Back when i was 17 i was living in NYC and was a part of the radical counterculture of the day with the Yippies and the White Panthers and living and working in the collective known as Underground Press Syndicate ,a hub for the underground press in America. Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin the Yippie leaders had their office in our loft in the West Village.
One day i decided to have a California experience so i carefully made a sign that simply read California and stood on a street corner in Manhattan and the first car stopped na said ,”I am going to California want a ride?” I hopped in and that ride with a stopover on a ranch in Kentucky for a few days bucking hay and gigging for frogs at night and then a close call with two girls in a motel in Aurora Colorado which ended abruptly when i found out they were the underage daughters of the police chief of Aurora and our romantic endeavors were quickly halted as we packed up and sped away in the middle of the night and ok i just lost my train of thought ..oh yeah so this ride took me to the West Coast or the Left Coast as we called it and i discovered the twin towns of Stinson Beach and Bolinas and for the next 5 years off an don in between my wanderings around the world i lived there by the ocean.
Those were mostly glorious days as i racked up an impressive “Cred” of beach bum status .There i quickly became part of a loose commune of sorts ,a confederation of some 20 people who were drifters mostly sleeping on the beach or in their VW vans or in tipis on the mountain.
I did all three in fact and those mornings waking up on the beach are forever etched in my memory.
“Stuck in Stinson” we called it and we were fixtures in the beach community but one day i got up enough impetus and i hitchhiked out of town with 100 dollars i had earned from gardening jobs and with a new down sleeping bag under my arm i stopped when i got to the Canadian border and at a barbershop had my hair l cut off that i had grown for 8 years and i traded in my old nickname of Huckleberry Finn for my original name of Jonathon and i jumped into the record and music business making a name for myself and rarely if at all spoke about my former life as a road kid and a beach bum until a decade later.
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