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Ted Adams Interview

Gledhill Library, Santa Barbara Historical Museum
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00:00:16 - Coming to Mountain Drive

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Partial Transcript: Ted, how did you come to be in Santa Barbara?

Segment Synopsis: Adams describes how he and his family came to the Santa Barbara County area and how he found Mountain Drive and how his youth had prepared him for its liberal environment. Adams talks about how the party atmosphere of the community and its many celebrations is what he found unusual.

Keywords: 1957; 1964

Subjects: Adirondack Mountains (N.Y.); Cachuma, Lake (Calif.); Hyde, Bobby (Robert McKee), 1900-1969; Liberalism; Nudism; Nudist camps; Potluck; Santa Ynez (Calif.)

00:04:29 - Cannabis Connection

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Partial Transcript: So now who actually introduced you to Mountain Drive? You know, someone you must have known somebody from Mountain Drive?

Segment Synopsis: Adams talks about how the underground network of marijuana use introduced him to the Mountain Drive community. He describes how cannabis subculture operated in Santa Barbara in the early 1960s. Adams talks about renting the Dethlefsen home on Banana Road, the early friends and neighbors, and now the welcoming environment of the community fostered friendships and closeness.

Keywords: 1965; binding force; closeness

Subjects: Banana Road; Birdsell, Marty L., Jr. (Martin Lewis), 1936-2005; Caves; Dirt roads; Friendship; Gottsdanker, Claire (Marx); Lazell, John W.; Marijuana; McGeorge, Gene (John Grove), 1927-2013; McGeorge, Pauline (Pauline Blair); Peake, Michael (Michael Channing), 1940-2021; Rental housing; Rites and ceremonies

00:08:57 - Bobby Hyde's Houseboat

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Partial Transcript: Some people have described their introduction to Mountain Drive sort of required some vetting by Bobby Hyde because but I think that maybe wasn't true with you because...

Segment Synopsis: Adams recalls his early memories of Bobby Hyde, his interests, and how he interacted with people. He tells the story of Bobby Hyde buying 91 acres in Painted Cave, gaining a majority interest in the local water company, and how he dug his lakes and built his houseboat.

Keywords: consensus; expansive imagination; sanctuary; unstructured

Subjects: Building laws; Bulldozers; Discussion; Education; Erosion; House construction; Houseboats; Hyde, Bobby (Robert McKee), 1900-1969; Lakes; Licenses; Painted Cave (Calif.); Social interaction; Water utilities

00:16:02 - Floppy Hyde

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Partial Transcript: Well, getting back to Mountain Drive. Did did you ever meet Floppy Hyde?

Segment Synopsis: Adams describes Floppy Hyde's role in the Mountain Drive community and the interesting way the Hyde's kept their accounts. He also describes one of Bobby's memorable shortcuts for keeping a fire going in his fireplace.

Keywords: fireplace; shortcuts

Subjects: Bookkeeping; Fuelwood; Hyde, Floppy (Florence Tuckerman), 1904-1980; Rent; Salsipuedes Street

00:18:30 - Wine Stomps

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Partial Transcript: So did you ever participate in a Wine Stomp? Did you...

Segment Synopsis: Adams recalls the surreal experience of participating in the Wine Stomp filmed for the movie Seconds. He also talks about assisting Ed Schertz pick up York Mountain wine and its distribution to the Mountain Drive community. Adams fondly remembers that nothing felt like work on Mountain Drive.

Keywords: decanting; distribution

Subjects: Frankenheimer, John, 1930-2002; Grapes Harvesting; Hudson, Rock, 1925-1985; Schertz, Ed (Edward L.), 1931-; Seconds (Motion picture); Wine barrels; York Mountain Winery

00:23:06 - Sunset Club

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Partial Transcript: So did you ever participate in Sunset Club?

Segment Synopsis: Adams recollects his impressions of Sunset Club and the reasons behind why he was never invited to join in. He talks about having never gotten along with Bill Neely yet has positive memories of Frank Robinson.

Keywords: cannon; horns

Subjects: Clubs; David, John; Gardner, Ivana Noell; House construction; House design; Male domination; Narcissism; Neely, Bill (William Lewis), 1923-1985; Parties; Robinson, Frank D. (Franklin Donald), 1923-2004; Schertz, Ed (Edward L.), 1931-; Social Darwinism; Social conflict; Sunset Club

00:28:11 - Hot tubs

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Partial Transcript: How about the hot tub scene? Were you involved at all when...

Segment Synopsis: Adams talks about the pervasiveness of hot tubs on Mountain Drive. He describes the sequence of social activities leading up to and during gatherings in hot tubs.

Keywords: playfulness

Subjects: Dinners and dining; Drinking; Greyson, George, 1926-2000; Hot tubs; Nudity; Parties; Promiscuity

00:30:11 - Burns Supper, Lysistrata, Pot Wars

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Partial Transcript: So now you mentioned 12th Night. And so it sounds like you participated in Twelfth Night. Were you ever the Bean King?

