An escape from a loveless childhood home in New York City, catapults me towards the unknown—accompanied and encouraged by, an even younger, runaway Californian boy. With packs on our backs we hitchhike our way cross country to Los Angeles, to settle blocks from Hollywood’s Sunset Boulevard.
In a series of moves, Los Angeles turns from paradise to hell, bottoming out at a downtown motel frequented by hookers, drug dealers and guns. From there John, my young lover, and I are easily convinced, to follow his parents to California’s San Joaquin Valley.
The saga continues as Balanced on the Edge of the Crowd chronicles my ten year spiritual and physical journey. John becomes the past and I marry Blake Webster, who whisks me off on a seven month honeymoon in his sixty-six Chevy camping van. We travel the Northwest, Canada, Montana and Idaho, returning to Visalia, California to grab some quick cash before our move to Spokane, Washington. Spokane at that time had recently put the World’s Fair to bed and the city was experiencing a physical and cultural resurgence of its own—including a downtown nude beach along the Spokane River.
Social nudity plays a strong role throughout this book. As a child of the sixties, the practice made sense and I’d seek it out, along with my husband, Blake. We took every opportunity to live this clean, honest, and refreshing lifestyle.
From Spokane, we escaped the cold weather—this time to Sonoma County, California and communal living. In a year or two, boredom settles in one more time and we make a daring move to Mays Landing, New Jersey and Sunshine Nudist Park, ultimately returning to our home—California.
At first glance, this book appears to be a simple travelogue that soon depicts the deep psychological emergence of me. A child from a love-free home, I run in panic to anyplace, anywhere better. I overcome my inadequacies—each new turn of quirky events includes unusual and classic 1970’s people, places and things. Recreational drugs and the music of the times play as backdrops to my increased awareness and new-found self-esteem. Each new experience brings clarity, self-assurance and hope. Sex, drugs and rock and roll eventually give way to yoga and meditation as the adventure circles back to California to begin the next decade.