YUL BRYNNER / A Cautionary Tale / Part 2

Love Song / Elton John / 1971



I smoked for 7 years.
Not moderately. 2 packs a day.
Combined with drinking, LSD, cocaine, hashish, ??? …
I did everything but heroin.
I was a well rounded abuser.
This was my lifestyle.
My drinking alone would have qualified me as a alcoholic.
I was drunk and stoned much of the time. 

Drugs and booze were readily available back then – and cheap.
Cigs cost about 60 cents a pack. 
A case of beer was $2.75.
In the tavern draft beer was 10 cents a glass. 

I could go to the bar with 5 bucks and drink all night. 
And have enough money left to take a cab.

Then I quit it all.
It didn’t mix with a stronger need that I had.
I was starting a new chapter in my life.

I had run the gauntlet and made it.

Others … ?

It took 6 months to cough the tar out of my lungs.
I never smoked again and I had no inclination
to do any of that other stuff either.
I was done.

But why did I do it?
I don’t know? I just felt I needed to.
I don’t regret it. But I don’t encourage it.
It’s stupid and destructive.
Avoid it.

When I stopped everything I lost most of my friends.
Our relationship revolved around drugs and drinking.
They didn’t want me around if I wasn’t participating.
I felt the same way about them.

Did I dodge the bullet?
I hope so.

I walked away. 

And started a new life.


Author: jcalberta

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5 thoughts on “YUL BRYNNER / A Cautionary Tale / Part 2”

    1. There’s a very long list of celebrities that died from smoking. Starting with John Wayne. It was the ‘Way of Life’ at that time. And as you know many people in the ‘Forces’ smoked. Both my parents smoked. We might refer to it an an insidious social phenomena I guess?

  1. I heard that from other people who used to abuse drugs and stopped, though Garry was lucky. All his drinking pals stopped too. Once they were out of the business, they got sober. It took a while, but none of them drink at all anymore.

    I never went further than pot and that gave ME up.

    1. It was crazy times as you and Garry likely recall better than I. You were in the eye of the storm down there. Massive upheaval all around. If I wasn’t very fit – I played a lot of sports and my job was also physical – road construction – maybe I wouldn’t have gotten through all that. What an era!

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