Heard back from Dohn, one of our fellow scribes over at http://earthstonestation.wordpress.com/ about my post https://nocturnaladmissions.net/2014/06/04/youisalwaystheone/ :
when I was maybe about 19 or 20 my Dad revealed some thoughts he was having at the time. I guess he was just in one of those reflective moods. he had said ” you know, in my mind I’m still 18 years old. I feel older in my body of course but in my mind and the way I think about myself I’m still 18″ At the time I didn’t know if he was just trying to relate to me and have me feel closer to him or was giving me a lesson. Over the years I have thought about that short conversation. I’m older now than he was then but I get it. I’ve told my son this story also ‘ in my mind I’m still about 18 years old’.
That post was about Mental Illness and some of the interpersonal conflicts it can create.
This one is about something entirely different, but trust me:
there’s a connection…
… which brings me to this:
Afterthoughts on “‘You” is always the one….”
I don’t know that I’d necessarily feel comfortable with repeating all my actions from years back that were accompanying my thoughts at the time. While my beliefs were very much the same way back then as they are now, the thoughts that they had nurtured in me, so to speak, and the resultant actions once ended up in Federal charges.
Long story short, a very well known leftist radical was coming to our college as part of the Campus Lecture Series. He brought along a couple of well known musicians with him for company. Our frat sponsored a welcoming dinner for them, put them up for the night, and arranged for their transportation to and from the airport.
Anywhere they might have wanted to go once in town was within walking distance, but anyTHING they wanted was right there in the main room of our humbly expansive Early American / Southern Gothic abode.
Shit hit the fan that night of his appearance, and next thing you know eleven of us students had charges pending on “Disturbing the Peace” and the almost perfunctory “Disorderly Persons”.
Next morning, while we were waiting for Bill Kuntsler (the lead Defense Counsel in the Chicago Seven trial) to show up for our notorious guest, the eleven of us students got the benefit of a County Public Defender in this small, upper New York State county: shaved one every two weeks whether he needed to or not. passed the Bar three years earlier. We had no idea what he had done after celebrating that night up until the time we met him forty-five minutes before our scheduled Arraignment.
And we had to figure that in a rural, New York county with a population of barely ten figures, the Sheriff would call in the two part-time auxiliary guys on the SWAT team for cow-tippers. Might have been this little pisser’s biggest case to date, and now he’s gonna be sitting at the same table on the same side of the aisle as –
– Abbie fuckin’ Hoffman.
Trying his damnedest to keep his voice from trembling and cracking, Learned Counsel for the Defense advised us that we will actually be charged with “Conspiracy to Cross State Lines With Intent To Incite Riot”, et al.
In small towns where the student population wildly outnumbers the civilian population, I guess a bunch of liquored-up jocks from one frat house trying to beat up on a bunch of wasted freaks from another house is pretty serious shit.
So that made it a Federal case, as the saying goes.
Inspired loads of confidence in our puppy dog of an advocate, but we had all called our parents to get something lined up before they cut us loose from Booking the night before. Help would be on the way if we needed it. This plebe making an appearance for us just bought some time.
At the other table, the County Counsel (very reserved, very polished, very respectable, very old and very local) and an Assistant State Attorney (very reserved, very polished, very respectable, almost middle-aged and from the state capital of Albany !!).
While we’re all waiting in the hallway, I mentioned something to a few of the other ten of us standing closest to me. A stage whisper of sorts:
“Not sure what the fuck is going on here, but WE weren’t the ones who invited Abbie here to begin with. The Lecture Series Committee did. So this ‘Conspiracy’ bullshit? We didn’t bring that little schlemiel here to begin with. We met him when he got off the plane, drove him down here, fed his face, got him faced and showed him some small-town college hospitality. Gave him and his friends a couple of rooms for the night.”
It needs to be pointed out that Committee in question consisted of each of the Deans of the school and each Department Head. They sent out the invitation to Abbie (likely through his agent), paid his speaker’s fee and his airfare and would have paid his expenses if we hadn’t put him up.
Word passed down the line and I had the attention of the other ten.
“The Administration lined all of this up… and what the fuck is this ‘Crossing State Lines’ bullshit? Three of us drove into another county to pick them up at the airport. We’ve all been here since the end of semester break. Well, except for that weekend of the March on Washington, but how does that directly connect us to Abbie being there. There was, like, a million of us down there. And we all look alike in the tear gas and smoke.”
The guys are starting to nudge each other, exchanging glances.
“And we were just accompanying him to the Chapel for the lecture, like we did for Rod Serling and Joseph Heller. Like the BSU did for Jesse Jackson and the ROTC did for the Under Secretary of Defense. This was just the first time a bunch of mouth-breathers decided to block the entrance.”
And by then I’ve got ten grinning freaks staring at me.
Then there’s a giggle or two.
An outright laugh.
“Okay, so maybe ‘Aiding and Abetting’, but if we get nailed with that, the Administration almost has to cop to the Conspiracy and the interstate stuff.
“So where’s the Dean? They gonna arraign him separately?”
Now I have ten guys lining a six-guy hallway, five feet away from our pimply-faced PD, talking among themselves.
I guess the little snot-nose picked up on that, went quickly into the Courtroom and talked with the local Prosecutor and the Assistant State Attorney,
PD comes back out after a few minutes, tells us the County would talk to the Feds about dropping the Conspiracy charges if we pled to Disturbing the Peace, Disorderly Persons and Criminal Mayhem. Formal probation for the rest of our studies (theoretically three years for me).
But (and no matter how wasted we all still might have been, we knew one of those was in the mix), not only would he have to get the State and Feds to go for it, but they wouldn’t be able to officially tender that offer until they cleared it with the County Commissioners or Supervisors or Dons (rumor had it one of those Dons actually lived full-time in our cozy little valley up there). Seems those guys wanted us run out of their heavenly haven.
Of course, it they did have the college kick us out, they better have nothing less than a conviction on something. “Reasonable cause” wouldn’t cut the mustard.
By the time Kuntsler leaves town, we had all pled No Contest to “Rowdy Hippies” or something,
Informal, unsupervised probation for the remainder of the semester during which time we’d have to leave school, completing our work through the mail. The DA would have the Feds talk to the County honchos.
And we all called out parents to have them contact our attorneys to tell them they wouldn’t be needed.
Kuntsler took care of it for free.
I’m sure Abbie’s retainer had it covered.
That actually was the short version of the story.
Certain details were omitted so as to keep the eleven of us seen in a better light.
And none of the eleven of us was the one flashing a Buck knife when his ol’ lady was punched by a linebacker, so that was immaterial.
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