John Wickett fired the caretakers but then he made– what would be for most people– a very unusual decision: He told people to go up to his Skyline property “and take whatever they wanted.”
They were just “things”–and their monetary value suddenly didn’t seem important.
The “caretaker incident” helped turn John Wickett’s lifestyle upside down. “That’s when my relaxed days started,” he explained to me. Until then he described himself as a “square,” placing a lot of weight on that status.
John inaugurated his new lifestyle by attending a performance of the Floating Lotus Opera in Berkeley in 1964. “It was a far-out group,” Wickett said, “perhaps Buddhist-Hindu, I don’t know what. They had bells and other Indian trappings and decorations; rather not too scientific or perfect but very relaxed. They had all kinds of musical instruments and Tibetan horns and lots of atmosphere.”
This musical and sensory experience made a deep impression on John Wickett. “…I was particularly interested because I had just acquired a 14-room pad above the Baghdad, a belly dancing nightclub, as I called it, in San Francisco, and I was wondering how to decorate it.” He thought about turning the Baghdad residence “into a kind of hippie pad with Indian trappings.”
…To Be Continued…