First off- let me say that the cake I made yesterday might possibly be the best cake I ever made. And I have made a lot of cakes. It is dense and incredibly moist and yet not heavy. Probably half of it has been eaten already but it's not only Glen and I who have had a piece. He had a little duck snack-stick making party here in the garage today with two of the guys he went hunting with and they both got a piece of cake too.
What are snack sticks, you may ask? And are they really made with duck meat?
It would appear that they are. Snack sticks are like, well, sticks of processed meat that you can eat for snacks. I assume. I am not a consumer of snack sticks. They are smoked after the meat is all ground up and spiced and mixed together and stuffed into casings. So like little sausages you don't have to cook.
So. Should I continue on with my tale of how and why I got to Tallahassee in 1974? I feel a bit shy when it comes to these things. But I didn't do a damn thing of interest today and I have to write about something or else the world will come shuddering to an end and I would hate to be responsible for that.
And I know I have told pieces of these stories before. So for you very, very long-time readers (thank-you!) some of this may sound familiar.
As I said, I was attending college in Denver. University of Denver. I was vastly and hugely unhappy. I was going through my first major bout of depression although I did not know that's what it was. There were some good things in my life. For awhile I had a roommate whom I did adore even though we were as different as chalk and cheese. She was a wise-before-her-time Long Island chick who'd been doing drugs since Jr. High, wore lots of eyeliner and turned me onto Laura Nyro. Her father was a psychiatrist, her mother was an art therapist and possible witch. And this girl knew everything that I did not. I had a guy friend whom I adored but I think he was sort of in love with me and here I was- depressed, and he was depressed because I didn't love him the way he wanted to be loved by me and that got to be a bit of a mess. I volunteered at a place called the Open Clinic where people could call or walk in to get help with just about anything but mostly drug-related situations and I made some friends there. I remember these people although I have to admit it was mostly the men I recall. The guy who wore one earring. The skinny uber-intelligent guy whom I had a huge crush on even though he had a girlfriend and my love did not go entirely unrequited. The beautiful boy named Luke who is still as mysterious in my memory as he was when I knew him. The women intimidated me. They all seemed so much cooler and groovier and undoubtably skinnier than I was in their low, low-waisted bell bottom jeans.
I had a lot of very interesting experiences, working at the Open Clinic. We worked first aid at concerts too and I got to see some good music including Carole King at Red Rock. I saw The Eagles and Jethro Tull. I saw Joe Walsh and I don't even remember who all. Most of our first aid efforts were directed more to tequila than drugs. Not that tequila isn't a drug because of course it is but it was legal. We worked hand-in-hand with fire rescue and they were the guys who got to give oxygen to the performers who were in no way prepared for the thin air at that elevation. I have a very clear image in my mind of Ian Anderson, the lead singer/flautist for Jethro Tull backstage, leaning over with his hands on his legs, gasping for breath. He was fine, just winded.
I was having my own drug experiences. Mostly pot and a little peyote here and there. I got drunk on tequila a time or two and decided that wasn't a very good idea. I did acid a few times. I loved getting stoned and I loved the psychedelics. I was a very wounded bird, coming from what I now realize was a horribly dysfunctional family, unsure, to say the least, about my place in the universe and somehow, acid and peyote gave me a sense of deserving to be here. Of the knowledge that all is one with far more genuineness than reading anything Ram Das ever wrote which I craved because everyone I knew seemed to be more experienced than I was at everything, seemed to know all the things I did not. One thing I was good at though, was cooking and that got me some acclaim with the boys, at least. We could all be so stoned that the idea of even getting up out of a chair seemed impossible and yet at the same time, suffering desperately with the munchies and I could somehow manage to get up, find my way to a kitchen where I'd never been before, and make something edible out of whatever random ingredients I could find there which amazed and astounded everyone.
