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"Year of the Tree" YYZ-NYC Dec 30th-Jan 3rd, 2003
By Team Pure Hemp 12/31/2016 1:03 PM Comments

I’m in Toronto now, but I was in New York City on New Year's Eve. What a trip. A bunch of us from the company jumped in Rolly’s Fuel van and headed down to "The Land of the Brave and Home of the Free." Hahaha. The border was no problem. We were just heading down to do some promotions and take part in the festivities is all. They bought it and we were in. I got to drive a lot of the way because I wasn’t very tired. We arrived in the big apple, drove down on Broadway and I noticed that Gov’t Mule was playing at the Beacon Theatre. "Hmmn...I wonder if I can make it in to that show tonight?" I thought. After getting settled and fed, Dave and I went downtown to decorate the club that Relix was having their SYN party at. We met with some of the Relix people and everyone was nice and helpful. We got set up and prepared for the expected crowds. We met a couple of kids who needed help rolling one up and we, of course were willing to be helped out in the ire department. We just went out to the sidewalk, around the block. As we were standing there, a store owner from across the street chastized us and told us to move along to a park or something... That’s a first time in a long time that i’ve been ostracized for my actions in that way. He acted really offended, like we were doing something really bad. Reefer Madness must have gotten to him, judging by the way he acted. I was also reminded that there are serious implications that pot users have to be aware of because of the "Drugs" classification. In a lot of people’s minds, this harmeless plant is exactly the same as heroin or even alcohol. What a lot of miss-information and hysteria that darn DEA is responsible for. So I wound up in front of the Beacon Theatre at around 9pm, hopeful to get in for the second set. There were some folks hanging around the front, some kids looking for some doses, a dude who’d thought he’d lost his wallet, a guy who’d been miracled there before by some people arriving late in a limo, and also "Walter" who I'd seen on Phil tour in the Summer and his friend. Soon Walter told me that he’d been sober (not drunk) for the last five weeks. This was good news to me, because my memories of him in the Summer were of him always bumbling, stumbling and generally drunk. I distinctly remember him being thankful for a peach in Atlanta, I think. So outside the Beacon, we were pondering the potential of getting in... Soon it was set-break and this was the time for us to "arrive". The smokers were smoking in the space between the two doors. I kind of suggested that they (Walter and his buddy) join the other smokers there in the middle ground as a limo pulled up in front of the theatre. I thought, "could this be happening?" I went over to see if they wanted to trade anything for a pack of papers? At first the dude was like well, do ya have five dollars at least? I was all like yeah,I think I can find that as I started to dig. Then his buddy chimed in and said just give it to him! Just like that! I had a ticket. Give thanks. We all went in together and I thanked them all again. Once I was in, I looked over and saw Walter and his buddy back there in the smoker’s limbo land. I caught his eye and we came up with a plan of passing the stub through the crack between the doors. After waiting a couple of minutes, the nearby security was distracted and I was able to slip the ticket through the crack between the doors. Jah worked the timing well, Walter got the ticket and was soon inside. Five minutes later, his buddy was in too! We were all stoked! We went up to the balcony, and soon enough, brother had rolled up a phatty of some special headies that he’d been saving for a while now. Give thanks! Government Mule was smoking, they had lots of guests and I felt welcome in the Big Apple. I went back to Relix’s SYN party and that was good fun. They had DJ Motion Potion mixing all sorts of live jam bands and electronica. Loads of fun! This was all of course, in preparation for Phish the next night. We met G.L. (Grandma Lorraine, my dad’s mother) for breakfast the next day. She was doing well. He had been Swing dancing lately and told the waitress where there was a swinging Salsa dance club. She’s great and looks good for her age, although I think she may have been surgically altered to look young (facelift). She lives in New York and G.L eeks out a living in Show Business. What a gal. I don’t know how she does it!? I spent the next part of the day running around, looking for Vanguard Recycled Plus paper. I ended up running from one Staples to another, in order to get it. I like it because there’s hemp content in it and the remaining pulp is recycled. It’s about the tree free-est paper available on the mass market. I cut through Central Park and it was nice to be a little out of the city. It was there that I chilled on a bench and toked my time before returning to the hotel to write the handbill for the New Year. I got it done, and it took a while at the printers and then it was already seven or so by the time I got to the Gardens. I should have got down there sooner, but that’s the pace of the day. I managed to hand out a bunch of Hemp Re-solutions prior to and during the show. The show itself was really good, a big spectacle that some people paid obscene amounts of cash to be a part of. I am fortunate to do this work and to be reciprocated with perks such as free New Years shows and stuff. I don’t think I’d ever pay more than face for a Phish Show, but I can say that this show was priceless! Next, it was over to B.B. King’s for Karl Denson. It was packed and everyone was jamming. I tell ya what a party! I figured I’d go heavy into Police and Terrorism and Fear and Paranoia and Bomb Squads and Snipers and on and on about the consumptive attitudes and actions associated with tour, but instead I’ll just let Hemp speak for herself.

~ Johannes Chapman, Pure Hemp Caravaner 1.0

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