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Human body parts

May 12, 2015
John Herman and I had recently learned how to smoke cigarettes in Missoula in 1967.

John Herman and I had recently learned how to smoke cigarettes in Missoula in 1967.

One bitterly cold, snowy, winter night in 1967 Larry Felton and I had walked from the Downstairs Coffee House on University Avenue past the Lodge on the brick walkway toward the baby oval where we saw a police car with red and blue lights ahead of us. Closer, a police officer with flashlight shined on a box on the Alumni Bench. It was the kind of longish box that could have held two dozen roses. Another officer opened the box and by now we were at the police car. By the shining flashlight one officer opened the wrapping paper and removed — a human leg! I stared until my eyes watered. Larry and I looked in silence.
We didn’t speak to the police officers because, almost as a matter of policy, we never did. To us self-styled hippies they were all pigs. Whenever we could we did illegal things anyway. We just couldn’t find or afford anything illegal that day. We were freaked out enough.
After seeing the dismembered human leg, Larry went to his room in Craig Hall and I went to mine in Elrod. Soon I phoned Larry, asking if I might come spend the night on his floor. I worried about the other human body parts that might turn up.

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