Heads Up! Who Said Pot is Not Addictive?

Tricia Thack and I left our husbands in New Jersey and headed to Vermont soon after I returned from peace and love and LSD and pot at the Woodstock Music Festival in August 1969. I had a 2-year old son, she had an infant and toddler daughters, so together we rented a first floor 4-bedroom apartment in a 150-year old Victorian on the Villageth Green in Pittsfield. We drew close because we had a love for beer, pot and men. New Jersey friends up for ski weekends on nearby Killington mountain, and new friends from the places we worked in the resorts all flocked to our door for after-hours hoopla.

We reveled in breaking the chains of constraint that kept us from having fun. We were always broke. When our kids needed winter clothes I, having been taught by my mother, shoplifted from stores in Rutland. Tricia spent a lot of time on the phone begging her husband and parents for money. We waitressed, cleaned hotel rooms, babysat and tried to budget. But all our money went for booze and drugs and we had trouble holding onto jobs.

Once I drove 150 miles down to Boston to buy a kilo of marijuana in a carful of other amateur pot-buyers. We heard it came from Mexico by boat and was free from sticks and seeds, insuring a higher potency than what we’d been smoking. Somewhere in the supply chain the pot was dried, pressed into bricks and wrapped in plastic. I’d never bought pot in a brick – it was a get-rich-quick scheme dreamed up by the local ski-bum-Unknownpusher guaranteed to turn our $300 investment into a $1000 profit.

In the car we had a load of fresh-rolled joints and a case of Rolling Rock to fortify us for the 6-hour round trip. At our destination, I simply handed my cash to the leader of our pack, too stoned to get out of the car. We partied all the way back up Interstate 91.

I can’t remember when someone passed me my first joint – late teens? early 20’s? I don’t know where or when. Such is the nature of cannabis. You lose track. I saw God many times, in the consciousness-raising vapors arising from Joe Cocker, the Rolling Stones and The Doors. My foray into pot dealing withered on the vine though. I smoked it all up, shared it with friends and strangers alike, unable to make any kind of clear-headed money transaction.

Tricia and I used to laugh that we ingested more drugs and alcohol in an hour than Wizard of Oz star Judy Garland did when she accidentally died that year after swallowing 10 sleeping pills and a few glasses of wine. The delusion of our invincibility propelled us to smoke more pot, drink more alcohol and swallow stronger drugs.

Against all odds I survived my addictions.  But pot? Man, it still calls my name in the night.

 

Hippies At Thanksgiving

Ode to Thanksgiving

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Vermont with Tricia Thack and our children in her ’62 Ford
To escape husbands and dull lives at the Jersey Shore
Route 100 Pittsfield apartments at the Village Green
A four-bedroom apartment on the ground floor
With sheltered hippies, ski bums, drop-outs, in-betweens
Divorcees, dharma bums, dogs, cats and a runaway queen
Working snow season ten miles up the road
Bars, restaurants, ski lifts, tourists by the busload

California hippies made yogurt
We ate it plain no mediocre
East Coast hippies found health food stores
Raw cashews, unsulphured raisins, no carnivores
Steam the vegetables
Sunflower seed salad incredible
Eat brown rice
Don’t eat meat, except bacon

October 1969
Friendships accelerated deeply on pot and wine
Music-fueled astral planes
Snowshoes with children in tricky terrains
Thanksgiving dinner hearkened merrymakers from the mountain
Mishmash beans soaked in apple-cider-vinegar foamy fountain
Simmered four hours with smashed garlic cloves
Vegetables landed willy-nilly into crackling oil skillet on the stove
Chopped tomatoes, peppers, onions, zucchini, squash, mushrooms, celery
Washed brown rice seethed unstirred roguishly
Cool beans hot rice folded into vegetables simmering glimmering
A bland bowl for the children fingering
Honey dollop, crushed marijuana, basil, jalapeños, paprika, ginger, pepper, ever so
Settled on low heat emitting brewed fragrance of Old Mexico
Aroma announced time to eat Mishmash and pour sauternes
Apple wine and marijuana released the kitchen from worldly concerns

Cool cats appeared extra marijuana added to Mishmash haplessly
California hippies topped off stew with yogurt joyfully
We relished the sweet and savory peace of our groovy family