Sunday, July 26, 2009

Sarge....get out the lawnmower, we're bringing em in.

I used to come home after work and take a nap for a couple of hours and then go out and over to the park in neighboring East Rutherford. It's where all the freaks hung out. We didn't call ourselves hippies back then, that was a name the straights made up. Two of the group lived in my old house we had moved out of a year before. Funny thing because when my folks were selling the house, a black couple came to look and my mom told them the house was sold. She said she lied "for the sake of the neighbors". So the guy that eventually bought the place gave it to his two freak sons to live in and the neighborhood quickly went to pot after that!
Too bad for the neighbors ha ha.
Don't know if they even recognized me, I wasn't that nice , clean cut little leaguer any more at that point and I bet they were mighty pissed at my parents.
After the kidnapping ordeal, dealing with the police was something I could do with out for awhile, but that was not to be. I had gone to the park one night with several hits of acid, and planning on sharing it, but no one else felt like tripping, and I hated walking around with drugs in my pocket, so I took it all myself.
Right after that, maybe ten minutes, a cop showed up.
There was probably a dozen or so of us there that night and the cop said we'd all have to leave because of "curfew". Well, I don't think there was such a thing and we all just ignored the guy. He went back to his car, radio'd in and put on his smokey the bear hat and came back...................
"you're under arrest!" he said to each one of us, giving pokes to the chest with his finger at the same time.
"you're under arrest!"
"you're under arrest!"
right on down the line, including me as I sat on the bench (in the picture) beginning to come on to the acid.
So, about that time, several more cop cars showed up and we were all loaded in for a ride to the station.
"sarge, get out the lawnmower, we're bringing em in!" smokey bellowed on the radio.
It was pretty crowded there at the station, stoned freaks everywhere and me....tripping my brains out at that point. The cops were called pigs back then and since I tended to see people as animals when under the influence of LSD, well, it was just perfect. Perfect pigs they were. oink oink.
They had me empty my pockets, which just earlier had been put into my stomach and then they took apart my radio. They took the batteries out, off came the back and then they shook it around and didn't find anything there but stuff.
No drugs were found, no felonies committed and since our only offense was curfew violation and they couldn't let us go ....because of curfew, they called our parents.
My dad came.

You see, the hair thing started before my run in with VP. I used to get a ride in the morning with my dad and a guy he worked with, up to the bus stop about 2 miles away. I took a bus to school, Bergen Tech in Hackensack. It's where all the problem children went . And one day he told me that his buddy didn't like my long hair and he didn't want me in the car unless I cut my hair.
That was when I really got into to walking everywhere.
I had lost any respect I had left for him because of that and then quitting school didn't help matters.

He walked into the station and glared at me, signed me out and we were on our way,
and not a word was said. We returned home, he went to his room and I went to mine.

I put Abbey Road on the record player and went out on the roof for awhile, one of my favorite places to get away from it all. Did some trip kind of dreaming for awhile out there, thought about how I had to get the fuck out of new jersey and then came back in and kicked back. I didn't know what to expect from the acid, since trips usually last 8-10 hours, I expected to be up all night and then some.

"Because" started playing........

Because the world is round it turns me on
Because the world is round...aaaaaahhhhhh

Because the wind is high it blows my mind
Because the wind is high......aaaaaaaahhhh

Love is all, love is new
Love is all, love is you

Because the sky is blue, it makes me cry
Because the sky is blue.......aaaaaaaahhhh


and I fell asleep...............

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

40th anniversary

It was 40 years ago today Sgt Pepper taught the band to play............
Well not exactly, that was more like 44 years I think. But 40 years ago this summer, is when the Woodstock music festival happened, 3 days of peace love and happiness. But this year also marks another occasion for me and that was my first summer as an emancipated adult. At 16 years of age it's a bit of a stretch to say that I was an adult, but nevertheless, after quitting high school in the spring and starting my work for a living life, an adult I was, like it or not. My launch into adulthood started when I was sent to the vice- principles office because my shop teacher ( machine shop) felt that my long hair was a safety issue. So the vice-principle told me I was suspended for a week and to come back with shorter hair. I disagreed that a haircut was the solution and suggested instead that I wear a welders cap to keep the hair out of my face. He thought about it for a millisecond and replied "that will be OK, as long as it is pink!"
* a little side note here, my hair was about as long a Ringo's in the picture.........
See, the thing is, my hair wasn't actually long enough to be a safety concern, it didn't fall over my eyes and it wasn't long enough to get caught in the machinery. They were just making an example of me, trying to break my balls.
So that was the verdict from the VP....."comeback in a week with a haircut or a pink welders cap, or don't come back!"

It all kinda started a couple of years earlier, 1967, the summer of love. My big sister ( badddddd influence) had gone to Frisco for a couple of months and came back a flower child. The country was going beserk with race riots, the cities were burning, popular music was changing with stuff like "white rabbit"and "for all it's worth". People were protesting the VietNam war. And then the summer of "68", Bobby Kennedy was murdered and the Chicago convention happened. I watched the convention police riots on tv and it changed me completely. Any respect that I might have had for "authority" or straights went right out the window.

Truth be told, I really sucked at school. I did well enough in shop class to get by but I didn't get algebra at all and english class sucked as well and most likely would fail and end up in summer school again. History was the only class I liked, usually aced everthing they threw at me and to this day it's still a very interesting subject for me.
So, after getting the word from MR. VP, my last words to him were..........bye.
On the bus ride home, my school books went flying out the window and I was on my way to whatever was going to happen next. I didn't tell my parents right away, in fact I can't say for sure now if I ever did actually tell them. I continued the regular routine of getting up in the morning, leaving and coming back at night.
My first job was at a plastics factory, the foreman hated me, probably because I was a filthy hippie, but I did ok for the short time I was there which ended when I had to have a tooth surgically removed and missed a day. When I showed up the next day, the foreman growled and said..."go to the office and get your pink slip!"
The next job at a chemical factory didn't last long either. I was a schlepper, hauling bags of chemicals from boxcars onto dollies and I'm telling you, that place was hotter than Haddes, they even had salt tablet dispensers on the walls so the worker bees wouldn't pass out and stop production. The next job, working in a peanut butter factory was better and I even received a promotion after about a week! See, the line mechanic hurt his back and since I had experience as a machinest, guess what?
I stayed there until they closed down a several months later ( not my fault :-) )and it was the job I was at when Woodstock happened. About a month earlier, I had borrowed money from my Bro to go see the band 10 Years After in Hackensack and had just finished paying him back..........
The minimum wage in "69" was $1.30 per hour and since I had just finished paying Bro back and was also buying groceries and stuff as payment for living with the parents, I was flat broke when a carload of my buddies pulled up and said.........
Hey! Wanna go to Woodstock?
Not realizing that the thing was going to be the biggest happening of the century AND free, I said......No, you guys have fun and I'll see ya when you get back!
It was still a great summer, had lots of fun, saved some money and even came close to getting charged with kidnapping the county district attorneys daughter. I had spent the afternoon with Carol and when we parted, she and a friend went over to "the city" and didn't return that night and I was the last person seen with her.....................
Boy was her daddy ready to lock me up and throw away the key!

Coming next: the 40th anniversary of my 17th year.

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