by Celia Jones
bags full of new textbooks, confidently
ready for my first term at UC, Berkeley, I walked
out of the book store into Sproul Plaza.
There was such an exciting 1960's mixture of
students and people just 'hanging out'.
Finally, here I was, a fugitive from a small,
bland Bay Area town, in the center of it all--alternative
lifestyles, anti-war demonstrations, free
concerts with Joan Baez and Bob Dylan and
inspiring speeches by political activists on the
Sproul steps. I sensed this was history in the
making, and felt pretty pleased with myself, now
part of it all.
at the fountain with my cappuccino, I watched the
colourful diorama that surrounded me. Dogs
were 'in', and every other hippy seemed to have a
mongrel, usually part Alsatian dog with a
bandanna around his neck. Their owners had a sort
of uniform as well--loose paisley cotton shirts,
lots of beads, embroidered jackets and floral,
bell-bottomed pants. Everyone tinkled and jangled
as they moved. With the warm sun on my face, I
was lulled into almost a trance-like state by the
trickling sounds of the fountain and rhythms of
the bongo drums echoing from the new Zellerbach
theatre courtyard below. Now, I was finally here
in Berkeley, a fully-fledged member of this hip
I closed my
eyes for a few minutes and took a deep breath; I
didn't see the hippie dog making a beeline for my
new books. Watching in horror, I saw the creature
just as he lifted his leg and deftly aimed a
healthy, warm stream at my precious books!
My real inclination was to kick the obnoxious
mongrel but as I sensed everyone was
watching me, I smiled tightly, shrugged and tried
to convince myself that as a 'really with it'
mutt, he was just was expressing his disdain of
the 'Establishment Educational System'.
my packages, I tried to look coolly nonchalant
for my audience as I walked through Sather Gate,
carrying the sodden mess home. This incident
taught me that I had a long way to go before I
was truly part of the Berkeley scene.