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Laguna Beach in the 1970s
Orange County Public Libraries
Gilliom, Jon
Zach, Alicia
Avalos, Alexander
Alonso, Victoria
Alonso, Victoria
Farmer, Joyce, 1938-
Date Created and/or Issued
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OC Public Libraries
California Revealed from Orange County Public Libraries
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Joyce Farmer discusses Laguna Beach's origins as an art community and it's attraction as a celebrity retreat and its appeal to the counter culture in the 1970s.
In 1971 and 72, Laguna Beach was chock full of hippies. Nobody was wearing bras except people who had to go out to court dates [laughs] and, you know, had important jobs somewhere then the ladies would have to put on their bras, but other than that we all went braless and I think a number of people would come to town to watch us walk by, both front and back; I mean, who knows? It was a very freewheeling town back then. So, it was fun. I think it was an art community from the beginning, you know, from the 1800s artists seemed to move here and it's pretty. If you've ever looked at the old paintings they did around the last century, gorgeous work. It became counter-culture I guess by accident. I think that people who didn't want to lead straight and narrow lives, and I put the emphasis on “straight” and on “narrow”, came to Laguna to be away from it. But the town was just full of artists and people who didn't want to conform and so it attracted more people who didn't want to conform until the money started rolling-in, in the mid eighties and beyond. I don't know exactly the way to say that, but back in the seventies, Laguna was just an ordinary town except it was very pretty and it was on the beach and some of us really enjoyed it. The people who wanted access to their jobs in Los Angeles, they would move to Huntington Beach and maybe Newport Beach but that was far enough to drive. The freeways didn't come in until 1968. I think that was the first time the San Diego Freeway went by here, and until 1968, to go to Los Angeles you had to drive up the Coast Highway to Beach and take Beach in or do some other - go to Santa Ana Freeway - I don't know how to get to it, somehow to get to these freeways and so Laguna was isolated. The reason there was so many movie stars in Laguna Beach was because they - coming to Laguna made them separated from their lives in Hollywood and so they could have their own little life here with their own friends and do what they wanted pretty much and they partied a lot as I understand it. Yeah, they had their freedom here and they liked it. And this would attract other people. As soon as you have movie stars next door to you, you get - you know, you get a lot more people moving in. The population expanded, there was talk there were poor people here in town and they were living in caves or they were doing things - there were a bunch of caves around here and at one point they were talking about dynamiting the caves because of the poor people that were using the caves without bathrooms. Does that sound familiar? Yes, it does because poor people in Laguna don't exactly have easy bathroom access to wash themselves up and da-da-da-da and [laughs] I've been here a long time and history does repeat itself, it's just slightly different each time it repeats itself. It's not on a circle, it's on a spiral.
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Laguna Beach (Calif.)
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Laguna Beach (Calif.)
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Orange County Public Libraries
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