This morning my students were able to participate in a Google Hangout with Fred Mindlin, who is an Oxford educated Anthropologist. My students got an earful this morning about the 1960’s and life on Black Bear Ranch, and it was awesome.
Fred started out by telling us about life at Black Bear Ranch. He lived there for about 10 years. He took us through an average day on the Ranch. He talked about some of the issues that the Ranch faced such as a strong feminist movement which changed the culture of the ranch. He shared with us the work, lifestyle, and music of the people who lived on the ranch. He also discussed how propane and hydroelectricity changed the Ranch by them not having to rely on candle light to see at night.
We also looked at societal issues such as the hippies in Haight-Ashbury movement in San Fransisco. He was there to study them, and their culture. We also discussed how society dealt with the assassinations of JFK, MLK, and RFK. He shared with us how he fought in the Civil Rights Movement in Oklahoma.
Finally he shared with us how the 1960’s culture looked during his time living in England, and how it was the same, and different from the 1960’s culture here in the United States. Some of the aspects that were different was that England didn’t go through a food revolution where people went to the land to grow organic food. Also, in England it wasn’t as commercialized with the fashion as it was in the United States. An area that is was the same was the idea that people are free to love, and be who they want to.
Overall my students learned quite a bit. They got a perspective of the times based on an eyewitness not out a book. The day started out rocky with students being required to leave for band and orchestra since they have a concert this week, and some students from another school arrived too late to participate. But, the ones who were here the whole time really enjoyed their time with Mr. Mindlin this morning. When the others returned they wanted to share to the others what they learned.