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Monday, October 19, 2009

Hippie Hearts and Sisters Forever

My trip home to visit my Mom was needed. Not only did she need me but I needed her, too. What is it about going home that can stir up so many emotions inside you? I didn't expect to get such a sweet gift from my sister, Vicky. I'll tell you about it in a minute...

She was home, too, taking care of some business. Vicky lives in Alaska now, and is a wildlife photographer. She recently captured a video of a whale coming into their small village port which a worldwide green movement [to be announced later] asked her to contribute it to a new documentary they are making. Apparently she caught something on film they'd never witnessed a whale do before. How cool is that????

Vicky makes cards from her photography and I got to see her collection while I was home. I'm in awe of her work, but I'm even more bedazzled about her courage to take off on her own to a very remote part of Alaska to live her dream of being a photographer. How many of us sit on lifetime dreams and watch them wither away as though they had no merit? I think the story below may explain why she grew up wanting to capture nature, and wildlife. And why I want to be that hippie girl I was again. I think she [me] was packing the tools in her overalls I need now to help me get over my PTSD. And I'll bet she's still there waiting for me to rediscover her as I work through PTSD today. By Jove!! I think I'm on to something!!!!!

The gift is the picture above. I literally cried when I saw it. I didn't even know this picture existed until Vicky pulled out an album buried in her cedar chest. She loaned it to me to scan for my personal use. I vividly remember the trip to West Virginia for my Dad's family reunion that this picture was taken at. I was a California girl, a hippie girl all of 19 years old, traveling through the mountains of West Virginia in a classic 1961 Thunderbird. Oh... that car was a beaut! Jet black with a plush, red leather interior. The steering wheel slid to the left and right to allow you easier access to get in, and out, of the car. Some of you are nodding your heads. You know exactly how cool that car was.

I was married to Greg, my first husband. He was a Seabee I'd met while he was stationed at the Port Hueneme Naval base in Oxnard, CA. He was a hippie at heart, too, and even in uniform, he didn't "conform" to the status quot. He cleverly hid his long hair under a wig while he was enlisted, so when he was discharged his hair came down below his collar. We left CA as hippies traveling to Ohio in that car that stood out a wee bit [OK a whole lot....] with a bummer sticker plastered on the back that said, "Lick Dick in 72". It was a sign of the times. It was after all, the 70's.

Did you just gasp??? Or laugh??? That ought to tell you how people across most of the US responded to us when we drove through town. Most people didn't laugh but we thought it was hysterical. We'd go into a restaurant for breakfast, and by the time we left, the bumper sticker had been ripped off. Looking back I imagine we were lucky we didn't get our heads ripped off traveling through TX, OK, and a few other states in the Bible belt. Oh my... But we had a huge batch of the bumper stickers, and would just slap another one on to cover up the shredded remains of the previous sticker.

Youth has its blindness and other parts of the anatomy that make it hard to cross your legs without yelping. I suppose that's why I preferred overalls in the early 70's.... to give me room for all that "cocky attitude" between my legs.

So there we were: Me, Vicky, Greg, and Cheryl, [my sister-in-law who was married to my brother Larry who was in Vietnam at the time] trekking through the mountains in a 62 Thunderbird in God's country for a family reunion. I might add we still had the novel bumper sticker in place on the back... And I suppose we may have stood out just a wee bit, too, standing on the side of the road with our mouths gaping wide open watching some live cow action.

Cheryl and I had looked over at field and saw a bull, and a cow doing the nasty "right out there" in front of God, and everyone. We demanded Greg pull over. So to oblige two screaming, giggling, young women, and one teenager saying, "OMG!!!! Those cows are doing it!!!!" Actually, I believe we used a different adverb but you catch my drift.... He pulled off the road in a Duke's of Hazzard tail spin with gravel, and dust shooting behind the car like bullets. We watched in awe of nature, and in shock of cows, well... just being cows. We never saw that on Wild Kingdom, and everyone knows hippies love nature.

