Monday, February 1, 2010

a long time ago....

I live on a piece of land in the northwoods of Wisconsin that has been in my family since the mid-30s. On this piece of land there stands "the cabin", a log house that was built back in 1911. This cabin and piece of land has always been and will always be special to me and eventually it will be passed down to my kids.

There are of course many many stories that have sprung up surrounding the cabin; I started making trips to it when I was only one year old, and these trips were the highlight of my growing up years, all the way to the point where I built my own log house on the land in 1976. (I grew up in southern Wisconsin, 200 miles south..)
Someday I will blog more concerning my ties to this piece of property, but at the moment I have a specific trip in mind that I was reminded of because of a discussion with a friend about Jimi Hendrix.

It was the summer of 1971 and I decided to take a trip to the cabin, solo. I had a few days to myself and I really never needed much of an excuse to take off for the northwoods! At the time I was driving a 1953 Chevrolet panel truck, which I had newly painted on the outside and remodeled in the interior. It was pretty darned sharp; I had used old barn boards for the inside siding and had recess mounted four eight inch speakers so that I could hear the 8-track tape player over any outside noise...>g< The floor was carpeted and I had had to build a box to hold the 12 volt battery that powered the tape player, since the vehicle itself ran on a 6 volt system.

So--I was cruising north on Hwy 41 near Oshkosh in the pouring rain, blasting "Electric Ladyland", when I missed my turn-off. This was not much of a problem, it just meant that I was to take a different route than planned. It was soon after that I spied a hitchhiker on the side of the road and of course back in those days I would both hitch myself and also pick up folks hitching; I had many fine adventures!

Sean was mighty pleased as punch that I had stopped to pick him up; he had been standing there for about three hours by then and it had just started to rain, besides. He jumped into the truck, heard Jimi, looked around and exclaimed: "Do you want to smoke some hashish?!"

He was making his way through Wisconsin, headed to someplace in Michigan, and knew of three places in the state; Madison, Milwaukee, and Green Bay. He was headed to Green Bay where he was going to continue his journey over to Michigan. He lived in San Diego and about the only thing he knew of Wisconsin was that we had cheese...

We of course made instant friends and before long I had him talked into coming to the cabin with me! He was mighty interested in seeing the northwoods, staying at a cabin in the wilderness that had no electricity or running water, and simply kicking back. He also had a few days to spare, along with that ounce of hash in his pocket and a propensity for adventure. And when we stopped at an original genuine Wisconsin cheese store his giddiness couldn't be hid...when he discovered that he had a choice of one, two, three, or four year old aged cheddar cheese he happily chose the four year old and wasn't at all offended when I declined to share it with him.

So we spent the next four days at the cabin hiking and exploring, swimming, listening to music, story-telling and giggling alot. We had an absolute blast; we even went out to hear some live music one night and had fun dancing with a couple of foxy young women...go figure. We had started this escapade on Tuesday, and on Saturday I took him into town where he picked up a bus to continue his journey to Michigan. (and he didn't have to worry about traveling on the bus with any hashish in his pocket by then...>g<)

And I still to this day cannot believe that we never exchanged addresses, phone numbers...nothing! It sure would be a hoot to have him show up at my home someday.

Peace, David

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