Shaver Self Portrait from The Tucker Archive

View From Summit, Ark.
Editorial Notes--This page is dedicated to Shaver's correspondence, which was voluminous during Shaver's Summit, Arkansas years. Our first installment is about the publication of the Secret World. Bad feelings fomented between the famous Shaver Mystery Duo (RSS and RAP) over the circumstances of the Secret World. Shaver gives his side of the story in a letter dated 1974. One can't help but be moved by Shaver's financial state in the last years of his life. His path led him inexhoribly to a pauper's grave. Also note Shaver's mention of the Vietnam war, and his mildly prophetic comments that could even relate to our post-Sept. 11, 2001 world. As usual, we'll try to leave spelling and punctuation as close to original as possible...

Summit, Arkansas:

received a letter last week from an old friend telling me she had received her volume of what was supposed to be "the shaver book" palmer was always saying he would print... and that it was 90% shaver but all under the Palmer name on the cover

I assumed she was right about it and sent a letter asking Palmer what in H was going on if any and why didnt I get a copy...

Then I wrote her asking her to lend me her copy so I could see If I had to sue to get my name on my own work

So received this copy she sent immediately and behold it was Secret World on the cover and then my title after the foreword inside... "This Ancient Earth" by Richard S Shaver so caint sue even if I could afford it

So I sent another letter to Palmer telling him what happened and why

oh well... what can you expect... everybody wants their name at the top of the billing

But dont expect Palmer to send a comp copy he never will

I wish... but am really tickled that the material got pubd at all as I never expected it... I sent him good color slides and I dont think he ever got the good ones... he used the old brown ones and orange ones and ones with no definition as if he never got the good sets I sent

the only time Palmer ever paid attention to my art was when I told him that covers with tits on would outsell ordinary non-tit covers by two... he listened, and it works

Considering the sort of malevolent snyde thing trying not to have such things published I gues there is no complaint as long as something got published on rocks

Some days it dont pay to get up at all

If you cant get a copy will lend you this one and you can return it to its rightful owner after you have disgusted your expectations as to what oughta be in your photos and aint seeable by anyone but a genius

I keep telling people to only use the ones that are perfectly seeable but they dont listen as their eyes dont work right so I am going to make a rule never to let anyone have a photo unless it is so simple and plain that any kid knows whats represented.

Am very disgustipated all around with the turn of events and all the other turns going on...I keep thinking of the poor guys in Viet Nam who hve to wear them conical hats and cant even dig in their own gardens on account of they run away from them in order not to get bombed in them and hoping it wont happen here but honest we may live to see the same in the USA and refuggeess clogging the roads

clogging all the roads

when this happens it would be advantageous to have a refugee hid out prepared. I was always going to build one when I was in Wisconsin in the woods with camouflaged door and supplies so I could walk in and pull the hole over me...but I never did...and lo...I needed it later

Enclosed $100 check from Palmer down payment on book now advertised if I cash it here they will subtract me from old age bank reports to welfare it seems nosy like and have spotted a number of welfare cheaters...which I aint yet...twould be nice anyway I aint supposed to make more than 50 bucks as I get it not really knowing the particulars so cash the check and mail back what you aint got the heart to money I can spend just as if it was mine if you want to you can order me a zenit body and send the surplus money back...the body is listed at 30 bucks...if you dont expect to get the pentax repaired...or if the screwdriver slips and goes thru the altitude envelope or the shutter

I cant figgure how you figure to get into this thing anyhow

About enclosed theek return money to me as fast as possible I might need a cigarette or some bologna...this end of the month thing is always slim pickins for us welfare recipients as if never quite about two weeks...if you think I am jokin dont try it to prove it...reason to hurry me the money is really before it occurs to you to subtract the cost of camera repair ...hah

The we can discuss terms for years and years

One of these days I am going to take a week off and read one of your letters....

Today I received a book from some fan named Bartles and the book is intided "The Under People" and of all things its rehash of the whole scene and goes all the way back to Amazing and Palmer and its for sale at 75 ... I suspect printed in London and distributed by "Award" pub co here in N.Y.... the dealer might get you one if you asked. a news dealer sometimes will order a book foryou if you hold a gun to his head and swear loud louder loudest

Otherwise Ill have to loan you this one but it aint so much so i may not bother...maybe I'll bounce it to you by way of susan

did I tell you G&G...gene and geneva caveat emptor steinberg were here over the weekend...a couple of very nive children naive square and sweet intelligent ...naive square is odd combination...