I remember the roads getting narrower, eventually becoming dirt roads instead paved ones. There are no street signs in mountainous rural areas, and to city slicker hippies like we were, it became obvious we were lost. I'll never forget the man and woman we stopped to get directions from. It was literally, "Well ya'll got a fer piece ta go. I reckon ya'll best be headin' down Old Man Clark's road till ya'll see the fence by the crick at Miller's landin'. Take a left at Owl Holler, and head north fer a spell. Past the old mine, and I spect' about two corn fields on down.. is where yer folks lives."

Good dang thing I hadn't seen the movie "Deliverance" yet.... Oh boy.....

It turned out to be the neatest family reunion I'd ever been to, nor have been to since. I loved the mountain people, their warmth, sweet spirits, and hospitality even though I found out later I was probably eating squirrel and not beef. [shiver] Ahhhh, memories.

The picture above was taken at the reunion. I had another reunion this past week with my family. It did my heart good. I'll be posting pics, and telling stories about my trip this week. I got some incredible shots of KY, and did a special photo shoot for one of my nieces, Gabby. I'm still saying, "Ya'll...." and am loving every sappy, syrupy, sugar filled tweak I can add to it. Yep, I embrace my dorkiness, and love my overalls, my genuine Woodstock Lily-fied sassy pants.

If any of you would be interested in Vicky's cards, let me know. I'll get you her contact info. You'll want to keep all of them....just to warn you in advance of how amazing her shots are.


  1. His his hair under a wig! That's a good one. I should have thought his head would have looked lumpy.

    Today, you might have photographed those cows and give us a taste of bovine porn. Too bad you didn't have a blog back then.

  2. was lumpy and made him cranky. Then he had a mark from the wig edge on his forehead for about 2 hours after he took it off. hmmmmm maybe that's what made him cranky... Oh I don't think I would have posted those pics of the bovine porn on my blog. Heavens NO!!! I would have sold them. Me = one smart girl. hardy-har-har..

  3. Great picture and it sounds like you have some great memories! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Great picture and it sounds like you have some great memories! Thanks for sharing!

  5. They were really doing it? Right out there in the open? OMG! hehe...

    " I tucked my hair up under my hat and I went in to ask him why..."

    I think it's awesome about the whale thing. There must have been a really strong artsy influence in your adoptive family. Do your other siblings pursue similar interests?

    Gotta go now. I must find my pictures of the deer doing it...

  6. holy smokes jake looks like his mama!

  7. I laughed at the bumper sticker.

    I can see how the picture brought back such awesome memories.

  8. Love the picture! I love how a picture can bring back so many memories! Hope your doing great! :)

  9. Kept me awake reading at 04.30 in the morning.

    A life filled week for you all!

  10. Sweetness! I enjoyed the read :O)
    I miss my sister :O(

  11. I'm from WV; what part did you go to?

  12. I must have been in a different navy back in 72 because I never had high and tight hair. It always hit the collar. One of the benefits of being a North Atlantic sailor on an old tin can. I guess you could say the ship was a hippie of the sea.

  13. I was the tail end of the hippies, a few years after that....I know of all you speak. Except the cows, I grew up on a farm, that was playing piggyback don't cha know?;-)
    Sounds like you had a wonderful time, cherish it, much of my family is gone.

  14. awwww- pictures are so fun! I loved this story Lille, fantastic.

    I also love love nature- it does my soul some good. I forget that I need it, since I do like the city too... and often will only realize that the big gaping hole was there when it's all filled up while visiting family 'in the sticks'.

    I hope reconnecting helps you toO!
    (being a Hippie is AWESOME- LOVE your rebel bumper sticker!)

  15. My childhood, except FUN!
    My late congrats to Lisa, Yay!

  16. WOW WOW WOW L.M. I was THERE with you...all the way...sounded like a page right out of my life... I and I were seperated at the hip at some point in life...and you are going to laugh...but you know it is the truth...I had that same bumper sticker and displayed it proudly!!!!Wern't we just the Politicos back then... AND AND...I too wore Bibs practically everywhere I went...still do...shhhhh don't tell anyone!!!

