Echoes of grandeur



Photographer Phillip Buehler's "Wardy Forty" photos include this abandoned ward of Greystone Park State Hospital in Morris Plains, N.J., where Woody Guthrie was a patient.

It might have been serendipity when photographer Phillip Buehler climbed into a broken window of the old Greystone Park State Hospital in Morris Plains, N.J. 

A visual chronicler of abandoned buildings, “I found myself in the ruins of the hospital’s dark room, with tens of thousands of patient photographs spilling out of file cabinets,” he wrote on his Kickstarter webpage. “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.”

The discovery launched the photographer on a 10-year quest to piece together the experience of one of America’s most influential folk singers and songwriters at this “mental institution” and his eventual demise at various hospitals where he spent his last 15 years suffering from Huntington’s disease, a neurodegenerative disorder.

Buehler’s search included tracking down Guthrie’s musician friends, interviewing his children and investigating archives to explore the five years Guthrie spent at Greystone Park State Hospital in Ward 40. The result is “Woody Guthrie’s Wardy Forty,” a coffee table book published in collaboration with Guthrie’s daughter, Nora, and the Woody Guthrie Archives in Tulsa’s Brady Arts District. The hardcover book features archival pieces and stories, and Buehler’s photos of the hospital, which opened to patients in 1877. Of the hospital complex, the dormitories were abandoned in 1992, and most buildings were demolished by 2008. 

The book’s images seem hauntingly alive. Typewriters are deserted, as if the people using them stepped out for lunch and never came back. Rooms have the original furnishings; large cooking pots remain in the kitchen to feed the hungry patients; rows of cots are sagging under dust. Another room is empty, save for the lone wheelchair in the corner.  

But it’s not all about the hospital. Music lovers will appreciate the glimpse into the musical scene developing at the time of Guthrie’s height. 

Readers will delight in the stories told from musicians such as John Cohen and Ramblin’ Jack Elliott. You may chuckle at the casual recounting of a young boy from Minnesota named Bob Dylan, who visited Guthrie at the hospital. Later enjoy a glimpse at the handwritten lyrics to Dylan’s “Song to Woody” that have never been published. 

In true Guthrie fashion, the book will be printed in the United States, and Buehler has secured more than $43,000 in donations through a Kickstarter campaign to fund the printing.

Those who hope to learn more about Guthrie will get an intimate glimpse into the man he was underneath, and beyond, the music. 

The stories Buehler gathered reveal that the hospital’s medical staff did not recognize Guthrie, had never heard of his music and scribbled into their intake notes that he had “delusions of grandeur,” thinking he’d written songs and that people knew who he was. To them, he was a delusional man under the influence of a troublesome disease.

Huntington’s would eventually take from Guthrie his ability to play guitar or write lyrics. In a sense, readers of “Wardy Forty” journey with the legend as he loses the very thing that made him legendary.

Scrawled across the back of the book is, in Guthrie’s handwriting, “I ain’t dead quite yet.” It’s rather fitting. Guthrie refused to let the disease take him over as he endured an inevitable demise. 

“He strived to learn and grow, even as he went through each day of his deteriorating illness,” says daughter Nora.

“Wardy Forty” is a testament to friendship, to the commitment of family and to the drive of the human spirit in one remarkable man.

“Woody Guthrie's Wardy Forty” is available at www.woodyguthrie.org.

April book events

4/1 Ron Padgett, “Collected Poems,” 7 p.m., Arts & Humanities Council of Tulsa Hardesty Arts Center (AHHA), 101 E. Archer St.

4/3 Andrew Knapp, “Find Momo,” 7 p.m., location TBA, BookSmart Tulsa

4/29 Dorothea Benton Frank, “The Last Original Wife,” Barnes & Noble, 5231 E. 41st St., BookSmart Tulsa

Add your comment:

 

 

Get the best in arts, entertainment and more straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to The Insider!

Edit ModuleShow Tags

June 2017

The Tulsa St. Jude Dream Home is a community service project to raise money for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, St. Jude freely shares the breakthroughs they make - the hospital not only...

