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Author tells a different World War II tale

By From page A3 | March 20, 2014

The story of how a small group of World War II conscientious objectors on the Oregon coast plowed the ground for the social and cultural revolutions of the 1960s is told in Steve McQuiddy’s new book, “Here on the Edge.” McQuiddy will be in Davis on Saturday, March 22, for a slide show and a book-signing. His talk begins at 2 p.m. at the Davis Friends Meetinghouse, 345 L St.

Twenty years in the making and packed with original research and more than 80 photographs, “Here on the Edge” is the definitive history of Civilian Public Service Camp No. 56. As home to the Fine Arts Group at Waldport, Ore., the camp gave artists and writers from across the country an opportunity take a condition of penance (compulsory labor for refusing to serve in the military) and put it to constructive ends.

After the war, camp members participated in the San Francisco poetry renaissance” of the 1950s, along with Beat Generation writers Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg — who in turn inspired Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters, leading the way to the radical upheavals and massive peace movements of the 1960s.

McQuiddy writes and lectures on Pacific Northwest history and culture, particularly the eccentric quarter. He has written for Salon, Mother Jones, Seattle Times and Best Essays Northwest. He teaches writing at Lane Community College in Eugene, Ore.

A special guest at the talk will be Davis resident Vladimir Dupre, who will share memories of his time as a member of the Fine Arts Group at Waldport during 1944-45.

Admission is free and open to all. The event is co-sponsored by the Davis Friends Meeting and the University Retirement Community. For more information, call 530-756-4094 or 530-756-6881.

Enterprise staff

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