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[S2E2] Summer Loving

Narrator: It was the largest migration of young people in the history of America. From every direction, they came. From the biggest cities and from the smallest towns. All bound for San Francisco in the summer of 1967.

[S2E2] Summer Loving


Narrator: Yet thousands would be swept up by a revolutionary movement that would shape American life far beyond that turbulent summer. January 14, 1967. Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. Never before had America witnessed such an unusual gathering. There was no line-up of big stars swelling the crowd, no tickets were sold, no political candidates spoke. It was simply a coming together. They called it a Gathering of the Tribes; a Human Be-In.

News reporter (archival): The city of San Francisco has been warned of a hippie invasion come summer in numbers almost too staggering to comprehend. The park and recreation department has ruled that no longer will the hippies be allowed to sleep in Golden Gate Park. And Police Chief Thomas Cahill says the rule will be rigidly enforced.

Hedgepeth: It would have been completely phony to go out there and then be a total spy and just report on these people. I mean, there was just no sense in that. You know, I mean, this is participatory journalism, you know. It's a dirty job, somebody's got to do it. So, I figured that I was taking these drugs on behalf of the American people, in order to tell them the truth. It seemed to me then that the new phenomenon of hippies was part of a religious movement. They were completely sympathetic and loving, in fact, toward others. They handed out flowers to tourists and naysayers, and people who demeaned them. I was so entranced with it that I thought, well, this is a perfectly good alternative universe to me. I mean, you don't need money, you know, don't need anything. I can, I could stay here if I wanted to. It was as benign an expression of the finer angels of people's nature than I have ever seen before.

Narrator: At dawn on June 21, the official beginning of the Summer of Love, several hundred hippies gathered on a hilltop near the Haight to celebrate the Summer Solstice. It was an affirmation of their connection to the natural world -- a connection that was becoming harder to maintain as the Haight-Ashbury population swelled. In fact, many of the original hippies had already begun to flee the city for communes in the countryside or to pursue a spiritual quest. But with schools now out for the summer, young acolytes and thrill-seekers continued to swarm into San Francisco. After hitchhiking across the country, Sandi Stein was finally dropped off on the corner of Haight and Ashbury.

Narrator: The Haight had become a circus, a caricature of its idealistic beginnings. Shops now catered to souvenir-hungry tourists and "weekend hippies." College kids with no intention of "dropping out" took on hippie personas for the summer. Hundreds of young runaways wandered the streets aimlessly. For many, the capitol of the counterculture no longer seemed a shimmering wonderland.

Narrator: William Hedgepeth's article for Look came out in August. He reflected on the "finer angels" he'd witnessed. "Hippies are working toward an open, loving, tension-free, nature-oriented world," he wrote. But he also told of a darker side, of spending the night in a "filthy, litter-strewn dope fortress," with "half-a-dozen hippies lying in various stages of drug stupor."

Narrator: The Haight-Ashbury Free Clinic, established at the beginning of summer by a group of young doctors, treated dozens of kids every day, kids suffering from malnutrition or hepatitis or drug overdoses.

Narrator: By fall of 1967, crowds in Haight-Asbury had thinned dramatically. Many of the summertime pilgrims had returned home, and there were few new arrivals. On October 6, exactly one year after the Love Pageant Rally, a group of hippies still living in the Haight closed the curtain on the Summer of Love. They staged a mock funeral, calling it "the Death of Hippie."

We can't wait to hit the beach for Season 2 of The Summer I Turned Pretty. Prime Video's coming-of-age romance series is based on the books of the same name by Jenny Han, who also created the series (and wrote the source novels for Netflix's romance movie trilogy To All the Boys I've Loved Before). With its coastal vibes, quality soundtrack, and, of course, that love triangle, it's like someone bottled the feeling of summer vacation and made it a show. 041b061a72


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