Looking back on another chapter of my life.
I have lived life, always trying to live life to its fullest. I’ve ridden motorcycles for more than 250,000 miles, and visited every state west of the Mississippi River. I rode the small highways and experienced all this great land had to offer. There is something about travelling along a two lane highway through a new land than inspires and makes you reflect on your soul.
I have had some very interesting opportunities to experience remarkable events. I grew up in Orange County, the bastion of conservatism. In my early years I embraced it. Then I moved beyond the “Orange Curtain” and saw the world. I spent time in Haight Ashbury doing the hippie scene, San Francisco in the late 60’s was remarkable. It was peace, love, and music. It was communal living, free love, and the utter joy of dancing to your own tune and walking to the beat of a different drummer. I got to hear some of the icons of rock and roll and see concerts at legendary venues, I got to go to a party at Ken Kesey’s ranch just before the start of the Kool Aid Acid Test took place. I watched as people painted the bus that was to make that epic journey.I spent time at places in North Beach and heard Ferlinghetti and Shel Silverstein read their works live. I also saw and experienced the topless era with people like Carol Doda.
I was in the military. I worked the “dark” side, collecting and analyzing intelligence during the Cold War.. I lived in the city that epitomized the Cold War, Berlin. I saw the contrasts between the West and the East. I saw people willing to die to escape the police state that was East Germany. I was aware of things that were happening but because of the sensitive nature of my work, could never talk to anyone about that. I knew the Vietnam war was based on lies, that the numbers the generals were feeding the public were make believe, I knew the daily body count. We worked and we drank. Berlin had over 1500 bars and we tried to visit as many as possible. In the city I walked, a lot. I walked many miles along the path of the Berlin Wall, observing the injustice the wall stood for. I also saw how the West manipulated the view so that it appeared that it was paradise in West Berlin, but it was only a facade. I got to taste tear gas and see a militarized police force used to quell demonstrations using brutality and water cannons. I learned a lot living in Berlin.
The next chapter will follow soon.