The Man Who Hypnotized Chickens  





Koster Fivel came out of nowhere. One minute he didn't exist the next minute it seemed he had always been there. When he finally vanished it seemed as if maybe we had imagined him. Could there really have been a Koster Fivel?
I think it must have been sometime in the April or May of '61, but I can't be sure. I do remember that it was one of those early spring days in Berkeley when the blond sorority girls looked particularly edible and out of reach, when the first gentle roar of homemade skateboards on the sidewalks could be heard, and when Ray Charles sang ‘What I Say’ from the windows of the Sigma Beta house next door. On the Sigma Beta lawn four or five members of the Cal football team were playing grab-ass. Showing off their golden bodies to each other and the Delta Tao girls across the road.
We sat on our front porch, beer cans held loosely against our knees, trying to look part of this all-American scene. But even through we all had the regulation short haircuts and wore the regulation uniforms - pressed chino pants, white socks, brown loafers and madras shirts - it wasn't enough to transform four lower-middle class Jewish kids into anything more interesting. Into the blue-eyed, straight-nosed, square jawed heroes we all not so secretly yearned to be. [for full story click here]
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© 2015 by Bill Albert