Read an Excerpt
First TripSex, Drugz, and Rock & Roll in the 70'z
By Cheryl Taylor
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2010 Cheryl Taylor
All right reserved.
Chapter OneIt was hard for a gangly 14-year-old like me to be cool in 1969. I decided I would drop some LSD. Now I had a goal, a drive, a meaning for life, even if it was only tripping for the first time. In those days I was fearless. "Don't do drugs" was an expression that held no meaning for me. I didn't believe there was any danger in drug usage. Nothing and no one could stop me for I was a free spirit.
I wasn't bad looking, but no beauty for sure. I was fine-boned, skinny but not too thin, not much for tits, but some there. My boobs were bigger than an A cup, but smaller than a B. I had a little bit of a butt that was not flat.
My face was just starting to grow enough that my nose didn't look quite so big, and I had super straight, almost blonde hair that grew lighter in the summer, a plus.
My high cheekbones and squinty eyes proclaimed an American Indian heritage. My dad was a quarter Cherokee; his grandma had lived on the reservation in North Carolina.
Yes, I felt blessed with my looks. They required no upkeep. Marcy, my girlfriend, would iron her hair every morning before school, and all I could do was watch her in horrid fascination and thank the gods I didn't have to bother with that crap.
I was pretty much a loner, but not really by choice. I wanted friends, just didn't know how to interact with people. I did have a couple of friends, but was not considered popular by any standard.
It wasn't that I was shy. Adults sensed something strange in me, and most kids my age shunned me. I never did feel I fit in with any group.
By my mid-teens, it was common practice for me to sleep with men, do drugs and live wherever the wind blew me. This type of action was not legal, of course. Kids can't just take off without the law being involved, and my parents called the cops on me all the time.
Somehow locking me up never did any good. I just left again, as soon as an opportunity presented itself.
I developed a bit of an inferiority complex at this time in my life. It came from a principal who spoke to me whenever I was called into his office, for one of my many infractions at school. It seems the school frowned on smoking in the bathroom.
The principal was a strange little dude, very straight lace and conventional except for his fuzzy hair. He tried to tame it by combing it over his bald top. Horn-rimmed glasses and a cheap suit completed him nicely.
He had a whole set of toys he had confiscated from students, and sat at his desk running a small toy car back and forth while speaking to me. I could imagine him sitting there at his desk all day long, playing with those toys. He told me all about his sister-in-law who was butt ugly. (My words, not his.)
"Although she has a big nose, she has a great personality," he assured me, "and everyone loves her."
I was thinking to myself, "Get on with it dude, so I can leave."
He told me, "You would be popular with the boys, despite your big nose, if you would just learn about sports and stuff that boys like. You could even be popular."
That caught my attention. Did I have a big nose? I instinctively reached up to feel my nose. Was it big? I never thought so before. Now I was not so sure.
But, no matter, I knew he was full of shit. There was no way I would ever be popular, even if I knew every baseball stat known to man or boy. Whether I was popular or not had nothing to do with my nose. I knew that much.
I left his office and grabbed a pass from his secretary. She gave me the once over with a disapproving stare. I walked out of the building and kept going. There was no way I was going back to class after that little conversation.
I walked over to my friend Marcy's house. Her mom worked all day and she was a lot like me, didn't like to go to school either. That summer she had introduced me to Creedence Clearwater Revival, or just "Creedence", as we called them. They were now my favorite band.
We danced around singing "Born to Ball You," replacing the words of "Born on the Bayou." Marcy had a microphone that would play back through the speakers of her mom's hi-fi system, and we would take turns singing into it.
We danced around and sang until we were completely worn out. "Born on the Bayou" is a really long song on the LP version, and we could barely dance through the whole thing. We both collapsed on the couch in a fit of breathless laughter.
Once we caught our breath, Marcy confided in me, "I balled Derick Rizzo Saturday."
"Really?" I asked.
"Yeah, his Chevy is so cool, we did it in the back seat Saturday night. I told my mom I was at the show, but we went cruisin' instead," she said.
"Far out," I said.
Now I was worried. There was no guy who wanted to ball me, and I was better looking than Marcy. What was up with that?
The next day I went to school and renewed my efforts of finding some drugs. I asked everyone I thought might be a head, anyone who did dope of any kind. Even if acid wasn't what they did, they might know where to find me what I wanted.
High school was a nightmare for someone like me. Yeah, I know, it was a nightmare for most people, but I was already strange and high school only made me stranger. I met no one there who I felt was anywhere near like me, except the other lost children, the druggies. They would talk to me at least.
Yes, I thought I could be one of the ones who did drugs. I would fit in with them, if I could only get my hands on some LSD.
