Hampton Beach Project -- The Riots of 1964 -- June 1 - July 1, 1965
The Riots of 1964 -- Chapter 6
June 1 - July 1, 1965
Project Director's Report
Paul Estaver, Director
June 1 - July 1, 1965
The month of June was in some ways the busiest of the entire project. Everything was new and nothing - personnel, policy, volunteer committees, program, research, community relationships - had settled into its normal pattern of activity, or in some cases, inactivity.
At the beginning of the month there were, at least in concept, six separate committees with separate projects calling for adult volunteer help. One project was almost immediately abandoned as impracticable, and by month's end three others were virtually out of existence. In the case of my own Youth & Adult Committee the reason was in good part lack of organization or leadership, while in other instances discouraging external pressures were brought to bear.
In retrospect one sees a variety of causative factors which could have accounted for the overall failure of the community action phase of the project:
1. Despite our attempts, through the use of communications media and community meetings, to draw wide support for the project, Hampton's uptown community was never closely involved - indeed many of them hardly knew what was going on. If, for instance, the same sort of debate that took place at the beach over the question of the Spaulding Potter application could have been conducted on a really substantial scale, possibly at a special town meeting, then the Hampton Beach Project might truly have been the Hampton Community Project. As it was, the traditional indifference of the community toward the beach, our own inexperience in community organization, and the shortness of time made it so that the range of adult volunteers was limited to those with a special interest in the beach, in law or community administration, or in youth - i.e., town officials, teachers, and beach business people instead of a substantial representation of housewives, parents and average citizens, whom one might expect to find participating in the Heart Fund or the P.T.A.
2. Since the project was experimental, it was difficult to foresee what activities could be functional and effective. It is much easier to direct a fund-raising campaign than a campaign to change community climate and opinion. In some instances committees were assigned unworkable tasks; in others no committee existed where the need was vital.
3. In too many instances we depended upon men rather than women to carry committee work. Hindsight tells us what Post-master General Lawrence O'Brien knew fifteen years ago when he organized campaigns for Foster Furcolo and John Kennedy - the male may be the stronger sex but the muscle and energy of successful community organization is feminine.
4. The tempo of community activity, both social and civic, slows in the summer. Women's coffee clubs and men's service clubs meet and function seldom if at all. Similarly, activity of the various Hampton Beach Project committees diminished.
Although the Youth-Adult Committee was fairly well attended in its first two meetings in May, its evening meetings thereafter drew very little support. Of its various functions, the news-clip project expired for lack of personnel, the money-raising effort did result in the composition of a solicitation letter mailed out by the project office, and those volunteers who appeared over a few weekends at youth headquarters took a passive role - with the singular exception of Richard Hammond, who accomplished more by himself than the average ten-man committee.
The Parent-to-Parent Committee was abandoned after considerable discussion for several valid reasons: names of juvenile offenders were not available; it was discovered that parents were already being contacted both by Hampton Police Department and Safety Commissioner Rhodes; and it was feared that even the most tactfully worded letter from Hampton residents would be resented by many families.
The Business Practices Committee embarked on a shaky start towards its goal of weekly breakfasts or seminars. However by the end of the month several beach business people made it quite clear that there was not time for such meetings and further that the settlement of grievances and complaints of any sort was a subject they preferred to solve without outside assistance.
A small and dedicated Beach Observation Committee did undertake to man posts on a regular basis, equipped with a schedule designed by Dr. Palmer to record the overall tone of the beach and any incidents which might take place. Since the category dealing with incidents called for a questioning of arresting officers, the chairman of the committee took a copy of the scale to the state police to ask for cooperation. One of the items in particular caught the eye of the lieutenant in charge. It read: "Any small disturbance should be reported. The main questions to be answered are: Who did what: What do the participants and onlookers like or dislike about the incident? Include police. For example, does the arresting officer take a quiet pride in having made the arrest?"
Shortly thereafter in the TAR Committee the matter of the Beach Observation Committee was raised by Lt. Paul O'Leary, by then a regular participant in TAR. He indicated that the Beach Incident Scale had been shown to his superiors and that the official reaction to it was negative. They could in no way assure cooperation with lay observers or guarantee their safety in the event of trouble. It was difficult enough to deal with tense situations surrounding an arrest without having to stop to answer questions. It was voted therewith that the Beach Observation Committee should be dropped.
