Jerry Ginsburg

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Jerry Ginsburg

Evvie emailed me the other day and said there’d be a reunion for the Land. Last reunion I was at was high school. For me the Land was short and kind of sweet and kind of lonely and kind of cold and wet and high and Aladdin lamps and going to the shipyards in Oakland for wood runs and Marie Callendar and a midnight run to San Francisco to see the opening of a Clockwork Orange and the co-op in Palo Alto and smoking dope and meetings in the teepee and Purusha trying to lead and not lead and Kim (but wasn’t it Darryl) and Rose and Mark and Billie and there was someone who was always rolling joints and Gay and the Garaways. The kitchen, warm stove on cold mornings.

I was recently out of law school, recently dumped in a short-lived marriage, and having just walked out of my induction center in Albuquerque and LA and files from Abq not arriving in LA in time for me to cross that white line and waiting for the telephone call that would call me back and Billy called instead and said get up here, fuck the draft. I think he wanted to save me from myself or maybe not. I drove up from LA in a 1967 MGB-GT, now that was different than the trucks and VWs and busses. Winding up Page Mill Road and that first night there was a party in the long house and after that I don’t know how I ended up staying. Sometime around Christmas of ’71 until summer of ’72.

Gay and her kids were living with Billy. I think Gay was going to put a teepee up on the platform by the fault and she told me to go ahead and build on it. So I did, some kind of odd little place (I think the dome was built over it) and I slept in a tent near Evvie’s A-frame for most of the winter while I worked on it. I was pretty depressed, and directionless. Building gave me some grounding, and no one seemed to care about direction. I can remember meetings at the teepee with everyone trying to figure out how to decide who was to stay and how to limit without limiting and how do you say this is ours when it wasn’t but if you didn’t it would get very messy. Well the mud was already messy and wasn’t there a thousand carpets on the path from the barn to the backlands. And the swamp with the frogs and watch out for snakes.

I do remember a wedding but whose? There were horses, I think, and a circle of 50 hippies holding hands. Or was that a dream? A bubbling cauldron of peyote tea that we drank all night long going in and out of the teepee and puking and when the sun came up being the earth.

I tried to be a part of it all, but I don’t think I was very successful. I did make potato latkes one dinner for everyone, probably around easter/Passover. Did everyone live there longer than me? I went out to New Mexico for a change of scene and got a job at the Santa Fe Legal Aid office and I’ve been in Santa Fe ever since.