Summer of Love as viewed by a Gen-Xer

I was just along for the ride. A friend -- I'll simply refer to him 
as Buddy (not his real name – he might be annoyed if he found out I 
was writing about our evening, and god knows I can't afford to annoy 
any more friends) - was invited to a Summer of Love 40th anniversary 
concert "kickoff" event  Friday night, on 17th Street in the Mission, 
at sort of the last minute, and I went with him.

It wasn't hard to find the place. Just past the Rite Spot, on the 
other side of the street, a dozen or so gray haired folks in clothing 
ranging from tie-dye t-shirts to little black dresses with heels 
milled about, talking and smoking normal cigarettes. Inside, a large 
warehouse type space was beginning to fill up with people, and that 
sweet smell of another kind of smoke overwhelmed my senses within a 
few yards of the front door. A table was set up with a big bowl of 
potato chips, a few hunks of cheese, a box of crackers, a small bag 
of Oreo-Minis, some nuts, and loaves of bread.

There was a rumor, according to Buddy, that Wavy Gravy would be there 
and would be bringing a fabulous goulash. I never saw Wavy Gravy, or 
any kind of gravy, or goulash, or anything but the aforementioned 
chips and crackers (the cheese disappeared in fairly short order). 
Another rumor that Bob Weir might appear went unfulfilled, although 
the manager of the Grateful Dead, and their chef, (the Dead had a 
CHEF??) both participated in a panel discussion later.

We approached the snack table. I caught a dirty look from a scruffy 
looking guy in jeans and a T-shirt, who looked irritated that I was 
competing for the cheese. Three slices of cheddar, a couple crackers 
and a few handfuls of potato chips later, Buddy and I stepped away 
from the repast and scoped out the room.

On the far end was a medium-sized proscenium stage, with three gaily 
colored batik and tie-dyed tapestries hung in the back with 
clothespins. Classic late sixties scenery. Two large tables 
overwhelmed the front of the stage, with a half dozen vases of 
flowers arranged on the top, and  the same number of microphones. On 
a sidewall a VCR projected old back and white television footage of 
men I didn't recognize, smoking cigarettes as they murkily responded 
to inaudible interview questions.

Music flooded the room. "Funny, isn't it, no matter how many songs 
you've listened to, there are always some you've never heard before," 
Buddy observed. I agreed. I was as unfamiliar with the tunes playing 
as he was - and he'd been in San Francisco during the Summer of Love. 
I hadn't.

They say that if you can remember the Sixties, you weren't really 
there. The converse is not necessarily true, however. I can't 
remember the Sixties, but it doesn't mean I was there.

I could have been the love-child of almost any of the attendees, and 
I felt a little out of place in my knee-length skirt, complete with 
sweater, long leather coat, boots, lipstick and mascara. Clearly, I 
was not among the people who were there for the Summer O' Love, 
whether they remembered it or not. I noticed that with only a few 
exceptions, the gathering crowd was nearly entirely Caucasian, which 
seemed unusual for a SF gathering located outside the Marina 
district. "Buddy" and I stood together as the people began to fill up 
the room. I wondered how many of  these white hippies now subscribed 
to AARP.

"Smoke?" I suggested. We headed outside and lit up. "Were you here 
for the Summer of Love?" I asked Buddy.

"I was living at a commune that summer," he replied.

"So you missed the whole thing? The drugs, the sex, the rock and 
roll?" I asked him.

He smiled and took a long drag off his Marlboro light. "I missed the 
drugs. But I caught a lot of the music." I noted silently that he'd 
not commented on the sex, but I let that dog lie.

We headed back inside, for more nutritious potato chips. A fellow 
approached us - he was rather on the short side, with dark hair 
combed back from his face and a sort of a fireplug build. His name 
was Eric something and supposedly he had been in radio back in the 
day. He turned out to be one of the event organizers. He greeted 
Buddy warmly, shook his hand and started talking about the upcoming 
events for the evening.