A more successful committee was that on research whose function was to interview 100 people for three waves of a Business Attitude Scale through the summer. Although this committee subsequently drifted apart when its chairman concluded that the entire beach project was too controversial for his participation, its members did successfully carry through the first wave of interviews during the early part of the summer. In this process several of the interviewers performed an additional valuable missionary service in behalf of the project. Simply out of their own enthusiasm, when they encountered a respondent whose attitude toward youth or the project was antagonistic they took special pains to explain the theory and practical application of what was being done in Hampton. One particularly aggressive interviewer was unusually successful at making new friends for the project in the course of his rounds.
In future projects where community attitude is a factor it might be well to consider the deliberate use of this device. Even if the interview to be used were very short, the personal contact could be most beneficial in drawing both support and additional active workers.
The most successful of the volunteer committees was that on housing which met a number of times well into the summer. If they were not able to take many concrete steps in correcting a complex problem of long standing, they did succeed in carefully delineating the difficulties and in pointing the way toward future steps.
As mentioned earlier many of the rental units at Hampton Beach do not meet minimum standards of the State Health and Fire Laws. In general they are clean and sanitary; where they fall short is in minimum floor or window space. Since many of the buildings at the beach are 50 to 60 years old, since the season of business is only as long as the summer, and since rental and mortgage rates on the beach are very high, it is not uncommon for property owners to divide and sub-divide existing properties in an effort to obtain maximum revenues. The practice of absentee ownership and rental through agents frequently compounds the problem, particularly in the case of cottages where some of the worst abuses exist in terms of undesirable conduct, disturbances, and the overloading of the units themselves.
As a member of the committee, Town Manager Kenneth Boehner outlined these problems for the committee and spoke of the difficulties he had encountered in trying to take corrective measures.
The following excerpts from minutes of the Housing Committee's several meetings will serve to delineate a little further both the dimensions of the problem and the dilemma of the committee in trying to cope with it:
It was agreed that persuasion will not work to try to raise the standards of beach housing; many do not care, many do not feel there is a need and all area in business to make money during a very short season.
It was noted that police can do very little; even when called to quell a disturbance there is small chance that anybody will press charges or be willing to testify against the proprietor. Unless the proprietor is actually caught breaking a law the police can only issue a warning.
Every avenue of positive action was thoroughly discussed that could be effected this summer and each in turn had to be discarded. Of the dozen or so real trouble spots on the beach, many meet minimum standards as well as or better than dozens of others that have a reputation for being well-run; to single them out would be discriminatory for a health officer to do and the police cannot effect a general reform under existing laws. It became obvious that help from town and state laws and funds are necessary; they are not available now; that had they been given when requested much could be done this summer.
There was a general feeling that two things were accomplished at the meeting: everything that could not be done had been thoroughly investigated and could be set aside for this year, and that the town and the beach were, for perhaps the first time, working closely together with an urgent desire to cooperate and a determination to do something and do it this year. . . . .
It was pointed out that some of the worst offenders of housing regulations on the beach are listed in the Directory of Accommodations at Hampton Beach and a sanction of them is thereby implied. To vacationers who read the listing this is very misleading.
It was brought out that, inasmuch as there are many places where young people cannot rent rooms, no matter how respectable and responsible they may be, they therefore pay premium prices to rent rooms where they are accepted. This is an exception, not a rule.
Lack of supervision at room-rental businesses is a big problem. If possible, through a TAP by-law or through a town Housing Code, it should be made mandatory that there shall be a resident manager to assure proper conduct and that cottages shall not be rented without a supervisor near or on the grounds. It was agreed that many, probably a majority, of the trouble spots are centered in cottage rentals, which are most difficult to supervise.
Total community pressure on proprietors who disregard housing and moral rules might be effective - through TAP, Chamber of Commerce and the Hotel Association.
Licensing of rooming houses, motels and hotels appears to be the only method of real control at present since existing statues are inadequate and often unenforceable. If health regulations are being ignored, or if disturbances arise, people are quick to complain but reluctant to testify in court, which leaves the police and health officer quite helpless unless they themselves are witnesses to the event.
There must be permissive legislation before the town can pass licensing laws. This was asked for months ago but the legislature dragged its heels, perhaps awaiting the Blandin Commission Report. This Report was late in being submitted and little time was left for legislation of any kind in regard to it.
