Sunday, November 1, 2015

Turn on, tune in, drop out

Opener to the show Hippie Modernism at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis

Whoa. So about it. Born in 1953, grew up in the 60's and 70's and it was just so much fun then. So Lee and I couldn't miss the Walker exhibit - Hippie Modernism. I even noticed that our ages gave us a special entry fee price.

"Yeh, we're totally hippie modernists," Lee said, slightly teasing the very cool looking woman from whom we would buy our tickets - who looked approximately our age.

"Oh, you're artists with the exhibit?" she asked.

"No, not artists. We just want to see it. We lived this. We're old." Lee said. Deadpan.

Then, I noticed, "Wow. We both qualify for the Senior rate. Yep. I'm 62 and he's 64," I said.

"Get out. You're not." she smartly said. I smiled.

"Yep. Wanna see our id?"

"No, we don't need to see that." She laughed and handed us our tickets. And we tripped off to the show.

Well, not literally tripped.

We meandered for the next hour through the later 60's during which time I was slightly too young to get my head around what was happening. But by 1971, when I graduated from high school and headed to college, then moved to San Francisco in the summer of 1975, I had begun to absorb all the ways "the times, they are a changin'".

I realized that I had parents who allowed my moderate exploration into this alternative world - why, I can't explain. I suspect it was less conscious that I might fantasize and more about just having four mouths to feed and a small mortgage to pay.

The only real alarm I set off was when, during the summer I was 17  I decided I would wear hot pants. And they couldn't stop me. God. So embarrassing. I could have been fighting for civil rights or protesting Viet Nam.

Pretty much what I was wearing the entire summer I was 17 - just before heading to college.
What is so astonishing is the innocence. We had ideas about how the world could be different. We had words. We had print. We had paper. We had our actions. We had love-ins and sit-ins and be-ins. We marched and raised our fists and raised our consciousness and raised our hemlines. Then dropped them again. We went barefoot because adults didn't like that. We started swearing for the same reason. Especially using the word "Fuck" whenever another word was actually a more intelligent choice.

We innocently believed we could change the world. And we did. You know that phrase. "Thoughts become things." Our thoughts became civil rights and women's rights and sexual freedom and a return to nature and an awakening to the fragility of the planet and the horror of war. All those things were thoughts first. And it's never been the same since.

In this life, I got my timing right.

1960's bathing suit
Self-contained architecture was a new idea

And in person...

John and Yoko

Remember Buckminster Fuller and the geodesic dome????

Someone had an idea to create a self-sustaining citrus garden.

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