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October 05 , 2008

Songs I Sang On Bleecker St.


I admit I was a Hippie and so were my closest friends. Who did not want to be such a romantic during the Summer of Love, 1967? My two pals Richie Scribbner and Artie Turco along with my brother Mike and I took to the culture completely. At first we hopped on the LIE each morning into Penn station then rode subways into Greenwich Village, Hipster Central! Soon the ticket cash dried up along with us collectively and individually missing the rides because fun filled episodes distracted us.
By mid summer we never left the Village at all. Richie had a cousin with an apartment. If and when any of us were in that neighborhood, we crashed there. If not? Sometimes stay up all night. Sometimes party all night. Sometimes find a cozy niche and get some shut-eye.
I picked up extra cash by painting cityscape or sketching a few portraits. Yep, I was one of those artists with the propped up canvas on street corners around town. The hungrier I got, the better the paintings! Artie and I also were songwriters. He wrote the tunes and I the lyrics. Our band was The Shades of Destiny. Often while I sketched and painted I’d devise the lyrics for our next big hit.
It could last only until school days came; yet it ended early for me after a battle in an alley behind a pizza joint over scraps against a tomcat. The cat won. By morning I arrived home to my middle class home and family, leaving the guys to their adventures.
During the two months of Hippie Dom, across hundreds of napkins and sheets of tracing paper many poems and essays were written. This book contains the better of those efforts.

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