The problem of cottage rentals and laxity of supervision of them was brought up again. Real estate agents and realtors can help assure that a cottage meant to accommodate four is not being occupied by fourteen. Real estate rental agents were invited to this meeting of the Housing Committee but none of them came.
Subsequently contact was made with the Boston University Law Medicine Institute and first steps taken in obtaining their assistance in establishment of a special future project to establish useful housing regulations and to enlist voluntary compliance with them.
In the area of research planning and progress the month of June saw the completion of the interviews with those arrested in the 1964 riot, the establishment of a code book by several of the program aides under the instruction of the consultants, and the beginning of the actual coding work For further details on this phase of the project see Manning Van Nostrand's report and analysis on the Research Project.
By June 28 there was also completed the data gathering schedule for the remainder of the summer; indeed several of the interview schedules were already in use by that time. Through the summer there were to be 15 to 20 weekly random interviews somewhat similar to those used for the '64 rioters, given to young adults and adolescents who were visitors or summer residents of the beach. The N of 200 for this schedule was exceeded.
The same interview schedule was to be given to 15 to 20 young people each week who had been arrested at the beach either by state or local police. The desired N of 200 was not attained as a result of compounded difficulties in contacting arrestees during their period of detention. The final number of interviews obtained was in the vicinity of 50.
The self-administered Irritability-Deviancy Scale was to be given to all those in the above two categories and to 900 young people and 900 adults in three waves of 300 through the summer. This was carried out in toto. Additional use of this scale for business operators and for police proved not be feasible.
A Beach Observation Scale, to be used on a time-sampling basis each weekend, was put in effect July 11 and carried through Labor Day weekend. All the above data-gathering vehicles were used by the paid members of the staff, with volunteers from CAVE helping with the three waves of the Irritability-Deviancy Scale.
In addition there were the Beach Incident Scale and the Business Attitude Scale mentioned above.
Under the heading of administration during the month of June there was a realignment of responsibilities. Since Rev. Van Nostrand found that he needed more time for his pastoral and academic work and for his family, Noel Salomon of the TAR Committee moved that the administrative work for TAR be shifted to me, making me in effect the executive officer for the project. Under this revised setup Rev. Van Nostrand was titled Co-director for Research and Community Coordination and I was titled Co-director for Project Administration and Youth Coordination. Since this demanded an extra portion of my time and since my time was already well taken up with the youth phase of the work, a special post of Assistant Youth Coordinator was created and Richard Hammond hired to fill that position. The budget to cover this new position was created by limiting the number of workers for the summer to nine instead of ten and by drawing on unexpended funds from the part-time spring workers budget.
By this time Hammond had already firmly established himself as the program's most active volunteer. While running several other businesses he managed to put in almost forty hours a week assisting in a great variety of capacities. It is certainly safe to say that without his assistance the demonstration phase of the program would have been much slower to start. When something needed to be done, Hammond was there to do it, whether it was to sell an idea, build a stage, get specifications for a building, put the building up, hunt down volunteers, borrow a generator or a house trailer, build a lighting system, or to oversee any of a hundred other chores.
Lay Personnel Hypotheses
Since one of the hypotheses of this project was that lay persons could be drawn from a community to carry through the necessary work if they were advised by competent consultants, it is interesting to note the walks of life from which the most active personnel were drawn: Manning Van Nostrand is a Methodist clergyman; Richard Stone is a Northeast Airlines pilot; Richard Hammond operates several nursery schools and summer day camps; and I was a journalist and business administrator.
How well we were able to carry over the various talents and experiences of our previous professions to the project is a moot question. I think the fact that so much of our work was to be in the field of opinion and community climate and, if you will, political persuasion caught us all somewhat unprepared. Our biggest job was to sell an idea. With the young people we were unquestionably successful, at least to the extent that we were permitted to carry through what we had hoped for. With the community it was harder, for we were working against an already firmly established prior concept which in some ways was complementary to the youth project but in other ways limiting. In the areas of research and of the demonstration program itself the limitations of inexperience were much less important; in each we also had an abundance of professional consultation.
If there were a recommendation to come from such speculation it might be that a professional in the field of community opinion and action organization might be employed in instances where a new concept must fight its way through old ones. If this sort of professional advice is needed to elect a candidate or to clear the way for a new school building, certainly it can be employed to assist in the establishment of a youth project.
