Contribute a Story

This is the place to collect your memories about Atlanta’s hip community from about 1967 to about 1977 – “Something happening here. What it is ain’t exactly clear”. Whatta Decade! How was it for you?

We need other perspectives to get it right.

What was it like to be:    a gay man or woman in Atlanta before 1967?

                                                  a hip African American in Lester Maddox Georgia?

                                                  a biracial couple in Lester Maddox Georgia?

We don’t know, but you might be able to tell us.

Did the ch-ch-changes change your life?

Curious minds want to know.

Here is what we want to know to start- (digress freely)

1.When did you first come to Atlanta and what brought you here?

2. When did you first visit The Strip?

3. What was your best experience associated with The Strip and the hip community?

4. What was your worst experience associated with The Strip and the hip community?

5. Did your experiences at that time effect your life? If so, what did you learn or take away from it all?

6. It seems everyone around in that time and place has an Allman Brothers story. Share your Allman Brothers story if you have one please.

Tell us to what name you wish your story accredited. If you wish to use a “street name” or be anonymous, please give us a way to contact you for furthur information.

If you are in the Atlanta area, we can arrange to digitally tape your interview if you prefer.

Where are you now and whatcha doin?

send to:

mystere2@bellsouth.net

  • Underground Comics

    Atlanta Hippies loved Underground Comics! Mr. Natural was Keepin’ on Truckin’ everywhere. The Celestial Omnibus sported Mr. Natural. Atlanta also had its own underground comics. Here are the few I have. Anyone have more to share?

    abbotcomic abbotbackRead more >>

  • Chattahoochee River Raft Race

    woodstock-on-the-water-an-oral-history-of-the-ramblin-raft-race

    Read more >>
  • Dave Hoffman

    Dave Hoffman writes-

    The photo in Piedmont Park is me, Curtis Winfrey, Stoney Mae (Priscilla Star Hunnicutt) and I think thats Abe aka (Roger Wilson & Edward Brown), behind Curtis.Stoney with 3 guys in Piedmont Park, Atlanta, 1970

    (I’d love ... Read more >>

  • “…he not busy being born is busy dying…”

    The Great Speckled Bird 5/12/69 vol 2 #9 p11

     “I will secretly accept you,

    And together we’ll fly South.”

     “Leave your stepping stones behind

    There’s something that calls for you.

    Forget the dead you left, they will ... Read more >>

  • Diamond Lil

    RIP Diamond Lil 8/10/2016 @ 80 ( a secret no longer kept)

     

    diamondlil

    Coming into Atlanta from small town South Georgia in 1968 I had never met an openly gay person before and was a bit shocked at first. Lil regularly hung out at her ... Read more >>

  • Jimi Hendrix Blows Atlanta’s mind

    Poster Hendrix68atl

    Soft Machine, Amboy Dukes, Vanilla Fudge and Jimi Hendrix Experience’s two shows at Atlanta’s Municipal Auditorium blew away Atlanta’s collective mind on Saturday August 17, 1968. Have you ever been Experienced? Now we could answer in the affirmative. Musicians in particular talk about this show ... Read more >>

  • Harry Demille

    Harry Demille bridges from The Strip community where he worked at the 12th Gate harry2 to the Little Five Points community where he co-founded Wax and  Facts.harry

     

    12th Gate

    Patti and Judith move from Florence, Alabama to Atlanta

    Moving into the 12th ... Read more >>

  • Duane Allman obituary Issue of The Great Speckled Bird

    duanecoverGreat Speckled Bird v. 4 no. 45 (November 8, 1971) available as a pdf from Georgia State University Library here.

     

    Read more >>
  • Steve Wise interview

    steve wise2Steve Wise is a long time member of The Great Speckled Bird staff. He is working on his book concerning the times and underground papers.

