When I was a Hippie.

According to one dictionary, a hippie is

: a usually young person who rejects established social customs (such as by dressing in an unusual way or living in a commune) and who opposes violence and war; especially : a young person of this kind in the 1960s and 1970s

 I was on the tail end, starting college in the late ‘70s, but here’s what I recall about being a hippie, in a sort of stream of consciousness version:

Sandals; tiny rooms reached by ladders; the New Riverside Café; a guy who had a tiny music shop and sold (probably stolen) guitars next to the barber shop where my dad used to go. KQRS and KFAI (“Fresh Air) radio. Typewriters. Dinged up wooden tables and making wedding candelabras from 2x4s.

My girlfriend and I swaying at at a Bonnie Raitt concert, hands in each others’ back pockets. Laundromats. Bikes with suicide levers and toe clips. D’gadband. The Coffee House Extempore. The 400. Al’s Breakfast (still around).

Palmer’s bar and the VVAW upstairs playing pool.

Surdyk’s.  A blue hoodie.

Sandalwood incense.

Magnificent libraries. Not one, but two original copies of Bentham’s Works. On the open shelves.

Learning about oral sex from watching Coming Home.

Cedar Square West. The West Bank People Center. Drinking Retsina, because it was dirt cheap and came in big bottles. RHPS parties (and the Uptown). Watching The Jimmy Hendrix Movie while joints passed up and down the aisles.

Beer. Long hair and beards, L, G, J and many other friends. Midwest Mountaineering. Charlie Hoffman’s Guitars. Bellville’s guitar shop and Koa OO.

Stuffing flowers in the barrel of a tank’s cannon.  OK, the tank was a monument, but still.

The silver, tubular hall in Coffman Union.

Hearing Richard Thompson for the first time on Live, More or Less.

Records. There was a shop called “The Wax Museum” that I used to raid for used albums. Cutouts were the best.

Jeans.

35mm cameras.

Ragstock. Down parkas. Books, books everywhere.

All of the co-op stores; the co-op grocery (and later drug store); 2001 Riverside, where I bought guitar strings. The Sandwich Shop next to North Country hardware.

ACME, Ax-Man. FOR/WRL.

Too many things to remember. It was a pretty good time.

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One Response to When I was a Hippie.

  1. Jnana Hodson says:

    A pretty good time … not a bad mantra. Then or now.

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