Odors of the Recent PastnEvan Hunter: Love, Dad; CrownnPublishers; New York.nDavid Bradley: The ChaneysvillenIncident; Harper & Row; New York.nby Gary S. VasilashnWh en the late 1960’s and earlyn70’s come to mind, the vision of thenstudent as would-be urban guerrilla,nrock musician, dope smoker, dropout,netc., is in the vanguard; few things innthat period were as colorful. Student,nof course, is a euphemism. Althoughncolleges were in session when theynweren’t being “trashed” by long-haired,nbleary-eyed (too much pot) hordes whonprotested everything from the foodnbeing served in the dining commonsnto the Vietnam War, many of the youngnpeople in the forefront couldn’t possiblynhave attended very many classes, ifnany at all. After all, it takes time tonlearn the words and chords for all thosensongs of protest. To say nothing of thenfact that if a person spends an entirenweekend at a demonstration or an overheatednrock festival on some blightednpiece of real estate in the midst of severalnthousand other people, most ofnwhom are guzzling wine from imitationngoatskins and eating bathtub pharmaceuticals,nthings won’t be too clear onnMonday morning when it’s time fornAmerican Government 101.nSome names and events stand out innthe history of those years: the Summernof Love and the march on the Pentagonn(1967); the 1968 Democratic Conventionnin Chicago; Woodstock, “AnnAquarian Exposition” (1969); KentnState (1970). Marijuana, which policenofficials clued concerned parents smellsnlike burning rope, became an identifyingnsymbol of the hippie movement or flowernchildren or counterculture or freaksnMr. Vasilash is associate editor ofnManufacturing Engineering magazine.nMnChronicles of Culturenor whatever else those people might bencalled. (It had once been identified withnthe Beats of the 50’s, so many halfwittednobservers and commentators ofnthe hippie movement connected JacknKerouac to this new generation. Theirnrationale: he wrote about hitchhiking,njazz and marijuana smoking, and henwas a notorious beatnik, so he must benthe patriarch of the hippies—nevernmind if those of “his” tribe never heardnof On the Road or weren’t clear-eyednenough to make a sustained reading ofnit. In reality, when Kerouac died inn1969, he would have been as likely toninvite a rabid dog into his house as henwould a flower child. But the fabricatednreality is more potent, so Kerouac remainsnanother unjustly maligned author.)nLSD, speed, STP, angel dust,nanimal tranquilizers—these were onnand in everybody’s lips. Rock music,nlike illegal drugs, became big business;nattendance records set by one eventnwere typically smashed by the followingnextravaganza (from which several didn’tnreturn in their right minds and somennot at all, e.g. the Altamont Rock Festival);nevery album had to sell at leastna million copies or it wasn’t any good.n”Free love!” was the cry (VD was thenresult). American hippies reversed thentrend of generations and went East:nair travel to Europe was amazinglyncheap by today’s standards, so off theynwent to Sweden to escape the draft ornto Amsterdam to escape reality withnthe ubiquitous drugs.nWhen history is considered in thisnmanner, it is not unlike a collectionnof photographs taken by a person onnvacation—the now-classic slide showsnor seemingly endless photo albums thatnso many bad jokes have made famous.nThe photographer shoots pictures ofnwhatever is the most colorful. Ephemeralnor underlying beauty is passed over.nNothing less than the spectacular ornsocially important is aimed at. Therenare two approaches in this type of pho­nnntography. In one. Mom, Dad and/or thenkids are front and center; the objectn(the Washington Monument or OldnFaithful) serves as background. In thenother, the object is central, as if thencamera’s viewfinder is the scope on anrifle: the scene will be shot, then stuffednand preserved by the taxidermist at thenFotomat. These photographers take picturesnonly of the types of scenes thatnappear on postcards. There is nothingnparticularly personal about the photos;neven the ones with family members arenonly to prove that they were there.nThere are no subtleties, just scenery.nIf an outsider were to try to constructnanything about another’s vacation fromnthe photographic record, only a barebonenitinerary would result. Therenwould be nothing about the people involved,nno information concerning whynthey went where they did or what happenednto them when they were there.nThe old cliches “Every picture tells anstory” and “A picture is worth a thousandnwords” have, as most saws, only anpartial truth at their bases. The viewernof the pictures wants more information,nwhich is why home slide shows are alwaysnaccompanied by an irrepressiblencommentary and why books of photographsntypically include an introductionnand captions.nX. he photograph is a motif in EvannHunter’s lofe, Dad. Click: here’s Woodstock.nClick: this is what a posh brownstonenin New York City looks like inside.nClick: these are hippies in Amsterdam.nClick… click… click… Hunter’s novelnis vacation-photo history of the laten1960’s and early 70’s: many gaudynscenes and no nuances. It has more inncommon with a reconstructed itinerarynthan with a fully constructed narrative.nAs a writer, Hunter is more than annamateur. Indeed, there are 15 novelsnlisted across from the title page, alongnwith two short-story collections, fournchildren’s books and four screenplays.n