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He’s wearing regulation early 60s surfing garb: Levis, white Jack Purcell low-cut tennis sneakers, and a gray plaid Pendleton over a road-stained JC Penny t-shirt. Beardless youth, shock, arresting blue eyes bulge in horror. A single, silver, double-aught Rapidograph drafting pen hovers in space, spinning like a propeller. “Gotta sweet little thing going up there…she’s a midget, you understand…” Click…Rick riding shotgun, finally warm, lulled to sleep.
Rick Griffin, handsome, towheaded 19-year-old surfer from Palos Verdes, sails through the air. ” Click…a small wiry man, hard used, chain smoking, stained teeth, a carny. Daybreak, farm fields, hears the carny, ratcheting on: “Yessir, this Special Dee-lux version is one of the finest machines ever built…a Chrysler L-Head straight-six with crackerjack suspension.
He feels his fingers drag along a spinning wet wall. Others have him rolling the car, this time a 1954 Ford station wagon.
Another variation has him going through the windshield and the car rolling over him.
Floating in the haze is a surreal tableau of vintage 10-cent gimcracks: kazoos, Kewpie dolls, Groucho glasses, tin cricket clickers, hula girls, piggy banks, Chinese finger traps, whoopee cushions, Bakelite puzzles, and little grinning see-no-evil smoking monkeys. A flash of sunburned thighs, a girl’s delighted high-pitched squeal.
cartoonist Rick Griffin was seriously injured in an automobile accident while traveling through King City.
—Scott Hulet “Having transcended the seven evolutionary superuniverses of time and space which circle the never-beginning, never-ending creation of divine perfection, Murphy arrives at the heart of the eternal and central universe of universes on the stationary isle of paradise, the geographic center of infinity, and the dwelling place of the eternal living God! Highway 101, a shoulder-less two-lane blacktop, snakes its way through the wind-cowed Salinas Valley.
It is here that our story opens…”, MAY 1969 * Indian Summer, 1963. To the east, the morning sun throws a few lackadaisical red rays over misty tracts of broccoli and iceberg lettuce.
In the darkness, gliding, speeding along the edge of a vortex. A faint light ahead, grows stronger, a roaring hiss. Clammy sea mist, no ride since sundown, exhaustion, hangover. Rick squints at a set of headlights, a rumble, a crunch of gravel, a resting gap-toothed grille. Why I could take my hands off the wheel and this baby would steer itself straight as an arrow…” Click…a sickening lurch to the left, over-correction to the right, the carny cursing. ” The car goes into a long arcing skid, irresistible tendrils of centrifugal force pulling at him… Muzak, sharp clink of polished sterilized steel dropping into a metal pan.
He feels his fingers drag along a spinning wet wall. Click…Rick floats over the highway, wind billowing his Pendleton, a blur of picketing white lines, a whirring black grindstone, bearing down, stringy-bark eucalyptus, smell of onions… A man’s voice, tired, plaintive: “C’mon Bill, let’s go to lunch. Over the years, Rick’s accident has become a sort of Chinese chain letter.