Where hippies still live


YESTERDAY ON the main plaza downtown, I noticed this old gent. He looks like a Gringo, not a Mexican, but I cannot be sure.

I’m guessing he took the wrong exit out of Woodstock in 1969 and ended up South of the Border when he intended to head toward Haight-Ashbury.

That strange Americans, sometimes on the lam but usually not, have long moved to Mexico is a fact. But many more normal folks are now retiring here because it’s cheaper, and because they think Mexicans are sooo nice. Earlier on, many came down to escape their lives north of the border. That was certainly my story. Escape.

Speaking of hippies, fellow retired newspaperman and blogger Al Lanier recently said there are no hippies in San Miguel de Allende near where he lives. I burst out laughing because there certainly are, thousands of them.

I’d wager that 90 percent of the mess of Gringos who move to San Miguel were stoned and swaying during 1967’s Summer of Love. Probably the fellow in the photo was there too. But San Miguel’s former hippies are now simply far older and wealthier.

* * * *

When I arrived home yesterday afternoon, I noticed this view, the colors and light mostly but the bougainvillea too. This is one of my three bougainvilleas that know their places. My sole monster bougainvillea will join them soon in size and good breeding.

But mostly, I just like the late-afternoon colors. The name of the paint color on that wall is Hacienda Red. Really. But any nincompoop can see it’s orange.

I subject this plant to stern discipline.

23 thoughts on “Where hippies still live

  1. Felipe: There is a big difference between hippies and wannabes. Wannabes have a ponytail now because they were afraid to let their hair grow when they were young, or maybe mommy and daddy wouldn’t let them. Rebels drawing a pension, woohoo! My favourite is bald with a ponytail. If I grew one it would be a reverse ponytail, so that it was in the front. Even dumber is the man bun. If you don’t want your hair getting in the way, cut it off.

    Your subject in the photo has a nice peace symbol. Haven’t seen one of those in a while.


  2. I’m sorry and this post probably won’t survive moderation but why all the criticism and negativity towards this person in the foto? Does anyone here know him? Anyone here know him as a person? Does he contribute anything positive to society or not? How is he bothering anyone? This is the type of blind intolerance, it seems, that contributes to the huge divisiveness in today’s world.


    1. Gerard: I don’t see any criticism or negativity about the old gent. That he is an old-style hippie is beyond discussion. Clearly, he is, and I am sure he wears it proudly. That he is cultivating a look is crystal clear, and it’s a look that brings many stereotypes to mind. It’s those stereotypes that readily inspire humor, and I’m a humorous fellow. Personally, I imagine he’s a perfectly nice guy. Bet he’s quite mellow too.


    2. Gerard, P.S.: Your reaction plus the fact that you’re a dedicated lefty who’s lived in Mexico quite a long time makes me think you’re an old-school hippie too. Send us a photo! Inquiring minds and all that. It would be fun. I hope you’ve not modernized and switched to a man bun. That would be dreadful, unforgivable.


      1. There’s no mechanism for posting pics here so unfortunately for you and your fans, you won’t be able to see what a handsome, suave and debonair caballero yous truly is. Men draw their women closer to them as I pass, dogs wag their tails, single women swoon and otherwise straight men start doubting their sexuality. I sometimes wonder if it is a gift or a curse!


        1. Gerard: Actually, one can post photos here, but it’s sort of complicated. As for your self-description, I’m doubtful. I suspect you’re sporting a Jimi Hendrix T-shirt, and you’ve got posters on the wall nearby, one of Janis Joplin, the other of Karl Marx. Your hair is likely flying in all directions, and your beard is sweeping the keyboard.


          1. Ha! The only pictures on the walls of my office are those of family and a few others and photographs taken during our many trips. Most are of my three hijos, a lawyer, a business major with a Master’s from a top European school and a civil engineer. All graduates of some of the top Mexican universities. All paid for by this hard-working, card-carrying Marxist!

            My attire consists of tasteful shirts and chinos my lovely wife provides for me. My beard is neatly trimmed a la Sr. Zapata and I wore out my copy (the import) of Hendrix’ Electric Ladyland during my year in SE Asia.

            And in keeping with your new, restrictive posting rules, that will be the last post on this topic.


  3. If you are looking for old hippies, look in prison. They are there, all being fed, doctored and taken care of by “da man.”
    I am a firm believer in if you have hair, enjoy it. There is an Afro-Mexican in the neighborhood that has a ton of hair. But it is in another form every time I see him. Sometimes I think he will wear it out. What a mop.

    I used to ride the bus with a lady who had a couple of twins. Yes, four of them. She would crochet their hair into cornrows on the bus. It amazed me. I am afraid your hair angst is being taken out on that poor bougainvillea. First, the nopal, then the poor pear tree, then the lawn. Where will it all end?


    1. Señor Gill: I don’t see a connection between hair and the bougainvillea. The one bougainvillea causing me angst is due to the tons of trash it tosses out.

      Where will it all end? I would love it to end with the removal of the loquat tree that was on the property when we bought it. After the bougainvillea is brought under control, the loquat will be the only trash generator left in the yard. Alas, my wife loves that loquat. Of course, she also loved the peach and the pear. The nopal, not so much.


  4. A garden is somewhat like the prison. We are entrusted with the care and maintenance of old hippies and plants. We feed them, doctor them and sometimes execute them. I will pray for the bougainvillea.

    Your bloodlust has no end.

    The Indian fellow that took care of my lawn and trees fell from a tree in someone else’s yard. He no longer does that kind of work. He lit out for New York City. Now, I also am faced with some hard choices.


  5. I always wanted to have an orchard. Now I have all sorts of citrus and apricots. Sadly, I became a diabetic, so now I cannot eat the fruit. I give it away.
    I also have fruit trees at my summer place up on the rim. I have owned the property since 1992, but haven’t seen any fruit yet. There are warm spells and the trees bloom, and then there will be a hard frost and it is all over. If there ever would be fruit, it would draw bears in. Such is life.


  6. Maestro: Don’t want to alarm you, but seriously, I think I’ve seen this guy in San Miguel. Maybe he’s vacationing, maybe he’s moved out there to torment you for being so miserable to hippies.


    1. Señor Lanier: What on earth makes you think I am miserable to hippies? I am not. I am a live-and-let-live sort of feller. As for the hirsute gentleman in question, I think he would fit in more in SMA than here on my mountaintop. He’s not a regular here, so maybe it is the same guy you’ve seen in your neck of the woods.


    1. Peggy: Well, that’s an interesting option. However, you’re assuming he possesses artistic talents. What if he does not? And where can I get in touch with him? I have no idea. Also, the fence will not be blank. It will be orange with Lord Knows how many stains left by the monster bougainvillea. There are many elements to ponder in this difficult situation.


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