My stay at Morningstar
My stay at Morningstar was short in length, but long
in intensity. I weaved in and out of the fabric of everyone's lives
there. Everyone was always moving from tree to tepee, from city to
country. The woven society in flux, the cast always on the move.
Freebirds. I was always on the fringes, never stopping, never knowing.
Every person was there for a reason -- some to teach, some to eat, some for the girls, freedom of speech, a movement, anarchy, some to preach to the lost souls, and don't forget the dope. Everyone was there.
You were always amazed. The young man coming by with his cougar made us cautious, brave, and terrified.
Santa and all his packs of cigarettes. The young lady on horseback. The Sunday drivers out on a weekend cruise.
Morningstar was full of human souls looking for the meaning of life. Some asked, "Why in the hell am I working?" "What is the point of all this if we're going to blow ourselves to bits?" "Why do people hate me 'cause I'm Jewish?" "Why? Why? Why?".
Lou provided us with the space to try to find answers for ourselves. He was a tolerant man with musical talent.
This was not the society that was going to change the world. This was the society that was in itself changing.
We were optimistic, knowing that the world was going to be a better place to live. Well, it is probably a better place. We could go on forever on this subject, but would be all just conjecture.
The stories that I am going to tell all happened in the short space and time that I was either at Tolstoy or Morningstar. They will be not be in any form or design. I have told these stories a thousand times. As Allison and Laurel say, "Do we really have to?"
I do not have regrets or think back and wish that I was back there again. My life has been good. But these tales need to be shared.com.
If you have a tale to tell, get online and speak up.
Thanks to Lou
Timeline for Tomas at Morningstar Ranch
I remember the first day I saw Morningstar Ranch in the Fall of sixty
seven. We piled out of two vans, Nancy's van and Ramon's. Heaven
only knows how many people came out of those two vans -- Ramon, Joanie,
and Tomas in one van, and Nancy, her husband Wally, and the two kids in
the other van. Maybe more, I don't know. There may have been
more, but I do not remember. We had just arrived from Tolstoy.
As soon as I got out, I was introduced to Kathy. As was normal any time someone came to Morningstar, they would be greeted with, "Do you have any cigarettes?" Most people would give up whatever they had, ending up as poor as the day they were born. That is why the population of Morningstar was always growing. Kathy had a Hawaiian tan and a smile like Janis Joplin. You can see that smile in The Morningstar Scrapbook. She was outspoken from the start, language that could only come from New York. She had uncontrollable sun-bleached brown hair on her head and legs. "Jesus, Tomas, you're fucking crazy," she said to me and smiled with her New York accent. Twinkling eyes and teeth, a free soul, she spread comfort and radiated life. I loved her from the start.
As soon as the vans were unloaded (we had a gold mine of commodities from our trip), Nancy said, "I've got to score some dope. Who wants to come along?" Kathy and I both said, "Far out," and "Yeah." Kathy smiled. We both climbed into Nancy's van. The kids stayed behind. When we got to the city (San Francisco), we drove around for a while. I really did not care, I had just met Kathy and I was having a great time. Stopping at a curb, we piled out.
We climbed some outside stairs to an apartment door. Nancy knocked on the door. The door opened and a man looked at Nancy, and then at me. He said Nancy could come in, but that I would have to stay outside. I have seen that face before, and his face was paranoia, so I stayed outside. When Nancy came back out, she said that she did not score what she was after. The guy gave her some MDA instead, also some Valium. In the van she said the guy said, "Take the Valium first, then the MDA." She said she had another stop to make. We stopped at this old two-story house on a hill, and we piled out.
She said that this was a local band's pad. We entered the old historic house, and the first thing I noticed was the dining room which had a big round oak dining room table. Antiques were scattered here and there. On the center of the table was a large doily with a huge cut glass bowl full of laundry powder. Nancy said something about blue cheer. I remembered using it in the Navy to wash my dungarees. Kathy and I hung around for a while, and Nancy did her shopping.
Before we left, we thanked everyone and said we were grateful. We headed back to Morningstar. We piled out again and Nancy passed out the goodies along with instructions.
