Are Hippies Running the Country?

I love hippies. They were honest, genuine, open and giving in a way that I haven’t seen since the 70′s. After that, the hippies entered a metamorphosis into adulthood and disappeared into society – the very society they were so against.

Born in the late fifties, I came into my teenage years as the hippies were losing steam. They still existed but Woodstock was just a memory, the Vietnam War had ended, and the hippies were facing the reality of adult survival in our society.

While I can’t say I knew any hippies in high school, we did carry on the legacy. We were all wearing POW/MIA bracelets, each with the name of a soldier who was missing in the Vietnam War, and we cried for them. Boys and girls alike wore faded out blue jeans covered in patches and we all had long hair. My mother summed it up perfectly after watching me walk down the driveway with my boyfriend. She said, “I couldn’t tell you apart from the back! You both had long, brown, wavy hair and blue jeans. You looked exactly the same!” She did not consider this a compliment, coming from a generation where the girls teased their hair and wore dresses.


We loved our faded out blue jeans, and the worst thing you could wear was a pair of brand new jeans. They had to be worn and faded with fringe at the bottom where you cut them off and left the threads to fend for themselves. Hiphuggers were the style and we all exposed our belly buttons, even at school. Bell bottoms were also the style, and the upper part of your pant leg had to be tight. Loose pants were totally uncool and got you laughed at, so we’d sew the inner and outer seams to make them tighter, which helped to create the illusion of a bigger bell bottom. Another thing that got you laughed at was wearing pants that were too short.

The patches turned our jeans into works of art. As the jeans developed holes, we created hand-made patches for them either in a colorful material or with an embroidered message of Love, Peace or any other message that meant something in the moment. I still own my most patched-up jeans from that era and keep wondering what to do with them. I think they belong in a museum.

None of us owned a car, cell phone, computer, or anything remotely related. We walked everywhere, often for miles just to get to a friend’s house. If it was too far to walk, we hitchhiked. Back then it was relatively safe to hitchhike, also known as “bumming a ride.” Ax murderers were something we joked about but the reality was that most people were kind and giving and didn’t think twice about lending a hand, or a ride.

I first encountered hippies as a teenage runaway in St. Petersburg, Florida. It was a very different world from the suburban world I left behind. I had landed in one of the hippie havens where everyone was your friend. Madeira Beach was a quiet beach populated with beach shacks and simple, one-story cottages, and it was a mixture of tourists and hippies. My parents took me there as a tourist, where I met the hippies who I later ran away to live with.

As a runaway, I didn’t have anything. No job, no money, just a few personal belongings, and my cat. I was a stranger among the hippies but not for long. In the world of hippies there are no strangers and I immediately found myself surrounded by friends.

The hippies fed me and gave me a place to stay. If you were in need, someone would open their door and let you in. It was the ultimate in generosity and giving, but as with all generations it faded away just like the patched up jeans we wore. The hippie era was ushered out by the 80′s generation. The 60′s and 70′s were no more, replaced by a more materialistic generation.


Today, the hippie generations are in their fifties and sixties. As we come face-to-face with the Apocalypse of 2012, the hippies are of the age that many seasoned politicians are. In other words, the generations who are now running the country came from the hippie generations.

The old hippies who believed in helping one’s neighbor, lending a hand, giving you a free place to stay and feeding you, are now in a position to turn our country into their vision of a utopia. Yesterday’s communes have metamorphed into healthcare for all, feed the hungry, and what’s mine is everybody’s. One person works to feed, house, and clothe five people who aren’t working. The hippies are running the country!

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