My Dad Ruined my Involvement with our "Rural Hippie Movement" and The 'Far Out' Slang That They Used
according to my dad, were the cause of America's decline in morality and other social evils.
In the beginning
My dad, rest his soul, hated hippies with such a seething hatred, he made 'hatred' an artform. No matter what he was doing or whom he was talking to, you could mortgage your home and bet it all that he would, before the conversation ended, would touch on how much he despised the hippies.
I can readily remember when he would cut my hair, and this was in my "Pre-Northwest Alabama Rural Hippy" phase, I would sit perfectly still or else kindle his anger and that was without question, "the" easiest thing I would ever do in my teen life. Frankly, he was a pretty decent barber being that he was self-taught as he was a self-taught violinist ("fiddle" to us rural people), and we would exchange a few moments of mild banter between his "I tell you why America is in the bad shape she's in," and "would you P-L-E-E-E-A-S-E, sit still?" remarks and those were pretty much is two dominant remarks.
was the only hair style that my dad would allow me to wear. Anything less was too radical and pro-Communist.
What my dad said was the law
It did not matter to my dad if my friends in the 10th grade were already "going with the fad" of wearing their hair long and the girls stopped with their haircuts as well. Man, we were so proud of our "Rural Hippy Movement," he kept my hair cut in the traditional "fender" over each ear style that his generation was wearing. And I had to endure gallon upon gallon of Vitalis hair oil that I do credit this company for making a product that worked . My hair was plastered to my head from the time I woke up, dressed for school and then back home again.
People in my class would point at me when I walked by them in the hallway and whisper, "Look at that weirdo square," to make my life the more miserable. Even in our hippie movement, there was an under current of insecurities. Funny, I was the only one with these insecurities.
The tradition of me getting a traditional haircut
Okay back to my dad. Picture this. I am sitting in one of our homemade cane bottom chairs with my back to my dad with electric clippers in his hands buzzing like angry bumblebees in a rebellious mood. Like I said, we exchanged "safe" banter about my school work, church, work and daily life.
Then he would ask the same question as he had numerous Saturdays before: "You know why America is sucking wind?" "No, dad. I do not," I would sheepishly reply. "It's those darn Beatles whose making our country turn from Patriotism to filthy Commies!" dad would say with either a fiery hatred or passion. Frankly, I had grrew to where I never knew the difference.
Ahhh, sweet taste of victory
But I did get to wear my hair just an inch and a half over my ears and that was due to my sister lobbying with our dad to "let Kenny be young for he will never be young again." Jesus Himself would have been proud of my sister for performing a mid-1960's miracle in causing our dad to agree to me being at least "some" measure of a true hippy.
So with that victory, I was beginning to notice certain changes in my body and my mindset. My music interests changed overnight from tried and true Country ballads to artists like Jimi Hendrix; Arlo Gutherie; Grand Funk Railroad and yes, the Fab Four. But my dad only allowed me to play "my" music while he was at work or outside doing yard work. Not what I call a democratic gig. My mother was a sweet saint and kept an impartial stance during my confusing teen years.
Time to reach for the Kleenex
I took you on a short journey down "Kenneth's Teen Years Road" for a reason. Sad as it is, I am still to this day ashamed to admit this fact to you, my treasured followers. But here goes.
My inclusion in our "Rural Hippy Movement" was sabotaged by my dad for being so angry about hippies, The Fab Four and me liking their music that I lived in fear of getting yelled at by my dad for using the slang of the 60's for if I used one slang term used by "real" hippies in San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles, I would get my head chewed off. I can tell you now that sometimes personal compromises to get something are not worth the anguish.
The title of this hub is:
My Dad Ruined my Involvement with our "Rural Hippie Movement" and They Used
The term, "Beatnik," and "Hippy," are not the same. Although I did not use "Beatnik," in this story, I thought that you should know that there is a difference. And that being "Beatniks," made Greenwich Village, New York famous for coffee houses, folk music, prose poetry, and black coffee while smoking cigarettes.
