The Booger Ball

Not the original, but, cute … don’t you think?!

1972 — Hitchhiking from California with my then girlfriend, Carla, trying to get back to NY. We were at a gas station in the Western part of Illinois – sitting at a picnic table heating up some canned soup on a little Sterno stove. A car pulled in to get gas – a caddy I think – and it had New York Plates on it. I approached the older gentleman and asked him if we could hitch a ride with him. His name was Boris and he was a Russian national. Through our conversations over the next couple of days, he became interested in my widowed Mom and would eventually date her one night that summer — another story, for sure. He said he was going as far as Chicago where he had a hotel room reserved and would let us off there. By the time we arrived, we had all hit it off pretty well and he offered us a ride the rest of the way if we’d meet him back there in the morning. For the night, at least, we were on our own. So, we headed over to a paper stand and found an underground paper, scanning the ads for crash pads. Found one – called and they said “sure” and gave us directions. The place was on the other side of town and we had to take a train to get there. It was an older building in the City. It was dimly lit inside and the sparse furniture were older, wooden pieces. It seems there were several people living there. A Hippie Pad. So, I’m sitting at a table, drinking and smoking, and I noticed an interesting piece on the table … a multi-colored ball, about the size of a grapefruit. I picked it up and looked it over. “Wax”? “Oh no … it’s a ….”! Yep! What the title says. And, it really was! Delightful.

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