Troop 1, The Lower Farm, The Upper Lake, Dogtown Days, The Foreman, Felony Hill, Urijah, White Deer Black Bear

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$18.95 / Paperback
ISBN: 9781598587623
296 pages
Also available at fine
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Excerpt from the Book

Overlooking the Pacific Ocean is breathtaking and The Cliff House offers the most spectacular views, making one’s mind wander. How did those explorers ever navigate around the world?

This part of the country is always cold and raw, even in the summertime; one must have a sweater on near the ocean to keep the warmth close by. It feels good to get away from the city. Most people feel the same, preferring either the mountains or the ocean to over the city. Aside from those, after all, what is left desert or outer space?

It’s getting late in the afternoon and the cold wind from the Northwest, while sitting on these rocks high above the water’s edge, makes for a cold mist on the face. Down below, the sea otters and seals don’t mind at all; what playful creatures they are. The bus ride back to the Mission District when you are alone helps one focus more acutely upon the mask of nature, the landscape, children playing and girls walking. As the bus got closer to the city and the Mission District, Greeneyes realized he hadn’t seen the gang all day and remembered Pete was telling him about a friend of his who was coming in from New Mexico. Greeneyes got off the bus at Valencia and Market Street and headed over to Albion Street, because Pete said he would be at Bob’s apartment. There were three people who stayed there: Bob, his woman Janelle, and Stu.

Greeneyes rang the buzzer and Stu’s voice came over the intercom.

“It’s me, Greeneyes.”

The door released open and Greeneyes went up one flight of stairs to the apartment door. The door opened and Stu greeted Greeneyes.

“Come on in Greeneyes.”

You could never be too safe around these dudes. They were into everything: weed, acid, mushrooms, you name it and they had done it. Pete was there along with Bob, Janelle, Stu and a new face.

“Greeneyes this is Jason, the dude I wanted you to meet,” said Pete.

Greeneyes’ arm reached to shake Jason’s already extended hand.

“Jason, glad to meet you Pete talks highly of you and your travels.”

Jason was about 23, tall and thin with hair down to his neck. He looked very calm and reminded Greeneyes of the guy from the TV series Kung Fu. Jason even carried a small blanket roll over his shoulder with a cord attached to it looking like a rebel from the Civil War. Inside the rolled up blanket was a hand carved flute. Stu did his normal ritual whenever you visited the apartment which was to prepare a joint.

“Greeneyes, Jason will be in town for about a week. Maybe we can catch a show with him at the Fillmore.”

“Jason, this Sunday at Speedway Meadows in Golden Gate Park there will be a free concert with a host of big name groups: the Airplane, Grateful Dead, Canned Heat, Indian Head Band and possibly more.”

“Greeneyes, count me in,” Jason replied.

“Okay, will do.”

“Pete, I’ll look to see who is playing at the Fillmore.”

There were concerts, street vendors, music and action in the air during the summer of 1968 in San Francisco. People went to plays in the park enjoying good food, drink and plenty of people to meet.

“Jason, where are you staying?” Greeneyes asked.

“He’s staying with me Greeneyes.” Pete replied.

“If there’s a need we have room at our place too.”

“Thanks for the offer Greeneyes.”

“Anytime.”

“Where is your place?”

“Ninth and Howard.”

Stu now had the joint prepared and all fired up. He took one huge hit on it and passed it to Jason who didn’t want to be rude so he took it from Stu’s fingers and passed it to Pete who had no problem inhaling it. As the smoke passed from one person to another, conversations kind of broke off into mostly one on one. Bob was already looking in the Berkley Barb, the local underground newspaper, to see who was performing at the Fillmore. Bob seemed to have everyone’s attention while Greeneyes got a chance to talk to Jason and ask him about New Mexico.

Stu was a slender young man with terrible posture. He had very bushy brown curly hair and thick black- rimmed glasses. Stu was a marvel at knowing all about the latest current music and all the latest superstars. Bob and Janelle shared the apartment with Stu. Bob and Stu were partners in a weed selling business and whatever else the market would bring. Bob and Janelle were planning to be married, but that was conforming to a traditional system of conditioning, and being a part of the rebellious anti- establishment age that they felt they were, they had to re-think this whole wedding plan thing. Bob was very tall and had the traditional style of long hippy hair. He was always scheming and thinking of ways to hustle a buck, and between Bob and Stu they seemed like pros at it. Janelle was tall, slender and somewhat attractive. She didn’t say much about anything and just went along with whatever Bob suggested.

Pete lived on the 2nd floor of the three story walk-up apartment building with Julie, a fine Jewish girl. He met Julie in the east village of New York City. They decided to go west to the land of ‘Love and Flowers’: San Francisco. Pete had no skills at all, nor did he at this time in his life want any. Julie had a job down off Market Street in the financial district which provided for both of them. She worked five days a week and would leave Pete a list of chores each day that he would try to work off. Normally after Julie would leave for work in the morning, Pete would start his day by heading over to the corner store to purchase what would be one of many cans of Rainier Ale, better known as “GREEN DEATH,” not because the ale was green but it came in a nice Kelly green can with gold letters. Pete would always buy the half- quart size, it lasted a little longer. Typically each day by noon, Pete would be well sedated between the ale and the many bones shared by him, Bob, Stu and whoever. There would always be a sign that Pete was ready for another run to the corner store to re-up on “GREEN DEATH.” He had a knack for shaking the can with two fingers to let you know there was one last gulp left in the can. After it was downed, he would reach into the pockets of his jeans to retrieve whatever coins he had to make the next purchase. If he was a little short, as he always was, he would start to panhandle for the rest from whoever was in the vicinity. Pete would certainly be trashed by noon, and you would sometimes find him on the stoop of the apartment building where he lived on Albion Street.

One particular afternoon, Greeneyes came around the corner from 17th Street on his way to Albion Street to pay a visit to the gang only to find Pete with a can of “GREEN DEATH” at his side and his hands cupped around his nose.

“Pete, what’s wrong with you?” What happened?”

Pete moved his hands from his nose to reveal a hand full of blood coming from both the inside of his nose and the outside as well. Pete was a total mess, he tried to recollect what occurred with drunken slurred words between the blood dripping off his face while reaching down to get another drink of ale. It seemed he was trying to tell Greeneyes that he walked into a telephone pole. As Greeneyes got closer to the wound, he could see telephone pole splinters in the end of Pete’s nose. Greeneyes helped Pete up to his apartment and cleaned him up a bit and tried to dress the wound the best he knew how. As Pete continued to finish what was left of the can of “GREEN DEATH”, Greeneyes got the blood washed off Pete’s face.

Pete then shook the can with his two fingers, as he always did, to indicate how much was left in the can. With one huge gulp the ale was gone and so was Pete. The can dropped to the floor with Pete passing out on top of it. Greeneyes got Pete to the couch, put a wet cloth on his nose, a pillow under his head, and left with the empty can of “GREEN DEATH” in his hand.

This was an era of many young people dropping out, rebelling against the system and getting involved heavily with many forms of drugs: downers, uppers, speed, heroin, cocaine, you name and it was out there. Sex was part of the culture and people; sometimes they didn’t even know each other’s names but were getting it on.

Everything was out of control in the cities, especially San Francisco.

The Viet Nam War was on-going and not popular with the younger generation. Protestors in the streets and in colleges were a common sight. The government was heavily criticized by all ages. It was all so tiresome and stressful. People were looking for some sanctuary, peace, paradise—a place to go next.