Friday, July 24, 2009

What A Long Strange Trip It's Been

Yes, the Revolution of Love was and is, for some of us, real...and real hippies still do exist. I'm not talking about those who wore a hippie style, lost themselves to drugs, or denegrated good soldiers in an impossible situation. I'm talking plain-speaking, big-loving, individual-styling, tuned-in...*GASP*...Liberal (with a capital Luh) hippies.

There was a magic to flashing someone a peace sign and immediately being involved in philosophical discussion. There was a beauty in barriers coming down between young people of different cultures, especially in the wave striving for civil rights and equality. There was such movement in a generation on the road to self-discovery. Yes, there were dipsy-doodles...but name me an Age where funky li'l gene pools haven't spilled into the river!

I lived communally, north of the 49 Medicine Line and we often housed young American men, traumatized by the peace in their hearts slamming into the Draft and an insane war half-way round the world. I will never in my life forget the night I held a young man as he cried. He came from Mississippi and had actually volunteered for Vietnam, with his best friend and his brother-in-law. The best friend was killed...the brother-in-law badly injured...and then this young man was also injured and sent home. After recovery he tried to return to life, one night stopping into a bar for a cool beer. He was told, "We don't serve N*****s in here boy!"

He tore the bar apart and headed north.

There were never less than twelve for dinner at our house, so dinner was often whatever variation of brown rice and veggies bought in Chinatown. Sometimes a guest, traveling into Vancouver from up-island, would bring with them a huge, fresh-caught salmon. We also gladly fed and housed anyone for three days at no cost. Participation in house-chores was a must though and all was organised through weekly house-meetings by the residents.

Here's a little economic misty memory for you: The rent for this five-bedroom house was $250/month. Each of us living there paid $6/week for food...and we ate really well. When you only had to cook once a week, you put a little extra effort into it. Our entire back yard was used for a veggie garden; the soil fed by a rockin' homemade compost bin. We recycled everything we could, amazing the neighbours with the small bag of garbage put out every week.

We had no TV or radio...but we had live music every night...and I mean EVERY night. There was the possibility of theatre every day...and there was love and laughter in a tie-dyed swirling smile. We got naked together...and physically was the least of it. I burned my bra...I stopped shaving and wearing make-up...oh sweet comfortable freedom!

That's what this blog is about...sweet comfortable freedom to be who I am. Perhaps I'll be serious...perhaps I'll get a li'l slapstick. It's gonna be, like, real man...and if that's too much for you...peace...and don't let the door hit you in the ass on your way out. For those who wear Big Boy/Girl pants (and they may be Depends!) and who feel Love may be free but the responsibility is work, I hope you'll do a li'l truckin' with me.


  1. "Those were the days my friend,
    We thought they'd never end,
    We'd sing and laugh forever and a day..."

    When Matt and I went to the Haight, I was just standing around for a moment remembering how it used to look and be in the past, and I noticed another person about my age with the same sort of glazed contemplative look. Gotta love SF.

    I tell the kids today, "We were right, we tried to tell you, we tried to change things." I believe we did, it just takes a little longer to saturate in then we'd thought.

    We need a new script. This cutthroat thing just doesn't really cut it. How many thousand years and this is the best we could come up with? The technologies give us the means to communicate but this is wasted, tending instead feed our fears and insecurities, to numb us, placate us, tempt us, control us, keeping us at bay from actually connecting us. :)

    Anyway, I didn't even know I had a google account, much less w/Polychome (I guess I was being incognito or something) but I changed it to Bronwyn so the other comment is me too. Not so incognito after all. Mars in Gemini say I. LvB

  2. made me remember when my brother worked for Capitol Records...and had to 'take care' of Mary Hopkins when she came to Toronto on tour, after that song. Well, he certainly did...they went to NY for a long weekend!

    Young people actually CAN have good ideas..and we did. I'm really glad to see how the young folks today are working with Obama's White House...and being taken seriously.

    Yeah..on that whole territorial thing, we have not moved so very far from the cave door...sigh. Never did understand much about these invisible lines on the good earth. We do need a new script...which really IS that old 'Golden Rule' thing, that every religion spouts about but never follows.

    Remember we used to say, "God is Love!" I still believe that today...and have learned in growing, that love is both simple and complicated...and it is the river that Life runs in.

    I love you Bronwyn...would so love to see you! Lox

  3. Wonderful stories of a wonderful time. When my oldest was a babe, her father and I lived in an old farm house in Juanita. No TV,but we did have a radio. That's when I got hooked to KUOW and NPR. Every night they read from a book which was better than a TV show. We rented that four bedroom farm house for $200.

  4. Those were the days, indeed! Then there were all the funky hand-made houses deep in the woods, that you never expected. We used to do band tours of the Gulf Islands...Quadra, Cortes, Saltspring, Galiano...oooh....feel there might be another story coming....!