Counterculture & Social Change

Marijuana

When he wasn’t photographing the explosion of the popular music scene in Colorado, Dan Fong captured the counterculture community and the social change that was happening around it.

Geitz Romo

Geitz Romo in a marijuana field, circa 1976.

The picture on the right is of Dan's friend Geitz Romo, standing in a marijuana field near a friend's A-frame in Sunshine Canyon, outside of Boulder.  Romo worked in Central City as a Old West reenactor and had a place in the mountains nearby.

Pickle Gulch Range Riders

Pickle Gulch Range Riders at a going away party, circa 1976.

The Dan Fong collection also contains images taken by Fong of a party thrown around 1976 by a group of friends known collectively as the "Pickle Gulch Gang." The Gang were named after Gilpin County's Pickle Gulch, where one member of the group owned property.  They were known for their buckskins, fringe, and leather - and for their dealings with Gilpin County's illegal marijuana industry. In fact, as Fong recalls, the occasion for the party was a send-off for a friend who was about to head to jail on a federal drug charge.

Kent State Shootings

Kent State massacre protest march in Denver, Colorado

Kent State Massacre march in Denver, Colorado, May 1970.

Kent State Protest

United States veterans at the Kent State Massacre march, May 1970.

After an April 30th, 1970 evening announcement by President Richard Nixon that U.S. troops would expand into Cambodian, protests started the next day. At Kent State University in Ohio, many students joined others around the nation in their protests. On May 4th, the Ohio National Guard opened fire on the protesters, killing four students and injuring nine others. Widespread outrage across the country over the killings led to more protests, including in Colorado. 

Music promoter Barry Fey took out a full-page advertisement in the newspaper, calling people to march in downtown Denver to the state capitol building. Dan Fong attended and took numerous images of this peaceful protest, including the image below of a group of veterans protesting against the war.

Counterculture & Social Change