Humboldt Stories: A Note From Homeboy – Better Stay Strapped


Sharon Letts

It’s not Weeds, it’s real.
By Sharon Letts
Author’s note: The following text was taken in part from actual online blog comments from Humboldt County News posted after a home invasion went awry, December 2008, in Humboldt’s county seat of Eureka.
Homeboy circled the block. A man he’d seen earlier in the week tried to get his attention – to say hello. “Not in this lifetime,” he thought to himself, averting his eyes, circling around the block one more time.
Parking around the corner from the house, he turned the engine off, then acted like he was adjusting the radio, and lit a cigarette. Panning the houses in front of him, he noticed a curtain corner slowly being pulled back. 
“Chicken shit,” he said in the onlookers direction. “I don’t want your stupid-ass grow, fucker.”
When the curtain closed again Homeboy got out of the car and quickly disappeared around the block.
He was feeling stealthy, but anyone could guess what he was up to by the uniform he wore — a wanna-be gangsta-like ensemble of a D-G hoodie, pants falling down around his knees, and a baseball cap with “707,” Humboldt’s area code, sitting high atop his long, blond dreads.

Homeboy knocked three times fast on the door and let himself in. 
“This is the kind of fucked up shit I’m talking about, man!” he shouted, throwing down a copy of the local daily, The Times-Standard. A large, green cannabis leaf shared space with the headline announcing a brother killed by a surprise visitor the night before.
Shot down in a grow house, such as this one.
“If you’re tryin’ to be a businessman, don’t try to do it in Eureka,” Homeboy ranted.
A group of eight people were sitting on white plastic chairs in a circle in the living room. A blue plastic drop cloth barely covered the dirty rug beneath. Folding tables and little else held pizza boxes, empty and half-filled soda bottles, glass pipes, a large grinder, assorted rolling papers, and a couple of dirty bongs. 
The trimming circle had been going on for six days now, and the crew was running on fumes.
“In Eureka you gotta deal with legit mothers who don’t fuck around. People are about money and they don’t want to mess up a good thing,” Homeboy continued.
Another armful of branches were brought into the room and dumped on the ground in front of the blurry-eyed workers. A combination of popcorn buds, not worth the time to trim, were mixed with a few giant cones. Green is the only way to describe the flavor of the room. Not just the smell, but the very color itself seemed to permeate everything in the house. 
“Stuff’s just sad, man,” someone responded. “Home invasions and robberies have been gettin’ way too out-of-hand last couple of years. A dude’s dog was shot last week.” The trimmer sat up and looked around for empathy. “A dude’s dog, man!” The others stopped out of respect, straightened up in their chairs, then continued working.
“Well, don’t mess with people you don’t know, and don’t deal out of your fucking house, man,” Homeboy slung back. “And don’t let the mothers know what you got and where you keep it. And you fucking better keep a gun either way.”
“Better stay strapped,” someone agreed.
“Better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it,” someone else offered. “Thousands of dollars aint no reason to kill somebody, but fucking lettin’ some piece of shit steal on you and they will get theirs. People don’t mess around anymore.”
Homeboy was getting hot. Beads of sweat appeared on his forehead, as he slammed his fist on the table, “Good for the dead guy for going down with a fight! And good for the other guy that shot his attacker in the back. Hell with the invaders!”
“We will fight!” another shouted.
“Retaliate!” Homeboy screamed. “Back-hoe the fuckers into ditches! So Hum has it right – there’s a whole lotta room in the hills for an asshole to disappear into, and don’t think people ever knew where you were in the first place — without a trace.”

Sharon Letts
“Humboldt Stories” author Sharon Letts

Editor’s note: Sharon Letts began her love of gardening in Southern California by her mother’s side, watching as she buried fish heads at the base of roses.

At 24, Sharon hung her shingle, “Secret Garden,” planting flower beds for dainty ladies. Gardening led to producing and writing for television with “Secret Garden Productions.”

Today Sharon makes her home in Humboldt County, cannabis capitol of the world, where she continues to write about gardening and all that implies, advocating for the bud, and writing for many magazines, including Toke of the Town.

Her series, “Humboldt Stories,” is a fictional account, based on fact, of the Humboldt grow scene. Tag line: “It’s not Weeds, it’s real.”

With her partner, Craig Carroll, they pen “Road Trip: In Search of Good Medicine,” touring the Golden State, following the green rush.