My Dad Ruined my Involvement with our "Rural Hippie Movement" and The 'Far Out' Slang That They Used

I was deprived of life experiences like making out with "hip chicks."
I was deprived of life experiences like making out with "hip chicks." | Source
The Beatles, photographed in late 60's.
The Beatles, photographed in late 60's. | Source

These guys

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.

Source

"This" hairstyle

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.

Code 10 and Vitalis were the ONLY hair tonics for men that I was allowed to wear.
Code 10 and Vitalis were the ONLY hair tonics for men that I was allowed to wear. | Source

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.

Hippies were not well-understood by the older generation. These guys may have looked like bums, but their fashion sense made them very important to our fashion industry.
Hippies were not well-understood by the older generation. These guys may have looked like bums, but their fashion sense made them very important to our fashion industry. | Source
Arlo Guthrie.
Arlo Guthrie. | Source
Jimi Hendrix.
Jimi Hendrix. | Source

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.

Hippies, to me, although were guilty of doing strange things, did not pose a threat to society by dancing and enjoying their youth.
Hippies, to me, although were guilty of doing strange things, did not pose a threat to society by dancing and enjoying their youth. | Source
Hippies contributed to the culture of our country by having arts and crafts fairs.
Hippies contributed to the culture of our country by having arts and crafts fairs. | Source

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

This was my goal: If I were a part of our "Rural Hippie Movement," I would then climb to an area of super- popularity especially with pretty girls.
This was my goal: If I were a part of our "Rural Hippie Movement," I would then climb to an area of super- popularity especially with pretty girls. | Source
Relaxing at Woodstock August 1969.
Relaxing at Woodstock August 1969. | Source
Some hippies were friends with the cops. This proves that hippies were not all bad.
Some hippies were friends with the cops. This proves that hippies were not all bad. | Source
Hippies protested against the war in Vietnam and here is one of their protest signs.
Hippies protested against the war in Vietnam and here is one of their protest signs. | Source
Hippies helping with crowd control at Woodstock.
Hippies helping with crowd control at Woodstock. | Source
Hippies "rapping" with each other.
Hippies "rapping" with each other. | Source
Time to relax and enjoy the great spirit of fellowship.
Time to relax and enjoy the great spirit of fellowship. | Source
Hippies also enjoyed a lot of color in their fashion choices as well as in their colors of buses they lived in.
Hippies also enjoyed a lot of color in their fashion choices as well as in their colors of buses they lived in. | Source

Notice:

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."

Finally.

Have a nostalgic look at the "beatniks"

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Comments 12 comments

William F. Torpey profile image

William F. Torpey 8 months ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

It's a good hub, Ken, but I don't dig this stuff, man. I went to NYU in Washington Square in the early 1960's so I'm aware of it.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 8 months ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Hi, William,

That's cool, man. I know that this story is not everyone's "bag," but that is what makes our nation great. Freedom to choose.

Thanks for your comment, William and have a peaceful day up there in South Valley Stream, N.Y.

Kenneth


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 8 months ago

Hey, man, I dig your far out hub. Fact is, I grok it (look that one up if you're too young) It wasn't my father who spoiled my hippie days, it was my (first) husband. I'm just a tad older than you, and I married way the heck too young. He fits the exact description of your Dad, so much that even his more liberal parents didn't know where he came from. He was so square and hated hippies so much that he forbade me to get granny glasses. When I did defy him and get little gold granny frames (which I still have) he went ballistic. I finally divorced him, but that's another story.

Anyway, the gal he took up with and married soon after our divorce was the hippiest-looking gal around, granny glasses, free love and all. So fate has a way of dealing with guys like him and your dad. I can just see your dad right now, playing in a band with Jimi Hendrix, John Lennon, Curt Cobain, et al. He probably thinks he died and went to hell.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 8 months ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

MizBeJabbers,

Hello out west in Arkansas. How are you? Well, like all of your comments, this one too, was very colorful, interesting and I loved it.

Good girl, divorcing your first warden, oops, I mean husband.

But in later years, my dad and I grew closer and I know it was due to his health slowly deteriorating and we talked a lot about some events in my young days, but I never brought up the "Rural Hippy Movement," for fear that he might die of a sudden stroke.

Hendrix? Lennon? Not on your life. Bill Monroe, Hank Williams, Sr., and all of the pioneer Country Music great's, YES. Dad was a self-taught fiddle player, brick mason, carpenter, did a hitch in the Army, share cropped and when I was a kid, I was in awe of how smart he was. That never changed even during our "friction" about hippies.

Love you, MizBejabbers for being my friend, follower, and wonderful person for me to lean on.

Kenneth


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 8 months ago

My problem with my dad wasn't hippies. It was Elvis. I was 12 when I heard my first Elvis song and immediately fell in love with him. My dad bought me a record player only under the condition that I not buy any Elvis records. I kept that promise. A few years before my mom died (daddy was already deceased) I mentioned it to her how I resented not being able to buy Elvis records. She said she always wondered why I never bought an Elvis record, and that I should have bought them anyway. She said he was so set in his ways that his idiosyncrasies sometimes deprived the family from pleasures we should have had. I wish I'd told her back then, but she usually took up for him so I guess I figured it wouldn't do any good. Thanks for the compliment, dear heart, love you, too.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 8 months ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

March 16, 2:39 p.m., cst.