Ramon and Pam both speak of the love generated by the MDA. I'll just say that Kathy and I were bubbling over with our new friendship and the vibes just got out of hand. (good vibes)
Thanks to Lou
What did Tomas look like in late 1967?
Picture a farmer with his rubber boots shoveling crap out of a barn. Remove the farmer and leave the rubber boots with the dung standing in place. Place Tomas in the rubber red balls. Place some orange corduroy pants on Tomas, they are a little to small and short, there is a gap between the bottom of the trousers and the red ball rubber boots. A leather belt with a harness buckle made by lovely Sylvia. Put on blue check long sleeve cotton shirt, the shirt you would see on a lumber jack. Find your self a army wool blanket grey in color, wear it like Ming of Flash Gordon days of gone by. Place the cape on Tomas, beg one of the girls at Morningstar for a patch to place on your wool cape. The patch is only one of many patches being sewed together to make Lou a quilt.
Tomas has black/brown hair, he stands in his outfit, his mustache too long and gross, smiling with a silver tooth bright next to empty space. He is agile, passive and aggressive, hard working and stoned. Dip him in some dirty slurry and rinse as best you can.
Now we have a gentle creature, he is very happy to meet you, very happy to know that you are alive. He is very happy to receive the crumbs on his plate. He worships the ground he walks on.
He is only one, there are many more like him, they are all different and unique.
When I first arrived at Tolstoy I had money, not much but some, I soon
gave this up for staple goods that were needed at the commune.
Huw Williams was working with his father when needed on the wheat farm on top. Tex at Tolstoy was working in town and spending his nights and weekends at Tolstoy. Ken was always in the garden, Stash would milk every morning and evening, no matter what. Sylvia would do leather and tac. A lot of people would stop by and spend a few days and leave. Some people would drop off cash or staples as they came by.
Joanie was a teacher, I do not remember her going to work every day. I do not remember her ever going to work. At Tolstoy she worked in the kitchen and garden.
Andie and Tom worked at their cabin, most people that had cabins would work around their cabins. Ken and I stayed at the main house. Our chores would be centered around it.
At Morningstar I had no money, since I stopped working in the apple orchards, the amount of money I had was minimal.
I think Ramon worked with his music in town, as far as money goes I do not know. Lou was financially secure. I know that a lot of people went into town to score. Score would mean whatever your imagination needs. People would stop by and drop off staples and goodies. I do not remember ever going any place and working at Morningstar. As a matter of fact I never remember anyone at Morningstar working steady except Ramon and Lou.
People would stop by and drop stuff off as a matter of charity.
People had vehicles to drive and maintain, where this money came from was unknown to me.
I was living in poverty.
I never knew what they were until 1998. I was looking for Kathy and that is how I learned of the Diggers. I was living in poverty at Tolstoy and Morningstar. I think that I would have stayed had it not been for the arrests. Arrests are not where it's at, even though I enjoyed the space I was in (jail). I still prefer the giant tree of Morningstar. To bad for the disputes with the law. It should have been nice living in the Garden.
Things done to turn on that are dumb, dumb, dumb:
1. Tolstoy: A young
man and I dried bell peppers, then chopped and rolled them in cigarette
paper, and smoked them. All we got was a very unpleasant warm mouth
and throat. We dried the banana peels, orange rinds, etc. No luck!
2. Morningstar Annex: Robbie and I picked four cups of morning glories,( the morning glories were running wild under the apple trees) two cups per man. We each ate both cups, with some effort. It was not a pleasant experience. It was more like eating feathers. There was quite a lot a people around asking what we were doing. When they were told, they just rolled their eyes in amazement.
Someone recently asked me what do I do for pleasure. I have not thought about it in over a year. Or that is all I thought about this year. I simple enjoy what is given to me, good or bad. I really do not enjoy pain, but I bear it and realize that is part of this existence. As I have said before, I really enjoy being alive, I see quite clearly at present. This may change as life deals us blows that are below the waist, life is not always a fair fight.
