Piedmont Park was our social center. Everyone gathered to glory in nature and each other. It was a rare joy to see so many others in tune with your feelings. People traveled from hundreds of miles for the weekly peaceful gathering of the tribes. Several large concerts were held here, as well as a police riot.
On weekends at Piedmont Park in 1968 Atlanta began to notice an amazing thing. The Georgia of Lester Maddox had flowered forth its own hippy freaks. And suddenly there seemed to be a lot of them each week crawling out from under rocks somewhere and gathering around 8th street to 14th streets on Peachtree and in Piedmont Park. Tho the limits are still debated, everyone around Atlanta knew generally where The Strip was located. Straight suburbanites detoured by to variously ogle hippie chicks, seek drugs, or be outraged and amused at the freakshow. New waves of freaky people constantly arriving in Atlanta from small towns all over the area knew to seek The Strip or Piedmont Park on the weekend to find friendly people.
In 1967 there was a truly underground swell in small towns all over Alabama, South Carolina, North Carolina, Florida, Tennessee, and Georgia. Everything in the South seems to run slower. Thus it was the Summer of Love happened on the West Coast in 1967. The media made the whole world a voyeuristic participant. Southern freaks who had fled to the hipper West Coast from small minded hometowns, then returned and sparked small local movements. Enough sparked folks began building an underground movement of like minded folks finding each other.