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
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,
bar that had a sign over the door that read:
"There Are No Strangers
Here, Only Friends That Haven't
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,"
"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.......
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........
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
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
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!"
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.
what's happening!" he says, coming up to shake our hands. "How's it going????"
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?"
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
"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
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,"
"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
I don't think our friend from the shelter ever fully recovered.