THE HISTORY OF NEW AGE GAINESVILLE
By 2009, I was aware that the so-called New Age movement in Gainesville, Florida, had survived its embryonic beginnings. As far back as I could uncover in my chosen hometown, the first verifiable seeds of change were planted here in the mid-1960s. By 2009 the movement was finally old enough to write its history.
A writer since childhood, I welcomed the idea of blogging for the first time, and the history of the New Age in Gainesville was something I had lived through. It was a labor of love. Although the blog also still exists in its original online location, my constant involvement in that fascinating time on the cusp of social change makes it part of my history and merits its inclusion here. In time it will be a large chapter in a larger work with a working title called "Memories."
The following blog is included in its entirety, a superabundance of many local names and places that may be memorable to people who were here at the time. If you weren't in Gainesville during the '70s and '80s, they will just be a snapshot in time of a city that is the home of the Gators, University of Florida's football team. And yes, we do have real gators here, too.
This consciousness revolution was being birthed all over the planet at the same time, possibly where you spent those years as well, if you were alive then. We just didn't have online social networks, or even cell phones for that matter, to help us realize we were not alone as we experimented with this new paradigm. Some of us watched from afar as we morphed from who we thought we were to who we would become. Love and Peace were in the air and it was contagious!
Joel Friedman, an amazing physician who lived here during those heydays, once said to me, "Everything we do, we do for ourselves." It made no sense to me then. From the current perspective of an 80-year-old, former hippie-wanna-be, it sounds plausible. I can embrace the illusion that someday the history of the new age movement could be part of my memoirs. I could do it for my children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Or I might tell myself that my daughter Kimberli appealed to the writer in me and I wouldn't want to disappoint her. While those reasons are also true, I now believe "Everything we do, we do for ourselves." As I review my life, I ask myself the eternal questions. Did I do good? Was I happy? Did I learn to love unconditionally? What's it all about, Alfie? Thanks, Joel, wherever you are.
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Thanks to artist Richard Greenwood for the above drawing for
the cover of the 1983 Premiere Issue of New Age gainesville.
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