Steve Sherry's The Vagabonds of '74

Visitors from New Jersey
Home
Early '74 Montclair, New Jersey, Alf a most unusual friend
Cedar Grove, New Jersey my little town....Miss Munches House, Newberry's, Cedar Grove Pool
Hitchhiking To Albuquerque 1972, The Commune and Krishnamurti, University of New Mexico
Seeing Badfinger At Carnegie Hall, The Dugout, McSorely's Ale House
Seeing Bob Dylan, "The Poet Lad" At Madison Square Garden
South End Pizzeria, Van Gogh and Plans for California
Jersey Shore Recollections, Summer of '71. St. Louis, The Gateway of the West, The Road to Colorado
Rocky Mountain Panorama, Problems with the Pinto, Ritchfield Utah???
California! Lennon's Lost Weekend, Venice Beach, Malibu
Pacific Coast Highway, Panoramic Visions and the Magic Carpet Ride To Santa Barbara
San Francisco, The Shelter, The Warf and the Hole in the Wall Hotel
Sacramento, Jumping A Train? Wierd But True, The Shock of My Life
Oblivion, Reno, Good Samaritans and The Ghosts of Woody Guthrie, James Dean and Tom Joad
A Night In The Can in Kansas
University of Kansas at Lawrence and The Doobie Brothers
True Meditation Foundation of Human Understanding, "How Your Mind Can Keep You Well"
Vagabonds of '74 Part 2: Old Friend Ollie, Meeting Veronica, The Suburban in Montclair
BOSTON, The Leap of Faith and A Night in a Shelter
Sleeping in a Newspaper Truck, Cambridge Hippies and No Turning Back
Squatter's Rights: 269 BROADWAY, Furnishing Our Hippie Pad
269 BROADWAY becomes Miss Dale's Farm
California Hippies Arrive. Free Food from The Docks, Strange Encounters
Kenmore Square Blood Bank
Leonard Cohen, Patron Saint, Ali Defeats Foreman and the Great Squash Fight of '74
Vivid Visitors from New Jersey,
The Invasion of Boston University, Taking Over The Dorm
Jonathan Swifts, Harvard Square and The Sugar Shortage
Beacon Hill Gulf Gas Station and Reflections Atop The Longfellow Bridge
Christmas 1974 in Montclair, Returning to Cambridge, "13th Floor Panarama"
Bandages, Canes, Barroom Brawls and Spontaneous Conversation
Meeting Leonard Cohen
The Beginning Of The End and Saying Goodbye
Vagabonds of 74 Epilogue
Essex Catholic Memories: Crosby, Stills & Nash, Marty Liquori, Mark Murro, City Stadium, St. Benedicts, Dylan, Positively 4th St.
The Essex Catholic Wrestling Team 1971: 8 District Champs, Ting A Lings, Hitting the Town....
Essex Catholic Teachers and Students, Br. Harrington, Mr. Lamb, Mr. Taglieri, Mr. Zarro, Simon and Garfunkel
Random Events at Essex Catholic 1967-1971: Stuff Happens! Bomb Scare, JUG!, Abbey Road
Essex Catholic Senior Year 1971: World Trade Center Rising, The Staircase from "A Hard Days Night?" Meditation, MySpace: "Jersey Shore," Crosby, Stills and Nash Epilogue
The Jersey Shore: May, 2011 Brielle....Sea Girt....Introspection On The Sand.....
Essex Catholic Memories 2012

Jerry and his friends, Slim Paluca Drop In

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By November, word had gotten back to New Jersey that we had our own pad and friends began dropping by Miss Dale's Farm.
 
An old friend of mine, Jerry, arrived with three of his friends who were in Boston visiting other people but carved out some time to see me.

They expected a conventional living situation but when they saw the Apartment
they were taken aback........
 
And when I related how we got most of our food from the Rail Road Docks they looked horrified.
They played the role of Counter Culture Bohemians but never really ventured out on their own.

I took a spin around Boston with them and ended up at a McDonald's where they gorged themselves and talked about meaningless things as I stared into space.
 
I couldn't relate at all and the fact that I was never a part of their crowd really hit home. In those days I was unsure of myself so I sacrificed my own self interest in order to get along.......

I was relieved when they dropped me off at home that evening.
 
Home, where I had social standing and could call my own shots.
Home, where I could eat a good hot meal even if it was only Vegetable Stew.


                    
                           Arrival of Slim Paluca
 
 
 
A few days later, a friend of Eddie's arrived.
It was Slim, from Cedar Grove, a real character,
famous for his ability to collect Unemployment and milk it to the end while supplementing his income on the side.