Although I drank, I didn't even fit in with the Red Mountain Boys. They were a group of kids, mostly boys at Pacific Grove High, who professed to be drinkers of Red Mountain Wine. They did so boisterously during the Friday afternoon football rallies in the gym.
"Red Mountain, Red Mountain, You're - Our - Wine!" they would all chant loudly, while waving their arms in tandem, back and forth in the air. Even they thought they were too cool for a loser like me. I would show them, show them all. I would fit in somewhere.
I should have fit in with the Red Mountain Boys. I was a real drinker and had been drinking since I was 12. I'd been smoking cigarettes since I was 11. How did I get possession of my vices? I got good at swiping, or kipeing as we called it back then, small bottles of booze from the liquor store. Whiskey or Rum, anything but Scotch or Gin, was alright with me.
I never once got caught stealing my booze, and needed no help distracting a clerk. Most clerks would never believe a 12-year-old would be looking to steal their whiskey.
I did, however, have to walk to New Monterey to find a liquor store. Pacific Grove had no liquor stores back then. No one sold booze there until 1969. That was when the good citizens of PG voted to end its status of being the last dry town in California.
Pacific Grove was founded as a summer retreat for a Methodist Episcopal Church from San Francisco, so it was faith based to begin with. The city finally sold out to the tourists, who would not stay in town if there was no drinkage.
There was no petty theft on my rap sheet, thank you. I was very careful never to get caught. I was not really noticeable, and that helped. I was mousey and knew how to blend in.
Cigarettes were easy to get. I could always swipe some of my mom's crappy True brand cigarettes. Yuck. I would rather not smoke than smoke that stuff. I found a way to deal with those terrible cigarettes. The Little Store, an aptly named establishment down the street, would exchange the True cigarettes for my brand, Marlboro. My mom and step dad shared a carton of cigarettes and kept them on the top of the refrigerator. I would take a pack or two and slide the rest forward. Just looking at the carton one would think none were missing.
I presume one parent thought the other had smoked the missing packs. They certainly wouldn't think their 12-year-old daughter was smoking them. I was pretty good at forging mom's signature and could buy smokes. Apparently the shopkeeper had no clue I smoked either.
I needed more than cigarettes. I needed more than marijuana. I had already smoked pot, but it didn't really do much for me. It may have been low-grade stuff, but it was a free toke from some older kids, so I tried it. Guess I wasn't a pothead. I just had to get my hands on some acid and really blow my mind. My big break came at school on Friday.
Chapter TwoTony, a kid in my French class, came up to me after class and said, "Hey, you still want some acid?"
I said, "Yeah."
"Well, there's a guy I know in Del Monte Park that has some hits. He lives in that little house in the middle of the block, on Montecito. He has a van with a peace sign on the side, you can't miss it," he said.
He went on to ask, "Can you get me a hit, too?"
"Sure," I said, "Montecito is just down the street from me."
It would be worth it. I would buy him a hit.
So, after school I went straight to the guy's house and knocked on the door. I had no problem finding it.
Montecito was a short street, only a block long, and I knew it was his house for sure by the VW bus parked in front with the big yellow peace sign. It had been hand painted and was the only peace sign in the ultra conservative neighborhood.
The door opened, and I smiled and lied, saying, "I'm a friend of Tony's."
I barely knew Tony, but whatever would get me in the door, I would do or say.
The dealer was what you would call a real hippie-type looking guy. He had extremely long brownish blonde hair and dressed cool too. He wore old tattered bell-bottom jeans and a fringe leather vest.
He didn't tell me his name, and I didn't tell him mine. I was just happy that he let me into his pad and didn't tell me to hit the road.
I could hear the sound of Creedence's "Proud Mary" playing from somewhere in the house. Cool, he liked Creedence, too.
It was dark in his house and the few scented candles burning on various tables and surfaces did little to light the room. The scent of incense and patchouli oil was in the air, but couldn't quite cover the strong smell of cannabis.
He seemed real cagey and looked deep into my eyes when I asked him if he had some acid. I must have passed whatever reservations he had about me. All that mattered to me was that he mumbled, "Yeah," and went into the back room through some hanging beads to retrieve an envelope.
Inside the envelope were several small pieces of white paper squares. I had doubts it was really acid. "Could a simple piece of paper do much?" I wondered, "Should I trust him?"
"It's $3 a hit, if you want it," he said.
I bought two. One for me, and the one I promised to Tony.
There was only one way to find out if it was real, so I immediately popped one in my mouth, chewed it up and swallowed it. It didn't have much of a taste. "We'll see," I thought and resigned myself to the immediate future, whatever it might be.
The dealer plopped down on an old ratty sofa and lit a joint. He patted the seat next to him and I sat down. We had passed the joint back and forth a couple of times when he asked me if I would supercharge him.
"Huh?" I queried.