Hey, MizBejabbers,

I meant every word of what I said to you. And now I find myself admiring you (more) for being such an obedient teenager. Actually, my sister was like that. When she and her husband married, that was the first time she had owned a record player.

Now as much as my dad despised hippies, he hated "my" music even more--Steppenwolf; Beatles (of course); Jimi Hendrix. All were subversives and anti-American.

Believe me. Even now I can still hear him regale me during a haircut about the evils of "my" generation.

But one thing he did besides these two things, was he did not trust any of my friends. I told him the truth about all of them, but he did not like me for growing older and riding around with my friends.

Now that I am older, I look back on when my now-late daughter lived with us and was ready to date. I was curious about who she was going out with and that was it. I tried to NOT be like my dad.

Right now, she and my dad and mom are having a great time in Heaven and things like this are not in their memories.

Thanks, dear friend, for caring about me.

Love you.


Say Yes To Life profile image

Say Yes To Life 8 months ago from Big Island of Hawaii

Your story is so groovy, man! Mad props to you for explaining the vocab and the difference between a hippie and a beatnik (oops - "mad props" belongs to another generation).

I was born in 1960, so I was too young to take part in the hippie movement. However, I did grow up next to Berkeley CA, which until recently was an eternal hippie haven. I loved walking down Telegraph Ave and watching the street artists and colorful people. As an adult, I played guitar and sang there for money, even though it was the late 1980s. I also did this in San Francisco, Palo Alto, and Venice Beach. I had numerous adventures doing this.

The 1960s is my favorite decade. It was the Golden Age of rock music. So much was accomplished socially as well. I have the Woodstock DVD.

If your father had been less of a square, he could have taken advantage of the hippie holistic health practices, and he may still be alive today, in good shape!


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 8 months ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Say Yes to Life,

Would you please become one of my followers? I need someone who is very knowledgeable about OUR decade, the 60's.

You are right. Rock music will never be the same . . . unless the circle of all things popular an inventive comes back to the roots.

I envy you for your adventures, guitaring, and just being free to experience what I never got to see or do.

I want us to be friends and correspond occasionally about this time in our lives.

To this day, 3/21/2016, I can sit an still wonder why my dad was like he was. But to give credit, he was a self-taught musician, brick mason, carpenter, car mechanic, machinist and many other things.

You have a point in the holistic healing. Thanks for sharing.

Peace.

Your Friend for Life (and do be one of my followers).

Kenneth


Say Yes To Life profile image

Say Yes To Life 8 months ago from Big Island of Hawaii

Hi, Kenneth ~

I too grew up in a very conservative household. That's why I had to wait until I was an adult to become a hippie. Your father was probably afraid of the radical departure the hippie movement was from the status quo. It is common for young adults to be different from the preceding generation, but usually they learn from their parents and make slight alterations. The hippies learned from their GRANDPARENTS! (the back to nature movement). Their departure was also more extreme.

Growing up - well, actually to this day - I noticed the people into the most interesting activities are those who are 10 years my senior. They really need to pass these things, like contra dance and preserving the environment, on to the generation of high school and college students so they don't die out.

I'll have to go through my photographs, so I can write some hubs about the days I sang on the street.

BTW, as far as being a hippie is concerned, the belief, "Don't trust anyone over 30" no longer applies. You're never too old - just ask Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull!


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 8 months ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Oh, my Dear Say Yes to Life,

First off, "Thank you so Very Much, for the Following. I saw it just now on my Yahoo email program that catches my HP comments. Until I can email you a Personal Thank You Note, for now, I will just say, "A Heart-felt Thanks to You, Dear, Sweet Friend."

And what a tremendous idea you told about in above comment about going through your old photos and hubbing about singing on the sidewalks. Great idea. Do it!

And you are probably right about my dad and his generation. Those with rules for everything--hair length, length of skirt/dress, etc. Not that I am in any position to point a finger, for I do not understand most of what today's teenager are yakking about.

I am proud, and I mean proud of you, Say Yes to Life to going through with your dream of being free. Did you wear sunglasses and a headband?

I am so anxious to see you in your photos.

Please hurry up and start this special hub. I want to take this moment to encourage you 110%.

Your Friend for Life,

Kenneth


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 7 months ago from Central Florida

I love this, Kenneth! I used to say all those word, especially "far out". I was a little to young to really be a hippie in the sixties, but my mind was definitely there. Once I got into high school (early to mid seventies) I could really express myself with the clothing, music, lingo, and weed.

Ah, those were the days!


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 7 months ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

My Sweet Friend, bravewarrior,

"You bet. These WERE the days."

The one problem that I had was talking to the hippy girls, or chicks, and when we had got to know each other well enough, I would ask her, "Do you love me?"

Then came that slamming door: "Sure, Kenneth. I love EVERYBODY."

So much for exclusivity.

Thank you for your sweet comment.

Write me anytime.

Love, Kenneth

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