In many ways, I was a lucky kid.
I grew up in a quaint, artsy community called Sea Cliff, which, as the name suggests, sits on a beautiful stretch of Long Island Sound, 40 minutes east of Manhattan. Contrary to the suburban stereotype –carbon-copy houses, strings of strip malls and Fedora-clad dads with apron-clad wives –Sea Cliff was filled with multi-colored gingerbread houses, pottery studios, patchouli soap makers and funky antique shops. In the late Sixties and early Seventies, my hometown was a haven for artists, musicians and hippies.
And Lord how I worshiped the hippies. I longed to be one of those groovy girls with bell bottoms and beaded choker necklaces. I could so easily imagine myself as a peacenik chick. It was all too cool–the Birkenstocks, purple Paisley shirts, acoustic guitars, and the music, oh God almighty the music! The Beatles, Dylan, Aretha, the Grateful Dead, and my goddess to this day, Joni Mitchell.
I was all set to roll up for the magical mystery tour. Woodstock, count me in, man. Give me some free love, freedom marches and feminist manifestos and I’ll be in freakin’ heaven.
But there was a little problem. I was little, as in little kid. Born in 1961, the heady, hippie era was passing me by. I was too young to wear a bra let alone burn one.