The final edits from the night before took until noon next day. I had missed the continental breakfast hour and had signed up for a cruise, I thought, for 1:30pm. I would not make it downtown without at ride.
Luckily, curly haired, Bradly, was at the ready to bring the car around.Getting us down there by quarter to two.
“Stick to me like glue” I advised taking Bradly through several tiers of event organizers and security, politely introducing him as my “photographer for the cruise.” I qualified it by stating flatly I was getting “lonely” chatting up tourists without a safety net.
“When their eyes start to glaze over and you can tell they lost the train of your diatribe on the War on Drugs it helps to have a friendly face to retreat to…” Crystal and most said: “AWW” to that, except Scotty, a little wiser to me, having hung with him at Pot-TV when he managed the bookshop. He could see through my thinly veiled excuses to get Bradley in:
“No sluffing-off your responsibilities, Flash!” Scott scowled, but let us pass anyhow with a wink and a nod.
As it turned out, the 16 person Boat cruise I’d been booked for had been canceled in lieu of trolley tours to Vancouver sights like; the Capilano Extension Bridge; Robson Street and Stanley Park. Instead, a more grandiose large cruise for upwards of 150 people was set for Sunday at 4:20 P.M. ( www.vancouvershuttle.ca ).
There was hot coffee, juices, chips, salsa and dip to be had but, no formal supper this second day. The rain was pouring down unusually cold and hard and the bank machine at waterfront station turned up empty for both Bradley and I. There was nothing to it, but to hike up Granville to Robson to the trusty ‘Burger King’ near theater row. For less than a fin, we could fortify ourselves with junior whoppers with a salad garnish of lettuce and tomato and side of onion rings to share.
God,did it taste good! Shivering as we were, and gave us the energy to go spy in on Puff Pipes, upstairs around the corner, before double-timing it back to the great hall in hopes of finding 14 vestal virgins with blankets to enrobe us with trays of hot cocoa, and hookahs of hash.
It was rather disappointing we found neither, but, there was still coffee and a table to sit at with the girl whose visited twice now from New Zealand, who’d resurrected her ‘slinky device pipe.” There was also a Mexican Gentleman from L.A.,who’d brought his wife and two fine sons to join him, this second visit to Harvest Cup. They’re planning again,to come for the www.tokersbowl.com.
When they asked where to garner some authentic Mexican food, of course,I recommended ‘The Mouse and Bean,’ across the street,in the very basement of the Dominion Building off Cambie.The service may be slow, with their youngest boy busing the tables,but the family run restaurant is perfect for a leisurely lunch.
One fellow seemed in the wrong place to me apparently first “Loud and Obnoxious”, ( as warned of in “The Desiderata” ), much demanding of attention. He had muttered discontent with the length of Reeferman’s performance, expressing a primordial and instinctual desire to “PARTY!” A.S.A.P., which,of course,annoyed me, hanging on to Reeferman’s every word .Straining, in fact, to “Hear” as’t were.
However, the bellowing fellow was not by the second night shown to the curb, instead he grew steadily in popularity. In the absence of any Las Vegas style M.C. keeping the crowd warm, this extroverted and assertive individual, had certainly found his calling.The benevolent powers that be, had given him a greater mantel of authority and responsibility, by making him the ‘ Vansterdam Town Crier,’ to shock us, milling crowd, into order, when an announcement or prize giveaway was called for.
He had come with Kenny G. of, Yahoo Weed Smokers Lounge, whom I’d met on the net long ago who comes to all these things “BCmarijuanaparty.”
When the green weed faerie was introduced to make her rounds among the invited guests and judges, body painted in green, it was Kenny that she finally lit upon and graced her princely subject with the glass bong of exquisite quality.
It must have already been well after nine when “Themases” http://www.themasses.ca/ took to the stage. A blend of infectious beats and unique progressions without formulas or rules where the audience becomes part of the show keeping the music energetic and unpredictable.
They were followed by the remarkably talented renderings of Blue Quarter, a cohesive three pieces musical entity that delivers an original Techno-Jazz groove! Given the diversified musical backgrounds of these three individuals,never ceasing to explore the grounds of sounds. Jahanzaib “Bitou” Mirza on Drums, Stephane Fortin at Bass and Olivier Lagace-Chapman on Stick Touch board, the bands often referred to as “One of Canada’s hardest touring band”, continuously solidifying its reputation as a forerunner within the Canadian music scene. They also had CD’s and promotional material to offer set up. www.Bluequarter.com .
