Wednesday, August 27, 2008


My hometown Montgomery, NY may be best known internationally as the home of the bickering Teutals on American Chopper, but those of us who grew up there know better. Montgomery is known for Edgar and Liz Ayres, Pibble Badalucco, Danny Shafer, Big Red, Earl Monroe, Big Ick, Eddie G-13, Shorty Reynolds,a whole bunch of Dobbers, Doobers, Bummers, and Deweys, and.....the soul of the village- Richie Reynolds. It is upon his passing I write this.
My first memory of Rich was in the 50's, outside my grandfather's garage on Boyd St. We were all playing and Rich wandered by. Being kids we were at worst mean to him and at best ignored him. Rich was different. Kids are scared of different. I have no idea what malady Rich had. In our ignorant, non-enlightened parlance we called him "retarded". In any case Rich functioned on a different level than the rest of us, and would for his entire life.
Richie Reynolds was a fixture in Montgomery. A thumb and forefinger cocked and pointed in greeting. A giant toothy grin or a brow furrowed in concern about people he hadn't laid eyes on in decades. "Hey Rich." you'd say. "Hey, how about that fire last night?" he'd start. Then it would be how's the family? (all by name). Eventually he'd drift off, shake your hand and be on his way. It is a testament to Montgomery and it's inhabitants that the entire village looked after Rich. Old timers as well as recent residents, treated Richie as the goodwill ambassador he was. Sure there's storys of Leroy sending him to Snyder's market for a bucket of steam and other such tauntings over the years, but it was beneign ribbing. Charlie Snyder would just tell Rich he was all out of steam and send him down to Howard's to see if he had any.

Last night Bird, Ginnie and I attended his wake. The entire town, complete with Fireman honor guard, cops and mayor showed up. Bird told me how in the 70's, he and John Burgess stopped work one day to buy Rich shoes. I'm sure there's hundreds more incidents of people looking out for Rich. Rich was 59 years old and not in the best of health. But his passing was a big shock and surprise to all. It's hard to imagine Montgomery without him. Wherever his spirit lights there will be a helluva nice fire and plenty of buckets of steam. Rest in Peace Rich.

Sunday, August 24, 2008


Ever since my dismal experience with Yage, I've been craving a visit to the land of psychedelia. Last night the sharp talons of reality were pried loose from my weak flesh. The occasion was opening night of Slick's basement disco in Woodridge. Unlike the meditative atmosphere of the dome, the basement disco is pure mirrored hedonism. Horst and Sombre Paul were on the wheels of steel and the ball was spinning. A couple of members of the Pussycat Dolls were gyrating in the corner while Japanese Aya painted flowers and lip kisses on the tanned back of the half naked yoga instructor Airin. A day of beer and pot had led into a night of more beer and pot- along with a smattering of mushrooms. This was just what the Dr. ordered.

I woke up this morning with purple eyelids, scarlet lips and a beard streaked like a technicolor dreamcoat. Next to me a rodeo clown would have looked like a Methodist minister. I had split the small amount of 'shrooms 4 ways, but it was just enough to kick my boozy high into overdrive. The disco looked like a gin mill on the Newburgh waterfront circa 1973. My jaw hurts from smiling so much.
Being the non-threatening geezer in this citadel of youth is not a bad position to be in. My mentally impaired dance moves and loud red, white and blue pants seem to somehow work in my favor. Even The Pussycat Dolls gave me a nod and a thumbs up when I hit the dance floor. Why I couldn't have this effect on women when I was young and realitively good looking is a mystery to me. But what the hell. I'm thankful for whatever I recieve these days. M.Louise, Mysterious Amanda, Holly Dolly, Japanese Aya, French Morgane, Yogi Airin, and the second line from the Pussycat Dolls all watched as I busted my herky-jerky moves on the disco floor on a mellow head of mother nature's finest. I wish Shewho could've been there, but she'll be happy to know that no one made fun of me and apart from painting me up like an Indian princess I drove home at 3 AM unscathed. May the LGM bless this disco. I hope the gnome is always home.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008



