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Page Twenty

And there in that sacred place he begged admission to a vault, a huge temperature- and humidity-controlled vault with thick walls of glass. We were only allowed entrance because we told the high priests that we had walked across the United States for nine months reading and producing Shakespeare. I actually beheld my lunatic fall on his hands and knees before the First Folio! He wanted to kiss the musty old book but it was encased in glass an inch thick.

Yes, I believe he had a breakdown in Nebraska. The heat, of course, was a factor. But when his tape recorder finally signed off for good, the tape inside his head seemed to snap too. His former frenzy now grew to a fanaticism.

He was really losing it. In our tent in Iowa, he screamed at me at the top of his voice until others in their tents called upon him to quit - for hours he screamed at me! Why? Because I had voted, WITH ALL THE OTHERS IN OUR CAST, to postpone our production of "Twelfth Night" in deference to Ram Das who was in camp that night. Oh he was far gone, far gone!

Yes, he may have suffered a stroke or amnesia, for he remembered nothing but facts and dates relating to William Shakespeare. He could give you all the details of "The Winter's Tale" of 1610, but could not remember the spring story of 1986, the momentous events on the Great Peace March.

And yet... and yet in spite of it all I was in love with this maniac. Well, I suppose you could tell that without my saying so.

But you keep asking about a journal. Yes, this eccentric, this Gene Gordon character, DID KEEP A JOURNAL. And now I hope you've learned from me everything you need to know.

Please know also that I'll always treasure Shakespeare, the Great Peace March and YOU.


Your "Beatrice"