Image by Andrew Martin from Pixabay

My youth was the post-hippie era. I like to think I spent my youth as what I refer to as a fringe hippie. The culture was definitely changing when I left high school in the early 70s to make my way in the world.

Bell bottoms were still in style as were peasant blouses. My hair was long and straight, parted in the middle, often clipped to keep my hair out of my face. It was medium brown in color, a far cry from current white mane. Paisley prints were starting to drift out of style.

Album covers were less psychedelic/flower child and more artist-centric. There seemed to be less emphasis on psychedelic drugs but marijuana was still extremely prevalent and so were the head-shops.

What’s a head-shop, you say? Well, the answer might be very different coming from someone else. I never experimented with drugs. I never smoked pot, although many people around me did. It always made me uncomfortable and went against all that I had been raised to believe. Somehow, I managed to navigate the times without it. But back to head-shops.

Head-shops sold drug paraphernalia of course. They were central to the holdover from the counter culture of the 60s. I loved walking into a good head shop. It was like entering an entirely different world.

Lighting was purposely dim, with black-lights illuminating the space, allowing ‘velvet posters’ printed with fluorescent inks to take on a life of their own. If your clothing had any white in the fabric, the black lights would illuminate the white. The woody scent of incense would permeate your hair, clothes, and nose.

Here you could buy black light bulbs, posters, incense burners and incense, bongs, books, perfume, oils, lava lamps, strobe lights, and of course all things pot-related. I am sure you could buy things I was much too naive to realize.

My Air Force dorm room was filled with purchases from local head-shops. I had a huge brandy glass shaped terrarium, blacklight posters and of course black lights to illuminate them. I had carved soapstone trinket boxes, a lava lamp and incense wafted through the air.

My chosen fragrance was musk oil. I am trying to remember the scent that was once the only fragrance I wore, but it escapes me now. But somehow I still remember the dancing Snoopy “Feeling Groovy” poster that hung on my door. Funny how our memory works.