Buddy turned to me, deferring to Eric's stature as organizer by 
introducing me to him, rather than the more old-fashioned protocol of 
presenting the man to the woman: "Eric, I'd like to introduce 
Barbara." I smiled and held out my hand to shake his. He probably had 
less interest in meeting methan I had in meeting him, but rather than 
be cordial, he treated me as if I was radioactive. He glanced at me 
almost imperceptibly, and kept talking to Buddy as if he had not just 
been introduced to someone. I stood there for a few moments with my 
hand extended until it dawned on me that perhaps as far as this guy 
was concerned, I didn't exist. Maybe he figured that if I hadn't been 
on the planet for the Summer of Love, I didn't merit a handshake or a 
"Hello?" I was a little stunned. What kind of Love was this 1967 
summer all about?

They kept talking, I turned away to survey the room. Should I walk 
away? Excuse myself for a cigarette? Would it be ruder to stay and 
act invisible, or to absent myself? I didn't know. Maybe it didn't 
matter, if I wasn't really there?

A minute or so later, a couple other guys joined our trio. Eric 
introduced Buddy to them, and Buddy then turned to me to introduce me 
to, I think one of them was Dr. David Smith - the Doctor said hello 
and I shook his hand, and then Eric sort of turned sideways in front 
of me, half-blocking me from the group. I smiled at the other guy, 
and thought about holding out my hand, but decided against trying to 
reach past Eric. The men continued talking only to each other, about 
music and music stuff, and I, in an uncharacteristic move, resumed 
acting like an airhead girlfriend who wasn't privy to the boy's 
conversation, and continued gazing about the room. Obviously, I had 
nothing to contribute, perhaps because I was not a musician, or a 
music promoter, or anyone of any interest to them. Just a chick in a 

Uncomfortable in my arm-candy role (I'm not that cute, or that young, 
anyway), I finally took a step or two away. Shortly, the men's 
conversation broke up as the guys headed back to the stage, leaving 
Buddy and me by the empty chip bowls.

Ok, I was irritated. "What the fuck was that? He didn't even 
acknowledge that you introduced me," I complained.

"Oh, he's probably distracted with everything that's going on," Buddy 
said, excusing him.

"How fucking distracted do you have to be to not say 'Hello' to 
someone when you're introduced?  It wasn't like he was just walking 
by -- he stopped and talked to you for like five minutes."  Buddy was 
silent and munched on another Oreo-mini from the stash in his pocket. 
I took a breath.  "I'm feeling a bit like I don't belong here," I said.

"Smoke?" asked Buddy.

Outside again, we fought the foggy chill and got our cigarettes lit 
just in time to see a fellow in a suit walking up the sidewalk a half 
block away. "Damn if that isn't Terence Hallinan," he said. It could 
have been Santa Claus as far as I could see.

"Are you sure it's him?" I asked.


"Will he recognize you?"

"He will if I get right up in his face and tell him who I am," he 
said, laughing.

I told Buddy a story about Hallinan's wife, who was a friend of my 
old boyfriend Lance. I'd met her a dozen times or more back in the 
early 90s, when Hallinan was a Supervisor and Lisa was involved in 
various projects around town. I once attended an event at the Phoenix 
where she was helping save the mural on the bottom of the swimming 
pool, whose swirling design apparently caused some people concern 
that if someone sank to the bottom, no one would be able to see them 
amid the busy design. (Now THERE's a hazard!) But Art triumphed, and 
the mural remained submerged at the trendy hotel. The last time I saw 
her, in North Beach, I went up and said hello, and she smiled but 
stared blankly at me. I told her my name, and the blank stare 
continued. "I'm a friend of Lance," I added.

