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Strawberry Incense, Patchouli, Big Bell Bottoms, and Going Barefoot

Updated on February 16, 2015
LillyGrillzit profile image

Being hungry without access to food is a helpless feeling. The empathetic always seek to feed hunger. This recipe feeds a lot of people.

Patchouli, Peace, Love

Patchouli, Peace, and Love
Patchouli, Peace, and Love | Source

The Era was What we Called the Age of Aquarius

I was living in The Age of Aquarius, or what we were hoping was that new enlightened time. The 5th Dimension was a group who wrote a song about the Age of Aquarius. It was a song that I associate with all of the groovy scents that stir my memories of the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Whenever like minded, like dressed, like enlightened folks would meet, we would throw up the "V" sign, and shout, "Peace Man", or some such greeting. The music of this time was very filled with meaning and hope for a world where people sought Peace and Love for each other, and eschewed War.

The Vietnam War really jarred our society like never before. An entire generation of young American males were whisked off to Southeast Asia, to take part in a political action. Unfortunately the majority were 19 years old, they still could not vote at that time, nor buy liquor. These decent American men were made to commit actions they were warned against in Sunday School, but lying politicians tried to say it was for America's protection.

The blame for drug use, rock and roll, Woodstock, swingers, mini skirts and hippies were heaped on those seeking enlightenment. The blame sits at the feet of the same greedy industrialists who have always made blood sacrifices for lucre. One of the most terrible things was that propaganda turned civilians against our Veterans when we were truly on the same side.

There were many wonderful things that came from The Age of Aquarius, the main best thing was a revolution of Love and Peace toward all fellowmen and women. Civil Rights, and expanded consciousness'.

Peace Love and Groovy

Tapestry available at Funky Junky in the River Valley
Tapestry available at Funky Junky in the River Valley | Source

Incense and Patchouli

Incense and Patchouli.

These scents always calm me. My childhood was one of a lone gypsy, and I remember going into the Indian shop, off of Valley Blvd in Alhambra, California, and being drawn in by the scents of the incense. Bare feet hidden beneath my giant bell bottoms, I would walk around the store as long as they would let me. I usually didn't have much money, but sometimes I could buy a stick or couple of cones of incense.

When he was not busy, the proprietor would sometimes take time to explain the different scents, oils and batiks, and the powers they carried. Although I understood some of what he said, usually only a quarter of what he said made sense to me, and I felt as if I was gaining some knowledge in what before was completely mystical and mysterious.

Once, I was able to save up enough money to purchase a batik created on muslin cloth. It seemed as if it took forever to save for that $5.00 Batik. As I recall, the shop owner was astounded that me, this pesky young street urchin, came up with the funds for such a grand purchase. The batik was one of several which had been hanging on the ceiling in square patterns above the shop.

For some reason my overwhelming happiness at my accomplishment of saving, and purchasing a needed and wanted item, and the sight of the shop owner climbing to the top of his rickety ladder to retrieve my batik, caused me to break into near hysterical laughter. Until then, I had been intimidated by him. I guess he was large to me, hovering to make sure I did not steal anything. Up on the ladder, I could see his spindly legs, and that he was no bigger than me. Point of view is everything.

The cloth was dyed purple with characters that seemed to be from the Chinese alphabet, but were random creations of the person using paraffin to mark the cloth before dipping it into the dye. The colors and design of the batik were comforting to me. I loved that the cloth was large enough to sit on, lay on, and cover me. Another thing I loved was that the cloth would fold small enough to carry in my pack.

I am not sure what ever happened to my Batik, but I will always remember the comfort of the smell of all of the incense soaked into the batik, from that Indian shop, the scratchy Indian cotton against my face.

Patchouli, A Familiar Scent That Brings Positive Memories

Patchouli is another scent that I associate with positive times and people in my life.

I remember the first GAP store on Valley Blvd & Garfield Avenue. They burned strawberry incense. That is where I bought my first giant bell bottom hip hugger jeans, crop top blouse, and leather belt with the clasping hands belt buckle made from metal.

These are smells that trigger many good memories.

Alhambra, California

show route and directions
A markerValley Blvd & Garfield Ave, Alhambra, CA -
West Valley Boulevard & South Garfield Avenue, Alhambra, CA 91801, USA
get directions

These are the streets I lived on, finding scents and creating memories.

B markerValley Bowl, Alhambra, CA -
Alhambra Bowling Center, 1400 East Valley Boulevard, Alhambra, CA 91801, USA
get directions

I bowled, and hung out at Valley Bowl

C marker1515 S Third Street, Alhambra, CA -
1515 South 3rd Street, Alhambra, CA 91803, USA
get directions

My old address; back in the day


Patchouli and Peace
Patchouli and Peace | Source

Joni Mitchell at Big Sur singing about Woodstock Music Festival in 1969

Love is the Answer

One of my drawings
One of my drawings | Source

Back In The "Good Old Days"...

