Today, if you walked down the streets of Santa Cruz, California, you might smell burning cannabis in the air or watch a man walk slowly from one end of Main to the beach, or you’ll still see the throwback uniform from the “Summer of Love.” Yet, not that long ago this California town which was a favorite haunt of author Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters tried to stop it all.
Santa Cruz gained fame as the capital of the West Coast counterculture. Just ten years earlier the social currents of this beach town tilted in favor of the older half of the generation gap. There was a booming population of teenagers causing a seismic shift in musical tastes and attitudes. Santa Cruz was hurtled into the national spotlight for its response to this shift for on June 3, 1956, when city leaders in Santa Cruz announced a total ban on rock and roll at public gatherings, calling the music “Detrimental to both the health and morals of our youth and community.” Take that you rockers?
Maybe culture has been fractured or perhaps it has been unleashed. One thing stands out – the ideal of expressing yourself in meaningful ways and grasping for your individualized identity has great merit. Even Paul captured this when he wrote, “Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers; then deeds of power, then gifts of healing, forms of assistance, forms of leadership, various kinds of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? But strive for the greater gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way.” (1 Corinthians 12)
Dance to a little rock and roll today – kick up your heals and express yourself.
Vol 4 #52