"Oh! Yes. Right! Lance, yes. Sorry, I didn't recognize you without 
Lance," she explained, smiling broadly. I wondered to myself if this 
typical of San Francisco -- were other women always appendages to a 
man? -- but thought myself a sexist for even bringing it up in my 
mind, and scotched that internal monologue. After all, Lance was her 
old friend, not me, and it shouldn't be a surprise that she didn't 
remember me - although it was sort of funny the way she explained it 
- "I didn't recognize you WITHOUT LANCE." I thought the first rule of 
politics was always to pretend you remember people.... And what was 
it Lance used to joke about the Hallinans? "They've got half a brain 
between them," he'd guffaw as he inhaled his Marlboro and beer nearly 

Hallinan approached, wearing a good looking, dark suit, he was 
quickly surrounded by a small group and went inside.

"I need some more cookies," Buddy announced. We finished our 
cigarettes and headed inside, to load up on more Oreo-minis, chips 
and a few slices of the remaining Velveeta.

"Are you going to stay for the presentation?" I asked him, eyeing my 
escape already. The Rite Spot was on my mind, as was a tall cold 
glass of Guinness. I hadn't seen anyone drinking beer at the bar. I 
had no interest in the Oreo-minis, the cheese was pretty much gone, 
and the chips were a little less than satisfying. I hoped at least 
the music would be good, or that the presentation would feature some 
big names. So far, I had no idea who was on the line-up.

"I'm going to stay long enough to hear the beginning of the panel 

"Do you know if there's a band?"

"No idea." What the hell?

"Ok... well." I wasn't sure I was up for a whole evening of this, but 
you dance with who brung ya, as the saying goes. So, we walked a few 
yards back towards the bar, which was run by a couple young women and 
crowded with people ordering drinks. Being a bit short on cash, and 
unemployed this month, I was hoping Buddy might pop for a refreshing 
beverage - but he didn't.

Next to the bar was a staircase leading up towards a sort of balcony, 
where a few dozen people were sitting, some in folding chairs, and 
some on a few larger reclining chairs, smoking weed and surveying the 
crowd from their perch. "Look, rich people," Buddy pointed out with a 
nod at the balcony. It was true that there seemed to be a little less 
tie-dye and fewer shaggy greybeards upstairs, and some more 
fashionable clothing in the balcony area. A tall fellow stood alone 
at the bottom of the stairs, in a cream suit jacket and matching 
fedora. "That's _____. He's always at the Saloon in Sausalito," Buddy 
remarked, mentioning his name, which I promptly forgot.

My feet were beginning to hurt since I had forgotten my Birkenstocks, 
and I was getting a little lightheaded from all the pot smoke, so I 
suggested we sit down. We took our purloined stash of chips towards 
the chairs set up in front of the stage, and picked a couple of seats 
in an empty row. I noticed some seats in the last row reserved for 
KGO and someone from Grace Cathedral. A younger guy, maybe late 
thirties/early forties, wearing a T-shirt and jeans, sat down in 
front of us with a young blond woman with long hair. He turned around 
and handed us a roll of stickers. We each took one.

"What are these?" I asked, affixing it to my jacket. "Do I lick it or 
stick it?"

"Grateful Dead bear stickers!" he smiled. He must have had a few 
hundred bright orange bear heads on the roll.  Bears? What happened 
to the skulls and skeletons? Could Jerry be happy with this?

"Oh. Cool," I smiled. The orange sticker clashed with my tan leather 
coat. I removed it and stuck it on my shirt. I had no idea what a 
Grateful Dead Bear sticker signified, having only attended one 
Grateful Dead concert in college at which I promptly fainted from 
"killer pot" during the first song, but if I was going to wear it, it 
might as well be someplace visible. It was damn well easier than a 

People around us began filling in the rows of seats and lighting up 
joints in alarming numbers, and gathering in small groups and 
smoking, although no one offered any to us. Just as well, considering 
my tendency for passing out in similar circumstances. There were 
several women in semi-formal evening dresses and black pumps, with 
their hair up, in glittery jackets, mingling with men in tie-dye t-
shirts, jeans, and jackets, and a few other women with long silver 
hair, peasant skirts and flats.

