By J. F. Burke
Most of my life it’s been boo, booze and blow. I didn’t get into trips until I was 42, in 1957, when a friend of mine in Santa Fe introduced me to peyote. A Taos Indian had given a dozen peyote buttons to each of several persons in Santa Fe’s art colony. One of them a serigrapher who did realistic still lifes of mushrooms had been waiting for me to arrive and trip with him.
I knew very little about peyote at that time, but I did know enough to be aware of the problem of getting it past our palates, so I pulverized the dried buttons in a Waring blender and tamped the powder into gelatin capsules. Otherwise our soft palates might have reflexively ejected the peyote, which I’d been told was incredibly bitter. We washed the caps down with cold mountain well water.