SUM­MER OF LOVE

IN 1967 HIP­PIES FLOCKED TO SAN FRAN­CISCO AND AMONG THEM WERE THE PAR­ENTS OF W&H’S EMMA JUS­TICE. FIFTY YEARS ON EMMA FOL­LOWED IN THEIR FOOT­STEPS…

Woman & Home - - CONTENT -

EX­PLOR­ING SAN FRAN­CISCO’S HIPPY TRAIL, 50 YEARS ON

WALK­ING AROUND

THE SUN-DAP­PLED

STREETS OF HAIGHT

ASHBURY IN SAN FRAN­CISCO, I SUD­DENLY FELT AN IN­CRED­I­BLE CLOSE­NESS TO MY MOTHER. SHE PASSED AWAY OVER EIGHT YEARS AGO AND HER MEM­ORY SLOWLY DIMS, YET HERE IN THE PSY­CHE­DELIC TIE-DYE SHOPS AND VIN­TAGE VINYL STORES IT BURNT BRIGHTLY. HER FREE SPIRIT CAP­TURED SOME­WHERE BE­TWEEN THE JOSS STICKS, JANIS JO­PLIN MU­RALS AND FLOWER POWER T-SHIRTS.

FOR SHE WAS HERE WITH HER BOYFRIEND, MY FA­THER, IN THOSE HEADY MONTHS OF 1967 WHEN PEACE, LOVE,

FLARED JEANS AND LSD COL­LIDED DUR­ING

THE SUM­MER OF LOVE. IT WAS THE AGE OF AQUARIUS – THE MU­SI­CAL Hair WAS IN­SPIRED BY THE EVENTS OF THAT YEAR – ANTI-VIET­NAM WAR PROTESTS GAINED MO­MEN­TUM AND DIS­AF­FECTED YOUTH WERE EN­COUR­AGED TO “TURN ON, TUNE IN, DROP OUT” BY COUNTERCULTURE HERO TI­MOTHY LEARY.

THE YOUTH THAT FLOCKED TO HAIGHTASHBURY (OVER 100,000 THAT SUM­MER) WERE PART OF A REVOLUTION THAT WOULD CHANGE THE WORLD FOR­EVER. NOT THAT ANY OF THEM KNEW IT AT THE TIME.

“WE WERE JUST THERE TO HANG OUT WITH OTHER HIP­PIES,” SAYS MY FA­THER NICK, NOW 72. “WE AR­RIVED AND WENT WITH THE FLOW, EVEN THOUGH NO ONE KNEW WHAT THE FLOW WAS OR WHERE IT WAS GO­ING.”

MY PAR­ENTS HAD TRAV­ELLED TO SAN FRAN­CISCO FROM TORONTO, CANADA, WHERE THEY WERE BOTH LIV­ING AND WORK­ING AT THE TIME – MY FA­THER AS AN EN­GI­NEER AND MY MOTHER PAT AS A MED­I­CAL SEC­RE­TARY.

“WE WERE BOTH 22 AND HAD JUST MOVED INTO A CHEAP APART­MENT TO START OUR LIVES TO­GETHER. EV­ERY­THING SEEMED POS­SI­BLE THEN – THERE WERE MORE JOBS AND OP­POR­TU­NI­TIES FOR YOUNG PEO­PLE THAN THERE ARE NOW. IN­TER­NA­TIONAL

TRAVEL WAS START­ING TO OPEN THE WORLD

UP TO US. BE­ING A HIP­PIE WAS ABOUT FEEL­ING FREE – FREE FROM THE CON­STRAINTS OF CON­VEN­TIONAL PAR­ENTS AND A COR­PO­RATE SO­CI­ETY. A LOT OF OUR FRIENDS IN CANADA WERE DRAFT DODGERS SO THERE WAS A PO­LIT­I­CAL EL­E­MENT TOO, BUT RE­ALLY IT WAS ABOUT HAV­ING A GOOD TIME, GET­TING HIGH AND LIS­TEN­ING TO MU­SIC.”

THE SUM­MER OF LOVE AN­THEM San Fran­cisco (Be Sure to Wear Flow­ers in Your Hair) BY THE MAMAS AND THE PA­PAS AND SUNG BY SCOTT MCKEN­ZIE (SEE BOX OVER­LEAF), WAS RE­LEASED ON 13 MAY 1967. IT REACHED NUM­BER ONE IN THE UK, SOLD SEVEN MIL­LION COPIES WORLD­WIDE

AND EN­COUR­AGED THOU­SANDS MORE TO FLOCK TO THE CITY

(SO MANY THAT THE OVER­CROWDED RES­I­DENTS HATED

THE TUNE).

