My Experience As A Teenage Hippie In the 70's

An era when the rules were being broken.

I was raised to be a conventional, chuch going girl but when I was 15 with my parents marriage crumbling and not much adult supervision, I took to running around town with a more wild group of friends. I wasn't a totally "bad" girl and I didn't want to go all the way sexually with boys for a number of reasons but mostly because I was raised Catholic and I didn't believe in abortion.

During the 1970s in my town of Kennewick, Washington it seemed that drugs were everywhere and hippies had arrived. Or more correctly, the hippie movement with a large number of young people emulating the leaders of this countercultural movement.

I was one of them, feeling all sorts of unexamined feelings of rebellion. There was also a humanitarian side to the movement with brotherly love being held in high esteem and the "flower child" becoming a hippie icon. I identified myself as a rebellious flower child.

In my social set we used to hang out at the local bowling alley where I met all sorts of new friends most of whom were not the greatest influence on me.

One day a girl walked in who would become my best friend during this time and I will call her Sandy. Sandy was an overweight but attractive girl with a magnetic and persuasive personality. She also had a devastating wit and kept me in stitiches.

Sandy was pretty wild which shocked me and at the same time fascinated me. She knew I had some sort of morals and a couple of times after she had recounted a step by step sexual rendezvous she would see the shocked look on my face and would end the story by say that she was slipped a spanish fly and couldn't control herself. At the time I believed her.

We would meet at the bowling alley on the weekends and decide what kind of fun we could have. This usually meant finding a party. One of the first parties I went to was at this man who I will call Matt's house. Matt was in his late 30s which to us teenagers seemed ancient. He would play a strange role as half father figure, half seducer to the teenage girls that came to his place. It was at Matt's that I first tried marjuana. He gave me what was called a supercharge where he took a big drag off the marijuana cigarette and then blew it into my mouth as though it was a kiss. I was curious to see how I would feel on pot. The result was I thought it was boring and I never would like it but during this period I would continue to be a social pot smoker because I didn't want to be seen as a square.

One odd thing about the hippie era in this social set was, that it was socially acceptable to crash somebody's house or apartment at about any time day or night. We were always supposed to be ready to party and to share drugs etc. It was part of the brotherly love aspect.

Sandy and I would find these parties which at times could get wild with even strangers coupling up for sex and of course alcohol and pot being passed around. Again I had conflicted emotions, I didn't really like what I was seeing but I thought maybe I'm too old fashioned and I have to adapt to what I thought was the new normal world.

I was always afraid of psychedelic drugs and I would sometimes be around people who were on them. Some of the people would have bad trips which frightened me even more which looking back was a good thing.

I didn't really care that much for pot and I would half jokingly say that I always felt that I was already on pot, but one drug that I could have really gotten hooked on was what we used to call speed or amphetamines. When I took speed I really felt alive. Fortunately my cautious nature prevented me from going too far with this drug.

One experience that really stands out from this era was the time I hitchhiked with a couple of friends to a rock festival that was being held outside Spokane.

We were still basking in the glow of the Woodstock rock festival and these rock festivals were trying to recapture the magic.

I thought it would be a fun, enlightening experience but it turned out to be a dirty, grimy venue with some of the acts cancelling. Most of the kids were strung out on drugs and as the days wore on their clothes came off with a good number of them running around naked and stoned. After the first day I knew I was done but I had to wait until my ride was ready.

When it was all over there were a lot of people passed out all over and I would learn later that several people had died there from drug overdoses.

Eventually I grew tired of my aimless life. My mother also became aware of the pattern I was in and got me into counseling and from there programs in which I would continue my education.

I'm still friends with Sandy although I don't see her much anymore. The strongest drug I take these days if coffee. I don't even drink.

All I can say about those days is I survived.

Comments 7 comments

Reynold Jay profile image

Reynold Jay 4 years ago from Saginaw, Michigan

You look a bit like my hippie brother who did not survive the experience of the hippie culture. Now he is homeless, penniless, and not a friend in the world at 65 years of age. Glad you got through it. I enjoyed this very much. You have this laid out beautifully and it is easy to understand. Keep up the great HUBS. I gotta give this an Up ONE AND BEAUTIFUL. I'm now your fan!


galaxy1000 profile image

galaxy1000 4 years ago from Spokane, WA Author

Thanks!


gmwilliams profile image

gmwilliams 4 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York

Insightful hub. You lived, learned, and grew as a person.


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada

I was pretty upset at one point that I was not born in the early sixties to be a teenager in the seventies but with seventies in mind, I had a blast in my teenage years anyway. Actually I think my teenage years lasted into my early twenties LOL

We do burn-out though and the nonsense cannot go on indefinitely. Eventually most of those who as You said, "survived" will tend to take it easy in the second part of their life. Drugs are tough on the body, no way to go around that ...

I loved reading your hub! Learning about people's memories and perceptions is a treat for me so, thank You for putting this piece of writing together.

Cheers!


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 4 years ago from Southern California, USA

It seems like ever generation has their trends from the flappers, to the hip cats, to the hippies, and now the hipsters.


galaxy1000 profile image

galaxy1000 4 years ago from Spokane, WA Author

That is true.


Cecelia 3 years ago

Amazing story. Glad you weren't one to end up dead due to this.

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