Jim Morini: Poetry Editor, UH News
by Rik Carlson
Jim Morini on Sherman St. in Hartford, circa 1968
August 15th, 1969, Jim and I were at my apartment on Farmington Avenue when an announcement came on the radio that all the fences had come down at the Woodstock Music and Art Festival and tickets were no longer needed. It took maybe 15 minutes to gather a few things, I had a canvas bag with a toothbrush and a Phil Ochs Songbook (silly me), and we walked the two blocks to Asylum Avenue, put out our thumb, and the first ride took us there. We arrived in the middle of the night in the rain. Within a minute I lost Jim in the crowd and didn't see him again. I made it to the stage, it rained and rained and took three days to get out. Never heard a single note and never saw Jim either.
Jim and I were at my apartment on Asylum Avenue and we took some acid. When things were "taking off" Jim said "I need to go home, You need to drive me home." We argued as the last thing I wanted to do was drive around Hartford with the wind howling through my brain. I acquiesced and took him home and headed back to my apartment. I was at the traffic light in front of Arthur's Drug Store, not just waiting for the light to change but engrossed in the true nature of color, exploring its core, when a Police Paddy Wagon backed out of the parking lot and smashed into my car. I got out and picked up the taillight from the road, the officer screamed at me to leave, and I drove away. I made it home. Physically unscathed, but I blamed Jim.
Jim and I were arrested for resisting arrest. How can you be arrested for resisting arrest if that's the only charge? I talked my way out of it but Jim didn't. Sorry Jim. It was only one night.
We took his red MGA to New York City with a bunch of money to buy a pound of weed. Parked on the lower east side. We walked to the west village, Jim made a connection and asked me to wait for him, he would score and be right back. He wasn't. I was penniless and alone. It took me 4 days to make it back to Hartford. It was a wild adventure.
I only saw Jim Morini once more after that. He had no recollection of New York, said he was going to hitch to Boston, and walked out the door. I never saw him again. Bye Jim. I hope you found what you were looking for.