Staff Workers Begin Full Time
By June 18th eight of the nine full-time program aides started to work. They ranged in age from 19 to 25 and in level of scholastic attainment from the junior year in college to the graduate level. Four were majors in sociology, one in occupational therapy, one in police administration, one in government and one in English. Three were women, the remainder men. Colleges represented were the University of New Hampshire, Colby, St. Petersburg Junior College, and Albion College. A ninth man from St. Anselm's College unfortunately had to be dropped when he was arrested for illegal possession of alcoholic beverages. Subsequently he was replaced by a fourth woman, a major in psychology at Northeastern University.
I think it was a severe mistake that so little time was given to training and orientation of this crew at the project's outset. I was able to spend a portion of one day with them, but my duties as project administrator made it impossible to go further than this before we were in full swing of the work schedule. If there could have been, at this point, a few days devoted to the sort of training program which was briefly undertaken much later in the summer with the cooperation of the Boston University Law Medicine Institute, I think the workers would have felt less disorientation toward the demonstration phase of the work. In the area of research there were at least a few sessions with the consultants so that they felt some familiarity and comfort.
Unquestionably part of the difficulty that occurred in establishing the workers' role in the demonstration project grew from lack of knowledge and experience of those of us who were supposed to be directing their activities. We were trying to feel our way as we undertook each songfest or dance or whatever else took shape. In addition much of our attention and time was taken up in our efforts to clear the program itself through both the Chamber of Commerce and the several police departments, so that we were unable to spend sufficient time working with the crew.
Then again, there was the continued problem of the workers' level of participation - although their prime function was to communicate with young people, to become an equal and yet separate part of the youth society on the beach, their inclination was to hold themselves apart in what they sincerely felt was a more professional role. Particularly they were anxious to be directly involved in the work of selling the project to the community, and they were disappointed when they were not initially included. A more detailed discussion of the struggles to establish the workers' functions and roles appears under the heading of July below. For the moment suffice it to say that they were assigned tasks in recruiting additional members to the growing CAVE Beach residents and youths also formed CAVE [(Committee Against Violent Eruptions), a program meant to organize activities for youths organization], carrying through the rather elaborate process of issuing ID cards, supervising and assisting in songfest and dance projects, helping to construct the CAVE headquarters building late in the month, and in general selling to the youth community the concept that CAVE was trying to promote. In addition, there were, as indicated above, responsibilities in connection with the various research interview schedules.
CAVE Growth and Function
In the descriptive chronology of the month of June which follows below there are included many details on the growth of CAVE. For the sake of clarity the following items should be noted herewith in systematic order:
Membership - by June 1 there were 489 registrants; by June 6, 697; by June 13, 887; by June 20, the number was over 1000. These were young people who had simply come in, signed up and given us their vital statistics. ID cards were not put into use until the 12th of June and did not begin to represent a correct proportion of the membership until perhaps early July.
Program scheduled events - there were songfests on June 6th, June 13th and June 20th; there were two dances on the beach, June 19th and June 23rd.
Job placement function - during the early weeks of June several of the workers made an extensive survey of the beach to determine how many places of employment there were and how many jobs available. However, when we sought the cooperation of the official state employment service office at the beach, we were strongly discouraged from continuing this project until clearance could be obtained from authorities either in Portsmouth or Concord. Subsequent attempts to obtain this clearance proved to be fruitless. Finally, in a TAR Committee meeting, we were discouraged from pursuing the matter further when questions of liabilities were raised.
Discount function - it had been the hope that a number of businesses would offer at least token discounts to CAVE members who could exhibit ID cards. A few businesses proved willing to cooperate to a small extent, but in other instances we encountered such violent opposition from individual business people that we were forced to abandon the project.
Press relations during the month of June showed a distinct improvement. After the explanatory articles appeared in local newspapers, there followed several interviews, either conducted or approved by Robert Preston in his capacity as Public Information Officer, and articles began to appear in newspapers of the Merrimac Valley, in central Massachusetts, and in Boston, along with some coverage by radio. All these stories were on the theme that the CAVE organization had suddenly sprung into existence, was growing very quickly, that it was Hampton's answer and the answer of the young people themselves to past troubles at the beach. The general tone was one of approbation that both community and young people were seeking to repair images in a constructive way. Subsequently a very detailed article on all phases of Hampton's work to combat past riots was carried in the Boston Globe; its impact is difficult to measure, but certainly it played a part in helping to establish the project and to carry some of its programs forward through subsequent discussions in the Chamber of Commerce directors meetings.
