By Fred Owens
But first the golf news:
As I said in a previous issue, I used to caddy at the Indian Hill Golf Club in Winnetka, Illinois, but ! never took up the game.... Lately I've been thinking why don't I give golf a try, just hit the ball around and go for a walk on that long, long green lawn. So yesterday, for the first time, I went to the Santa Barbara Golf Club and used the driving range for some practice swings. They loaned me three clubs and a $4 bucket of balls. Of course I called Stuart in LaConner for advice on the game and he said just keep your head down, and, he added, you'll never get good at it.
With those kind words in mind I took some swings. I tried a full swing but it was too wild, so I ramped down to a 2/3 swing and managed to hit a few balls straight and true. This was satisfying and enjoyable. I expect to go back to the driving range and keep practicing until I am good for nine holes on the course.
Okay, enough golf, onwards to Hippie Culture:
I am interested in collecting the Hippie Classic Shelf of Books. It would have the following volumes:
The I Ching -- which I already have, in the famous Yellow Binding, all 64 hexagrams
The Tarot deck -- which I already have somewhere in storage, the Rider-Waite edition
Be Here Now, by Baba Ram Dass, who was the reincarnation of Harvard teacher Richard Alpert. He went to India and came back in an orange robe. Strange times they were.
Black Elk Speaks, a work of haunting visions. You read it and you wished all the freeways and shopping centers would just disappear so that you could hear the wind blow.
The Teachings of Don Juan, by Carlos Castenada, an introduction to the Peyote Ritual. Don't try this at home.
Back to Eden, by Jethro Kloss, a book of herb lore, utter nonsense, but somehow compelling
Soul on Ice, by Eldridge Cleaver, an angry and poorly written book, not anywhere near the stature of works by James Baldwin, but still highly accessible.
All self-respecting hippies consulted these volumes during the Sixties. They seem ridiculous and dated now, but I would still like to own them.
In addition to this group, readers have suggested
Dune, suggested by my sister Carolyn Rios
Stranger in a Strange Land, suggested by my girl friend Laurie Moon
the Moosewood Cookbook , suggested by Annie Bussiere, famous pizza maker in the Upper Skagit town of Concrete
the Whole Earth Catalog, suggested by Felicia Value, attorney and LaConner resident. I loved the catalog and its format. I poured over every fine print description of useful post-Apocalypse items. I may have bought the hand-driven grain grinder.,
Trout Fishing in America, I read this book of poems, but even back then I found it a little too mushy
the Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, I didn't read this book, but I met Ken Kesey in 1967 and spent an afternoon riding on his Magic Bus
Our Bodies Ourselves, suggested by Kathy Shoop, retired LaConner school teacher. This was a feminist health manual. I didn't read it, but flipped through it on occasion. My own observation, surely made by others before me, is that women bleed differently than men. Men bleed from injury and violence and fear the sight of blood and seek to prevent such events. Women of a certain age bleed monthly, and not as a result of a trauma, and not as a source of fear and something to be prevented. Just different.
Considered but classified as marginal
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, published in 1974, and somewhat post-Hippie, submitted by Tricia Crowley of Montgomery Alabama, retired French teacher.
Against Interpretation by Susan Sontag, I read it, but it was far too serious, submitted by Peter Goldfarb, retired innkeeper from LaConner and Mount Vernon
On the Road by Jack Kerouac, suggested by Gretchen Sellen. This is a pre-hippie book. I never read it but I spent a lot of time on the road, hitchhiking.
The Lord of the Rings by Tolkien, suggested by Harvey Blume. This three-volume work is a timeless classic. I have read it three times. Harvey also suggested Gurdjieff, who seems to have something to say, but he was less prominent than other Shamans of the Sixties.
Mary Lambert, a retired nurse, college classmate of mine, and resident of the Hollywood Hills, made this suggestion, from her email response:
"I like many of your choices, and may I add a few to the 60s-70s group: the totally crazy and yet strangely timely Ecotopia by Callenbach? A fantasy but...Could this serve as a partial blueprint for 21st century California? Also a lovely little New Mexico book called The House at Otowi Bridge by Peggy Pond Church. This is a sweet little memoir of a remarkable woman who was close to both the scientists of Los Alamos and the local Native Americans. We spent four summers in Santa Fe (rented a house) before we had our Tahoe place and cherished every minute. I don’t know how well you know the area but it is still a very magical place."
Further contributions are still welcome, so please send in your suggestions, but we are wrapping it up just for now,
have a great day,