Cost: $100.00

Where:
Stone Canyon of Owasso
Owasso, OK  74055


Sponsor: Epic Custom Homes
Website »

More information

On Sunday, June 25th.. The 8th Anniversary of Michael Jackson's passing.. Fans from all over the area will gather together for a night in remembrance of the Greatest Entertainer to ever ive!!...

Cost: Free

Where:
Lot 6
1323 E 6th St
Tulsa, OK  74120
View map »


Sponsor: Moonwalk Talks
Telephone: 918-800-9886
Contact Name: Anthony Jenkins
Website »

More information

Take some really Hot Latin music add some industrial strength Funk, and a boatload of Fun and you have the recipe for an incredible concert! The Latin, Funk, Fun Fest is just that! We have...

Cost: Free

Where:
Guthrie Green
111 East M.B. Brady Street
Tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Jazz.Com
Telephone: 191-881-29902
Contact Name: John Taylor
Website »

More information

It's our favorite month of the year!   Time again to celebrate our anniversary with an annual exhibit presented by local artist collective E.T.A!!      E.T.A.’s...

Cost: free

Where:
MAINLINE ART BAR
111 n. main st.
tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Telephone: 918-704-3330
Contact Name: katy eagleston

More information

Where:
Bodean Restaurant & Market
3376 E 51st St
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Telephone: (918) 743-3861
Website »

More information

Cost: $12

Where:
The Venue Shrine
112 E. 18th St.
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Telephone: (918) 949-1345
Website »

More information

2015 Woody Guthrie Fellowship recipient Christy Miller will give a presentation on GuthrieÕs involvement in two BBC radio programs that aired during WWII: ÒThe Martians and the CoysÓ and ÒThe...

Where:
Woody Guthrie Center
102 E MB Brady St
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Website »

More information

Cost: $5

Where:
The Blackbird on Pearl
1336 E 6th St
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Telephone: (918) 949-1345
Website »

More information

Where:
The Colony
2809 S Harvard Ave
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Telephone: (918) 794-4208
Website »

More information

Where:
Soul City
1621 E 11th St
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Telephone: (918) 607-6005
Website »

More information

Where:
East Village Bohemian Pizzeria
818 E 3rd St
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Telephone: (918) 895-6999
Website »

More information

Where:
Soul City
1621 E 11th St
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Telephone: (918) 607-6005
Website »

More information

Jyl Johnson performs her first half-hour headlining set. Hosted by Daren Ebacher.

Where:
The Blackbird on Pearl
1336 E 6th St
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Telephone: (918) 949-1345
Website »

More information

Cost: $5

Where:
Comedy Parlor
328 E 1st St
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Telephone: (918) 921-3535
Website »

More information

Where:
River Spirit Casino - 5 O'Clock Somewhere Bar
8330 Riverside Pkwy.
Tulsa, OK  74137
View map »


Website »

More information

The TATEs pay tribute to some of the best local productions of the year.

Cost: $10

Where:
Philbrook Museum of Art
2727 S Rockford Road
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Website »

More information

Cost: $5-$15

Where:
ONEOK Field
201 N. Elgin Ave
Tulsa, OK  74120
View map »

More information

Where:
Soundpony
409 N Main St
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Telephone: (918) 582-7669
Website »

More information

Cost: $7

Where:
Vanguard
222 N Main St
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Telephone: (319) 804-9727
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

 nominations for the 2018 class of the Women of the Year – Pinnacle Awards are now open! Submissions can be made online through June 30 here. Nominate a worthy woman in your life, or...

Cost: 0

Where:
, OK


Sponsor: YWCA Tulsa
Telephone: 918-858-2370
Contact Name: Lindsey Jordan
Website »

More information

On Sunday, June 25th.. The 8th Anniversary of Michael Jackson's passing.. Fans from all over the area will gather together for a night in remembrance of the Greatest Entertainer to ever ive!!...

Cost: Free

Where:
Lot 6
1323 E 6th St
Tulsa, OK  74120
View map »


Sponsor: Moonwalk Talks
Telephone: 918-800-9886
Contact Name: Anthony Jenkins
Website »

More information

It's our favorite month of the year!   Time again to celebrate our anniversary with an annual exhibit presented by local artist collective E.T.A!!      E.T.A.’s...

