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Gooselake International Rock Festival
Gooselake International Rock Festival
It was a time. Damn it was wonderful time to live. Yeah, "Fuckin A, number one tweety bird!" If I could go back...for maybe just a day or three, it would be to Goose Lake...that miserable little swamp located just off I-94 outside of Jackson, Michigan in the year 1970....and the month of August, yeah, it was that hottest of fucking months, for three days of music and 350,000 friends listening to what some believed was the continued blossoming of a new, more youthful world, where peace and love was all we needed. We never thought it would degenerate, in just a few years, to the hedonistic scream of "Let's PARTY." We almost had it right. I assure you. But thats for later philosphers and writers to ponder. My purpose here is to tell you the story of some young lions, who rode in two vans to that venerable spot...and of their experiences in a time when music was magic and tribes gathered at these places. We all worshipped there for a simpler, and more truthful world.
"It's a virus. It will have to run it's course." Doctor Robertson seemed professioanlly sympathetic, but I think he found it hard to feel really sorry for this disappointment. "Doc!" "This means I am going to miss the "Strawberry Fields" Rock Festival in Canada. I was supposed to leave tommorrow." The fever was raging now and I felt dizzy as he wrote a prescription. If I just had more time I could throw this thing off. No such luck. I was sick...man...I was sick.
"Dale, you know how I feel about those things. A bunch of irresponsible kids taking drugs and having "free" sex. You need to get your priorities straight."
Well. As far as I was concerned my priorities were in perfect order. I didn't dare tell him his kid was going with a friend of mine. I, on the other hand, preferred to hitch-hike. I just loved that unpredictable freedom...ah, but with this fever the only place I was going to, was to bed. Damn. Three days of music and all the huge bands would be there. Maybe I would be well enough to leave the next day and catch all of the Saturday and Sunday music...if I could make Toronto in a day. You just never knew when you hitch-hiked.
I left the office in a dream-like world. The fever made everything look a bit off and bent. I filled my presciption and took twice the dose of antibiotics just in case it would speed the healing up. My throat was now raw and I had a unique eye-bulging cough. I was convinced it was going to pop a blood vessel in my head before the medicine was even digested. The thought of leaving for the Strawberry Fields Festival now appeared remote. I drove home through a haze of disappointment and a skin crawling fever. I parked the car and looked up the path to my little house. That well worn pet and human highway meandered past my mother's house. I loved my mother...but did not particularly like talking to here when I was sick or in a bad mood. She could be, well irritating comes to mind when I am in a good mood...lets just leave it at that. On this day I was hoping to make the walk unnoticed. I did not want to hear if I had found a good job yet or if I planned on marrying one of the neighbor's nieces. I closed the door of my car and started to do what I called my invisible walk up the path. I found that mom was tuned into brain waves or thoughts...at least that was my theory back then, so I tried to quiet my internal dialogue and pass peacefully by her windows, which seemed to stare at me accusingly........, "WHAP!" Her window slammed open. I was toast.
"Dale, I said....uuuuuuhHHHHH Dale!" I saw her face framed by the screen that kept out the mosquitoes at this time of the year. It gave a fuzzy, dark look to here that made me think I should feel guilty about something. My mom could do that...what a gift.
"Yeah, Mom. Whats up?"
"You know why it's so goddamn hot?"
"No Mom, why?"
"The goddamn Russians are messing with the weather. They got secret satellites you know. Gloria Unger told me all about them." Now Gloria also thought that anyone that drove a Studebaker Lark was a communist because if you spelled Lark backwards and changed a few letters it spelled Karl...and everyone knew that was meant for Karl Marx. She painted all her trees pink a few years before and proclaimed herself a misunderstood genius. My mom collected friends like that. I think it has a lot to do with my outlook on life.
"I guess mom. I am sick. I am going to bed and try to throw this virus off."
"You know why you got a virus Dale?"
It was just better to keep walking. And not to look back. If you got her in the right mood the door could open. Then she would tell you all the things Gloria told her to never tell anyone else.
The next day, the day I should have left I spent on the couch. My mother stopped in for a visit. I heard her voice outside. She never knocked. She always called me the way her mother had called her and my Aunt when they were growing up in Louisville, Kentucky.
"Dale....I say...UUUHHHHHHHhhhhhhhh DALE." The uh part was long and drawn out. I am sure you can imagine.
