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Hippie Neon Goat Hawaiian Shirt
Hippie Neon Goat Hawaiian Shirt

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The Mayor is running for re-election Nov. 7. “Look at this,” says Hayes, reaching into a pile of letters. “This lady writes that already one family on her block has moved away because of the hippies. This sort of thing has got to be stopped.” The electorate doesn’t switch administrations during a war, especially when the war is being won: Hayes has charted the way to victory. “If we can get rid of the hip-bo’s, we can dry up the supply of drugs. In that Digger operation on Columbia Street we had a distribution point for the hippies and the local element. If the Diggers are driven out of Cambridge, the hippies and drug-users will also leave.”

But it may not be that simple. The hippie world is an intricate underground of friendship and empathy. In recent raids, Hayes has personally seized a large stack of letters and diaries containing the names of suppliers and hippies all over the country. “It’s like this,” explains Palladin, lost in admiration for his own words. “Like I want to organize something. I put on some groovy clothes, go out on the street, and tell the first freaky looking person I see. In the next hour he tells four other freaky looking people, and they all have four friends. And then I call up Pinkie, from the Disciples. He puts on his leathers and motorcycles into the South End. And he tells everybody. Me, I go up to the Shakes (a Boston hangout) and tell all those freaky people. And when the thing is supposed to happen, hundreds of people show up.”

There are infinite gradations on the hippie scale–from the down-and-out hip-bo to the Harvard student in flowered shirt to the young executive who likes to turn on. The Mayor finds it convenient to maintain that the hip-bo’s are the sine qua non of the hippie movement. But in the treacly web of hippie contact and connection, everyone has communication with everyone and strict dependence on no one.

In the next few weeks, hip-bo’s will be hunted mercilessly. On October 16 the City police will begin to enforce vagrancy laws: anyone who cannot provide evidence of his means of support will have to move out of the City, pay a fine, or serve a jail term. A source close to the Mayor reports that the police will stop anyone with a beard, moustache, or long hair. Apparently, the Mayor is taking pains not to involve the University in his war–a bursar’s card will be sufficient evidence of not being a vagrant. But there are Harvard students living in all of the City’s Hippie Rows. “So far,” says the Mayor, “I’ve been decent to Harvard. We’re keeping Harvard out of it. But you’d be surprised what I can do.”

There are limits. Last Sunday morning the Mayor appeared on television to gloat over what hippies are calling “the Great Bust.” A few hours later, unperturbed hippies were smoking grass on the Cambridge Common. “Smoking marijuana?” challenged the Mayor last week, taking a quick sip from his frappe. “Have you got proof? Our men say it was mostly tea leaves.” Anyway, he added, “A raid there would have been a bust”–he means a failure–“because the hip-bo’s left when they saw the police around. The hip-bo’s are the ones we’re after.”

A more crucial setback has been the reaction of the Cambridge real estate community. In his first statement Hayes called on landlords and rental agencies to refuse to rent to hippies.

So far, the landlords are not impressed. “Hayes is a schmuck,” says one young real estate owner who rents to hippies. “This is a Nazi-like gesture. If a guy has money and references, he gets the place. It doesn’t matter whether he has a beard or not.” Echoes a property manager for one large firm, “I understand there’s a law against discrimination. I wouldn’t want to break the law.”

But pressures stronger than exhortation may work. Health and housing inspectors have only to apply the housing code standards on square footage per person or the stricture against more than five unrelated people in one apartment.

Minues after the Great Bust, a middle-aged woman bystander saw a policeman write down an address and hand it to an inspector. “It’s a hippie apartment,” he said. “Go over and inspect it.” Zealous inspectors have little trouble finding fault with the slum apartments which hippies inhabit–as with a lot of other apartments in Cambridge, for that matter. The inspectors can evict the tenants only if there is danger to life and safety; but landlords must correct violations once the inspector arrives. Says Hayes, “I’ve warned the landlords that if they do rent to hippies, they’ll be in for all sorts of problems.”

“We are trying to get rid of one group,” says the Mayor flatly. “But we’re going to be very careful. We’re not going to be open to the legal charge that we are discriminating against one group.”

Palladin disagress, for what it’s worth. His commune is boarded up; his poetry has been confiscated; he has been busted. “So it was overcrowded,” shrugs Palladin. “So we turned on. That doesn’t affect Hayes–unless he wants to move in.”

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Hippie Neon Goat Hawaiian Shirt
Hippie Neon Goat Hawaiian Shirt

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