Peace and Love. Flower Power. Feeling groovy.
Mary Anne Wade longs to be in San Francisco, where it’s happening. Young people congregating to protest war, to foster good-will. No confining rules. Freedom. Change. Equality for all.
Instead, she is stuck in Middletown, Minnesota where the only thing that changes is the seasons. The boys still wear their hair short, their shirts tucked in, and are the polite sort—like James Lambart whom her mother keeps hinting she should date. He is nice enough, but dull. B-O-R-I-N-G.
As her senior year progresses, Mary Anne feels more and more restless. Nobody understands her. She is stagnating in the cornfields of the Midwest while, elsewhere, the beat goes on, as Sonny and Cher say. When Mary Anne learns of the Human Be-In to be held in January at Golden Gate Park, she decides to run away to San Francisco.
Upon arrival, she is quickly welcomed by several hippies who invite her to share their pad. But the Haight-Ashbury scene is not all she dreamed it would be. Her savings are quickly borrowed by her roommates whose main interest is in staying high. The lofty ideals she thought Flower Children aspired to were replaced with Timothy Leary’s motto of “Turn on, tune in, and drop out.”
Nor is anyone interested in hiring someone whose address is in the Haight. Mary Anne soon finds herself wandering the streets and waiting in line at the Diggers’ Free Store for food while she ponders how to return home. If she can.
A home she should never have left and a boy she should have given a chance.