"Isn't it amazing," Buddy sighed, gazing at the ceiling while I eyed 
the crowd, "No matter what else is going on, the hippies always have 
amazing lights." I glanced up to see a wide array of lighting 
instruments, which bathed the oddly arranged stage in a warm, 
colorful glow. A drum set and a few guitars were set up behind two 
large tables. I assumed the tables would be struck after the panel 
discussion, and we'd be treated to some music by some musicians who'd 
played during the Summer of Love, which I looked forward to hearing. 
He continued, "No food, no set to speak of, but good lights."

A few musicians took the stage, behind the large tables. As it turned 
out, rather than musicians who'd played in 1967, the band was 
comprised of some local journalists. The lead singer was an anchor on 
the local news - good looking, young guy - none of the band members 
appeared to be old enough to have been at the Summer of Love, much 
less have played there. He introduced himself and the band with the 
line, "We're probably as good musicians as the Grateful Dead would be 
journalists" - an observation that no one could argue with by the end 
of the first song. They launched into a few extremely loud numbers. I 
didn't know it was possible to miss the melody line of "Mustang 
Sally" so completely.

I bought you a brand new mustang 'bout nineteen sixty five
Now you come around signifying a woman, you don't wanna let me ride.
Mustang Sally, think you better slow your mustang down.
All you wanna do is ride around, Sally, Ride, Sally Ride

I turned and gave the KGO guys a quizzical look. They seemed not to 
notice. Me or the
musical crimes in progress.  Maybe someone had given me bad acid? Am 
I wearing my invisibility cloak? Is this really this awful?

While the journalist-musicians were 'playing', another friend, Frank 
(not his real name either), came over to say hello. He was trim and 
fit, wearing jeans with a button down shirt, and his eyes gleamed 
with excitement, (or something) as always. He may be one of the most 
enthusiastic people I've ever met, and tonight was no exception. When 
I first met him years ago, he told me the story of how he'd quit the 
Art Institute. When they raised their tuition, he couldn't make the 
costs, so he took all his paintings out and piled them in the main 
plaza of the Institute, poured turpentine on them, set them ablaze 
and walked home.

"Yeah, man, the Fire Department came to my door, man, and asked me 
about that fire, man," he'd told me. "I said to them, 'Hey man, it 
was ART. It's ART, man.'" Apparently, this satisfied the SFFD, and 
Frank and the Art Institute parted ways, and he went on to do 
something else with his life - and had done quite well, man.

"Hey Buddy! Man, great to see you man! Hey honey, you're still 
looking good, honey," he grinned. He began dancing in the aisle next 
to me, and I did my best to ignore his denim-clad pelvic gyrations a 
few inches from my face. He then shimmied back to join a small crowd 
of other dancers behind the chairs. I turned to watch the happy 
hippies dancing and smiling behind us. I started looking at the exit 
behind them and wondering how much more of this music I could take 
without sticking my fingers in my ears. Way too loud.

"Go dance with him," Buddy shouted.

I smiled and shook my head "No, thanks. You dance with him, I want a 

"Why don't you go to the bar and get one, and we'll split it?" He 
shouted back. Uh. Yeah... ok. I got up, threaded my way through the 
swaying beer bellies, and made my way to the bar. I really wanted a 
beer, and took a look behind the bar. There didn't appear to be any 
beer available, nor wine - just a large array of liquor bottles and 
lots of plastic cups. I stood around for a few minutes, checking out 
the geriatrics at the bar. No one took the slightest notice of me. I 
didn't feel like paying for a drink that I didn't really want - gin 
and tonic? Geritol? Scotch and soda, mud in my eye? - so I wended my 
way back to my seat.

"Didn't you get anything?"

