Thursday, June 23, 2016

Throw Back Thursday - Love-In, Griffith Park, Reenactment

Celebrating the '70s in the '90s, Griffith Park, photo by Larry Underhill

In the late 1960s and early 1970s Love-Ins were held near the Merry-go-Round at Griffith Park, Los Angeles. I was on the fringes of one of these events around 1971. It was a major scene. So many people were there, wearing all of their hippie finery, bright colors, long hair, fringed jackets and more. I was there with a small group of girlfriends just to see what was going on. We really weren't of the hippie persuasion, but who doesn't like the message of peace and love? We only stayed long enough to eat our picnic lunch and catch a few rays.
Over 20 years later, in 1992, someone organized a reenactment of the Love-Ins at Griffith Park. Larry and I donned some 70s clothes and ventured over there. We managed to see this cool VW van in the parking lot, painted in bright colors. We snapped a few photos, hung out for about an hour and left....kind of similar to my 1971 experience!
Griffith Park, May 1967. Photo by Kent Kamouse

The first Love-In at Griffith Park was on Easter Sunday, 1967. Per photographer, Henry Diltz, from the book "Laurel Canyon: The Inside Story of Rock and Roll's Legendary Neighborhood" by Michael Walker, "The love-ins were semi-spontaneous gatherings of the counter cultural tribes of Southern California in the vein of those in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. A love-in was just a  Sunday afternoon when the word of mouth was, 'everyone's going to meet there around noon.' Easter Sunday was always a love in.  Some musicians would bring instruments, sometimes there would be organized music, but otherwise it was just hundreds of people meeting in the afternoon much as they would in the evening in a club. And they'd dress up really nice, wear tie-dye or beads, colorful clothes."
Griffith Park, 1967. Uncredited Photo
I found another description from a Love-in participant on The Hip Forums. This is by S.H., "There were a couple of hundred people all gathered on a hill as I recall, flat on top and perfect for looking out over the beautiful view of the park. There we all were in all our splendor, a kaleidoscope of color pulsating to the beat of the music. Smiling faces and eyes wide with wonder and love in our hearts, celebrating life in peaceful assembly. There were booths set up and beautiful people sitting around talking and singing, laughter filling the air like tiny tinkles of bells ringing in chime with the music."
The message of peace and love hasn't left me in all those years. The peace symbol has always had a powerful meaning. If only we could all adhere to this message. Sigh.
One of these days I'll make one of these peace symbol afghans, like my friend Diane crocheted a few years ago. She did such a great job in perfect colors!
Diane's "Peace, Love and Granny" Afghan

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