Mister Slusher made art his entire adult life. His documentary photography is now at UW Special Collections. He made silver print, video, sculpture and assemblage. He sang and could play several wind, stringed, and percussive instruments. He left some poetry and prose and even a drawing or two. Ken made art all the time. When he wasn't he might be sailing, kayaking, or camping. In his spare time he did things like drive a bus to Vashon and back and curate the OpenMondays gallery. Eventually he turned to planting and landscaping, rewiring, building cabinets, staircases, and other home improvements but he was never not an artist or musician.

Except maybe a long, long time ago. Ken was a teenage spy.

In 1967, Ken was in Turkey. Before his shift, Ken liked to study the bulletin board. On June 8th, troops crowded around the bulletin board. The USS Liberty was under attack. High command refused air support. The troops around the bulletin board shared silent bewilderment. What did it mean to be a valuable asset? How might their listening post be used? There was no debriefing. Specialist Slusher worked his shift. He kept quiet.

In his last year of life, after learning his secret was on the Internet, Ken revealed his experience of the USS Liberty incident. With the support of Hospice workers, Mister Slusher was finally able to debrief and take steps toward healing.




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