Hip­pies lived only in coastal cities or ru­ral com­munes.

The Washington Post Sunday - - OUTLOOK -

It’s easy to imag­ine hip­pies clus­ter­ing in Cal­i­for­nia’s Bay Area or among the Ivy League cam­puses of the East­ern Seaboard. In Scott MacFar­lane’s “The Hip­pie Nar­ra­tive,” for ex­am­ple, the au­thor points out that Nor­man Mailer dis­tin­guished be­tween “more vi­sion­ary West Coast” hip­pies and “prac­ti­cal East Coast” hip­pies, with not a thought given to those who might have resided some­where in be­tween. Like­wise, “The Amer­i­can Prom­ise,” a high school his­tory text­book, states that “hip­pie en­claves sprouted in low-rent dis­tricts of coastal cities and in ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties.”

But hip­pies lived all over the United States, even in small and mid-size cities in the South and Mid­west. The ear­li­est flow­er­ing of hip­pie cul­ture took place in coastal cities such as San Fran­cisco, New York and Los An­ge­les, but head shops — pur­vey­ors of psy­che­delic posters, black light­bulbs and rolling papers — were pop­ping up by 1967 in such cities as At­lanta, Cleve­land and Omaha, as well as Austin, Ann Ar­bor and other col­lege towns. Al­most ev­ery city had a neigh­bor­hood or pub­lic place where hip­pies came to­gether. Wash­ing­ton’s hip­pies hung out on Dupont Cir­cle, while Bal­ti­more’s gath­ered at that city’s Wash­ing­ton Mon­u­ment.

Mean­while, coun­ter­cul­tural news­pa­pers were launched all over the coun­try. To name just a few ex­am­ples, Mid­dle Earth ap­peared in Iowa City, Iowa; Chi­nook in Denver; Kudzu in Jack­son, Miss.; and the im­prob­a­bly named Pro­tean Radish in Chapel Hill, N.C.

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