Hippie Days – Worm Attack in Aspen

Downtown Aspen

Children’s Diary July 7, ’74 – We went to Aspen. It rained and we saw a flock of sheep. We had to stop the van. 200 sheep. Baa-baa-baa.

Aspen, Colorado. We’ve heard about this mountain wonderland – an historic mining town that’s become a dichotomy of rich developers and young people with countercultural ideas. We’d heard that Hunter Thompson had migrated here because,”he knew the Aspen Institute was here, and all the things left over from the silver mining era that gave a certain dignity to this Colorado town. Once you got to Aspen you could smell the funkiness and a rock’n’roll mentality.” We drive through the quaint main street, which is becoming a popular tourist destination, and find a commercial campground for the night.

“My fanny itches,” Nicole’s complaining. By the time we set up camp, eat dinner and get ready for bed, she’s crying. I get out the flashlight. It’s dark in the tent. “Let’s see what we can see.”

“He can’t look.” She waves Scooter away. Of course he’s interested.

The flash of light illuminates the little wigglers before they make a quick retreat back up her cute little bum. Mixed emotions spill from our mouths, “Yuck!”  my noise wrinkles.

“Cool.” Scooter smirks.

“Get ‘em out!” Nicole wails.

The only way to calm her down is promise the worms will go night-night just like her when the light is out, and tomorrow we’ll take her to the doctor. Fortunately we’re in town.


Children’s Diary July 8, ’74 – We took Nicole to the doctor. She had worms. (Scooter’s addition) Yeah!

“Yes, They’re pinworms.” The doctor says. “Very transmittable. You’ll need to wash all your sheets, towels, clothes and keep her things separate.”

“But we’re camping in our van,” I whine. That means I’ll be spending the day at the laundromat. Hope they have one here.

He continues, “You’ll all need to take these pills so you won’t reinfect each other.” The children each try one and smile. They look and taste like Necco candies.

Nobody looks happy back at the campsite. “How about Daddy can take you kids fishing and I’ll clean and wash?” All three of them quickly agree. I roll my eyes and sigh.