Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Summer of 1971 - Three Word Wednesday

Left to right: Me, my mother who was starting ministerial training, and her friend from Australia, doing the same, on the grounds of Unity School of Christianity in Unity Village, a village 15 miles south of Kansas City, Mo. and just north of Lees Summit. I was not starting ministerial training. But in 1972, I was already leaving the dope world behind. The winter of '71-'72 proved to be vicious for me.

This is a memory. The summer of 1971. I had a reason to go to Goshen, south of Eugene, a girl friend to see and try to convince. I also had a friend, a former roommate in Creswell, quite a bit further south. That friend had been a partner with another guy and they got a boat. They were successful smugglers. I muled for them one time from Los Angeles. Then my friend went to Oregon and quit most of that, marrying his lady. For the record, the other guy got a sailboat and started travelling that way. He successfully retired but I don't know what happened next.

On this journey, I was carrying a couple gift kilos of pot up to my friend in Creswell. I didn't have a car. I had another friend who did have a car and stuff to do in Portland. I rode with him. He knew he was carrying for me but this was no big deal in those days. He didn't smoke or use much. I got my visiting done and another girl friend who had been up in Seattle came by to pick me up from Goshen and take me back to San Jose. That lady had been living in my room earlier that summer while taking a class at San Jose State. She was a teacher in Gilroy at the time, a little too far from town. It was hot in Goshen. We hung around nude, two young women and skinny young me but we got dressed before the other girl and her girlfriend arrived to pick me up. The summer of '71.

Goshen, Eugene, Creswell and Portland are all in Oregon. San Jose State is now California State University at San Jose, a reorganization that had just happened in 1971. I lived on S. 12th St. in what they call a dope house now. But we didn't then. We were students in good standing and thus were a bit camouflaged by education even though sometimes we had a basement full of pot. The Doobie Brothers had a rehearsal house a couple blocks north of us on S, 12th. We heard them quite often when they cranked things up. That same year in spring one roommate put on a performance art project in our yard. We had a hundred people come.

Acrid; Dramatic; Quarantine

Reds - downers
An Unpleasant Surprise

That cap came apart
in my mouth as we drove up
from San Jose State
to outside Eugene.
Acrid shit brown all over
my tongue and I did
Whites- some kind of
amphetamine, usually meth
by 1971
my best not to puke.
Not to be all overblown,
not all dramatic,
but I had to keep
it down, that bad Seconal
(we called that stuff "Reds"
because of the caps)
but after so many whites
already, it was
time to quarantine
all the barking dogs tearing
at my tweaked out brain.

‎April ‎30, ‎2014 2:14 PM

Written for Three Word Wednesday


  1. sounds like you truly lived the seventies I was too young thanks for sharing your story

  2. Phew, that's quite a piece! And the back story was really interesting too.

  3. I found all of this interesting as well, although it made me fearful.It left me wanting to know more.

    Your poem does not make drugs seem fun. Maybe you should write more about it to inform people what it is like who don't know.I hate the smell of marijuana thus the reason I didn't smoke it because there was so much around and still is.Also I was raised never to trust pills so I escaped that part of drug culture as well....booze was a different story.

    1. Booze is always a different story. Booze will never stop being the "mother" drug.

      Which part should I write on drugs, how terrible they can be or how they can save your life, how they darken and even steal your soul or the part where in saving you they give you a true sight of God? Drugs cut many different ways.

  4. In our lives we are many people. Many I have been friends with, a few less so.

    1. I was friend to that guy, the one in the seventies, even though I had to send him away. It broke my heart to do that and turned me into a drunk to cover my despair. I did not like that guy as much but I still was okay. He did things like get a real career going and returned to school, wrote a book and got a degree with it for the hell of it. When it was time to sober up, possibly past time, he did that too. He never stopped learning and I am still him now, sober over thirty-one years.

  5. By the way, those in the photo are crosstops. By 1971 another version of methedrine had come to town, smaller tabs, no scoring on top. We considerred crosstops to be benzedrine. That might have been true. Dexedrine was mostly stolen pharma. When I first got into dope you couldn't get meth except in crystal form. Then the whites came along. Then crystal came back as demand for injection highs (where you get the full rush of the drug, and that rush is ecstatic) increased. I stayed away from all that. I only took low doses by mouth. I needed to function within 24 hrs. That was hard to do with the higher doses.

  6. Sounds like a Burroughs kind of trip..I guess no pill cancels out another..although when it goes 'right' it can be fun..lovely photo by the way..looks like you are happy and ready to explore..what better way then for it to end up in words


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