Tuesday, 19 September 2017

On the Question of Hippies

My brother brought up this topic of 'where the hippies of the 1960s are' in a conversation.  It was centered on where the hippies went off to....where they retired....etc.

I sat and pondered over this.  I finished high school in the mid-1970s....when the hippy era was closing out.  Course, I lived in Alabama, and would readily admit in the whole state in 1977....there probably weren't more than 2,000 total hippies.  Some were real hippies....meaning they smoked marijuana daily....listened to Iron Butterfly, Arlo Guthrie, Neil Young, and Jefferson Airplane....sipped weird cocktails made up of rum, prune juice and lemon juice....and would often take off to San Francisco for some unknown festival which they'd talk about for weeks.  Oddly, most drove VW vehicles, always seemed to be borrowing money, and had badly stained teeth (mostly from a lack of brushing habit).

Some were fake hippies...meaning that they mostly just smoked marijuana, skipped baths for five or six days at a time, and generally refused to work.  

The attempt by The Seventies Show to use the character Leo....to explain this era and the pot connection probably made more sense than most people think.  I think a lot of folks from that era....just drifted around mentally and ended up cleaning up their act at some point.

Where did the hippies go?  I suspect that 90-percent of them ended up in California.  They stood there working in Blockbuster shops in the 1980s and 1990s.  They worked their way up to team-leader level of pizza shops.  They found landscaper jobs or got into artsy work.

These were folks who talked excessively about the album Incense and Peppermints by Strawberry Alarm Clock.  They explained the intriguing details of the Zombies album She’s Not There.  They memorized every line of the four Billy Jack movies....detailing scene by scene analysis.

They will tell you all about the 1967 movie....The Happening, which probably hasn't been on TV in forty years.  Delmonico....the mafia character....played by Anthony Quinn....ends up being this hippy-hero of sorts.

From the 2,000-odd hippies of 1975 from Alabama?  I doubt if more than four dozen exist today in the state.  Most of them probably went through some religious rehab program....got college....and ended up being regular people.