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I wanted to be a hippie in the Sixties but I lived in the wrong state. From my kitchen table in Iowa, I read about the goings on in San Francisco and it all sounded exciting, but I enjoyed changing the baby, wrangling a kindergartener, and putting another load in the washer. In the Seventies, I moved to Vashon Island, which was on the front line of the battle between the long-hairs and the straights.
The Vashon Straights had the Elks Club, their own restaurant—the Spinnaker, their own churches, the traditional way to give birth—doctors and hospitals, their own outfit—Polo shirts and khakis, the normal way to raise a child—one mom, one dad, the decent way to have a relationship—one woman, one man, fenced yards, Harvest gold refrigerators, golf shoes, their own food—meat, dairy, and alcoholic drinks.
The Hairies had women’s groups, their own restaurant—Sound Food, their own outfit—tie dye shirts and jeans, Eastern philosophy, midwifes and home births, a village that raised the child (Who’s got the baby?), free love, consciousness raising, meditation circles, communes, macramé candle holders, Birkenstocks, their own food—heavy, dense bread and lentil loaf, and weed. There was seldom a meeting of the minds.
Don’t know whether the baby boomers out-numbered or out-lived traditional members of maimnstream culture, but as a recent New York Times article said, “The Hippies Have Won.” Today you can buy miso, tofu, hummus, and tabouli at Safeway, Oprah (Queen of Daytime TV) meditates, fathers, no longer safe pacing in the waiting room, cut the cord, having a midwife is an option at most hospitals, attendance at traditional churches is declining, cannabis is legal in twenty-six states, and you can buy $625 designer Birkenstocks, but thankfully there’s been no resurgence in macramé or in airport Hari Krishnas.
Members of the counter-culture were among the first to stay off the grid by using solar energy, to produce pesticide-free produce, to barter as a mode of financial exchange, to sell organic products at local co-ops and farmer’s markets, to promote environmental awareness, to march for peace and civil rights, and to wear jeans everywhere (thank you, very much).
Until we moved to Eugene, I had to be at work by 7:00 and lost contact with hippies so I never did join a tribe but I can still roll my eyes at Nordstom’s $400 mud jeans, flash the peace sign, make a mean granola bar, appreciate Colin Kaepernick’s fro, and admire Jacob DeGrom’s flowing locks.
Lentil soup (from Jeffrey Basom’s cookbook, “from the Bastyr Kitchen”)
- 1 1/2 cups lentils
- 4 cups stock or water
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 Tbsp. oil
- 1 onion, fine dice
- 1 tsp. salt
- 4 cloves minced garlic
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- 2 carrots, fine dice
- 2 stalks celery, fine dice
- 1 small can tomato sauce
- 1 14 oz. can chopped tomatoes
- 1 small potato, fine dice
- 1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup fresh basil chopped