Musings from Long Ago–Hippies and Freaks

I never fully embraced the hippie life. I had more essential things to do with my life–protesting the war and trying to get an education post Vietnam. The nuance, if any, between freaks and hippies escapes me now. Which countercultural group did I identify with more? Hmm, can’t say that the issue presented itself forthrightly, as a decision that needed making. Unlike my favorite Pres., Bill, I must confess to inhaling–frequently. So when it came to freak versus frat on campus there could be no doubt in which camp I could be found. Much like the boozers versus the dopers in Vietnam. I did go to a music festival once. Like Woodstock, it happened on a farm. Unlike Woodstock there were maybe only a couple thousand people. No rain, no mud–thankfully. Someone peddled some Panama Red, he said, which seared the throat more than provided a good buzz. The Chambers Brothers, Poco, the Flying Burrito Brothers and a few other acts were featured. Do stick on yellow flowers adorning my blue Chevy Malibu make me a hippie? I don’t know. I bought the car though the PX while still in Vietnam and drove it to and from Ft. Knox my final year in the army. I kept it a few more years, until it became too trouble prone. Those were not the best years for GM. I had some bell bottoms and platform shoes too before the waistline expanded. In ’71, Liz pierced my left ear. I wore it through the remainder of college and most of law school, taking it out only when it came time to venture into the uptight legal world. Later, with just a few more years left before retirement from the Fairfax County job I had in Northern Virginia, the earring went back in. What the hell? Why not; no more need to dress for success. Finally, all the guys who never had one in their youth began piercing their ears in their 50s and 60s. Some even went with tats a few years later. Silly in your sixties if you weren’t a sailor in the 1950s or 1960s, in my opinion. Anyway, that’s my musing for the bygone era this week.

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