The “Test”

This was going to be a very special day, the signs where clear. First i was panhandled by a homeless guy, and a compelling force told me to give and i would receive so i did. The next text from above came as i was in the local farmers market, sitting alone somewhat melancholy listening to a great street band play a reggae version “I Want to Hold Your Hand” when, yes, a one handed juggler came bouncing by on his prosthetic foot. His one good hand was juggling three balls gaily in the air. He wore a “Trust me i am a Jedi” t-shirt. One cannot ignore such signs, it was to be a day of days!

Often i have pondered what event in hippy history would i go to if allowed time travel, if the magic De Loren appeared? Of the many choices, Woodstock or the Summer of Love i have always yearned to go back to yesteryear and do an Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. The original “tests” where the genesis of our culture, the first fish creeping from the primeval ooze to crawl on land, the Adam and Eve, the Brahma of our culture. They were an experiment with no predicted outcome, fill a room with inquisitive, unique souls all searching for a new world, add chemicals, cosmic music, and the antics of the original Prankster, Ken Kesey and see what grows from this psycadellic garden. History was made and our culture defined from the organic mix. Every light show, tie dyed costume, rock concert, or art event of our time came from these roots.

Lovely fan, Zane Kesey, me and Derek

view from my backstage pass

hangin’ with the band backstage,

So fast forward fifty years, the bus is back, the next generation of Merry Pranksters are here lead by the next generation intrepid traveler, Zane Kesey . The music is of the same source, the Grateful Dead, but played by dedicated young, incredibly talented musicians. Some chemicals but not essential, and a gallantly semi restored old theater, black light art and the garden was planted. The seeds were sown and well fertilized, what will grow?

Dancing with a “Dancing Bear”

The magic flowed from the street fair into the Barrymore Theater as the first band hit the first Dead song chord. The crowd of mostly young danced all night long. I was one of three “over 60” pranksters to attend and i was treated as hippy royalty, so many courteous kids! The authentically primitive light show, the colorful costumes and the soul reaching music all filled the night. As a Prankster i got a back stage pass i got to sit in the wings and watch the bands and even hang out in the Green Room before the show. I danced till 3 AM, heart pounding, the oh so many hugs, tears sometimes and always a huge grin, i had been to the “test”. So a another dream is now a story.