"Dale, those festivals just have a lot of drugged out kids and sexual orgies. You should be glad you are sick and cannot go."
Goddamn. Nobody was thinking here.
"But mom...I am sure I feel better...I may take off later today or tommorrow and see how it goes. If I get sick I will get a motel room and come home. "
"You are old enough to make up your own mind...remember you are a Duke...and that comes with a responsibility to do the right things."
Yup. I planned on that alright. In the summer of 1970 values were different...I think a lot of it was Vietnam. All of us had friends who never came back or knew a neighbor that had lost someone. Drugs were abundant everywhere. Mostly the psychedlics like LSD or Mescaline....always marijuana. I do not think there will ever be a time quite like it again. We had great educations, money in our pockets, incredible music to listen to, and t.v.'s that showed body counts and people on fire. I guess all this led to discussion for the next generation that was to follow in our parents footsteps. A generation questioned middle class values...the white picket fence, the sales position in a plastics corporation, and said..."Fuck it." And for a while...we fucked it with pleasure.
I woke on friday morning feeling a lot better. I told myself over and over I felt better. I heard the phone ringing and picked it up....it was Joe Szady. "Hey man...you gonna go to Goose Lake?"
"Where the hell is that?"
"It's a major rock festival....near Jackson, Michigan. Ten Years After, Mountain, Rod Stewart and the Small Faces, Chicago, John Sebastian and a whole lot more will be there."
" Joe I am glad you told me...I think I can leave by noon."
"If you can get to 6 & 31 we can pick you up. Jerry Wilson is driving his blue van and I got the white Dodge. Keep an eye out for us...o.k???"
"You got it." Now I felt better. It was just a feeling but I knew I was going to have fun. Life was good...now where was that thermometer?
So thats how a one of those big moments in my life got started...my friend from Walkerton called with some information and an idea. Time and chance...rather like the 60's in general, things coming together...yeah, I was in. I hitchiked to the planned meeting spot and was picked up by those long lost friends within an hour. It was about a two hour trip to Jackson. We passed the miles smoking marijuana and listening to eight track tapes. I remember laying down for an hour with a slight fever. I kept getting this girl, who called herself "Rain", to feel my head....it seemed to help. I do that to this day. If I am sick I ask any woman within distance to "feel my head." It's not a demented thing, it really helps. I advise all men to try it. Everyone told me not to worry about getting sick...because the good "vibes" at the festival would run off any bad feelings. I was first and foremost a musician ..secondly a low ranking hippie...I did not put a lot of stock in good vibes. I took two more antibiotics, washed it down with some nameless wine and put my head down on Rain's lap. She absorbed the bumps in I-94...and would check for fever when I asked her. It could have been worse. I never saw or heard of her again..things like that happened in those times.
When we were within a mile of the festival traffic backed up and people were everywhere... walking down the road, sitting beside the road, riding on tops of vans and cars, playing guitars and reciting poetry. Some openly sold drugs such as Lsd and Marijuana, and the police...due to the sheer numbers of crime breakers...looked the other way. They did a good job really...there if someone needed help but not interfering with something obviously bigger than the everyday laws they were there to enforce. All in all it was a peaceful bunch...but goddamn I had to pee. To this day when I see 350,000 people gathered in a great field, without a tree to be seen...I have to pee. My nearest and dearest tell me that if I see five people in a small living room...I have to pee. I think it's a kind of hydro flashback. I know...I know.
It took about an hour to get into the festival site. It was an amazing place. The promoters had built a blue wooden fence around the entire concert area. The rest of the site contained food booths and parking, and portable restrooms that were useless after the first day. They just kind of overflowed and floated away. To this day I shudder when I think I went skinny-dipping in that weed choked patch of tepid water called Goose Lake.
Goose Lake was not Woodstock, but it was close, 350,000 people showed up and we were the only two vehicles allowed in the concert area Joe and Jerry took it upon themselves to drive their vans directly into the giganitic enclosed blue enclosure called "The Goose Nest." There were twin towers about 70 feet in the air that held the lights for the concert..they proved to be a handy reference point in the dark. Other vehicles were in the enclosed area, but for some reason Joe and Jerry parked close to the entrance...it proved to be an ingenious move. As more and more people arrived for the event, more people ignored the parking area and drove directly into the concert area. The promoters kept making announcements over the gigantic public address system, asking all vehicles to move out of the Goose Nest. Finally Festival security had to threaten to cancel the concert unless the vehicles moved out. Our bit of fortune came when security asked us to keep our two vans just inside the entrance and explain to people that vehicles were not allowed beyond ours. Yeah I know. We did a lot of explaining.
