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Tuesday, May 9, 2017
I've Only Been Arrested Once in My Life at a Love In at Griffith Park 1968
I Got Busted for giving weed to two narcs at a Love In, honest.
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Oh my god we took it all so seriously back then, we hippies weren’t just handing our flowers and dancing barefoot in the grass, this was a movement. Hold hands and skip in a circle like peasants in the country side of England in the Sixteenth century as this is the future, this is Now, this is Happening.
Only it was Griffith Park, near downtown L.A., off Los Feliz Blvd,. Oh oh oh, no. Just now I went to Google Maps to find the spot where this event took place and it appears to have been completely covered over with tract housing. Griffith Park used to stretch all the way to Los Feliz, now that part of park is just a narrow strip surrounded by stucco homes one after the other, close shouting distance between garages.
The year was 1968. I know it was that year because after my jail experience, I got even more politicized and joined the Peace and Freedom Party, going I think the day after I got released from Sybil Brand Institute right over to their campaign offices on Western Avenue to start volunteering. Mike Hannah for District Attorney.
The love-in in Griffith Park really was like you see in the movies, people getting stoned and dancing in the grass. Weed and other substances being shared in a communal spirit. I knew, KNEW, that the hippies were going to Lead Mankind to Expanded Consciousness, we were starting a new way of life and I was determined to share this truth with everyone I met.
There were these two guys at the love in who looked really straight. They wore suits and short haircuts, ties, stood rigidly watching everyone with disdain.
So hippie Kay not yet named Sunshine had to HAD TO turn these two men on and explain to them that they needed to tune in and drop out because the future of America itself was at risk.
I kept trying to get the two men to smoke weed and they wouldn't, but somehow they convinced me, or it may have been my idea: I Took Them To My Apartment to get them high. Then when I got out the weed in my tiny Echo Park studio, they pulled out badges and arrested me.
I Got Busted for giving weed to two narcs at a Love in in Griffith Park in 1968.
Oh my god I'm laughing as I type this.
I went to Sybil Brand Institute for Women which was Brand Spanking New, shiny and sparkling. I met women who were getting arrested on purpose so they could see the wonderful doctors there in this new women’s prison in L.A. (That's funny if you know anything about the condition of that jail when it closed in 1997.)
I ate dinner, prison food, peas by the spoonful, ha ha, talked with my new friends, actually I was fine being in jail, as I've always kind of gone serendipity through life, and it was a new experience. But I did at one point call my sister to tell her where I was and she called my parents, and they got a suburban lawyer to get me out and so I never even spent a whole night in jail.
Oh my god oh my god oh my god I just remembered.
It was the night Martin Luther King got shot.
It was the night Martin Luther King got shot that I spent my one-half night in jail.
I had forgotten until just now when I typed that paragraph about how I didn't spend the whole night in jail.
After dinner, I lay in my cot, upper bunk, my roommates were telling me a little about what being in jail was going to be like, when these women, black women moaning in tears, wailing, came out of the television room.
“Martin Luther King has just been shot. Martin Luther King has just been shot.” The words echoed through the brand spanking new hallways of Sybil Brand Institute for Women.
I was twenty and white, so only vaguely knew who Martin Luther King was.
About an hour later, I had made bail and there were my suburban parents waiting to drive me home in that year’s Ford.
And next day I went to work as a volunteer, who was so enthusiastic they made me a full time employee, at the Peace and Freedom Party in Los Angeles County.
I ended up being roommates with a white woman who thought she was a Black Panther.
More to come.
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