    (This was shot on the very northern edge of Piedmont Park across from   office at 240 Westminster ... Read more >>

  • Wolfe interviewed by Bill Horrisberger for StoryCorps

    Kudos to Bill Horrisberger for his earlier StoryCorp interview.

    Early life

    Best times

    Selling magazines

    selling comics

    Clifton Night Ministry

    other shelters

    Bill Horrisberger- conscientious objector

    Visual Icon

    Little Five Points fences

    Gentrification

    the Ex-Prez Way

    Bill Horrisberger on shelters

    Wolfe is a good man!

     

    Read more >>

29 thoughts on “Contribute a Story

  1. SECOND ATLANTA POP FESTIVAL JULY 3-5, 1970 the hospital (or as some called it the O.D.) tent: i had a case of severe food poisoning on the last night of the festival and ended up there– they kept asking me what drugs i had taken (just pot) i kept telling them i wasnt having a bad trip. they gave me some pepto bismol type stuff and i threw it up immediately… so then they gave me a really powerful shot of thorazine (used for those having bad acid experiences). that was the last thing i remembered until some guy woke me up shaking me. i was lying under a blanket on a cot in that same tent. he was saying the hospital tent is moving. i took their blanket and wrapped myself in it–said fuck you to the guy and headed out to try to find my friends. it was maybe 6 or so in the morning the sun was just coming up. the whole scene was totally surreal–i was still wasted from the thorazine, there was all this smoke wafting about from campfires that had been extinguished from the night before–all kinds of very strange and weird looking people coming out of the smoke–like a bad fellini movie! suddenly i noticed it was richie havens on the stage and he was singing here comes the sun… i looked up towards the stage and muttered ‘fuck you richie’ and continued on my way..

  2. My new wife Pam and I moved to Atlanta in 1969 where I went to work for the Atlanta Public Library. I was offered a job in the business office but preferred to drive a bookmobile.
    Mr. Rush and Ms. Leathers drove the main bookmobile and I drove the ‘Indian Giver’ which was part of the Inner City program.
    Mr. Rush and Ms. Leathers were African American and their bookmobile mostly served that community. One day their bookmobile was ‘confiscated’ and turned into a Police Wagon by Mayor Sam Massell.
    Until then I’d simply read The Bird but I was so outraged that I went down to their office (on Ponce deLeon at the time, if I remember correctly) because I thought people should know what had happened. They asked me to sit down and write the details and I wrote a few paragraphs. They put my article and a picture of the “Pigmobile” on the front page of the next issue.
    That started my ‘career’ at The Bird. I later became Poetry Editor and Librarian, and contributed numerous reviews and such (I wrote the review for Lennon’s “Imagine” album). The Bird also published my poem “We Are Your Children” on their centerfold. And I was once called a “bourgeois capitalist pig” in a staff meeting (hurt my feelings really bad) who wrote only about “things”.
    When Duane Allman died, they asked me to write the story, but I felt like I really didn’t know that much about the Allman Brothers so I got Joe Roman from the Twelfth Gate to write the article.
    I have many more stories about the time, if you’re interested.

  3. Hi guys; my name is Joe Dowell, and I would like to share my story: I had refused to report for induction into the Armed Forces in April, 1969, and at age 21 was ‘on the road.’ (Legal term I learned later was: ‘Absconded.’) Got off a Greyhound in Atlanta on a rainy night , and headed for 14th Street. At a self-serve laundromat (near the Catacombs, if I recall) I was befriended by a fellow longhair who offered a place to crash on the floor of his room at a boardinghouse on 14th. Within a few days I had gotten a job learning to make sandals & belts at a leather shop in “Atlantis Rising”, working for a very nice freak named David Mast, who was also on the run from Law Enforcement. The shop was owned / financed by a guy named Larry Biggers, who I later learned was a son of the Biggers Brothers who owned a large produce supply company in Atlanta. I got my own room and stayed in that house on 14th until just a few weeks before Woodstock, August, 1969. During that time I knew Jacob the wino (& former attorney), saw the A-Bros in Piedmont Park while tripping on some Electric Kool-aid, and went to the 1st Pop Festival (July 4 & 5) where I saw Led Zeppelin live, also while tripping. I was friends with Orville the bass player for the Brick Wall, (later to evolve into Hydra) and sometimes tagged-along to gigs as a kind of roadie. I remember hearing a band in the Catacombs play the Sgt. Pepper album all the way through. Anyone remembering me or having any memories to share is welcome to contact me: jfdowell@gmail.com

