We were just kidz

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

A story about the mid 60s and the birth of the Psychedelic revolution. We were just kids, but we wanted some big changes...

We were just kids... but something was awakening in our consciousness. For me, America had always been like Daniel Boone... clean, honest, tough, but always trying to do what was best for all. It wasn't until those late teenage years where I understood the reality: that Daniel had been another freebooter,doing whatever necessary to get ahead, even trying to steal part of Mexico, and definitely not thinking about the good of the population.

In school I had Been attracted to the SDS and radical leftist politics, but soon found that it was too marmy for my taste, and it seemed like we white kids spent too much time explaining ourselves to the Black Panthers and feeling guilty for what had been done to them. There were antiwar demonstrations all of the time, and we dutifully lent our bodies to try and stop the madness we saw our rich country wreaking on the less fortunate ones all over the world. It was a time of awakening, with people all over coming into New realizations about our shared history, and what we saw was disturbing. So there were new social movements all over...black power, brown power, people power,women's power, gay power, all cooking together in that unique stew that was the late sixties.

When the Weather Underground emerged we were impressed by the commitment and the dramatic political theatre, but, somehow, the violence seemed like we were just perpetuating the actions and status quo of the war we were working so hard to change and the violent customs we had inherited. There had to be a different way to raise the populations awareness and help usher the country into at least a way of being that would echo all of the words and ideas that we had been presented with as part of our national character... freedom, equality, fairness for all. So we protested the war and the status quo, and, along with the new people we were meeting and becoming every day, slowly created a new reality and moved in.

I started to leave student leftist politics one day during a big demonstration in Denver.There were hundreds (thousands) of people marching, some with signs, some with flags, some just yelling slogans and chanting. The different groups were all represented, the Panthers, the SDS, the Communists, the Anarchusts, and lots of kids looking for a philosophy to join. There was even a group of Hare Krishnas in their white robes and pony tails over to the side trying to raise funds with their books and incense and eastern chanting. In front of the demonstration there was a line of cops with their big motorcycles and heavy gear. They occasionally would spray anyone who got too close with mace, and were having a hard time because it had become fashionable to try and put flowers into the barrels of their guns, and there was a swarm of folks attempting that.

 Suddenly, from off to the left of the crowd, a group of "communists" had started up a chant, and started trying to move the crowd into a giant conga line snake dance weaving back and forth though the masses of people...

"Ho, Ho, Ho Chi Minh. Ho Chi Minh is gonna win!

It hit me like a brick...No! Ho Chi Minh was just another politician using the people of Vietnam to gain power, and really wasn't a nice guy either. Same old same old...I didn't want him to "win" any more than I wanted Westmorland and his guys to win. We were looking for evolution and paradigm change, not just regime change.

So, I stepped out of line and watched the snake weave it's way towards the line of cops, who knew exactly what to do if anyone bugged them too much and became violent. It's what they expect, and what they are trained and equipped for. They loved bashing folks over the head with riot sticks... it was something they could understand and control , and you could see the glee on some of their faces when the melee started: the rules were all set up in their favor. As a big cop riding on a Harley made his way through the crowd casually making whoever he could reach I realized the we had to do something different if we were going to stop just basically walking into one cop trap after another.

Sometime in 1967 I had dropped acid, and my consciousness was definitely on its way to getting altered. Besides the obvious hallucinatory fun, there is a deeper vision and insight that slowly emerges when you travel the psychedelic road. New ways of looking at things and alternative solutions slowly emerge, and one steps into another layer of understanding about the realities we have created and moved into. It all tells you to step back, see things from yet another angle, and work at becoming real. It gives you a multidimensional view of our world, and has the tendency to eliminate the fears we develop during our confusing entry onto our planet, where, when we get here, we are all subjected to whatever cultural and social brainwashing our particular society believes in. LSD seemed to cut through all of those confusions and showed you the beautiful naked truth behind all of our illusions.

So we decided that this magical substance could be an important key to helping people understand the underlying reality, and it was a way to help liberate folks on a very fundamental level. At least it would open our eyes to the possibilities. 

So, I dove into this new, magical reality, and slowly began turning other people on. We would go to the hill in Boulder, read the "dealers recommendations" from the billboard at the coop, and buy a little stash (about $10 a hit) to take home and experiment. Little steps into Bohemia... The further into this new world I went, the more convinced I was that this was what had been missing. LSD as revolution came roaring into our lives.

