Steve Sherry's The Vagabonds of '74

Christmas 1974 and Early '75
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

The Denizens of Miss Dale's Farm Go Home for the Hollidays

At Christmas our Apartment was decked out in Poinsettias that we'd pulled from the dumpsters down at the Docks.
They added color to the place and were displayed on the Mantle Shelf, living room table and in the kitchen. Some were a little wilted but after a trimming, looked just fine.

When College began letting out for the Christmas Season we were getting homesick.
We wanted to get back to hang out at Giblins Bar in West Orange 
and the Grasshopper in Cedar Grove to see old friends and I wanted,
if possible, to see Veronica.

We all made plans to return with the exception of Toad who was going to spend Christmas in Cambridge.

Weeks earlier, in need of Cash I pawned my Yamaha Guitar.
The Pawnbroker explained that since I'd "customized " it with my "Decoupage" job,
it wasn't worth all that much. He gave me 20 bucks.

At the time I had the presence of mind to hang onto the case and now with Christmas approaching I would sell it and use the extra cash to buy a bus ticket home. 

On a cold December morning with Christmas in the air, accompanied by our housemate, Daisy, I hauled it up to Harvard Square.

In front of the Holyoke Center I laid the open case on the ground with a 15 dollar price tag and it wasn't long before a student stopped to check it out.

He wanted to make sure of a proper fit so he ran back to his dorm and returned with his Ax, nestling it in the case...... Mission accomplished.

The next day I was on a bus home. Ollie had already split a couple days before.
I would call him when I returned and we would make the rounds.

       Back in New Jersey.....Christmas 1974 
It was good to be home. There was still tension in the house which caused a lot of pain for my younger siblings but there was nothing I could do about it, just go with the flow.......

As soon as I hit town I called Alf to see how he was doing.
Christmas and Alf went together. It was important to see him and although he was beginning to wither under personal burdens, the Holiday Season still made him upbeat.

The next day he dropped by and we spent time catching up on the latest news.

When New Years Eve rolled around we made the rounds at various Parties among people we knew and people we'd never met.

At a party in Montclair I was lost in a sea of strangers.
With minutes to go until the New Year was ushered in, I spied Alf standing in a doorway looking as lost as I was and I pushed my way through the crowd as quickly as I could and got to him just before the stroke of Midnight.

"Hey Alf," I said, "listen Man, thanks for being my friend all these years."

"You got it Ace! Same here."

And looking me square in the face shook my hand with great Sincerity.

"Happy New Year, Davey." 

It made me feel good. Alf knew me as well as anyone on the planet......and had been my friend since we where both young kids........

     As much as I wanted to see Veronica, I knew it wasn't in the cards so right after
New Years I hopped a bus back to Beantown.

Boston had just received a heavy Snowfall and I remember tramping down unplowed streets on my way home from the Subway.

It was the first time I'd seen the City under such a thick blanket of White.

As I approached 269 Broadway, I beheld it from a distance.
It was almost like a Movie Set, its ramshackle porch covered in snow.
Was this really my home? Did I really live here?
I felt like a Soldier returning home from the war.

I climbed the stairs to the third floor and turning the key, was met by Toad who explained that we had Visitors.

In the living room were two Hippies sitting on the floor atop bed rolls.

"This is Jason and this is Barbara," Toad said,  "They're new in town. I said they could stay here for a few days."

I was a little taken aback having strangers in the house but right away I could see they were okay.
They'd just arrived from California and were up against it, homeless and without much money but they were gentle people and we got along fine.

Jason had a Parlor Guitar and would play Music and they drew pictures for us to hang on our walls.
It was the only way they felt they could repay us even though it wasn't necessary.

Over the next few days I watched as Barbara would get upset for no apparent reason. 
One moment they'd be talking calmly and the next she was in tears lashing out at Jason.

"What's the matter?" I asked, after witnessing another episode.

In understanding tones, Jason said, "She comes from a very neurotic family."

Barbara made no attempt to protest, she just put her hand to her forehead and sobbed.

I knew what it was like to have the World closing in on you.
You might have a place to stay tonight but what about tomorrow and the next day?
What about Money and Food?  How long can you go on living like that?
The uncertainty can really get you down........

A few days later they were able to find a more permanent place and things were back to "normal" at Miss Dales Farm.....

One-by-one the stragglers drifted back, Roger, then Ollie and my brother Eddie who along with Leo, would come and go on a regular basis, sometimes staying away for weeks.

As soon as I returned, I was back at B.U.
In those days Campus Security was lax.
There was little need for it and the people working the front desk would just wave me in.

This was a good interlude for me.
I was working a steady job and it was okay with Sarah that I kept odd hours.

In the morning she'd go off to class and I'd sleep late then go over to Cambridge to hang out and get a change of clothes before taking the Subway back to Beacon Hill Gulf.

Sarah sensed my pain.
At times when I became pensive, she'd ask directly. "What's wrong Dave?"
But my situation was too complex and I was too young to fathom it.
I thought about the Meditation. The knowledge of it returned again and again but I still wasn't ready for it so I continued to struggle.

I don't know how Sarah put up with me.
She could plainly see the over the top behavior of my friends and I
and how we promoted each others lechery.

One of her favorite ditties of the time was "Oh, Demon Achohol" and I knew damned well who it was meant for each time she sang it......

At night I'd lay in bed staring at the ceiling as profundities paraded through my head.
I was again trying to express myself through poetry.
It wasn't always good, in fact most of it was pretty bad.
Anyway, I awakened one morning in the dorm and wrote this down....

                     13th Floor Panorama 

There are no problems, only people
We're all gonna die someday
Ashes, ashes, we all fall down

There's sand dunes and scrub brush
To walk in between
In between the lines and going back
Looking over shoulders at light through cracks

Dust near draperies to watch
As your eyes roll round
And your lids shut down          

Remember the good old days?
They're all gone
Time to change, time to grow
Everything passes away

That's the beauty, that's where it's at
Long brown hair or Stetson Hat
No time to wonder why
Cause then you let slip the past
The things in between that never last

It's a happy morning
The moon has ceased to bear witness
Now the light comes over the hill
In the different colors it sometimes will

I've got no complaints, been keeping my body warm
Anyway sometimes it's nice to go sailing in a storm

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