45 Years Ago in the Haight Ashbury

I originally wrote the Post below on April 24, 2007. Today’s Post is a reminder to myself to finish the story mid February, 2013

Turn On. Tune In. Drop Out!
Scan_Pic0018I got a little jolt last night as I sat in Seated Wide Angle Pose, Upavistha Konasana (the pose in the photo) watching a PBS documentary on Hippies and the Summer of Love.

It dawned on me that it was 40 years ago (1967) [now 45 years] that I took the Greyhound bus from Ventura to San Francisco and rented a room on the third story of a house on Haight Street.

I was 17 years old. I had enough credits to graduate early from Nordhoff high school. While my classmates were still in prison, for the first time in my life, I was free to draw around the clock with Bob Dylan and Simon and Garfunkle in the background. I could sit for hours on the window ledge, in my painted jeans, watching the unfolding hippy invasion below. From my third story perch I could spot Janis Joplin in the crowd and hear Country Joe and the Fish playing nearby.

Imagine growing up in the small town of Ojai and suddenly finding yourself transported amongst 20,000 people dancing in Golden Gate Park! The documentary showed the Human Be-In, a Gathering of the Tribes, and all the great counterculture gurus.

I remembered how I made money selling my psychedelic drawings ($5 to as high as $25 each), babysitting the young children who lived in the first story apartment below, and peddling the Berkeley Barb.

You could buy a ten pound bag of brown rice for $1 and get clothes, shoes, and other essentials at the Free Store. When I ran out of rice I fasted to protest the Vietnam War. My AWOL boyfriend was picked up by the military police in the dead of night and locked up in the Presidio.

Did anyone else see the PBS special last night? Did you see yourself? As I stretched forward in Seated Wide Angle Pose  I had this great cosmic insight that we’re all still trying to turn on, tune in and drop out… Is that what growing older is all about?

To be continued

suz10    Part Two: 1967, The Summer of Love in Ojai: 


45 years ago the Beatles went to India: http://brightstarevents.net/viewArticle.cfm?id=125

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2 Responses to “45 Years Ago in the Haight Ashbury”

  1. tomericks0n Says:

    Seems Barbara Gibson was there, too. She has said Janis was a roommate of hers. Could you guys have met?


  2. Suza Francina Says:

    We have a feeling that we met –but can’t be sure. It’s likely that we at least passed each other on the corner of Haight Ashbury! (I’d like to hear more about what it was like having Janis for a roommate!)


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