I was driving on the same day in July 1943 to the same airfield that was to be visited by the Air Commodore. My name is Mary Louise. My journey had started earlier that same morning, because I live in West Yorkshire, almost seventy miles away. There were three purposes for my journey by car that morning. The first was to see my parents, who live close to the airfield under construction. They had moved to their new home two years earlier after losing their farmland because of the construction of another airfield some miles away. To add new sources of income, they had decided to take in lodgers from among the people who were assigned to build the nearby airfield.
My second purpose was to meet with the assistant canteen manager at the airfield to discuss the implications of recent rumors that the canteen would need to be kept operational weeks longer than planned. A few weeks earlier I had been appointed as manager for this canteen, in addition to the several much larger canteens that I managed in West Yorkshire.
The third purpose was to go dancing with my older sister and her boyfriend, a local farmer. Dancing was my most favorite pastime. I was excited at the thought of returning to the dance floor that night near my parents’ home, yet felt tired and drained because of my work. The war also made me apprehensive, and distracted me and so many others from enjoying the good things in life. You never knew when something bad might happen, either to you or to a loved one.
I currently lived away from home, to be close to my West Yorkshire work. However, I was rationed sufficient petrol during the war to visit my parents at least twice a month. My father had bought me a car when I had first moved to West Yorkshire. Here I was, in the early morning darkness, driving the twisting narrow roads as I headed eastward towards my destination. Earlier in the morning the air raid sirens had sounded, signaling the likelihood of an imminent attack by the Luftwaffe. All forms of lighting, including car headlights, had to be turned off whenever that alarm sounded. So only the sidelights on my car were in use.
Fortunately, so early in the morning I was unlikely to encounter much traffic, or livestock being brought in from the fields, moving in the opposite direction to me. At one point I heard a plane overhead. It was a clear, starry night so I could see its outline. I still could not identify the different types of aircraft from either their profile or their engine noise. I assumed it was a Luftwaffe bomber returning to Germany. It was flying in the same direction that I was driving; most Royal Air Force bombers arrived back in their stations by around 2 o’clock in the morning. It was already 4 o’clock in the morning.
In January 1943 I had turned twenty. I was slim, slightly over five feet tall, and was frequently told that I was very good-looking and physically attractive. I wore my shoulder-length brunette hair curled upward; I permed it myself. My eyes were light blue and usually twinkled; I had a pear-shaped face and a delicate mouth with an almost permanent smile. I also knew that I was strong-willed, very determined, and enjoyed forming new friendships. These combined characteristics had helped me enjoy a very successful career during the past six years. I had left school when I was just fourteen.
During my school years I walked and bicycled to school in the local village about two miles away; in my spare time, I worked on the farm. When I left school, I first found work as live-in home help for family friends who lived in the nearby city. However, once the war broke out in 1939, my career took an unexpected turn.
My father had been dispossessed of most of his land because of the construction of a nearby Royal Air Force airfield. He was more fortunate than two neighboring farmers, though. Not only had they lost all of their land but they also watched as their homes were bulldozed to rubble.
The financial consequences of land requisition at this time were severe. The compensation paid by the government was based on the land’s rental value, was determined by the government, and ignored the remaining land that then often became useless because of lack of access or loss of utilities; worst of all, receipt of compensation payments could be delayed months, if not years. In our case, living off what could be grown on the remaining land and selling what we could not eat in the local market was insufficient to support a family of five. I was the middle daughter of three; my older sister was two years my senior and my other sister was four years younger than I.
When the buses of workmen started to arrive from across Yorkshire to build the airfield, my father came up with a creative idea to supplement our land-sourced income. He realized that the workmen needed to be fed during the workday. Although they were billeted in local homes, most of the initial 200 men were not provided with lunch by their hosts. My father’s idea was simple: Put a hen house on wheels, and convert it into a snack bar. The hen house would be positioned close to the construction site and would offer homemade tea, coffee, soup, sandwiches, and lemonade prepared each day in the farmhouse. Café Louise was created, and became an instant success.
For workmen working far from the hen house, food delivery came by pony. Each morning my older sister or I would ride the pony over to the opposite side of the airfield, and offer “drinkings,” as they were called, at a fixed price. My sister was a little taller than I and had the typically sturdy frame of a farmer’s daughter. We had both been told we were attractive; we had to put up with the whistles and the usual sexist jokes shouted at us by the workmen. The word “drinkings” was traditional Yorkshire dialect for morning snacks taken out to the fields for farm workers. When we arrived at the work location, we would be greeted with “thank you, gaffer”; gaffer was the dialect term for boss. That made both my sister and me feel important.