The rustic barn at the annex. In one section of the barn was a barracks with folding cots for about forty or fifty people. I spent one night there, I felt like I was being sent to a place where I could have a place to sleep for the night. A barracks is not a commune, I did not need a place to stay, I needed a commune, a family of sharing and understanding. The other section of the barn was where the implements and tractors were stored. It looked like a rustic barn that you would imagine seeing in a farm magazine, red large and rustic. There was two or four cottages near by. Mystery was in one cottage with his girl friend, my friend and I had dinner and smoke with Mystery and his friend. There was also a building that was a kitchen, stainless steel sinks, utensils and very large. Up in the loft of the barn was were someone had found a cue ball size piece of hash, as hard as hickory. If you looked south you would see the apple orchards. If you looked real close you would see two young men with long flowing hair, army blankets over their bodies, looking like Disciples of Christ. Their bending over under the apple trees, standing in vines of white, pink veined morning Glories. Someone had told Tomas and Robbie that Morning Glories seeds would give them a high like acid. So they are out there with four coffee cups, two cups for each young man, seperating each flower/trumpets from the seeds the seeds go into the cups. It is taking a very long time to pick four cups of Morning Glories seeds. Later on that day you can see these young men in flowing robes stuffing Morning Glories seeds into their mouths. Have you ever tried to stuff down feathers in your mouth? You can imagine what these two young men are going though to get high. Do they get high, no, they wait and queasy stomachs prolong the day. Nada, nothing.
Tacky, tacky, tacky:
Morningstar annex: While reading Ramon's Home Free
Home, I was reminded of Mystery and his very large tool.
This girl and I were visiting Mystery and his girl at one of the Annex's small cabins where Mystery was staying. As we were smoking a little dope, I asked Mystery's old lady how she handled such a large tool. She politely told me that it stretched to fit with no problem. Tacky, tacky, tacky!!!!
Stainless steel toilet and bunk beds. Kyle is sitting up high in a lotus position in the top bunk, he is quiet in meditation. I'm reading the bible to myself, absorbing each word, devouring each word. Candy Man, a biker, says that when he gets outta here he is going to travel across the U.S. in his greyhound bus and turn people on to some heavy shit. Someone says, the scuttlebutt, that the girls are fasting across the courtyard/building. Are the walls a cream color? Are the walls a pale green? Are the walls a light blue? We roll cigarettes, smoke and wait. Kyle and I are so cool and laid back, we are not having any problems, mentally we are so great. Everyone marvels at the attitude we bring in to the jail. Do we hear the girls singing? Yes, no, maybe. Yes, we do have a different attitude and it carries throughout the jail. It's like cream cheese, lox and bagels. A defined aroma, a pleasant taste, it carries good vibes and good attitude. (Laurel turned me on to Lox and Bagels in Chicago in 1968. Lox and bagels had nothing to do with the jail time. It is just that our attitudes were that good.)
I knew about fasting, the great mental/physical dangers of fasting are not good.
There is someone in the link page/section that paid a dear price for fasting, he does not speak of it, it does no good to fast.
I remember being in jail with Kyle, John Butler and maybe Don King. I know that Kyle and I were in the same cell.
The girls were across the courtyard on a hunger strike.
The time we spent in jail were spent in meditation, reading the bible ( which sounds like Don being around) and peace. Very powerful and very luxurious.
The place was different because of our cool and profound being. We had brought the Morningstar Vibes into the jail and it made a great difference in the jail overall. Food, clothing, warmth and meditation, “far out” is the correct word.
. What the judge said to me:
We were swept up like particles of dust off your kitchen floor. The land was swept clean and dusted.
We were not supposed to be at Morningstar. I was picked up and carted off to jail. I spent my time in jail with other men and women from Morningstar. The history is in black and white. I did not like being in jail, but I was there. I was going to stand my ground for my fellow man.
Things changed and fell apart when it was time to see the judge. I stood firm in my resolve, and I waited out my time in jail. From the beginning during my arrest I gave my name as Tomas and nothing more. I did not have any I.D. with me at the time as it was in a sea bag back at Tolstoy. When the time came for me to see the judge, they led me into the courtroom and asked my name. I was nervous and shaking inside, and my mouth was trying to stutter. I told them that my name was Tomas and that I was a human being, and that was the truth. I had been turned on. I was a proud young man, and I was speaking the truth. Time moved very slowly for me at this moment. I felt that I had given the judge good reason to let me go.
