Starting in June, I will be having two interviews a month on CBC Mainstreet. I have decided to focus on hearing the stories of the many Back to the Landers who came to PEI in the 1960's and the 1970's.
35 years ago many of us were hippies of some sort or another. Some of us acted upon these beliefs and, however naif, made a major commitment to having a life. I like most of us choose making a living instead. I have always admired them for being more adventurous than I. They have great stories to tell that have something important to tell us again as we enter a time when knowing how to live simply may become less of a choice and more of a necessity.
They came to the Island just as Islanders were struggling to leave their agrarian past. The newcomers ironically represented a more strict attachment o the values of self sufficiency and community than the natives. They fitted into the beliefs of the then older generation. Many were taught the skills of rural life by old men and women whose own children had no desire to remember no heat, an outside privy and lobster sandwiches.
For a golden age, they built their own houses, killed their pigs and chickens, swam naked, made butter and cheese. Most now live quite conventional lives but what stories! What confidence that they could do anything! What friendships and what a contribution to "Our Country"!
I am starting in Eastern Kings - the hot bed of hippiedom. My guides will be Darla Thompson and John Rousseau. I will post more soon as the line up develops. In the interim. Do you have a story of this time? Do you have pictures that you dare to share?