1968: Aroused Citizens Complain About the Hippies and Their Pan-Handling, Sex, and Drugs

by on September 5, 2012 · 9 comments

in Civil Rights, Culture, Economy, History, Media, Ocean Beach, Popular

Scene from the “1968 Labor Day Riot” on Longbranch Avenue. Police had declared the street off-limits, so people took to porches and rooftops.

Editor: The following hilarious article is lifted word for word right out of the July 1968 issue of the San Diego Free Press, and it is not satire nor tongue-in-cheek. This article shows that since 1968, OB merchants and the well-heeled citizens of the area have been complaining about the hippies, their pan-handling, their sex, their drugs and graffiti.   The so-called “Peninsula Aroused Citizens” was a real group. Also, the Inbetween is mentioned and discussed – it sat right on the last block of Newport Avenue.  Have yourself a good laugh – and a history lesson.

Image of the article “O. B. “Citizens” Aroused from the original San Diego Free Press

O. B. “Citizens” Aroused

The solid citizenry of Ocean Beach are aroused. For some time now, there has been a virtual state of war existing between businessmen and merchants, on the one hand, and hippies on the other. The growing hippie community in OB has been met with growing alarm on the part of the established citizenry.

Those with Establishment interests want to drive the hippies out of OB since they view them as a treat to their businesses and are offended by the mores and folkways of the youth culture. Hippies contribute very little economically to established businesses and tend to scare away more conventional people who would have patronized these businesses. Hippies have been refused service at several places of business and in turn have taken revenge through acts of vandalism and theft. Because of this, insurance companies have raised the rates charged to OB businessmen.

Recently, there have been several public acts of sexual intercourse including screwing on the front lawn (an all-time first in San Diego according to some sources) which established citizens feel set a bad example for their own families.

The panhandling scene flourishes in OB, and businessmen are chagrined when they are hit up for spare change which is not spent in local businesses. They are also sometimes vexed at the epithets hurled at them when they refuse a panhandler’s request.

There is a large drug scene in OB which mortifies established citizens immensely since they do not was their own offspring influenced to such wiles and temptations.

A group calling themselves the Peninsula Aroused Citizens went to the City Council last week to demand better law enforcement on Ocean Beach. This group, composed primarily of the merchants and businessmen who for over a year have been waging a relentless was with the hippies, is intent on driving them out of San Diego. They contend that the majority of hippies are from out of town (which is probably true of a majority of San Diegans) and have come to San Diego as a result of the heat at beaches up north. Their plan is to kindle the heat to the hippies’ boiling point here so that they will evaporate leaving OB clean and pure and sterilized – once again fit for the enjoyment of decent folk.

One of the strategic focal points in the campaign is a place called the In-Between. The reader should not be mislead into thinking that the In-Between is a demilitarized zone; quit the contrary. Located on Newport Avenue, the In-Between is a youth hangout brought into existence by the Point Loma Methodist Church. At the present time there are also a number of other churches involved in sponsoring it. The In-Between has a reputation for helping people with drug problems without busting them. Mainly because it is church sponsored, the heat has stayed out of the In-Between. The Peninsula Aroused Citizen’s view it as a den of iniquity and a sanctuary for fornicators, dope peddlers, and revolutionaries of all stripes and colors. They wring their hands over the alleged fact that churches are supporting such shenanigans.

According to informed sources, the San Diego police feel their hands are tied in “combating crime” at the In-Between because  the place is church-sponsored. The police cannot afford to lose their considerable prestige by placing themselves in the position of attacking a church. The Aroused Citizens are trying to get the churches to pull out their support so that the police can move in with good conscience and a free hand and clear all those filthy hippies out of there. It is generally acknowledged by the SDPD that they would like to see the In-Between closed.

In a recent move to quell dissent, the In-Between closed for a paint job to take all “those dirty graffiti” off the walls and make other minor repairs to make the place look more respectable for the water inspector, the health inspector, the fire inspector, the building inspector, etc., etc.

According to informed sources, the Aroused Citizens are not only aroused but dedicated and well-heeled. It seems as if they have blitzed the hippies with their spring offensive putting the hippies on the defensive.

Meanwhile, the police are opening a Community Relations Office in OB.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

doug porter September 5, 2012 at 10:41 am

I was one of the hippies. Or at least, at that stage, a wanna-be. I’d like to thank the Peninsula Aroused Citizens for directing me into a lifetime of antiestablishmentarianism. As a senior in high school I thought I was going to the InBetween to read poetry and meet girls . The crap I ran into just walking down the street trying to get there convinced me there were other things I also needed to be concerned about.


Frank Gormlie September 5, 2012 at 10:43 am

Isn’t that piece from 1968 a fun read? We had some great chuckles while devouring it. Thanks to Patty Jones who typed it all, trying to squint to read the fine type in the xerox copy. We think John Lawrence wrote it, but we’re not certain.


OB Joe September 5, 2012 at 10:45 am

Doug, c’mon, you were never a hippie, really. A snarky trouble-maker for the establishment, yes.


editordude September 5, 2012 at 12:36 pm

If dear reader you noticed, we once again ran that 1968 photo from Long Branch Ave. We are not certain who took it, but it may have been Arthur Fox, Point Loma HS Class of 1966. If anyone knows him or knows anything about this photo, please contact us via our email address: obragblog@gmail.com .


john September 5, 2012 at 4:26 pm

Funny how words change over time, why would Peninsula “Aroused” Citizens object to people “screwing” on front lawns… you’d think they would want to join in. Perhaps I’m confused and “a state of arousal” means something different.
On “antiestablishmentarianism”… I bet you’ve been waiting for a while for a contextually justified reason to use that one, Doug? As “establishment” was the topic, you sure found it! (google chrome’s spell check calls it an error BTW, for what reason is a mystery)


Goatskull September 10, 2012 at 8:16 am

Makes me think of this hilarious song form the early ‘90s by San Francisco punk rock band Butt Trumpet. It’s supposed to be taken tongue in cheek as the members of the band considered themselves hippies.



John Filthy April 26, 2014 at 1:59 pm

Thank god the Peninsula Aroused Citizens attacked “all those filthy hippies” of OB in the 60s and cleaned the streets once and for all.

Interesting to read about the “considerable prestige” of the SDPD they didn’t want to risk by attacking the In Between. I guess I’m too young because I’ve never heard about this “considerable prestige” before.


Tom Cairns April 27, 2014 at 7:59 am

Fr. O’Brien from Sacred Heart used to stop by the In Between, and on Fridays and Saturdays, the Salvation Army folks would be making the rounds of the bars. The weekend nights would find many kids from Clairemont, El Cajon or Chula Vista coming around OB looking for that baggie or matchbox of pot, some reds or “op”s, or a hit of acid or mescaline. And there was always the threat of the field interrogation stop, and a request to see your draft registration card.


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