Segment Synopsis: Adams recalls a mixture of major annual parties on Mountain Drive. He talks about the refreshing focus on women in the presentation of Lysistrata. Adams's best memories are of the Pot Wars that occurred every couple of months. He talks about the large number of potters who participated, the Patterson's early involvement, and the incorporation of costumes by participants.

Subjects: Burns Night; Costumes and clothes; Friedman, Gerry (Gerald); Lysistrata (Choreographic work); Neely, Bill (William Lewis), 1923-1985; Patterson, Phyllis, 1932-2014; Patterson, Ron (Ronald J. MacLaren), 1930-2011; Pot Wars; Potters; Renaissance fairs; Rites and ceremonies; Schertz, Ed (Edward L.), 1931-; Wine

00:35:36 - Renaissance Faire

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Partial Transcript: I understand that the first couple of years that the Renaissance Faire was done by the Pattersons, it was done as a fundraiser for radio station KPFK in Los Angeles, that the Mountain Drivers participated also in the, would drive down to L.A...

Segment Synopsis: Adams recalls participating in the earliest Renaissance Faires along with other Mountain Drivers and how it was a time that coincided with the introduction of hallucinogenic drugs. He compares the Renaissance Faires with what he sees as its modern equivalent, Burning Man.

Keywords: magical

Subjects: Burning Man (Festival); Costumes and clothes; Hallucinogenic drugs; Imagination; Nudism; Renaissance fairs

00:37:26 - Women's presence

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Partial Transcript: On Mountain Drive, we've talked a little bit about the women and the sort of the gender roles that were there. But were there women on Mountain Drive who stood out? There were the kind of discussions the women end up taking a back seat or lesser role. But were there women that you came across on Mountain Drive who stood out as being really special and influential?

Segment Synopsis: Adams recalls the successful women on Mountain Drive were those who embraced their traditional roles. He describes an aggressive, predatory nature exhibited by some women of Mountain Drive. Adams attributes this to women experiencing and exploring a new found sexual freedom brought about by birth control combined with a lack of attention from their husbands.

Subjects: Aggressiveness; Birth control; Cooks; Good and evil; Humor; Hyde, Floppy (Florence Tuckerman), 1904-1980; Lane, Peggy (Margaret), 1926-2013; Promiscuity; Sex offenders; Sexual division of labor; Sexual freedom

00:41:48 - Children

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Partial Transcript: So you were a young man, but there were children all around Mountain Drive. And what was what was it like for children to grow up on Mountain Drive?

Segment Synopsis: Adams describes his observations of child rearing Mountain Drive as having left something to be desired. He shares his thoughts on how it is the unchanging topography of the land, combined with its natural beauty, that has caused generations of families to stay in the area.

Keywords: cohesiveness; familiarity with the land

Subjects: Child abuse; Child rearing; Children; Conservatism; Rites and ceremonies; Security; Social interaction; Topography; Wildfires

00:45:15 - Wildfires

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Partial Transcript: Well, the Painted Cave of 1990, the Painted Cave Fire of 1990...

Segment Synopsis: Adams describes the impact of the Painted Cave and Coyote wildfires on the ocean-facing side of the Santa Ynez Mountains. He talks briefly about his participation in fighting the Coyote Fire.

Subjects: Coyote Fire (Santa Barbara County, Calif. : 1964); Painted Cave Fire (Santa Barbara County, Calif. : 1990); Wildfires

00:46:34 - Painted Cave

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Partial Transcript: Now you bought land from Bobby Hyde, but you bought it in Painted Cave, not on Mountain Drive. Was there a reason why you chose Painted Cave over Mountain Drive?

Segment Synopsis: Adams describes his conscious decision and reasons behind buying land in Painted Cave rather than on Mountain Drive. He describes the natural beauty of living at Painted Cave and the types of neighbors he encountered there. Adams talks about the initial struggle he had establishing himself at Painted Cave, yet over time he has capitalized on its strengths to foster a community cohesiveness.

Keywords: 1965; Highway 154; expansive views; lack of societal pressure

Subjects: Alcoholics; Belief and doubt; Drug abuse; Freedom; Individualism; LSD (Drug); Older people; Painted Cave (Calif.); Rites and ceremonies; Social conflict

00:51:52 - Bobby Hyde's Utopia

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Partial Transcript: So it's been said that Bobby Hyde was a Utopian. He wanted to create this utopian society, at least within his little sphere of influence. Did you, would you say that he was successful at that or...?

Segment Synopsis: Adams talks about the ways in which Bobby Hyde was successful in creating his Utopia on Mountain Drive.

Subjects: Cooperation; Hyde, Bobby (Robert McKee), 1900-1969; Nurturing behavior; Self-reliant living

00:53:19 - After interview banter and thoughts

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Partial Transcript: I hope this proves to be something that be of value. And. And I mean, there are so many stories, you know.

Segment Synopsis: Adams talks about Bendy White's efforts to capture the stories of Mountain Drive on video. He also mentions the value of having the Mountain Drive Grapevine newsletter available for viewing on the interactive display.

Subjects: Mountain Drive Grapevine; Newsletters; Oral histories; White, Harwood (Bendy)