It was perfect! We had all our gear close and the best part was by climbing on the roofs of the vans we had a superb view of the artists! Thats where I got my superb view of Linda Smith from Columbus, Ohio. Good God. Orange tank top without a bra and long blonde hair...parted perfectly in the middle. My mouth was hanging open as I watched her. I think that is why she noticed me.
"Hi. Can I sit up there with you?" Her large eyes were bright and friendly. Women always get me in trouble. I am a little more cautious today, but at the age of 20 years, in the year 1971, at a rock festival in Michigan, I was, well....different.
"Cure you san! Want some smoke?" She smiled at my stumbling tongue. I smiled and looked at every part of her I could. She was soon sitting beside me and the hot summer sun shone down on us for the next few hours as we listened to the sounds of that time, and that place. I am now sitting in the loft, of my apartment, in a town in Oregon...but I can still smell her hair and see her face and wish the wish to touch her.
We listened to the lesser bands as the afternoon was still early. Linda looked at me with eyes the size of Jupiter's moons and asked me, "Dale, I have some Orange Sunshine. Would you like some?"
Now I knew that this was LSD. Everyone back then said they had Orange Sunshine...that was purportedly made by a man named Owsley or maybe Kesey... but it was always just some adulterated LSD that was a gentle "trip" for about 5 hours. It did not make dinosaurs appear or the dreaded melted faces effect, nor the toe curling question, "Am I bleeding?" So...without misgivings I said, "Sure I do. Maybe we should take two, they're small."
She looked at me with a patience I have seen on women's faces many...many times since.
"Now Dale, this is really powerful stuff. Have you ever taken LSD before?"
"Sure I have. I went to junior college on the west coast....in Portland, Oregon as a matter of fact. I have had Orange Barrels, Pumpkin Seed Mescaline, Purple Haze, Mr. Natural, Orange and Purple Micro-Dot, and Blotter acid...and by the way did I tell you that you have lovely eyes?"
"I guess you know your psychedelics. Take this...and about the eyes....thanks."
Whew! She gave me that smile I had named "the come on." Oh damn...this was going to be a night!!!!!!
We both "dropped" the LSD at about 4 in the afternoon. I looked at my watch and made a note...a kind of survivor's instinct for the experieced user. You tended to lose track of time. In about one hour I would be feeling the electricty flowing thru my body...in two hours I would be "peaking". In five hours I would be "down." YUP. Nothin' to it. I had done it at least 50 times before this. I would be a lot more fucking careful in the future.
Jerry, Wally and Joe climbed to the top of the van to listen to the music and talk. They brought a wineskin full of Boone's Farm Apple wine. It tasted good and Linda gave them each a tab of "Sunshine." I had never seen so many people in my life. From the top of the van it looked fantastic. The New York Rock Ensemble were playing when I decided I had to pee. It seems whenever I start to have a good time, I have to pee. The porta-pots were still working so I told Linda I would be right back and climbed down off the roof of the van. I noticed a peculiar lightness about my body. It felt like I weighed about eight ounces. I found a blue, plastic outhouse and when my turn came I went in. Everything was going fine till then. When I shut the door it was like I went into another world. The closing of the door turned my concentration into my new world...the world of the portable bathroom. I was totally absorbed with the vents which let shafts of light in that resembled a laser light show long before they were invented. I would probably still be there if someone hadn't screamed, "Hey asshole, you need to see a practologist." WELL. I guess I had better pee. I pulled forth my weenie and gee....that felt really good...which made me think of Linda...which made me try to hurry...which slowed the process up. By this time the guy outside was threatening to push over the pot. I finally shot a puny stream into what appeared to be a lake of burning lava and snapping alligators. Then the stream of urine turned into lightning bolts and I turned into one scared son-of a bitch. I ran out the door holding little elvis in my hand. The sheer look of terror on my face and my penis in a choke hold shut the complainer up real fast. I got it together enough to put it back in my pants and realized I had probably taken the real... Orange Sunshine. That was probably the last rational thought I had for the next 12 hours. All I wanted to do was get back to the van. The music sounded like a choir of angels being directed by Paul McCartney. I could feel the waves as each note pulsed thru my body. When I got to the van I climbed to the roof out of instinct. Seek higher ground when in danger. I had entered another world and the door had slammed shut behind me. Linda was gone. Never saw her again. At the time I did not care in the least. My three friends were still on the roof and I had to push a bit to make room. Joe mananged to say, "Holy fuck, I am loaded, and I am thirsty."