He laughed and showed me how to do it. He took a deep toke, held it, then took the joint and turned it around and put the hot part in his mouth. Carefully pursing his lips on the joint in the middle, he blew a steady stream of smoke out the end of the joint. I inhaled it through my mouth and nose.
Wow! "Learn something new every day," I thought. I returned the favor. We were both feeling pretty good by then. "They Call Me Mellow Yellow" was running through my head.
Warming up to me, he told me a little history about this batch of acid.
"These hits came from the Big-Big bust that went down last week," he said.
I had heard about it. Hell, everyone had heard about it. The Big-Big House was down on Central Ave., still in Pacific Grove, but almost into New Monterey. It was an old brick red Victorian and huge, about three stories tall plus an attic, with at least 10 bedrooms.
The Big-Big House was not only well-known to the heads on the bay, it was also well-known to the pigs, hence the bust. The cops had been staking it out for months and a narc was sent in, or so I heard.
A whole bunch of people lived together in the house. My parents called them hippies, but I thought that when grownups said hippie it was lame. I never used the word "groovy", either. To say groovy was way not cool.
"A good friend of mine hid this envelope in a crack in the rock wall around the back of the house. He saved it from the bust, but he didn't get away. The pigs caught him as he was goin' over the wall. He asked me to deal out some to make his bail," the dealer said.
I was pleased to be contributing to such a worthy cause.
We were just hanging out, enjoying the high from his excellent weed when I said, "Hey, what is this going to be like?"
"What?" he asked.
"What is trippin' like, you know, doin' acid? What's it gonna to be like?" I asked.
"This is your first trip?" he asked.
"Well, yeah," I answered.
"I dunno. It's different for different people; you'll see," he answered.
He seemed to be acting weirder from that point on. I don't know if it was the acid making me paranoid or if he was getting paranoid, or maybe a little of both.
He finally gave me the bum's rush out the door as he said to me, "Don't tell anyone where you got the acid."
I'm sure he knew that in a few hours I would have no idea how to get back to his house or where the acid came from.
Chapter ThreeThe trip home was only a half block down and a right turn, then a block up and turn right and then another half block, but the trip seemed to take an eternity. The wind was not really blowing hard, but there was enough of a breeze to make the needles in the pine trees talk to me. They were whispering obscenities, "cunt ... bitch ... whore." It was totally awesome.
The trees were so big and strong and wise. Everything was swirling around and moving. It all looked like a Vincent Van Gogh painting. Maybe I was crazy, like Van Gogh. It's been said that LSD makes you like a schizophrenic. I wasn't thinking about anything that complicated right then, of course. I wasn't thinking much of anything at all, just sort of trippin' down the street, checking everything out.
The fog began to roll in as I walked, and it was swirling around me. I could see the minute drops of water in the air and hear them dripping off the pine needles. I was just beginning to get a sensory overload.
I'm sure if a cop had been by at that time, I would have been busted. The way I was wandering and looking at everything in sight was a dead give away.
My family lived in a semi-rural area of Del Monte Park, just outside of Pacific Grove. This was long before the city annexed the land. There were no sidewalks, lots of trees and, best of all, not many cops. A Monterey County Sheriff's deputy might patrol once in a while, but that was about it. I was in no danger of running into one of their infrequent patrols.
I managed to make it up the steep hill to home through sheer instinct, winding my way up the three flights of stairs to the house. It took a while for me to make it up the first fight of irregular bricks. The patterns were distracting.
The two flights of wood stairs were a bit easier, but there were just way too many interesting diversions along the way. A snail crawling along side the rail was most intriguing and demanded several minutes of my attention.
My mother was frantic when I finally wandered in the door. Her eyes had a wild look as she asked me where I had been. I didn't answer her, just gapped in wonder of it all.
"Dawn! Don't you know you have an appointment for a blood test?" she asked me.
I said nothing. I was dumbfounded. What she was saying to me just wasn't making any sense. I only stared at her.
Then my mother said, "Come on and get in the car!"
She took me by the arm and started to steer me in the direction of the front door.
I had a sinking feeling in my stomach. No, I did not know I had an appointment for a blood test.
"What was this blood test for?" I wondered.
I had no recollection of any appointment.
"I gotta go to the bathroom," I blurted, trying to buy some time.
My step-sister Patty was down from Santa Clarita, staying for the weekend with her dad. I managed to get her aside and explain what I had done.
"Patty!" I whispered to her.
"Mom is taking me to the hospital for a blood test! They're gonna to find out I'm on acid!" I bemoaned.
All Patty said to me was, "Have you got any for me?"
I fished out the other piece of paper from my pants pocket and handed her the hit I'd bought for Tony.
Excerpted from First Trip by Cheryl Taylor Copyright © 2010 by Cheryl Taylor. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.