I sometimes miss the wildness of the street. Every street corner there were many people hanging out. Most were friendly and handing out flowers. Most eventually grew up and went on with there lives.
1968–69: Manson Family crimes Main article: Manson Family
In the late 1960s, Manson attracted a quasi-communal cult based in California that was later dubbed the “Manson Family”. The group gained national notoriety after the murder of actress Sharon Tate plus four others in her home on August 9, 1969, and LaBianca murders the next day. The Tate–LaBianca Murders were executed by Tex Watson and three other members of the Family, acting under the specific instructions of Manson. Family members were also responsible for a number of other assaults, thefts, crimes, and the attempted assassination of United States President Gerald Ford in Sacramento. 1971–present: third imprisonment
rowing up in the San Fernando Valley during the 1960s was wild. All the corner streets were filled with hitchhiking youths. Carrying incense and their innocence. Topanga Canyon was a way to the beach. They moved towards the Pacific Coast Highway.
As a kid I would walk down to Gary’s Market on the corner of Dumetz and Topanga Canyon. My friends and I bought penny candies. We also got bakery goods. We would sit and eat. We sugar gazed at the craziness.
Now I often take a drive to Box Canyon. That place where the Manson Family once lived. I love writing about this place and that time. It seems to be a place that has not been touched by time. It still feels and smells like the late 60s and early 70s.
As kids we walked or rode our bikes there. Not as many cars made the ride or walk easy. There were trees to climb and plenty of friends. We felt safe. Gone for hours at a time! Funny my parents never seemed to worry about us.
It was not until after the Manson trial that I learned to fear the wild places of my youth. Yet smoking pot would always highlight this paranoia.
Charles Manson is dead or is dying. The creepy crawl is not over though. Today I will take a drive-up and down Box Canyon. With freedom there is always danger lurking about. Those corner streets filled with hippies were not so innocent as I thought they were. As I once was. Maybe darkness gazed at us, unaware to us, back then as we ate our penny candies.