We were lucky, and I found someone who would sell me pure LSD by the gram, and who taught me how to use a micro dropper to get the right dosage on the hits. We started out dropping it on vitamin C pills, since we believed it enhanced the hallucinated colors, and made strong, clean hits.

We were paying our bills by selling pot and different crafts (I was a leatherworker) and pretty much tried to avoid getting into any commercial trips with the acid, although I must admit selling enough to get more. It was extremely cheap, and we ended up paying about 4 cents a hit.

The next thing was to get it out there into the mainstream and into the populace without any of the drama that can affect the distribution of any drug, and did our best to stay clean on all levels. By 1969 there was good and bad acid available everywhere, but greed had settled into the equation, and there was a lot of "bad" acid out there, usually stuff that hadn't been taken through the tedious filtering that it took to get the strychnine that was part of the chemical process out, and sometimes the financial gain was too much temptation, and people were selling all kinds of stuff trying to make a buck. Which is why we decided to eliminate the monetary gain from the equation. We were INTO REVOLUTION, after all...

And somehow, crazily, it worked great. We were a pretty small group, and each concentrated on a different area in Colorado. I ended up in Colorado Springs, staying in an abandoned stage coach stop out on Rock Creek Mesa, and concentrating on spreading our magic to the soldiers at Fort Carson, which was a staging base where people back from Vietnam ended up waiting to be discharged. There were some pretty messed up individuals, and we saw these returning soldiers as some of our most important work. I would show up at the Garden of the Gods on a Saturday morning and start up conversations with the off duty soldiers there, gradually making friends and discreetly giving out doses to anyone who wanted them... we got more and more popular as summer 69 progressed, and ended up giving away hundreds of hits among the giant red rocks. We had a little ritual before we started where we got the folks who would be tripping to sit up on one of the giant red rocks and meditate on where they were, and get their heads ready for the trip to come, but we basically had faith that the acid was going to do it's job introducing even these damaged ex warriors to the new paradigm.

Although there were some pretty messed up returnees from the Vietnam War, and we gave doses to just about anyone who wasn't just a total mess, I don't recall any of the Garden of the Gods crew freaking out, losing it, or getting too frightened by the new revelations their trip afforded them. We definitely believed in choice,, and were against dosing anyone without their knowledge and consent. Undoubtedly, this sacred space helped, and the solidarity that these sessions provided made for a beautiful psychedelic sessions, and many long friendships developed. I learned to play the flute while sitting up on those rocks. We became fearless, and trusted our mission enough to believe that it would sustain us. I still feel this way.

Another favourite "Liftoff spot" were the many music and art festivals that seemed to be popping up everywhere. We would hitchhike across the country to places in the middle of Nebraska or Louisiana where likeminded people were planting their own version of seeds of change by attracting thousands of hippies into remote areas where people hadn't "turned on" yet by bringing what seemed like a circus to stimulate the young folks with music, art, new cultural modes and psychedelics. I'd say the country was ready, and long overdue. So, we would descend on a festival with our vitamin c tablets, and later with pre-made tabs, and start handing them out. We developed a technique where we would paste a hit into the middle of a small piece of cardboard, which allowed you to set up somewhere and just Frisby the hits out into the crowd. It got so that I would get up on stage and Frisby a couple of hundred hits out into the crowd before fading back into the morass.... perfectly content to remain anonymous.

Since we were so mobile, and definitely not Capitalistic about it, we were able to stay hidden from the law pretty well. I even tore up my draft card and sent it back to the Selective service and never heard from them about it... we moved a lot in an ocean of hippies, and never accumulated enough wealth to be noticed. We were also quite young: I turned 18 in 1969. My first child was born that year.

When we lost the clean acid connection (I never really knew the details) we tried continuing with Lysergic acid amides derived from Baby Hawaiian Woodrose, but were not able to produce enough to continue with our mission on such a grand scale, and , since the whole world was in a turmoil, our little group gradually disbanded as we each headed towards our destinies. Since we were all on first name basis, and from very different backgrounds, I didn't maintain a close connection with many of them, and often wonder where everyone ended up. My story took me into South America and beyond, and is another story for another time.

 


Submitted: August 07, 2022

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