I am always curious about retrospectives of those times and how people tell the story. Having grown up in Carmel/Big Sur throughout the 60’s and 70’s I have always thought of it as an eye opening, mind bending, collective understanding that life was more than what meets the eye.
Once LSD/shrooms/mescaline/ buttons/ opened you up to seeing that everything is interrelated and that stuff is not as separate and self-standing as it appears, you could no longer go on in the old way of thinking.
That section of the California coastline drew creatives of all kinds to its astounding beauty and asked them to create…anything and everything. And we did. The music was phenomenal and the “parties” were not just let’s-get-high-and-screw (ok some were) but often they were seen as an opportunity to have a deeper exploration with friends of what it meant to be human.
People would create “events” “happenings” building whole scenes on their properties that would create a kind of setting for the party, making people engage different environments. Burning Man before Burning Man.
We created caves, bridges, kiva’s, flat sandy areas with fires, towers and temples, all kinds of environments that would be available to use if the “trip” inspired it. The next day, sharing what was learned through the experience was part of the event and there was a lot of love, a LOT of love. Love had become a substance, you could feel it like a soft silky fabric enveloping everyone. Yes, the usual human foibles presented themselves and shit happened that was not great, but on the whole it was a beautiful experience.
Now days the hippies are gone and Highway One is lined with travel trailers and Range Rovers not hitchhikers and love bugs. Even still, when we see each other in the coffee shop or on the beach watching the sunset, we can spot those times reflected in each others eyes and the exchange of love continues.