  4. Hi,
    thanks for posting my comment on the site, about my husband Bob Levy, owner of the Merry Go Round Boutique and Sexie Sadie’s, but my name was misspelled. If you could please correct it to Vickie (Ginger) Levy, I would greatly appreciate it.
    Thank you!

  5. I’m the artist that painted the Aubrey Beardsley murals on the walls of the catacombs for “Mother David”.Also,painted all the signs for the place.And the signs for”Stubby’s Subs”(on the strip next to the”Merry go round”)Lotsa memories!Used to sleep in a closet upstairs on the second floor of the gallery.Did lights for concerts in the park and out at Chastain park,”Maybe Brothers Light Co.” Myself , T.P., GORT (Lloyd Daoub)and a couple of other brothers.long time ago.allman bros. Boz Skaggs the Grease band Ellen McEllwain.and a few more.Loads of fun.Feel free to get in touch if you need more stories.

    1. my mom brought the kids there to repaint those walls during the filming of a movie that was about the catacombs that’s all I can really remember and I remember my mom telling me that we were painting over paint that she had painted originally or had helped paint originally do you remember my mother her name was Cid

  6. DAMNIT!!! Deja vu !! I had forgotten that bit of paper,ink,and emotions written on the occasion of Mother David’s surrender.I forget where I found that quotation above all of our signatures.But, I must have felt strongly about it.After all,I signed it TWICE !! I ended up in Los Angeles, and after knocking around in different gigs (motorcycle messenger,motorcycle dealers’assembly mechanic,motion picture projectionist) I finally ended up as a tattoo artist,and I have continued in the profession ever since.What a trip! Been married, have a beautiful daughter. Became a member of the first integrated(black,Brown,white) motorcycle club in the country,Chosen FEW M.C. Los Angeles CAL.(been a member ever since )Had my own shop in the San Fernando valley for more than18 years.Some of my work on skin is in the Fowler Museum of Cultural History, Arnold Rubin collection.Worked as an extra in many films and television shows(usually as a tattooed biker bad guy) I must love it,at 65 years of age,I’m still tattooing.Still riding with the club.And still enjoying the trip.Don’t plan on retiring.Can’t afford it.W.T.F. “it ain’t over,’til it’s over”.And ,thinking about it,since my work is preserved in the museum,and it will be there forever,THAT’S my immortality!!DAMNIT!!!” WHAT A LONG STRANGE TRIP IT’S BEEN!”(and,it ain’t over yet!) Call me or E-mail me if you have any questions…..

