Hippies in Paradise

As my artist pal Daniel used to say, affecting his best Southern cop twang, “We got a hippy problem.”

Topanga Canyon was ground zero for hippies in the 1960s, and it never quite shed the mantle. Back then, the Manson family was camped out in their psychedelic bus down at the Rodeo Grounds, Neil Young was couch surfing and Gram Parsons and Bernie Leadon twanged out new songs while Jim Morrison “let it roll, baby, roll” up at The Corral roadhouse (yes, that roadhouse).

Hippies having fun

Hippies having fun

Today, the canyon much like Haight-Ashbury in San Francisco is more of a destination attraction for young hippies, the way affluent yoga students travel to Mysore, India, to pretend they like being ogled by old gurus. You see them walking barefoot and braless along the boulevard, guitars slung over the shoulders, sipping their chai teas and smiling a lot. Sometimes they even still hitchhike and carry signs like “Make love, not war.” More

Bomba, Dr. Roy, Quinoa & Strange Days Indeed

“Nobody told me there’d be days like these,
Strange days indeed — most peculiar, mama.”
-John Lennon

*   *   *

Some days just dawn stranger than others. Tuesday was a day like that.

My wife has been fighting a strange rash on her torso for the better part of two months. Nothing major — just red, itchy and annoying. She had changed soaps and detergents, switched clothes, and rubbed herself with various creams, ointments and salves. All to no avail.

Quinoa, Andean "superfood," on the plant

Quinoa, Andean “superfood,” on the plant

So it was that Tuesday I got two email links to a list of “good foods” and a list of “foods to avoid.” Exasperated, she was attempting to see if the rash was diet-related. More