Cost: free

Where:
MAINLINE ART BAR
111 n. main st.
tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Telephone: 918-704-3330
Contact Name: katy eagleston

More information

Where:
The Colony
2809 S Harvard Ave
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Telephone: (918) 794-4208
Website »

More information

Where:
River Spirit Casino - 5 O'Clock Somewhere Bar
8330 Riverside Pkwy.
Tulsa, OK  74137
View map »


Website »

More information

Where:
Hodges Bend
823 E 3rd St
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Telephone: (918) 398-4470
Website »

More information

Where:
Mercury Lounge
1747 S Boston Ave
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

 nominations for the 2018 class of the Women of the Year – Pinnacle Awards are now open! Submissions can be made online through June 30 here. Nominate a worthy woman in your life, or...

Cost: 0

Where:
, OK


Sponsor: YWCA Tulsa
Telephone: 918-858-2370
Contact Name: Lindsey Jordan
Website »

More information

Cost: $10-$45

Where:
ONEOK Field
201 N. Elgin Ave
Tulsa, OK  74120
View map »

More information

It's our favorite month of the year!   Time again to celebrate our anniversary with an annual exhibit presented by local artist collective E.T.A!!      E.T.A.’s...

Cost: free

Where:
MAINLINE ART BAR
111 n. main st.
tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Telephone: 918-704-3330
Contact Name: katy eagleston

More information

Where:
Gypsy Coffee House
303 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Telephone: (918) 295-2181
Website »

More information

Where:
Guthrie Green
207 N Boston Ave
Tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Website »

More information

Where:
Soul City
1621 E 11th St
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Telephone: (918) 607-6005
Website »

More information

Where:
River Spirit Casino - 5 O'Clock Somewhere Bar
8330 Riverside Pkwy.
Tulsa, OK  74137
View map »


Website »

More information

Cost: $7-$10

Where:
Vanguard
222 N Main St
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Telephone: (319) 804-9727
Website »

More information

Where:
Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame
5 S Boston Ave
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Telephone: (918) 928-5299
Website »

More information

Where:
Hard Rock Hotel and Casino - Riffs
777 W Cherokee Street
Catoosa, OK  74105
View map »


Website »

More information

Where:
Mercury Lounge
1747 S Boston Ave
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Website »

More information

Where:
The Colony
2809 S Harvard Ave
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Telephone: (918) 794-4208
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

 nominations for the 2018 class of the Women of the Year – Pinnacle Awards are now open! Submissions can be made online through June 30 here. Nominate a worthy woman in your life, or...

Cost: 0

Where:
, OK


Sponsor: YWCA Tulsa
Telephone: 918-858-2370
Contact Name: Lindsey Jordan
Website »

More information

Come see how Tulsa offers a 'home away from home' for families caring for loved ones in medical crisis at Hospitality House of Tulsa. This free 30 minute tour is free. RSVP at...

Cost: free

Where:
Hospitality House of Tulsa
1135 S. Victor AVE
Tulsa, OK  74104
View map »


Sponsor: Hospitality House of Tulsa
Telephone: 918-794-0088 x205
Contact Name: Rhonda McDaniel
Website »

More information

Where:
Central Library
400 Civic Center
Tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Telephone: (918) 549-7323
Website »

More information

It's our favorite month of the year!   Time again to celebrate our anniversary with an annual exhibit presented by local artist collective E.T.A!!      E.T.A.’s...

Cost: free

Where:
MAINLINE ART BAR
111 n. main st.
tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Telephone: 918-704-3330
Contact Name: katy eagleston

More information

Where:
Soundpony
409 N Main St
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Telephone: (918) 582-7669
Website »

More information

Where:
Crow Creek Tavern
3534 S Peoria Ave
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Telephone: (918) 749-9100
Website »

More information

Cost: $10

Where:
Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame
5 S Boston Ave
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Telephone: (918) 928-5299
Website »

More information

Where:
The Colony
2809 S Harvard Ave
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Telephone: (918) 794-4208
Website »

More information

Where:
Mercury Lounge
1747 S Boston Ave
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Website »

More information

Where:
River Spirit Casino - 5 O'Clock Somewhere Bar
8330 Riverside Pkwy.
Tulsa, OK  74137
View map »


Website »

More information

Cost: $10-$15

Where:
The Venue Shrine
112 E. 18th St.
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Telephone: (918) 949-1345
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

 nominations for the 2018 class of the Women of the Year – Pinnacle Awards are now open! Submissions can be made online through June 30 here. Nominate a worthy woman in your life, or...