Were the old days really so good, or do we just remember with gentleness?

See results

While Living the Hardships

When we are in the moment, we are just putting one foot in front of the other, doing the best we can to get through it all. Some of us do not have time for reflection, but the problems, issues and struggles are in our faces. Later, when we have time to think about the past, and we take the time and allow the feelings to flow, it seems as it is only then we can understand the whole, and realize the tough times can be some of the best memories. Weird isn't it?

A Special Thank You! February 2015

For the reader who came and made sizable purchases through this Hub, Thank You- Blessing Way to you.

June 27, 2013. This Hub came about by a question asked by sallybea: "What smell or taste triggers something in your memory?"

© 2013 Lori J Latimer


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    • LillyGrillzit profile image

      Lori J Latimer 4 years ago from The River Valley, Arkansas

      fpherj48 you are never anonymous. I love that your family knows your patchouli signature. No bank robberies for you! LOL.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      LOL......"I smell a hippie!" That is too funny. I have never heard that one.....but I continually hear....."Where is she, I can smell her!" My son often comes home from work and asks his wife, "What time was my mother here?" and she just laughs. 6 year old granddaughter, found an empty box in the garage that I had used to mail something to my son.....she picked it up and asked her Dad, "Daddy, was this from Gramma Jay?"......I guess I should never rob a bank with a mask on....HUH?

    • LillyGrillzit profile image

      Lori J Latimer 4 years ago from The River Valley, Arkansas

      fpherj48 Thank you! I am sensing that this Hub has stirred up the spirit of 'my people! There are times I walk into a place, and someone will gripe; I smell a hippie. Thanks for the vote and smiles.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Lori....You will always get my attention and my up-votes, for interesting "Memory Lane," hubs, like this one! I am hooked on going back in time, to dreams of those fabulous days gone by. There was so much to hold on to and to recall, complete with good, good, emotions!

      I am a pure, unadulterated, "Patchouli-Girl." NEVER without a bottle of what has been dubbed by my family & friends (including my adult sons) as my "Signature Fragrance." I've told everyone several times....."not MY signature.......90% of Boomer females, signature" Although, most of that 90% has gone on to OTHER fragrances. I am loyal!............Wonderful hub, Lori......UP++++

    • LillyGrillzit profile image

      Lori J Latimer 4 years ago from The River Valley, Arkansas

      vocalcoach, Wow! Ditto on why I like you so much too. The peace sign is on my key chain presently, and my Patchouli bottle that I still use. I love the description of your place, it sounds like the making of a short story. Thank you for the lavender, and votes.

    • LillyGrillzit profile image

      Lori J Latimer 4 years ago from The River Valley, Arkansas

      Ruby, thank you again.

    • LillyGrillzit profile image

      Lori J Latimer 4 years ago from The River Valley, Arkansas

      Sallybea, how could I not credit you the inspiration for this Hub? (smiles) I was simply going to answer, then kaboom; the words started flowing. I am happy to have caused you good remembrances. Thank you for the very kind comments.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 4 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      I still wear a peace sign :) I know alhambra well, my friend and probably shopped the same places. You should see my bedroom. I'm presently living in a log cabin in the forest, burning incense with a batik spread on my bed and soy candles burning in my room. I knew there was a reason that I liked you so much!'

      Awesome hub. Printing it out to keep and read when I need my 70's fix. Tying some fresh lavender to it. Voted up and across - will pin and share.

      Thankyou sister - Peace and love ~ Audrey

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 4 years ago from Norfolk

      Thank you for the compliment LillyGrillzit and I am delighted to say that you in turn have been able to bring back some of my own memories - those especially of Batik Cloth - something which I have loved since I was a child. I adore the way the light shows through the cloth when it is held in front of a lamp or light - which is probably why it was so often used to make a lampshades. The Batiks as I recall where also painted by the African folk when I lived in South Africa, often with enchanting ethnic designs which often incorporated animals or women carrying urns on their heads. I even attempted making Batik cloth in my youth. I recall I made use of a small brass tool called a Tjanting which can be used to help create batik patterns. (Batik I am sure most people will know is a wax resist decorative technique used on fabric.) The little tool holds and dispenses hot wax in such a way that the artist can control the pattern laid down with a great deal of precision.

      The era you speak of had to be the best of times - Flower Power, Peace and Love - those are memories well worth holding onto. Thank you for sharing your own memories.

    • LillyGrillzit profile image

      Lori J Latimer 4 years ago from The River Valley, Arkansas

      Thank you very much! We are definitely fellow travelers, with more parallels than ever. Thank you again!

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Oh Lilly, I had to push all the buttons except funny. I love this look back in time. I was right there with you. I went to Woodstock in my dreams. The sixties were the first awakening for me, politically speaking. I envy you going into the little shop in your bellbottom pants. I wore them and loved them. Thank you. Your writing is excellent.....