Tuesday, July 20, 2021

1967 My summer with the Hippies

This is a picture of the old farmhouse my husband, a realtor, purchased in upstate New York in 1967. The land around it was lovely but the house was barely livable. It had electricity and running water but that was it. I could imagine months of emptying, cleaning & painting the inside of the house so I was thrilled when he presented a solution … and it involved me !

Evidently 6 college girls had shown up at our Real Estate office looking for a place that they could rent for the summer. Of course they were strapped for money so Dick presented them with this offer. We would take X amount for the 8 weeks rental if they would help (with my  supervision) with restoring the inside of the house. We would work 6 hours every week day & they would have weekends off. At the end of the 8 weeks, if they had lived up to their end of the bargain, we would give them their money back.

They were ecstatic and we signed papers that day. I had no idea that this was the first link in a chain of events that would provide me with one of the best summers that I would ever experience!

A few weeks later the girls moved in. By Monday they had already planted a small garden in the back yard and had jugs of water sitting in the sun, filled with a variety of exotic tea leaves to make “sun tea”. They had also made “house rules” and one of these was that, during the 6 hour work day, each girl would have an hour to play the music of her choice.

For the rest of the summer whenever we were working we would have music. One girl’s dad was an opera singer and she would play the classics. Then it would be Heavy Metal or Rhythm & Blues or The Beatles, or the new sound of Pink Floyd. We didn’t only listen to the music. We danced our way through the dullness of washing a floor or stripping wallpaper. We’d sing and mimic the artists and we’d talk, talk, talk. I had been out of college for 13 years and it was exhilarating to be back in that milieu.

 A few of the stodgy neighbors complained about our “hippie” farm., but we paid little heed to that. The girls were reliable and fun to be with and they put life back into that old farmhouse. By the end of the summer we hated to see them go. It’s interesting to note that one year later nearly half a million “real hippies” congregated 30 miles north of the property. It was none other than the Woodstock Festival, touted as “a weekend of music, love and peace”, but I'd already had that the summer before !


Blogger Marie Smith said...

Another great story, Ginnie. You were ahead of the time.

4:08 PM  
Blogger Arkansas Patti said...

What a great idea your hubby had and it worked marvelously. That had to have really been a fun time. Love the Woodstock connection.

6:21 PM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

What a life of memories!
67 was the year that I went off to uni, os it was good for me too.

6:31 PM  
Blogger Bonnie Jacobs said...

I love it! What a great story, Ginnie. Your husband had a wonderful idea that worked out perfectly, and you had fun with it, too.

2:12 PM  
Blogger Joared said...

Great experience and story you've related here!

12:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's wonderful; what a fun and heartwarming story!
I can picture the lovely summer days - I know how much the girls must have enjoyed getting to know you, just as I have done over the last 5 years!

9:38 AM  

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