WOODY GUTHRIE'S WARDY FORTY
Greystone Park State Hospital Revisited
By Phillip Buehler
Designed and edited by Steven Brower
In collaboration with Nora Guthrie and the Woody Guthrie Archives
DISCOVERING WOODY AT GREYSTONE PARK
When I first climbed into abandoned Greystone Park State Hospital, I found myself in the ruins of the hospital’s dark room, with tens of thousands of patient photographs spilling out of file cabinets. I wondered who was there and what stories were waiting to be told.
Later that night, I searched the Internet and learned that Woody Guthrie had once been a patient there. I didn’t know much about him beyond he wrote “This Land Is Your Land” and his son Arlo sang at Woodstock. I learned he was a prolific singer-songwriter who influenced musicians like Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, and Billy Bragg.
I also learned that the Woody Guthrie Archives were in New York City, so I made an appointment and met Woody's daughter, Nora, who ran the Archives. She confirmed that Woody had been a patient at Greystone Park while suffering from Huntington’s disease and that this was where Bob Dylan first met him!
Nora gave me Woody’s case number and on my next visit to the Greystone Park, I found his intake and discharge photos in those abandoned files. Here began a ten-year journey…
ABOUT THE BOOK
Wardy Forty is about the part of Woody's life that – until now – has been unknown to most people. He suffered from Huntington’s disease, and spent the last 15 years of his life in hospitals, suffering from this degenerative neurological disorder. One of these hospitals was Greystone Park State Hospital, where he lived from 1956 – 1961. He lived in Ward 40 and called it "Wardy Forty."
Through never-before-published letters, historic family photographs, and rare personal interviews, Woody Guthrie’s Wardy Forty explores the five years Woody spent at Greystone Park State Hospital in New Jersey. Through contemporary photographs of the now-abandoned hospital, these years are brought to life and provide a mysterious glimpse into a deserted bygone era.
Woody Guthrie's Wardy Forty will be a cloth bound, hardcover, 162-page art book printed in the USA.
- Over 70 contemporary color photographs of now-abandoned Greystone Park State Hospital by Phillip Buehler taken with medium format film.
- Over 30 rare family photographs from Nora Guthrie’s personal collection.
- Historic, never before seen photographs by world-renowned photographer John Cohen.
- Never-before-published photographs by Guthrie’s close friend Bob Gleason.
- Personal letters from Guthrie written at Greystone to his wife, Marjorie and children; Arlo, Joady, and Nora.
- Archival documents and writings from the Woody Guthrie Archives including a scene from an unpublished play Guthrie wrote at Greystone.
- Rare personal interviews with Marjorie Guthrie, Arlo Guthrie, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Harold Leventhal, and Guthrie’s doctors at Greystone.
- Handwritten lyric by Bob Dylan to "Song to Woody" that have never been published.
- A very special afterword written especially for this project by Alice Wexler, Ph.D, author and founding Board member of the Hereditary Disease Foundation, with a brief history of Huntington's disease and an update on recent research and steady progress towards a cure.
RAISING FUNDS SO WE CAN PRINT IN THE U.S.A.
We’re raising funds so we can print this book in the U.S. while supporting American workers and small businesses, as Woody would have wanted.
Nora & I decided to self-publish through Woody Guthrie Publications, Inc. In our effort to create a high quality photography book, we selected Meridian Printing in Rhode Island as our printer. Meridian has a reputation for making beautiful art books, having done photography books for Annie Leibovitz, Lee Friedlander, and Richard Avedon. Meridian is also committed to the environment and uses sustainable resources: Forest Stewardship Council certified papers and organic inks. Although we could have easily printed Woody Guthrie’s Wardy Forty overseas for a fraction of the cost, we hope you will join us to support American workers.
NORA GUTHRIE REMEMBERS
"I've been waiting for the right moment to release many of the images and writings of my father which give insight into his many years spent coping with Huntington's disease. I always felt that they were historically important, as he continued to write, think, and live with this tragic illness. Additionally, it seemed important in terms of understanding HD and the ways it affects a person's abilities to live and cope with the knowledge of such a hopeless condition. When Phil Buehler came to me with these photographs, I knew immediately that this would be the way to communicate and hopefully illuminate Woody's heretofore unexplored life with HD. As he so often determinedly proclaimed, 'I ain't dead quite yet'.
