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Days of Change

Olywa Days of Change

A community memoir in many voices

Olywa Days of Change is gathering memories from the 1960s to the 1980s for a book project. A group has met online for over two years, encouraging each other to write down stories, share histories and gather photographs and graphics.

We are also reaching out to other folks to help us capture experiences of the era. We envision our stories coming together in hard copy as well as in an e-book, with chapters such as First Peoples, Arrivals, Food, Activism, Home, Work, Fun and School. Some memoirs offer first-hand accounts of the founding of key institutions like The Evergreen State College, the Farmers Market, and the Food Coop. Other stories offer more intimate accounts of young people finding work and finding community…essentially, finding themselves.

“For three decades, Olympia, Washington was a crucible for cultural revolution. We are collecting memories of those turbulent and creative years not only as a community history but also to see what peoples’ experiences can teach us about many of the same issues today.”—Don Martin

Factual timelines and corroborating links to other records can be included either within narratives, as footnotes or in an appendix. Individual authors’ words will represent their sole perspective rather than a definitive historical record. Some events will be portrayed from more than one vantage point.

Perhaps you have a rich story or two to share? Please contact us! Join our Facebook page: OlyWA

“Together, these reminiscences give form to the vibrant bustle of creation that filled the streets of Olympia from the 1960s to the 1980s. For some of us, it was Socialism in real time. For others, it was the counterculture to a mainstream we wanted no part of. For others, it was called the hippie community. And some of us simply called it the community, suggesting that this was how people should live their lives.” —Anna Schlecht “These stories … are also notes in bottles for the future, for our stories revolve around the perennial needs of humans everywhere: food, housing, work, the arts. Just as our experiences were shaped by the people before us, so might our stories feed into the lives to follow our own.” —Becky Liebman

Read Susan Davenport’s memoir on Page 14 about the origins of SafePlace, written as part of this project.

To participate or request more information, email Jean.

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Dan Leahy was a storyteller, teacher, organizer, traveler and writer.…