A Comment

By Ed Brooks

It has been a lingering issue with me that the subject is too narrow. As you know, I am very much into Santa Cruz and all things Santa Cruz. I think this is the reason I don’t like limiting the topic to “Hip” Santa Cruz.

I think Santa Cruz is much bigger than Hip Santa Cruz, and was during the period assigned to “Hip”.

Discussing “Hip” in that period as though it somehow took over Santa Cruz assumes a fact that never happened. Hip in Santa Cruz was an important fact, granted, a big fact, a fact that was and is seen on the streets of Santa Cruz from then to know, but not a fact that changed Santa Cruz to the core. That would be too easy and wouldn’t be true.

The preconditions were there before Hip arrived, other forms of Bohemianism, other cultures not-Bohemian–(surfers for an example)–if you like, were already there, there was naturally some interactions with Hip, but what came before stayed after–by definition–since the Hip period is limited.

I admit that my prior thoughts put a simple spin on “pre-Hip” Santa Cruz, using the High School as the metaphor for the simple down-home all American uncomplicated small town culture of Santa Cruz before, say, 1959. But I would have to be the first to say that what I said was just the easy thing to say, had a lot of truth in it, but didn’t go to the heart of the issue. Was superficial, in a word. The issue being what Santa Cruz really was–and is–that made it such a rich soil for the Hip episode.

I could go on. But I thought I would just give you my basic input on this point. If there still is interest in describing Hip Santa Cruz I’d be interested in knowing what you or others think about the scope of the subject.

Or perhaps the real question is redefining the scope of the subject.

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