Wednesday, November 29, 2023
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Wednesday, November 29, 2023

It’s 420! Here’s A Stoner Holiday Story About An Iconic Picture From Beaver County’s Past

There comes a time in every childhood when a light clicks on and you realize your dad is more than just a dad.

Cher Balestrieri, now 36, of Hopewell Township remembers when it was her turn as a tot to discover that everyone’s dad also had an outside job. Effervescent and articulate, she quickly recapped how she discovered this friend’s dad did this. This one’s dad did that.

“And my dad was the Lone Reefer,” Cher said.

She laughed. Yes, her dad dressed as a superhero toker. Based loosely on the Lone Ranger, he wore a cowboy hat, black eye mask and a Western bib shirt made famous by the likes of John Wayne.

But marijuana leaves were hand painted on Eddie Wagner’s bib shirts, the words “Natural Energy” graced the front, and “… Just Say Grow” decorated the back.

Cher certainly would never have had to do much to prove to her friends now or then that her dad was indeed the Lone Reefer.

Her dad is the guy driving the van in an iconic counterculture photograph that has appeared on a countless number of web pages and discussion boards devoted to pot legalization and American history.

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Lori Boone
Lori Boone
Lori DeLauter Boone has more than 20 years of experience in investigative and community journalism. She’s won more than a dozen regional, state and national journalism awards.

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