Remembering the '60s brings back so much memorable hypocrisy. The hippies were anti-establishment, supposedly anti-conformity and definitely anti-war. They were referred to as the "flower children," the "peaceniks" and the "love generation."
How hypocritical was that movement? Well, between the '60s and the '90s, I have observed many of them with their "right on" motto succumb to being just the opposite of what they were espousing back then. Now they are pro-government. All ranchland should be forced into government park whether the real stewards (owners) of the land want it or not. Most of them are so pro-government that if over-crowded development rears its ugly head, they're all for it as long as it suits their own needs, and environment be damned.
You want to talk anti-conformity as the so-called flower children did? They were more conformed than the establishment they were bitching about. Most of them grew long hair, smoked Panama Red or Acapulco Gold, smelled of patchouli oil, spoke the same hip lingo, listened to the same music, and long skirts, head bands and psychedelic colors were the uniform of the day. At any happening, pot would be passed around indiscriminately and you would be nudged, take a hit, man. And sex was so free it was as easy as a handshake, and some of my friends today are still suffering from herpes.
But where are they now? Which leads me to Wendi Kallin's guest editorial in the September 9 issue of the Pt. Reyes Light. She wrote in her article the epitome of what I'm talking about. A leftover hippie of the '60s singing the praises of government control. She blames the price of housing skyrocketing on the shopping centers and the increased jobs they bring. Wrong! It's the National Park, Wendi, that you and your illustrious think-alikes subscribe to that causes what little land is left to go sky high and the traffic of tourists coming to see the park that they paid for.
Another idea that really grabs me is the notion that wealthy people and trophy homes aren't acceptable to your taste. Well, you caused it to happen. The only people who can afford the land that is left available after you've stuck everything in Park are the wealthy. Then she has the audacity to say the Farmland Protection Bill by Lynn Woolsey and the Ecumenical Association for Housing are experiencing opposition from the very people who would benefit! Like she knows better than a rancher about what preserves agriculture, and she knows what is best for Pt. Reyes Station, when she lives in the Valley.
It is this kind of smug arrogance that is ruining agriculture and destroying our little town. Second, it smacks of pugnacious ignorance when you have no background whatsoever in agriculture, but you know more than the rancher himself what's good for him. We've just lost four dairies out here this week, and you know what it is due to? Ranchers getting sick and tired of putting up with people telling them what to do with their land, when they've taken care of it for decades. When small family ranches have all gone away, you have nobody to blame but yourself, Wendi, because you caused it with your hip ideology. Pro-government Park will stave off development, even though I haven't seen any rush of ranchers run to Civic Center to seek permits when of course with Park come the tourists and traffic which you don't want, but they paid for your private back yard. Then the price of what little land is left gets so valuable the common man can't afford it, so let's cry for low-cost development! You can't have your cake and eat it too, or maybe you can, if we don't stop your vicious cycle.
I guess it's not enough that Wendi's philosophy has caused a horrific amount of grief in the Valley of which she lives, but now wants to spread her hip rhetoric into the town of Pt. Reyes and contribute to the ranchers' dilemma!
* * *
On September 17 a very good man bit the dust. He will be missed by many of us. Skip Kehoe, 66 years of age, died after battling for over a year a lot of pain and severe health problems. He always reminded me of John Wayne in this carriage and demeanor. He was a rancher all his life and had an incredible sense of humor and gave of himself to his family and community in an incredibly kind way that we can all learn from. I remembered when he coached my son Thor in Little League and one of Skip's favorite sayings was "go down swinging." Well, he did and they certainly don't make 'em like that anymore. Much love to his wife Jean and the Kehoe family.