So by now if you didn’t grow up in Parkchester you must have a pretty good idea that it was a great place to grow up back in the day. And you also should have a decent understanding of the layout. I will post an image here though just in case you don’t, or for the person who may be new to my stories.
This story takes place in the South quadrant, or as we called it simply, The South. Now the South is that area between Metropolitan Ave to the West, and Unionport Rd to the east. You can see it above, The other dividing points are The Oval to the North and Mc Graw Ave. to The South.
We eventually settled on hanging out at the Wall to the east of the South Playground. This is where the double stairs went down to where the apartments along McGraw avenue were. But at the time that this takes place we were partial to the benches around the South oval. That grassy area where in good weather the older people in the neighborhood would sit all day, talking and feeding the squirrels and pigeons.
In the colder months the benches were left for the animals and us. Now this winter we had spent a lot of hours sitting on the benches that were close to the playground just a bit past the recreation office. There was generally a good group of us, consisting of in no particular order or frequency, me, Tinki, Patti S, Bobby M. Timmy B., Brian McC., LeAnn J. Weezy, Pat M. Andy S, Michael W. Paulie, Eileen R., Johnny S, Dale O’S, Pete and Jackie, Mary Jane M, Susie C, Onions. And a host of other characters. This was long before everyone had that bad eighties hair and clothes. Our standard was the Levis jacket with a hooded sweatshirt underneath. We spent many hours there over the winter months into the spring drinking and smoking and listening to the latest and the classics on our Boom Boxes. Laughing so hard it hurt with Brian and Leanne. Truly what we call the “good ole days”.
In those “good ole days” we could buy a bit of weed in those little manilla envelopes for a mere $5. A good thing for a bunch of kids with not many dollars and less sense. So the months roll on and we would sit each day or evening rolling one up on the benches. But also back then if you bought a bit of the wacky tobacky the purveyors saw no problem of leaving all the seeds and stems in the purchasers product. What this did was require said purchaser to clean his weed out before rolling it up for the consumption via smoking. Sticks tasted bad when smoked, did nothing for you and tended to rip through the thin paper from the EZ-Wider or Bamboo package. And seeds just acted like pop rocks as they burned, and could explode and burn you or at very least destroy your joint. It doesn’t take much imagination now but back then maybe the wacky tobacky had clouded our minds, and we did not realize what dropping all those seeds on the grass and dirt below our bench might bring forth.
“Surprise, surprise”, as Gomer from the Andy Griffith would say, when looking down one day for a dropped quarter that I should see about twenty, three to four inch little plants coming up that had the look of what appeared to be a leaf I had once seen on a Cheech and Chong album. Well that was the end of this spot, and I think after that as spring got along we moved to the Wall which would eventually become our regular spot. As for those tiny plants, if my memory serves me right one of us tried to transplant them in a jar in their apartment. What became of them after that I’m not sure.
Disclaimer: There was no one innocent, so no names have been changed, I may have remembered things a bit different than you, but It’s my story so I’m allowed. As for the pot, what we had back then was either Gold, or Sinse, or Thai stick, or more often than not, bunk. The stuff that’s out there today makes what we were smoking look like oregano, which by the way is what I am quite sure is what we smoked on several occasions. Older and wiser now, I have not partaken in the peace pipe in some time, some others may still, I don’t know. But as a disclaimer is needed…..Just say no.