  7. I rescued a runaway from a strip joint and got her out of there and did much more.
    Well in 1972 I graduated High School in a suburb of Cleveland , Ohio. I had a friend take me to the freeway and held up a sign that said 75 South. I wanted to go to Atlanta and surprise an older sister. The hitch hiking experience was of course and adventure for a 17 yr. old but the adventure continued when knocked on my sisters door 780 Fredrica Ave . Yes she was surprised.
    That night she took me with her to The Front Page in the Underground Atalanta where she worked. Wow! I met a whole bunch of freaks , was asked to dance by a transvestite in a blue dress, consumed alcohol and was in total awe. Culture shock- I was no square but this was like what I saw on TV.
    I stayed with her and continued the same for weeks and then one day met a cute girl from Smyrna in Sears. I asked if I could visit her or get a number and she told me to stop by her work later that day. I was able to get my sisters car and ended up at the address given on Ponce Lean & Peachtree at The Purple Poodle.
    I went in and was shocked to see all the bare breasted ladies but I remained calm. I sat down, and was immediately introduced to Peaches and her breast . She asked what she could get me, I had no clue about drinks so I asked for a Budweiser. She was back quick, handed me the beer, I handed her a 5 and she kept the change. She pushed the breast at me, did all those things they do and when I was not responding she walked away.
    In a few minutes the manager came by said hello and asked if he could do anything for me, I said ” tell that Peaches lady to keep he boobs out of my face”. A few minutes passed and I decided to walk around and ask for the young lady I had met in Sears. Some of the other ladies told me she was in the back with a customer. I did not know what that meant but decided to look for her. I found her in a little booth that had a curtain . She was sitting on this guys lap, he had on a brown suit, he was groping her.
    I grabbed him, pulled him out into the hallway a shoved him down. I had the young lady by the hand and we were walking towards the door when we were stopped .
    The other ladies had screamed at the commotion and I again got to meet the manger and his large muscular associate.
    I told them she was leaving with me, there was discussion about it and I was escorted out the Purple Front Doors with force.
    A few minutes later I went back and tried to get her again but this time they sent me out again with a little more force. A few days later I did get her out of there and convinced her to stay clear of the place, although only 17 I was pretty street wise and knew those places were trouble.
    This poor kid was only 15 years old. She said her dad knocked her around so she ran away and hit the strip. She had no money , crashed where she could and on occasion I got her food. I bought her some shoes once too. This owner of the Purple Poodle was no doubt a predator who was probably trying to groom her for a horrible life .
    She told me one day that I did not being on the strip. I was too clean and had money . I went looking for her one day and this girl who knew here told me she had just boarded a bus to go to Miami with some others to protest at the Democratic National Convention there .
    She left a message for me with the others on the strip. She told the others to tell me thank you and that she would never forget me ” . I always have wondered about her, I hope it worked out for her and she ended up OK and had a good life. I have her name somewhere in my old stuff. I ended up drifting back and forth to Atlanta many times. I stayed at at Father Lloyds, worked spot labor, worked and hung out at the Madhatter, the Pump House, at the Chat and Chew and everywhere in the Underground too. I remember watching Piano Red, I partied with Bloodrock, Badfinger and the Smothers Brothers .
    One cold September day I asked Dale the drummer at the Madhatter to have his lady, Myra drop me off at the freeway. I hitchhiked back home and married a local girl and have been here since. Married, healthy and I made a good living. It all worked out . I have many stories about Atlanta and it is history so I actually journaled it all back then and still have it now on a thumb drive. Guess I will give it to the kids soon as I am 60. I always wondered what happened to Dale amen narc and Myra too. Dale was actually from my home town .

      1. Ha you remember that Hatter then, it was some wild times. What a fun place qnd exciting times. I actually worked at the one in Cleveland . Dale was from my home town , he drummed in Cleveland to then moved to Atalanta when they opened up there . I know his last name was Mennard. I have always wondered if he was still there . I heard he stayed in Atlanta, I considered looking for him. With today’s technology I am sure I could but its been a long time so maybe I should let it be and cherish him as I knew him then .

      2. Hi Jaxon
        I wondered what happened to Dale Mennard the drummer from the Madhatter ever since. He was from our town Euclid, Ohio, a few years older than I but I knew him. He worked at the hatter in Cleveland, we all hung out, I worked there as did some of my friends. When the openened up Atalanta Dale was offered a job there. He lived up by Windy Hill , may have been called Windy Hill Appartments ? Anyway I heard he married Myra, & may have opened up a clothing store later on . I hope life was kind to him .

