Believe it or not, the very epicenter of the 1960s counterculture in Santa Cruz County was, for a while, a large drafty barn on the outskirts of Scotts Valley. In the mid 1960s, the Barn, a long-time community center for what was then a rural small town on the edge of the Santa Cruz Mountains, was converted into a coffeehouse, and then into a kind of hippie night spot where big-name musicians — Janis Joplin, for one — would perform amidst psychedelic light shows.
The Barn is pertinent now, because the impresario of the place, Leon Tabory, recently died. His memorial is slated for Nov. 15, and we’re putting together a piece remembering the heyday of the Barn, which was a center of heated controversy in Scotts Valley. The city elders took a dim view of often-addled hippies flowing into their quiet little town every weekend. And Tabory spent months fighting efforts to shut him down.
If you have any stories about the Barn or Leon Tabory, let me know.