"Beatniks" did not applaud one of their own when they finished a song that made no sense or a prose reading that made even less sense, they all snapped their fingers and if you got that, you were on your way to stardom.
and I pray that some of you will sympathize with me. This has to be the toughest piece to write in all of the last few hubs I have published and no, I am not trying to make points with HubPages editors, Christy, Matt and the rest of the "far out" staff.
Here is a list of the most-commonly used slang terms made famous by the true hippies of my teenage years that I never got to use:
DIG - - verb; shows interest in someone, subject. "I dig that song, man." Our rural meaning was to take a shovel and dig irrigation ditches in our produce gardens.
MAN - - noun; used as confirmation of one's gender. "See you at the love in, man." People where I lived as a teenager said a male was a true man at age 21.
FAR OUT - - adjective; used as term of excited expression. "Oh, babe, that mini-skirt is far out!" The rural meaning of this term was: "Where is the Phillips 66 gas station? Oh, slick, it's not that far out there."
BAG - - noun; used to reject or accept offer or activity. "That's not my bag, man." Or "Hey, sleeping all day is my bag, man." We rural citizens use the word bag as a receptacle for carrying groceries from the store to our homes.
MAKE THE SCENE - - verb; said of hippies who showed up for a concert or protest march. "Hey, man, you gonna make the scene later today?" What a country drama teacher tells her props people.
UPTIGHT - - adjective; term describing serious condition. "Man, you're not protesting loud enough. Are you uptight about your parents kicking you out for not working?" Rural folks refer to uptight as the lid on a jar of mayonnaise being uptight and can't be unscrewed.
FAD - - noun; something novel as clothes, cars, songs. "Jack, man, I love these beads. What a far out fad." A rural child with a mouthful of food will say, "Fad, may I borrow the truck tonight?"
FRIED - - verb; term of defining result of using drugs. "Bob, that far out weed fried my mind last night." Note: since I am talking about our "Rural Hippie Movement," you would think that we used this term to talk about how we ate our chicken. But we wanted to be as hip as possible. Everyone in the deep south knows that fried means how we eat our eggs.
FLOWER POWER - - a term of peace used by a splinter group from the world of Hippydom, The Flower Children who danced and pranced in public places handing out all types of pretty flowers to all they met. Well, this term has two meanings. One, flower is associated with Dixie Lily flour we use to make biscuits and power refers to the electric bill that we are too scared to let go a few days.
CHICK - - noun; well-used by male hippies to distinguish gender of male and female. "Man, I really dig that chick at the post office. She said 'dig it' to me when the cops threw me out of there for asking for change from 'the man." Us rural residents know that chick is a newborn chicken.
ESTABLISHMENT - - noun; label used by professional hippies to throw mud at the local, state and Federal government, military and all types of authority. "Hey, man, let's stick it to the establishment for how they have made our lives a drag." Rural people pronounce this word as "stablishment," or "I want to 'stablish myself some good credit."
DRAG, LIFE IS A DRAG - - verb; term said often by hippies short of drugs, a steady chick and a sidewalk to sleep on. "Oh, man, my life's a drag." In the south we have drag strips and oval tracks for NASCAR races. That is how we see drag.
LOVE-IN - - noun; a huge gathering of hippies, boys and girls to engage in "free love" in public. "Hey, chick, you dig me?" A country boy will smile and say, "I love being in the house when it is raining."
GRASS - - noun; term used in asking for illegal substance, marijuana. "Hey, man. My day is a drag. Got any grass on ya?" A curse word to a teen boy. "Kid, you need to mow the grass."
I could go on, but out of respect for your time, I will stop here. And I want to say, "I dig you reading this hub."
Have a nostalgic look at the "beatniks"
More by this Author
I am heading carefully into uncharted waters with this piece. I do not need to write a summary. The headline says most of what I am talking about in this piece.
Yes, right now, nine myths of booze.
To Emmett Kelly.