14:2 Lost Footage: Zongo Khumalo

UNFINISHED DOCUMENTARY, STATE OF GRACE  |  Mid-1970s

Interviewee: ZONGO KHUMALO

I met Enrique as soon as I hit ground. We did up the last of my Colombian marching powder and I caught a ride with him out to the property. Kaua‘i was different in those days. A lot slower, if you can imagine. I think there may have been one stoplight on the whole island.

The bottom had fallen out of the sugar and pineapple business and the tourists, although around, weren’t everywhere. A couple of freaks in a busted-up VW van could still draw looks when we cruised through town.

Enrique had been working on some of the farms as kind of an indentured servant, which suited him quite well. He told me that he had been a high school English teacher on the mainland, and couldn’t deal with seeing his kids coming back in boxes, so he dropped out. He liked the repetition and the anonymity of working the fields. He also was stoked to be in the best shape of his life.

Some of the established farms had started supplementing their income by growing the crazy weed, and my man was quite the expert, having lived up in Humboldt County. I was glad to hear that I would at least be able to find some smoke on the island, as that was one of the factors that originally drove me to move to San Francisco.

Part of me was glad that the rest of it was going to be hard if not impossible to get my hands on. As I had time to process the whole incident on Broadway, I could see that I had been getting pretty far out there.

One good thing about being back on the island was the utter lack of giant talking neon signs.

hippievan

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