  8. This is in reference to the Miami Pop Festivals in 1968 and in 1969. To be clear these are the ones that occurred After the concert with Jimi Hendrix. While the spectacular list of artists wasn’t as large, the People who played at both of these events were awesome ! 3 Dog Night had really Just started to break out at this point and they closed the show 1 night. People were amazed ! Steppenwolf put on a tremendous show, they killed the stage lights and you could see people moving about the stage. After a few minutes WHAM, the stage lights came on and here was John Kay standing a State patrol officer outfit, people Thought the band had been busted, but a few seconds later, Boom and they broke into song. I Think it was Born to be wild. The Amboy Dukes were great. As memory serves me they had 2 stages running, so there were very little gaps in the music. The Grateful Dead were super, as was Santana and really pretty much everybody else. 1969 caught a bad rap, but it was nowhere near as bad as was reported. For $7.00 for 2 days of music ? Search Miami Pop festival with bing and you can See how much Great music was represented. Bigtime music history !

  9. I went to Atlanta in June 1972 after I graduated High School in a Cleveland Ohio suburb and hitchhiked down by my self.My first experience and when I first went to the strip was after meeting a girl in Sears who I asked if I could call or take her out. She said I could come by and visit her at her work, she was very pretty and I was very interested . She told me where it was and so that night I made it to the area and found the place she mentioned on the corner of Ponce Lean and Peachtree , The Purple Poodle . It was a topless bar, and I at 17 of course had never been in one . I suddenly realized where I was , tried to act calm, sat down and when approached by Peaches , the waitress, I simply said, ” Budweiser ” . I paid with a five and got no change back but said nothing. Peaches did a few things in front of me, and not knowing what the protocols were at these type of places I just sat there and tried to act like I belonged. A gentleman later introduced himself as the manager and I shook his hand. They both left, I sat there and drank the beer, one of my first at that age. I decided to walk around and look for the young lady I had met in Sears and some other ladies in lingerie told me “she was in the back with a customer”. I went in the back hallway found little closet type booths with curtains and found her. She was on the lab of a guy with brown pants on. She appeared drunk or somewhat sedated so I grabbed her by her write and pulled her up. I pushed the guy down the hall and he bumped into all the other ladies who now screamed . I soon met the manager again and his large friend . I still had my , my hand grasped around the girls wrist trying to get her out of the place. But the two guy broke us loose and escorted me out the door, with a little force. I tried to get back in but to no avail. The next several days I kept coming to the strip looking for her and finally did . I learned she was only 15 , she had ran away from Smyrna because her father beat her up. She had no where to stay, no money and not too much with her. She said she crashed at other people’s places and a group of them kind of found places to stay and eat. I visited her as often as I could find her, bought her food, a pair of shoes once and gave her money. I had plenty of money which included all my high school graduation money, a place to stay at (780 Fredrica Ave NW).nearby and access to a sisters car. I went looking for her one day and I was told my two girls that she had went on a bus to Miami with a bunch of others to go protest at the Presidential National Convention there
    ( August ’72). She told them to tell me ” thanks for everything you did” she said to tell him ” I will never forget him” and they said she told them to tell me that ” I did not belong on the strip”.
    I was back and forth to the strip from 72, 73 & 74. I stayed at Father Llyods awhile, Im sure some of you may remember the place. They had a car there that said ” we help boys help themselves” on the doors. I hung out in the Underground at the Pump House, The Front Page and at Ruby Reds I drank with the Smothers Brothers one night.
    There is a whole lot more. I was friends with some people on the strip one I recall was Chickman. He sold ” Guys and Dolls Magazines” and some other items on the street. I used to stand there and talk to him while he sold his wares. I saw him there again in 1985 and recorded our conversation . It was fantastic to see him. And like I said , there is so much more. I actually journaled it all at the time and have my years there recorded as it was at the time. I carried around a spiral notebook.