One other project was not cleared for use - namely an extensive article describing the project and a fact sheet on the 1964 riot, these assembled by a public relations professional as a volunteer service. This story and the data sheet were not intended primarily for feature use but for the morgues of the various newspapers, to correct the inaccurate figures they were still using on the size of the 1964 riot and the extent of damage which had been done at that time. After some considerable discussion on this matter, it was finally decided that it was better to take the chance on the newspapers using incorrect information from the past than to call their attention once more to the fact that a riot had indeed taken place.
Religious Action Groups
Early in June we had our first contact with an organization known as Teen Challenge, an evangelical group not affiliated with any one denomination, which had in recent times held one or more rallies for young people in the seacoast region. Its representatives were very pleasant young men in their twenties, either local residents or from the greater Boston area. Through the spring they had been making individual contacts with teenagers on the beach and passing out one of several religious tracts designed to have special appeal to the young.
Their mission in meeting us was not to ask so much for cooperation as for advice. Their hope was to hold over the course of the summer a number of evangelical rallies on the beach or perhaps on the bandstand, and if these were to prove effective they planned to try some larger event for Labor Day weekend, possibly even to get Billy Graham.
From our previous conversations with young people and from our observations of them, both Hammond and I felt that religious rallies would be difficult to carry off effectively on a public beach. We suggested that perhaps they would do best to work into such events by degrees, employing the technique of personal contact extensively before undertaking something which might find itself the object of ridicule, since laughter is the teenager's most devastating weapon. Their counter argument was that they had been through all sorts of discouraging circumstances and had nonetheless carried on their programs effectively; they felt that nothing could be lost by trying such projects at Hampton Beach. Again they stated that it would probably be unwise, both from their viewpoint and ours, for us to try to combine forces.
The meeting was most cordial throughout. We concluded by outlining for them in detail the various levels of clearance they would probably need to seek, as we had, through the Chamber of Commerce, town officials, local and state police and probably the Division of Parks as well.
Subsequently Manning Van Nostrand met with other representatives of this organization or one of its affiliates from Gordon College in Wenham, Massachusetts, to explore approximately the same grounds.
A little later in the month we were visited by a representative of Moral Rearmament, whose extensive lay-religious youth organization works out of Mackinack Island in Michigan. This organization combines entertainment with messages calling for moral and religious re-examinations of self and young society. Their literature indicated that their work and their techniques were both professional and effective. We indicated, as we had with Teen Challenge, that we felt that CAVE could probably function better as an indigenous non-religious organization; so far as Moral Rearmament was concerned we had no official attitude one way or another.
State Level Activities
By the second week in June the Blandin Commission issued its analysis of the Hampton Beach disturbances and its recommendations pursuant thereto. The complete document of the Commission report may be found in the Addenda.
Briefly, the report recounts the steps taken by the Commission to examine the evidence within the framework of the time available. In its analysis it touches upon such subjects as lack of parental control, breakdown in respect for authority, the background of the participants, and mob behavior. There are additional comments of the inconsistencies on the part of the community and the authorities at Hampton Beach, the expectations which these inconsistencies engendered, and the conclusion that resentment and hostility were in part resultant from the sudden tightening of the rules for Labor Day weekend.
In general summary, the report states the Commission's conclusion that the disturbance was not local or spontaneous, that the participants were a product of the social climate in which there is widespread adolescent rebellion, that since all the ills of society could not be remedied before fall work must be begun early and continued through the summer to enforce standards of behavior and law promptly and consistently.
The recommendations called for posting of beach rules, illumination of the beach, the employment of life guards to help initial enforcement of the rules and behavior, a fair, firm and consistent policy of enforcement by state police on a day-to-day basis, the establishment of a sub-station for state police at Hampton Beach, the removal of parking spaces in a congested area adjacent to the beach, along with close coordination between state, county and local law enforcement agencies and the Parks Division.
For legislative action the Commission recommended redefinition of the terms "assembly," "mob", and "riot", with increased penalties for offenders against public order. There were also recommendations for enabling legislation to allow communities to enact curfew ordinances and rental and public accommodations controls, along with additional bills providing for mutual aid among various governmental subdivisions.
