Monday, April 11, 2016

The '60s at 50: Monday, April 11, 1966

The '60s at 50: Monday, April 11, 1966: LSD in the United States: Authorities said the drug produced extreme sensations of color, sight and taste, breaking down the sense of reality.  

Sometime in the early 1960s, probably 1961, I took a course in conversational Spanish at The University of Texas at Austin.  It was essentially a class of Show and Tell.  Each student had to bring something to class and talk about it in Spanish.  We could bring a newspaper article or a picture or a book.  We were required to subscribe to La Prensa, so most of us brought articles from that paper.  One of the students was married, and her husband was in the psychology department.  One day she brought a couple of weird-looking pictures, not unlike the one above, to class, and she told us that her husband was doing experiments with a drug.  Under the influence of the drug, a person looking at the picture would experience all kinds of things.  It was an interesting presentation, but I pretty much forgot about it until a few years later when that drug was in the news a lot in articles like the one above.  I've often wondered what happened to that woman and her husband.  

And this reminds me that when I was a T.A. during my second tenure at UT, one of my students, a very good writer, was the first person arrested in Texas for the illegal sale of LSD.  He was later arrested again for the same crime.  I still remember his name, so I checked a newspaper archive just to be sure my memory still serves me well in this case.  It does.  He told the court that he got the LSD in California, "where drugs like LSD are accepted."  He said, "You can sit on a street corner in California and if someone doesn't give you a bite of a sandwich, he'll give you some LSD."  

I miss the old days.


Deb said...

I had a sociology professor in the mid-1970s whose husband had been involved (as an administrator, not subject) in the Army LSD experiments in the 1960s (or was it 1950s?). She discussed it like it was no big deal--she said placebos had the same effect. I just remember how casual she was about it.

Bill Crider said...

Ken Kesey was a subject in those experiments. I never met him, but I did see his bus, Further, when it came through Austin.

Don Coffin said...

I had a good friend in college who was somewhat into drugs...We had a sort-of-rule, if you were doing acid, someone had to baby-sit you (because, well one never knows, do one?). I was baby-sitting him, in his third-floor apartment, when he decided he could fly. Got him just before he went through the (closed) tackle I ever made...That did make me decide than maybe LSD was not for me.

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

My brother did acid 30 days in a row when he was in college. He called my mother under the influence and threatened to hit her with a stick. My father had to put him in Kings County and we went to visit him there, finding him with a black eye from a guy who didn't like his face. We were worried he wouldn't get out of there in one piece, but he did, ending up with my mother's very placid aunt and uncle.

Those are old days I don't really miss.