Wednesday, June 24, 2009

More Hippie Etymology, Part II

While looking on Google News, I found this 1964 article from the Time magazine online archive that I believe is the first Time magazine article to use the word "hippies." The use of "hippies" in 1964 is interesting on its own, but it's not as interesting as the story in the article. It describes a young man named William G. Alpert who testified in the trial of 19-year-old Michael Smith for negligent homicide for killing Nancy Hitchings in a car accident in suburban Darien, Connecticut. According to the article,
He himself did not drink, said Alpert, airily explaining: "I have no need to dull my senses."

Not with alcohol. Last week Alpert was arrested for the possession of narcotics. When Norwalk police stopped his blue 1958 Volkswagen, they found 1½ oz. of marijuana hidden where the batteries should be in a 3-in. flashlight in the glove compartment. And in his pocket was a tin tobacco box containing several marijuana cigarettes.

Alpert, according to the police, admitted that he had been using marijuana for about a year, and that he also kept his senses spinning by sniffing model-airplane glue and eating "goofballs" (barbiturates) and hallucinogenic peyote.

In the article, Alpert is described as part of "a fast set of hard-shell hippies ... who seem utterly glamorous to more sheltered types."

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