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The Long Strange Golden Road by Courtenay Pollock - Chapter 7

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Sam Cutler had moved his offices out of the lovely old Victorian house at 5th and Lincoln in San Rafael, CA where the Grateful Dead office was based since they had come to Marin County from the Haight and Ashbury in San Fransisco. Sam had leased a suite of offices on Lincoln Avenue where he operated his new company called ‘Out of Town Tours’.

Ron Rakow had come in as general manager for the G.D. He used to be a trader on ‘The Floor’ on Wall Street where he and fellow associate Roger Lewis had seats on the stock exchange. They were both successful traders until taking LSD and dropping out to hang with the Grateful Dead. I met Roger Lewis within a week of moving to the West Coast. He was introduced to me by my girlfriend Deborah Brady. Roger and I became good friends and he introduced me to Dennis Kelley who made the legendary ‘Clear Light’ window pane  LSD. ( I can mention his name because he subsequently cleared his deal with the Justice Dept. after spending several years as a monk in India.) I used to trade ‘Clear Light’ for my tie-dyed Mandalas and give it away to my customers.

Rakow employed me to renovate the 5th and Lincoln offices which I did in the classic Victorian style, preserving only the awesome disney cartoons that adorned some of the walls. I had two local friends assist me in the work which required that I go room by room at night and reset each work area for the office staff to work in each day. We stripped the walls and repaired the plaster which was the original old plaster on lath and had to be pinned back in places. I had learned the tricks of Victorian and Georgian interior restoration as a lad growing up in England. There was extensive plaster repair involved and also stripping the old lead paint off the woodwork and repainting with new non-toxic paints.

It was during one night around one in the morning when a sphere of light shot into the building. We had all the windows open to vent the paint fumes when bang!, like a pistol shot,  all the windows slammed shut (old pulley, rope and weights casement windows). A bolt of light about the size of a baseball shot through the outer wall and flashed around the room. I was working in the far corner of the room and the ball of light went through my head like a thunderbolt and exited through the wall behind me. My assistants both witnessed the phenomena. I felt nothing except a brilliant flash as it passed through my head. ‘Goodness Gracious Great Balls of Fire’

This was the first of three episodes I experienced with this extraordinary phenomena.

I will recount the other events as I come to those episodes in my narrative.

As a separate vignette however I should tell about my first experience wth a sphere of light. 

It was around 10:30 pm. and my roommate Gerry and our neighbor Rick the bulldogger were returning home from seeing a movie. As we pulled onto Nicasio Valley road from Sir Francis Drake Blvd heading towards West Marin County Parklands there is a hill that takes us by an overlook just before plunging down into the valley. I had a strong feeling to pull over and walk up to the overlook. It was a crisp and clear night and we trudged up to the ridge that overlooks the golf course. There was a beautiful full moon shining over the area, except that. “OMG !” I exclaimed, It’s not a full moon at this time of month. 

I asked each of my friends to tell in their own words what they were seeing, because I realized we were witnessing a phenomenon. They each, in turn, described seeing a glowing sphere of light that appeared like a full moon except we could see the distant hills silhouette behind the object. As we watched the sphere intensified its light and then shot away from us at such a rate of speed it seemed to reduce in size in a moment to a mere dot of brilliant light and then plunged behind the distant hills. Wow! What the Hell eh?

The following day I asked each of my friends to re-count the experience back to me to confirm it. Gerry was in some denial but did admit he had seen the thing. Rick was in total denial and effected not to remember the event. I was thrilled to have had such an unusual experience. 

Though not the same as the bolts of light it was a sphere of light that seemed to have its own agenda.

I will continue with my story as it preceded the famous Europe 72’ tour that was an amazing adventure for me as I traveled to Persia and had a magical adventure before meeting up with the band at the end of the tour.

To be continued...

1 comment

  • Most amazing. C’mon with the cliff hangers . We , the blog eating public , need to know ! Love the stories , keep ’em coming.

    John Gilmore

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