I turned 21 at Vortex I, having hitchhiked out from Portland. There was a solid line of traffic from about where Clackamas Town Center is now all the way to McIver Park. It was our own Oregon Woodstock except that it was free and there was free food (macrobiotic brown rice and vegetables). My brother and I were also members of the Peoples Army Jamboree, and our apartment was registered "crash pad" as were a lot of other houses in Portland. We were later evicted from that apartment. (Some of my friends said I had "sold out" because I went to Vortex rather than confront the American Legion in the streets, which I had been fully prepared to do until I realized that everybody else in the world was at McIver Park.) My parents owned a farm right on Springwater Highway so everybody had to pass by to and from the park. They were amazed at seeing thousands of hippies in our small farming neighborhood. The festival was amazing! Yes there was skinny dipping, and yes there was pot smoking, but everything was so laid back, and everybody shared everything; there was a medical tent; there were announcements from the stage to "not take the brown acid;" the music was phenomenal - it was the first time I had ever heard Charlie Musselwhite and I've never forgotten it. Out of a host of great ideas that Tom McCall had, Vortex I was one of the best.
posted 3 years, 3 months ago
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