The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on January 3, 1986 · Page 22
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 22

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Friday, January 3, 1986
Page 22
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The Salina Journal Friday, January 3,1986 Page N6 '60s hippies part of '80s middle class BOSTON (AP) — Fifteen years ago they talked grandiloquently about burning down the world and scattering the ashes. They tripped out on LSD. They hated limits and rejected the system and their parents. But they loved each other and loved their music without end. So 30 of them settled in Boston's Roxbury section, in a row of squalid, abandoned Victorian houses near the top of Fort Avenue. It was a hippie commune complete with bluegrass and the blues, drugs and astrology. The people who settled at the top of Insurance — Insurance SALINA I _ WORKS! \405E,lronAve,*827'7233 Agents: * •Dick Anderson • Allen McDonald •Lynn Nelson •Scott Morris • V. Murl Richmond •Dennis E. Poer.c.p.c.u. •Martha Robertson •LE. Shottenkirk •Loran Slaughter •John L. Wood Insurance — Insurance Fort Avenue remain together today, but now neither poor nor revolutionary. They have all the trappings, values and problems of a traditional middle- class family, except that they are happily ensconced in a time warp that keeps their hearts in another decade. Now, for the first time since a magazine article described them as a dangerous cult that worshiped a self- proclaimed Messiah, they have decided to explain themselves to the outside world. To celebrate their years together, they offered a self-portrait in a magazine called U and I which, among more mundane material, contains philosophical talk about peace and destiny. They're prepared to let skeptics scoff. "Sometimes we say we are a different race," says Eve Lyman, who joined the group 15 years ago when she was 18 and was married to the founder of the family, Mel Lyman. ' 'We know we are full of paradoxes. We are traditional, but we still want to change the world. We are the world in a microcosm, but we are totally apart." They are parents now, who scold and adore the children that seem to be everywhere around them. They are business people, who run a lucrative home renovation company and invest a fortune left one member by her father, painter Thomas Hart Benton. The family members, strikingly attractive, have replaced the tattered denim look and potluck meals with a life of fine clothes, gourmet food and travel. They say they have given up hard drugs, and only occasionally light up some marijuana. The group has grown to 72 adults and 39 children. All spend much of their time in comfortable homes in Boston, New York, Los Angeles, at a 280-acre farm in Kansas and a vacation retreat on Martha's Vineyard, while frequently gravitating back to Roxbury for a stay. Affluence has done little to break nomadic habits. One recent evening, six of the group's original members sat in the richly decorated living room of one of their six renovated homes on the hill to talk about the commune's history. The setting sun cast shadows through French lace curtains on elegant antique Victorian furniture. A Woody Guthrie record played. "In the '60s, the whole world was involved in a revolution. The birth of a new world seemed possible," recalls George Peper, 39, the son of a well-to-do Connecticut family, who helped found the community in 1969. "Our life is a continuation of that spirit. We think that you can affect the world by the way you live." "We have not given up the goals and visions that we had once," Mrs. Lyman adds. "It's that we realized it takes a lifetime to achieve them." In May, the group published U and I, a collection of conversations, poems, letters and photographs. It contains no advertising or solicitations; the group says it is not interested in recruiting new members. "Pretend that we are strangers on a train together, you and I — traveling somewhere that we have never been before. Let's not introduce ourselves or ask all the usual questions," the magazine says on its first page. "Let us ask difficult questions and give honest answers. Who knows what we will find on this unchartered voyage." Jessie Benton, the artist's daughter, who has been with the community since its early days, said the magazine was started to give the group "definition" after years of isolation. "It was scary to open ourselves up to the world," adds Mrs. Lyman. Mel Lyman, a man who seemed to rattle everyone he met, was caught up in hallucinogenic drugs. He was a notorious figure at '60s meeting grounds from San Francisco's Haight Ashbury to Harvard Square in Cambridge. He started Avatar, an underground newspaper that once won a court battle in defense of its persistent use of obscenity. "I am going to reduce everything that stands to rubble. And then I am going to burn the rubble. And then I am going to scatter the ashes. And then maybe someone will be able to see something as it really is," Lyman wrote in one issue. He occasionally portrayed himself as a humble blues harp player, but more often claimed to be God or the Messiah. "He was a life force. He drew Make your choice from our display counter of daily fresh cut meats. WINTER SPECIALS