The Summer of Love: 40 years later

Rscover40I am a little tender about the idea of being "40" and yet fascinated about the summer I was born–The Summer of Love.  Just a few miles north from the San Jose, California, Catholic hospital I was being born in a  cultural revolution arrived.  Hippies in San Francisco made their debut.  Thousands of teenagers experimented with mind altering drugs like LSD.

This most current issue of Rolling Stone is interesting to me for its recall of these events.  My life came to be during a time when social experimentation began.  I grew up with peers with names like Moon and Dweezle and Cuong or Carlos. Vietnam was ending and Reagan era was emerging.

The Summer of Love had a dark side.  Acid was dropped, but heroine and narcotics soon dominated.  Chaos ensued.  The social experiment had a backlash, too.  The hippies vacated the San Francisco Haight-Ashbury to small rural places in Northern California.  Now, crystal shops can be found in these small mountain and coastal towns.  Today you might even find a VW bus painted with the rainbow colors of the era.

The hippie generation, or boomers, eventually discarded the flowers for Wall Street and BMWs.  My generation, known as "X" emerged while the once idealistic baby boomers became the pragmatists they are today.  The  Summer of Love left interesting art, music and cultural icons such as Jimmy Hendrix and Janis Joplin.  The stale and conforming 50s were discarded for a time of freedom.  Most boomers ended their experimentation and began families and soon would transform corporate America.   Society and culture did go through massive changes during the summer I was born.  This kind of change is now the norm and so much so that it is almost like The Summer of Love never really happen.

Rich Kirkpatrick

Rich Kirkpatrick

Writer, Speaker, and Musician. Rich Kirkpatrick was recently rated #13 of the “Top 75 Religion Bloggers” by, having also received recognition by Worship Leader Magazine as “Editor’s Choice” for the “Best of the Best” of blogs in 2011, 2014, 2015 and 2016.

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