Weed residents in New York: ‘It’s a city, not an ingredient’

Karen DeRoss
Weed residents, left to right, Dave Borcalli, Micki Perry, Mel Borcalli and Gezelda Perry stand with ABC’s Good Morning America anchors Robin Roberts and Juju Chang. Visiting the set of Good Morning America was a highlight of the group’s trip to the Big Apple. While standing in line to get into the building, the group caused such a commotion that when the show ended, Roberts came out asking “Alright, where are the Weed girls who are causing all the trouble?” Roberts and Chang were interested to find out where Weed was and were “very gracious,” said Mel.

New York City had an encounter with Weed, Calif., a few weeks ago when residents Dave and Mel Borcalli, Gezelda Perry and Micki Perry took a four-day tour of the Big Apple through Affordable Adventures in Redding. “We got to splash our city all over the place,” said Mel.

Before they left, Mel made a point to stop by the Weed Store to ensure their supply of Weed, Calif., paraphernalia, most importantly t-shirts.

One day during their tour they wore their Weed shirts and carried their signs all around New York. “If we didn’t put Weed on the map that day, nobody can,” said Mel. People approached them everywhere they went, asking to take pictures. One man even offered to trade shirts with Mel during a carriage ride through Central Park. “Everyone did a double take,” said Mel.

“I’ve never had my picture taken so many times in my life,” said Gezelda. “If we would have brought more shirts, we could have sold them for $100 each, easy.”

They attracted so much attention during their carriage ride that Gezelda finally just gave into it. “I was doing the princess wave and blowing kisses,” she said. “Later, even the girls working at Bloomingdale’s took pictures of us.”

They went to a recording of Good Morning America and were on camera in the background, waving their Weed signs and showing off their “I love Weed” t-shirts. Mel said they caused such a commotion that when the show ended, anchor Robin Roberts came out asking, “Alright, where are the Weed girls who are causing all the trouble?”

Their experience at the set of Good Morning America was the highlight of their day. While waiting to enter the building, they gave signs and key chains away to the head of security and other security guards who asked for them.

Mel said Dave walked a few steps behind them all day. The only one in their group not boasting a Weed shirt, he didn’t want to get in trouble with “the Weed girls.” He was, however, amused. “You never get a smile out of him, but Dave was laughing like the dickens that day,” said Mel. “We were all laughing. We were laughing the whole time.”

Mel and Gezelda said the most common response they got was people giving them the peace sign and saying “Me too.”

In the midst of all the fun, Mel said she was concerned about the image of Weed they were portraying. “Considering I’m a former Mayor, I have to be careful,” she said.

“She kept straightening her shirt out and saying, ‘It’s a city! It’s a city!’” said Gezelda.  Although Mel had fun with the joke, she worried it might give the wrong impression of our town. “It’s a city, not an ingredient,” she said.

Though their trip was jam-packed with memorable activities – visits to locations featured in films and TV, Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty, expensive restaurants, Central Park, Broadway shows and bicycle-pulled cabs that scared Gezelda so bad “they were making me talk Italian,” the day they introduced New York to Weed stands out.

“We put a smile on New York’s face,” said Mel.