Our weekly trip to Price took us down off the high plateau just south of Wellington, on what is now called Dinosaur Diamond Prehistoric Highway, which in those says was simply Highway 191. Price was a small town of immaculate, substantial brick houses and hard working people, most of them blond haired, blue eyed Scandinavian. Their valley was lush, neat farmland. They were not exactly unfriendly, but they were wary. We were, after all, four longhaired, bearded freaks and there were no freaks in Utah in those days, except for a few hiding out in the relative anonymity of Salt Lake City.
We found one bar in Price, across the railroad tracks, in a small wooden building sitting by itself with a tiny neon sign that read simply “Bar.” It might as well have read “Sin.” A couple of booths, six stools in front of a small bar, and on Sunday nights it was invariably empty. We drank the tiny bottles they serve on airplanes, sold one at a time. We still managed to get a bit tipsy and bitched a lot about Utah and the fact that we were horny and out of dope.
For horny, the bartender suggested we drive up the road to Helper, a railroad town he said. It was at the end of the spur and a collection point so a lot of railroad workers ended up in Helper, which explained why it had the regions biggest or at least most public whorehouse. We drove up. It was a large, white, unmarked Victorian house with a wrap around porch. The only whore available had thirty years on us. Eddie went upstairs while we waited on the porch. We never went back to Helper. Back in Price, when we came to settle up, the bartender said our drinking that night would be on him. “I don’t want you to think that everyone in Utah is an asshole,” he said.
Word about four free spending young men in town looking for action must have gotten out, because on our next venture into Price we ran into a couple of cute girls and spent a promising evening with them. Brad fell heavily for the prettiest, and she seemed to reciprocate, so the next weekend looked promising. They even said they’d see if they could find us some dope.
We were back in the bar the next Sunday night, and Brad’s new flame said we could score. We set up the buy at a local motel.
The room was dark and dingy. The drug dealer was a small, sharp looking young man in a leather jacket who sat on the edge of his chair across the room. His partner stood near the door, his arms crossed in front of him and never said a word. The dealer pulled out a small baggie of dope and said he’d like us to have a taste before we did the deal. He rolled a joint and passed it to me. I took one hit and almost vomited; it had a chemical taste like poison. “What the hell is this?” I asked. “We always spray it with Raid (an insect repellent) to give it a bigger kick,” the dealer replied. No one else tasted it and we left without making a deal.
The girl who set up the buy finally went to bed with Brad that night. In the throws of new passion, she confessed that she was a drug enforcement informer. She had been busted herself, and as part of her deal with the cops had agreed to work for them. The police had planted her in the bar to set up the purchase. They had their own fantasy going. The police thought that we were big drug dealers, looking to move into the Price market. In their story, our “buy” was simply an attempt to find out who the small dealers were, so we could sell to them. This tearful confession led to still more passionate lovemaking and a great night for Brad.