"Nah. They didn't have any beer or wine that I saw, and I'm not 
really in the mood for anything else." Buddy looked a little peeved 
and started checking email on his Treo. Well, go get your own drink, 
then, I thought. I pulled out my cell phone and texted a friend and 
former San Francisco DJ, now in Texas: "I AM AT A SUMMER OF LOVE 

After a loud, long three song set, the host came on to introduce 
Country Joe McDonald. Dressed in jeans and a plaid shirt, Ramblin' 
Joe scolded the crowd to be quiet. "Hey, I don't care if you listen 
to my song or not, but there are a bunch of people who are going to 
have a discussion up here in a few minutes, and some people want to 
hear it. So shut up," he growled, and then launched into what I 
thought was a pretty good although slightly contradictory new song 
about not living in the past, but recalling the good old days of the 
Summer of Love.

After he finished, the crowd called for an encore, but the announcer 
returned to say that the panel discussion would begin shortly, and 
asked all the participants to please come backstage.

All through the musical performances, people had been going in and 
out of two doors on either side of the stage, which appeared to lead 
to some sort of dressing rooms. The doors opened and closed so often 
that it prompted Buddy to remark, "It's like watching some kind of - 
what do you call those plays, with people constantly going in and out 
of stage doors but not really doing anything?"

"A farce," I answered.

"Yeah, a farce. It's sorta like a farce."

After a few minutes and some discussions at the side of the stage, 
the announcer reappeared to introduce the panel, which amounted to 
introducing my new friend Eric Fireplug. After more confusion about 
getting the proper number of chairs arranged, the panel was randomly 
seated. Dr. David Smith (?) founder of HAFC, Dr. Hip, Terence 
Hallinan, poet Lenore Kandel (I think), Eric, another guy whose name 
I didn't catch, Bruce Brugman of SF Bay Guardian, the CHEF (I can 
just smell those LSD cakes in the oven) for the Grateful Dead, the 
manager of the Grateful Dead, and Country Joe. Ten panelists. Nine 
men, one woman. Was this representative of the Summer of Love, I 
wondered? Judging by the film clips and photos I'd seen, it didn't 
represent the attendees, but perhaps it represented those who'd found 
their way onto the stages or positions of prominence during that summer.

The first 15 minutes of the panel discussion consisted of the 
moderator, Eric, recounting at length why he'd invited each person 
and when he'd met them that summer of 67. He told personal stories of 
how he knew each of the panelists, and rhapsodized about Kandel’s 
revolutionary poem ”To Fuck With Love” in which she talked about 
explicitly about fucking, and used the word fuck - which, he said, 
was as revolutionary in it's time as  HOWL had been when it came out. 
Using the word "Fuck" made her revolutionary -  times have changed, eh?

Then it got warm and fuzzy, each panelist recounted a favorite memory 
from the Summer o' Love. The founding of the Haight Ashbury Free 
Clinic. Experiments with psychedelic drugs. Dr. Hip. The Human Be-In. 
Terence Hallinan being arrested numerous times for civil rights 
protests, and getting the Supreme Court to overturn the State Bar’s 
ruling that he could not practice law because of his "propensity for 
lawlessness." The ways our world has changed since the 60s. Civil 
rights movement. Women's rights. Bruce Brugman, in rare form, 
speaking at length about the difficulty of obtaining
a permit for the Human Be-in, which was finally granted to Melvin 
Belli -- for a birthday party. That old hippie Melvin, always ready 
to party.

These were things I hadn't experienced, things I didn't live through, 
all kind of blended together for me - except one particularly vivid 
image drawn by the manager of the Grateful Dead, which stands out. He 
talked about going out to Golden Gate park in the dead of night, to 
find a long line of mini-buses and vans with camping gear all lining 
up along the field in preparation for attending the next day's 
concert, and he realized that something big was on the verge of 
happening. He went back to the house, got Jerry Garcia and Bob Weir 
and they walked back to the park to see the crowds begin to gather at 
dawn -- the rising sun creating a golden halo over the field, a sort 
of golden dome rising above what was to be an historic event, while a 
bunch of guys who'd apparently booked the far end of the field for a 
sporting event ran about in the distance.

