was 1967, and I was in Grade 11, with one more year
the day of the Hippie, the flower child, ‘Make
love, not war’, you know, all that stuff. But I
was a country boy, never did like the Beatles,
thought the ‘flower children’ were a
little weird, and never had any inclination to smoke
pot, or anything else for that matter. Perhaps some
folks would have considered me square and out of
touch, but that’s okay, I had my own country
friends and I was happy.
the High School I attended had adopted the same
outlook on the Hippy Generation as I had. I remember
only two people in our school of 1,500 who you could
consider to be Hippies. They dressed in strange
clothes, had long hair, smoked pot. But the members
of the football team took care of them and made them
change their ways. That type of behaviour was not
tolerated at my High School. I guess we would be
considered Rednecks today, but back in 1967 at
Centennial Senior High School, in Coquitlam, British
Columbia, it was either clean up your act or get your
clock cleaned; your choice.
Graduation came in 1968. In 1969 I met my
wife-to-be, and in 1972 we were married. Suddenly the
clean-cut country boy did an about-face. No, I
didn’t become a Hippie, and I never did start
smoking pot or even regular cigarettes, but I
certainly looked like a Hippie. I grew a large black
beard, grew my hair to my shoulders and started to
dress, what I would consider to be a little funky.
What on earth was I thinking? I still didn’t
like the Beatles, still thought Hippies were weird,
but I didn’t look ‘square’ anymore.
I kept that look for fifteen years. My kid’s
didn’t really know what I looked like
underneath all the hair, but I wore it like a
disguise and felt I could hide behind it in some
ways. I guess it was my own strange idea of being my
own person, and maybe my way of keeping everyone at a
distance, not letting them get too close to the
person I really was.
that time has passed. It is now 2005, and yes, I have
my beard back again; snowy white this time. No,
I’m not trying to hide from anything, just a
little nostalgia, I guess, or maybe the novelty of it
all. I’m still content to be a country boy;
love of country, small towns and all that. I gave up
country music, however; what was I thinking? –
It all sounds the same. I love Jazz, Blues and Big
Band and played trumpet in a jazz band for a while.
Life is good.
read about the “Sixty’s Generation”
like someone from the outside looking in. I
can’t really relate to it. It was there when I
was, but I wasn’t part of it.
by David Ronald Bruce Pekrul