part II 1971-1977


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"I want you to go on to picture the enlightenment or ignorance of our human condition somewhat as follows. Imagine an underground chamberlike a cave, with a long entrance open to the daylight and as wide as the cave. In this chamber are men who have been prisoners there since they were children, their legs and necks being so fastened that they can only look straight ahead of them and cannot turn their heads. Some way off, behind and higher up, a fire is burning...


'I see.'"




May 1975


May 1 Thursday

A man in the lounge was playing drums etc [car brakes, sheets of metal, whatever. He was good].


May 2 Friday

[Lavalle, the Philo teacher , thought we should experience something new. He took the class down to] the Bagel Factory on Fairmount [it would remain lost to me until 1981, though I searched for it. Dale and I went down in my car. I discovered bagels were wonderful (across the street others had soulvaki). Later that night I took some to Ralph's, Mike was there too. They loved bagels from then too.


When told this story over the years, friends have noted how sheltered we WASPs of the West Island were, if that could count as a philosophical experience. Still bagels are good...and yes, the experience would have its echos years later...]


On probably the last day of class, Lavalle gave use wine, cheese and bread. We talked, I sat with Gilles and Michelle.


Dale I would see later in the year. By that time this intelligent (yet slightly arrogant) young man had fucked himself with mescaline...oh by the way, I passed the course.


May 8 Thursday

Cal II exam [I did well].


May 16-18 Friday-Sunday

[I went to] Long Sault [for the opening weekend. Rob was to met me there, but he never showed (he'd gone to visit Michelle).


I read 'Thus Spoke Zarathustra' there. I read these lines while sitting under the bright May sun:

'O sky above me! O pure, deep sky! You abyss of light! Gazing into you, I tremble with divine desires...'


Partied until about 3 am.


Next morning ] Tim [Taylor, not Heron, I knew him from Abbott and Rennie] and two others arrived [and asked to park their car on the site too ] Campsite 33.


The weather was great. That night Foster and Arlene came up too. I did mesc. Went on all night, people were everywhere, and very noisy. "No one sleeps tonight!", yelled a group of girls as they ran from campsite to campsite tearing down tents (including mine)...


Mike, Brenda, Louise, Bennie, Pete, Heather and Ralph go on their first Mt Marcy N.Y. trip from May 14-19. They would speak of these trips in the same glowing way I would of the trips to the farm...(note)



May 21 Wednesday

Heather, Ralph, Mike and I went down to the Planetarium, but it was closed.



I began the 'Stuart Duncan' drawing, [one I would not finish until 1981].


May 24 Saturday

[Mike, Ralph and I watched] an eclipse of the moon [in the field behind Cedar Park School].


Michelle returned from up north.


May 25 Sunday

Heather, Mike, Ralph, Rob, Mich and I went to the Planetarium [the show was 'Exploring Planetary Systems'. In the lobby before the show this guy about our age came up and just stood beside Heather, staring at her. We did get rid of him.


During the show, which was good (we thought we might not like it because of watching the eclipse the night before, but it was still impressive), the planet Mars fell from the skies and onto us, stopping on Heather (poor Heather) ].


May 30 Friday

Went with Sue, Ralph and Mike to the Hudson sand pits. At a house outside awhile, there were blue-eyed huskies. [Was at a place, a pool of water, the road was blocked by trees. Went near there.


The rumour spread that a motorcycle gang was coming, they never did]. There were others there, one guy had a glass eye. It rained on and off.


May 31 Saturday

Bought the album 'Eat a Peach'. Mike and I saw 'Return of the Pink Panther' at Fairview, Ralph, Rob and Mich couldn't get in because of the line [or coming late?]




Note: From an email sent from George Kelly, September 27, 2007:



You've produced a very detailed piece of history of the West Island in the 70s.


I was on the Mount Marcy trip in May 1975 with Robbie Allison & Dale Hallett. It was indeed a blast. One guy from our group started fishing with a branch and proceeded to pull in over a dozen fish, much to the dismay of another fisherman who was equipped with all sorts of fancy gear.”


Mike and others at Mt. Marcy