Hairy woodstock girl

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Shoulder length or longer, my mane was about my looks, yes, but also about the need for justice. When the Beatles appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show for the first time, inI was about to turn nine and knew nothing about them, although my parents and my six-year-old sister, Anne, somehow did. So did my best friend, John Ruth, who explained that the round things on their guitars—which I had guessed were decorative moons—were control knobs.

No and Goldfinger, by going to the theater without checking the starting times, and staying in our seats until the movie had come back around to where it had been when we sat down. Then, if we had nothing else to do, we let it go around again. I was wearing jeans and a shiny dark-blue windbreaker, which to me looked like a leather jacket, even though it had a hood. I made my hair seem as long as I could by using my palm to smooth it onto my forehead, then rang the bell, and when my mother opened the door, I gazed through sunglasses into Hairy woodstock girl astonished eyes while loudly, tunelessly strumming.

Most of the boys I knew in had haircuts like his minus the parking space. Yet even though our real hair was short, we probably looked somewhat more like Beatles when we were not wearing the wigs. I Hairy woodstock girl examined my Beatles trading cards, and although I told her she was wrong, there were cards that gave me pause. In a photograph of John Ruth and me taken shortly before we boarded the bus for YMCA summer camp that same year, John looks like a miniature army inductee: his head is shaved everywhere except for a small, round clump in front.

My own hair by then was slightly longer—partly because of the Beatles, perhaps, but mainly because of Robert Vaughn, who played Napoleon Solo on The Man from U. But my hair lacked structural integrity, and it never stayed put. Another problem—this was the era before daily showering—was that while I slept, my hair knotted itself in spiky clumps, mainly on the right side of my head, and I could never get everything flat again before school.

But doing that made things worse—a foretaste of difficulties to come.

Hairy woodstock girl

The author and his pals aspired to, but had not yet achieved, Beatles mop tops. Recently, I bought an old copy of the magazine on eBay and read the article again. Reading that article when it came out had made me think that someday I, too, would like to have long hair, a beard, a flag shirt, and a naked girlfriend. I remember exactly where I was—in our Buick station wagon, approaching a stop at a particular intersection near our house, on a very sunny day—when I told my mother, based on my reading of Time magazine, that the hippies seemed to have some interesting ideas.

I also had a problem with what my sister was able to identify as split ends—although in some ways the frizziness was useful, because in the more troublesome sections it functioned like rebar. I hesitated to use my hand to move my hair off my forehead, for fear of making the front part greasy, so I leaned slightly to the left and gave my head an occasional snap, to throw it back. My mother, cruelly, recommended bobby pins, and although I scowled at her remark, I privately considered how easy my life would be if I could use them or her Final Net. Nevertheless, I liked my hair. In 10th grade, the coach of the track team told me at the beginning of the season that I had to either get it cut or give up pole vaulting, and I quit the team.

That limit was interpreted broadly for a while, and my friends and I had strategies for stretching it further, including tipping our he forward in the presence of authority figures. Periodically, though, a school administrator or my parents would force me to go to the barber. During a school assembly one morning when I was in 11th grade, the principal, who was new in the job, announced that he was fed up, and he took a pair of scissors from a pocket and told 20 of us to stay behind. Several boys escaped through a window. The incident came to be known as the Hair Purge. I was the editor of the student newspaper, and in the next issue we published a photograph of the principal examining the back of the head of my friend Henry, who now has very little hair but then had quite a lot.

That letter made me happy, although even at the time it struck me as an overreaction. Then the principal overreacted, too. He suspended me from the newspaper, on the grounds that I had failed to give anyone an opportunity to censor the letter, and he did so over the contrary recommendation of the Discipline Committee, of which I was a member but from which Hairy woodstock girl had had to recuse myself for this, our first case ever. I remember reading somewhere that, to an adolescent, the paramount moral issue is fairness. Inmy wife and I and our daughter, who was a year old, moved from Manhattan to a small town in Connecticut about 90 miles north of the city, but we almost moved to a small town in New York State about the same distance away.

An argument that teachers, coaches, parents, and others made against long hair was that boys who had it not only looked like girls but also, inevitably, used drugs. The idea that your understanding of the world could be transformed by something you smoked or swallowed seemed more startling to me in than it possibly can to anyone nowadays. An occasional sleepover activity with my friends when we were younger had been hyperventilating, which took you to the tingly edge of unconsciousness.

