Thursday, March 16, 2006

Up on High Street

I lived in Winsted for a couple of years in the late 60s. It was a very hippie town in those days. It's an old New England mill town with a really long Main Street. There were three gas stations on the main drag and they used to get into price wars. I remember paying 13 cents a gallon. In those days we used to drive around the countryside -- it was so undeveloped then -- and try to get lost. We often succeeded.

Overall it was kind of an ugly place but it had a beautiful green on one end and it had a nice little lake a few blocks outside of town. I lived on the lake in a couple of different cottages, as did many of my friends but eventually most of us ended up on Main Street. We took over an apartment building, ironically called the White House. It was across the street from the green and next door to a tiny Dairy Queen. What could be more perfect for a stoned flower child?

The drugs I took there I couldn't begin to count. I doubt I spent a single minute straight in that house but boy did I have some visions. I did a lot of psychedelics in those days.

The heads and the townies didn't mingle much but we co-existed peacefully. The townies would drive their hopped up Trans Ams, and 'Stangs and GTOs up and down Main Street all day and night long, while the hippies took over the green, lounging on the lawns around the fountain, dropping acid and smoking pot and having existential conversations.

Ah, those were golden days. Hiking in the People's Forest. Skinny dipping in the Barkhamstead Reservoir. And music. There was music everywhere and everybody had a band or at least a guitar. There was one band, I can't quite remember their name but I loved them and went to all their gigs. And they loved me. Every time I arrived they would launch into Little Queenie. It was "our" song.

Anyway, this story is what sent me down memory lane. I've walked on this street. I'm glad to see Winsted hasn't changed much in 35 years.

Five months after Christopher Seekins was arrested and charged with cultivating marijuana in his home, neighbors have complained about the giant marijuana leaves he has spray-painted on the outside of his home on High Street.

"There’s no reason anybody should have a problem with it," Seekins said Wednesday.
He's not violating any zoning laws and you get arrested for pictures of pot -- yet -- so town officials say the giant leaves can stay.
Seekins says the large leaves are in support of the cause of the legalization of marijuana. He believes firmly in the usefulness of hemp, the coarse fiber of the cannabis plant, from textiles to paper products.
I don't know, I think the graffiti is little too "in your face" to be productive but don't you love that the kid lives on High Street?


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