Monday, August 11, 2008




By the time the sun was setting outside the dome the five of us had settled into our chairs, swaddled in blankets and warm clothes, gathered in a circle. In a calm whisper the Shaman explained the different forms of medicine she had with her- one containing six plants, the other two. She painted a red stripe down each of our foreheads, "blessed" us with sage smoke and administered a nasty line of powdered tobacco (snuff). Since only one of my nostrils work I already felt lopsided. We closed our eyes and grounded ourselves to mother earth and readied to be carried to father sky. Finally the medicine was poured into a shot glass and each of us tipped a shot back. By this time the dome was completely dark. I closed my eyes and waited.....After two minutes I said "Nothing's happening. I think I need more." I got a couple of giggles. Then nothing but silence.

By the time the "yoga mat" music started my gut was gurgling and I couldn't get comfortable in my chair. I pulled my blanket over my head and breathed from the stomach. The gurgling ceased and I waited for.......something......anything. Don't resist I told myself. Embrace the medicine. Let it flow over you. Welcome the spirit guides. After two hours the gurgling gut started up again and still there was no visions (good or bad). In fact outside of some physical discomfort there was no sense of any kind of "trip" taking place. What was I doing wrong? And now I had to take a crap.
I put on my boots, leaving my felt Sorel inserts in front of my chair, and walked into Slick's house to use the facilities. The cool air felt good. After relieving my system, I laid down on the couch and took inventory. Close eyes- nada. I know I have a high tolerance to drugs. (It takes the dentist a dozen novacaine shots to numb me). But this was crazy. Then I did something I never thought I would do. I got in my car and came home. I figured once the rest of the circle opened their eyes and saw my empty booties they would just think I had ascended in some sort of rapture and go on with their visions.

Once home it was an evening of the shitz and a bout of puking. Two days of fasting didn't seem to keep that nastiness at bay. And still no sense of the medicine's enlightening properties. My first instinct was correct. I'm a social animal. I love to get loaded with friends, laugh, argue, sing, play music, throw darts and knives (no matter how poorly), go home and wake up with a hangover. Sitting silently in the dark waiting for the spirit guides to take me off to Narnia just isn't for me. For now I'll stick to my coffee, beer and pot. I can't wait for a big juicy cheezeburger! OM.

Sunday, August 10, 2008


This time of year it's a constant battle between the ant and grasshopper sides of my brain. The wood pile is nothing but bark and splinters, the doors and windows all need work and hunting season is less than two months away. The ant side is taking baby steps towards a realitively warm winter inside the shack, while the grasshopper rubs his legs and knows there's plenty of partying still to be done. You can guess which one speaks the loudest to me.
A couple of weeks ago my buddy Slick had a gathering in his dome (yes he has a dome). The occasion was the arrival of a 26 year old (in this lifetime) French Shaman and her stash of ahayauasca- an Amazonian brew of various psychedelic plants. It was 80 degrees outside and they had the woodstove cranking inside the dome. I peeked in at the people laying around sweating, rubbing each other's feet and preparing for the evening's trip and quickly assessed that it wasn't for me. For the same reason I don't like Hooters- never mix food and strippers. I don't look to my drugs for spiritual enlightenment. Plus the prospect of a bunch of puking French hippies inside that hot tent...
Then, the the other day I recieved an email from Slick espousing the glorys of his drug induced spiritual adventure, with an invite to participate in the next gathering, scheduled for this evening. As most people know by now, I'm nothing if not contradictory in my hard and fast rules for existence. This time I'm in. So before I travel off to the Amazon (Woodridge) I figure I have to make one last blog post as my previous self. I had a little soup and bread last night and today will be nothing but holy water and tea. I'm ready to be eaten by the whale and crapped out by the tiger. Just in case I don't come back there's a will of sorts buried under papers on my desk, near the typewriter. Basically it all goes to Shewho. Don't worry she's very easy to deal with. The tea is brewing and the "Enchantress" awaits. See you on the enlightented side.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008