I hope when you look through this book, in addition to seeing the inevitable decay all around, you’ll also see a man with twinkling eyes and a humorous grin. He lived this way, consistently. He strived to learn and grow even as he went through each day of his deteriorating illness. And although Huntington’s disease was his own personal trial, he never became Huntington’s disease. He remained his essential self – writer, thinker, father, friend, wonderer.
As I look through this book, I can see through the tragic images and difficult
memories, and find a beauty that has taken me over fifty years to recognize.
These images are merely the ruins, the gross leftovers, the chipped and peeling
fragments of a life felt and lived so boldly.
I want to thank Phil Buehler for creating this special work of art. By piecing together all these fragments I see that these ruins – all ruins - are what we all ultimately learn to transcend. And that’s what makes them so profoundly beautiful." – Nora Guthrie
- Availability: Won't be available at the big chains because Woody always fought for the little guy - look to www.WoodyGuthrie.org
- Printed: Proudly in the USA
- Cover price: $75.00
- Type of binding: hardcover, bookcloth, casebound
- Page count: 162 pages
- Dimensions: 11-7/8" x 9-5/8"
- Paper: 100# Phoenix Motion Xantur Text
- Printer: Meridian Printing, East Greenwich, RI
- Publisher: Woody Guthrie Publications, Inc.
We hope you'll support this project. We've put together some great rewards packages that we hope you'll enjoy!
$5 AND $25 REWARDS: 4x6" PHOTOS FROM "WARDY FORTY"
At the $5 level, receive one of five 4x6" prints of Phil's photographs from Woody Guthrie's Wardy Forty to keep or share. At $25, receive all five.
$75 REWARD: "WARDY FORTY" ALONG WITH "THE INTERVIEWS" BOOK
In addition to Woody Guthrie's Wardy Forty, you'll receive the limited edition companion book, Wardy Forty: The Interviews. During the course of my research, I interviewed various people, including doctors, musicians, and Guthrie family members, all of whom shared their personal experiences with Guthrie during his time at Greystone Hospital. There are lots of stories that have never told before in this 130 page 5x7" paperback:
- Jeff Carroll – researcher at Dr. Michael Hayden’s lab who underwent predictive testing and was found to be carrying the Huntington’s gene.
- Dr. Vincenzo Cocilovo – retired doctor who worked at Greystone Park Hospital while Guthrie was a patient - he is the only doctor of Woody's ever interviewed.
- John Cohen – professional photographer, musicologist, and was a founding member of the musical group the New Lost City Ramblers. He was a friend of Woody's.
- Ramblin' Jack Elliott – professional musician, and close family friend of the Guthrie family.
- Sidsel Gleason – close friend of Guthrie whose apartment in East Orange, NJ was a gathering place for young musicians who wanted to visit with Guthrie while he was a patient at Greystone.
- Arlo Guthrie – eldest son of Woody & Marjorie Guthrie and a professional musician.
- Marjorie Mazia Guthrie – Guthrie’s second wife, a professional dancer who founded the Committee to Combat Huntington’s Disease and co-founder of the Woody Guthrie Foundation and Archives.
- Nora Guthrie – youngest daughter of Woody & Marjorie Guthrie, President of Woody Guthrie Publications, Inc. and of the Woody Guthrie Foundation.
- Dr. Michael Hayden – physician scientist committed to finding treatments for HD, President of global Research and Development at Teva, Israel.
- Harold Leventhal – music and concert promoter in New York City, Woody Guthrie’s manager, and co-founder of the Woody Guthrie Foundation and Archives.
- Vincent "Jimmy" Longhi – attorney, author, and playwright who served with Guthrie in the Merchant Marine.
- Anneke Van Kirk – Guthrie’s third wife (not interviewed in over 30 years).
