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Thread: Bennett's Comet

  1. #1
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    Bennett's Comet

    This seems as good a place as anywhere to memorialize a true story:

    In March of 1970, my parents were becoming a bit concerned by what they perceived as my increasingly "erratic" behavior. They thought a bit of religion might be a good influence. They required me to start attending weekly services. A close family friend was a Unitarian - specifically an even more liberal branch of Unitarianism (if that's possible) called "Ethical Culture". As religions go, it really wasn't too bad. In late March Ethical Culture sponsored a young people's retreat to Joshua Tree National Monument. My folks were happy for me to attend.

    Sitting next to me on the church bus to the desert I met a girl my age (15 or 16) who had similarly been sent on the retreat by her parents for being too "wild". She told me she had brought some "sunshine" with her and asked if I wanted to try it later.

    Little did we know that the weekend of our camping adventure happened to be the closest approach of Comet Bennett, probably the most spectacular comet of my lifetime. Bright and beautiful against a dark desert sky, its tail was the length of a full moon. There we were at midnight snuggled in the same sleeping bag and beginning to feel the effects when we decided to do something really extraordinary.


    If you've ever been to Joshua Tree, you know that the hills there look like massive collections of boulders. They were quite easy to climb. So around 2 am when everyone else was sleeping, with the aid of flashlights we ascended all the way to the top of one of those hills. I carried along my battery operated Radio Shack cassette boombox. At the summit, under the glorious majesty of Bennett's Comet, we stripped off our clothes, raised our arms to the sky and blasted "Voodoo Chile" to the heavens! We stayed up there until dawn and then slipped back into camp unnoticed.

    If our parents only knew! A few weeks later I saw Jimi at the L.A. Forum and then again in June at Ventura and then he was gone . . .

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  3. #2
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    Re: Bennett's Comet

    I bet that comet did look cool!

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