        1. apcohi@ sbcglobal.net failed as well as apcohi@sbcglobal.net

          Patrick Edmondson
          The Strip Project.com
          Story of Atlanta’s Hippies

          unknown.tiff

          ♬ ♪ ♫ ♩ ♬ ♪ ♫ ♩ ♬ ♪ ♫ ♩ ♬♪ ♫
          “What’s so Funny ’bout Peace, Love,and Understanding?”

  10. There is a person on this site to claim they named Mother David. Not true.

    Mother David actually got his name long before the Catacombs. He was gay when gays were still underground. They folks I knew in the gay community named him “Mother David” because that was his personality.

    To have him say to you “I am not your mother” was to indicate he did not like or care you. It was his coffee house so that was a pretty good scolding.

  11. My friends and I were talking about it a couple of weeks ago. Mother David has taken a beating long enough. It is simply not true about how he got his name.
    We were around the Catacombs the day it opened. I was the photographer for the Great Speckled Bird and the creator of the Electric Collage light show.
    Being gay in pre ‘gay’ days he and most gay people we knew were still ‘underground’. The gay community all knew him. He got the name because he was the ‘mothering type’. He had that name long before the Catacombs was opened.
    How did the story told by Bucky happen? He is one of the people that David told “I am not your mother” and was being seriously scolded. David had to do that with some of the visitors to the Catacombs that he felt were not behaving correctly for the atmosphere he was creating in his coffee house.
    Mother David has been badly profiled in many places. He was kind, gentle and a good person. He didn’t have a bad bone in his body and you had to be pretty rude to him to ruffle his feathers.

  12. I crashed at the big house on 14th street left of the Bird’s House. Pretty much lived off the 75c platters of french fries with brown gravy from the diner on the corner, across from the Catacombs. The names I remember > little Bill, Flick, Rita, Tommy, Linda, Rick, Larry, Kelly. I can see more faces but the names have disappeared from my memory. I can still walk myself down 14th, into the park to see ABB. Lots of awesome memories of 1968-70.

      1. I knew a Jason. He was a tall, pretty guy who moved to New Orleans, where I visited him. I was a 17-18 teenage girl, red hair, worked over at the 14th gate for awhile. Sunny and Jim’s, hmmmm. got an address? I do remember the places I lived/crashed at.

  13. Mia todayMia’s Story
    ONE
    The first time I went to Atlanta it was with my first wife on a Honda 350 motorcycle to the first Atlanta Pop Festival. We got there early. We camped out on the grounds and a guy came by on a rad bike and told us they were going to kick us off and to come with him. He was a biker with the Rising Suns. We went to their house and crashed for a bit. There was a Hell’s Angel there with a huge cast on his leg laying on the kitchen table. He was really horny and propositioned my wife who was a knockout. We were amused and a bit freaked. I walked out on the porch and noticed a target on the wall. I asked our friend what it was for. He said, “Look across the street, see the target on that house there? Well that is the Gooses house and every now and then we shoot at each other’s target.
    Well my wife and i decided to leave the Sun’s house and ended up in Piedmont park with a bunch of other Heads camping out. The cops came by and hassled us so we packed up. A mixed race couple came by on their bike and offered us a place to stay. We spent the night with them in their house nearby. That was my first experience with the Strip.
    At the pop festival we were sitting near the entrance and a guy came up and sat down beside me. It was an old friend from my hometown in North Carolina. At all three pop festivals in Atlanta I somehow ended up sitting beside him, finding each other in the midst of thousands of people by accident? wow.

