Ronald Jermakian

Profile Updated: September 20, 2019
Residing In: Springfield, MA USA
Occupation: teacher - well now transitioning back to visual artist ...
Children: Not that I know of ...

Well, after teaching English as a foreign language in Korea for many moons, I've returned to the U.S. to try to help out with school reform in my hometown of Springfield. I finally got my Master's in Bilingual/ESL/Multicultural Education from UMass Amherst last May - a mere 46 years after first attending (clearly a case of "arrested development"...) As far as possible, I try to incorporate art and music with social justice themes into my classes.

Update: Since it's taking longer than I figured to get full-time teaching work in Springfield, I may be ready to transition back to being a visual artist - and maybe open a (blacklight equipped) gallery in a suitable location...
This isn't a game or funny posting - it's mainly my remembrance of an old hippie associate of mine from the early 70's, Grimes Poznikov, who eventually attained sort of celebrity status as the "Automatic Human Jukebox"performing mainly at San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf during the 1970's and 1980s. At his peak, he also appeared on several popular TV shows such as the "Mike Douglas Show", "To Tell The Truth", and Charles Kuralt's "On The Road" show on CBS. He was also featured in publications ranging from Newsweek and Wall Street Journal to Penthouse ...

I first met Grimes in 1972 when I was managing a hippie boarding house in Coconut Grove (Miami), and he and his girl friend arrived in their brightly colored psychedelic van just in time for the anti-war demonstrations at the political conventions in Miami Beach. Sympathetic to the cause, I let protesters, including "Zippies"
stay at "The Bird House" for free as they planned their protest activities .
(I also supplied marijuana as that was how I was paid for my management duties, which included keeping hard drugs out ...) Grimes briefed me about his "Society For the Advancement Of Non-verbal Communication" (SANC) and showed me a copy the "SANC Manifesto" which he had written in Amsterdam. I recall the main idea encapsulated in the slogan "May Music Be The Ultimate Weapon" in a peaceful revolution, and he traced the power of sound back to the OM vibration in Vedic mantras ...

A major component was the "People's Band" which would have some core musicians who would pass out hundreds of cheap instruments like kazoos and slide whistles to demonstrators who would play patriotic songs when police/government troops moved in with tear gas to break up protests. It would also be mobilized for "guerilla theater" performances, coordinating groups of artists and musicians from all over the country.

Among the characters who stayed at the Bird House was "Henry the Fiddler" who also helped organize massive free vegetarian food distribution at the Flamingo Park protest site where up to 150,000 demonstrators camped out - including me - who somehow was designated by Grimes as the "head of the Peoples Band" (probably because of all the free smoke and my terrific slide-whistle playing ...) Grimes main gig there was the "American Lobotomy Machine" which satirically turned unruly demonstrators into "good Americans". The Hare Krishnas - whose Sunday "Love Feasts" in Peacock Park I always attended - were also there giving out thousands of free plates of vegetarian food ...

It was a festive exciting atmosphere with lots of free concerts around the site including Marshall Tucker Band and Black Oak Arkansas, and Democrats even arranged for Tammy Wynette and George Jones to perform as a "calming influence" ...

Anyway, among the organized protesters present were the Yippies, Vietnam Vets Against the War (VVAW), and the Black Panthers. Somehow, I got arrested in a sit-in group that included Allen Ginsberg, and I vaguely remember him chanting "AHHH" as the police moved in with tear gas and clubs ...

But I've digressed quite a bit (and there are lots of anecdotes/graphic details that I should probably save for a book ...) Anyway, Grimes stayed at the Bird House for a couple more months, and I went up to D.C. with him to participate in the demonstrations at Nixon's Innauguration in January of 1973 (I think I helped with designing the giant pig in the Zippie parade ...)

I never heard from Grimes after that. When I was teaching EFL in South Korea over 30 years later in 2005, I got the impulse to Google his name, and I discovered that he had recently died and I learned about his adventures as the "Automatic Human Jukebox". The circumstances of his death were very unfortunate and sad - as I outline in a thread I posted in Dave's ESL Cafe "Off Topic" Discussion Forum ...

This YouTube clip from 1993 (20 years after I'd last seen him) shows him at a pretty advanced state of mental decline (though he could still put on a show) and he eventually became homeless, got his teeth knocked out by police, lost hope and died of alcohol poisoning at age 59...

School Story:

Probably due to becoming increasing stressed/spaced out near the end of my senior year, I resorted to selectively cutting some classes while attending others (after getting my name placed on the absentee list.)

I vaguely remember spending several days at the library across the street, working diligently on long theses for Mr. Bresnahan's advanced American History course.

Of course Principal Montana (sp?) was none to pleased when he found out, and he voiced his concern about my apparent character flaw to my father. (Meanwhile, poor villagers in Vietnam were getting their faces melted off by napalm ...)

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Ronald Jermakian has a birthday today.
May 16, 2020 at 5:34 AM
Sep 20, 2019 at 10:57 AM
Ronald Jermakian has a birthday today.
May 16, 2019 at 5:33 AM
Dec 11, 2018 at 8:22 PM

Happy Birthday, Herbert!

