Charlie and I were raising kids and working during the 1960s. Our friends and most of my husband’s family were into social drinking, but as far as I knew not many folks we hung out with smoked pot. If they did, they hid it well.
Grass was available if we wanted to try a little at some of the parties and I am pretty sure some of our neighbors were fond of the weed, but the attendees at these neighborhood gatherings kind of lined up on each side of the road—those who smoked marijuana and those who didn’t.
I began writing for our weekly paper in the mid-60s, just before our kids began grinding through the pomp of graduation ceremonies, leaving the nest and in general making old people out of us as we wrinkled our way toward old age.
Don’t know why these thoughts of leaving the work force began invading my thoughts when I had barely begun to start grooving into the 9 to 5 routine.
We attended some neighborhood Friday night get-togethers, with some neighbors who, like our family, were raising kids but who were also attending college classes —unlike us. I detected a somewhat different odor when we visited one particular neighbor’s home one Friday night.
Like most people during the 60s, a lot of us were smoking cigarettes. A new cologne was also making the rounds about that time and pervaded our senses on through the 70s. Petuli Oil was as obnoxious as the smoke from a joint! One of my own kids was using the new scent. It was supposed to cover up the odor of grass. I never thought my own child was using; I just figured she liked the new scent.
I admit to trying new things on impulse but I was never offered a joint. I drank a cocktail, or two but grass was something the users were not willing to share. Would I have tried it? Maybe. And I know I would have inhaled.
I sized the pot users up as loners. On the surface they seemed to socialize and they made a great show of being friendly, but never seemed to care about developing lasting friendships.
Something else began to invade our lives in the 60s and 70s: the phrase you know, or y’ know, appeared to infiltrate every string of words out of the mouths of younger people. Some were the same ones who I suspected used grass. I was just learning the Associated Press rules for speech and writing at my job, so this “you know” thing bothered me.
I wondered: Were the pot users, y’ know, suffering through an inferiority complex that steered them into, y’know, trying marijuana, or were they offered a joint and maybe after smoking weed were they then, y’ know, led into this feeling of wanting to be alone? It is just too deep for me to figure out at my age.
I’ll just sit here with my second cup of coffee (my morning drug of choice) and get on with, y’ know, what’s left of my life.
September 27, 2015