From the Introduction by Edward Sanders
“Keltz has an eye for detail. Her honesty reinforces her arguments that the commune movement has something to say in 2000 and beyond. She does not shy away from the flaws, the weaknesses, and the down times of the communes just as she does not neglect the thrills, the fun, the dancing, the highs, the eros, the communal physical work and the spirit of sharing she rightly urges us to celebrate.
“The pathway to a Better World requires a lot of study, and this living book can be one of the courses.”
“This is a clear and dedicated account of how we lived and who we were, written with an alert eye and a big open-hearted, humorous voice. Keltz leads us deep into a particular American landscape with beautiful prose that makes us want to follow her.”-Natalie Goldberg
The ’60s-the music, the clothes, political and sexual idealism-were a watershed in the way America sees itself. Hippie culture was at the very zenith of that watershed, and Taos was its beating heart, a Mecca which beckoned young pilgrims from all over the country. Iris Keltz was one of the pilgrims who went to Taos in the 60s. She stayed to become a folk historian of the tribe. She began writing her stories down and transcribing the stories of her friends, and slowly the book was born.
Iris’ book has the old-time vibes of a family scrapbook, a marvelous collection of stories and oral histories from the people who lived in the communes that flourished in Taos-Morningstar, New Buffalo, Lama, Reality Construction Company, and others. Now, decades later, they talk openly about communal life, about making adobes and growing gardens, about natural childbirth and raising children, about New Age mysticism and the Native American Church, about money and food stamps, about regret and what’s been learned.
Scrapbook of a Taos Hippie is full of wonderful then-and-now photographs with up-to-date biographies, newspaper articles and other memorabilia that give the reader a true sense of the passionate life of hipies during the great flowering of communes in New Mexico.