I’m not making up that title, Orchidelic. The Sixties was the theme of this year’s annual international orchid show I went to on Friday at the Earl Warren Showgrounds (yes, that Earl Warren).

Flower Power - 4 Cylinders' Worth - Click for Detail

There were plenty of 60s flashbacks waiting for me inside the show tents where Sixties-themed exhibits and exhibitors showed off their Cymbidium, Paphiopedilum, Cattleya, Laelia, and Oncidium.

In fact, the moment I pulled off the 101 freeway and headed into the showground parking lot, memories flooded over me. The last time I was here at the Warren arena was to see Blind Faith, featuring Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood. I don’t remember a lot of that night to be honest, but I do remember it was psychedelic, not orchidelic, that was the cause of the foggy memory.

And I do remember that my friend, Paul, and I ended up on the Santa Barbara beach in real fog drifting around the beach fire we shared with other concert-goers who were crashing in their sleeping bags or ragged blankets or just huddling one on top of the other, scrunching closer to the warmth. I’m sure we were humming Can’t Find My Way Home, which was both a featured song of the night that Windwood sang and a true description of our current state of mind.

I took Netty’s hand today and walked into the exhibit hall. The magnificent colors before me, the air filled with a rare and inviting scent (who knew many orchids have a delicate perfume?), all of it immediately transformed in my head to the scene from Adaptation where Nicolas Cage comes to this Orchid Show in his search for a way into the story of the Orchid Thief.

True to the theme of this show, the displays were filled with old VW Bugs, hippie mannequins sleeping by the side of road (looking like victims of a hit-n-run driver), tie-dyed banners, vintage album covers from such bands as Canned Heat, Sonny & Cher, Love, Iron Butterfly, lava lamps, peace symbols, and endless hippie memorabilia, even a Yellow Submarine.

It was odd, quite frankly, to see these brilliant orchid species linked with 60s stuff. It didn’t quite come off to be honest, but what the hell. It was still far-out, groovy, and outta sight to drift along on the wave of time that surrounds most of our waking moments, hiding just a millimeter to the left of our consciousness with the Days Of Future Past as the soundtrack playing overhead.

I did capture some of this trivia in the photos at the link below, plus some of the beauty I hope of the orchids themselves. To tell you the truth, though, to get the full impact you had to be there and see it with your own eyes…kinda like the 60s themselves.

Orchidelic – Santa Barbara 2012 Orchid Show





Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.