The drugs favored by the hippies, I inferred, induced a similar condition, but for Hairy woodstock girl periods. When I was in eighth grade, in the bedroom of my friend Duncan, several of us tried chemically assisted hyperventilation by spraying Arrid Extra Dry through socks held over our mouths and inhaling deeply.

Later that summer, in a park in our neighborhood, Duncan produced an envelope containing what he said was LSD, and five of us each swallowed a crumb-size orange piece. Most of the rest of that afternoon, evening, and night consisted for me of confusion, anxiety, and intense paranoia, punctuated by admittedly impressive perceptual effects, including a cartoonlike animation that played on Hairy woodstock girl interior surface of my eyelids when I closed my eyes.

Everyone I knew seemed to handle reality altering better than I did. A complicating factor was that each episode consisted of multiple unrelated mini-episodes featuring many of the same actors. I was as baffled as I later was by Finnegans Wake. A tenet of hippie thinking was that hallucinogens are windows on the soul—a grim notion, as far as I was concerned, since my own soul, based on what I had glimpsed of it, appeared to consist mainly of confusion, cravenness, and dread. The hirsute author in striped sweater during his college years.

Hairy woodstock girl

Courtesy of the author. I wore bell-bottoms and, when I thought of it, lifted my shoulders a little, to make my hair seem longer. In Maya new concert hall, called Freedom Palace, opened closer to where we lived, in a building that when my parents were teenagers had contained an enormous dance floor mounted on steel springs. The building had also had an ice rink, and when my grandmother came to pick up my mother after a skating party there in the s, she embarrassed her daughter by placing a package of lamb chops on the ice to keep them cold while she waited.

We went to the inaugural show, by Canned Heat, and to many shows after that. The power kept going out.

Hairy woodstock girl

Roger Daltrey angrily threw a microphone at the wall behind the stage. People standing in the balcony near the concession stand threw ice into the swelter below. Ten or 15 feet Hairy woodstock girl of us, two long-haired girls, who were only a little bit older than we were, took off their shirts. Even inthe name Freedom Palace seemed slightly ridiculous, but the impulse behind it was something I had come to understand and believe in. Electric guitars, illegal drugs, and long hair had evolved into political and moral arguments against the depravity—against the essential unfairness —of the horror-filled world of adults, which at that point was presided over by Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew.

By the time Freedom Palace opened, cutting your hair could feel like an endorsement of evil; John Lennon whose hair was exactly what I wanted mine to be was a far more appealing moral exemplar than any of the usual candidates, Yoko Ono notwithstanding. Grownups missed the point about long hair when they triumphantly pointed out that the so-called nonconformists sure looked an awful lot alike.

Recently, my mother, who is almost 90, told me that she and a friend had been discussing the old hair confrontations. Maybe even tattoos. Inon a reporting asment, I ed 67 American Beatles fanatics on an organized tour of London and Liverpool.

I myself met McCartney 18 years later, in Paris. By that time, his hair and mine were approximately the same length, although mine had more visible gray. He grew it long in grade school and again in high school, and it stayed out of his eyes all by itself, among other remarkable features. I often worried that I had somehow willed him to want long hair, for my vicarious benefit—or that my wife had, since she seemed to be at least as interested in it as he was. At any rate, I had a complicated emotional reaction when the head of his school demanded that he get it cut or face consequences.

Thirty years of reflection and life experience had deepened my feelings about the power of idealism, and—to the dismay of Hairy woodstock girl else in my family—I took the side of the school. There was much angry shouting in our house that evening. But in the end I prevailed. The barbershop had closed by then, but I reached the barber at home, and she agreed to see John there. She cut his hair, to shirt-collar length, in an old barber chair in her basement, and the next morning he was allowed to take the PSAT. When he got there, however, he noticed that few other students had hair as long as his—and as my wife and I were helping him move in, I noticed the same thing.

Long hair had no meaning then; it was just a style, and an anachronistic one, at that. And the next day he got it all cut off. Comments powered by Disqus. The author left and his pal John Ruth on their way to summer camp in Courtesy of the Author. Permission required for reprinting, reproducing, or other uses.

Hairy woodstock girl

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