$125 REWARD: SIGNED AND NUMBERED BOOKS
Woody Guthrie’s Wardy Forty signed by Phillip Buehler, Steven Brower, & Nora Guthrie, plus the limited edition companion book Wardy Forty: The Interviews. Plus your name will be listed in the acknowledgments section of Wardy Forty: The Interviews as thanks for making this project possible.
$200 REWARD: 3 SIGNED PRINTS + SIGNED AND NUMBERED BOOKS
Three (3) signed limited edition 8x10” archival prints by Phillip Buehler from Woody Guthrie's Wardy Forty (shown above) plus everything at the $125 level. *Please note: Frames and mats not included.
$250 REWARD: WOODY GUTHRIE ART LOVER'S PACKAGE + SIGNED AND NUMBERED BOOKS
Many people don't realize that Woody was also a visual artist, and as part of the Art Lover's Package, we're offering Woody Guthrie ArtWorks, a 300-page full-color book featuring over 400 art works by Woody. This coffee table book, published by Rizzoli, would make a wonderful holiday gift (cover price of $45.00).
Plus receive one of Woody's illustrations from his 1943 autobiography, Bound For Glory. Never before available as a stand-alone art piece, this rare 11x14" reproduction is suitable for framing. Offered exclusively for this Kickstarter project. Plus receive everything at the $125 level.
$250 REWARD: WOODY GUTHRIE NEW MUSIC PACKAGE + SIGNED AND NUMBERED BOOKS
Receive these 5 CDs featuring 60 previously unpublished lyrics by Woody set to original music by contemporary artists who collaborated with Nora Guthrie at the Woody Guthrie Archives.
- Mermaid Avenue, Vol. 1 – Billy Bragg & Wilco
- The Works – Jonatha Brooke
- Note of Hope – Rob Wasserman with Jackson Browne, Tom Morello, Ani DiFranco, Lou Reed, Michael Franti, Pete Seeger, & others
- New Multitudes – Jay Farrar, Will Johnson, Anders Parker, and Yim Yames
- Wonder Wheel – The Klezmatics Grammy® award-winning
Plus receive an 8x10" reproduction of "Hoodoo Voodoo" lyric by Woody. Plus receive everything at the $125 level.
$500 REWARD: SIGNED MUSEUM PRINT + SIGNED AND NUMBERED BOOKS
Receive one signed, limited edition, museum-quality 24x20” photography print. Choose from any of Phil's photographs in Woody Guthrie's Wardy Forty – just let us know which one after you receive the book! Plus receive everything at the $125 level.
$1,500 REWARD: TICKETS TO SEE ARLO GUTHRIE IN CONCERT AT CARNEGIE HALL
Receive two (2) Prime Parquet tickets to see "Arlo Guthrie's Annual Thanksgiving Concert" at Carnegie Hall in New York City on Saturday, November 30, 2013 plus backstage meet-and-greet after the show with Nora Guthrie and other members of the Guthrie family plus a Woody Guthrie Centennial Gift Bag (includes: 2 x Woody Guthrie Centennial T-Shirts; “Take it Easy, But Take It” Tote Bag; and “Woody Guthrie at 100! Live at The Kennedy Center” CD/DVD). Plus receive everything at the $125 level. *Please note: Transportation & lodging not included. Only 4 pairs of tickets available!
$3,000 REWARD: DINNER PARTY WITH NORA, PHIL, STEVEN AND...?
You and your guest will be OUR guest at a dinner party with Nora Guthrie, Phillip Buehler, and designer Steven Brower. The party will be on Saturday, November 22, 2013 in New York City’s Greenwich Village ... and you never know who else might show up! Plus receive a special gift from Nora Guthrie. Plus receive everything at the $125 level. *Please note: Restaurant to be determined. Dinner & drinks are included. Transportation & lodging not included. Only 4 pairs of seats available for this special dinner!
Risks and challenges
The research has been done. The photography have been taken. The design is complete... and we’ve raised half the printing costs through private donors! Now we’re turning to you, our Kickstarter family, to pitch in the other half. We hope we can entice you with some pretty sweet rewards!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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