Although Christmas was beloved by the residents of the Folkie Palace, Halloween was revered. When else could you parade downs Charles Street as a corpse garbed in a chartreuse tux and high heels? And it certainly was not just our cadre. People came from all over town to have a good time.
But the central affairs of the evening were the parties.
Folkie Palace parties featured lots of beer, weed, tons of food, and many “unique” individuals. A corner of the kitchen was reserved for the folk musicians huddled in a rough circle swapping songs. When not in use for everyday functions, the bathroom was used for recreational weed smoking – the window wide open and a fan blowing at high speed; the toilet seat was always up to speed the process of flushing illegal goodies if the local Fuzz ( our title for the police) showed.
For the Fuzz, it was also a busy night. Lots of intoxicated, disorderly people who had illegal goods on or about their bodies. So we tried to lower our profile for legal involvement. There was no sense attracting attention from our favorite patron of the law – officer Cappucci. We had a love-hate relationship with Cappucci. We loved him when he stayed away and hated him when he showed up. It was noise complaints that drew attention. The Communists on the second floor were shift workers and would complain if there was the slightest noise. It was hard to be quiet with a full-blown party going on.
Our method for minimizing the damage were trays of lasagna, watch-outs on the roof, and restricting all drugs to the bathroom. The lasagna? After the lookouts hollered down the stairwell that a police car had arrived, we all quieted down. The Teahead of the August Moon perched on a stool and began reading from a book of Ferlinghetti poems to an attentive audience. As the police climbed the stairs, stashes and goods went down the toilet with a flush. Then the Monk took the trays of lasagna from the oven.
As the Fuzz entered, the apartment was filled with fifteen or twenty aficionados of Lawrence Ferlinghetti and other Beat poets. Also, the apartment was redolent of the odors of fresh lasagna ready to be served. This latter helped mask any residual odors of said illegal substance.
This evening there was a complication. Officer Cappucci discussed with the Folkie Palaces chief cook, the Monk, on their respective recipes and methods of preparing lasagna.
Cappucci favored the sauce made by his Irish mother and the Monk that of his Italian mother. The dispute hinged on the type of tomatoes used and how much fresh basil was needed.
The party-goers grew restless and began to depart for other celebrations. Eventually, the police left, and a much-reduced group finished off the lasagna and took to the streets in full costume. Our goal? Hide in the Pickney Street playground and scare the bejesus out of the innocent and intoxicated. Then we’d watch the moonrise as we howled—all in all, a pleasing night. Finally, the following day we’d offer compliments to ourselves on a well misspent Halloween.