Thursday, April 21, 2011

Happy 420, everybody!

Happy 420, dude!
A bright haze hung over Southeast Portland this afternoon when I set out on my daily constitutional.  I usually let my feet take me where they will when I go on these rambles and, often as not, they have me climbing on up that extinct little volcano about a mile to the east of my house.  It's a magical place, after all.
Up on top of Tabor
Today, as I reached the intersection of 55th and Hawthorne, where the Seminary interrupts Hawthorne's straight run from the river, I was hailed by a passing driver.  "Hey, brother, how do I get up to the top of the mountain from here?" he called.  He was a few years younger than me, maybe 40.  He had the look of a hippie about him, with his John Lennon sunglasses and his gawdy gold earring dangling from his left lobe.  He was bald as a priest, tanned like a farmer, and grinning like a fool.  I liked him.
I pointed to the east.  "Straight on.  Right on 60th, left on Lincoln.  Follow 'er on up," I said.

"Thanks, brother," he called, waving as he drove off.  "And happy holiday to you!"

Celebrating the cannabis culture
His remark puzzled me.  Happy holiday?  What could he have meant?  Easter is still a few days off...

I rambled on.

As I got into the park and started climbing to the summit I noticed that there were a lot of people about.  More than usual for a Wednesday afternoon.  They were mostly younger folks:  skateboarders, dread-locked Rastafarians, hacky-sackers, and well-tatted roustabouts.  In a word, hippies.  Some people were toting bongos or djembes.  Others had guitars slung over their shoulders.  Everyone seemed to be climbing for Tabor's crown.

Stoners admire the view
I was making the final push up the steep northern shoulder when it dawned on me.  It's April 20th!  Four-twenty!  I could hear people cheering and shouting above me.  I pulled out my cell phone and checked the time as I climbed.  4:18 pm!  Two minutes!
I hurried up the last bit of slope and finally saw what was going on.  People were gathered at Tabor's  summit.  They were laughing and cheering and smiling and greeting each other with calls of "Happy 420!"  I had to smile.

And to give the story an unambiguously happy ending, it just so happened that I was serendipitously prepared to join in the celebration!

You never know what you're going to see up on Tabor.  Happy 420 everybody!

Peace out!

1 comment:

Dan Binmore said...

It's done me nothing but good. A lot of good. An enormous, smiling, beautiful, peaceful, kind, silly good.