Kansas Heritage Group]

Beats In Kansas: The Beat Generation in the Heartland

Moody's Skidrow Beanery

by Pat O'Connor

[From a time long ago, the spirit of a seeker. This is about the 1960s and their influence on today. In Wichita, Kansas, Moody Connell believed in a mix of hoboes and Beats and sought to serve them simple fare and give them a place to congregate. The following is a chapter from Moody's Skidrow Beanery: Kansas Underground From Beat To Hip, by Patrick Joseph O'Connor, Rowfant Press. Moody Connell died February 4, 1996.]

Social interaction is perhaps at its best in intimate settings open to anyone who walks through the door, and in which ideas and philosophy are encouraged and discussed, making use of the symbols in art, poetry, and song. Cafes and inns have served this purpose through the centuries. More recently coffee houses have taken hold. Away from the soddening qualities of alcohol, the customers are closer to true enlightening discussion. The 1950s and early 1960s were a time of such places of exchange.

Wichita's Skidrow Beanery was a unique installation in this city of a quarter million. Though there had been other places patterned after the East Coast Beat haunts, the Beanery was downtown, next to the tracks, and sought to serve both hoboes and citizens down on their luck, as well as the burgeoning counterculture.

[photo: Moody's Skidrow Beanery, from P. O'Connor.]

Moody's Skidrow Beanery, from Pat O'Connor.

Return to the Beats In Kansas or to Kansas Heritage Group. Relate site: WWW-VL: History: United States 1960s History.
Page © 2003 George Laughead, maintainer, Beat Literature, ODP. Posted: 05 June 2003. Updated: 14 February 2009. Hosted at WWW-Virtual Library @ www.vlib.us