3100 N. OCEAN BOULEVARD FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA OPEN ALL YEAR On The ocean Private beach Swim ming Pool Palm studded lawns DancingEntertainment Games Air-Conditioned Heated Luxurious Room and Apts. . . . All with balconies Golf privileges. perhaps largely as a result of the calm and happiness they radiate. I hang around the place, watch them work, see no signs of dissension or ill humor, despite the complex variety of tasks that has to be performed. Danny, a tall, good-looking guy with long brown hair, clear, steady eyes and a remarkably cheerful mien becomes my main source of information, though I manage to talk to five or six of them. Danny says business is good, with about half of their customers coming from the straight community. Everyone is busy practically all the time, since the restaurant is open until ten each evening, so they have little time for anything else besides meditation. He cheerfully refers to rock concerts as “foolishness. We were completely useless before we got into yoga,” Danny says. “We just used to stone ourselves into immobility every night.” But no more dope anyone who wants to do dope would have to leave. “But I think dope is cool, if that’s what you want,” Danny adds, “it just isn’t compatible with our present trip.” He takes me up to their meditation room, which is candlelit and has walls. and ceiling draped with sheets. There are pictures of their guru, their guru’s guru, and their guru’s guru’s guru. We sit in the lotus position and Danny tells me that if I listen carefully I can hear I can hear the sound of the sacred OM “It’s really strong in here.” I listen carefully but all I can hear is the trucks rumbling past on the street outside. AHETEROGENEOUS religiosity pervades the Den ton community. One of the older freaks who runs the organic food co-operative is an ex-congregationalist preacher who now spreads the doctrine of connection with Mother Earth through organic farming and organic diet. He is 37. Several people work full-time at the co-op in return for subsistence. One of them is Cheryl, a woman in her mid-thirties who used to be a suburban Dallas housewife. She couldn’t hack the bridge-party beauty-shop scene, finally got a divorce and went back to school. She got her degree in 1968, went to California to teach school, where her dream of being a straight, respectable schoolteacher evaporated. She couldn’t stand it. She came back to Denton to live in poverty and be a freak. Cheryl thinks what she is doing now is mote “real.” “I mean, the people here have hangups too, I know that. After all, they’re only people. The folks back home can’t understand what I’m doing they think it’s just a game I’m playing, and maybe it is, but you have to choose what game you’re going to play. The way they live maybe it’s all right for them, but it seemed so empty and artificial to me.” At the opposite pole of freakiness from Cheryl is Jarred, who manages one of the head shops. The son of missionary parents, raised in Brazil, Jarred is 20, very bright, unsentimental about freaks but willing to do his bit. He makes more money than most freaks, wants to retire young so he can concentrate on his guitar playing. He believes his motives are “more selfish than most” but thinks in terms of the community. “I’m sapping money from the outside world through this store, and I try to see that as much of of it as possible gets into the hands of freaks. Like for instance I’ll eat over at the Kosmic Kitchen, because they’re run by freaks and they employ freaks. That way we’re not so completely dependent on the outside world for our existence,” The only really politically-minded people I meet are those who run the People’s Community Center. Six adults in their 20’s and two children live upstairs; the downstairs is given over to a people’s library, free store, and a large conmon area. They have a series of programs lined up one night a yoga master from the Dallas Integral Yoga Institute will be there, another night the Dallas White Panthers, another night the Angela Davis Liberation Front. Eventually the community center people hope to start a day care center and an abortion clinic. Two or three of them hold jobs to finance the operation, the others cook, clean up, make and work on plans. Despite their political inclinations, the household has strong religious leanings, largely a characteristically freaky blend of oriental ingredients. One of the community center people, David, comes closer to the stereotypical radical than anyone else I meet. David is voluble, aggressive, wears a Mao button, talks about imperialism and pigs. He is an ex-member of the John Brown Revolutionary League, believes the situation in this country will eventually come to widespread armed conflict. But even David is into religion his rhetoric is augmented by a belief that spiritual renewal must accompany political change. When pressed he admits that karma is more important to him than revolution. EVEN THE local underground paper is reorganized along less political lines while I am in Denton. The paper, called the Denton. Robot, has been offing-the-pigs recently, and a rumor spreads through town that the local police have paid social calls to straight merchants who have advertised in the Robot, advising them to put their advertising dollars in more respectable journals. It doesn’t really matter, because the Robot passes away and the Denton New World Press is born. Main man of the New World Press is Tom Folsom, bright, personable, 22 years old, with a degree in chemistry from NTSU. “We’re trying to get away from being militant-we’ll-get-you-m otherfuckers and try to present a true picture of what we’re about,” Tom says. “We want to dispel fear, September 10, 1971 19
You May Also Like
The Texas Rangers are tasked with investigating corruption and crimes by public officials. Those officials are rarely held accountable.