I remember one boy, his name was Bruce Perlstein, and he would come over to my apartment and I would make bread for him, and soup, and he would ask me to marry him and I would laugh. I had become a vegetarian, of course, under the influence of Hanuman's Conscious Cookery Restaurant where the most blissed-out servers in the world who wore all white, including turbans, served up steaming hot pots of peppermint tea and individual dishes of mung bean casserole which lay under bubbling blankets of cheese that was probably made from the milk of holy goats blessed by the Dalai Lama. The bread was thick and dark and as far from the white bread I grew up on as a Bud Lite is from a craft IPA.
I saw Allen Ginsberg there one night. Even I knew who Allen Ginsberg was. Even this plump little dumpling of a southern girl knew who Allen Ginsberg was.
And I was amazed.
And I think that's all I want to write tonight.
I have supper to make. I've barely spent any time today with my sweet man as he was in the garage, making snack sticks.
I've already made up a skillet spanakopita that just has to go into the oven to bake but I need to make up a nice thick, sherry-flavored white sauce to cover some snapper to also bake.
Let me know what you think about this journey I'm relating. Is it interesting at all or is it like listening to someone else's dreams? As Yoko Ono once said, and which I have quoted many times, "Everyone has a story to tell."
Well. This is part of mine. Whether or not it's worth telling is...another story?
Yes. Keep going. Love, your enthralled northern girl, RebeccaReplyDelete
I feel that you are southern in some very important ways.Delete
Well that is the very best thing ever. ❤️RDelete
You know you are. Grits, cornbread, stories that no nice northern lady would tell out loud...Delete
But that southern women will shout off the front porch if need be.
That must have been about 1971 or was it later than that. I think that I was living on Gaylord street in a communal house that year. At least for part of that year or maybe it was 70. I then went back to California and then Iowa and then back to Denver to have my first born in 74. The 74 I know for sure but the rest of the years are a bit of a blur.ReplyDelete
me above. left it anon by mistakeReplyDelete
This was '72-'74. And the Open Clinic was ON Gaylord Street. Or we used to call it, "Happy Jesus." Can't believe we trod the same streets at approximately the same time. Do you remember Hanuman'sDelete
I don't remember Hanuman's but the Folklore center was sort of the center of my life the late 60s and early 70s. I was back and forth to Denver like a yoyo for a long time. It has been decades now since I have been back and the only thing I miss are people.It is too dry and has no sense of history. It tears everything down and reinvents itself ever 5 years. When I did go back I never recognize it.Delete
Oh so worthwhile! I love reading about your experiences and feelings, they are part of who we are! I also left my first university after a short tine, upstate New York. My dad's kidney disease took a turn for the worse and mom needed help coping. Truthfully, I was relieved to get away . It's also the coldest I've ever been! Your story is such a good one and you tell it so beautifully. I'll never get tired of your writing. Thank you.ReplyDelete
I think that some of us are just not meant to go to college straight out of high school. I know when I did go back, I knew why I was doing it and that made all the difference.Delete
Thank you for your sweet words, Barbara.
well..... I'm loving your recounting of your youth, drugs, people, life experiences. Makes me ponder my youth.....with pretty same all around. Experimentation....... most of it good for me too. One thing I still think of was a man I met, Lucien.......whom I had my first and ONLY cocaine experience with........ I was 22. Fun.......but holy cow.......I stayed up all night and had to go to to work next morning at 7am. In a panic, after no sleep.....called my dear heart friend Lynne........told her the story...... lamented on my predicament......and she said *go to work, and chalk it up as a *don't do this again* experience*. *what were you thinking*? she had no mercy, but was supportive. Ah, those days. Lucien ended up going to Panama (his home country) shortly thereafter to visit family.......and he disappeared off the face of planet...never to be heard from again. I still think of him and what befell him........we think he was likely *eliminated*...for drug trafficking.....we cannot change the past......but we can recall it in greater clarity now, I believe. What a blast from the past you have elicited for me.....(and probably many others).ReplyDelete
Well, you know- you will never forget Lucien and you will always wonder.Delete
All I can say about cocaine is that it's the devil's drug and that is that.
