In 1976, a buch of hippie tree planters invade a small mill town in Idaho. There they receive an interesting welcome.
A group of old timers and a few kids sat around the campfire. A couple of fresh logs were tossed on, sending a rush of sparks up to the sky. Robbie Richards pushed back his grey hair, and stretched his long boots towards the fire. Someone handed him a fresh bottle of Porter, and he began his story. The others, young and old turned towards him.
Dusk was setting in and the rain was pouring down like there was no tomorrow as Tim Booty and me turned onto route 14 outa Grangeville and headed toward Elk City in spring of ‘76. Tim was driving his dusty old green Saab 96. That thing had more creaks and rattles in it than an old horse buggy, but she ran just fine. Man it was coming down!
Now in 1976, that road to Elk City was not paved at all, so it took us well over two hours to go that forty-five miles of dips and turns and foot-deep pot holes as we snaked along the South Fork of the Clearwater. …
“I am supposed to be her boyfriend, yet she would rather play solitaire than spend time with me.” the narrator exclaims as his girlfriend continues with her computer game after he comes home. This sets the tone for the rest of the evening.
“Come in! The door’s open.”
I walked into the apartment, down the short hallway to the living room, and stopped behind the faded green sofa. Suzie sat in the far corner, a flickering green light echoing off her fleshy, pale face. Her sandy blonde hair brushed her chunky shoulders as she looked over, gave a begrudging smile, then turned back to her game of solitaire. …
Martin Pechowski looked around the dim, underground soup kitchen, with its sad, assorted cast of castoff street characters, sitting at the round, dark formica-topped tables. He hoisted loose fitting pants, took his plate to the bus tray. He smiled faintly at the pretty young volunteer, took the chocolate brownie she offered as he headed up the stairs.
In the entryway, several boxes were being tossed onto a long table. First dibs, he thought.
The rain fell sideways as the storm winds whipped through the Portland streets. Twenty-four year old Donald, his curly black hair flapping wildly, followed three others hurrying into the downtown Starbucks where, clothes dripping . . .
Michael looked up as a tall, slender figure entered the smoky poolroom. He was wearing a fedora and an elegant black coat, and Michael was sure he’d seen him before, but he couldn’t remember when.
Down on his luck these last few nights, Michael had lost easy games. He fidgeted unhappily, and finished his drink. His collar chafed his neck in the oppressive summer heat. “It must be real late,” he thought, as the place was all but deserted. It was one of those nights when it seemed as though he had been in this game hall for eternity.
In a smooth voice, the stranger asked: “Care for a game?” . . .