The Associated Press profiles Gypsy Lou Webb, the woman who "gave the world Charles Bukowski":
Sixty-nine years ago, Louise Madaio, a raven beauty of Neapolitan heritage, eloped with a convict writer and rich-kid bad boy, Jon Edgar Webb. They never looked back.
As chance would have it, the lovers from Cleveland made their way to New Orleans by bus in 1940. He wanted escape from a marriage to an unfaithful alcoholic. She wanted to see the world. Until Jon Webb's death in 1971, their life was an odyssey as itinerant artists and underground publishers through the heart of American Bohemia — the Quarter, Greenwich Village, Hollywood.
The Outsider journal and Loujon Press, their crowning achievements, were publications unlike anything else in their day. Printed in the 1960s on hand-cranked presses with fine-quality paper, they were elaborate affairs. Although there were only four magazines and four books, they cultivated a roster of greats: Kenneth Patchen, Henry Miller, Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, William S. Burroughs.
And what is most important, they gave the world Charles Bukowski, the king of boozy and sexually charged underground poetry, with the publication in 1963 of Bukowski's first full-length book, "It Catches My Heart in Its Hands."
Now destitute and with no home of her own, Gypsy Lou lives in her sister's dog-eared home in Slidell, where she's existed in a sort of exile for the past two decades. On this day, she sits on the sofa, clutching a watercolor of her husband, one of the few physical memories she has left of him.