June 8 at HANC: Summer of Love - Neighborhood Impacts and Lasting Change

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By Richard Ivanhoe, HANC Board

HANC's monthly (except August) general membership meeting is held downstairs at the Park Branch Library, 1833 Page Street (between Cole and Shrader) on the second Thursday of the month, beginning at 7 pm.  Our meetinngs are open to the public and free to attend.

     As you’ve probably heard by now, this year is the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love. But what is it that is being celebrated? Was the Summer of Love a cultural revolution or media hype? How did the Haight Ashbury prepare for and respond to the influx of tens of thousands of young people? How did the social movements of the Fifties and Sixties influence the hippies? How did the events in the Haight Ashbury in the 1960s influence the future? What does it mean for the present?


     We have invited a panel to help answer these questions. Stan Flouride is a local historian, tour guide, and artist. Stan’s blog can be read at https://stanflouride.com.

     Holly Harman is the author of the book and producer of the DVD “Inside a Hippie Commune.” As a teenager, she lived in the Holidays Commune in the Santa Cruz Mountains before leaving to attend the San Francisco Art Institute. Holly’s website is http://harmanpublishing.com/index.html.

     Arthur Round was on the staff of the San Francisco Oracle for issues 7 through 12 (March 1967 to January 1968). He was at the Human Be-In, the Monterey Pop Festival, and the Magic Mountain Festival on Mt. Tamalpais. He still lives in the neighborhood.

     Diamond Dave Whitaker describes himself as “one third beat, one third hippie, and one third punk as f—k.” He is a radio host and poet (podcasts of his radio show are available at http://podcasts.pcrcollective.org/CommonThreadCollective/). He was named a local hero by the Bay Guardian in 2007, and was honored with a “Diamond Dave Whitaker Day” by the Board of Supervisors in 2016. He turned 30 in the Haight Ashbury in 1967.

     We also encourage others who were here in 1967 to share their stories, and those who weren’t here then to bring their questions and thoughts. We anticipate some surprises.

     To give a sense of what it was like here in 1967, here are some excerpts from a “Statement of Concern” printed in our March, 1967 newsletter: “Haight-Ashbury is a state of mind as well as a geographical area. Almost accidentally, the area itself has become a focus of international attention because the neighborhood is to a degree unique in its cosmopolitan character, its congenial climate, its tolerance of diverse people and lifestyles.”  

     “By far, the residents of the Haight-Ashbury, both hippies and non-hippies are reasonably law-abiding and responsible citizens.”

     “Many of the criticisms directed at the hippies might be more appropriately directed toward the landlords who are derelict in their responsibilities to see to it that their rental units comply with the housing and health codes of the city.”

     “It ill accords with the best of San Francisco traditions to seek to outlaw one life style in favor of that life style apparently more congenial to public officials whose only duty, after all, is to serve the public - - and not dominate it.”

     HANC newsletters from 1966 and 1967, as well as from this century can be downloaded from our website: http://www.hanc-sf.org/the-voice-docs/.

     Please join us on June 8, at 7 pm, at the Park Branch Library, 1833 Page Street. You might find some old friends or make new ones.

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