"So why don't you get down and get some pop?" I asked.
"Have you looked over the side lately," asked my friend Joe?
I crawled a few feet over to the edge and looked down. I had just gained purchase to this spot on the van and was amazed at what I had been able to climb. I was seized by extreme vertigo. It seemed we were perched on the edge of a great canyon...literally. It had to be 300 feet to the ground. I moaned softly and closed my eyes. YUP. Thats no good. Extreme hallicinations...that changed and pulsed with the music. When it got scary I would open my eyes....till what I was seeing got scary...then I would close my eyes. I heard Jerry Wilson say..."Fuckin A number one tweety bird." He said that a lot for the next several hours. I have never thought to ask him why he did that. I think it is better that way...'ya know?
"Fuckin A number one tweety bird." You would just have to have been there. Once your ticket was punched on Lsd there was no getting of the bus. I knew this and grabbed my ass with both hands and hung on. I kept telling myself that I would come down and not be stuck in this inverted reality. I tried to check my watch...but it became an unearthly instrument that fascinated me so much I forgot to try to get a foot in reality by seeing what time it was. I was way the fuck out there and the real music was starting. I used to say, "If you are going to play in the mud ya' might as well get dirty." I was wallowing in the mud, on top of a van, at a gigantic festival, and Rod Stewart and the Small Faces were playing music that was quite remarkable.
Yup. And so it went hour after hour. Every once in a while I would glance at Joe and when he opened an eye and looked at me...we scared each other...cause he didn't look like Joe and I am sure I did not look like me. Jerry started to look like tweety-bird for obvious reasons. The sun had went down long ago and the music was incredible. I could see the electricity being pulled out of the walls and bent and formed into wonderful, glorious sounds. After what seemed like an eternity I decided to take another look over the side of the van. I crept ever so cautiously to the edge of the roof and looked over.....
"HI WHALE!!!!!!! I'SNT THIS FAR OUT MAN????????"
I could have killed him. Literally. It was Jerry Mitchell...a one time drummer in my bands, and an old friend. His head looked as big as a Mt. Rushmore figure. His homemade afro seemed ablaze...and his eyes were like saucers and cat-like...but I could still recognize him.
"Jesus Christ Jerry....I am trippin' my ass off here and you scared the be-jesus out'a me."
"Hey, I took some pscilocybin mushrooms...sillyasihavbeen in a long time..."
"I gotta get off this van and try to come down. I have been peakin' for a long time."
"Ya wanna go to the trip tent?
"What the hells that?
"It's a big old tent with doctors and helpers that give you downers so you can keep it together till you come down."
"Nah. I can make it now. I feel alittle more in control."
"Hey! I wanna go man...fuckin A number one tweety bird....I can't take it anymore." That would be the other Jerry speaking...
As you might guess our friend, the other Jerry, was ready to slow the party down. I figured we had better do something for him and the rest of us. If he said that "tweet-bird thing" one more time Joe might throw him off the damn van.
"Jerry, what will we tell them at this place...the trip tent?
"Well...I guess we tell them he took Lsd." Now that was painfully obvious.
"Hey guys...I gotta come down. I can't take this anymore."
"AW shut the fuck up...you ain't comin down for hours." Joe had clearly had it and informed or forlorn star warrior. Having a practical thought for the first time in hours I said, "Jerry, how do we get off this van?
"Do we have to get down?"
"No....we'll bring the goddamn tent here." Joe lacked sensitivity...clearly.
"Here put your foot down and I will guide you."
"It doesn't matter...the left one."
"They both look left to me."
"Jerry we gotta get down."
"I am on the ground."
"No the other fuckin Jerry...Jesus Christ."
"Fuckin A number one.........................."
