved with the park. These two formed a loose, informal partnership with Haney promoting and Cantrell handling the finances. They drew performers such as Ernest Tubb, Bill Anderson (who sang so soft he had to stop and ask the crowd to be quiet so he could sing), Bill Monroe, Kitty Wells, the Carter Family, Johnny Wright, Carl Pearl Butler, Porter Wagner and Norma Jean, Joe and Rose Lee Maphis, Bill Phillips, Ruby Wright, Melba Montgomery and George Jones. A George Jones performance was rained out one time so he went to the barn and started drinking and gave a free performance on his own. The rules were strict about drinking at any of these functions, but George was a closet drinker and functioned quite well even under the influence in his early years.
This led to the First Blue Grass Festival.

The festival crowd straggled in, if it can be called a crowd. There were maybe 150 the first night and never more than 1,000. Some were country-and-western fans making do with Bill Monroe. Some were curiosity seekers or just had nothing else to do. Many were uncertain folk music buffs, giving Blue Grass a try. Some were veteran festival-goers, already ground-hardened from the Newport, Warrenton and Philadelphia folk festivals, a few of them building, though they couldn't know it, to Woodstock.

It took place where the stage was erected for these park activities. It was mostly centered around Bill Monroe and his band, as he was known as “The Father of Blue Grass Music”. It was emceed by Haney; and its theme was “The Story of Blue Grass.” The show opened with “The Mule Skinner Blues,” This song with its distinct rhythm was thought to be the first recognized authentic bluegrass song. This event was attended by only about one thousand people; however they were the “purist” from all over the country. They had “workshops” during the day and shows in the evening. This set the stage, however, for the event that shook the town and county in September 1966, when over six thousand people converged near a town of some four hundred unsuspecting souls!

This one brought blue grass fans from all over the world. Some of the stars and their bands featured were: Bill Monroe, Clyde Moody, Don Reno, Jimmy Martin, Mac Wiseman, Jim Eanes, Osbourn Brothers, Red Smiley, “Tater” Tate, Larry Richardson, Bobby Atkins, Joe Stone, Geo Winn, Butch Robbins, and many more. Little Ricky Skaggs then only fourteen years old won the juvenile prize in his class.

John Cantrell said that people were coming in so fast (at $2.00 per day) he just threw the money in the back of his car. It was a good-natured riot but lots of fun! With all those mobs of people there were no great disturbances since people came for blue grass!

The dogged persistence of the stars, fans, backers and promoters (especially backers and promoters like Edwards, Haney, Rinzler and Cantrell) helped get blue grass ( still two words at the time) rolling. They were all pioneers just as much as “The Father of Blue Grass”, Bill Monroe, was the wagon master.

Muleskinner News 1973 Article The First Festival

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

"MIND STALKERS" In Lexington, KY -Part I

In the 50's,only a handful of scientists in the United States were carrying out research with LSD. At this time, the field of experimental psychiatry had little funding agencies that were funding their research. The CIA looked upon this as a marvelous opportunity to enhance LSD research. There had not been, at this time, any systematic research on LSD, and with the CIA's virtually unlimited resources, a whole new series of grants arose through CIA-lined conduits. Since the CIA was funding these research grants, they could now more readily keep track of all
research that was being carried out with LSD.
Many of the research programs carried out would be illegal today and many of the activities being carried out were illegal even at that time.

In a scientific study starting in 1954 as Operation MKPILOT, Dr. Sidney Gottlieb oversaw experiments which were sponsored by the National Institute of Health at the Addiction Research Center of Lexington Narcotics Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky. The Addiction Research Center in Lexington, was ran by Dr. Harris Isbell.

This institution was a place where heroin addicts would go to break their habit. The patients had no way of knowing that this hospital was an arm of the CIA and that they were being used in the development of mind control drugs. Whenever the CIA came across new drugs, they were funneled into institutions such as this one, to test the drugs.

Over eight hundred compounds, including LSD was tested there. When drug users were in need of a fix, mostly black heroin addicts, they could go to Lexington and volunteer to be guinea pigs. In payment for their service they were given morphine and heroin for their participation in the experiment.The subjects have long since scattered, and no one apparently has measured the aftereffects of the more extreme experiments on them.

Perhaps the most infamous experiment came when Isbell gave LSD to seven black men for seventy-seven straight days. Isbell's research notes indicates that he gave the men "quadruple" the "normal" dosages. The doctor marveled at the men's apparent tolerance to these remarkable amounts of LSD. Isbell wrote in his notes that "this type of behavior is to be expected in patients of this type."

Watch for Part II-"MIND STALKERS" In Lexington, KY