Around 1972 on one new years eve I was invited to White Lake in upstate N.Y. to attend a party at my friend Rainbow's house. This area near Monticello and close to Woodstock was an area heavily trafficked by the Mob from the 30s through the 50s. Many scalawags disappeared in this area. Some say bodies were thrown in White Lake, never to be found. Unpaid loans were a no-no and this is maybe why some may have met there demise. Who's to say? Not me!
Rainbow lived in a house that used to be a caretakers house which provided shelter for the staff of people that once ran the popular three story Hotel. Her roommates Cathy and Less were a team of exotic dancers part time. Their full time jobs, like Rainbow, were working with autistics and mentally challenged people. Some of these people were also attending the festivities planned for this new years eve and provided an interesting mix for what was to come.
Three of my friends road up with me from Yonkers and Brewster to attend. Bob, Carl, and Diane. Also Jeff and Jimmy D., two more friends drove up in a separate vehicle. Jimmy D. had some Window Pane acid (LSD) and generously passed it around for everyone to help themselves. I and Jimmy were the only ones left who hadn't taken any. Two hits remained. I put one of them on my tongue and took a drink. I was on my way to whatever was to come my way. Upon passing the final hit to Jim, the container slipped out of my hand and the last hit went in to the thick carpet. I felt bad when we couldn't find it and finally just had to give up looking for it." Sorry Jim." What could I do?
It was a white landscape we walked out into when we decided to venture over to the old Hotel. The mist was freezing all the grass that had sprouted up between the snow. Every thing was glass-like in appearance and the grass crunched when walking on it. In the distance were faint colored lights coming from the small airport. In my altered state it seemed like the Arora Borealis. We were coming on to the LSD pretty heavy when we reached the Hotel. Rainbow had the keys and let us tripping hippies inside to explore the unknown.
We formed a small group of three. Tripping partners you might say. Carl, Diane and I were all having a spooky time of it at that Hotel. All the furniture was covered with sheets. The musty smell and no lights made this all seem like a movie set from some ghost story. We frolicked for a while, then about a half an hour or so went by when I asked Diane, "WHERE"S CARL?" She said she didn't know and started calling, Carl! Carl! Where are you Carl? There was no answer, so we set out to find our buddy Carl.
We started by looking down by the lake. The lake had been frozen for quite sometime and out in the middle of it someone even left their car. There was a creaking sound coming from some area where boats were frozen into the ice. Diane, in a quivering kind of voice said," Car...r...l is that you?." No it wasn't him. We were now tripping our brains out when I said, hey... let's move on, he's definitely not down there. Good thing, but we still had no clue. We then went up to the road and headed towards town. Higher and higher we were getting. Just knowing that if Carl was this high he might wander off nature tripping and not realize how cold it was and freeze or who knows what? We then came upon some bushes that were shaking and moving like someone might be in them. I said, "Hey Carl is that you?" We paused for a response, When I said, "Diane, lets get out of here because if thats him I don't want to see him."" What in the world would he be doing in the bushes?" We were getting more and more freaked out as we went on down the road.
Then from out of the crystal-like ice covered setting appears Jeff Halsey. He was coming back from town where he had gone on a beer run. He was hoofin' down the road nearly unstoppable. He was extremely pissed that the store was closed. We shouted, "Have you seen Carl? " Sarcastically while still briskly moving down the road he shouted," "Yea, he's in the middle of the street directing traffic down town." Man was I pissed. How could he leave him there and not even care? We were freaked out even more now thinking Carl had lost it and we better get to him before anyone else does.
We then continued our quest to find Carl before the Cops did. We were really wound up for what was to come. Off the road in an abandon building with no front door, about fifty feet away from the road, came the sound of someone walking inside. I approached the dilapidated house calling out cautiously." Carl is that you?" I could here footsteps in the house as I slowly approached. Closer and closer I got to the front door. Suddenly! A scream! I turned around only to see Diane's face scrunched up in sheer terror. Looking up she screamed! "It's Carl! It's Carl!" It had looked like he was hanging from the rafters up in the attic with his head tilted sideways saying "beep beep""beep beep" His penlight was strobing on and off. On and off. I ran to her as we hugged in dreadful despair. The horror! " He's lost it, he's lost it," we cried. While we were the ones who were losing it. Then, in our panic ridden and confused state, Carl appears from the house as if nothing had happened. At least nothing happened to him."Hey guys what's happening?." He most cheerfully asked. We then all hugged and laughed knowing we were all back together. Our tripping group was now reunited and we were all safe. Like the Wizard Of Oz arm in arm in arm we made our way back to Rainbow's to celebrate the new year. Dan Hicks and his hot licks was playing on the stereo when we arrived back to the living room. I sat down and began thawing out from my ordeal that I had just survived. This music took me to a mellow place where I really needed to be. I eventually got it back together and enjoyed the rest of the evening with all the amazing people that had gathered to celebrate the new year on that crazy night in White Lake, N.Y. I will never forget this New Years Eve party for as long as I live. What a trip! What an adventure!
Stay thirsty Jeff Halsey Wizzzmo