We clearly had one to many Jerry's for this confusing affair. Everytime I asked Jerry Mitchell a question...Jerry Wilson answered or vice versa. I was ready to go back to the porta-potty and hide out till morning. We eventually got down and started our surreal trek thru a crowd of thousands to the "trip tent." I will never...ever forget that. We kept the tweet-bird Jerry between us and he kept stopping and wanting to sit down. We kept him going like a horse threatened with colic. Their just weren't any signs on this trip. You made up your own rules as you went along. We had to pass directly in front of the stage and by this time Ten Years After were performing. I could see half-moon like notes coming out of Alvin Lee's guitar. I grabbed my ass again and kept moving.
Eventually we came to an area that had the looks of organization about it. People were going about cooking food and their were emergency vehicles parked nearby. We heard this ominous sound coming from a large Indian style tent.
From the dim light inside we saw a lot of people sitting in a circle. They were all holding hands. They all kept hummin that sound while a man and a woman guided the group energetically.
The woman coaxed members who looked uninterested, while the man kept pointing to a large blackboard with the word....(bet you couldn't guess)...OM...written on it. Everytime someone seemed to be drifting from this focus the woman coaxed them back to saying OM.
"What the hell are they doing Jerry?"
"They are keeping everybodys shit together."
"Hey you just asked me what was happening here."
"NO Godammit...I MEAN the other Jerry!"
"Whose a fairy?"
Yeah. There we were. Three friends all communicating on a different spiral...but physically trapped together. I was curious about the tent and what they hoped to accomplish. Jerry Mitchell explained from his perspective and it actually made sense. I am not sure it made any sense at all to Jerry Wilson.
"They keep you in there and give you something to do. When you come down enough to realize what you are doing is really stupid...they let you go."
"Can we commit Jerry...and get him later?" I was thinking Jerry might not want to give up the tweety thing for a mundane OM.
"Hell...if we are not careful they will put us all in there."
"Jerry, did Jerry say that?"
"Well it wasn't me."
"Om fuckin tweety-A."
I guess that answered that. We kind of guided Mr. Wilson towards the tent and disappeared into the crowd. We would see him the next day. As we were walking into the flow of people we heard the sonorous tones of a group of voices, in unison, repeating OM. We kind of felt bad deserting out friend...but as Jerry Mitchell later put it..."Dale, if I have 52 cards and you have the same, but I gotta watch out for ten of yours...well...it isn't fair to me." This made sense at the time.
After a long walk we were back in time to see the group Chicago play their set. It was fabulous. Terry Kath had not yet killed himself playing with a gun and the band brought everyone to their feet. Just before dawn they asked everyone to hold up a lighter or match. It was an incredible sight to see 350,000 small flames in that darkness, in that place. I still remember that now long dead guitar player stepping to the microphone and saying....
"People, you sure are beautiful." For a while...we had it right. It wasn't free love, drugs and dirty feet. It was a tribe that emerged in answer to a technical world and war no one understood. It was a time to question values and redefine what was to be our lives. We were swept along a current that became a spark in history. I wish everyone could live in such times...but these things happen at random and you cannot volunteer. We were lucky, the ones that lived thru it.
We eventually found our way back to the two vans. Several people we did not know had joined our group. The Lsd had finally released me enough to reflect on the day and night. I was sunburned from the hours on top of the van and very thirsty. I drank a lot of wine with Dan Brockman. WE sat in the dirt and sparse grass around the white van and passed the bottle back and forth. It had a calming effect on me and all was right with the world. He was from Chicago and his wife Tanya was there. The music shut down about two p.m. Tanya was full of life and wore a bright headband she said was "spiffy." They had been married for three months and were telling me their dream of living in Colorado. Dan was killed one year later in a helicopter crash in Viet Nam. I found this out because I married Tanya's sister...but thats another story, ya know.???
I eventually laid my sleeping bag on the ground next to the van. I was trying to clear my head and sleep. Jerry (not the one we left at the tent...) was talking to a girl next to me. Jerry was horny. I listened to the conversation and it made me smile before I drifted off.
"Where ya from Pam?" I knew he was smiling that lip to ear grin he had when he was warming up to a woman.
"You want to ball?" For those uninformed, that was an expression we used for a short time back then for having sex.
"My minds moving...but my body's not." That small truth brought a smile to my face and a great deal of disappointment to my friend. Nope. It wasn't all free. It simply WAS.
