Sunday, June 28, 2009

40 Year Summer Anniversary

Welcome to. . .
Waikiki?click on photos to enlarge

Can't believe I saved it all these years.

(Disclaimer: I was under age though somewhat emancipated)

"There is a way to look at the past. Don't hide from it. It will not catch you if you don't repeat it."
Pearl Bailey

Hawaiian Skies over me

“An inordinate passion for pleasure is the secret of remaining young.”
Oscar Wilde

First Filament BURSTING OUT

“There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.”
Sophia Loren

Yes, that's a hotel room safe on the curb.
Make up your own caption ;-)

It seems to be a Summer of Anniversaries.

Fifty Years of Hawaii Statehood.
40 years since the Stonewall Uprising

Forty years since Woodstock.

40 ****ing years?!!!!!!!!!!!

I should post this in August but
40 ****ing Years?!

I remember selling macrame` belts to boutiques for my ticket money.
I remember the BUZZ that THIS was gonna be a "gathering of the tribes" and a do NOT miss event!

Arriving at the site late on Thursday night it was too dark to see much.
We slept on the ground.

But Friday morning was a bursting, bustling SEA of cars and humanity.

I'd never seen so many people in one place(OK, maybe Grand Central Station)
but certainly never so many freaks!

(Only Time magazine, and news people, and the 'out of it' called us hippies)

Bob Segar struck a chord that still resonates down the corridor of years:
"Always seem outnumbered, don't dare make a stand,
Same old cliches: 'Is that a woman or a man?"

It took real courage to let your freak flag fly.

But this was freak utopia.
The few cops looked surrendered and happy and just kept the cars safely flowing even as random people (like me) hitched rides on hoods and trunks along the slow moving line of cars. Joints were smoked freely under the open sky, even sincerely offered to cops who declined smiling. Some people were topless, others muddy, and/or nude. Everyone looked HAPPY!

The cops acted like real peace officers. Locals told the press: "They're good kids." The cops treated us like citizens (instead of prey) for once. What else could they do, but still.
It was a peaceful metropolis under the sky, no fights, no attitude, just unbelieving bliss.

The radios in the cars reported that the New York State Thruway was closed!

"We closed the highway, man!"

"Maybe they got us all together in one place to bomb us."

It looked like the end of the world as we knew it and it felt fine indeed!

The disorientation and sensory overload of being amidst so many folks in quasi-disaster conditions made me feel high,
plus we hadn't brought food in expectation of buying it.
But fences were flat, services overwhelmed and not set up.
We sucked on those English flavored cigarette papers popular back then.

Campers shared food. We got by somehow.
I still have my ticket because no one needed one. Free show, Man!
Free was a big concept then: bartering,
Whole Earth Catalogue self-sufficiency, communes....
A shop in West Philly at the time was called "The Free People's Store" which had a " free shelf" to challenge the whole idea of consumerism. Those folks were interesting and later morphed into Urban Outfitters, right Richard?

I can still see that ocean of people, and "feel" that ride on the snaking line of cars as the cops directed traffic good-naturedly.

I remember meeting people from all over the country.

I remember seeing my first Hawaii License plate. (Hawaii!)

I remember the music way way WAY over the sea of people,
and the helicoptered bands landing.

I remember me and my friends being overwhelmed by the throng and leaving on Saturday...but I never tell that part.....