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE the picture of you and your sis...I understand how it made you cry...taking you back to 'other times' in our lives... a joyous yet sometimes sad trip... but DAMN Girl...didn't we have FUN!!!

    Hugs and Love and Thanks so much for sharing
    Jodi L.M.

  17. ~~~Eva... Thanks, hun. It was a blast!

    ~~~Lily... DEERS!!!!! No way! You have some action down on your farm. chickens... cats.... goats.... lalalalalalalalalalala [covers her ears and sings the la la song] psssstttt...actually go ahead and send me those dear, deer shots....shhhh

    ~~~E23... ya think? lol ask him about Hayseed McGregor.... and then show him this pic. lol lol

    ~~~Flory... oh good, I still chuckle about it some 35 years errrr I mean 5 years later when I think about it. Memories are a gift, and we can reopen them any time. Thanks so much for visiting the Lily Pad~

    ~~~Jess... Thanks sweet pie. Guess what?? My sis got a pied doxie. 3 months old. I told her if she comes up here with her [she named her Josie] I may dognap her!

    ~~~Robert... I hope it wasn't because my story of the cows "doin' it, doin' it" gave you nightmares. yikers! Just joking... Thank you for the compliment, my friend~

    ~~~Abi.. Thank you, pretty lady. I hope it's just distance that separates you and your sister. Here's a big hug for you. (((((((Abi)))))))))~

    ~~~Kenju... I have to ask my Mom. I'll get back to you on it. But I will say this. WV is truly God's country. I love those mountains. I'd like to go back and take a long leisurely trip exploring every inch of her. [yikes that sounded a wee bit like something out of a smut novel.... First I write about cow's boinking, then I request pix of deer's playing piggyback, and now I'm slobbering & lusting about mountain tops. This blog is going to an XXX rating] Someone has to stop me!

    ~~~Mark... I like that. Hippie of the Sea... has a nice ring to it~

    ~~~TC... playing piggyback!!! LOL LOL!!! I never heard that before!! I am so stealing it. [oops looks like I already did in the paragraph above. thanx...] I'm sorry about your family. The sad thing about growing up, besides your boobs taking a nose dive, is losing the people we love. But nothing can take away our memories. That's why we must try to make as many great ones as we can for those we love. It may be the most precious gift we leave them~

    ~~~Lisa...Thank you. I love both, too, the city, and the country. My preference is to be in the country, and close enough to go to an awesome, kick butt concert or restaurant when I want to. I can see myself as an old woman [Now no one better be thinking, "ummmmm you are an old woman...duh" or I'll have to smack ya.... did I just type that out loud???] where was I??? Oh yes, I can see myself in my later years living a peaceful existence in a cottage on a hill. OH hey THAT IS my life!!!! LOL

    ~~~priti.lisa... I wish you an awesome big girl childhood! You can always do it over in your mind. Lemme adopt ya. I'll spoil you. =] ~

  18. ~~~Jodi LM... Oh my Good Lawd in heaven!! I should know better than to open your comments without wearing a diaper. LOL LOL No I didn't poo myself but I laughed so hard I think I busted a pipe!!!! I cannot believe you had the same bumper sticker. Did I smoke a fatty with you sometime in the early 70's and just don't remember it????? LOL LOl You make me roar.

    YES we did have some fun, and we still are!!! pffffttttt we invented FUN! I'm on the hunt for some well loved, well worn overalls to turn into a customized Woodstock Lily attire. **I think my kid's just ran screaming into the streets begging to be hit by a steam roller or even a skate boarder after reading that. They will neva-eva wanna go shopping in a mall with me eva again.... sigh~~

  19. This is a very touching post. There really is nothing like looking at photographs from the past. Because even though they are from the past, sometimes they can inform our future.

  20. Hi, I hope you find some overalls before November 20, because we are a whole bunch of overalls fans, young and old, who are making Nov 20 into an international overalls day ! see more on my blog and links to other overalls fans !


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