When I was in the 8th and part of 9th grades I lived on
The day we moved in my mother and Suzy had to figure out how to feed us. We didn’t have a stove.
Suzy’s boyfriend Simon showed us a neat little trick. He cut off the end of and electric cord, separated the wires, and wrapped each around a fork. He then pushed each fork into opposite ends of a hotdog. Then he plugged it in to an outlet. The hotdog split from the sides. When the split met in the middle the hotdog was done.
Simon was a character who lived entirely by his wits. I don’t think he had a job but he always had a nice car and he wore a lot of jewelry. I remember one day he let us play cards with a stack of hundred dollar bills.
This period was my transition between grade school and high school. I took the Bi-State bus to school. I remember hitch hiking to my 8th grade school in
When I started high school I convinced my mother to sign a waiver allowing me access to the smoking lounge. I told her all my friends were in there. The lounge was a disgusting gutted room with what looked like tar paper for a floor and cable spools turned on their sides for tables. They gave us photo ID cards.
One night my friends and I were on the roof of the Catholic school that was attached to the St. Louis Cathedral. A security guard caught us. He said our parents would be shocked to learn we were smoking. I produced my photo ID smoking pass and his jaw dropped.
The Pavilion by the Zoo was a great hang out for hippies. There were bands and drugs and it was all very exotic to a kid. I’ll never understand people’s hatred of hippies. Hard realities shoved in your face seem to give people a more solid sense of comfort than idealistic abandon. I still believe what is what you make is.