Colin Reed Pringle


Colin at Haight and Ashbury

Drats! They took down the street sign and put it on the trolley pole

I was hoping that I could get back here before they did it, but I was about two years too late. The problem with the street sign was people kept ripping it off. So they put it so high that nobody could reach it. It used to look like this. My picture was taken on May 1, 1989 at about noon. I spent the morning in Golden Gate Park and grabbed a bite to eat before I walked up Masonic to Haight. While I was standing here, some square looking tourists drove up on a square looking motorcycle (it wasn't a chopped Harley) and they asked me where the hell Golden Gate Park was so I told them to zoom down Haight street and it runs right into it. Now they'll be able to tell all their friends that they went to San Francisco and saw a Hippie. Now for the rest of my life.

I was born on September 21, 1952 at 3:03 in the afternoon in Glendale, California. That was a pretty lousy year to be born because the Korean War was going on and the boys were coming home in a box left and right, and everyone was uptight about that. In addition, you can see from my astrological chart that I was born under a bad sign.

Of course, about my age, as Timothy Leary pointed out in one of his lectures, only my current copy of DNA is that old, plus nine months. The vibrations (cell divisions and that kind of thing) that eventually produced me have been going on for millions of years. That's a pretty cosmic thought when you think about it, the kind of thing you think about when you're tripping on LSD. Now, I'll fill you in on the other aspects of my life via a timeline.

1953 My father got a job at SMU, so we had to move to Dallas, Texas
1954-1957 We moved to Doorchester and spent several summers in California
1958 My sister was born
1959 Moved to 10711 Lake Gardens and started first grade
1960 I had no idea this was going to be a psychedelic decade, but I got an important hint the very next year
1961 Discovered ultraviolet light at a science fair - went to California
1962 Had to go to summer school because my parents wanted me in this fancy prep school, but that didn't work out and I had to start 4th grade at a right-wing religious school that was a drag.
1963 Was into toy tape recorders that year (my parents couldn't afford a real one) - went to California
1964 Was into walkie-talkies that year - went to California
1965 My uncle died that summer, so we had to go to California and take care of all the details. The worst bummer about the whole affair was they didn't even hold a memorial service for him. Worst year at the church-of-christ school
1966 Got put in a godawful boarding school that summer
1967 Went to San Francisco and dug the Haight-Ashbury
1968 We moved to 826 Northlake in Richardson. Dallas had it's Summer of Love and it was a pretty good one - had to drop out of Richardson High school because of the dress code. Started doing sound mixing and recording at the Unitarian Church. First time I smoked a joint.
1969 Went to work on a survey crew and in the summer, I had a job at a funny farm helping them do the recreational stuff for the patients, but the worst part of the job was feeding the vegetables on the Geriatric wards. Kesey's right - what a gross-out. Took LSD for the first time on December 14.
1970 Got dosed from the electric Kool-Aid at Lee Park. Of course, I had no idea that it was electric - about as strong as that served at the Watts Acid Test. Luckily, I only drank one cup.
1971 Studied electronics at Eastfield College. This was part of my audio engineer training. Dallas had a record number of acid freakouts that summer and I was always the one who got woken up in the middle of the night to bring someone out of a bad trip. I think this was the year I joined a rock and roll band. Was elected editor of the Toak Times, which was the newspaper of the Southwest Liberal Religious Youth (LRY). Mountain Girl, by the way, was another LRY veteran.
1972-1974 I was working at a packing material plant during the day and doing gigs at night and how I got enough sleep, I'll never know, but I was young then.
1975 Started work at the Hippie radio station (KCHU, Dallas)
1976 Renovated the sound system at the La Fonda Hotel in the summer and quit my day job so I could work full time at KCHU.
1977 KCHU went belly up and I joined a punk band, only trouble was nobody in Dallas was into punk. We backed up the Sex Pistols at a major gig and the sound system didn't work worth a damn. We produced an EP and later a CD-ROM but so far they haven't sent my copy.
1978 Got my first computer, but the only one I could afford is a Radio Shack TRS-80 model 1.
1979 First Rainbow Gathering
1980 Lived in a commune with several other Hippies and had a transmitter operator job at KNBN-TV.
1981 Got a Compuserve account, but cyberspace was really a bummer in those days. Everything ran at 300 baud and cost five dollars an hour, and you could only access it after hours and on weekends. People could e-mail me, but a lot of good that did when I was about the only Hippie who had e-mail back then. Luckily, things have changed since then.
1982-1986 Talking about a bad trip - that's pretty much what the 80's were all about - except for the summer of 84, that is. That's when I went to Esalen Institute in Big Sur and took Stanislav Grof's month-long workshop called Technologies of the Sacred. I consider it like my Hippie post-post-post-graduate work. I was lucky to get in on this, because it was one of the last ones Stan ever did! The reason - several people in our group of about 30 couldn't handle it and started freaking out. I even had an out-of-body experience that scared the hell out of me because I had no idea such an experience was possible. At first, I thought it was a near death experience (something I did know about) but I couldn't find anything physically wrong with me, except about 10 of us had taken MDMA a couple of days before. One thing's for sure. It made me swear off of that stuff right then and there. I also went to a workshop on intentional communities that summer, but couldn't find one that I could fit into, but I did discover the Monroe Institute, and that's where I realized that I had had an out of body experience at Esalen. Later, I found out that one of the Pranksters also had an out of body experience at Esalen Institute and Jack Kerouac also had some kind of freak out (which may have been an out of body experience) when he was in Big Sur.
1987 Moved back to the west coast.
1988 Started to use the Monroe tapes - started writing novel on a Commodore 64
1989 Got an IBM PC, which made work on the novel lots easier - trip to Haight-Ashbury
1991 Graduated from Highline Community College. Got a MIDI keyboard and started learning MIDI
1992 Finally got my own house
1993 Upgraded computer to a 386
1994 Got a real Internet account (only had Compuserve before)
1995 Upgraded computer to a 486 so multimedia would work - started my web site
1996 Upgraded web site to full color Netscape format (it used to look more like a gopher than a web site)
1997 Learned how to cybercast, upgraded to a Pentium
1998 Won second prize in RealNetworks RealLife contest
1999 Engineered Movin' Mountains first CD album

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