the 60s (37)

Small sustainable community in UK

Email from Richard Jones:

Hi Lloyd hope all is well and tiny homes is shaping up.

Thought you might enjoy this article in the Observer newspaper at the weekend.

I had never heard of this legendary bus trip. The magic bus going overland to India was the only legend to reach my consciousness.

My reality changes this summer. I was supposed to be taking a group of delinquent kids for a canoe expedition in Sweden. But it all fell through a few days before. So we did the annual pilgrimage to Avebury – Stone Henge’s older sister (less police, a pub in the middle and an old drove track to camp in) We do this pilgrimage by bicycle as its far easier to dodge the police road blocks and get around the vast site.Every year more and more…camping areas get shut down. My faith was restored when we headed up to the Sanctuary – the end of the Ridgeway – the oldest road in Europe. There was the remains of the convoy – the free radicals. the horsedrawn, bus and van dwellers – Hooray they still existed! My heart was warmed there was still life on the roads. still hope and freedom.

Read More …

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Talk in Oakland by Lloyd on Whole Earth Catalog and contemporary back-to-land movement

I’m giving a short talk at the Oakland Museum this week on the current back-to-the-land movement and the influence of the Whole Earth Catalog and other west coast publications on same in the ’60s and ’70s.
“Hay Fever
The Oakland Standard presents an evening of workshops and talks about the contemporary back-to-the-land movement, and the efforts of young pioneers to homestead rural California. Learn (almost) everything you need to know to escape civilization. Neo-pioneers from the Sierra Nevada foothills and beyond will teach quick lessons in wildcrafting, DIY architecture, rope making, homebrew spirits, and other essential skills.
   Live music by Oakland-based Ethiopian jazz fusion band Sun Hop Fat.”

The Whole Earth Catalog and Alternative Structures
Discuss the cultural tide epitomized in the popularity of the Whole Earth Catalog, first released in 1968, and contemporary interest in DIY architecture.
Teacher: Lloyd Kahn
Friday, May 13, 7:30 – 8:00pm
Oakland Museum of California
1000 Oak Street
Oakland, CA 94607-4892
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Exhibit at MOMA on Whole Earth Catalog

 Stewart Brand just sent this out to a bunch of us who worked on the Whole Earth Catalog:

“Dear all…

The Museum of Modern Art Library has an exhibit titled “Access to Tools: Publications from the Whole Earth Catalog” open till July 26.  It was curated by David Senior and may be seen on the mezzanine of the Bartos Educational Wing next to the main Museum on 53rd Street.

The online version is here:

John Brockman shot a short video of the exhibit, here:

Congratulations on making the Catalog a work of modern art.



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My brief description of the '60s

The wonderful cultural revolution that was centered in San Francisco was over by the “Summer of Love.” I grew up in SF and watched it all unfold and in fact quit my job as an insurance broker n 1965, because I found I had more in common with the people 10 years younger than me than with my own generation.

Almost everything I’ve read that was written about those few years is inaccurate. The Diggers, despite what transplanted New Yorker Peter Coyote writes, were hard-edged east coast entrepreneurs, the “hipper than thou” guys, who proclaimed themselves leaders of the pack and got the ears of the press. Totally different from the spirit that created the short-lived peaceful and gentle community in that neighborhood.

Here’s what I wrote in a note in the appendix of Homework: Handbuilt Shelter, in 2004:

Magical cultural revolution that changed world going on. Mostly misunderstood these days.

Artistic underground in San Francisco, early ’60s.

Beats: fading artists of old world

Hippies: joyous, open, sharing/entirely different mindset.

Wonderful few years (before “Summer of Love”).

Non-conformity, dropping out, experimenting, searching, expanding awareness, looking for better ways to do things. Loving, exciting community on Haight Street, San Francisco, world headquarters for a few years.

All these things not so much new as being discovered for first time by millions of young Americans:

Astronomy * astrology * meditation * Gurdjieff * Ouspensky * Zen Buddhism * the Tarot * the Kabbala * the Koran * the I Ching * dolphin consciousness * Dune * Strangers in a Strange Land * building your own house * The Owner-Built Home * organic gardening and; farming * self-sufficiency * Native American culture * ecological awareness * political activism * poetry * rock and roll * the blues * Ali Akbar Khan * Beatles/Stones/Dylan * domes * LSD/marijuana/mescaline * Monterey Pop Festival * Rolling Stone * Whole Earth Catalog * The Tassajara Bread Book * viewing earth from space * Edmund Scientific catalog * L. L. Bean catalog * chickens by mail from Murray McMurray/and on and on…

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Feedback at Green Festival

The feedback at these events is really gratifying. Shelter really changed a lot of peopl’e’s lives. A guy stopped by a little while ago and said that he ran across a copy of HomeWork in a remote area in Brazil.

A 40s-year-old guy just now came to the booth, pointed to Shelter, and said, “I was reading this when I was a kid and it sparked a bunch of things in my later life.”

“How old were you?”

He thought for a minute, then said, “About 5.”

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