Were You in Ocean Beach During the ‘Summer of Love’ in 1967?

by on June 19, 2017 · 4 comments

in Ocean Beach

Were you in or near OB during the “Summer of Love” in 1967?

If so, we’re looking for you and we’d like to hear your stories of those days. The OB Rag is looking for folks who were in OB – or San Diego – during the famous summer 50 years ago and can share what they experienced during that fabled summer.

The summer of 1967 certainly changed OB. Music, clothing, fads, drugs and a new rebelliousness among the young were the hallmarks of the emerging counter-culture which burst upon the national – and international – scene when the fabled Summer hit. And OB was right there – it became the hippie capital of San Diego, while San Francisco became the hippie capital of the nation.

An estimated 100,000 young people flocked to San Francisco, jamming the streets and playing in the parks, listening to who we now consider big-name bands play for free.

But what happened in OB? And San Diego? We’d like to find people who remember those days.

We’ll be reaching out to people who potentially were in town. We’ve already contacted a few and over the next couple of weeks, expect to be sharing what they tell us about the Summer of 1967.

If you were there – or know someone who was – contact us via our email  :  obragblog@gmail.com or leave a  message in the comments section below.

OB certainly had its share of hippies. In an earlier post about “Hippie Life in OB“, I wrote:

… in the late 1960s, OB became the Haight-Ashbury of San Diego. By 1967 – a year after the OB Pier had officially opened – it was already evident that Ocean Beach was morphing into the San Diego equivalent of that fabled and iconic San Francisco neighborhood synonymous with “hippie-ism”. If you were a hippie or a hippie-wannabe during this time somewhere in San Diego, you ended up in OB.

Of course, other factors contributed to the incubation in Ocean Beach of a community sympathetic and supportive of the new emerging counter-counter:

  • before there were long-haired hippies in OB, there were long-haired surfers – as this community had been a center of surf-culture for years;
  • OB had been a classic southern California beach-college town, where students and young people made up a huge proportion of the residents. There were no colleges right in OB, but there were plenty close by. Cal-Western (now Nazarene) was just up the hill in Point Loma. Plus OB was a bedroom community for USD – also not too far away, but especially for San Diego State, and Mesa, City, UCSD;
  • Along with young sailors and other younger working-class people – predominately white – youth had become a sizable segment of the citizens of the neighborhood.
  • And when the youth sub-culture developed during the Sixties in music, art, styles, drugs of choice, clothing, hair-cuts or lack of, language and politics, OB was right there, on the cutting-edge.

Now, the counter-culture did not grow in a vacuum. Something was driving it – something that swept through the sea of young people becoming more and more disenchanted and disengaged from the mainstream culture and politics.

Over just a few years, it seemed an entire generation of American young people were rejecting the values and customs of mainstream culture. Youth on a broad scale were reacting to the very uptight society they were growing up in, a society they perceived – and rightly so – as being beset with greed, war, racism, gross consumerism – and a hundred other ailments.

It was also the music – the Golden Era of Rock and Roll had ushered in a certain new wave of exhilarating and liberating sounds. And attitudes toward traditions were rocked – old ways fell by the wayside, as the youth culture took on more and more efforts to shock the screwed up sensibilities of the mainstream. For instance, during the war period of Vietnam, the wearing of military-style clothing by young people became fashionable. People wore military jackets not only to look cool but to mock the militarization of America.  Marijuana – and other drugs – were part of it. Use by local teenagers of the intoxicating weed changed abruptly between the years 1966 and 1967.

For more.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

KT Robinson June 19, 2017 at 9:26 pm

I was seven living in La Mesa.
Because my parents convinced me Ocean Beach waa so sketchy, it took my hip daughter coming since 2006 to tell me it’s where I belonged.
Moved here 4 years ago.
Looong over due. ;)
Happy to have found my spot here.


Judy Dibble June 20, 2017 at 1:30 pm

I was 20 yo, living in OB and going to State. We tie dyed various garments in a tub that my grandmother had used for washing cloths. And yes we smoked a couple of dubbies while grooving to the music of the day. Sing-alongs on the beach accompanied
by guitars and bongos.


Daniel Smiechowski June 21, 2017 at 11:50 am

Yes, now please love my campaign for Council! Danny


Doug Blackwood June 22, 2017 at 3:35 pm

Oh yeah I was commuting from pb for better waves: Avalanche, middles, jetty & the pier. Many great house parties, real honest people & cheep cheep rent: 2bd rm house (still standing) front & back yard, driveway/garage $125.00 a month.
Greed was frowned upon!


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