All good tales start with; ‘Once upon a time…’
In my late teens (1970s), I moved into a flat with a few friends in a quiet suburb, on Auckland’s North Shore. One day, whilst out walking, I could not help but notice, a shop-front in the local shopping area, with a very large Cannabis leaf painted on it & the words ‘Neo-American Church’.
The shop was always closed when I past, but rumors abounded at the local pub, that this was run by a man called the ‘Arch Boo Hoo’ (high priest) & his wife.. the ‘Arch Bee Hee’ (priestess)
There were also, apparently a number of other lesser ‘boo hoos’ & ‘bee hees’.
I kept an eye out over the next few weeks, for any signs of life & occassionally saw people entering & exiting. One evening, I notice the lights on, so I plucked up the courage & knocked on the door. The door was answered by a teenage boy & a strong pungent smell ! The boy duly advised me that the ‘Church’ was not open to the public, except by appointment.. I left, none the wiser.
Several weeks went by & I saw a TV news item ‘Boo hoo busted !’ the story revealed that the back yard was well cultivated & a large number of cannabis plants were blooming in the open air. I heard that a large contingent of the local constabulary served a search warrant & seized this crop of ‘sacramental herbs’. I later heard that the Arch Boo Hoo was charged, convicted & sentenced to time in the notorious ‘Mount Eden Prison’ !!
I never heard anymore about the NZ Neo-American Church.. but I once saw a graffiti sign on a wall (some time later) that declared ‘Free the Boo Hoo’
I’ve occassionally wondered what became of this enigmatic Arch Boo Hoo & his followers ? Maybe a religion I could have joined ??