Although I couldn't help checking my phone for messages every few 
minutes, and trying to keep an eye on the snack table in case some 
new treat were introduced, it was interesting to hear first hand 
descriptions of the summer of love, and the Human Be-in, from people 
who were there. The idea that just getting the right to peaceably 
assemble was so difficult in 1967, and that these people had fought 
so hard to make it happen, was impressive. (The American 
Revolutionary War notwithstanding) I realized how much I take for 
granted was fought for by the people from a previous generation. But 
I was kind of hoping another band would take the stage soon, and in 
between reminiscences, I turned to survey the crowd. There were 
probably between 200-300 people there by now, just before 9 pm.

But the crowd behind us wasn't behaving too well -- perhaps because, 
unlike me, they?d lived through it and didn't feel the need to hear 
the stories. (Or they didn't know how to silently text each other on 
their cell phones instead of chatting.) Or perhaps instead of Turning 
On, Tuning In, and Dropping Out, they’d simply Dropped In, Tuned Out. 
and Turned Up?

Eric asked those who wanted to talk to take it outside or go to the 
far end of the hall, but even when they moved to the back, the 
chatters continued to talk very loudly, making it difficult to follow 
the discussion. When it came time for audience questions, no one 
could hear the audience members as they shouted their questions to 
the stage. I wondered why they didn't just hand one of the abundant 
(six or more) microphones on long cords down to the audience, or set 
one up on the unused mic stand to the right of the table. Damn, 
you're music producers, radio hosts, performers -- hand a mic down! 
Or maybe they should have just started battering them with the mic 
stands? That would have made it a fun event.

Among the questions was one from Ann Cohen, wife of THE ORACLE editor 
Allen Cohen. We couldn't hear the question, but Brugman launched into 
a long story about how all the independent papers used the same 
(union) press, and how the Oracle staff had pestered the tough 
pressmen to use color in a particular way, irritating them to the 
point that the pressmen said, essentially, "Here, do it yourself" and 
the Oracle staff poured various colors of ink in random arrangements, 
resulting in the invention of an entirely new, psychedelic use of 
color in journalism.

Frank, who'd come to sit with us during the panel discussion, jumped 
up and shouted a question to the panel. It was so loud in the room 
that even I couldn't hear his question, and he was standing a few 
feet away from me.

"Go up to the front!" people started shouting at him. Eric called him 
up from the stage. Frank kept shouting, until Buddy said, "Why don't 
you just go up there?"

"Uh, well I don't really have a question, I just had a comment," 
Frank laughed.

"Sit down, man," Buddy said, visibly annoyed.

Frank sat down, laughing, and Buddy got up and headed to the back of 
the room. Frank slid over to the chair next to me which had just been 
vacated. "Hey honey, you still look pretty, honey. You got that great 
voice, you doing any singing?" I smiled and shook my head no.

After several more inaudible questions, the audience insisted on a 
mic (I'd nearly gone up there myself to show the boys, "Here's how 
you hand a microphone to someone"). A dark haired woman went up to 
the microphone. A woman!

"Why is it," she asked pointedly, "that there are 9 men up there and 
only 1 woman, but in the Summer of Love, half the people were women? 
Can you explain why you didn't include more women on the panel?" She 
passed the microphone and stepped back.

The crowd burst into some of the loudest applause I'd heard all 
evening (except for Country Joe). Apparently this woman had said 
aloud what a majority of people had been thinking. I found myself 
jumping to my feet in a standing ovation, along with several other 
women, several of whom were closer to my age than the average age of 
the audience.

Surprisingly - or perhaps not so surprisingly - her question went 
unanswered. Just as if she'd never asked it. Eric appeared to react 
to her question the way he'd reacted to being introduced to me - as 
if it never happened, as if he'd never heard it.

Her voice was soft and cool
Her eyes were clear and bright
But she's not there

In his defense, the next fellow in line at the mic began speaking 
before the applause died down. "I am a French man living in America!" 
he declared, and launched into a long francologue. People tried to 
shout him down and shouted, "Answer her question!" Finally the 
announcer came down. He approached Frenchie, motioning for him to 
hand over the mic. Frenchie kept talking, and backing away like a 
character in a Three Stooges film. Finally the announcer and had to 
wrestle the mic away from him and handed it to the next person.

