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12/03/2010

Righteous Revival: A couple’s Philly “Phlashback”

Every week we’ve been featuring a story from the First Person Museum Online Gallery on the First Person Blog. This week we’re serving up a double feature – two stories submitted by husband and wife, Jim and Caroline from Bethesda, MD. Our Marketing Coordinator, Karina Kacala, met Jim at Pecha Kucha, when she presented about the First Person Museum this past August in West Philly at Studio 34: Yoga | Healing | Arts.

Read what these self-proclaimed “counterculturalists” have to say about their groovy days browsing hippie bazaars and protesting war in the 60’s. Jim has empirical evidence for reincarnation in his featured story about a righteous revival of a hippie shirt. You’ll never guess who else was inspired by this Indian cotton block-print paisley pattern! Caroline had a Philadelphia “Phlashback” that uncovered a new iconic cyber identity. Now she’s making a second online appearance in the First Person Museum Online Gallery. Can you dig it? Check out their stories below.

Reincarnation of a Sansom Street Hippy Shirt
Jim, Bethesda, MD
Theme: Generation to Generation
Object Type: From Long Ago
My wife Caroline and I married in June 1968 while students at Antioch College, a work-study school in Ohio. In the fall of that year she interned at the Eastern Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute in North Philadelphia, I at the Board of Education, at that time on Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Our apartment was on Walnut Street near 20th Street, off Rittenhouse Square and across from the War Resisters’ League.

Proper counterculturalists, on weekends we would browse the hippie bazaar that was Sansom Street. I bought my favorite shirt there, made from Indian cotton in a block-print paisley bedspread pattern, dark red on a tea-stain tan. This soft, incense-redolent, sacred garment had long gone missing. That is, until some 40 years later when I bought it again—-new, two sizes bigger, and now made by Ralph Lauren.

Read Jim’s official entry.

Philadelphia Photo Phlashback
Caroline, Bethsda, MD
Theme: Generation to Generation
Object Type: From Long Ago
In 1967 I was an Antioch College cooperative education intern in Philadelphia, working as a pediatric “play lady” at Hahnemann Hospital and living on Spruce Street near 12th Street. It was the time of the Summer of Love and the Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” a time of naiveté, dreams, and danger.

Earlier this year, while searching the Internet for images of the Sixties to show our two sons, my husband Jim found a picture of what he swore was my doppelganger. No, this (anonymous) photo was of me and my roommate at a 1967 antiwar protest (I’m holding the sign) in Philadelphia. For over 40 years, it seems, I—a mild-mannered book editor— have had a secret cyberlife as a peacenik hippie icon. On Google Images, search “hippies protesting,” and there I am.

Read Caroline’s original entry.

YOU can be part of the First Person Museum. Upload your story about an object you treasure today along with an image of you, the object, and even video to our Online Gallery.

Join us tonight, Friday, December 3rd from 5-7PM for the December First Friday Reception of the First Person Museum pilot exhibit at the Painted Bride Art Center (230 Vine St.). Come tour the exhibit, enjoy FREE beer and food, and meet other Museum Contributors. Click here for more information and to R.S.V.P for the event.

-Becca Jennings

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