THE GRATE­FUL

DEAD, JANIS JO­PLIN, JIMI HEN­DRIX AND JEF­FER­SON AIR­PLANE WERE ALL PART OF THE SAN FRAN­CISCO SOUND AND THEY ALL LIVED IN HAIGHT-ASHBURY – OR “HASHBURY”, AS HUNTER S THOMP­SON CALLED IT IN The New York Times Mag­a­zine.

BUT THE AL­BUM WITH THE BIG­GEST IM­PACT IN­TER­NA­TION­ALLY WAS BRI­TISH RATHER THAN CAL­I­FOR­NIAN. THE BEA­TLES’ Sgt Pep­per’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, RE­LEASED ON 1 JUNE 1967, CHANGED THE FACE OF MU­SIC

“Be­ing a hip­pie was about feel­ing free from the con­straints of con­ven­tional par­ents and a cor­po­rate so­ci­ety”

FOR­EVER. MY FA­THER TOLD ME THEY PLAYED

IT AT LEAST FIVE TIMES A DAY THAT SUM­MER AND, AS A CHILD, I RE­MEM­BER DANC­ING ROUND THE LOUNGE TO THEIR MUCH-LOVED AND VERY SCRATCHED ORIG­I­NAL RECORD.

TO­DAY TOURISTS, IN­CLUD­ING ME, STILL FLOCK TO 710 ASHBURY STREET WHERE GRATE­FUL DEAD GUI­TARIST JERRY GAR­CIA WOULD JAM ON HIS FRONT STEPS. IM­MOR­TALISED THERE IN MU­RALS, THE GROUP’S SONGS ARE STILL PLAYED ON RE­PEAT IN THE BARS – HASH (OR ANY OTHER) SMOK­ING NO LONGER AL­LOWED.

THE HELLS AN­GELS’ HOUSE WAS OP­PO­SITE THE GRATE­FUL DEAD’S AND WHILE STRANGE BED­FEL­LOWS, THEY PRO­VIDED UNOFFICIAL SE­CU­RITY AT THE MANY HIP­PIE HAPPENINGS OR “BE-INS” OF THAT PE­RIOD. NOT THAT THE LOVED-UP HIP­PIES EVER CAUSED MUCH TROU­BLE.

STROLLING AROUND GOLDEN GATE PARK AND CLIMB­ING HIP­PIE HILL WHERE THE “BE-INS” HAP­PENED, I PIC­TURED MY PAR­ENTS DO­ING THE SAME ONLY IN

BRIGHTER, MORE FLOW­ERY CLOTHES. LIKE MY MUM I WAS WITH MY BOYFRIEND WHO, IN A TWIST OF FATE, I’D MET AT A PARTY IN LON­DON TO CEL­E­BRATE THE SUM­MER OF LOVE’S 50TH AN­NIVER­SARY. COULD MY OWN EX­PE­RI­ENCE EVER COM­PARE WITH THEIRS?

WE STROLLED THROUGH HAIGHT-ASHBURY ON A “WILD SAN FRAN­CISCO” WALK­ING TOUR LED BY WES, OUR HIP­STER RATHER THAN HIP­PIE GUIDE, WHO TOOK US BACK TO THE ERA WHILE STRUM­MING TUNES ON A GUI­TAR. COOL IN THE 60S, SLIGHTLY AWK­WARD IN 2017.

I IMAG­INED MY MOTHER JOIN­ING THE DIG­GERS, A THEATRI­CAL AC­TIVIST GROUP WHO SPREAD THE HIP­PIE MES­SAGE BY COOK­ING STEW FOR THE HOME­LESS AND PUTTING FLOW­ERS IN DISBELIEVERS’ HAIR. THEY USED TIE-DYE TO TRANS­FORM CON­VEN­TIONAL WHITE SHIRTS INTO PSY­CHE­DELIC HIP­PIE GARB. BACK THEN IT WAS A PO­LIT­I­CAL STATE­MENT, TO­DAY

