Volume #14, Issue #3
It was spring. I remember walking down West 8th Street in New York’s Greenwich Village, holding daffodils, the scents of patchouli and jasmine oils engulfing me in their scents. The bells that hung from the belt loop of my very worn jeans, the strands of colored beads that hung from my neck, my hair long and flowing. I felt as if I walked in a dream and everyone within this private world was beautiful.
I remember smiling a lot back then. There was so much love—I could feel it. In my naivety, I removed myself from my family. The distance between me and my peers became increasingly obvious.
A year earlier, some girls in my neighborhood would taunt me. They’d wait until I’d leave my house and they’d follow me, calling “hippie chick” and worse. This all came to a head the time they decided to get physical. I was carrying some of my favorite albums under my arm when there they were. They took my records, ripped up the sleeves and used the vinyl as Frisbees. I didn’t say a word. I felt sad for them. They just didn’t get it. But they never did bother me again.
Years later, I ran into one of those girls. She took me aside and apologized for that time—it had bothered her ever since. She said they just couldn’t understand what was happening back then, but in retrospect, they all envied me for finding my identity so early in life.
Some vulnerable lessons were learned in those years. They were powerful times. I’m glad I had the opportunity to live life during a time that was nothing short of magic.
Well, here it is—our tribute to the Summer of Love. 20 years have passed. I remember wondering, so many years ago, how the era would be interpreted historically. I never dreamed I would be in the position to chronicle those times.
My thanks to the writers, photographers and artists who have shared their views for this special issue. And, of course, I have to extend my heartfelt gratitude to the musicians that made those years so special. Many are no longer making music, but their statements live on. As for the musicians still sharing their creativity with the world, it is an honor to work with you. Thank you for continuing a tradition.
The Summer of Love was more than a title concocted by the media…much more. Let the love live…pass it on through the children.
Peace and love,
Toni A. Brown