Dave Tomory & Oral History

Studs Terkel "Hard Times".So I ordered “Hard Times” from the London interlibrary system after my last meeting with Dave.  Studs Terkel seemed a good person to start my oral history research with.

But it didn’t arrive in time for this meeting and I had some vague questions about the different types of people who had gone to India and their reasons for doing so.

After rejecting my proposal “Beats, Buddhists, Freaks & Swamies” (‘I was too late for the Beats ….’ ) Dave patiently answered my incoherent queries; we ended up with five minutes of audio.

I would suggest to anyone interested in contemporary history that they read some Studs, or listen to one of his many audio recordings, a great communicator was he.

Five minute interview with Dave Tomory:


Download here:

Friday 28th August 2009 – North London, UK – podcast feed HERE

Oral History:

“Hard Times”, by Studs Terkel, is an oral history of the Great (American) Depression, published in 1970.  It is interesting to me that he wrote it 40 years after the Great Depression began in 1929. It seems that a generation space (30 to 40 years) is needed to achieve some distance from an oral history subject.

Forty years ago this month I was in Delhi, desperately looking for a way to move on out of India and kick-start my life. Five years in India and I’d lost all objectivity; felt I had no centre. Time to move on.

I’d never been able to adhere. Not to a doctrine, not to a sect, not even to my beloved and difficult Guru. Yet India permeated me and constrained the way I ate food, how I defecated, it set the models for my friendships and my lovers, impossible to ignore.

Forty years on I can look at those hard times dispassionately, with equanimity. Time to move on but also time to record and not to forget.

Links from the Podcast:

Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive

Kopan Monastery

Additional Links:

Photo: Jennifer Soo

Photo: Jennifer Soo

Novel Destinations

(copyright The Sydney Morning Herald).

“One of Lonely Planet co-founder Tony Wheeler’s favourite travel books is A Season In Heaven – True Tales From The Road To Kathmandu, by David Tomory. It is a collection of true stories told by the hippies of the late 1960s and early ’70s, who embarked on Asia’s “hippie trail” from Istanbul to Kathmandu. “A terrific [narrative] of the ‘road to the east’, the ‘hippie trail’ and that whole awakening to the possibilities of exotic travel,” Wheeler says. “It made me very nostalgic.”

Books by David Tomory:

A Season in Heaven IA Season in Heaven II

A Season in Heaven IIIHello Goodnight

Heilige KoeienInto the Cannibal Isles

Books with Writing by David Tomory:

Into the High RangesReflected in Water


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