The judge looked me straight in the eyes and said that he was proud that I was a human being named Tomas, but that the wheels of justice were turning, and that he was the Judge.
He said, "You do not want to get caught up in the gears of justice." Time was moving very slowly like a very heavy trip weighted with water. He said, "I will let you stew on this for a while, but if you come back to me and do not give me your full name, I will send you to an insane asylum." He let me go back to the inner part of the holding room in the courthouse.
I thought about the insane asylum. I could see myself painting raspberry pictures and talking to really crazy people. Mentally I was beaten, I was beat. When I went back in, I told the judge my name. The proceedings preceded. Later that day the judge took us all home to his house for dinner.
Downhill and paranoia:
I spent the next few days at the Morningstar Annex as I was asked to do, then headed back to Morningstar Ranch proper. The first night back I was visited by the police, as Ramon so nicely puts it in Home Free Home. The next night I slept under the lower house in the crawl space with the dust and spiders. Not too pleasant a place to crash. "Heh, can I crash here for the night?" God, I was digging like a mole to be more comfortable. Ah, paranoia! I now knew what the word paranoia meant. I was cowering and hiding under a black cloak in the dark. My Precious, My Precious, Morningstar, as I rubbed my hands together like Gollum. At that time I thought I was alone in my hiding. Now after thirty years I know I was not alone.
I was later caught again at Morningstar and set free. I left for New York with Kathy and Ambo a few days later. They wanted me to leave and I left. I left everyone behind.
Yes, everyone was moving away like the spokes of a wheel, the centrifugal force moving you farther and farther apart. This sometimes makes me so sad, losing such friends. You want to reach out and touch them just like Adam and God in the Sistine Chapel, but they are too far apart. Gone forever, living only in my dreams.
I hope they don't say anything about my talking to my friends when I hear them talking on line.
Bitter? Yeah! But, I have made one apology and I did meet Laurel.
I've made another apology on paper, now I need to find her.
She is found, pleasant speech, careful not to offend, love and try not to control. Try not to tear the soul, give love and be good.
There is an emotion that is contagious, a clean healthy happy to be around emotion. Joanie carried it at Tolstoy as she put flowers in your hair and gave you a hug. Ken had that quiet emotion, busy working in the garden. Kathy had the free to be, smiling emotion that carried a warm glow and presence of pleasant feelings around her. Kyle had the quiet emotion of knowing good. Lou had a intelligent wit, humorous sarcasm that would tickle but not hurt. Ramon would sit in the lotus position and look at the sun in peace, you could see the radiance of life there.
If you ask these people they would say, that's not how I felt inside. We were all turbulent inside, wanting to understand our status as humans, but we carried a contagious amount of good feelings and warmth wherever we went. The people at the courthouse were always happy to see us. I did mention that the judge took us home to dinner. He was quite proud to know us. That was his way of telling us that we were doing good, no matter what he ruled, he was a Judge
Thanks to Lou
My first few days at the ranch:
The first few days at Morningstar Ranch, Kathy was my guide and friend. She let me stay with her on the platform below the barn by the creek. While I was there, I decided to clean up at the small crystal clear creek one morning. I took my toothbrush, razor, and soap down to the creek. I squatted, straddling the creek while washing my face and body. I brushed my teeth and shaved.
I didn't know it at the time that I, Tomas, was an invader. I was apparently invading a small territory. The defense was already in place, waiting, floating, moving like a snake. Unknown to me at the time the invasion force was attacking the predator that was near, using water as its vehicle. I was covering my body with its defensive oil. This is how poison oak came in contact with my body, groin, face, and teeth.
Morningstar had a very nice public bath and shower.
I did not know any history or anyone. Ramon had gone North and brought me back, and the new shower was in place. A new face. In one week I was covered head to foot with scales, the creature from the Black Lagoon had arrived. I took 10 minute showers, trying to wash away the rash. I guess you all wondered where all the hot water went. (To this day I cannot take hot showers, only warm ones. I begin itching whenever the water gets above 100 degrees.) I think this is where I met Doris. She was another sister of mercy.