As the number of workmen increased, the construction firm offered us the use of a Nissan Hut to allow us to expand our services. I would oversee the food preparation and organize my sisters and other ladies from the village to operate this new café. It was only when the air crews started to arrive that my restaurant business came to an end. The Navy, Army, and Air Force Institute, known as the NAAFI, took over the operation of the canteen, and we had to close.
Fortunately, the reputation of Café Louise had spread to other parts of the county, so I was almost immediately offered new work. I was asked to manage a large food services installation at a wartime training institute about thirty miles to the west. It served over three thousand workers daily, working a three-shift system. The institute trained men and women to become Army and Air Force mechanics, and instructed women who had been called-up for service in factory work. My management appointment was soon expanded to include canteen facilities for a nearby underground factory manufacturing parts for Lancaster bombers, and for a munitions plant. By the age of nineteen, I was responsible for operating canteens feeding over seven thousand people daily.
I continued my drive eastward. There was no time to stop. My appointment at the airfield was at 10 o’clock that morning. I wanted to leave sufficient time to catch some sleep before I went out dancing that evening. I hoped that either my sister or her boyfriend would have found me a dancing partner. The war had robbed me of all my regular dancing partners. The best dancer I knew, who I also considered to be my boyfriend, had been posted to Africa as a tank mechanic, and he was not likely to return until the war was over. Other partners were either fighting in Europe, had become prisoners of war, or I had not heard from them for some time.
Pre-war dancing partners in civilian clothes had been replaced by new faces dressed in full uniform. Most never knew if this would be their last dance. With preparations for the invasion, there were many strangers around with unusual accents. Dances were easy to find. Church halls and schools, even in the smallest villages, would regularly organize social events to give the people waiting to fight something light-hearted to do.
I arrived at my parents’ home around 6:30 that morning. It was remarkable how quiet everything sounded after the din of canteen work. I heard the brittle crunching of gravel as I pulled into the driveway. It was already light and the bright sun was stuck in a watery pale sky. I grabbed my suitcase and went into the house. Mother was busy preparing breakfast in the kitchen.
Michael Fromm took the slow route back to California. After the bombers began to fly in May 1944, he knew that his work with Number 4 Air Group was over. It was time to move on. Following D-Day on June 6, 1944, he stayed around for a few more weeks to be certain that Germany would eventually have to surrender. He had no idea of what was happening close by to Mary Louise and the birth of her son John during May 1944. While Jock was open to sharing all other aspects of his life with Michael, he never once mentioned his sexual encounter with Mary Louise, and its consequences.
Michael had thoroughly enjoyed his time with the Land Girls in East Yorkshire. In fact, he had hoped to take one of them back with him to America. Unfortunately, those who were willing to go failed his good looks test, and those he fell in love with declined to leave their parents.
Michael was proud of his accomplishments at the airfield. He would watch the heavy bombers take off and return without problems. The runways were long enough and strong enough to take care of all situations. Even the planes that had to crash-land seemed to be supported by his work.
By July 1944, he had ceased regular contact with Jock McGregor, but knew that he was close by, completing his Bomber Command assignment. At his last meeting with Jock, Jock had told him that he now spent more time with his family in the West Midlands and hoped to return to his family as soon as the war was over. They had also talked about staying in touch with each other after the war, and maybe visiting each other once Michael was married. Michael was curious to visit this place called the West Midlands and to meet Jock’s wife and two children.
Michael had also had a conversation with the youngest daughter of Jock’s former landlady, who had worked at the airfield before the bombers began to fly. She had told him that she was now the only daughter living at home. Her older sister was happily married and the middle one had moved away to live somewhere in West Yorkshire.
By September 1944, there was no reason for Michael to stay at the airfield any longer. He thought about returning home. The problem was that he might be conscripted and sent off to war in the Pacific Theatre. That front was still very active and, from what he had heard, serving in Asia did not appeal to him. He had come to enjoy the Yorkshire countryside and felt at home with the local people.
