Dad and a fellow soldier at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri during Basic Training. He was drafted in May of 1967 and enlisted for an extra year to avoid being sent to Vietnam, after being promised an assignment to the radio and tv divisions. Both promises were unkept and dad ended up in Saigon for 26 months. He started a refugee campaign and was awarded a Bronze Star for his work. He's most proud of the fact that the only shots he fired during his entire time there were from a camera.
On dad's second leave to Tokyo during his Vietnam tour of duty, he and Army buddies Al Clobridge and Rich Kinney were entertained by Richie Silverman. Richie, a world class netsuke collector, was good friends with one of the lead actors of the Kabuki theatre, Ichikawa Ennosuke III, who invited the group backstage to watch him prepare for his role that day. Also joining them was a bearded traveler whom dad had met a few months earlier in Vietnam, Neil Abercrombie, who went on to become the governor of Hawaii and a Congressman in D.C. Tokyo, Japan. May 19, 1969.
A last jaunt to the artists colony in the historic Garbutt-Hathaway estate overlooking Silverlake reservoir with Tim, Michael, and Arlette. This was the last day before the artists were kicked out, as they were packing up their stuff. Not sure if they ever got the half a car out of there. When I was growing up, the mansion mostly stood empty, until American Apparel founder Dov Charney purchased it in 2006. Silverlake, CA. April 2, 1978.
Observe, if you will, the hippie dinner party. This is not the Berkeley of Alice Waters. Gastronomically grotesque, the unappetizing victuals morph into something oddly alluring, the further zonked you get. I’ve been collecting food-related photos for the past year in the hopes of eventually putting out a Family Acid cookbook. Here are a few favorite selections:
A constant pursuit on Channing Way was to determine whose chocolate chip cookie was the best. Winner was neighbor Gloria, whose slim, butter-rich ones never failed to draw raves from visiting hipsters. Here dad and John Trojanski admire the texture.
Majoun, a Moroccan cannabis psychedelicacy, mixed by Tim Page.
Lori Smith and Richard Boyle trying to decide if corned beef hash is better in the morning or evening.
Page prepares an exotic salad of god-knows-what.
Donuts were a ubiquitous treat too, usually procured from Kingpin Donuts on Durant St, a favorite of theirs which mom claims "were the best donuts ever made. Period." And the morning after, breakfasting on hash browns, coffee, and beer.
If you’re looking for a good weekend watch, dad can be seen on the first episode of Netflix’s new music series: “ReMastered: Who Shot the Sheriff?” streaming now. Photo of dad in front of Tony Doeman’s record shop by Peter Simon. Los Angeles, 1981.
My father has always taught me that dissent is one of the highest forms of patriotism. Joan Baez speaking at the last major protest at UC Berkeley against the Christmas 1972 bombing of Hanoi, Viet Nam. Berkeley, CA. January 1973.
I think a lot of people are feeling like Karate kicking someone today… this is a double exposure dad shot on the beach in La Jolla, December 1980. Please visit thefamilyacid.com and add your email to our mailing list sign-up. We will be announcing book pre-orders and special events first via our email list, because the increasing Facebookification of Instagram means that I cannot count on this service anymore to adequately reach all of our followers. For those of you attending tomorrow’s Stanford slide show and talk, we look forward to seeing you!
Please join us this Friday at Stanford University, for dad's slideshow and talk on his experiences serving in the Vietnam War, where he will be discussing everything from getting drafted, to ending up in the Psychological Operations propaganda program, to his work helping refugees, the Island of the Coconut Monk, and his post-war life, including working on the book Born on the Fourth of July. The event is free with RSVP, link in profile. My Tho, Vietnam. November 1969.