Google+

“On The Sea” with Ben Harrison

“On The Sea” with Ben Harrison

 

Jack Kerouac is the name that comes to mind when speaking about ‘life on the road.’  He wrote about friends, places, and people he met along the way, and his mannerisms have been described as everything from dark to poetic jazz; a man who simply propelled his words on a sheet of paper that lingered in readers’ minds long after they’d moved on.

 

For many weeks we have been speaking about a man by the name of Ben Harrison.  From musician to writer to art gallery owner – the one thing that has always stood out about Mr. Harrison is his ability to tell a tale, and lead readers or listeners into another world for a while.  And, yes, his words are remembered long after the book or the CD is put down, as well.

 

Two weeks ago I brought to everyone’s attention a new book that Ben Harrison has been writing, a book about a journey through life.  This is a book that follows the author and his family as they hit – in this case, the sea – and travel to unknown places while meeting up with friends and enemies along the way.  From excitement to thrills to humor to hardship, Ben Harrison offers up the mental photographs of all he and his family had been a part of during their Costa Rican Adventure, and the story is much like Kerouac’s in the fact that the reader is brought along on a brilliant ride.

 

Recently I received the full copy of this book and it brought about all those emotions I’ve described.  Why is that?  Because it was real.  This is the very real adventure of Ben Harrison’s life.  The journey that was taken at sea, after building his own boat and setting sail with his wife and Irish setter, draws readers in as much as Kerouac’s books did.  In fact, as a writer I was completely attracted to the writing style, and his capacity to transform everyday events into sacred moments of beauty.  The writing is honest, and conveys stories with a style that employs spontaneity.

 

For a brief recap, it was in 1974 that Ben Harrison, his wife, Helen and Ralph, their Irish setter, left San Francisco and drove to Costa Rica in a ‘67 Pontiac Executive.  Upon arrival, they took on the extraordinary job of constructing a thirty-eight-foot sailboat that became their home for the next eleven years.

 

From the very beginning I felt as if I was in the car with Ben Harrison and family when he brought me to the “Border Crossing.”  I was driving down Highway 1 in California wearing my own jacket, as I watched the seagulls soaring against a backdrop of the deep, blue Pacific Ocean foaming and surging hundreds of feet below.  This is when they were headed to their final visit with marine architect W.I.B. “Bill” Crealock.  I could almost see this man in my mind’s eye, the impeccable British accent, and the skill and talent that he owned in spades when it came to everything from hull extensions to an aft-cockpit cutter with a hull extension of two feet.

 

As a reader, I truly felt that I was in:

 

The night of a new moon, the only illumination on this dark, dark night came from fluorescent light that spilled from the open doors of two stark one-room cantinas and the glow of outdoor fires.  Spanish music from speakers set out in front of one of the bars played loudly. 

 

Encircled by smiling Mexicans speaking rapidly trying to sell us something, it was impossible for me not to imagine what had to be going through Helen’s mind because the same thoughts were going through mine.  It’s one thing to conjure up exotic images of foreign lands and romantic Latin American moonlit nights in a cozy living room in California, and quite another to experience it close up.  Not far from us was a rat, almost as big as some of the scrawny dogs begging for food, who waddled nonchalantly into a pile of garbage.

 

Writing is an art; it’s a form of beauty that can either be stunning, terrifying, seductive, or everything all at the same time.  And early on with Costa Rican Adventure I learned that Ben Harrison was a man who owned that beauty and the ability to make note of all things around him – even the most miniscule detail that would go unnoticed by many.

 

But the ‘travel’ is not all that this book will be remembered for after it has its ‘time in the sun’ one day soon.  Ben Harrison does a brilliant job of allowing each and every reader to stay by his side during the most personal moments of his journey.  From Chapter Two where he speaks about his wedding and how they were indeed, on top of the world; to bringing the Royal Irish Ralph into readers’ sights and making them feel so at home with the ever-vigilant guard that they feel as if they are sitting beside him in the back seat keeping watch over the family and eyeing the scenery rolling on by.

 

Every step of the journey is highlighted with memorable words, as well as emotions that many will place in their personal Hall of Fame for years to come.  Places once completely unfamiliar to me, such as Costa Rica, now feel as if they’re locations I was born in.  When I went with Ben Harrison to Panama for a stamp I, too, felt the temperature change from the seventy-degree mountainous to the brutal ninety-degree tropical weather.  I could feel the boat that had once overlooked Alajuela, steady as a rock, begin rocking with the waves, and I could hear the water slapping against the hull at night in anchorages where disaster seemed always to be lurking.  Isla Providencia, Colombia, Roatán, Honduras, up the Río Dulce in Guatemala, and on to Cozumel…I was there.

 

For a long time Kerouac was kept hidden in the subterranean catacombs of American Literature, until it was slowly realized that his creative force – whether you liked it or not – was up into the realms of Capote.  On The Road is now listed among the top one hundred notable books of all time, and people flocked to see the near mythical “On The Road Scroll” that toured the country.  Using a manual typewriter in a New York City loft, Jack Kerouac produced the original manuscript of On the Road during a three-week period in the spring of 1951.  Kerouac produced this continuous scroll by taping pages of semi-translucent paper together to feed the typewriter in order to write without interruption.