He considered moving south to London, but less than a week after D-Day in June 1944, the first V-1 or “doodlebug” had arrived in London. Bomber Command had failed to destroy this new weapon. Apparently these doodlebugs were launched from mobile launchers that could be moved around very quickly and hidden from the view of visiting bombers. Almost two hundred were being launched at London every day. The trauma among Londoners was serious but the local population had quickly adjusted their way of life to this new threat, just as they had adjusted to the bombing during the blitz. As the Allies advanced across Europe, it was hoped that the launchers would eventually be pushed out of range.
He thought long and hard about what to do next. The increasing number of German prisoners of war coming to England gave him the answer. He decided to accept work with the War Agricultural Executive Committee. This organization had a significant presence in Yorkshire and controlled all agricultural production. Increasingly, prisoners of war were being put to work on the farms of England. Some twenty percent of national food production was expected to come from the sweat of these prisoners. Using his knowledge of the local farming community and his ability to speak some German, he was quickly hired and assigned to a camp responsible for holding German prisoners of war.
Previously the camp had housed Italian prisoners of war. However, following the Italian surrender to the Allies in September 1943, those prisoners had been moved to low-security camps. Some had even willingly volunteered to work until the war was over, and had joined the Italian Labor Battalion in Britain. Those who declined the invitation were retained in camps, but under less secure conditions.
Most of the current German “military guests” had traveled by ship to England after capture, and then, after being processed, were taken to their assigned camp by rail. A few were airmen, captured before D-Day after failed bombing visits to Britain during which their planes were shot down. Groups of prisoners were escorted by the British military police from the rail station to their camp. Which camp they were assigned to depended in part on their “color code” after interrogation. Non-Nazis were graded white, those with uncertain loyalties were coded grey, and those with strong party affiliations were classified as black. The darker the grading the further away from London the prisoner was to be sent and the more remote the camp. Each prisoner wore a patch on their clothing to indicate the color they had been assigned.
As the weeks passed during the second half of 1944 and early 1945, and the Allies secured more and more territory in Europe, large numbers of prisoners were arriving. But there was a growing expectation among the guards that they would be less motivated to escape, since everyone expected that Germany would lose the war. However, this was not always the case. In March 1945, seventy prisoners at an unrelated camp on the British west coast tried unsuccessfully to tunnel to freedom. This was the biggest escape attempt made by German prisoners in Britain during the war.
Michael had to move to be closer to his new place of work. His previous landlord helped him find a new accommodation. Located very close to his assigned camp, it was another old manor house bordering the edge of a meadow that sloped down to a gentle, slow-moving river. It was a short distance away from the center of a nearby market town. He would often ride his motorbike to the town square, to buy some fish and chips. He became an expert at ordering “one of each with scraps” at the little shop, which could be smelt long before it was seen, because of the odor of frying fish and chips. He was even able to interpret for a couple of prison guards who had come down from Scotland. When they ordered “two fish suppers,” the owner of the fish shop had no idea what they were asking for. Michael thought it more than a coincidence that neither fish nor potatoes, the two staples of this very traditional British dish, were rationed in England at that time.
For a little over twelve months, Michael remained committed to this new occupation. He continued his work as Germany surrendered on May 8, 1945, followed by Japan on August 15, 1945. He helped with the administration of the camp on behalf of the War Agricultural Office. There were several rows of huts protected and kept secure by a barbed wire fence around the perimeter. It was Michael’s task to assign prisoners to particular farms based on the farmer’s needs, and to ensure that the prisoners were transported there by truck each day and returned safely to the camp each evening. Until Germany surrendered, it was usual to have guards accompany the prisoners. Some of the better-behaved “military guests” were given permission to billet on the farms when this was helpful to the farmer.
Because of his knowledge of German, Michael would often hear the latest gossip circulating around the POW camp. It seemed that most prisoners were content to wait until the war was over and then be officially reassigned to return to Germany.
There were many activities for prisoners to participate in at the camp. They could learn English, attend or participate in music events, and play soccer. Letters could be written and sent home but needed to be handed in unsealed so that they could be read and censored by the officials.
The single most serious deprivation for the prisoners was the ban on fraternizing with the locals. However, exceptions did occur, as evidenced by the many farmers’ daughters who moved to Germany after the end of the war.
It was while Michael was working at the camp during the spring of 1945 that he received press cuttings from his parents detailing the death of President Roosevelt on April 12th. His death had been announced by the British Broadcasting Corporation during the evening of April 12th, and further information was published the following morning in the Guardian, Britain’s national newspaper. Michael’s parents were just two of many millions Americans who admired FDR. Roosevelt had achieved so much, ranging from establishing a leadership role for America on the world stage to repealing Prohibition in 1933. He had also supported America’s entry into the war in support of Britain, just in time.