Cost: 0

Where:
, OK


Sponsor: YWCA Tulsa
Telephone: 918-858-2370
Contact Name: Lindsey Jordan
Website »

More information

Come play in the dirt!  Making mud pies and getting dirty is what it’s all about.  Wear clothes and shoes for getting dirty.  A rinse area will be available. Bring a towel. Get...

Cost: FREE for Garden members; $8 for ages 13+; $4 for ages 3–12; 2 & under are free.

Where:
Tulsa Botanic Garden
3900 Tulsa Botanic Drive
Tulsa, OK  74127
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Botanic Garden
Telephone: 918-289-0330
Website »

More information

MUD isn’t just for kids – we’re extending our Mud Day activities for adults and families. Tulsa Botanic Garden is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10am to 5pm, and Thursday...

Cost: FREE for Garden members; $8 for ages 13+; $4 for ages 3–12; 2 & under are free.

Where:
Tulsa Botanic Garden
3900 Tulsa Botanic Drive
Tulsa, OK  74127
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Botanic Garden
Telephone: 918-289-0330
Website »

More information

It's our favorite month of the year!   Time again to celebrate our anniversary with an annual exhibit presented by local artist collective E.T.A!!      E.T.A.’s...

Cost: free

Where:
MAINLINE ART BAR
111 n. main st.
tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Telephone: 918-704-3330
Contact Name: katy eagleston

More information

Where:
Guthrie Green
207 N Boston Ave
Tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Website »

More information

The Agenda performing LIVE @ Safari Joe's H2O Water Park and The Shark Beach Bar. Thursday Nights at Safari Joe's H2O are for adults only / must be 21 to enter. All adult water park...

Cost: 20.00

Where:
Safari Joe's H2O Water Park
4707 E. 21st
Tulsa , OK  74114
View map »


Sponsor: Safari Joe's H2O Water Park
Telephone: 918-749-7385
Contact Name: Darcy Daniels / Marketing Manager
Website »

More information

Where:
The Fur Shop
520 E 3rd St
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Telephone: (918) 949-4292
Website »

More information

Cost: $50-$225

Where:
River Spirit Casino - Paradise Cove
8330 Riverside Pkwy.
Tulsa, OK  74137
View map »


Website »

More information

Where:
Slo Ride Saloon
4133 S Peoria
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Telephone: (918) 949-3393
Website »

More information

Where:
Hard Rock Hotel and Casino - Riffs
777 W Cherokee Street
Catoosa, OK  74105
View map »


Website »

More information

Where:
Soundpony
409 N Main St
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Telephone: (918) 582-7669
Website »

More information

Cost: $16.82

Where:
Philbrook Museum of Art
2727 S Rockford Road
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Website »

More information

Cost: $35-$45

Where:
Hard Rock Hotel and Casino - The Joint
777 W Cherokee Street
Catoosa, OK  74105
View map »


Website »

More information

Seven Minutes in Heaven is a reading series of short fiction and nonfiction. This reading will feature TTV contributor Damion Shade, local author Nathan Knapp, and from Springfield, MO, American...