But we'd all heard the woman's question, and no one on the panel 
backed up to answer it. Perhaps all the women who'd been invited to 
participate on the panel simply had other plans that night? - I might 
have bought that as a reasonable response. But it wasn't offered, and 
it seemed to me from the silence that  perhaps - the idea of 
including more women simply hadn't occurred to the organizers. I 
wondered why Ann Cohen hadn't been up on stage - she clearly had been 
around the core group of organizers and must have had a plethora of 
recollections she could have shared – was it because she was "just" 
the wife? She didn't have an editor title? Have things changed so 
little that her contributions, whatever they were, were still 
unrecognized? Were only women who wrote about fucking invited to the 
boys' table?

A woman in my row, about my age, with cinnamon colored hair and a 
jean jacket and who'd joined me in the standing ovation earlier, 
leaned over to me (Frank had left, probably to join Buddy in the 
back) and suggested, "Let's get them to answer!" I agreed, but it 
seemed futile. They'd moved on. When it was clear that the question 
would not be answered, despite calls from the audience, I decided the 
time had come to Turn Away, Tune Out, and Head Off. I put on my coat 
in the aisle, turned my back on the panel, and walked slowly out of 
1967, and back into 2007.

As I approached the crowd by the bar, I slowed my pace - was I being 
unreasonable? Was I missing the forest for the trees? Was this one 
issue - the appearance of a boy?s club, or not equally representing 
women - going to overshadow the rest of the evening for me? Was I 
being small minded? Was I expecting too much? And what had I done, 
personally, to earn the right to protest what may have been a simple 
oversight? After all, in some ways, things haven't changed that much. 
Women are still ignored in many venues; women still make up a 
minority of CEOs and high level politicians and are underrepresented 
in all halls of power. And it's not just men who ignore them
or distance them - it's other women as well, for a variety of 
reasons. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

But as the exit beckoned me, I wondered what was the point of making 
reference in the opening introductions to the women’s movement but 
not applying the lessons learned from it? What was the point of the 
self-congratulatory remarks about all the changes they had wrought, 
when they couldn't see fit 40 years later to just seat one or two 
more chicks on a panel? And wasn't the Second Wave of feminism in 
part a reaction to how women were treated in hippie culture – as 
appendages, hangers on, sexual receptacles, and baby toters? Were 
these revolutionaries, thesevisionaries from 1967 ever going to offer 
women more than one token spot at the table, more than 10% 
representation, four decades later? The lineup for the September 2nd 
concert event, which I looked up later, has an even lower percentage 
of women. It would probably be hard to argue that all the women who'd 
been invited simply turned it down. Maybe since women were nearly 
in the hippie movement in 1967, it would be a misrepresentation of 
the "Summer of Love" to include them now?

But, what do I know? I'm no poet, I'm no rock star, I'm no editor of 
a local rag, I'm no
impresario. This is not my beautiful house. This is not my beautiful 
wife. I'm just an
unemployed chick hoping for a free beer and better hors d'oeuvres. I 
was only along for the ride this evening... Ride, Sally, Ride. The 
Rite Spot beckoned from across the street (Wrong Time). A song kept 
floating through my mind as I walked to the back of the hall and 
forward in time:

But it?s too late to say you’re sorry
How would I know, why should I care
Please don’t bother trying to find her
She’s not there….

If that was a representation of 1967, maybe I don’t feel bad that I 
wasn’t there. A friend (Bob Simmons) wrote to me recently, “Nostalgia 
is the KY jelly of history” it makes the hard facts easier to take.” 
Pass the lube, please.

As I went out past the chip bowl, I noticed it was finally empty. 
Just a few charred potato shards marked its passing. The lights were 
still pretty good though.

Barbara Early
San Francisco