It was now October 1945, and prisoners were starting to be selected for repatriation back to Germany. They were given the choice of returning home or staying in their host country. This became a signal to Michael that it was time for him to return to America.
He stayed on at the camp until the end of November 1945, but then resigned and decided to head for London. Petrol rationing stopped him from using his trusted BSA motorbike, so he had no choice but to travel by train. The railways had been the main means of transport during the war and had continued to serve a vital role as prisoners were repatriated, military personnel returned to their camps, and civilians returned home.
Michael advertised the sale of his motor bike in the front window of the fish and chip shop. It sold quickly and he bade the bike farewell, pocketed the money he had been paid in the sale, and headed for the nearest railway station. Some hours later he was in Kings Cross, London. He stood most of the way during the trip, as the trains first traveled west and then south, and were packed with Army, Navy, and Air Force personnel, and only a handful of civilians
In March 1965, Jock moved into his own apartment, which was about three blocks away from the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco. He planned to resume his passion for art, and benefit from the freedom of San Francisco’s emerging new liberal culture. His accommodation was a bottom-level flat in a three-story apartment house near Fulton and Arguello. It was a stucco building with a small entrance lobby. The living quarters were rather scruffy, but spacious. There was one bedroom, a combined living and dining area, a well- equipped kitchen, and an updated bathroom. He shared a back patio area with his neighbor.
He was located close to Golden Gate Park and there was parking nearby, as well as access to public transit. A grocery store was within walking distance. The nearby neighborhood contained a number of old Victorian houses whose exteriors were beginning to transform from their post-war battleship grey to a multitude of bright, vibrant colors. The trend had begun a couple of years earlier when a local artist had used vivid greens and blues to paint the exterior of his house. Other residents had quickly adopted this new style and these colorful Victorians were becoming known as the “painted ladies.”
His next-door neighbor was named Greg. He lived alone and appeared to be in his late 20s. He had long, dark curly hair and sported a full beard. His dress code was jeans, a tie-dyed T-shirt, a black belt, and brown flip-flop sandals. Sometimes he wore beads around his neck, sometimes he didn’t. He had stayed in San Francisco after graduating from a local university, and after a couple of years working in an insurance company, he had decided to drop out of conventional life. He was carrying a draft card when Jock first met him, but talked of burning it ceremoniously when the right occasion arose. He seemed amused by Jock’s accent and liked listening to Jock as he spoke. He agreed to show Jock around Golden Gate Park and suggested that Jock visit the San Francisco Art Institute to collect advice on how to start his American career as an artist. Greg’s passion was listening to music, and he volunteered to introduce Jock to some of the local emerging bands. He suggested that Jock grow a ponytail and told him where to buy comfortable modern clothing.
It was late in May when the two met for a tour of the park. By then Jock had obtained art materials and sufficient advice from the Art Institute and Greg had destroyed his draft card the previous day during a rally at the University of California in Berkeley.
Greg was curious to know why Jock had decided to move to America.
Jock answered, “I don’t know how long I will stay here, but I needed to leave my past life behind. It had always been stressful, there was too much pressure to support my family, and I just got sick of it all. I wanted to be my own person, create something, and be respected for who I am. I find I become irritable with people who don’t agree with me or criticize me. I sometimes become impatient and lose my temper with individuals who want things their own way or who are stubborn and petty minded. Then I feel upset and depressed. Here, I hope to be my own person and be able to channel my efforts in whatever direction I choose. I already feel a level of freedom and tolerance that never existed in England. At home, I would drink and smoke a lot; here, at least drinking doesn’t seem to be necessary.”
Greg asked him, “So what’s your opinion on things over here? What’s your view on the Vietnam War? What about civil rights? What do you think about our lifestyle? How much of a rebel are you, or do you just want to be left alone to do your own thing?”
“I want to fit in, but I am not here to fight for causes or to demonstrate for change. I do oppose the war, and I can’t comprehend why America discriminates against and segregates some of its people. I like watching the rebellion, but I prefer to be an artist and not an activist. Hopefully I can do this here,” said Jock, with slight hesitation.
