The Long Strange Golden Road by Courtenay Pollock - Chapter 5

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I had hiked over the hills from Nicasio Valley Road In as direct a route as I could find through the wilderness to the little hamlet of Forest Knolls where Weir and Frankie  and Jackson were now living. The day was quickening to late morning and I figured I would arrive in time for coffee.

To my surprise the household was up and entertaining visitors already. Steve Parish was over fresh from a visit to New York,

John Barlow was up from Wyoming for a song writing session with Bobby Weir and Sam Cutler was over from central Marin County where he was staying at Garcia’s place.

Sam was winding up to take on the tour management  for the band. I was meeting him for the first time. I had my ubiquitous backpack of tie dyed shirts with me in case anyone wanted one. 

At that time I could buy a good quality blank cotton T  shirt for 3 for $3 from Penny’s and I sold them for $4 each, a profit of $3 for an hours work. Sam Cutler wanted to get four of them but in his own inimitable style he had to get a deal and he got the shirts for $3 each. This was to be the start of a lifelong friendship. 

Honestly. I would have given everyone there a shirt just for the promotional value, but they all bought a few and I had made enough for  groceries for the week.

We hung around the table drinking coffee and shooting the breeze and smoking until Rex Jackson invited me down to his room to hear his new sound system and measure the cabinets for tie dyes.

OMG !  What great sound, I was transported. He had put on the new Rolling Stones album In honour of Sam Cutler’s visit since Sam had previously been tour manager for the Stone’s U.S. tour.

Flushed with a new commission and money in my pocket I hoofed it back over the hills to Rukka Rukka. I still had enough daylight to walk up the road to Rick’s ranch and go for a trail ride with him. He was training for a Bulldogging contest out Sacramento way and invited me to come along with him.

My housemate Gerry was hazing for him at that event and the following weekend we trailered the horses and rode the truck out to the Round Up.

I, of course, had long hair and tie dyed patched jeans and a Courtenay classic Mandala T shirt. I stood out like a Hippie at a Ho Down.

I’ve got to hand it to Rick, he introduced me around to these hardcore cowboys with such panache that I was tolerated to stand right at the arena railings overlooking the action. 

Rick scored a 3.8 (secs) and a 4.2 and was runner up at that contest. Gerry of course pulled off the hazing with perfect precision heading the steer straight for Rick to drop from his saddle onto the steer and perform a classic throw down without a hitch.

We drove back to Marin that night in high spirits and got the horses bedded down before going down to Rancho Nicasio for a late abalone dinner. 

Can you believe a giant abalone dinner with coffee and desert was $5.95 back then. I don’t think you could find abalone anywhere under $100 a plate like that now, if at all.

Oh yeah! We lived high on the hog on very little income in those endless days of youth and adventure.


To be continued...



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