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It seems that changes in fashion are sometimes partly motivated by rebellion against what they are changing from. The comfortably loose and pendulous ladies outfits of the 1920s that were so unflattering to the human form while revealing more of it than ever before were probably a rebellion to the impractically uncomfortable and strenuously refined ladies fashions of the late Victorian period that were designed to enhance the ideal of feminine form while also obscuring it. The simple and squared landscapes of the 1950s that were so neatly tailored that they would be considered to be bleak by modern standards were replaced through the 1970s and into the 1980s by a much more relaxed and curvaceous style with sculptural trees, shaggy foliar textures, hills and boulders. Ah, the boulders. They were still cool when Brent and I were studying horticulture at Cal Poly. We had to get some.

While Brent’s friend William was visiting from Los Angles, we drove out behind campus, and into the narrow and rocky Poly Canyon. Big serpentinite rocks often fell down the hillside above and into and sometimes blocking Poly Canyon Road. We found the smaller of the two rocks collected that day almost immediately and still within view of the campus. The second and much larger boulder was obtained closer to the gated end of the narrow one lane road. It took all three of us to get it into the trunk of the old Dart. We could not close the tailgate with the rocks back there, so we covered the rocks with an old wool army blanket from the Korean War, and tied the tailgate down against the rocks with an old hemp rope. We drove to the end of the road where we could turn around, and started to return home with out boulders.

We did not get far before we encountered a dusty white Maverick coming into the canyon. We simply pulled off into a turnout to let it by. Instead, the Maverick stopped next to the front of the Dart so that we could not leave, and the driver got out. She was an earthy looking hippie with long and flowing chestnut hair and lots of brown wooden beads that she clutched out of her way as she walked towards us. She looked concerned. She came over and asked loudly and seriously in an almost rude fashion (and none of us three will ever forget this) “Is that a body?”.

Now, consider this. On a secluded road without any witnesses around, a thin young lady encounters three healthy young men who she thinks have a body in their trunk . . . and she stops.

I was dumbfounded. Seriously, I could not say anything because I did not know how to respond to here craziness. It took me a moment to comprehend what she was asking. Brent’s response was exactly the opposite. He yelled at her to get out of the way, and that we only had a rock in the trunk, and then continued to say that if it were a body, that she would end up back there with it. William could only laugh, and laugh, . . . and laugh out loud uncontrollably. I was still trying to figure out what was going on.

To make matters worse, the hippie went to the rear of the car and started to untie the tailgate! Brent got out and tried to get here to stop literally by trying to shoo her away like a naughty dog. She was persistent and said that she wanted to make sure we were not dumping a body, and even told Brent, “I thought I saw it move.”. The crazy thing about it is that she seemed to be serious. Brent finally pulled the army blanket back enough to show her that it really was a rock. Brent continued to express his annoyance by shouting how stupid she was as she went back to her car and drove away. William was still laughing uncontrollably. I was still dumbfounded.

After all that drama, the big rock broke into smaller components when I unloaded it into my mother’s garden. They are nice pretty rocks nonetheless, and represent my little pieces of San Luis Obispo. The rock in the picture is one of the pieces of what my mother knows as the ‘body rock’. Incidentally, just in front of the rock are bits of the ‘Yellow Karma’ iris from ‘The Colors Of Karma’ at https://tonytomeo.wordpress.com/2017/09/12/the-colors-of-karma/ . The little terrier who is obviously unimpressed by any of this is Bill.

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16 thoughts on “Is That A Body?!

      1. A legendary story from the 1960’s at Univ of Washington: The main campus road made a circle around the campus, with parking lots in various spots around the circle. On night during a sports event (maybe basketball?), a group of students reversed many of the directional signals so they routed people into the parking lots and wouldn’t allow return to the circle road — you could get in, but not out! Sports fans came out of their game and couldn’t go home!

        Liked by 1 person

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