Recently, Barak Obama admitted that he and his friends got thrown out of Disneyland for smoking cigarettes. That made me laugh because, five years earlier, I also got thrown out of Disneyland for smoking, but I wasn't smoking a cigarette - a college boy at the time, maybe he wasn't either. Here's my story. As you read this, remember that it was a different time then, and I was a tried and true hippy.
In 1975, I was living in Santa Cruz, California with my husband, Paul Cavanaugh. We had hitchhiked across the country from my hometown, Stamford, Connecticut and, after landing in San Francisco, moved south and decided to stay and await the arrival of our first child. Like so many others of my generation, I grew up on the “Mickey Mouse Club” and “The Wonderful World of Disney,” watching both shows religiously. When I found myself in California, I was dying to go to Disneyland, so in August, off we went on a road trip to Southern California in our friend’s Chevy Impala, the three adults and our new puppy. What a thrill!
We found a cheap hotel room for a couple of nights and headed off to the Magical Kingdom early in the morning. Because we had our dog with us, we boarded him in the Disneyland kennel. We were true hippies at that time and smoked before arriving, being careful to not smoke too much because we had to pass the grooming inspectors and the all-important attitude inspectors. The Disneyland officials didn’t really like hippies, but at least we weren’t Yippies, and, even though we were “highly inspired”, we passed through without incident.
One of the first places we visited was Tom Sawyer’s island because we knew the Yippies had invaded it on August 6th, 1970, just a mere 5 years earlier. Here is a link for an article about the incident. http://nightflight.com/august-6-1970-the-day-the-yippies-invaded-disneyland/ Although the attraction was boring and not much of an attraction at all, it was a landmark for us.
We decided to go on the Matterhorn ride next. I have always loved roller coasters, and we currently lived only a few blocks away from the historic wooden roller coaster on Santa Cruz beach. Ever since we’d moved there, I walked down to the boardwalk every day and rode the roller coaster for a dollar. But this was Disney, and I was 8 months pregnant. They wouldn’t let me ride because of liability issues. I wasn't leaving without riding on this roller coaster, so I made a huge stink and finally signed a liability release. I'd waited my whole life to visit the home of Mickey and Minnie, but so far, Disneyland was not as much fun as I’d hoped it would be.
Next stop was the Disneyland Railroad. As we rode around the park, we passed the kennels where we were absolutely sure we could hear our puppy howling. We knew we wanted to go to the Haunted House next and, as our inspiration was waning, we picked up the dog and went out to the parking lot to get re-inspired and give our sweet Topaz a respite from his cage.
We looked around, didn’t see anyone nearby and lit up a joint. We each got one hit when we suddenly saw two three-wheeled vehicles coming our way … fast! Uh-oh! Paul quickly threw the joint away. The cops walked up to us and said, “Okay, where is it?” Of course, Paul replied, “Where’s what, officer?” We heard a voice from the radio say, “It’s under the blue impala.” What?! How did they know that? We soon found out. They retrieved it, gave a sniff and said, “It’s still burning, too.”
We weren’t cooperative at first. We were under the impression that the law had recently changed, making possession a misdemeanor. The security guards, smiling slightly, informed us that, yes, the laws had changed but didn’t go into effect until January. Not only that, Disneyland security didn’t have to answer to Anaheim police and even had their own underground jail, which they would be happy to let us check it out. Obviously, our attitudes changed quickly. We found out that they have cameras everywhere, even on all of the light poles in the parking lots, and a whole team watching them.
They asked if we had any more inspiration. Paul, a very quick thinker, handed over four more rolled joints, being very respectful and looking very cowed. We were all hoping that they wouldn’t decide to search the car, which would have landed us in a lot more trouble. They asked if he had purchased it in the park. He answered no, that he had bought them in “Golden Gate Park from a guy named Stoney,” and they actually believed him. I guess we looked like tourists in our car with Connecticut plates and our little dog. Plus, I was 8 months pregnant.
We didn’t end up in jail. We got thrown out “for the rest of the day.” We left and went to Knotts Berry Farm instead, coming back to Disneyland the following day, completely inspired and headed directly to The Haunted House before that newly acquired inspiration wore off. After they told us to leave, Paul turned to them and asked, “How did you know we were out here getting inspired?” They looked him dead in the eye and said, “The Mouse is everywhere.”
That later became a song that we titled “875” or “The Mouse is Everywhere.” It was a very popular song, complete with the story and it’s psychedelic soundtrack. Funny to think I have something in common with a former President of ther United States.
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