T-Bone Steaks $ (Fr««h t wall trimmed) K.C. Strips Ground Beef... —Weekly $ 1 Special Lb. Lb. Lb. 1 Vt Ibs. Round Bone Steak 3 Ibs. Chuck Roast 3Ibs, Fryer 1% Ibs. Pork Steak 2 Ibs. Ground Beef 1tt Ibs. Minute Steak 12% Ibs. for plus tax 215 W. Kirwin 827-1311 people to him," Peper said. "He said he was God so people would question him and their own thoughts." In 1969, Lyman and his most devoted followers moved to fcoxbury. There were reports that they sold drugs to get by, but members say they survived by working as carpenters and playing their music in the streets. When they weren't working, the group experimented with drugs, made movies about themselves and recorded their music in a sound studio in one house. Two years later, Rolling Stone magazine profiled the "Hill People" in a critical two-part story. The piece depicted Lyman as a deranged cult leader, and reported that a photograph of Charles Manson decorated the children's playroom. It claimed that Lyman filmed and recorded his followers on LSD trips, forbade members from leaving the "family," and confined errant followers in the "vault," a wtndowless basement room. The group denies the story in its entirety. "It was a fabrication," Peper said. "There were no pictures of Manson." Group members say Lyman died in 1978, but refuse to discuss the cause of death. They deny rumors that See Hippies, Page N7) Create A New Look For Your Home! Room Analysis Only S 25 during the month of January (Applicable toward purchase - no purchase required) Let us professionally analyze your room and suggest proper use of color, furniture arrangement, picture groupings, accessories, wall and floorcoverings. Satisfaction Guaranteed Stop In Or Phone For An Appointment: 827-1164 Gail Jones • Interior Designer W.S.U. Design Graduate - Over 16 yrs. Experience Same location as Wiley's Stained Glass 15O3 South 9th Open Evenings By Appointment ALL LADIES 9 WINTER SHOES & BOOTS 14 PRICE "Mid Stole Mttt'i Only LMdlef Shot Specialty Stop" While Supply Lasts! No Layaways— Refunds or Exchanges Please! RENT TO BUY SALINA ADULT EDUCATION SALINA UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT 305 SALINA AREA VO-TECH SCHOOL SPRING TERM ENROLLMENT 1986 CLASSES START WEEK OF JANUARY 20, 1986 PERSONS ELIGIBLE FOR ENROLLMENT — Adult Education classes are open for enrollment to any person sixteen years of age or older, except as special restrictions apply. Regularly enrolled high school students may make application to enroll in some of the non-high school credit adutt classes. Certain vocational courses, because of state laws, are limited to enrollment of persons who are out of high school. Courses other than listed may be offered if sufficient interest is shown. WHEN TO ENROLL - You may enroll by calling 825-2261 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. through January 20, except in the case of classes which start earlier! FEE PAYMENT — Fees are payable at the first meeting of the class. REFUNDS — Refunds of fees will be granted only if requested before the third meeting of a class. When a class is discontinued because of insufficient registration, the fee will be refunded. Your enrollment during the registration period is most essential in order for us to be able to determine the classes which will be scheduled. Your failure to sign up may cause the class you want to be cancelled. TOOLS AND TEXTBOOKS - These will be furnished by the student in the vocational and business courses. A MINIMUM OF TEN STUDENTS PER CLASS WILL BE REQUIRED Silma Area V oca t tonal Technical School believes in llw pnncijjle and practice of equal employment opportunity and equal oppof- of handicap, race, creed, color, religion, national Origin, ancestry, set or any other mtutorily prohibited bab& Inquire! regarding tunny in the administration and admissions 10 the educational programs of the Oisatnct. Furthermore, the Salirva Area Vocational compliance with »ny non-discriminatory practice* may be ducted to lh« Director of Personnel at P 0 Bo> 606 Saline Kansdj Technical School intends to comply with the letter and spoil of Fttderal. S late and local laws prohibiting discrimination on ttw basis 67402, telephone 913/B2frQ28l or to the Regional Office for Civil Rights, 324 Efltt 11th Stroet. Kansas City Missouri 64106 Tiau H«Uii DraHif • Tt C.U). • JUI.C.RO. 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SII.OO II IUH AUi B.H UTKt StkMl 10 Null AUi Dcfl. l»TlckjckMl__ 21 IUH tiw lipt. ll-TKk SckMl •Elk SckMl tllinitiii SELF-IMPROVEMENT: __ '•UilHuk Uiciliu "Mill luic "Mull luic Uiciliu "Mill luic ••C CD. pi Slilili "CED Fi Sutiu SliiUi Sl.tin ___ Driuil Uiciliu (AH II II lull JU • * High School Alternative Program is an on-going program for individuals between tne ages ot lt>-^u. The program offers the opportunity for the student to prepare for the G.E.D. examination (high school equivalence) by classes and individual instruction. / *" Enroll anytime. Please call for appointment. " ' •'Computer Courses ollered requires no prior knowledge or Training on Computers. Salina Central High School Crawford & Front Enter from South parking lot Salina Vo Tech School 2562 Scanlan Avenue 8252261 Little House Memorial Hall 825-8402

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