The West coast had it's Haight Ashbury. New York had it's Greenwich Village. but just as vital and astounding was the loosely unified band of hippies, outlaws and freaks that lived in and around Lawrence, Kansas in the '60s.
A Collocation of farm kids, University hangers-on, bikers, and middle class dropouts, the Kaw Valley Hemp Pickers blazed their own unique trail across the crazed landscape of the counterculture, harvesting Kansas "hemp" for sale to unsuspecting outsiders, raising hell and kids, making love, and occasionally dying.
These stories are the result of numerous tape sessions without he survivors, freely associated tales of the fantastic and bizarre, episodes of love and joy, death, desertion and loss, but always recollections that sing with exuberance. The Kaw Valley Hemp Pickers were the Midwestern partisans of the counterculture struggle against mediocrity, conformity and war.
This book is truth and fiction, fiction and truth. It is, in a real sense, a document from the times.
"All the gains of the 60's are being brazenly rescinded by right-wing demagogues appealing to the most bigoted, stupid, ill-intentioned segments of American society. The Ugly American musters even his uglier supporters. Censorship rears its ugly head again. the war against drugs is a pretext to increase police power on an international scale. 'Cows Are Freaky When They Look at You' is a collection of wartime tales told in postwar voices. Let us listen." - William S. Burroughs, from the Foreward
"Raise the psychic storm warnings because you're gonna be blown away. This is a powerful, irresistible hurricane of a book--a raw, shocking, gritty, ugly-beautiful, sad-ecstatic tornado of authentic human experience of the mindswept plains-frontiers of the 60's counterculture. This really is Kansas, Toto, at its most down-dirty, funny, take-or-leave no-bullshit honest. It just don't get any realer than this book. My congratulations to all, innocent and guilty alike." - Timothy Leary