2.5 Happy New Year/Hippie Encounter

I had my first message of 2011 at one pm the afternoon of New Years Eve here in LA.  It was from my nephew, Mitch, in Afghanistan where 2011 arrived bawling.

I can’t remember the last time I ushered in a new year.  I don’t go out and I don’t stay up until midnight.

I remember one the best New Year’s Eves.  About a dozen years ago when Larry Farren had at his place in Kenwood.  It was an adult pajama party and successful in its mission of keeping dozens of Larry’s friends off the road on an alcoholic night.

This year I am in LA spending the evening reading my friend, Margaret’s, manuscript about her half-decade experiment living as a communal hippie in the 60s.  It is a coming of age story thinly disguised as a chronicle of one wedge of the dropout movement that sprawled into the 70s.  It is a ripping good read.  Cross your fingers she finds an agent because it is a story that deserves an audience.

Today she exhibits all the professional plumage of a successful woman.   I can think of three other women who spent enough semesters living the hip life to qualify for an advanced degree.  I wonder how many more mild-mannered, middle-aged, mates have a hippie in their closet.  Anyone care to come out of the closet?

I am sure I will be asleep by midnight.  And I am wondering where I will be a year from now.

I hope you have a better  year than last year.

24 Responses to 2.5 Happy New Year/Hippie Encounter

  1. Happy New Year to you, too, Al. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with the rest of us. It has been my pleasure to meet you this year through the CWC.

    Whether you are awake or not as the ball drops in Times Square or as the last leaf falls from a tree in L.A., as long as you are able to dream a new dream that takes you into January, and awaken to greet a new day, you’ve ushered in a new year.

  2. Erika says:

    HAPPY NEW YEAR! AL! I am in the Berkeley hills and it is raining pretty hard right now. Wish I had thought of that pajama party. I think I will try that next year. Meanwhile I am listening to Diane Rees who is performing at Joshi’s in SF. That would have been a good idea also……oh well.
    Continue to take good care of yourself in 2011.
    Prosit Neujahr!


    • allevenson says:

      ERIKA. Larry’s PJ party for grownups deserves a reprise. A couple of things made it work. It was a potluck dinner and among the 25 people who attended there were several who grabbed for the chance to show off their culinary talents. Turkey, ham, and side dishes that stretched for 20 feet. People began arriving at 3 pm. and everyone was there by 6-7–no late night driving for us. The hot tub part of the program began later that evening and went on until 3 or so. The gourmet breakfast equaled the dinner. It was a baseball party and continued until the last man was out which was around nightfall. If you have one next year, I hope your guest list includes a certain vagabond.

  3. Anne Fox says:

    If you recall, our late-hour communications occurred frequently enough for us to enjoy what was almost habitual badinage. I always wondered who would end it first or who would have the last word. Here it is already six minutes after midnight, the fireworks sounding in the distance. I can’t give up the late hour, even when you’re not here. Happy 2011.

  4. Dave L says:

    The future is always better than the past – the reason we keep living. The “better” may not come tomorrow but it’s close enough to be patient.

  5. dirk wales says:

    Coming Out of the Closet
    Might be a good title for another book…
    or better, Another Closet to Come Out of…

    Glad that your travels are so good to you.
    Let’s light candles that all of our travels this
    year provide the light we need to get out into
    the sunlight.

    All the best, Dirk

    • allevenson says:

      DIRK. Another closet to come out of. Hmmm. You may have hit on a whole new genre. Happy New Year to you, Dirk, I will be cruising your way in a couple of months. Looking forward to a little hang out time.

  6. bob marcus says:

    have a happy new year…hope to see u this year….should try to plan some kind of family get together… in jersey or maine… wud be fun….. enjoy .. be careful…

  7. Tony Bacon says:

    Happy New Year to you friend Al. We are hoping 2011 is a wonderful year for you. Keep working on your book, as I cannot wait to read it.
    Tony Bacon

  8. Colleen Rae says:

    Well, I don’t think too many of my friends thought I was in the closet, but I lived a hippie existence in Berkeley and Oregon, from 1967 into the 70’s. We had a crash house in Berkeley known to all the travelers that passed through. As I look back, I don’t know how I ever lived in such chaos… Don’t think this is a surprise to you, Al.
    I too, would love t read Margaret’s manuscript/book. Let us know if/when it gets published.

  9. Colleen Rae says:

    Happy New Year to you Al. Love to read about your travels.

  10. Chris Calkins says:

    I have been silent as I watch you meander through life,
    down the road, behind the wheel, perhaps with some illusion of control.
    Once a hippie always a hippie. Woodstock, the Filmore East, watching rice dance on my plate in a macrobiotic restaurant high on acid. Hair beyond my shoulders now lost to a barbershop floor. Shall I stop or should I go on about the ashram-commune in New Mexico?
    Lots of love and joy in the New Year my friend.



    • allevenson says:

      CHRIS. How great to hear from you. I knew when I cast my net hoping to snare a de-frocked hippie, I would have some surprises. None more pleasant than yours. This may not be the stage on which you come out about your NM commune, but it is a story I want to listen to. I will move your name to a high place on my list of people I want to connect with along the route. I hope there is a bottle of Destino in your cellar waiting for us to uncork. Stay in touch.

    • allevenson says:

      CHRIS. My private replies to your Mac.com email bounce as permanent failures. Can you fix that?

  11. Eric says:

    Having had one brother off to war in Iraq, another to Afghanistan, and a nephew to Korea, I know it can be tough keeping track, Al, but Mitch is in Iraq.

    Happy New Year!

  12. Michael and Marsha Joyce says:

    Early dinner at a local burger joing (non-chain) as our favorite spot took the night off. Candle light service at church, moving in its’ silence and reflective mood, and a little cheesecake and conversation in front of the fire about 40 years together . . . . .

    A grateful new year!

  13. Madelen L says:

    Hi Al,

    Happy New Year! I hope I will bring my writing out of the closet and into the light, i.e., before readers. Once and for good. No more excuses and delays. That would make this year, and every one after, a happy one for me.

    Thanks for keeping me in your postings loop.


  14. JSib says:

    Hi Al,

    Before I came across this email from you I sent you a long regular email so go read that one as my fingers are tired. Jim

  15. A bit late but no less heartfelt Happy New Year. I was given a bottle of Moet Chandon at Christmas, which I shared with my pussycat Pinky. She licked it off my fingers with gusto and afterward took a stroll around the house. I tried to do the same but got no farther than the bed. Were there fireworks out there? I don’t recall. Have an utterly fine year, Al.

  16. Kathleen L. Orosco says:

    Al, Happy New Year!
    I always enjoy our car talks.
    It’s Monday, January 3, 2011. The library was closed New Year’s eve and New Year’s Day. I watched Sherlock Holmes, got some rest, and renewed my resolutions.
    Take care.


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