Saturday hippie: Cher

All kinds of folks shaped the movement.



Circle after circle

Hippies came in all stripes and colors. It was a look in the eye, after all, and we knew. Come on in and crash for the night in this ramshackle farm. It’s quite a trip, if you listen to its parade of characters plus the dogs, cats, and chickens. Each circle emits its own unique drumming, overlapping and blending with the others. You remember, don’t you?

The movement spread across the globe. Here are a few Estonian hippies, via Wikimedia Commons.
The movement spread across the globe. Here are a few Estonian hippies, via Wikimedia Commons.


In some ways, this cheap living was getting pretty expensive, truly. DL’s job, like Nita’s, often entailed grotesque hours. One weekend he returned to the Ranch at 3 a.m., tiptoed quietly up the stairs, lifted the latch to his door, flipped the switch on, only to be startled by a blonde sleeping in his sheets. Hot-damn, he thought, until he realized she wasn’t sleeping alone. “Excuse me,” he apologized, turned out the light, closed the door, and retraced his steps. DL retrieved his sleeping bag from his car and climbed to the loft in the barn. Four hours later, in a late summer chill, DL awoke from a dream about tractors parading around Columbus Circle in Manhattan in some kind of protest.


To learn more about my novel Hippie Drum, go to my page at

Hippie Drum

Diary of a 60s Freak

The story needs to be told, from as many voices as possible …

Opher's World

The Diary of a 60s Freak

Having lived through the 1960s and experienced the full range of wondrous hopes, ideals and friendships, and being still able to remember it, I thought it was about time someone chronicled it.

This book is an attempt to capture a bit of the magic of those days and put it in words. Back then we thought we were building a new and better world. We were creating a different, fairer set of rules. We were building a better world. We naively thought it would go on forever.

Unfortunately the multibillionaires, bankers and tycoons, the paranoid sociopaths, warmongers, arms-dealers and psychopaths, the aristocratic snobs, old boys and policy makers, all had other ideas. The establishment bought the revolution and make a fortune out of it. We were all bought and sold and our slogans made into chic high-end fashion.

Those unseen men who guide society…

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All the essential ingredients

A female demonstrator offers a flower to a military police officer in 1967, Arlington County, Virginia.
A female demonstrator offers a flower to a military police officer in 1967, Arlington County, Virginia.

No one needed outside agitators to bring about the hippie revolution. The Pill, pot, and Vietnam draft were sufficient ingredients to ignite the youthful upheaval, even on a backwater campus in Indiana. Daffodil Sunrise is the story of how one small dormitory turned everything upside down, forever.


When Pepper acquired two magic mushrooms, the couple’s exploration into sensuality took another twist. Impatiently, having heard so much about the fantastic visions these buttons induce, the twosome waited for the right time. They’d need an entire day, a major proposition in a busy itinerary like DL’s, where even weekends booked up. It was almost like scheduling surgery. They were well into November when Pepper awoke him for the ride. Told that the effects were best in daytime, the couple chose an appropriately theatrical Wednesday to skip classes. A dramatic, ominously cloudy day with stiff cold winds out of El Greco.


To learn more about my novel Daffodil Sunrise, go to my page at


Retired, at last

I long identified myself as a retired hippie, even though I was working a full-time job. No ponytail, even if I was balding. No mind-altering drugs, apart from caffeine and the martini or wine, which are legal, at least at my age. No paisley tie or bellbottoms, either. But I’m still meditating, even if only once a week for an hour. And the New England contradances bring back some of that group ecstasy, of a more mellow folk-music nature rather than acid rock.

Someplace in my second marriage, the hippie identification faded. Maybe it was simply the matter of being responsible for children. Or at least, trying. As I discovered, having children in your life means you’re no longer cool, even if other people say you are – your own brood insists otherwise. And my wife, for all of her counterculture values, quickly cuts through the bull of what she calls our “granola-head” circles. So we garden, in an informally organic manner, and live relatively simply. I’ve been chronicling much of our life at Jnana’s Red Barn, which you may be following.

Still, I remain mystified about the whole hippie experience. At the time, there was little question about who was and who wasn’t – the lines were drawn that tight, at least much of the time. (“Hey, he’s cool,” was usually sufficient.)

But today, the influence appears everywhere – and nowhere. As I was saying about cool?


One wild ride on the subway

Subway_HitchhikersSubway Hitchhikers takes the events of Daffodil Sunrise, Hippie Drum, and Hippie Love and leads them down into a psychedelic romp along the underground transit systems of the world’s great cities. You never know what you’ll see next or who you’ll meet in this surreal outbreak.

The original Fithian trade paperback edition of 1990 has long been out of print, but the work is now available as an affordable ebook from Smashwords and other ebook retailers.

Here’s hoping you enjoy the ride.


Flowers in your Hair

Here’s another credo arising from the hippie experience.

Collectively Unconsciously Composed

Be who you are; not what the world wants you to be.

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And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.ImageImage Image 

It’s okay to be a glowstick–sometimes we need to break before we shine.


Get over your hill and see what you find there, with grace in your heart and flowers in your hair.















With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.



The most efficient way to be healthy is to feel good. And to feel good, feel the good vibes.


Be the type of person you want to meet.




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Best Album Covers: Cheap Thrills

I, too, miss the 12-by-12 album covers (my collection is mostly classical with some jazz and folk, but many of those are still gorgeous).
In the hippie-era covers, though, I’d put my Bob Dylan and Joan Baez albums right up there for starters.

It Rains... You Get Wet


This is the next entry in Best Album Covers, a series begun right here. The first successful long-playing microgroove record for the phonograph was introduced by Columbia Records back in June of 1948. Yet, album covers (the paper board packaging that held them) didn’t come into their own graphically till decades later. Eventually becoming the cultural stamp on the music of the time. Catching the eyes of potential record-buyers and later their ears and minds. Melding the musical experience with the artist into a unique visual form.

Why Compact Disc versions of album art don’t exactly raise the same reaction these days was looked at in this post. Although, music label artistry continues to be noticed and discussed among the material published today. The bits and bytes are looking over their shoulder, though, because vinyl hasn’t entirely gone the way of the dinosaur. Online or at the record shops…

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