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We’re Going Down

See all the old-time hippies limping around town, getting old, and dying. Remember when we were lean, motivated, and vibrant, fresh-faced young people? What happened? When we were young we didn't think about growing old, working on our gardening projects out in the hills then letting loose on the dance floor with stoned smiles on our faces. 

We were long-haired pot-growing hippies and it seemed like we had it all--did we realize it would end and we would become old, unattractive elders with grey hair and beards? We must have had an inkling in our fifties that things were winding down, then hit the reality check of really slowing down in our sixties, but now we're heading into our seventies and eighties and life looks bleak. 

When I got to the Gulch at about twenty I was the kid, most of the my back-to-the-land neighbors were about 27-30 years of age, college-educated, and usually very busy or at least they said they were. I wondered why as I was a lazy stoned-out mono-cropping hippie but the answer was the homesteads they built: verdant little paradises with big healthy fruit trees and well-tended gardens. On my steep five acres I have one overgrown fig tree down the hill somewhere and also planted an apple tree back in '94 that produced the most delicious apples, maybe four or five a year for a couple years, but it was accidentally cut down or neglected to death years ago. 

So that's why the neighbors were so busy, creating beautiful orchards and children, something else I neglected to do, and the children brought joy and sometimes heartbreak but I never heard a parent say they regretted having any. Even single women who had a child with a bad or absent man doted on that kid as the one good thing in their life they got out of a difficult relationship. I'm out of touch with many of my peers but I'm pretty sure the success stories outnumber the bad ones. 

As we limp into the doctor's offices with broken bones and kidney stones and every other painful horror our bodies can bestow our amazing pleasure machines have turned against us. We're getting wheeled into hospitals then on to crematoriums, and cemeteries, and as infirmities consume us we look back and see it was an interesting life out in these coastal hills during the forty year boom: good pay, clean air and water, months of vacation time, freedom to be our own bosses and suck on the green nipple with a big smile on our faces and dollar signs in our eyes. 

That life came tumbling down for many recently, although we did see it coming, and here's hoping the survivors will have some healthy years before the inevitable. Good luck with aging everyone and if your children are there for you in your times of need consider yourself lucky to have love and devotion on your side.


  1. Douglas Coulter July 19, 2021

    Don’t gather round people just tune into Zoom
    Be sure to wear masks when you enter a room
    Then kill every germ that threatens our doom
    If your health to you is worth savin
    Isolation and depression as we all die alone
    And my Depends may need a-changing

    Come writers and critics who prophecy with the pen
    Point fingers of blame at your enemies friend
    And don’t Tweet too soon til the final counts in
    No telling who might see conviction
    For the winner today may be lost in the end
    While my Depends still need a-changing

    Come mothers and fathers keep kids out of school
    Close universities and libraries but prisons still cool
    And pay corporations who break all the rules
    Mom and pop wait for some stimulation
    But WallMart is open Black Fridays at hand
    It’s time my Depends need a-changing

    The line it is drawn big Pharm owns the task
    To kick Mother Nature in her natural ass
    If you admit climate change go to the back of the class
    While history gets thrown out the window
    Every great leap of science causes damage that lasts
    And my Depends just may need a-changing

    Stolen from the big Bob D by Douglas Wayne Coulter

    • paul modic July 19, 2021

      Good one!
      Here’s MY recent Dylan theft:

      Pablo’s Farm
      No, I ain’t gonna work on Pablo’s farm no more
      He brings you the weed, full of mold and seeds
      Puts you in a dusty trailer and fines you when you sneeze
      No I ain’t gonna work on Pablo’s farm no more
      He follows you into the sauna after a hard days work
      Got his horny eyes on you, it’s just another perk,
      No I ain’t gonna work on Pablo’s farm no more
      He says he’s gonna pay you but he’s gotta sell it first
      then he whines that pounds are missing so you’re fired with a smirk
      No I ain’t gonna work on Pablo’s farm no more
      So I went back with some friends and slapped him around
      took all his cash and weed and got the hell out of town
      No I ain’t gonna work on Pablo’s farm no more

  2. Laura Cooskey April 19, 2022

    Those are both hilarious!
    Good thoughtful article too, Pablo.

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