Slim was a no nonsense guy who looked at the world in the cold light of reality.
 
To his way of thinking, nobody was really honest, everyone was on the take and nobody was going to pull the wool over his eyes.  No one......
 
His arrival in Cambridge was for Recreational Purposes, not born of any type of need.
He lived in his mother's house free from hassle and came and went as he pleased.

He was tall and thin and had a cutting sense of humor
which he used to put people in their place and spoke in deep sardonic tones.
 
Like Leo, he was more of a "Greaser" than a Hippie.
 
He arrived at 269 Broadway clearly amused with the surroundings but true to form,
took it all in stride.

"So, yooz guys did pretty good for yourselves, huh?" he said, looking over the place.
(We didn't know if he was praising us or putting us down).
 
"I didn't expect this! Yooz guys pulled something together!"

Slim always had an angle, always had Money, knew how to play cards and Gamble.
He wasn't a rip off or anything but he expected others to carry their own weight and not mooch off him....

Slim got a kick out of Eddie whom he called "Speedo" or "Lucky" but never by his real name.
They were friends from the days when Eddie used to bomb around town in his Firebird, doing wheelies and burning hole shots.........all over Cedar Grove and Montclair.......

They complimented one another's "devil may care" personalities....
 
Slim once had a job making deliveries in a Step Van and Eddie would tag along.
 
To freak people out, Slim would open the sliding door, step out on the Running Board 
and wave to people driving by while Eddie steered from the passenger seat........

"Hey, ma'am who's driving this vehicle?"
 
Slim had a very edgy personality......



                 Rocks Through The Window


The day after Slim arrived we got a knock on the door from the guys downstairs.
They'd come to discuss an ongoing problem.
 
Neighborhood kids had been throwing rocks at the building and one had smashed their window, a major inconvenience for people with little money.

"We're going to hold a meeting on Tuesday night to discuss what we should do."

"A meeting? Screw the meeting! Just let us know if it happens again."

We got back to the conversation which included Ollie, Toad, Eddie, Slim and myself.
Sure enough, as we're talking there's a group of kids passing by on the street and suddenly a staccato of stones hits the building.

With Eddie leading the charge, we grabbed broomsticks, belts and frying pans, poured down the stairs and caught up with the little buggers a block away.
 
Instead of mellow Hippies, they were confronted by Rag Tag Heathens. 

"Hey, you guys know who's been throwing rocks around here?"

Of course they had no idea.

"Well, you'd better tell whoever it is to knock it off or there's going to be trouble."

They got the message but for Good Measure we made a loop around the block and stopped every group of kids we saw, reading them the riot act.

We returned home and explained to our neighbors what had happened.....
 
The stone throwing was never repeated.


          
                         Slim's Pep Talk

Slim stayed for about a week, all the while formulating opinions about our Situation.
 
Living on the edge didn't sit well with him.
 
Trying to be a good guest, he sprung for a few bucks, treating us to beer but that was as far as he was going.
He was also getting tired of everyone bumming smokes.....

"Why don't yooz guys go out and find some work?
(This from a guy whose specialty was Unemployment).

"Ya know, yooz guys don't pay rent! Ya get some work and ya can put some food on the table."
(Toad agreed totally, even as he was hitting up Slim for another smoke).

"Instead of bumming smokes from me, yooz can buy your own pack," he said, as he tossed Toad another Marlboro.

"What d'ya think about that Davy?"

I agreed. So did Ollie.
It wasn't that we weren't looking for work, we just weren't finding it.

Slim's pep talk got us motivated and soon we were pacing the floor,
preparing to hit the street. 

Around this time I'd grown a beard and had recently found a woolen coat and a
Black Sheep's Wool Hat in one of the abandoned buildings.
 
I'd also latched onto a double breasted vest with silver buttons, all of which made me look like a mad Russion and this wasn't lost on Slim.

"Hey Davy, you're looking like "Sargent Peppers" with all that stuff !!!"
He made it sound like praise but I knew he was ribbing me.

"Yeah? Ya like it?"

"I like it a lot!" he said facetiously. "It makes ya look like 'Sargent Peppers'!"

A few minutes later as Ollie and I were heading out the door,
Slim couldn't resist one last zinger. 

"Hey Ollie, if ya have any trouble finding work, just tell'em ya know 'Sargent Peppers'!"

I didn't mind. I thought it was funny too........

Ollie and I pounded the pavement for hours that day but came up with nothing.
 

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