We were awakened the next morning by the gigantic P.A. system. Teegarden and Van Winkle were the MC's of the concert and made regular announcements until the live music started in the afternoon. We ate from our rations we had brought with us..canned corn and such. We were a haggard looking group. About that time our friend from the trip tent showed up.
"OM my ass." Jerry Wilson was a large man...very large. He looked even larger with that defiant expression on his face. "How come you left me in that fuckin' tent?"
"It was Jerry's idea." It sounded good to me...besides Jerry had went to look for a toilet.
"You were there too Dale." Clearly Jerry had an attitude about this.
"Yup. But I was in another dimension."
"If I wasn't into all this peace shit, I would put you into another dimension now."
"Go to hell Dale. Geeeez. I could use a shower." The sweat was pouring off Jerry's wide forehead. I was painfully aware of my own rancid aroma.
"Hey...I heard everybodies bathing down at the lake(that would be THE Goose Lake) and all the girls are naked!" Joe still only had one eye open. I think it took him longer to adjust to reality than most of us.
"Let's go." Jerry Wilson was looking around in his duffel bag for soap and a towel when Jerry Mitchell showed up.
"How was the tent Jerry?"
"Eat shit and die Mitchell...OMMMMmmmmmmm."
"Where ya guys goin?"
"Skinny-Dippin with 150,000 girls." said Jerry W. Jerry M. just smiled and followed along with the rest of us. We did not have a leader...we kind of "schooled" like fish do...for some unknown reason or cue one of us would turn and the others followed. It was an imperfect system...diametrically oppposed to marching...but in the end effective. We did find Goose Lake. Instead of a patch of beautiful blue water we found a murky brown smudge on the landscape. Instead of thousands of naked women we found a few bikers and their "old ladies" standing in the muddy water. The women's breasts sagged like rocks in a sock and even with our overstimulated juvenile hormones...well...it was just kind of nasty looking.
That comment uttered by no other than our Om-cum-tweety bird Jerry seenmed to some up the situation. We couldn't tell if they had tatoos our just mud smears on their bodies. Being bikers and all, well, we just hated to stare.
"You all still want to get wet?" Joe was looking wistfully back towards the concert area. I suspect he thought that all it would take is one person to indicate this was not quite what we thought and the rest would fishtail the hell out of there.
"Sure I do." Now that would have been Jerry W. speaking. "All night in the tent has left me feeling a little sticky." He looked at us like he dared anyone to comment.
"O.K., but I am not stripping?" I had my scruples.
"Why not? You got a small dick?" Joe definitely had to work on his sensitivity.
By this time both Jerry's were midway thru taking off all their clothes. I still remember Jerry W's big butt staring at me when he bent over to pull his BVD"S off. Trust me. It was not the moon over Carolina I was looking at. The rest of us took our clothes off and waded into the muddy water. It was tepid, stagnant, and smelled like broth that had been left in a window sill for five days...a very hot window sill. My barefeet touched the mucky bottom and it made me shiver to think what may be living there. All I could thing about was snapping turtles. We had some trophy size snapping turtles in the mid-west. Yeah, some very no nonsense looking fellows that have definitely climbed out of the primordial ooze. That vision prayed on my mind as we soaped ourselves.
"Hey! Things are looking up I think." Jerry Mitchell was pointing to what I may apologetically call the "beach" of Goose Lake. No doubt about it. There were about fifteen beautiful girls walking towards the water with towels and cut-off blue jeans.
"Hey. They haven't got any tops on!"
I do not remeber who said this nor do I care. It was one of lifes most thrilling moments. We...boys just past puberty, with an excess of testostorone in our bodies were starting to pump blood at an alarming rate. Inside my body five little demonic creatures were shoveling testosterone into my heart and their smiles were so big their lips got caught on their horns. My God. Which one did you look at? Their breasts jiggled slightly as they walked. The femine creature complete. A gift of the god's. I was overcome. My breathing was rapid and short. When they got to the spit of sand we charitably called a beach...they started taking of their bottoms. This was not Jerry Wilson's fat ass I was seeing now. In fact I don't think Gynocologists get a much better view. I remember a blonde girl with her hair shagged as she gently removed her underwear. I loved her. I still do. I remember thinking if she just new how happy she could make me by coming in the water and making love to me right then and there...she would have done it...just to have imparted that much joy in the world. But...she was unaware of my racehorse hormones and laughed and talked with her beautiful friends as if they were in the showers after gym class.