    Two
    The Second time I came to Atlanta I thumbed from North Carolina. I had just broken up with my first wife and had fallen for a girl in Charlotte. She had introduced me to Tolkien’s Triology. I had just dropped out of school and was staying with a friend in Raleigh who was a drummer in a band I played with. I was almost drafted to the war in Vietnam, but they let me pass somehow as they thought I was homosexual. Actually at the time i was straight denying my transgender nature. Anyway my drummer friend was into dope and there were narcs around. He had no clue, and neither did I. One of the narcs offered to take me to Atlanta as I was interested in the second Atlanta pop festival. When we got to the Strip he gave me a lid and told me to sell it. I wasn’t into dope but I just have him twenty dollars, which was all the money i had. I rolled the grass into joints and came back to the Strip and gave them out to the heads on the curb.
    A guy came by in a van and gathered up all the heads and me and we set out to a park just outside of town.
    We built a fire and went skinny dipping. a girl who was dealing fell for me and we had great sex in the water. I helped keep the fire going all night and the van guy gave me my first pure acid. up to that point i had had bad trips on acid and dope in general but this stuff was bliss. the sky breathed! anyway i loved it. it was the last acid i would do.
    I don’t remember much about the pop festival but i did come into contact with the Laundromat which was a craft cooperative. i had just graduated pottery major in art school and they were interested in me. One of the women in charge fell for me and her man got jealous. he took me to the basement and showed me a brick of hash. we smoked a little and shortly thereafter i got sick because the hash was glued together by sugar water from mexico which people sprayed on by spitting. anyway i was starving and sick. i decided to go home. on the way out i went through peidmont park. by that time guys were living in the park stripped down to the waist. the park got a rep for being a gay hangout?
    I had my first homosexual encounter on the way back home with a guy who picked me up and started playing with me. i liked parts of it and was repelled by parts of it. at the time i didn’t know what transgender was or that straight guys could be homosexual. anyway i finally made it back to North Carolina and decided to go back to school and get my graduate degree in art.

    three

    i was still in love with my first wife and she got busted big time . at the time i was working on construction in my home town. i had had my second homosexual experience from the boss of my crew who propositioned me. eventually i came to find out most if not all the males in my little town were child molesters and homosexual.. very interesting considering the problems NC is still having with that.
    I rushed back to Greenville to school to see if i could help my ex wife who was in jail. while there i decided to go back to school for my grad degree.
    One of my friends who had just got back from Nam wanted to go to the third Atlanta Pop festival. so we went in my little Pontiac four cylinder tempest station wagon. it caught fire about half way there but a guy changed the wiring for us at a gas station and we found our way to the festival. we met other friends from NC there and i found out then the guy in raleigh that took me to the strip was a narc.
    It was such a fun festival. the cops were better, the bikers were doing security and we all went swimming at a lake. my friend and i started walking toward the lake and a car came by and yelled hop on! my friend didn’t make it on the hood and i remember seeing his sad face as i zoomed down the road . i found out later he had a crush on me and was gay… oh well.
    the little lake/ creek was full of people and we stripped down and hopped in. i noticed guys and girls making it in the water. no one cared if it was guys on guys or girls on girls or straight. bliss.
    when we walked up the stage area a guy met us with two milk cartons. he said one was electric and one was not. so i took a drink out of the not. NOT! he got mixed up. it had everything including cow tranquilzers!
    We came up to a dome and it was my craft cooperative friends from the strip. the girl who had fallen for me asked me if i would drive them into town in a volkswagen van as they were all high and i wasn’t. so i got into the van and after what seemed like years trying to shift into reverse realize i was high as a kite! oh well!
    we went to the front row to see hendrix and the girl got out a vial of purple microdot. she told me to pass it out and so i handed a dot to the guy next to me. it as my friend from NC i had met at the other two festivals… sitting right next to me! i couldn’t believe it. i later found out he was transgender after he died from drinking too much. i really miss him. he actually eventually propositioned me but i was still in denial.
    i guess i should explain about that. i knew at four years i was transgender and started crossdressing. we didn’t know what to call that back then, but my mom told me i would die early if i did that and not to. so i didn’t for fifty years! and three marriages! i came out about seven years ago and am very happy. i still dress androgenously sometimes mostly like how i dressed in the sixties and seventies. meditation made me go straight for a few decades but my hair is long and my boots are pointed! still!
    so as the microdot took hold of my girlfriend she got up and stated she HAD to get back to camp now and check on her baby. !!! so we took off in a crowd of heads running over people and making a mess. i can still remember a guy smiling up at my bewildered face as i planted my foot in his smiling face. he knew she was a force of nature and i couldn’t do a thing about it.
    one of my coop friends had left a blanket out and i thought how convenient. !! he came back for his blanket and we both spent the night under it. He had a son and wife, but his wife was cuckolding him with a guy who ran around with his balls hanging out of a hole in the bottom of his shorts. no one went naked much at that festival. but one girl stripped and wandered around with about a dozen guys following her. my girlfriend tried to get me to strip but i was shy and only got down to my shorts.
    the Laundromat was selling tshirts and stuff at their dome and my girl asked if i would do security cause they were getting ripped off. so i did for a bit. i would see guys some in and stuff clothing in bags and try to walk out. i would stop them and say how uncool it was and they would put it back. boring!
    finally the festival ended and my girl asked if i would get my pontiac and help them cart stuff back to the strip. i went back to my car and my nam friend was there anxious to get back. i looked back at the crazy mess and in my high state succumbed to his entreaties and we left.
    later i heard from that girl who was living in New Orleans. it was a plea actually as she and her daughter were being abused by her guy. so i came to New Orleans and tried to help. it was a false alarm.
    later she actually came to visit me in North Carolina but i was such a psychological mess she just went back to NO.

