BRUCE DUNN’s BIG CITY ADVENTURE WITH GANJA GRANNY
Went into the city last week, the city as in Manhattan, went in to see Ganja Granny to tape an interview with her about my relationship with cannabis over the yrs. We left the house at 7:40 am to go to Bill’s auto to get the oil changed at 8:00 before heading to Kingston. Bill is a know-it-all fix-it-all honest mechanic who won’t fix it if it isn’t broke and is probably the last of a breed here in the hills of south central ny. He also happens to be from Kingston so while he commenced to changing the oil he also told us the best scenic route to Kingston with a diner just where we needed one. Arriving at the bus terminal shortly before 12:00 we parked the car and got on the noon trailways to port authority. Two hours later we disembarked there into a world i knew not where. After stumbling around for a couple blocks we found an open aired place to sit and get a coffee and hot dog. It was good and it was reasonable. GG suggested we take a cab rather than tiring ourselves out trying to walk to her. It was good advice. Some how we found one but not before realizing we were tourists and didn’t know how to hail a cab. I haven’t been off the hill much more than a dozen times a year for the past twenty years and when i go into a city, it is usually Oneonta, population twenty thousand or so depending whether the colleges are in session. Was I out of my element? Maybe a little bit.
We found Ganja Granny’s building some time after three and after we were announced, took the elevator to the 36th floor where she greeted us as we stepped off the elevator. She invited us into her home, introduced us to her son who was also visiting, showed us our room where we would sleep and took us out on her huge terrace, where we beheld the city of New York. It was just splendid but didn’t compare to the sight at night which i can’t even begin to describe. She pointed out the 59th Street bridge and a visible portion of the Brooklyn Bridge. i thought how the 59th Street Bridge Song used to be an early pot smoking song for me, “slow down, you move too fast, you’ve got to make the morning last”. I think for some people, slowing down is not a bad idea and morning has always been my favorite time. At some point G G’s friend/assistant and board member of Greenribbonworld, Sierra came by and after a brief visit I had a quick lay down. A little later, Rita my other half came in to wake me and we four headed off to a bowling alley in Brooklyn, the former Brooklyn Brewery. I got off on the post and beam framing of the old building and noticed the roof rafters were the same dimension lumber as in our old barn. The occasion was a coming out/book signing party for Steve Bloom’s new book written with Shirley Helperin. i was introduced to a number of people in the movement. It was especially nice to meet Tony Papa who did 15 years under Rockerfeller Laws and whose writing I enjoy. We made an early night of it, went back to G.G. Arlene’s and fell fast asleep.
We slept in the next day, had a leisurely breakfast around the corner, watched some dogs playing in a kennel, and headed back up to Ganja Granny’s to wait for Sid from Multilocks TV Productions who is also the the camera guy. After a few hits of fresh air on the balcony Sid arrived and we started our interview. Mostly it was a conversation about how I came to first use cannabis in a recreational way and how using it today in a medical way is helpful to me. I think we covered some interesting ground in our talk and hopefully with Sid’s magical editing there will be something worthwhile. That afternoon we walked to Central Park and walked around for a couple hours, talking and thinking what a wonderful, terrific idea the park was. We stopped and rested at the small pond near where three birders had their spotting scopes set up. One gruff, old guy sparred with me about various bird lore assuming me an idiot about such things but he was a friendly old coot and i enjoyed him. He pointed out where one of the Koch brothers lived and I was so startled i bolted up from the bench wishing he fall out his window. As we were leaving the old coot asked us if there were any red tail hawks in Puerto Rico and did we have our green card. I told him we could go anywhere in the world and be identified as American, to which he “harrumphed” agreement. I said, “U S American”. He “harrumphed” again. We walked quickly back to Arlene’s and learned an important lesson about the city, there are no places to pee and i’ve got a very weak bladder. Catastrophe only barely avoided. It was probably my punishment for wishing Koch to fall out his window. Around 5 we headed out, met Sierra in the lobby and the four of us went to dinner at the nearby Vietnamese restaurant. It was a pleasant affair with the charming ebullience of Sierra and the endless trove of fascinating stories and experiences that is “Ganja Granny.” Later, at her home, I talked again with her son. We spoke for a while, talked of many things, from agriculture to alchemy, and i was pleasantly surprised to learn the grass really does grow greener on the other side of the fence.
I slept lightly that night, my head full of thoughts and knowing that come morning, we had to get up and go. At first light, Rita and i both started to stir. It was a two hr wait if we missed the bus, so we slipped on our clothes and quietly left and our big adventure in the city coming to its conclusion. Posted 10/26/10 by Bruce Dunne 10/15/10