20 July 2007

Once Upon A Hippie

While making my daily tour of favorite blogs yesterday morning, I came across Michelle Phillips piece about the the Monterey International Pop Festival

As much as I would like to say I was there as one of those young things dancing in their flowered frocks while something floated in the wind, I can't, but boy did I know it was happening. In 1967 I was half of "young executive couple with two children and house in suburbia". This was the surface picture.

Under the surface, I had gifted my then husband with a twelve string guitar. My brother in law with hair down to the waist of his long and lanky macrobiotic fed frame had stopped in for an extended stay and every day I went to work and every night we sang until the wee hours. In the morning I gathered the children to head out for day care while stepping over the bodies of still sleeping strangers. They came and went all summer, these young people who if still alive are now pushing or have navigated the bridge over 60.

Back then everything seemed so hopeful: There was an unnecessary war, protests in the street, a burgeoning civil rights movement, those peaceful flower people and some of the best music every written. Now we have another unnecessary war, no real protests since we don't have a draft, fear and locked houses behind locked gates, and an even greater gap between wealth and poverty. It may no longer be possible to bring back the hope, but we can do our best to live the dream.

Two songs that take me back to that place 40 years ago:

If You're Going To San Francisco

The anthem of the festival

On Susan's Floor

Wrong name, but they were definitely on my floor


Linda said...

I was still pretty young during much of the 70's or at least too young to worry about politics and the State of the Union. It seems to me, though, that people were better able to communicate back then and were not anywhere near as hostile as they have become now.

Was it just that people were more open and willing to accept opinions other than their own back then or is it just that no one trusts anyone anymore? The world has become a very hard place - very hard.

Right now a good part of America seems broken but I don't know what will fix it.

Jamie said...


I often refer to 1968 as the year America died. The 1963 Kennedy assasination turned something on a sense of change and a division from the past, a coming of age of the children of the WWII parents. We had been handed lots of things by our depression era parents and we felt intitled then and now. We wanted change in education, in music, in government everything.

It was an almost magical five years and then we had the RFK and MLK Assasinations, and all that hope and energy seemed to come crashing down and things got ugly with the war protests. Following the end of Viet Nam, drugs and crime seemed to flood the country. Distrust of government increased. Things people took for granted such as lifetime jobs at decent pay ... all of it got lost.

I honestly don't know if we can get anything like it back in a world wide economy and the threat of terrorism.

Travis said...

Great choices for music.

And I will suggest that if people could possibly slow down and follow the example you and Linda show here - how to express your thoughts and ask questions without accusation and name calling - then perhaps debate can follow.

TarBabyJim said...

Love your blog. I am bookmarking. Thanks for the memories.

Jamie said...


Thank you, will look forward to your visits. Are you related or just read Joel Chandler Harris?

Matt-Man said...

Sometimes I regret that I hadnt been born 15 years earlier. I would have thrived being a 20 year old in 1968. Cheers Jamie!!