Yes, please, more stories. You have so many facets to your life.ReplyDelete
I've had a few.Delete
Keep going, please. It's a good story and brings back memories for me, too. 'Those were the days, my friend.' Good, bad, an experience and intense.ReplyDelete
Yes. There has to be both- good and bad- for it all to truly be a story.Delete
The part I didn't like was that it ended. Yes, yes, go on, this is great.ReplyDelete
Did you realize I was such a bad girl, dear Liz?Delete
Telling our stories is so important as we get older. Yours is fascinating. I led a very sheltered life - a joint or two was my only experimentation although booze has always been a part of my life. I would love to try CBD to help with my anxiety but we have very strict drug/driving laws here and with my luck I would get pulled over and tested. It's a grey area.ReplyDelete
CBD here is not considered in the same category as marijuana. Is it different there? You can buy CBD creams and gummies here over the counter with no license.Delete
I've been a long time off 'n on reader.ReplyDelete
Maybe left a comment once or twice.
I find your stories & writings interesting. So, please continue.
Well, thank you, Monica.Delete
Yes ... please continue on with your memoir! With it being a day by day recitation, we won't have to buy the book!ReplyDelete
YES ... we all have a story to tell, but I won't be telling mine! The Universe knows it ... that's enough!
I think I'm just starting to feel ready to tell mine.Delete
It's a good story and more importantly, it's your story. I didn't know who Allen Ginsbery was, I had to look him up.ReplyDelete
So you've been feeding people your whole life. Makes sense.
Allen Ginsberg was pretty darn famous. Still well-known. One of the major beat poets.Delete
Yes. I have indeed been feeding people my whole life now that I think about it.
Oh how i would have loved being in Denver when you were in Denver and we could have Denvered together - enthralled, as Rebecca said- yes keep going and do not skimp on the details - lovely life of YOU.ReplyDelete
There are some details I will not share. But, you know how THAT goes...Delete
We must protect the guilty, right?
you have another book in you. or two. please keep writing. xxalainaxxReplyDelete
That means a lot to me, Mrs. M. Thank you.Delete
YES! Please keep telling your story. My dad, who just turned 88, is failing physically. But his mind is as sharp as ever and lately he’s been telling me stories about his life. His father, a mean, drunkard of an SOB, did some horrible things. But the good stories just warm my heart. He always asks if he’s boring me and I realize what wonderful memories he’s making.ReplyDelete
⬆️⬆️That’s from me, Catrina!Delete
That is so precious, Catrina. Thank you for sharing that about your father.Delete
It is interesting though I never did understand the need for the mind-bending type drugs of any kind. It is all a part of who you were though and how you came to be the wonderful person you now are.ReplyDelete
I can only testify that for ME, they played a huge role in whatever sanity and insight I have now. I am so grateful I was able to have those experiences. Very intense, but always worth it.Delete
You've obviously endured some crap in your life but what an interesting life you've had otherwise! And talk about food pornography......!ReplyDelete
Oh my god- I'll never forget the food at that place. I joke about the "holiness" of it but I swear, it may have been blessed somehow. And it was really my first experience with what we would now call whole foods, having been raised on an American diet of white bread and canned vegetables. I had no idea.Delete
I haven't heard any of your young life before, so it is good to learn more about you. Please keep going with it. My late teens/early 20s are very boring in comparison!ReplyDelete
I could have done with a little more boringness!Delete
You had a busy life in Denver. It is good to hear about it and I am ready to hear more. Sometimes your stories jog my memory and bring back people and events I had almost forgotten. That's good.ReplyDelete
I'm glad I can do that, Ellen.Delete
I think it's VERY interesting. Your descriptions help me imagine all these people and bring them to life in my mind. Keep going!ReplyDelete
Thank you, Steve.Delete
Very interesting. Please continue.ReplyDelete
I love stories. I also love Jethro Tull. I saw him a few years back and it was amazing to me that he still hops around on one leg playing the flute. I don't even hop around on one leg putting on my underwear anymore. It's just not safe.ReplyDelete
Our lives parallel in so many ways.ReplyDelete