We were standing in that lukewarm water...in complete silence and with respect for womanhood and mother's everywhere. We were immobile...well...almost. I noticed a small whirlpool gather just below my navel, due to the switchblade erection that blossomed from my loins. Good god...through the dingy water I could see the blue vein pulsing on the top of my penis. I could cut diamonds with this thing!!!!!! The little creatures had done their job. The heat from my erection was clarifying the water and attracting a lot of small minnows. I remember looking down at myself and thinking...."I hope a big fish doesn't mistake this for a worm or worse yet, one of those big snapping turtles taking a bite." YIKES. My mind was wandering between lust and penis preservation when Jerry Mitchell spoke.
"Hey Whale. I got a boner."
"Me too." The other Jerry sounded like he was proud.
"Yeah...I got a blue-veiner too...and I am sick of standing in this water."
"He he he," Jerry's neck looked like it was on a pivot as he watched the girl's with a predatory gaze, "Ya gonna walk out of here in front of them with a boner????"
Damn. NO way! Being naked is kind of embarrasing even if you are in a situation where your supposed to be naked. But walking around with an erection...well...it just ain't cool. Its not like people don't know whats on your mind. Even today...I just don't feel right if I get a boner in public. I don't care how dressed up I am. It's like the beating of the "Telltale Heart". I just know everybody knows. I wish mine had an "on"and "off" switch...or at least...the damn thing was connected to my brain instead of being so independent. As I was pondering this little joke of God... there, in the questionable beauty of Goose Lake with the unquestionable beauty of those young women, now frolicking in the water, we learned how fast the "flight or fight" response can be triggered. We also learned of it's awesome power over social mores.
"Somethin' just crawled across my foot." said Joe.
"Could you elaborate?" I had been watching the World News a lot and this phrase just came to me.
"Yeah I could. But I'm not gonna if you guys know I am doin it."
Clearly Joe was on another level of the spiral.
"No. I mean. Did you bump into a stick with your foot?"
"No." Now this was a key comment from Joe, "Whatever it was it had a hard claw-like foot."
"SNAPPIN TURTLLLLLLLLLLLE!" Screamed Jerry Wilson.
"Fuck MEEEEEEEE!" added Jerry Mitchell.
It is absolutely amazing what adrenaline and youth can do.
We were all staring straight down into the water spinning in circles trying to protect our back sides...then realizing our front sides were not guarded...spun back. Damn. I bet it made a sight for those watching us. All that whipping around gave my most sensitive of members a sort of whiplash.
"THERE IT ISSSSSSSSSSSsssssssssss." I to this day do not know who pointed this out to us. BUT. The effect was immediate, rapid and worthy of any special effects that could be conceived by todays Hollywood studios. Our legs began a windmill type motion you have seen on "Roadrunner" cartoons. The muddy water rose gradually into a small waterspout as we tried to get out. Our feet were pounding the muck of the bottom and pushing thru sticks we were sure were a herd of renegade, jurrasic turtles intent on biting off our toes or worse. The thought of those prehistoric looking shells and the way their eyes were shaped like goats added impetus to my actions. We all starting making progress at the same time.
The Blue Angels have never had such a perfect formation as we made leaving Goose Lake, for the last time in our lives....puds erect, in a perfect Delta V with me leading the pack. I bet those girls never saw anything like that again. We fell on the beach and tried to breathe. Naked and now covered in muck we made most aborigines look civilized. I will never forget the embarrasement of trying to pull on my shorts and tuck in my rod while thise lovely ladies stared with their mouths wide open and not moving an inch...spellbound and repulsed by our actions I guess.
We did not stick around to discuss the situation with anyone. One of the bikers old ladies, with the rock in the sock tits, summed it all up in one rather loud and profound comment........
"Did you dudes try to screw a turtle?" YUP. You just had to be there.
I found Goose Lake by using Mapquest on the computer. I see it still exists..just off I-94, outside of Jackson, Michigan..in fact their are TWO on the map...I don't know which one we were in...but if turtles could talk my young friends and I undoubtedly remain a legend in that now forgotten place. I miss my friends, some alive and some now dead. I miss those times, but I have not forgotten them. I wish we were all there again tommorrow, especially Linda Smith.