She Never Did Make it to the Haight

Jeff Suwak
Straight Haight, ‘67
5 min readApr 18, 2018

by Kyle Szegedi on Unsplash

Connie Lynn Line put seven Black-eyed Susans in her hair before walking out to that Nebraska highway to hitchhike to San Francisco. The year was 1967. All across the country, hordes of kids were responding to the siren call of musicians like Scott McKenzie and his whole “If you’re going to San Franscisco, be sure to wear some flowers in your hair” rap.

Connie made it to the roadside in late morning, after her father was long gone out into the miles of corn that defined his life. Her mother had just left on the epic drive out to the big city supply stores.

Connie was tanned and pretty — not like those bone-skinny California girls (“I wish they all could be…”), instead with thick, strong legs, and a handshake that’d make a beatnik blush. Connie knew she was different from where she was going, but that was the whole point. Besides, she didn’t need validation from any-damn-body.

She just wanted to be part of the hippie scene, helping to stop a damn war and bring in the love revolution. She wanted to be where things were happening.

Connie wasn’t on the road for more than half an hour before an orange Volkswagen bus appeared. Her heart raced when she saw the hand-painted sunflowers on the hood. She damn near lost her cool when she saw those California plates. It was like a sign from Heaven telling her she’d been destined to make this trip.

The bus rolled to a stop and a young woman in her early twenties with blue flowers painted on her face hung her out the window and said, “Toot toot, space cadet. Time machine is here.”

Connie nearly squealed. She was one hundred percent that nobody in Nebraska had ever uttered that exact sentence before that very moment — not once.

The side door slid open. Four more hippies sat within, all of them beaming. “Hop on in!” they cheered in perfect unison.

Connie leaped inside.

Right away they lit a couple joints and passed them around. Connie was no stranger to the drug. Her buddy grew his own plants, in fact, back in the acres behind the fields. This was different, though. As they smoked they talked about cosmic transcendence and the true nature of God and all those things. It was a dream come true for Connie. These were the kinds of…

Jeff Suwak
Straight Haight, ‘67

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