That night I realized getting to the Harvest Festival H.Q. before noon might be a challenge so deposited my entry as follows into the contest :
The next day, Sunday, Bradley again came to my vehicular rescue .We arrived earlier this time to the Pot block.
RTav, who’s helping me with my campaign in Vancouver/Kensington this upcoming Provincial election for the BC. Marijuana Party; Banky, Breefairy, General, Francouver, London, Weedabix, good ol’ Skellington; some of the local Cannabis Culture forum members, were fit to show up for the Sunday Club and David Malmo Levine’s Drug War History Tour.
We were able to catch the first half but not visit his Museum for 4:20 because at that time we had to be hopping aboard a Vancouver trolley bus to be ferried to the docks of Granville Island market to climb aboard a seafaring vessel of a girth to board well over 150 of us.
Abaft in the stern was a galley set upon linen tables with steaming silver trays of spiced rice, well cooked chicken pieces, vegi’s, with a creamy ceasar salad and buttermilk buns,on the side.
Amidship was stocked with comfortable chairs and tables,each with a with champagne glass center piece, a flower and tea light and side-plates in lieu of ashtrays.
Bradley kept himself busy and those tourists at the table while I went up above board to the poop deck to seeing the rainbow through the riging on my way up before the sun began to set.
I found a couple tokers or two top deck. The beauty of the ocean view was as intoxicating as The Herb.
Behind the bridge the second cabin aloft was set up like a high school dance with plenty of room to get it on and boogie, laser beams and DJ booth with tables off to the side and darkly lit lounge area crib aft, for any Pimps and thier Ho’s .
“It’s all so Beautiful. It’s all so Beautiful” I could not help but repeat the Leary mantra. Starboard,abreast the ship,was the ghostly apparition of an eerie ship in passage.
When I tried excitedly to point out the natural beauty to passing hempsters they seemed more concerned with having a quick cig’ and finding warmth in the cabins,than beauty in the Divine.
We had found the best spot, near the stage, with the Cannabis Culture/Pot-tv fans from Missouri.
Afore, there was a display being set up on a table of Cannabis Culture and Heads magazine, plastic and wooden grinders, Kind Revolution t-shirts, glass wear and such. Next to this a band had set up the “something…something…’sublime consciousness'” the proper name of which slipped past me in about two nano-seconds but,the lead singer was god awful GOOD!
What a range?; What passion? ; What soul?; he put into it… shaking all over to get the lyrics out, like The King himself.This guy was amazing.He sang blues,reggae,and classic rock standards…
During one Pat Benatar favourite, I spun around in my chair to see who the feminine beauty was they had persuaded to join them for a song but it was still HIM! singing.
When we docked,after what seemed more than a three hour tour,there was only one trolley available to us and some had to wait until enough taxi’s could be hailed for all .
Who else but stoners would que in front of a bakery to peer within the glass, mouths agape,fascinated by the process?
Oddly,first three,then four,then a whole gaggle of the guests, gathered,outside the bakery window The only venue at so late an hour.
Not,that the bakery was even open, except for one lone Chinese worker who mechanically baked tray after tray of cheese buns and bread in an industrial oven for the sole pleasure of his, now many,onlookers.
Repeated knocking on the door, their tongues hanging out, finally, brought sympathy from the worker. Refusing all entreaties of cash, he slipped a few baguettes through the window to be ravished by the crowd with rank munchies formally chanting:
” Give us Bread! We want Bread !”, like Robespierre’s french revolutionists as cops circled the block. What a headline it would have made in the Province Newspapers:
“Baked Stoners Stone Bakery for Buns: Munchie Mania!”
After dutifully alerting the staff at the ‘New Seed Bank Building’ there would be a run on coffee, having been none available on the vessel and some of us already showing signs of caffeine with drawl.
Bradley and I stopped for Coffee at the New Amsterdam Cafe across the street but could not stay long although we met one of our buddies because Scotty came in to announce there would be three free bands tonight across the street and all were welcome. A “thank-you”, to the entire Vansterdam community on the Pot Block and opportunity to invite those friends who could not attend the earlier events.