Are you still a boxing fan? Whenever there's a heavyweight championship fight (like Wilder vs Fury) I recall our bet on the Cassius Clay - Sonny Liston fight that you thought was a such a sure thing in favor of Liston that you gave me like 20 to 1 odds. (I forget how much we bet - $1.00?, $10.00? or even which Jr. High we were at - Duggan or Kiley?) Anyway, Allah was evidently on Clay's side as he emerged that night as the great Muhammed Ali - and I vaguely recall settling for a much smaller amount after he shockingly stopped the "Big Ugly Bear" ... Anyway, best wishes (and good luck making any sports bets ...)

Ronald Jermakian changed "Then" picture.
Dec 09, 2018 at 3:18 PM
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Dec 09, 2018 at 3:15 PM
Ronald Jermakian has a birthday today.
May 16, 2018 at 5:33 AM
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Dec 13, 2017 at 2:46 PM
Nov 28, 2017 at 2:07 PM

Happy (belated) birthday, Carolyn - even though idiot Trump is President and the GOP (Grand Old Pedophiles) are in control of Congress ...

Ronald Jermakian has a birthday today. New comment added.
May 16, 2017 at 8:50 AM

Posted on: May 16, 2017 at 5:33 AM

Ronald Jermakian has left an In Memory comment for Profile.
Dec 15, 2016 at 9:33 PM

     I'll always remember David as a kind humorous person who tried to help me limit my losses in those "high stakes" poker games - including some wild all-nighter ones at UMass. May God bless his soul and family members ...

Ronald Jermakian has left an In Memory comment for Jeffrey Parish.
Aug 14, 2016 at 9:33 PM

I also knew Jeff since Harris elementary, and I vaguely recall going to his home along with Sandy, Eric Thal (and some of my other Jewish friends) for an impromptu snack party and being very kindly received by Jeff's mother. Despite my Gentile status, I was also invited  to go to the Jewish Community Center with Jeff, Sandy, et al  to play hoops . God works in mysterious ways, but I'm sure that he's in a better place...


May 24, 2016 at 11:15 PM

Happy Birthday and best wishes to you and your family ...

Ronald Jermakian has a birthday today.
May 16, 2016 at 5:33 AM
Dec 13, 2015 at 7:23 PM

Hope you're having a happy birthday, young fella - you still root for the Pats or did you become a Bucs/Dolphins/Jaguars fan?

Ronald Jermakian added a video to gallery.
Nov 16, 2015 at 9:30 PM
Oct 02, 2015 at 12:47 PM

Here's an autobiographical poem I just did:

Remember? Rhee-member--member?
Birth trauma - death trauma – most lose memories…
Woeful Arshile hung dead till Ashod born neck askew.
Ronald Ashod- Ashod Ronald : AshRon 108
From Van to Vrindavan, Winds of change blew as all things passed the gate…
Desert corpses, drawing horses, taught courses (who knew?)
Leonardo, Klee, Ernst, Kandinski/ Gauguin, Cezanne, Picasso, Gorky …
Existential dis – orient all nations U (zoo)
Mass the-rape- u- tic abstract art-niks…
To the Woodstock Muse - ic we depart…
Bands smoke peace – pipe and sky sounds
Flowers / psychedelic blues-ers dropped many love bombs…
As I leaned outward against the stage viewing …
On the road to Zen Nirvana - Watts Snyder Hesse , Kurt … Bhaktivedanta
South Beach third shift - South Miami stables, drift a head to…
Coconut Grove tent settlement – freaky sadhus being busy beneath banyons …
El Bizzaro’s Bird House canvas – sent revolutionaries rent (for free)
Yippies/ Zippies, Ginsberg , Sanders , Rubin, Grimes & bhaktas converged
To Flamingo Park – where AH, OM, in-the-sights and dark horses roamed…
Some lives now remembered in tomes …

Ronald Jermakian has left an In Memory comment for Profile.
Jun 02, 2015 at 5:33 PM

My lasting impression of Lee as a high school classmate - a kind, gentle, humourous soul.  I'm sure that he's now in a much better place ...

Jun 02, 2015 at 4:52 PM

I hope you had a happy birthday (I'm always late ...)

Ronald Jermakian has a birthday today.
May 16, 2015 at 5:33 AM
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Posted: Dec 17, 2013 at 2:11 AM
Yearbook pic - starting to get spaced-out ...
Posted: Dec 17, 2013 at 2:11 AM
I don't have any of my Woodstock era pictures where I sported a full beard and psychedelic glasses, but I ultimately cleaned-up when I joined the Hare Krishnas in Miami's Coconut Grove ...
Posted: Dec 17, 2013 at 2:11 AM
From a Krishna festival (maybe at the National Mall in D.C.) some time in the early 80's, I think... I'm flanked by my brother Dave and his wife Brenda...
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Posted: Nov 16, 2015 at 9:30 PM

Ronald Jermakian

Posted: Aug 22, 2014 at 9:20 PM

ASHRON 108 Blacklit Basement Gallery #2

Forever emerging artist Ash-Ron Jermakian once again tours his basement gallery/studio, featuring some new artwork stuff. In the background can be heard a transcendental music CD by the Red Rock Rishis (who hopefully won't mind even though most of my art is "maya" - save for a few Jagannatha pics...)
Posted: Jul 30, 2014 at 10:43 PM

VID 20140728 123903801

Some artwork with flourescent interactive acrylic seen with partial blacklight effect.