There are so many comings and goings these days that I can't keep anything straight. I will just share one end point of an internet thread I pulled ("surfing" sounds too pointless, less tangible).
Emile has loved something I picked up for a dollar outside the bookstore, a hardcover called The Sunshine Family and the Pony, written and illustrated by Sharron Loree, published in 1972 by the Seabury Press, New York. The images are a
simple black and white style, accompanied by minimal written
storytelling, recounting the experience of moving into a commune and
acquiring a pony for the children.
Sharron Loree, born in 1938, was on the vanguard of the 60s revolutionary guard for women. Many of her paintings reflect her complex understanding of the differing family roles, particularly when both the woman and the man are painters.
Loree is mentioned as the person who helped writer Valerie Paradiz diagnose her son's autism in a book about the subject. Loree herself had been diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome.
here is one of her books at Lulu.com.
So why am I so interested? Aside from a sweet and peculiar overlap that this woman has with painter Joan Mitchell, I am generally fascinated by the why's of the hippie era, particularly surrounding children. I am, in many ways, a hippie parent myself, and yet I abhor the selfishness that I perceived in my parents' generation. A child born in the 70s to free thinking young parents, I could not help but be swept into their emotional whirlwinds. They never grew up. Some of Loree's photos from the era capture, to me, the downside for the children, a kind of lonely, the-wolves-may-take-me feeling.
But it wasn't all bad. I see why they wanted community, especially after the soul crushing 50s, particularly for their mothers. I see why they wanted love and freedom, and why they hungered for a more natural world. We ourselves have all but given up that fight, ironically enough because of many of the technological and industrial decisions of our parents.
It was sweet, but it hurt. Maybe it was growth, but it wasn't always healthy. Nor was it always unhealthy. And so I like to eavesdrop and peep back down the tunnel of time, to understand a bit more what they were thinking, and what exactly happened.
Rah! First Copy
1 week ago