Eugene Register-Guard columnist Bob Welch paid a visit to Ken Kesey’s mom, Geneva Jolley, who turned 95 two weeks ago.
“When the books came out, they were not red-letter days for me,” Geneva says. “They should have been. But I didn’t appreciate all that he had put into those books. I didn’t appreciate how famous they were going to become.”
She wonders if it was a mother’s protective instincts. “Maybe I didn’t want him to be a big turnip in a little turnip patch,” she says. “He always liked a crowd.”
Mrs. Jolley also says, “I never gave him credit for all he accomplished.”
I hope Kesey understood and I imagine he did. Lavishing praise on a writer, even a famous one in the family, isn’t normal. Asking said writer when he’s going to get a real job, now that’s normal.
Previously on Burnin’: We Need Magic In Our Lives, And The Magicians Who Provide It