Portland in the 1960s: Stories from the Counterculture
Did you know that in 1968, Newsweek wrote a story about the impending threat of twenty thousand hippies descending on Portland—a threat not met until 1970, when 30,000 to 100,000 people attended the Vortex I: A Biodegradable Festival of Life in Estacada, the only state-sponsored rock festival in American history? Or how about how Oregon’s Family of Mystic Arts Commune was featured on a 1969 cover of LIFE magazine. To say nothing of Ken Kesey’s roots here. Which is to say, Portland and Oregon have a lush, multi-hued, patchwork history of counter culture. Join a history pub panel of local counterculture figures from the 1960s, including Willamette Bridge and Portland Scribe editor Michael Wells, Caffe Espresso owner and soon-to-be legendary drag performer Walter Cole (a.k.a. Darcelle), influential artist and early Storefront Theater set designer Henk Pander, and Portland Zoo lead guitarist and vocalist Peter Langston, moderated by Polina Olsen, author of Portland in the 1960s: Stories from the Counterculture. The event will close with musicians from that era playing songs that inspired and were inspired by this technicolor time.