There is a quiet verbal abuse that I endure; perhaps we all endure, people are angry because they are not treated right. I walked amongst them I do not understand, they lash out but I endure, perhaps we all endure.
The world has not treated me kindly, you have treated me right, other voices lash out, and the world has treated them like hell. I think I live in heaven, they think they live in hell.
This happened so long ago, lashes of steel words and shards of broken English were pointed at me, perhaps us.
I have learned to walk tall and see the words as cries for help, perhaps you have to, I do not try to help anyone anymore I only see there words as voices crying, perhaps speaking softly. I stop to listen; perhaps I'll understand, perhaps not.
I live in a world of our images of god; I assume it's the garden, perhaps the garden to play in.
Laurel is calling, I have to go.
Thanks to Lou
Kyle was about six foot tall, with reddish brown hair and an Indian band in his hair. No shirt, a waist cloth, proud, and proud looking. Looking like an Indian brave, a picture of health.
Kathy meets Kyle and I meet Doris:
Kathy was palling around with Kyle. During this time everyone was getting dressed up in their best outfits because something was going on. Kathy was not about to be dressed up. She thought this was just vain bullshit. Anyway, someone (I thought Kyle did) got her to fix herself up, got her bare ass naked (she was always shy about showing her body), and put a patch skirt on her. She had flowers put in her hair, blushed her cheeks, and a flower lei around her neck. She looked like a Hawaiian beauty swimming out to the Good Ship Bounty. God, she was lovely. Kyle knew it and so did I.
Joanie's Winter Solstice was the big event mentioned above, this I learned while reading Pam's Morningstar Chronicles, Ramon's Home Free Home and the Morningstar Scrapbook.
Thanks to Lou
Reporters and observers were the People
who looked at us and watched. I walked about thinking that I could live like Jesus. Seeing the man for who he was. I learned that if I wanted to live like Jesus, I was going to have to die. I choose not to die. I did learn that each of us is blessed with life. I did not speak for such a long time, but I started to see articles about life back then. These articles were written by reporters and observers. Each of us holds the key to the universe, our intelligence keeps us alive. The wonder is that I see each of us as alive and being. I have lived with this knowledge, most of the hippies have also lived with this knowledge. We have all taken different paths, but our paths are true. Words have been spoken of the different levels of awareness, all true, all taking us to Peace.
There are warriors that protect us, their awareness is keen, they surround us to keep the Peace. Such a Paradox. The White Dove flies and also feeds a hungry child. That is life as we live it.
The Yin and Yang of it all. I grew up playing hard tackle football, sweat and hard knocks.
My Grandmother loved Gandhi and world peace. I climbed and fell, going to extremes, playing hard.
Standing in the meadow, watching the movement of tall grasses in the breeze. Our sea of light brown, leans over an touches it's toes. Her black hair and poncho blow toward the far sea. Her mind is on the far horizon, a peaceful being. She has long legs, black stockings and a mini skirt, living a hard life and loving it. I can handle that.
Sweet music from a beautiful voice takes me on the mental high light of love and friend ship. Take hold and charge to the front, I'll go along for a ride. I play and work hard, loving the world at my feet. We have gone for a ride, twisting and turning into to places that we had not thought of going. We have lived, we have loved and fought for peace.
At this time I was hanging out with Doris, who was staying in the far back right corner of the barn. She stayed in a bunk bed built into the wall. Doris slept in the lower bed. Her light brown flowery kingdom. Her friend slept just above her. Doris was a wench or at least that is what she said to me. Her friend was just the opposite because she was celibate, played the violin, quiet and a good friend of Vivian. (If you are the young woman, the sister of mercy, who slept above Doris in that corner. let me know, because I have met a woman here in Kentucky that I thought was you. Laurel says it is not her.)
I remember four of us who used to sunbathe near the barn, Doris and me and another couple. On weekends, the weekend warriors used to set up lawn chairs on the road above the tepee, drink their beer, gawk at the girls, and ask us if we had a good time. At times we would wallow in the mud there while Larry played his guitar.