Where:
Mainline Art & Cocktails
111 S Main St
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Telephone: (918) 704-3330
Website »

More information

Where:
Hard Rock Hotel and Casino - Cabin Creek
777 W Cherokee Street
Catoosa, OK  74105
View map »


Website »

More information

Where:
The Colony
2809 S Harvard Ave
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Telephone: (918) 794-4208
Website »

More information

Where:
Mercury Lounge
1747 S Boston Ave
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Website »

More information

Where:
River Spirit Casino - 5 O'Clock Somewhere Bar
8330 Riverside Pkwy.
Tulsa, OK  74137
View map »


Website »

More information

Where:
Billy and Renee's
6373 E 31st St
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Telephone: 918-836-0655
Website »

More information

Where:
Zin Urban Lounge
111 N. Main St.
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Telephone: (918) 500-3958
Website »

More information

Where:
Utica Square
21st Street and Utica Avenue
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

 nominations for the 2018 class of the Women of the Year – Pinnacle Awards are now open! Submissions can be made online through June 30 here. Nominate a worthy woman in your life, or...

Cost: 0

Where:
, OK


Sponsor: YWCA Tulsa
Telephone: 918-858-2370
Contact Name: Lindsey Jordan
Website »

More information

The Bixby Freedom Celebration is the largest free, public fireworks extravaganza in this area. In it’s second year the 2016 Bixby Freedom Celebration brought approximately 13,000...

Cost: Free

Where:
121st & Memorial
7673 East 121st St S
Bixby, OK  74008
View map »


Sponsor: The Bridge Church
Telephone: 918-813-2327
Contact Name: Jordan Funderburk
Website »

More information

It's our favorite month of the year!   Time again to celebrate our anniversary with an annual exhibit presented by local artist collective E.T.A!!      E.T.A.’s...

Cost: free

Where:
MAINLINE ART BAR
111 n. main st.
tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Telephone: 918-704-3330
Contact Name: katy eagleston

More information

Where:
Hard Rock Hotel and Casino - Cabin Creek
777 W Cherokee Street
Catoosa, OK  74105
View map »


Website »

More information

Where:
River Spirit Casino - 5 O'Clock Somewhere Bar
8330 Riverside Pkwy.
Tulsa, OK  74137
View map »


Website »

More information

Where:
Soul City
1621 E 11th St
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Telephone: (918) 607-6005
Website »

More information

Cost: $5

Where:
The Blackbird on Pearl
1336 E 6th St
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Telephone: (918) 949-1345
Website »

More information

Where:
The Bistro At Seville
10021 S Yale Ave
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Website »

More information

Where:
Soundpony
409 N Main St
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Telephone: (918) 582-7669
Website »

More information

Where:
American Legion Post 308
11328 E Admiral Pl
Tulsa, OK
View map »

More information

Cost: $10

Where:
Comedy Parlor
328 E 1st St
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Telephone: (918) 921-3535
Website »

More information

Where:
Hard Rock Hotel and Casino - Riffs
777 W Cherokee Street
Catoosa, OK  74105
View map »


Website »

More information

Where:
River Spirit Casino - Volcano Stage
8330 Riverside Pkwy.
Tulsa, OK  74137
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Cost: $10-$45

Where:
ONEOK Field
201 N. Elgin Ave
Tulsa, OK  74120
View map »

More information

The Oklahoma Swing Syndicate (TOSS) hosts a Swing dance and lessons  The Oklahoma Swing Syndicate (TOSS) is the only UNESCO recognized dance organization in Oklahoma.  We are a 501c3...

Cost: $7

Where:
Community Center - South Minister Presby Church
3500 So Peoria
1/2 west of Peoria, on 35pl behind the church
Tulsa, OK  74102
View map »


Sponsor: The Ok Swing Syndicate
Telephone: 918-450-691
Contact Name: Rita Robbins
Website »

More information

Where:
Billy and Renee's
6373 E 31st St
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Telephone: 918-836-0655
Website »

More information

Where:
The Blackbird on Pearl
1336 E 6th St
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Telephone: (918) 949-1345
Website »

More information

Making plans for this weekend? You can't do better than The Drunkard & The Olio at the historic Spotlight Theater. You know you've always wanted to go, and now's your chance. And if...

Cost: Adults $20, kids $12, seniors & military $17

Where:
Spotlight Theater
1381 Riverside Dr.
Tulsa, OK  74127
View map »

More information

Cost: $16-$20

Where:
The Venue Shrine
112 E. 18th St.
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Telephone: (918) 949-1345
Website »

More information

Where:
Soul City
1621 E 11th St
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Telephone: (918) 607-6005
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags