On a chance meeting with Hucktunes, on a subject entirely separate from Manson and The Family, I was unexpectantly surprised to find that he had a one-on-one meeting with the diminutive man whose squirrelly hair and bugged-out eyes stared back at all of us in the '69 edition of LIFE Magazine.
And, with his gracious permission, I have re-published his experience which was originall written in 2008 on his own blog spot for all of you to read as well.
It's truly amazing how a few words from one who was "there" can easily usurp the volumes of words I, or anyone like me, who was only on the outside, looking in, could ever write.
"The Charlie Manson story? OK. It was back in the summer of 1969. I had graduated from high school and was feeling real happy about being done with it once and for all. I had this friend, Steve Seymore, that lived in Temple City but would hang out a lot in South Pasadena. He was a few years older than me and my school mates. He would tell stories about this place where he used to live in Chatsworth, an old movie studio called The Spahn Ranch. It was kinda like a hippie commune. He lived in the old gypsy wagon. The place had been used as the setting for Hollywood movies, westerns and things like that. The gypsy wagon was the one used in the Lon Chaney movie The Wolf Man. So anyway, Steve asked me and my friend Bruce Parsons if we'd like to hitch hike out to Chatsworth to check the place out.I think it was a Saturday morning. We dropped some acid and hung out our thumbs. It took about three hours to get to Chatsworth. A little two lane highway leading off to the Santa Susana Pass, a dirt road on the left and about a mile walk to an old ranch house. The ranch house looked like something you would see on an episode of The Rifleman. Steve thought it would be a good idea to knock on the door and introduce ourselves and get permission to wander around. The guy that answered the door was a skinny little guy with kinda longish hair and a scruffy beard, no shirt or shoes, Levis and very taught, kinda wound up. Steve introduced us saying he used to live here and asked if we could poke around, look at the old gypsy wagon and the other sites. The guy said sure, welcome. He asked if we wanted some weed. Well heck yeah. So he left the door open and walked towards the fireplace. The room was bare, wooden floor, no furniture that I can remember. The bareness of the room really struck me. Over the fireplace mantel draped a black cloth with a gold Buddha and some candlesticks on either side. On the floor were two big Chinese urns, one on each side. The guy got a brown paper bag, reached into the urn on the right, grabbed a handful of weed and stuffed it in the bag. We thanked him and went on our way. The gypsy wagon was really cool. It looked like an authentic old caravan wagon. We checked out the old western street with the Old West style buildings. It all seemed pretty run down. We came across a picnic area with some picnic tables and a fire pit that looked like it had been recently used. We did not see a soul the entire three or four hours that we were there. We had the feeling that folks were around but did not see anybody. It was pretty hot and dusty, July or August. The sun started to dim so we decided we'd better walk back to the highway before it got dark. We passed the quiet ranch house, got about halfway up the dirt road to the highway with the sun fading, when we heard the sound of a car coming up the road from the ranch. We stood by the road with our thumbs out and an old Ford, about a 1956, full of hippies drove on past. Another car followed them, also full of hippies. There may have even been a third. We couldn't really make out any details about the passengers, we were all pretty much done in by the acid and too much sun. We walked on to the highway and hitched a ride back to South Pasadena.It seems like it was about two weeks later on a Sunday morning when I saw the story in the LA Times with a big picture of the guy that gave us that big bag of weed at the ranch house."
Read more from Hucktunes and his Eureka bound exploits at;