Bellows Falls program to focus on “the hippie invasion”

BELLOWS FALLS, Vt. – The Rockingham Historic Preservation Commission will sponsor a program on “The Counterculture’s Impact on Vermont and Vermont’s Influence on the Counterculture Generation” Saturday, Nov. 2, at noon, at the Rockingham Free Public Library. Author Yvonne Daley will discuss her most recent book, “Going Up the Country: When the Hippies, Dreamers, Freaks and Radicals Moved to Vermont.”

In the late 1960s and ’70s, thousands of young migrants, largely from the cities and suburbs of New York and Massachusetts, turned their backs on the establishment of the 1950s and moved to the back woods, small towns and cities of rural Vermont, spawning a revolution that altered the state’s politics, agriculture, education, business practices, and culture.

While the movement brought hippies, organic farmers, political radicals, and free thinkers to what was then one of the nation’s most conservative states, the newcomers were in turn influenced by longtime residents and their practical lessons in rural living.

The result of this collaboration of cultures remains evident today, making Vermont a state that blends progressive and conservative values and ideas.

Daley, a former journalist with the Rutland Herald and the Boston Globe, is the author of six nonfiction books, including “An Independent Man (with the late Sen. James Jeffords),” “Vermont Writers: A State of Mind,” and “Octavia Boulevard.” She lived for 17 years between San Francisco, where she taught journalism and nonfiction writing at San Francisco State University, and Vermont, where she founded and directs the Green Mountain Writers Conference, now in its 22nd year.

The program is free. Light refreshments will be served. The library is at 65 Westminster St. and is handicapped accessible. For more information, email clg@rockbf.org or go to www.rockbf.org.

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