At the time this photo was taken in the summer of 1967, this chick had run away to San Francisco. She was 16.
I clearly missed my decade. It could have been me, not that I had anything to run away from at 16, quite the opposite. But there’s a purity in freedom. Her face is painted, it’s summer solstice in San Francisco, and she’s probably on acid.
Oh, and I thought that paint said “soy,” but it says “joy.”
I was too preoccupied with advanced math classes and summer reading assignments when the solstice came around when I was 16. I was kickin’ it at the beach in Santa Monica, guzzling stupidly cheap beer, smoking cloves and having no idea I was supposed to care about anything. Seriously. I always wanted to be part of something bigger than myself, with others, which no doubt is why I do yoga… I’m not asking for a decade-defining revolution, just something mildly significant. A shift toward peace on earth, something like that.
Some of that reading ended up being Go Ask Alice, one girl’s (fictional) diary about being young and being on drugs and all the fun it was. Until the end, when she swears off LSD thanks to one too many bad trips, stops writing in her (fake) diary and ends up dead. I guess she OD’d, and you know what? That book made me terrified of drugs. And here’s some bullshit: when they switch up covers on old books. Lame.
Judy Smith, that’s her name. I’m guessing she’s now a retired nurse, happy a newspaper once caught her in a moment. Or maybe not—that face paint job is not the best. But she looks so blissful. And she probably got in a boat load of trouble when she got home.
I’m going to San Francisco next week, and yes, I’ll be wearing flowers in my hair, pure and free.