The last time I seriously touched on this subject (Homer hippies) was in the early 1980’s. I wrote an editorial for our local newspaper in Anchorage, asking what did unemployed residents do for a living in Homer, Alaska. The piece went viral if you can call it that. Viral back then was a bad cold.
Media as they often do, took my column and twisted it like red licorice to make it appear that I was insultingly asking,
“What do all residents do for a living in Homer?”
That wasn’t the only time the Anchorage Daily News changed wording to one of my editorials. The editor knew I was a conservative. I suppose it was fun for him to do the word twisting.
He was savvy enough to know they’d get more response by spinning my question to include employed, rather than just unemployed citizens. The jobless in Homer back then spent precious welfare dollars on rolling papers instead of newspapers. They could’ve cared less about my inquiry. These folks had more important things to tend to like their crops.
An acquaintance of mine worked for the State of Alaska – as a welfare fraud investigator. I was able to obtain all the numbers I needed regarding unemployment in Homer, along with data on certain cases. This person knew my lips were sealed and still are.
It wasn’t uncommon when this individual checked on a welfare recipient, to find them gone. Poking around and asking neighbors, the state worker discovered they were on a kayak or hiking trip. Recreational gear of all type was usually sitting outside a welfare recipient’s doors. The smell of pot often greeted them after entering. I’m sure it was due to necessary medicinal use. Uh huh.
I incorporated this data into my investigative newspaper editorial, saying that these folks were basically on a never ending vacation, paid for by working stiffs like me. Evidently with help from our left-slanting newspaper in Anchorage, my unlisted phone number was quickly leaked. Before long, I was getting hate calls from Homer residents having jobs. My letter had nothing to do with them. After listening to rants for several minutes, I told one angry lady to bug off and then hung up. This was not before she’d filled my ear with choice obscenities.
A radio DJ from Homer went on the air saying that Michael Hankins had it in for Homer residents. When he called me asking for a live, on-the-air radio interview I could only laugh. I knew he was simply looking for an audience that he didn’t have. Having infamous me on his show would’ve provided such. I politely declined.
Various folks in Homer immediately became lit. Most likely some had never read my whole article. That quick triggered response holds true today. I see it all the time on Facebook and in political forums. After hearing or reading three or four words of someone’s statement, they’re ready to declare war on the message purveyor.
One fellow wrote a response editorial saying that he’d like to take me fishing. It was a veiled threat. I chuckled at that remark as well. I’m sure I did more fishing back then than this guy ever did. I should’ve been taking him.
I had no problem with working-class-residents of Homer. I did though with the hippy generation moving there, and to other Alaska locales, with no intention of ever seeking jobs. There were two groups of hippies back then. A good majority were in it for the “fad” effect. They dressed the part but also held down jobs or were retired. Lifers, as I like to call them are another story.
Lifers like to use the word “hippy” in describing themselves, believing that civilization is more acceptable to this label. The politically incorrect definition for a lifer hippy is bum.
A lifer hippy never intended to work, and is perfectly happy being unemployed. They have no problem letting you and me pay for their lifestyle. In the late 1960’s and 1970’s, lifer hippies were everywhere in Alaska. I’m sure they still exist.
These human locusts claimed they were living off the land, but in reality were existing off the government tit. Songs were popular in the 1970’s praising such. We have a new generation of these people. They’re called entitlement freaks by one of my friends.
I hear someone’s doing a documentary on hippies coming to the Kenai Peninsula during the 60’s and 70’s. It should be interesting and I wish him the best. As long as the guy doesn’t bring to light anything negative he’ll be okay. I’ll definitely want to see the finished project.
In the 1970’s, I had moderate long hair and was erroneously called a hippy. This was generally by my parent’s friends, plus out of state relatives. They were well off the mark! On my numerous camping trips to Homer and Seward, the local hippy crowd thought I was one of them. Never a pot smoker, I didn’t fit in and never wanted to. Life was good being an ordinary, average, kind of guy.
I could go on and on yet believe I’ve made my point. I’m sure some working class Homerite will come out of the woodwork, saying I’m talking negatively about them. It’ll probably be that lady I hung up on. Call me whatever you like mam, but please don’t ask me to go fishing.
My freezer is full!