With that, Jock and Greg wandered across the road into Golden Gate Park which was crowded with people. Just after they arrived in the Park, Greg left the regular pathway and led Jock up a small incline that featured an unimpressive view of some of the Park buildings and the radio tower some distance away. The area was occupied by a large group of mainly young people who were sprawled on the grass enjoying the sunshine, chatting and listening to music. Many of the men were dressed like Greg; the women wore brightly colored tops, long skirts, and scarves around their heads. A few peace signs littered the hill and someone had hung an anti-war poster on a tree. What was most apparent was that they looked content and in no hurry to move. Greg pointed out several who seemed to be smoking pot, and others who he said were “tuning in” on recreational drugs.
For the next few hours, Greg and Jock walked through the Park. They visited the tourist places like the Japanese Tea Garden, the De Young Museum, the Botanical Gardens, and the Academy of Science, but also strolled the wide-open spaces such as the Polo Fields, the Speedway Meadow, and the Panhandle. Returning to the apartment, Greg promised to introduce Jock to the emerging music scene later in the week.
A few days later, they visited a variety of concert halls, clubs, and ballrooms where mainstream music, folk music, and the emerging San Francisco sound could be heard. New clubs were opening up to showcase the new wave of San Francisco rock bands that were coming on to the scene. These same bands would hold open-air free concerts for anyone who wished to attend. It was still early days for this music that was considered more complex, more powerful, and more open to improvisation than either the newly arrived “Liverpool beat” or the traditional folk music that was now aligned with the anti-war movement. In concert halls such as the Fillmore, music was much more of a psychedelic experience, with strobe lights, light projections, and uninhibited dancing.
Returning to the apartment on a warm summer’s evening, Jock and Greg sat outside on the patio, exchanging stories from their past. They nibbled on nuts and drank water. Greg asked Jock if he had ever used marijuana.
“Yes, once,” replied Jock, “but I started to cough and stopped inhaling.”
“Would you like to try some now?” invited Greg.
Not sure whether this was a good or bad idea, Jock hesitated.
“Let me bring out the pipes and you can decide as we go along.”
Without waiting for an answer, Greg went into his apartment and quickly returned with two glass pipes, a bag of weed, and a box of matches. He filled one of the bowls, handed the pipe to Jock, and then lit it as Jock puffed gently on the stem. He did the same for himself. Jock found himself coughing as he inhaled but he persevered, increasing the duration of each inhalation. After about five minutes, he began to feel the effects. At the same time, Greg refilled his bowl to give him a second hit. Jock felt light-headed and a little dizzy. He experienced a sense of calm. His mind began to race and he started to visualize the art he would paint. He needed to take a drink of water because his mouth was dry. It all seemed like a mellow high.
But as the effects began to wear off an hour or so later, he began to feel anxious, upset, and a sense of panic over what he was doing and who he was with. He felt guilty. He became incoherent for a time. At one stage, he no longer recognized Greg. He accused Greg of stealing his T-shirt and tried to remove it from Greg’s back. Greg resisted and left the patio. Jock felt increasingly tired and eventually fell asleep outside on the patio.
Greg saw Jock the following morning.
“You seemed to get a little agitated last night. I hope you’re ok,” said Greg.
“I’m fine; it was a good trip, and thank you for the experience and marijuana. Sorry if I scared you with my delusions.”
And that was the last time Jock saw Greg. He heard from others that Greg had moved over to the East Bay to join the anti-war protesters. Jock continued to smoke the occasional reefer that he bought up on the hill, but he would do so on his own. He settled in to his art and paid occasional visits to Mendocino and Sonoma, where he would try to capture the colors of the forests and seascape. He occasionally called to see the Fromms. They would always appear pleased to see him and Sarah would quiz him on the music he had heard and the hippie fashion he had seen. He occasionally would buy her a necklace or a headband from the people in the Park.
He also heard about the communes that were beginning to appear between San Francisco and Mendocino. He visited several of them, but always felt out of place. They made him feel old. Some of the free love he witnessed made him feel envious.
On one occasion a couple of girls, probably in their early 20s, had propositioned him to go with them up to the top of a ridge lined with old oak trees that overlooked their commune. It was a beautiful sunny day. The ridge looked westward across a narrow valley toward the ocean. The girls and some friends were holding a freedom festival. He felt a little apprehensive as he stumbled up the incline to this cluster of young people. Drums and a guitar were playing and several women were dancing. Other people lay in a circle. There was a couple engaged in love-making, some were deep in conversation, and yet others were trying to control their young children. The oak trees stood sentry over the event and the golden grass rolled down the hillside in a thwarted attempt to find water. A lone turkey vulture sailed overhead, seemingly watching all that was happening below.
