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Welcome to Berkeley
by Celia Jones

With large bags full of  new textbooks, confidently ready for my first term at UC, Berkeley, I walked out of the book store into Sproul Plaza.  There was such an exciting 1960's mixture of students and people just 'hanging out'.  Finally, here I was, a fugitive from a small, bland Bay Area town, in the center of it all--alternative lifestyles, anti-war demonstrations, free concerts with Joan Baez and Bob Dylan and inspiring speeches by political activists on the Sproul steps. I sensed this was history in the making, and felt pretty pleased with myself, now part of it all.

Sitting down at the fountain with my cappuccino, I watched the colourful diorama that surrounded me.  Dogs were 'in', and every other hippy seemed to have a mongrel, usually part Alsatian dog with a bandanna around his neck. Their owners had a sort of uniform as well--loose paisley cotton shirts, lots of beads, embroidered jackets and floral, bell-bottomed pants. Everyone tinkled and jangled as they moved. With the warm sun on my face, I was lulled into almost a trance-like state by the trickling sounds of the fountain and rhythms of the bongo drums echoing from the new Zellerbach theatre courtyard below. Now, I was finally here in Berkeley, a fully-fledged member of this hip community.

I closed my eyes for a few minutes and took a deep breath; I didn't see the hippie dog making a beeline for my new books. Watching in horror, I saw the creature just as he lifted his leg and deftly aimed a healthy, warm stream at my precious books!  My real inclination was to kick the obnoxious mongrel  but as I sensed everyone was watching me, I smiled tightly, shrugged and tried to convince myself that as a 'really with it' mutt, he was just was expressing his disdain of the 'Establishment Educational System'.

Quickly wiping my packages, I tried to look coolly nonchalant for my audience as I walked through Sather Gate, carrying the sodden mess home. This incident taught me that I had a long way to go before I was truly part of the Berkeley scene.