Kat on Hippies

I came across this article by Kat Kinkade about "Hippies." A lot has changed since the late 60's, for instance Twin Oaks no longer requires an entrance fee. It is funny and interesting none the less.


We Are Discovered By The Hippies

(From issue number 5 of the Leaves, published in March of 1968, Kat)

There is a sense in which Twin Oaks is entirely unique. It is the only community at present which deliberately takes Walden Two as a model. But there are people who consider Twin Oaks part of a national movement--a movement in the direction of small communities. On one side of us (ideologically) are the religious groups, such as the Society of Brothers or the Hutterites. Though our aims are widely divergent, we have in common with these communities our basic communal structure--a common treasury, communally organized work, common dining, etc. And on the other side of us are the hippie communes.

There is little written information on the hippie communes, and we have to rely on word of mouth, but we get the general picture that they, too, have something in common with us. This time the common ground is philosophical. The hippies, like us, believe that life should be full of joy and freedom and restricted as little as possible by conventional trivia. They differ from us in that they entirely reject structure. Their communes have no bylaws, no members in a legal sense, and no clear plans for their continuance. Then there is the obvious difference in our recreations: there are no drugs permitted at Twin Oaks.

Despite our difference, the hippies are interested in us. A few have already visited, and it is likely that warm weather will bring others. At first we looked on these visits with thinly veiled dismay, but time and experience are calming our worries. Hippies are, it turns out, only people. They are much like other visitors--a shade less formal than some. They want to know the same things--what are we? What do we do here? And, like other visitors, most of them give some thought to membership, ask themselves how they would fit in. Maybe they decide they don't want to give up drugs or that communal life isn't important enough to justify raising the entrance fee. If a hippie does join the community, what then? No problem. When he begins to wash dishes and split wood, we don't think of him as a hippie any more. He's just a member with long hair.

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