Just Another Sixties Kid

Tinademarco
4 min readOct 7, 2022

Just after midnight on New Year’s Eve, I was celebrating with a bunch of friends.

It was 1969. My friends and I were at The Electric Circus in NYC.

The Chambers Brothers was playing their hit song, “Time has come again.”

The long version.

I moved with the music and smoked my joint. People around me did the same. I was in my element. Part of it all.

It was heaven.

We’d taken the train to NYC from Connecticut. I was nineteen, but I felt sophisticated and smart. After all, I was in the most rocking part of the city on New Year’s Eve. Swaying to the hottest group out there.

Until someone came up from behind and tapped me on the shoulder.

He asked me what I was smoking.

I turned and saw he was part of security. I put my hands behind my back, squashed the joint and shook my head. I was scared. My first thoughts were filled with terror. I saw myself stranded. In jail. Face posted on telephone poles all the way home.

I knew I was in deep trouble. Hadn’t I been watching the news lately, seeing so many kids getting arrested for smoking pot?

Anti-war and free love demonstrations had been part of much of the last few years. It was non-stop. The Kennedys, Martin Luther King, Kent State, Vietnam. The Democratic National Convention. It was all over the news. Cops were pigs. The sweet scent of marijuana wafted in the air and on every college campus. More demonstrations. Sit-ins too. Free love and San Francisco. Flowers in our hair.

Innocent until it wasn’t.

And, I was right there, alongside of every other one out there.

All of what I was doing was illegal. Of course I’d get arrested. Why not!?

How would I get home to my suburban town in CT? I’d have to call my folks.

Most importantly, what would my parents say?

This had never happened to me before.

Marijuana was illegal. Smoking a joint could potentially get you thrown into the county lock up. You’d have to go to court too. At the very minimum, you’d get your name in the papers.

Your reputation would be ruined.

Especially if you were a girl.

After all, didn’t I already know a few guys who’d been busted?

I wanted to be wild, but the truth was…I was anything but.

I lived at home with my folks. Watched a lot of television.

I was still the innocent. In fact, I didn’t even have a boyfriend!

I wasn’t even old enough to drink legally.

All sorts of thoughts went through my mind. I knew I couldn’t talk my way out of this.

I was caught.

Red-handed.

Then I looked at him a little closer. He was young. Like me. Vest over a tee-shirt sort of boy. Not tough looking at all.

Maybe this was a holiday job. During winter break.

In fact, he smiled at me.

“You’re kind of cute. Do this often,” he winked.

I shook my head and looked down to the floor where I’d stubbed my joint out.

“Well, I’ll let you go this time,” he said. “Just be sure not to get caught next time you’re here.”

I nodded my head and smiled.

“Thanks,” I whispered.

Then he walked away.

I ran to find my friends. I wanted to be safe, with my friends who were a lot more experienced than me. Smarter about these sorts of things.

After the music, we made our way to the train station and I saw someone reciting a song as he strummed his guitar. I don’t remember exactly what the song was, but it was catchy.

Some of us wandered around while the others sat and listened. I was still a little high so I sat and listened.

Finally our train arrived. We waved to the singer and headed home.

All I wanted to do was cuddle up with my blanket and go to sleep.

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Tinademarco

Tina is a memoir writing coach and develops website & direct response copy, including short and long form manuscripts. She can be reached at www.memoirmuse.com