On Christmas & The Sacred Herb

Here it is the middle of a heat wave and all I can think of, aside from my tomato plants, is a cold cold Christmas when I was in jail. I should have known it would end badly because I was behaving badly. Truth to tell, I don’t piss in doorways. Not anymore, but I […]

My Big Bust (Part 12)

This is the way the bust went down. I was standing in my house with a bag of cat food in my arms, and I was yelling at my kids, “Who fed the cat?” The next thing I know, someone shouts, “Hit the deck.” It had to be either the cops or thieves. I said, […]

No Avoiding Soda Creek Store (Part 11)

Soda Creek Store sits in the middle of the Mendocino National Forest. For a time I didn’t want to drive by the place because I didn’t want anyone there knowing that I was going in and out of the forest four times a week to take care of business. So I devised an alternative route, […]

Breast Feeding In Court (Part 10)

My wife, Atsuko, and I were in the Mendocino County Courthouse charged with cultivation. Our son, Milo, was two-years-old and nursing. Atsuko breast-fed him right behind the DA’s desk and that unnerved her. She kept turning around and going nuts. Milo was enjoying himself and so was I.  Keith Faulder was my lawyer. Ron Brown […]

I Meet Hoyle & Hendry (Part 9)

Someone, I don’t remember who, said “Joe Munson has a target on his back. He’s an outlier with a history.” In fact, it’s not much of an exaggeration to say that I’ve had guns pulled on me in every state west of the Mississippi. Mark Twain, who tangled with western gunslingers, would know what I’m […]

I Get to California (Part 8)

On my first trip to California, I hitchhiked on U.S. Route 460, which is a major East/West artery. Right away I got a ride from two girls who were about my age; I was still 16, but now I looked like a hippie, with long hair down to my waist. The girls — two sisters […]

On the Road (Part 7)

At 16, I passed the GED exam, received a high school diploma and was granted emancipation from my parents. I asked my dad if I should join the army. “Hell, no,” he said. “You don’t listen to authority.” I decided to go on the road to the Florida Keys because I heard it was warm […]

Into the Past (Part 6)

How to explain who I am and what I do now? That’s no easy feat. In my boyhood, I caused a lot of trouble. I was always getting kicked out of school. Before classes started at Blacksburg High in Virginia, I would get stoned with Pat Wilson, an openly gay guy, and Ann Roth, who […]

Scrappy & Me (Part 5)

This time I’m gonna talk about “Scrappy,” who got his nickname because he collected and sold bottles and cans at the camp ground near Lake Pillsbury, and maybe for other reasons, too. I’d see Scrappy picking up the garbage and the recyclables that the Yahoos from the city would leave. That part was easy. But […]