Summer of Love 30th Anniversary

October 12, 1997, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco

Photo Gallery One

There was so much color, everywhere. I won't ever be able to look at a black and white photo from 1967 and not think of the color that was missing. I kept noticing all the trips people had going, once outside the zone of the main stage. Here, a group of women were doing body painting. The Diggers had a phrase that represented the idea of a creative anarchy: "Do your own thing" which kept ringing in my ears all day.

Everywhere I looked, there were archetypes from my hippie past. This trio reminded me of a Wes Wilson poster, looking like the Magi stopping for momentary rest on some spiritual quest.

Just as in 1967, the Krishnas were giving out prasadam and collecting donations.

The true Digger spirit was alive and well. If you squint, can you imagine the original Page Street free store and the Panhandle feeds? This group has been traveling the country for seven years, pulling into inner city neighborhoods where they set up their free People's Kitchen. Floppy explained how they scrounge "perfectly good fruits and vegetables" from cast-off Produce Market bins. (As if I were completely ignorant of such knowledge.)

The bus in this photo is named after the original hippie bus, Furthur, which Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters drove as they toured the country in 1964, and which Tom Wolfe made famous in his classic tale, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test.

A couple dozen converted school buses, RV's, and vans stretched down the parking lot by the beach, looking remarkably like the hippie Bus Caravan that left San Francisco in 1970 under the guidance of Stephen Gaskin, guru of the Monday Night Class. (This weekly hip revival meeting took place at the Family Dog auditorium by the old Playland amusement center, just a few hundred yards from where this photo was shot.) 
The Caravan returned in 1971 to San Francisco, but soon left to find a permanent settlement, which would become The Farm in Summertown, Tennessee. (I remained in The City to find gainful employment to help pay the balloon mortgage on the Ortiviz communal ranch, and to find a more copacetic environment for a 21-year old gay man.) Stephen's teachings from this period are recorded in The Caravan, along with some great photos of the 60-odd vehicles that we drove cross-country.
Another caravan left San Francisco in 1971. This was the Digger/Free City Caravan, which Peter Coyote wrote about in the chapter published here, Approaching Terminal Velocity.
Stephen Gaskin was even back for the celebration, I heard.
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