Let me start at the beginning. First off, this was the early 70’s and secondly I’m neither proud OR ashamed of this event in my life. In fact, most of my family never knew of these things I did. If you are offended by someone that tried drugs in their youth, then you probably shouldn’t read this story. And for the record, this was over 40 years ago and it has been well over 30 years since I last took an illegal drug.
In August of 1973 I had only been in the Navy for 3 months. I was attending Hospital Corpsman school in Great Lakes, IL and probably had not drank more than a six pack of beer before…I had never taken any kind of drugs at that time.
However, one night I was on duty for 24 hours but I already had stood my watch. I was still required to stay in the barracks until my 24 hours were over and I was off duty. One of my shipmates was California…and Howard Johnson was pretty well versed in the drug culture of the early 70’s. So here we are in my barracks room just relaxing and Howard says to me, “Hey Wally, put this little bitty piece of paper under your tongue and you’ll get a really good high”. I looked at Howard and I said, “Howard, that little piece of paper is not gonna do anything”, and I then I put it under my tongue. After I did…I asked him what it was and he told me it was “blotter acid” or LSD. I was about to go on my very first trip.
Howard told me to just relax and enjoy since I was supposed to stay in the barracks. I tried to relax even though I didn’t feel anything…and then after about an hour a very calm, warm and relaxed feeling came over me. I had not a care in the world. I told Howard I wanted to go to the club on base, so we went even though I was supposed to stay in the barracks the rest of the night (thank goodness I never caught leaving).
We went to the club and I remember just milling around and talking to people until the place closed. Once it closed a group of us were walking back to the barracks and we had to cross a small cement bridge. Howard was acting all nutty and I was beginning to feel different from the relaxed feeling I had previously. Howard leans over the bridge and says LOOK, there’s someone that jumped…I looked down and sure enough I could see one of my shipmates down on the ground laying spread eagle. The POWER OF SUGGESTION was huge. When he told me he was just kidding the body disappeared!
We finally made our way to the women’s barracks which is right across from the men’s barracks. Howard was saying goodnight to his girlfriend and I told Howard I was gonna go ahead and go back to my room. As I started walking by myself across the lawn between the two barracks…the trees (this is November and the trees had no leaves)…the trees started moving. Their limbs were like huge arms and then the trees started chasing me all the way back to my barracks…it was a close race, but I beat the trees to my room.
When I got inside the barracks, I climbed the 3 flights of stairs to the floor I lived on and when I entered the hallway and looked down the hall…The point to where I was standing seemed 20 feet wide and looking down to the end of the hallway…it had come to a very fine point. As I made my way down the hall…instead of going to my room, I went to Howard’s room and him and his roommate were eating some chips or crackers or something…they said I started eating the chips and looked like a squirrel eating a nut…we all laughed hysterically. One of Howard’s roommates said I should listen to some music with headphones…they put on “War Pigs” by Black Sabbath…that is ONE SCARY song when you’re messed up. I finally made my way back to my own room.
When I got back to my room…I started feeling another stage of the “trip”. I guess I was starting to come down finally, but still my brain would comprehend what my eyes saw in a delayed fashion…Howard must have known this because he took a tootsie pop and would slowly wave it in front of me and the effect was a hundred different tootsie pops fluttering before my eyes.
When morning finally arrived and I had not slept a wink all night…it was time to go to class. It was a very long day and I remember telling Howard that I would NEVER, EVER take anything like that ever again…and I didn’t from Howard. But this was the 70’s man and …