Category Archives: 70s

BURN CHELSEA BURN

In the early 1970s Chelsea, Massachusetts on the north bank of the Mystic River exemplified a failed post-industrial city. The Expressway split the city in two and thousands of people had moved out of the working-class community throughout the 50s and 60s. The coffin was nailed shut on October 14, 1973, when the rag shop […]

Journal Entry – June 22, 1977 – Gaslight Pub – Park Slope

Last night the improv class at Hunter College was crazy, as Chuck, Carla, and I created another version of STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE about trannys. Carla went home with her ex-husband. I headed back to Brooklyn. No one from Manhattan wants to bridge or tunnel to that borough. At the Gaslight Pub the crowd was in […]

Journal Entry – June 21, 1977 – Park Slope – Brooklyn

Throughout the night David the super of Berkeley Place played Got to Give It Up (Part 1) by Marvin Gaye over and over again very loud. James rolled into the apartment at 8 and pounded on Hazel’s wall and the ceiling above his room. “Shut that shit off.” He put on a tape of the […]

THE CURSE OF A NE’ER-DO-WELL by Peter Nolan Smith

Back in 1974 I was going out with a blonde high school student from Brookline. Hilde’s father was separated from her mother. Ann was a loving mother of six troubled by demons, but capable of living a normal existence most of the time. Her new husband believed in New Age cures, but one winter night […]

George, Washington 1972

Back in late August 1972 my college friend Ptrov Sinski and I hitchhiked west from Seattle. A rancher left us off at exit 149, serving George, Washington, a small farming community surrounded by endless fields of ripening wheat. The two of us ignored the sign forbidding hitchhiking, but within ten minutes a Highway Patrol car […]