Real Toads – “Watch the Corners”

For Marian’s Prompt over at Real Toads:

public domain image – Woodstock 1969

By the time I got to Woodstock…”

“turn on, tune in, drop out” Timothy Leary, 1967

I was 18 and rebellious and totally into
Peaceloverocknrollsexanddrugsandrocknroll –
I drove a faded green VW that had those hideous
Flower decals all over it –
Yes ma’am, you read that right.
I had been to the Haight a couple of years earlier
And come back
Changed, De-ranged. Re-arranged –
1969 and I drove the VW to NJ to pick up
My cousin Billy – we looked like bro and sis –
Long wavy dark hair, headbands, bellbottomed jeans
My top had embroidery and tiny mirrors
He wore a black tee shirt –
We hit Woodstock and to be honest –
I don’t remember very much.
The announcement came over the intercom
Don’t take the brown acid man – it’s a BAD TRIP
Billy and I looked at each other –
So like, now they tell us.
When I finally returned home
and fell out of the car onto the front lawn
my mother went and got the water hose
and began to hose me down
and then she gathered my clothes
from the back seat and burned them.
My poor father cried.
My cat laughed.

Public Domain Image – Haight Ashbury 1967

25 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. oldegg
    Jul 21, 2017 @ 02:45:01

    I have never laughed so much at a blog as this one. 10/10!


  2. kim881
    Jul 21, 2017 @ 03:05:30

    Great stuff, Toni! There but for the grace… I was a few years short of Woodstock and a long way away in the UK, but I’ve always been there in spirit. 🙂


  3. Brendan
    Jul 21, 2017 @ 05:04:32

    Big ass corner–you and 300 thousand other delighting abandoned souls. The way you’ve carried it, tempered by the experience of having gone through it on the brown acid — keeps the memory real. A fine write.


  4. erbiage
    Jul 21, 2017 @ 05:45:11

    “Get off my lawn, you damn hippies!”. Lol! A great tale, too bad you don’t remember much. Way before my time, but legendary


  5. Kerry
    Jul 21, 2017 @ 08:42:24

    I laughed out loud at the image of the mother hosing down the daughter. Oh my! This sounds like quite a trip – in more ways than one.


  6. phoartetry
    Jul 21, 2017 @ 13:11:54



  7. Sanaa Rizvi
    Jul 21, 2017 @ 14:55:33

    The image of the mother hosing down her daughter.. made me laugh 😀 Beautifully done.


  8. Charley
    Jul 21, 2017 @ 15:41:12

    A great memoir write… even with the faulty memory (or too many memories that won’t quiet down?). It was scented with Woodstock. My older brother may have gone… he’s not sure. It was either that or he was abducted by aliens… who took him to Woodstock.


    • kanzensakura
      Jul 21, 2017 @ 23:12:39

      I do have some hazy memories. I do remember talking to a crew from Portland OR who said they had been kidnapped by aliens and brought to Wood stock. So, who knows?


  9. Olga
    Jul 21, 2017 @ 16:05:23

    I saw the movie “Woodstock’ in the theater in Toronto when it came out and relished the album. I was 13, yet embraced the idea of being a flower child and flower power. I’ve always been a hippie at heart. Loved the ending of your poetic story. Funny, but maybe not…<3


  10. Victoria C. Slotto
    Jul 21, 2017 @ 16:54:16

    My own little hippie. I have no doubt that I could have been right with your if I weren’t living my own countercultural life in the nunnery. Peace.


  11. Jim
    Jul 22, 2017 @ 00:09:50

    Ah, O.E, those were the days. I was in Haight Summer of ’64. In the late 60’s I had a 62 Beatle with a fold back top. Three years of being single in 69-72, paid off the Penny’s bill and headed to b the beach to celebrate. My VW sucker up a valve and I had to get towed back to Houston.
    So I treated myself and bought a turned in lease car, a 1969 Ford TBIRD AND soon after a one year old Honda Motorcycle. I led a straight life also, an engineer at NASA Houston. My hair was down over my color but that was fine. On Sundays I wold ride my Honda around in the Houston parks and more. In the afternoons every other tree would have a rock group playing and singing it’s shade. Saturday nights we would hang out on the loading docks of the downtown buildings or on the Bayou banks at Alan’s landing. I was also a night and afternoon student at the University of Houston. Loved the campus life.
    Then in the Fall of ’72 Mrs. Jim found me. Lots of things changed. “Rolling on the River” became our song. We married in ’73, more things changed.
    p.s. I have no post on my “P&P Place” blog after Tuesday. I did write a post for Teresa on my “Little Blog” but no poetry.
    TMI, I’m sorry, loved your story and had to tell mine.


    • kanzensakura
      Jul 23, 2017 @ 22:40:54

      Thank you for sharing your story with me. I too tooled around and after graduating university with a major in cultural anthropology/native American tribes after a few years I got my culinary arts degree. Then a few years after that, I went back to university and became an engineer. I waited until I was 49 and he was 39 to marry my sweet guy. I had a broken heart and he mended it. I’ve been writing, studying, visiting Japan and their poetic forms for about 30 years. I’m a real pain in the butt about the forms, LOL.


  12. Rommy
    Jul 22, 2017 @ 07:07:28

    Ha! I wasn’t around for Woodstock, but I like hearing the stories, fragmented though they may be, about that legendary rock festival. At least the cat was pretty chill after your antics.


  13. Marian
    Jul 22, 2017 @ 11:19:58

    Haha, now they tell us! I love how this reads both as muddled/muddied memoir and a mild cautionary tale. Wonderful telling, really.


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