    four.
    I haven’t been back to the strip or Atlanta since the 70s. I ended up surfing in California for a year, working in Missouri on a farm for a meditation group, and then in Iowa for Maharishi University of Management. i learned about photoshop and now work for a client online in Miami. I live in Iowa and have just finished building an ocean trimaran. i will be sailing to florida this summer to plant coral in key largo. i’m permanently out transgender and can pass as a female which i do most of the time. I don’t really like sex much but i like it too, so i’m asexual active i guess? i just got through experimenting with iowa men of which it seems most are republican, overweight and support trump. yeesh! feels like NC all over again.

    the strip and that area was magical for me. i walked all over the place. the high museum? was a good thing. i also saw the first remake of disneys fantasia there. and cried. tolkien set the tone for me trip as did the moody blues which had just come out with days of future past. it all got mixed in my brain and magic was all around me. sychronicity abounded. i did manage to see grateful dead at an arena there? but didn’t like it very much. i do remember the maze of road in atlanta when i drove my bike all over the place! and piedmont park. and the heroine addict that eventually took over the laudromat whose mom gave me a job pulling weeds. i dropped something before i did that job and the weeds started talking to me so i couldn’t finish it!

    i feel very privileged to have been on the strip at that time. those trips gave my life great depth and almost killed me! three times! meditation actually saved my life i think. but it also put hippie life on hold. i’m finally back to me new self and meditation is mine, i own it, it doesn’t own me anymore! my life is dynamic and full and i have and can do great things! I still dream about Charlotte and Raleigh and the circumstances that drew me to Atlanta. I will never forget those times.

    1. Thanks for putting this up for me Patrick! Im remembering more. The narc was having congress with a cross dresser, I listened to them as I slept on the couch one night. She was probably trans and my first encounter with a sister. When he left the narc took me to a restaurant and introduced me to the manager, and told me if I got into trouble I could find work there cause I was so pretty. Being in denial I never used that venue, even when I was starving later. I never had anyone treat me badly, and even people who didn’t like me would help me. I sold the bird on the strip for spare change. I will never forget a guy who stopped in a flash car and monkey suit wanting me to hook him up with a hooker! Talk about a lost soul! And the lines of cars parked in rows and all that gleaming paint! I wanted to walk along and spray paint them black! My first encounter with environmental disgust. And marching against the war in Nam and a Democrat walking up to me and saying dems were my party! We were marching against LBJ! But he was sorta right. I saw all the dems convert to GOP in NC eventually.

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