Steve Sherry's The Vagabonds of '74

Meeting Leonard Cohen
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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

One of the Highlights of the Odyssey....

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For some time Sarah had been talking about an upcoming Concert at Symphony Hall in Boston.
As part of her College Credits she'd been working as an Intern for a Boston Radio Station and was able to score up-front seats for none other than Leonard Cohen.

On top of that, we were invited afterward to a Reception for him at a nearby restaurant.

On the evening of the concert, February 9th, we arrived downtown, waded through the crowd and took our seats.

When Leonard Cohen stepped out on Stage it was to a resounding applause.
 
Giving the audience a military salute, he launched into his first tune, "Bird On A Wire."
 
Dressed in a dark suit, he performed all the old favorites, "So Long Marianne,""Sisters of Mercy," "Suzanne" and after every tune saluted the audience as they applauded.

His music was from real life and more mature than what you usually heard on the radio, it was the Voice of the Poet.

After several encores, the concert ended and Sarah and I made our way over to the restaurant.....
We were going to meet Leonard Cohen..........


The restaurant had an elaborate buffet and open bar and the place was abuzz with Radio Personalities and hangers-on waiting for Leonard to arrive.
 
We sat down with food and drink and soon people were stopping by our table to say hello to Sarah. It seemed like everybody knew her. She was the kind of person who put you at ease, always smiling, eyes flashing with delight.....

Forty five minutes later there was a stir and in walked Leonard Cohen.
Everybody milled around him while Sarah and I sat at our table taking it all in.  

When I was on my 3rd White Russian he walked by. Sarah called to him and he politely stopped at talk. Extending my hand I complimented him on his Poetry.

"I was reading "Energy of Slaves" just recently. It's my favorite book of Poetry and you're my favorite Poet. I turned all my friends on to it too. It's great."

He was like a mentor to me, an older brother, an Ocean of Understanding.
 
He appreciated hearing what I'd said but I think his attention was turned more toward Sarah than to me.
She was in her usual form and he was taken by her poise. They connected.

Referring to the state of the world or at least my perception of it at the time, I asked him,

"When do you think everything will come crashing down?"

"Didn't it already?" was his response.

"Hmmm, yeah," I said, "I'll have to think about that."
Then looking at my drink, said, "I'm a little sloshed."

All this time there had been some lanky blonde following him around and trying to button hole him to talk.
When she persisted by coming over to our table, he said, "Wanna hit it tonight baby?"

Embarrassed, she shrank away and didn't bother him again......

A little later he returned to our table carrying a plate of hors d'eouvres and offered us some.
After talking some more he actually invited us to visit him in Montreal. He gave me his address and I wrote it down. At the time he was living on St. Dominique Street. 

We talked a while longer before saying goodbye.
As he was leaving he patted me on the shoulder. It was as if to say "hang in there, my friend."

That evening is etched in my memory,
one of the Highlights of my days as a Vagabond of '74.

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