21st Birthday Party

On the weekend of May 4, 1996, I had a birthday party in central Florida to celebrate turning 21. A friend of mine received permission from his folks to let us throw it on an empty lot in the country, and the people living next door allowed me to run an extension cord from their home for power to my stereo.

My old 1980 AMC Concord had the original factory radio inside, so I brought along my home stereo receiver and cassette deck to sit in the back seat, while the house speakers stuck out from the trunk.

My friend, Albert, who hooked me up with the party site, also provided a pile of old light/telephone poles for a bonfire, and they easily lasted all weekend. Albert was a butcher, and he brought along a grill and plenty of chicken (my favorite!) to cook for the festivities. He’s a great guy!

The first night started off laid back enough, with people showing up fashionably late and hanging out. The next day, everyone took off to hunt for hallucinogenic mushrooms (legal in Florida, in case anyone is wondering, at least they were back then) to spice up the next night. They showed up empty-handed.

At some point during the second night, a girl and a guy drove up slowly like they were in a parade float, tossing shrooms about the size of saucers. We didn’t know where they found them, but she had plenty to go around! The guy with her had been eating all day as they picked, and he was pretty far gone. We had a lot of fun with him and he loved it. I never knew who he was; we simply called him “Trippy.”

Anyway, here is the old footage salvaged from that weekend. There wasn’t a lot of light, but the voices are telling enough.

In the first video, I’m getting ready with my brother and we get a bit bored, drunk, and stupid while waiting for everyone to show up. My “Mudstock” reference is for Livestock 6, which we’d attended a month prior.

The first night, with plenty of dancing in the fire, as I was apt to do when intoxicated.

The second day is where I’m hanging at the site with my brother, Albert, and Boston Bob while the rest go shrooming. As boredom ensues, I try out the Tasmanian Devil cam and attack some fire ants, which is something I definitely don’t miss about Florida.

Now we’re getting into the second night, and the shrooms have arrived. So it’s clear, the one guy makes a “white power” remark because we were teasing him about recently shaving his head. He was NOT a skinhead.

In the fifth part, we’re still going at it, and still having a good time with “Trippy.”

Finally winding down and wrapping it up.