Re: Woodstock and San Fransisco

Elezabeth Gips (
Thu, 1 Feb 1996 19:23:23 -0500

. What I saw, during the cold SF summer months, was a street
>scene of drugs and runaways,with many of the runaways selling the drugs,
>and themselves, for a meal or a ticket to the Fillmore, where they could
>listen to music inside, where it was warm. The music was happening and
>it was definitely free - Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Janis Joplin
>and many others - (read Selvin's book) but the Haight was not a friendly
>place unless you were just passing through, spending money. The myth
>surrounding it is just that.

It's the old "is the cup half full or half empty" syndrome! To us (and I
had a store on Haight Street, one of the H.I.P. merchants) it was the
Summer of Love in that many of us first became aware of the potential for
love in the human race. The encroaching poverty, illnesses and, as the
summer progressed, the use of methadrine and cocaine pushed by the forces
of large scale drug dealers and perhaps the U.S. Government ended the
entire Haight Ashbury scene. Thousands of young people returned home.
Others of us who had been meditating together, taking psychedelics
together with its concommitant experience of our basic commonality on
energy levels heretofore not experienced, moved to the country. Where,
god knows, we were ill prepared for the exigencies of non-urban living.
But that Selvin, or anyone else, could have experienced the Human Be-in in
January 1967 and not experienced an amazing love is not possible. With
the wires cut and silence over the field, 25,000 people mostly on acid,
saw each other for the first time. For a fuller account of the be-in, I
simply must recommend my book, The Scrapbook of a Haight Ashbury Pilgrim,
available through me or from AK Distributors or Book People.

I'm leaving for three weeks and would like advise as to whether I must
unsubscribe to this list while I'm gone. And, by the way, I found this
list through a link my partner put on our changes homepage, url I'm very glad that I did.

Also, if there is any scholarly interest, when I return, I'm going to
finish a book on Stephen Gaskin's Caravan about which nobody has written.
Like the H/A book, it is based on a diary I kept at the time.

"Continuity in Change is the secret of the eternity of the Universe" The I
Elizabeth Gips
Changes evolutionary audio, greater Monterey Bay: KKUP 91.5 FM, Tuesdays