The Moss Hill
Bill Ostrum and
I were on the last leg of a great road trip. It was November 1970.
I was 20 years old. We were in San Francisco to visit my childhood
friend and 1010 band mate, Scot Robinson. Scot moved there a year
earlier. He lived in a rented house in the mountains near Berkley.
revolution, fueled by the adolescent angst of the "coming of age" baby
boom generation fanned to flame just a couple of years earlier
here. The air was still charged with the radical individualism that
defined the 60ís. Hippie culture dominated the entire place
evidenced by young people dressed in classic hippie garb and the
colorful hand painted signs on storefronts and murals on walls. On
the Berkley campus I saw crowds gather around religious and
political zealots proclaiming odd foreign doctrines.
I stood at the corner of Haight and Asbury in San Francisco
considered to be the central point from which the California hippie
revolution radiated. There werenít too many people around there
then and nothing much seemed to be happening. Part of me wished I could
have been there in the great Summer of Love but another part of me
was relieved that I wasnít. After all, I came there to see Scot.
Fall in San
Francisco wasnít as pronounced as it is in Chicago. It seemed to me
there was more to Fall here this year than just the changing
weather. The proverbial rose was off the hippie bloom. Dozens and
sometimes hundreds of hitch hikers congregated at major
intersections hoping for rides, many, to far away cities and states.
Scot was living
a healthy life after a couple of not so healthy years. He had
adopted a raw foods vegetarian diet, drank fresh carrot juice, and
was about to open his own vegetarian restaurant.
had recently become vegetarian perhaps to restore a couple of my not
so healthy years. As each otherís closest friend during
adolescence, our relationship was one of equals experiencing life
together. As our teenage years molded us into young men, Scot was
always an influence for good in my life. While visiting with him in
California, he taught me about nutrition, fasting, natural
foods, and organic farming.
Scot took me to a
popular natural foods store in Berkley called Wholy Foods where all
the hippies shopped. I was unprepared for what awaited me. Wholy
Foods was a large store that sold all manner of organic produce,
whole grains, juices, naturally produced dairy products, nuts, cold
pressed oils, and other healthy foods.
I had been in
health food stores before but this place was a lot
different. It had a high ceiling with tie dyed parachutes billowing
from above. Large open earthenware crocks and wooden barrels served
up an intriguing array of grains, seeds, nuts, and beans. A large old oak wall
sized cooler displayed a large variety of juices and dairy products.
Numerous hanging scales
were available for weighing out purchases of the many bulk items
available. Women shopped with
their babies in back pack carriers.
I was enchanted
with this place. The child in me was in a world of delight
surrounded by natureís bounty. Time seemed to stand still
as my senses were overloaded with the sights, smells, and even the
sounds of Jimi Hendrix playing on the sound system.
place seemed idyllic. I loved knowing that a place like this was so
popular. I bought coconut and pineapple juice and some raw cashew
nuts and probably other stuff and it was soon time to go. My car
was parked on the street a couple of blocks away. As Bill, Scot,
and I walked back to my car something remarkable happened to me.
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