Steve Sherry's The Vagabonds of '74

Harvard Square Vignettes
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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

Johnathon Swifts, An "Intervention" and
"The Sugar Shortage"

Harvard square was the Crossroads of The Universe.
So much happened there.
 
It was where we looked for work by day and Partied at Night.
There were so many places to hang out and things to do that it was like an Amusement Park.

Sometimes we'd stroll into Harvard Yard and rap with students, other times we'd explore the buildings.

If we had enough Money we might go to Jonathon Swifts,
a downstairs bar that had a sign over the door that read:
 
"There Are No Strangers Here, Only Friends That Haven't Met."
 
 
I remember being there several times listening to John Lincoln Right and The Sour Mash Boys playing "Old Rocky Top." Sounded good too.....



                     A Short Intervention

One afternoon Ollie and I were walking through Harvard Square when we saw a small crowd gathering.
 
A guy and a girl were in some kind of Altercation and the guy was raging mad, screaming at her about being drunk.

"Getting drunk huh? Making a fool out of me huh?"

Actually, he seemed more drunk than her. Not a peep from the crowd.
Then he pushed her hard, against a parked car.

"Let me handle this," Ollie said.

"No, hold this," I said, peeling off my jacket.

The guy looked up and saw us.

"See?" he says to the girl, "now this guy wants to jump in."

"Leave her alone," I yelled.  He was about three seconds from going air-born.
 
 
I still had Wrestling Skills that I could call upon in situations like that and they never failed me.......

To my surprise he stopped immediately and the girl walked away.
 
The crowd dissipated, Ollie handed back my jacket and we went on our way.
 
Things like that happened from time to time........





                   Toad's Revenge                  

One morning, after Toad had been fired from his job at a Harvard Square Diner, he and I were walking past the place.
He was on the outs with the manager and persona-non-grata but I noticed him staring into the window like a hawk from across the street.

"Wait here," he said, "I'll be right back."

I thought he might be going in to pick up a last paycheck or to tell off the manager but as I'm watching from across the street, I can't believe what I'm seeing.

Amidst the morning rush he walks in and turns to the left where flats of maybe 10 dozen eggs are sitting on the counter.

As though he still worked there, he picks up the entire stack, turns and walks out the door.
 
Not a person in the place batted an eye.
 
Stunned, I see him walking toward me balancing the load.
We got out of there in a hurry and returned to the apartment where we were met by our surprised roommates.
 
Audacity was one of Toad's stronger personality traits.....


                 
                  The Sugar Shortage

While listening to the Radio one day I heard the news during a Commodity Report.
 
It was announced that there was a Sugar Shortage in Great Britain and that prices would rise. For some reason, it stuck in my mind and Ollie and I joked about it.

"See, man? Life isn't tough enough. Now there's a Sugar Shortage!
This could wipe out Civilization!"

After that, whenever anything went wrong in the world we blamed it on the Sugar Shortage.

A few weeks later we were walking along Mt. Auburn St. when we saw a guy coming toward us.
 
He seemed to recognize us and began posturing and pointing with a big smile on his face. Evidently, he was a happy, happy guy.

"Hey, what's happening!" he says, coming up to shake our hands. "How's it going????" 

To our amazement, it was the guy from the shelter with the dead stare, the guy who always bummed cigarettes. 

"What's up man?" we asked, totally surprised.

"Things are great, man!" I'm going away for a while, gonna travel!"

"Travel? How ya gonna do that?"

"I've come into some Money, man!" he said gushing enthusiastically.

"Here!" he says as he whips out a pack of cigarettes and offers some.

"Wow!, That's great. " I said, "Where ya going?"

"England!" came the reply.

When I heard that, it triggered the memory of the Commodity Report.

"England? I said solemnly. "There's a Sugar Shortage over there man."

My tone of voice took the wind right out of his sails.....his face clouded and he lowered his head as if I'd just told him his money was gone and his dog died....

He looked to Ollie for empathy but Ollie just shook his head and looked down at the ground.....

We stood there for a few moments at a loss for words.......

"Well, have a good time anyway," I said.....

"Yeah, take care man," Ollie said, offering his condolences.

We shook hands and watched him limp away in a state of utter bewilderment.
 
His world had just collapsed and the Suger Shortage was to blame.
 
Ollie and I shuffled along for a block or two then started laughing so hard we had to sit down. 

"Man, you're something else, he said. You just ruined that guys trip!"
 
"I don't know why I said that!" I was just as amazed.

I didn't do it to bum the guy out, it just came out that way but the encounter became a running joke for years.
 
I don't think our friend from the shelter ever fully recovered.

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