Keep up, we'll gallop through this introduction, written directly in my true journal, just as I see it open in front of me now.
It's in faded cursive handwriting, in a black leather-bound book.
This is the 'Cast of Characters' who form a commune at Red Rocks Canyon: Vicki
- Peter's sister: A dark-haired, dark-eyed Hungarian beauty, who thinks her hair's too thin (it is, but who cares?). It took her weeks of country living to realize she did not
need to wear false eyelashes daily. Funny! Such a gorgeous woman. An artist. Mary
- Initially with Terry: Lots of thick, wavy brown hair (short, unusual for the anyone then) with a smile that's a (de)light, who often thinks about Vicki's appearance and hers as a competition (no way!). A writer and [later] a teacher. Winnie
- Peter's brother: His name is a nickname for "Winston." Like they all were, he's a good-looking man, shorter than the others, with a stiff neck from a bout of childhood polio, dark hair and eyes - a very creative "idea"-man. He arrived later. Larry
- Peter's brother: Dark hair and eyes, the youngest sibling and the tallest. Looks a lot like Frank Zappa, the sweetest of those Beverly Hills siblings, a fantastic cook and photographer. Pat
- Larry's girlfriend: A heart-shaped face and beautiful skin, big gray eyes, long wavy brown hair...she's so funny, 'specially when she falls back to New Jersey humor, great at art, loves loud rock and roll (I do, too). An artist. David
- An open and pleasant face, wire-rimmed glasses, longish wiry brown hair, very
smart and ready to SEE.
Also from Beverly Hills. A movie-buff and writer. John
- Younger, initially alone: Intense yet attractive features, dark blue eyes, long light brown hair kept in a ponytail, doesn't laugh much, but when he does, it's great. A busy guy, who also studied photography before this took place. Terry
- Initially with Mary: Curly blonde hair, bright
blue eyes, also good-looking and smart, a true mechanic, musician and country boy, ready for fun. A natural leader, and a musician and writer. LJ
- By far the youngest of the group, usually alone: Long straight blonde-ish-from-the-sun brown hair, green eyes and prob'ly the most insecure of the group, a kinda quiet girl (except for occasionally "letting go"), feels too inexperienced. Kept a journal. XD Ron
- Initially with Vicki: Also very attractive in a happy-go-lucky way, dark brown hair, eyes with irises that look like the earth in daylight if seen from the moon; he's a "carnie," and likes to play cards and any game. Taught me how to never lose 'Rummy 500.'
In December of 1969, I met this group of people planning to move to the country, forming a commune. Since three involved were siblings of an ex-boyfriend, Peter, who asked me to their meeting in Beverly Hills, I was a hanger-on. But they wanted me to join them - just by being around and saying "Wow that's cool!" a lot. When they asked me (Peter, the ex-boyfriend, refused their invitation) it didn't take me long to decide to go. At the beginning of January 1970, I spent some time up the coast at Stewart's Point and Mendocino with a few members of that group - Winnie, Larry, Pat and David. In early February I went with David to meet the group of nine traveling from both East and West coasts to Colorado, where we rented a small house in a big valley (the Huerfano) and began a search for land to buy. The first place we looked at ended our search. It was called Red Rocks Canyon, high in the Rockies.
We all went up to Red Rocks Canyon and had a beautiful climb up to the top of a shelf of red rocks where we sat in the sun and looked at the land we wanted to buy and talked. We walked on a red dirt road, up and up through snowy ways and narrow canyons to a spring through groves of cottonwood, aspen and evergreens. It was stunning. We walked back down and played with a frisbee in the top meadow. We talked over the complications of buying the land, because we decided today to buy this land. It's surrounded on three sides by national forest, and the seven-mile dirt "driveway" is on the rancher's land who has this canyon up for sale. Such a safe place!
We were up as usual by eight in the morning, and shortly after that we all dropped sunshine and got high. There were so many trips and trips and trips and energies and far out trips, soaring and flowing and rolling around our house in the valley. It's incredible to get so high and together with so many people! We sat in the sun, walked up hills and through a dry arroyo, played, went dirt riding on the Jawa, listened to and made some music. We laughed and cried, drank and threw Coke all over, or sat alone facing the sun in a big golden field. We became "holy men" and "pigboy champions." People did everything from throwing their arms out to the world, saying - "Let all bad things come to me... grunting, fucking, farting in the dirt... all the bad things come!" - to walking off alone into the hills with a desire to be a hermit. We talked and touched and even in silence, we let us begin to know each other.
When the sun went down, we went back to the house filthy and shining; cleared away some of the mess we'd made in the kitchen and mostly Larry, Pat and David made "food soup." We sat down at the table banging spoons to a beat on glasses while Terry played his guitar and sang about soup. Then it became quiet and Terry said, "Thanks for having us all together and for this good food" and we ate. I was so
hungry, hungry for more than food.