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Neal Cassady: The Denver Years Screening 6/26 at Sie Film Center

an early mug-shiot
an early mug-shiot
the cops

Though his time in New York City inspiring the Beat Generation into existence, his subsequent cross country zigzags with Jack Kerouac and his later years in parts West driving Ken Kesey's Acid Tests bus are more firmly embedded in counter-cultural iconography, Neal Cassady, who inspired Jack Kerouac’s “Dean Moriarty” and went on to drive the Merry Pranksters’ acid bus spent the first third of his life right here in Denver. Heather Dalton has built a solid reputation as a creative producer of original programming for public television focusing on independent film, culture, politics and social issues. She currently produces a local music series, Sounds on 29th as well as a magazine format series, Out of Order for Colorado Public Television. Dalton also produced and directed the EMMY Nominated series Dropframe that focused on independent film in Colorado. On the evening of Thursday, June 26, 2014, local director Heather Dalton's groundbreaking film, Neal Cassady: The Denver Years will screen for one night only at the Sie Film Center at 2510 E. Colfax. This film is the only one of its type in existence, chronicling Neal's childhood in Denver as ward to a flophouse full of drunks. Neal was a teenage pool shark and joyriding Denver car thief who served as an altar boy at the Church of the Holy Ghost and attended East High when he saw fit, his personality so vital it inspired the Beat Generation into existence before driving Ken Kesey's magic bus into the 1960s as Thefastestmanalive, the prankster Sir Speed Limit. Call SIE Box Office for Advance Tickets 720.381.0813 or visit this link or this one

This reporter has recently been hired by Colorado Rocky Mountain High Tours as a “Beat Historian,” providing illuminating commentary for tourists by reading excerpts from the works of Kerouac, Cassady, Ginsberg, William Burroughs, Jr. and others to illuminate the many landmarks still standing, such as the flophouse on Larimer Street where young Neal acted as de facto ward and page to "a few score beaten men" - most of whom had drinking problems or were otherwise habitually unbalanced, one of whom was his father, Neal Sr. - or the church where he served as an altar boy (Holy Ghost Church, Broadway and 19th, where California cuts alongside) or the U.S. Post Office with its cryptic motto bench IF THOU DESIREST REST, DESIRE NOT TOO MUCH, or Ebert Elementary on Park, where Neal went as a child. Cassady is one of the most culturally impactive Americans of the last hundred years. Even after the Beat Generation had blossomed and been eclipsed by an emerging Acid Love Generation, Neal Cassady stayed in the heart of the storm, driving Ken Kesey’s magic bus “Furthur” (sic) from Acid Test to Acid Test. This reporter remembers feeling especially gratified when someone pointed out Neal's face among the hundreds of notable local faces adorning the 14th Street side of the Colorado Convention Center, as there seemed a dearth of official memorials to this super-humanly influential native son.

Heather’s film is about to change all that. Tickets are selling fast. Get yours now!