Monday, June 29, 2020

Beats and Hippies

I grew up in a literary household. My father was an author and a professor at D.U. He and my mother were both very well-read and expected the same of us kids. I ended up being an English teacher myself before Twist and Shout beckoned. The first literary discoveries I made without the prodding of my parents were The Beats and The Hippies. Somewhere in the early 70’s I discovered Kerouac’s “On The Road”, Tom Wolfe’s “The Electric Koo-Aid Acid Test”, Ken Kesey’s “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest” and Baba Ram Dass’ “Be Here Now”. I was off to the races! Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs and countless others followed. The literature ran parallel with the music, and it has never left me. I still feel Kerouac’s writing is the most vivid, Ginsberg’s poetry the most honest and Kesey one of the largest personalities in American letters. Here’s a small sampling of some of my favorite Beat and Hippie schwag.

- Paul Epstein

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