My father was a pinko hippie. And I liked that.
My dad was a character. I was talking to my brother, Ian, yesterday, and he said, “I think Dad was really crazy or super cool.” He had found a photo of my dad taken the year before he died. Admittedly, he was odd looking by then. He had a big shock of white hair like Dr. Emmett Brown in Back to the Future and a modified Fu Man Chu beard. And my dad was incredibly smart. He was a program designer back in the 1960s and 70s, and one of those people that talked about a Googolplex, a numeral with 1 and 100 zeros following. Granted his conversations tended toward the binary, “Yes,” and “No.” I liked the fact that my dad was counterculture from 1960 to the day he died.
These pages from an underground magazine circa 1969 or 1970 were thumbtacked to my dad's bedroom wall for most of my life. The “Of the Faith Teachers Pets” page describes the alleged spying on liberal faculty and students at University of Washington, Brigham Young University, and Fairleigh Dickinson University by individuals posing as R.O.T.C. cadets, and in the case of Linda Hobbie, as an undergraduate. The caption under Ms. Hobbie’s image reads, “Non-student Narc.” The addition of Kaiser Wilhelm is a delicate touch.
The “Wanted” page describes an episode when the secret service investigated Chuck Popke, pictured above. Popke had written, “Johnson’s war in Vietnam makes America puke,” on the back of an envelope that was intercepted by the secret service. The inset image is President Lyndon Johnson showing a surgical scar. The secret service agent defended the government’s action against Popke, “If enough people puked on the President, it would kill him.”