Jock lay on the forgiving grass, soaking up the sun, squinting at its source, and watching all that was taking place with the simultaneous emotions of astonishment and envy. The two girls shared their names with him and introduced him to a third girl who was traveling with them. They called over a group of boys who had driven up in the same van from San Francisco a few days earlier. They were here to celebrate the freedom of nature and to thank the land for its food provided during the past year.
One of the boys took a clear plastic bag out of his pocket and began passing it among the group. The bag contained a number of tiny tablets in a variety of colors. When Jock asked what was in the bag, one of the girls replied, “Acid. Most of us want a hit today. You should try it. But if this is your first time, don’t use more than two or three of the dots. The color doesn’t matter. Put them under your tongue and then swallow what’s left after about fifteen minutes, and then wait.”
“What will they cost me?” replied Jock. “Who do I need to buy them from?”
The girl replied, “These are communal dots. We each pay something each month and then we get to use the dots until they are all gone. Today’s trip is on us; enjoy it. It’s our way of thanking nature. But be careful if you haven’t done this before. The effect is likely to last six- to-twelve hours, so you need to spend the night here. If you want, the boy with the bag will sell you more dots tomorrow before you leave. He makes them himself.”
With that, the bag arrived. Jock extracted three pink dots or tabs and placed them under his tongue. He then lay back on the grass to await the consequences. Someone passed around some food. He took an apple and tore off a piece of bread, but declined the cheese. He ate, drank water, and waited.
Nothing much happened for the first thirty minutes; conversations continued among the group and a couple started to dance. Jock found it easy to relax in the warm sunshine. The people who had adopted him were sensible and kind. He felt safe, comfortable, and content.
When it arrived, the hit was strong. It seemed to Jock as if he was being transported into another world. How long he would remain there he did not know. He became much more aware of his surroundings. The guitar playing became softer and more melodious. He found thinking difficult. He started to feel disoriented and confused. He babbled at his friends and they seemed to babble back.
The hills were beginning to move and distort, as if struck by an earthquake. Where the hills joined the sky, a kaleidoscope of color was beginning to emerge. At first it was a simple range of reds, but this quickly transformed into a rainbow of bright, ever-changing colors. Jock soon gave up trying to think and sacrificed his mind and body to the euphoria that had taken charge. Geometric patterns began to appear and migrate across his vision. He let his consciousness sink deeper into this new mystical world of beauty, form, and color.
The euphoria seemed to last forever. He laughed out loud at what he saw, and spoke incoherently to anyone who would listen. The visualizations grew more intense. The experience began to change.
The flashes of color and patterns of light took control of his mind and began to cause fear. He started to doubt that the experience would ever end. He had no way of controlling the images. The hallucinations began. He lost all sense of reality. The imagery took on a negative presence. Out of the fairy-tale lights emerged a scene of multicolored falling bridges and torrents of purple-green water running in all directions.
Mixed in with these images were the pink faces of falling, screaming people. The faces would look at him as they passed by and then disappear into the raging water. He began to recognize faces he knew; he saw his wife, the faces of his children, and the anguish on the face of his parents. His own face appeared, without expression. These images kept returning and recycling across his mind, time after time, without an end. He began to scream that he was dead. Dysphoria took control of his emotions. He encountered an overwhelming sense of depression. There was no way he could alter this experience.
Jock became hysterical; he screamed and shouted. He tried to find sanctuary from the images by climbing trees and threatening to jump. The falling faces followed him wherever he went. He became violent, lashing out at the air and anything within his reach. He scratched at the soil with his fingers, trying to dig a hole in which to hide.
He felt attacked, agitated and shrank away from his new friends. They surrounded him, talked to him calmly and had him lie down. They told him everything would be ok. They restrained him within the circle whenever he tried to escape. He slowly became less aggressive, and eventually the two girls whom he had first met were able to lead him to the commune buildings below. One of the girls gave him her mattress for the night. His symptoms continued to distress him, but became less severe.
Jock slept little that night, suffering from the occasional flashback that would repeat the earlier images in 10-to-30-second episodes. During each episode, Jock would lose all control and start shouting and screaming at the top of his voice, trying to run away from the images. Members of the group took turns acting as “trip sitters” throughout the night to keep him safe indoors. In the morning, Jock felt exhausted, tired, hungry and in need of a bathroom.