Youth: The Hippies

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every major U.S. city from Boston to Seattle, from Detroit to New Orleans; there is a 50-member cabal in, of all places, Austin, Texas. There are outposts in Paris and London, New Delhi and Katmandu, where American hippies trek the "hashish trail" to get cheap but potent hallucinogens and lessons in Buddhist love. Though hippies*consider any sort of arithmetic a "down trip," or boring, their own estimate of their nationwide number runs to some 300,000. Disinterested officials generally reduce that figure, but even the most skeptical admit that there are countless thousands of part-time, or "plastic," hippies who may "drop out" only for a night or two each week. By all estimates, the cult is a growing phenomenon that has not yet reached its peak—and may not do so for years to come.

Flora & Fauna. During their school and job vacations, thousands of summer trippers will drop out for weeks on end, aggravating the problems of accommodation and hygiene that are already straining many an urban budget. Addressing the Mayors' Conference in Honolulu late last month, San Francisco's public-health director, Dr. Ellis D. ("LSD") Sox, said that the 10,000 hard-core hippies already in San Francisco are costing the city $35,000 a month for treatment of drug abuse, warned that with a summer influx there was serious danger of epidemics in infectious hepatitis (from needles exchanged in shooting amphetamines), venereal disease (already up six times from the city's 1964 rate), and other illnesses ranging from typhus to malnutrition.

Despite such dire predictions, perhaps the most striking thing about the hippie phenomenon is the way it has touched the imagination of the "straight" society that gave it birth. Hippie slang has already entered common usage and spiced American humor. Department stores and boutiques have blossomed out in "psychedelic" colors and designs that resemble animated art nouveau. The bangle shops in any hippie neighborhood cater mostly to tourists, who on summer weekends often outnumber the local flora and fauna. Uptown discotheques feature hippie bands. From jukeboxes and transistors across the nation pulses the turned-on sound of acid-rock groups: the Jefferson Airplane, the Doors, Dow Jones and the Industrials, Moby Grape (there is also a combo called Time).

Last week the hippies were in full flower. In New York City, they brought their tambourines and guitars to the aid of dog owners protesting the leash laws in Greenwich Village's Washington Square Park, chanting "What is dog spelled backward?" Other New York hippies raised $2,100 for a bail fund to rescue "busted" (arrested) buddies. At California's Seal Beach, 2,500 devotees gathered for a sunny "love-in" that throbbed to the rhythm of trash-can drums and random flutes. In Dallas, 100 "flower children" gathered in Stone Place Mall, the public hippiedrome, to protest an ordinance that would prohibit gatherings there. A dozen hippies paraded barefoot through the White House, then promised to return for a July 4 "smoke-in" to lobby for legalized marijuana.

Elephant Bells. San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district—a throbbing three-eighths of a far-from-square-mile —is the vibrant epicenter of the hippie movement. Fog sweeps past the gingerbread

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