until he was eighteen. Rick tried it at a party because he was curious and wanted to look cool. He found that he didn’t see what all the fuss was about. Smoking dope hindered his ability to carry on an intelligent conversation at a party and he was not happy about this side effect. Rick much preferred beer as it made him more loquacious. He was normally a quiet person but he would become quite talkative once he had consumed a few beers.
With hockey season over and only a few weeks left in the school year Rick now had some time on his hands. One of the reasons he probably didn’t have a girlfriend is that he hadn’t had any time to look for one. Hockey practices and games took up three to four evenings per week. On his free nights Rick
needed to study for his grade twelve courses. He had made up his mind to be a serious student that year. Rick did poorly in grade ten and eleven and had actually failed two courses in grade eleven. He was able to recover his math grade by attending summer school and paying for a private math tutor over the previous summer. That left Rick one science credit short but his faculty adviser had informed Rick that if he took a geography elective he wouldn’t need to retake grade eleven physics. Rick felt like he had gotten a fresh start in his academic program. His hard work and diligence to his studies had paid off. If he took a correspondence course over the summer Rick would be on track to graduate from high school with the rest of his peers.
From his conversations with Misty, Rick had learned that Memorial Park was the place to be if you wanted to meet counter culture people. One hot, summer afternoon Rick walked downtown to buy a new record at a place called The Record Room. Rick still had a paper route and he used his extra money to keep up his music collection. He was thinking about buying the first album by Jimi Hendrix and The Experience. He had heard one of his favorite local bands perform Purple Haze, the second single release from this album, and decided that he wanted to hear the full LP.
After he had purchased the album at the record store and walked out the door he felt some one tap him on the shoulder and say, “Excuse me, man.” This was the first time that anyone had called him, “man”. Rick turned around and saw what could only be described as female hippie or a flower child. He had