Van Trip – 1967

A Homestead Headlines Article by Chuck Oldenburg

January 2007

On a 1967 trip from Homestead Valley to Chicago in a hippie van. > click to enlarge

On a 1967 trip from Homestead Valley to Chicago in a hippie van.
> click to enlarge

This photo was taken in 1967 in Maryland. Can this be Homestead Valley history? Yes. These women and children lived in Homestead Valley. They are on a trip. My wife Christina on the left had decided that we should go to Expo-67, the Montreal World’s Fair. I asked how. She said in a hippie van which we would make. Our neighbor, Willa (on the right) said she wanted to go along. We bought a used 22 ft. post office van and equipped it with windows, back door, kitchen, toilet, shower, table, dinette, bed and bunks. We painted over its red, white and blue exterior with two shades of beige; Ivan was born.

So off they went in a hippie van, two mothers with six kids, ages 1 to 11. They stopped at campgrounds and historic sites as they traveled across the south. Three weeks later in Washington, D.C., Willa and her three kids abandoned Ivan to vacation with her husband Gordon in Michigan. A couple days later, I joined Christina and our three boys in New York. We drove to Montreal and Expo-67. When my two weeks vacation ran out on the way home in Minneapolis, I flew home and left Christina and the boys to go it alone. After three flat tires, she called from Yellowstone asking to be rescued. I complied and drove them home.

Ivan had a lot more history facilitating our vacations, ski weekends, etc. In 1980, he left us to provide housing for a hippy family on welfare – their van had burned up. In 1988, Willa was the Socialist Party candidate for President of the United States. She received 3800 votes.


If you have comments or questions about this article or other topics
pertaining to the history of Homestead Valley,
please feel free to e-mail Chuck Oldenburg.