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When I Left the Commune

Once I was a bonafide hippie. I was told I had to write a total of 60 characters. Oops, I've exceeded the limit.

This was Joaquin and Gypsy's house truck.

This was Joaquin and Gypsy's house truck.

Angles on the road

I left the commune back in 1970. I'd decided I had enough of the hippie life as I found it hypocritical that people living there trashed the government, yet were collecting government checks. We were supposed to share the work. I chopped the wood once the quarter rounds were made. I figure the reason the place was called "Fat City" was because 10% of us did the work while the rest sat and smoked various things. I figured I still could be a hippie and have a job that paid and was anxious to leave and just left my 1964 Dodge Dart and hitchhiked out.

It was a 14-mile walk to the main highway and from then on I caught some decent rides. In California, the mountains are called The Siskiyous, but once across the border, they become The Cascades. It was a good time up there, fly fishing, mostly naked, no electricity. We had a tank of cold water which was filled by a creek behind the shack. Pipes were wrapped around a smaller tank, which had been heated by our woodstove; and, in turn, they heated the water. When it was hot enough, a dozen or so of us would file into a cement floor room for our monthly shower.

Before my two-year-old child and I left, a wonderful lady named Gypsy had given me a set of three wooden elephants for good luck. She assured me that "Geminis have good luck and fortune while traveling." I knew I was blessed right then. Hours later, now on the road, I got to Sacramento and found a small Motel 6. It had a little coffee shop and I had 16 cents--just enough for an iced tea. I noticed a couple watching me, but they left and I thought nothing of it. After I paid for the drink, they show up told me they had rented a room for the night but had to leave, and asked, "Would you want it?" They didn't mention they had also left me and my baby some sandwiches, lemonade, and chocolate milk. Without this sustenance and a bed in which to rest, we would have been roaming down the freeway all night.

Later on, I told my dad about all of this. I thought he'd be proud. He was not proud; and in disgust said, "Lord, my mother was so proud of our first non-wood burning stove!" I also thought of those elephants and the angels at the cafe who left me food and a room. It was an uncanny supernatural thing, but it happened.

I made it to Los Angeles, Interstate 405 to the Ventura Freeway. I realized I'd encountered some more angels along the way, human and non. Coincidentally, as I walked onto Ventura Fwy, my mother was right there! She was coming home from work. I was sunburned, a little hungry, and my baby and I were overjoyed to see her. There she was, in the middle of thousands of other Los Angeles post-work cars. I'd forgotten how I must have looked, and she yelled at me for my "ugly" Boy Scout shoes and said, "My God Linda get that baby in this car right now! -- and you look awful!" She had spotted my nose ring! She had a great sense of smell and also noticed my road sweat, tinged with Patchouli.

To the G~ds I'm happy to have popped into life in the land of the free and needed no commune to know this.