 

Thankfully, when it comes to Ben Harrison and his work, Costa Rican Adventure, technology has improved a great deal.  What no one will ever be able to debate is the fact that both of the men I refer to in this article were committed to telling their story – and both are truly unforgettable.  Writing commitment is seen, heard and felt – and Ben Harrison’s very own “On The Road” could well be the masterpiece that’s noted when the next committed scribe comes along.

 

Until Next Time, Everybody.

 

For More Information Go To:

www.benharrisonkeywest.com

www.harrison-gallery.com

Entertainment

Love Gurus Date Despite Philosophical Differences in Delightful Romantic Romp

  The Bounce Back Film Review by Kam Williams Love Gurus Date Despite Philosophical Differences in Delightful Romantic Romp   Love guru Matthew Taylor (Shemar Moore) is the author of the new best seller, "The Bounce Back." Accompanied by his enterprising business manager, Terry (Bill Bellamy), he's been hawking the self-help book on plenty of TV and radio programs. Since Terry believes that "Image is everything," he's concerned that … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Books

Volume 2 of Yes Sir, Yes Sir, 3 Bags Full! – You Do NOT Want to Miss This

  Volume 2 of Yes Sir, Yes Sir, 3 Bags Full! – You Do NOT Want to Miss This Book Review by Amy Lignor What began in an unforgettable Volume 1—living Jerry Hall’s story and dealing with the heart-wrenching issues of the Viet Nam* War—continues here. The action of battle, fraught with the unending horrors that the “unwanted veterans” dealt with, grows even more painful. And as war comes closer to an end, what should have been peaceful … [Read More its Good for You...]

Art

The Day After the Day Of

  The Day After the Day Of by Paul Ilechko   The sky sheds its tears. This morning is the morning of the day after. The day of mourning, the day after the day of.  I beseech the sky to shed tears in order to wash away the tears on my face.   This is the first day of the time after. This is the beginning of a new time, the days of pain, the days of sorrow. We are in mourning. The sky looks down and sheds its tears for … [Read More its Good For You...]

Real Estate

New Home Sales Jump in April

  New Home Sales Jump in April By Burt Carey Sales of new homes hit their highest rate since 2008 in April, according to the Commerce Department’s U.S. Census Bureau. April sales increased 16.6 percent over March figures, which correlates to a seasonally adjusted rate of 619,000 home sales projected for the year. The median price of those new homes was $321,000, the highest median price ever recorded. That’s up 9.7 percent … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Lifestyle

Gain all Access Mobility with Roundabout Woodsman

Gain all Access Mobility with Roundabout Woodsman By Craig Lamb You are a waterfowler hunting solo with your prized retriever. Getting to the blind takes a four-wheel drive to pull through mud holes and keep on the two-track. Behind your truck is that aluminum jon boat. Launching that beast alone is a real hassle. Get it launched and you spend more time loading all the gear, a dog and yourself. All of the above is part of the fun, maybe, of … [Read More its Good for You...]

Outdoors

Gain all Access Mobility with Roundabout Woodsman

Gain all Access Mobility with Roundabout Woodsman By Craig Lamb You are a waterfowler hunting solo with your prized retriever. Getting to the blind takes a four-wheel drive to pull through mud holes and keep on the two-track. Behind your truck is that aluminum jon boat. Launching that beast alone is a real hassle. Get it launched and you spend more time loading all the gear, a dog and yourself. All of the above is part of the fun, maybe, of … [Read More its Good for You...]

Sports

The Best & Worst (So Far) of the 2016 NFL Season

  The Best & Worst (So Far) of the 2016 NFL Season by Amy Lignor     Okay…we’re almost dead center, folks, so it’s time to sum up the best and silliest actions and reactions that the 2016 NFL season has provided fans thus far.   Analysts are always yapping, and most likely nothing they say will actually come true. However, right now almost everyone is agreeing to the fact that Tom Brady has a score to settle. Yes, … [Read More its Good for You...]

Business

Charity Begins at Home

  Charity Begins at Home by Amy Lignor   Turning a blind eye is easy for some; preferred by others. But the fact is that the bad doesn’t become good – in any area – unless eyes are open wide to not only see what’s occurring, but also to gain the knowledge needed to stop the bad from getting even worse. Remarks are made about “other countries” and what they do wrong when it comes to the harming of animals for profit. However, in … [Read More its Good for You...]

Travel

Exploring the Holidays Around the Globe

  Exploring the Holidays Around the Globe by Amy Lignor   Thanksgiving has been had. Games have been watched and the golden turkey has caused a great many belts to be loosened. So…here it comes!   From hanging the stockings on the chimney with care to the red-nosed reindeer who had to be there; from Santa heading down that chimney just right to lovely sleigh bells ringing softly in the night, the holiday season is a truly … [Read More its Good for You...]

Green Living

Forecasting Climate Change

  Forecasting Climate Change by Amy Lignor As with anything in this world, it depends on whose opinion or observations you trust as to just how bad climate change is becoming. As 2016 begins to wrap up, climate scientists, atmospheric physicists, chemists, oceanographers – you name it – no one can come up with any other explanation for climate change and the warming of our planet other than human activity. How fast is it happening? … [Read More its Good for You...]