Sunday, October 3, 2010

I Remember the 70's (But Just Barely)

So thank god for cameras, however primitive they were back in the early 70's!  I graduated from high school in 1968, quite a tumultuous year in its own right, and my father immediately whisked us from the San Francisco Bay Area to Birmingham, Alabama.

We haven't been right since. 

Of course I mean that in the literal sense, as in, "right in the head."  But in my case, that also means in the political sense due to the fact that I turned into a raving commie leftist pinko liberal, which actually occurred in ALABAMA even before I moved back to California.  I think that might be a little-known fact that Ripley's Believe It Or Not might be interested in . . .

I went through three colleges and three jobs in the space of three years, finally said AAAACCCCKKK! to the Deep South and returned to San Francisco.  I started to meet people almost immediately (I was young, blonde, an actual 21 year old virgin who was practically wearing a sign that said "I'm young, blonde and a virgin.  Come take advantage of me!")--and eventually became friends with two women who are STILL my BFFs. 

We decided to rent a house together in the Haight Ashbury--this was after the Summer of Love but believe me, you wouldn't have known it from the looks of the place: hippies everywhere, blacks and whites co-existing peacefully, naked babies, long hair, major amounts of drugs, blah blah blah.  It was soooooo groovy! 

Since we were all poor our main form of entertainment (other than ingesting illegal substances when we could afford them) was walking a few blocks to Golden Gate Park and hanging out with friends and people-watching.  One day we saw two hippies pushing a shopping cart.  Inside the cart was a third hippie, completely nude and passed out cold.  I mean, what are friends for if not to dump your naked self in a shopping cart and wheel you through a major public park, hmm?

When we saw this hippie mom allowing her hippie child to pee on a trash can I remember saying, "If a grownup dude did that he'd get the pigs down on him hard.  But when a kid does it, it's cute, isn't it?!"  Guess what?  Not an hour later a grownup dude stumbled up and peed all over the trash can.  He wasn't arrested but we definitely didn't think it was cute.
(Coming from the lilywhite suburbs of Lafayette CA and three subsequent years in Alabama, one of the first things I noticed after moving to San Francisco was the high number of integrated couples, nearly always black men and white women.  It was so much the norm that I remember a black comedian making the comment: "I saw an amazing sight today!  A brotha and a sistah TOGETHER! And I don't mean brother and sister, I mean BROTHA and SISTAH!").  Apparently he was in Golden Gate Park the same day I took this photo of The Peeing Baby.

Back in Birmingham, my sisters were also doing the hippie thing, although Susie seems to have opted for a more, shall we say, sedate look.  Of course she could pull off any look (and still can BTW) and be ravishing.  Although I have to say that Sally (with the specs and her then-husband Curly) and little sister Cynthia (RIP, baby sis) were pretty cute, too. 
(In another aside, Sally still looks darn good too.  Wonder if she still has that Wilma Flintstone necklace, or is that the one Tink used when she actually WAS Wilma Flintstone a few Halloweens ago?).

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!


  1. WOW! You were actually living in Haight-Ashbury!! That was a blast, I'm sure.
    Great real pics too, Sistah!
    Enjoyed this.

  2. love this post! i was born in Glendale, CA in 1966. My older sister was 15 and was a major hippie. i love the stories my dd used to tell about that crazy place!

  3. I remember finding a *gasp* roach clip designed with a few hippy beads and a peace sign at the little tiny grass park near my house. I was so excited (an knew what it was). I imagined all sorts of cool hippies had used it to smoke you-know-what. And then I found a metal thing with the numbers "13" on it, and was told by a friend, "13" meant the 13th letter of the alphabet, code for "marajooana" as he pronounced it. Ooooo big stuff!!

    I was right on the tail end of the hippy era, but Mom had a fried whose kids were a bit older, and I remember being envious of watching them get to 'be hippies'. My best friend and I did the hippy phase about 10 years too late, but gee, we memorized the whole "Hair" soundtrack and thought it was an awful lot of fun while smoking you-know-what lol...

    Love the photos and hearing about your experiences.

  4. I was shopping on the Haight with my 12 year old daughter yesterday (great vintage clothing can be found there today) and was sharing stories of my teen years, during the 80s, as a punk rocker hanging out in the Haight. It's still full of hippies and punks.

    Before we went to the Haight, I had taken her to Union Square where we shopped at Macy's and H&M, before lunch at the Rotunda. At the end of the day I asked her, "Which did you like better? Haight or Union Square?" She replied, "Honestly, I like the Haight better." There is something magical about Haight Street.

  5. BTW, my mother-in-law has those salt and pepper shakers from Zombie Village, and she gave me the matching mug. She had her wedding reception there in 1965.

  6. Those were the days. I have no photos from the 70's! I don't think we even owned a camera, so thanks for posting your pics. We mainly hung out in Berkeley on Telegraph Ave. Wish I had my cool flower stamped leather shoulder purse I bought from one of the street vendors. How come you never see those in the thrift stores? Everybody had one.

  7. Gosh, I remember when we all looked like that!

  8. hahaha, you said "pigs." That's a hippy word. :)

    Oh man, you lived in Haight! Lucky girl~ I want to go to school at Berkeley, so I can vicariously feed off Haight's mojo.

    I love the photo of you all together. WOW! Look at your hair!

    Hugs and love, pinko. That sounds familiar. ;)

  9. I remember those days well. Hey, we even had hippies in Oklahoma!

  10. Wow, you lived what I was reading about and saw on t.v. Don't let Christine (above me) fool you...we only had faux hippies here in Oklahoma, not real ones. Our poor little innocent selves would have been shocked at what you saw. The closest I came to being hippie was having long hair and parting it down the middle. Loved your pics! Hope things are going okay for you. I missed your post earlier (Just When, etc, etc.) but Jabacue's comments alerted me to your situation, so I'm not completely in the dark. Hang in there, we're all concerned for you and love ya!


  11. Oh girl I was a wild hippy chick living in Hawaii and then in Cali, Napa Valley! Wild times in the 70's!!

  12. Yeah, well while you were dropping acid in Haight Ashbury, I was attending elementary school.

    It figures. You have all the fun and I'm being dressed by my mother.


  13. Whaoh man! Trippy! I love the pic of the house. I love SF, I've only been twice but could easily see myself living there. Whatta groovy post!

  14. OMG! You have given me a step back in time here. Wow! I was married and living in Walnut Creek in '68. Kinda of funny how different it was just through the tunnel. The Bay Area, Berkeley and San Francisco were to become famous for the counter-culture movement while Walnut Creek and Lafayette were the conclave of wealthy, career building conservatives. Just a few miles and a range of hills separated the revolution.
    I remember visiting a girlfriend who lived in the Height. It was another world to my husband who was raised in the Central Valley. He was such a conservative straight laced boy then.
    Those were wild times. We really thought there would be a revolution.
    Thanks for the memories.

  15. Graduated in 1968 too.... but didn't visit San Francisco until I was well into adulthood... Was always a prissy girl....never a hippie...never did drugs and don't smoke or drink.... and never have. I think I'm one of the few in that category from that era. :-) .... at least that's what the Hubb's says.

    Warm blessings,