“Wow” said the Dewd who had joined us, after struggling to contact even one other peer on his cell phone with news of the spontaneous invite:
“It’s so weird how you go to these things. Theres babes and good smoke everywhere…You find you are just in Right place at the Right time,eh? But you gotta ask ‘Why the hell? Doesn’t EVERYONE do this?… I Wasn’t going to sit around West Van playing video games… Fuk the rain!He exclaimed… “And LOOK!” ‘Someone’ had already given him a bud to roll.
In fact, not just ‘Anyone’ but ‘Breeder Steve’ of www.OverGrow.com fame– sans his trademark beard. Across from him, a fellow just starting out with his ‘Alaska Seed Co,’who was there with his exotic dark beautiful demur wife, matching the phatt bombers of excellent herb. He was kind to give me a sample of Insane Strains: Alaskan ‘Gold Rush’a cross of Kodiac Gold & Kenal Rush whose est. flowering time is 60-65 days.
Tunes rose up, building in volume with every beat from the central hall.
I had heard the chords before at “Under The Dam” a few weeks before beneath the New Amsterdam cafe and now enlivened my spirits; a familiar muse…
The music was familiar because it was none other than “Rise in the Fall” with that fellow on guitar, Jason, that’s the spitting image of the lead singer of “Greenday”, only when you look at him again ,he’s got a lip ring, he’s younger, and, more way cheerful and handsome then that other rocker. He was accompanied on drums, by the dark haired, blue eyed ‘Kidd,’Nick Matovich who is also a pot-blocker. I had heard them perform with “MANDOWN” at ‘Under the Dam”, Feb. 26th.
The Kidd, also played drums for the next act on the list,the culmination of the whole event :
“Side Sixty Seven.” with big tough, Darren Agnew on guitar, proving that he can do more than just, :
“Bounce your ass outta here!” along with red haired, En, on vocals, (Whose hair always, miraculously, looks like he just rolled out of bed, hung over on a Monday morning, yet stays that way 24/7,365, without the aid of even, hair gel.)Kerry on guitar as well and Sean handling bass.
If you haven’t seen any of their shows, you’re missing some of the fastest and punchiest skate/punk rock to surface in years. www.sidesixtyseven.com
Joining the circling, gyrating crowd, seeing the joy on the faces and those of the hard working staff and fans gathered round. It all seemed in one moment to have manifested the true purpose of all the fuss and hubbub over the last few days.
The ‘One Love’ that had brought this diverse group of talented and hardworking hempsters together. Wasn’t about, ‘The Harvest Cup.’ Wasn’t, even, about, who had the best strains, or purely about selling seeds…
Although it was great and exciting, ‘Holland’s Hope,’ #5 had placed ‘Best Indica’ and ‘Best Over All’; that #10 the generously distributed, ‘Burmese’ from the Vancouver Island Seed Company, had netted, ‘Best Sativa,’ or, that Jordan of the Island’s ‘God Bud,’ had still, come in second.
The reason, all these people were working so hard, sacrificing sleep and their long hours of dedication…The reason for the weight sets too, I see them working on; for the shop next door with the pipes, music, art-work and skater clothes and stuff. The reason for renovating and fixing up this huge vacant bank building…
It wasn’t just to keep the employees busy after the fire, or just to give artists a venue to sell their wares, but, for ‘This Moment.’This moment; where their favorite band; nay their favorite friends;their own personal hero’s, could have a place to play; to shout out as crudely, and as loudly, as the microphones, expensive sound equipment and acoustics of the great hall would allow:
“FUCK DA POWER! FUCK THE POWERS THAT BE!” (At least, that’s what it sounded like to me.)
They were ‘Loud.’ They were ‘Proud.’ Hell, even a little fukin’ Rude.But, this was ‘Their’ place! It was their venue, and perhaps, most important of all, Their fans in the crowd.
Chad beamed. Even,Scott, beamed. There was invigorating, electricity and a pure joy in the air. Everyone now looked happy and relaxed.
Finally, they had the few moments of rebellion and liberation they had worked so damn hard for.
The Harvest cup may just have been for the seed companies and the judges.They, ‘The Servants of all,’ now were ‘Masters of thier Own Domain’ and this, was their time to enjoy in the sun.
Suddenly, to me, it all made sense, as the smoke, nearly, cleared.