IT’S A SOU­VENIR. IN­DE­PEN­DENT BOU­TIQUE LOVE ON HAIGHT NOW SELLS TIE-DYE EV­ERY­THING – FROM BABY-GROS TO BEACH TOW­ELS. CO-OWNER SUNNY POW­ERS, 36, SAYS HER PAR­ENTS MET IN SAN FRAN­CISCO DUR­ING THE SUM­MER OF LOVE TOO AND SHE’S TRY­ING TO KEEP THE SPIRIT OF THE TIME ALIVE. “IT’S ABOUT BE­ING PART OF A COM­MU­NITY, SHAR­ING AND LOV­ING EV­ERY­ONE.” IDE­AL­IS­TIC WORDS IN TRUMP’S AMER­ICA BUT HER CHAR­ITY OR­GAN­I­SA­TION TAKING IT TO THE STREETS IS ONE OF MANY TRY­ING TO TACKLE SAN FRAN­CISCO’S HOME­LESS PROB­LEM. IT’S A MODERN-DAY IS­SUE WITH ROOTS IN THE SUM­MER OF LOVE – THE PROB­LEM STARTED 50 YEARS AGO WHEN THOU­SANDS OF YOUNG TEENAGERS RAN AWAY FROM HOME TO JOIN THE HE­DO­NIS­TIC HIP­PIES.

AS FUN AND FREE-SPIR­ITED AS THE SUM­MER OF LOVE SEEMED THERE WAS A DARK SIDE. BAD LSD TRIPS CAUSED MEN­TAL PROB­LEMS, FREE LOVE EX­CUSED RAPE, DRUG AD­DIC­TION AND HOME­LESS­NESS SOARED,

AND THE HIP­PIE IDEALS LOST THEIR SPARKLE. BY AU­TUMN 1967 EVEN THE DIG­GERS HAD MOVED OUT OF HAIGHT-ASHBURY, HOLD­ING A SYM­BOLIC “DEATH OF THE HIP­PIE” MOCK FUNERAL DRESSED IN BLACK AS THEY PACKED THEIR KAF­TANS AND TIE-DYE SHIRTS. >>

AF­TER THE SUM­MER OF LOVE MY PAR­ENTS, LIKE MANY HIP­PIES, FACED RE­AL­ITY, WENT BACK TO WORK AND GOT MAR­RIED IN THE

UK. ALTHOUGH THEY DID GO BACK TO SAN FRAN­CISCO ONE LAST TIME IN 1969, BOUGHT A VW VAN AND TRAV­ELLED THE WORLD BE­FORE FI­NALLY SET­TLING DOWN AND HAV­ING A FAM­ILY.

“THE CITY HAD CHANGED BY THEN AND THE HIP­PIES HAD MOVED ON – I THINK

I’D EVEN CUT MY HAIR!” SAYS MY FA­THER. “BUT I STILL BE­LIEVED IN THE THINGS THE HIP­PIE COUNTERCULTURE SET IN PLACE – GLOBAL CIVIL RIGHTS, MUL­TI­CUL­TUR­AL­ISM, EN­VI­RON­MEN­TAL­ISM, A SENSE OF COM­MU­NITY – AND I TRIED TO IN­STIL

THOSE IN MY CHIL­DREN, AS WELL AS A

LOVE OF THE BEA­TLES OF COURSE.”

AS I TOOK ONE LAST LOVE TOUR OF THE CITY IN A COLOUR­FULLY PAINTED VW VAN, MUCH LIKE THE ONE THEY’D TRAV­ELLED AROUND IN, I FELT IN­CRED­I­BLY LUCKY THAT THEY DID. MY MUM MAY BE GONE NOW BUT HER SPIRIT WILL AL­WAYS LIVE ON IN ME. Where were YOU in the Sum­mer of Love? Tell us @wom­anand­home

EMMA AND

HER BOYFRIEND RUS­SELL (LEFT) RECRE­ATE A PHOTO OF HER PAR­ENTS (RIGHT) BY THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE

THE MU­SIC OF THE GRATE­FUL DEAD (PIC­TURED OUT­SIDE THEIR HAIGHT-ASHBURY HOME) AND THE BEA­TLES’ Sgt Pep­per AL­BUM CAP­TURED THE SPIRIT OF THE TIME EMMA AND RUS­SELL TOURED THE CITY IN A VW VAN, LIKE HER PAR­ENTS DID IN THE 60S (ABOVE)

SUNNY POW­ERS IS CO-OWNER OF LOVE ON HAIGHT, WHICH SELLS ALL THINGS TIE-DYE AND HIP­PIE IN­SPIRED

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