Final Day in Oregon / Old Hippies


It was on an Oregon Beach like this that I, as a young longhair, came across a bearded hipster baking bread on sticks over an open fire.  I was 14 at the time.  1971.  He offered me some bread.  It was warm and moist and tasted faintly of salt.  He then offered me a joint.  I declined, and gradually drifted back to the motel, where the screaming disaster of my father’s 3rd marriage awaited me.  The trip itself ended in disaster, with a terrible scene in Yellowstone, but that’s a different story.  Anyway, I’ve always remember that kind hippie. 

Roaming Oregon for the last several days, I’ve come across many such hippies; stopped and talked with them.  Now of course they’re all gray-haired; some use canes; some seem eternally young; some have gone senile; some own nursing homes for the senile. 

My generation is aging.  I’ve known this for a long time, but only in Oregon did it really sink in.  Sure, I still think of myself as 25, but that’s only because I’ve always lived in a state of self-delusion–a carefully maintained one.

Still, it was charming to talk with so many aging hipsters.  Their warmth hasn’t changed in 36 years, and the state is still a wonder.  But now it’s back to KC, where I’ve got a new gallery to open, an abundance of new projects to launch, a screenplay to push further up the line, and a fine family to love.  Damn, I am one lucky man.  And no, I ain’t using a cane for a long freaking time–if ever.  Of course, that might wind up being another one of my delusions. 

One thought on “Final Day in Oregon / Old Hippies

  1. Hi:

    Very nice beach picture! I was up in the Portland/Vancouver area about 2 years ago for business, and read it was hard to get actually over to the ocean side and back in a day, so I went over to the Columbia River Gorge area. It is so beautiful up there, and the overcast in this photo reminds me of my trip. Not that it’s bad to be on the rainy side, it’s just different.

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