During the time that I was living around the barn, some young lady (I think maybe it was Pam) came running down to me and said that a young man was threatening everyone up at the upper house. I got up. I believe I was resting and walked up the hill to the upper house. Sure 'nuf, there he was, a healthy looking, blond-haired drunk who was waving a 22-gauge rifle around. Having no sense (which was normal for me -- I understood the Fool on the Hill), I walked over to him. Something about him was familiar, but I had never seen him before that day. I asked him how his brother was, who I mentioned by name. He looked at me in shock, totally stunned! I'll bet he was wondering what kind of mystical drug that we had been taking. This young man was becoming a believer. My luck was good that day. His brother was a beer-drinking rugby acquaintance of mine from Alhambra, California. We talked and chatted the day away, and he said he would say hello to his brother, Jack Summers.
Thanks to Lou
I never earned any money for drugs. I never did buy any drugs. Drugs were always available but I never wanted any. They just came.
If someone gave me a drug then I used it.
The same logic can be said for food and sex.
Today I am hung up on food and sex but not drugs. I could take drugs or leave them be. Using drugs was not my quest.
I wanted peace and I found it.
I got lucky because I had some great heads pounding this skull with good thoughts.
Sylvia Williams to start then Huw Williams, Andee, Joanie, Ramon, Nancy, Kathy, Doris, Kyle, Robby and Lou.
Sometimes I think that I should apologize for my head being in a great place. But then again I have no choice. I am here.
Which is pretty far out.
That was given to me by the Diggers.
In Berkley with Doris I am standing naked in a second story window looking out.
An early morning purple haze in Berkley greets me. Acid and grass did a great job there.
I am there, still there.
I guess I thought I was a Prophet:
I remember a young man coming to Morningstar in a wheelchair van. He was removed from the van by friends or family. He asked me if it was all right to get out of his chair. I cannot remember what happened to make him come out of his wheelchair. It might have been something I said. He was so excited that he just came out of it. He followed me around for two days, dragging himself and groping along in the dirt, dust flying in the loose dirt, the dirt sticking to damp skin as he was working hard just to be. I did not mind him floppy about as he followed my trail, we were a lesson in letting people just be themselves, but it was positively freaking everyone out. During this time Doris was moving away from me into the tepee. She was being the wench that she was trying to be. Of course I could not understand this and this young man asked/wanted to sleep with me at night, just because he loved me for me letting him be the human being that he was. I told him that it was out of the question. He left Morningstar the next day, a little bitter.
Things do not always turn out right.
We traveled to Wheelers in a group, some business was taking place there. I have no clue what was being said. Lou I think was speaking to Bill.
What I remember is the size of the barn/cabin. I wondered to myself,
"How in the world is he putting those logs up there?" I marveled at this man's ingenuity.
The next thing I remember is sitting on the floor under this huge cabin/barn and marveling at it's size.
I felt that we were imposing our selves upon the mans kingdom.
Understanding what Doris was doing.
She was taking what she wanted from men, just as men had taken advantage of women for as long as we remember. She said to me what she was doing. She told what she was going to do. She was going to turn the tables. I went along, going with the flow. The cycles of emotions were extreme. She took what she wanted and enjoyed taking it. I went with whatever she wanted, I enjoyed the pleasure and put up with the pain. The time had come for her to reject me. She did, she warned me that it would come. I'm laid back and in pain
(Little Boy Martyr thinks he's a saint.)
The end at Wheelers, a day at Wheelers.
The bitter fight with Doris, the rejection from Doris, the beautiful view at Wheelers, the overlook, the place she wanted to build a cabin, without me. The water facet, talking to the people in the workers dorm, starting the yogurt, the sleeping bag, the end. Back to Morningstar, the trip to New York. I do not think these are pleasant memories for either one of us.
Things do not always turn out right.
Remembering a person only as a dream. Thinking that this dream fantasy is who they are. But in reality they are someone else. I am sorry that your dream is only a dream. But this is who I am.
Picking a flower that I/you was/were not supposed to have? Sometimes things happen and the flower is gone. You ask for help and dumb knowlege abounds. The ground is left bare for a moment in time.
Sometimes we do things we should not have done.
Thanks to Lou