Finally, there were recommendations that the community take its own steps toward enforcing satisfactory rental policies, both for safety and for the moral tone of the beach. There was recognition that the Hampton Police Department had already taken steps to improve itself. There was an endorsement as well of the principles under which the TAR and TAP Committees of the Hampton Beach Chamber of Commerce were acting.
While an earlier draft of the report prior to publication had in a greater measure taken the sociologists' view that society produces the individuals and the individuals in society collect to make the problems, that the final report leaned more heavily toward the philosophical outlook that the ultimate responsibility for behavior, on a large scale or a small one, rests finally with the individual. This was a compromise of sorts: within the Commission there were individuals who would have disagreed strongly with an extreme statement in either direction. The compromise in the end in large part should be credited to Judge Blandin's own strong personality and his beliefs that, while the role of society cannot be overlooked, the younger generation has been done a disservice by being governed too liberally by their elders.
After the Blandin Report was issued, there were only two or three weeks remaining in the legislative session. During this time no curfew law was passed, nor was there any enabling legislation on rental or lodging practices. However a much stronger "anti-riot" bill did go through, raising the penalties for riot participation from $500 to $1000 and from six months to one year in prison. At a somewhat earlier date the legislature also passed a law lowering the legal age of juveniles in New Hampshire from 18 years to 17, effective August 31, 1965.
Laconia-Weirs Beach Riot
Late in the month of June one other event in the state did have a direct bearing on the Hampton Beach situation: this was the riot at Weirs Beach following a motorcycle convention nearby. A detailed analysis of this riot is impossible to include in this report. However it seems clear that although a number of motorcyclists did take a prominent part in the disturbance there were many of the same types of middle-to lower-class casual young people who had been in the Hampton Beach riot the previous fall. The riot itself took place in an exceptionally congested lakeside resort area considerably smaller than Hampton Beach, its duration was short, and a special contingent of state police rather quickly broke it up, but its impact in the newspapers and news magazines across the nation was tremendous. Much attention was focused on a family who were terrorized, forced from their car, after which the car was overturned and burned. Categorical affirmations and denials of the presence of several Hell's Angels were also featured. Whether or not anyone did make the trip from California is almost academic; some of their symbols were in fact displayed and the resultant fear reaction was the same.
Youth and Adult Attitudes
The following descriptive and analytical chronology of the month of June seeks both to clarify many overlapping lines of activity and to bring out the philosophical struggle between the forces which sought to contain the young people on the one hand and the forces which sought to intervene with them on the other. Ideally and in the best of times these forces' efforts were complementary; at other times they found themselves working at cross purposes.
In our approach both to the adult and youth generations at Hampton Beach Stone, Van Nostrand, Hammond and I, along with several other members of the TAR Committee, found ourselves hammering at two themes: first, that the attitude of a group - adult or youth - is not a homogeneous thing, that it embraces a whole range of attitudes from the most antagonistic to the most understanding; secondly, that the individuals in the group frequently must suffer from the image of, or the behavior of, the group at large. Time and again we found ourselves assuring one or another young person who had been rebuked by the police for a seemingly minor transgression that he was being put upon not as an individual but as one of a group who may or may not have tried to break up the town last year - that if he looked big or tough or wore his clothes like a beach bum and let his hair grow to his shoulders he could hardly expect not to draw attention of the authorities, however pure his soul or his intentions.
In general it was easier to reason with the young people than with the adults. Young minds are more open, more willing to concede to apparent logic, more willing to accept good will on faith. Where the young people fell short was in patience: if an attempt to carry through an idea or a program did not succeed on the first try, or at very worst on the second, converts to that idea deserted the flock and looked upon us as false prophets.
If the adults were more reluctant to leave old concepts, less willing to abandon their suspicion of young people at large, their minds, once made up, were unlikely to change again. Thus the proponents or opponents of given issues within the Hampton Beach Project ultimately found themselves at loggerheads and a compromise was very difficult indeed to come by.
Structure of Hampton Beach Youth Society
The following notes on the structure of the youth culture at Hampton Beach are based upon observation with concurrence from a number of the young people themselves. Within obvious limitations, it has a certain validity, especially in relation to CAVE which itself became an additional factor in the society of the young.
By way of preface, it should be noted that we are talking here about a small fraction of the number of young people at the resort on any given day. Estimates of the total summer beach population, based on crowd observation, on parking area counts, and on domicile counts, run in the following order:
Overnight accommodations at Hampton Beach total approximately 14,000.
On an average summer day there may be 25,000 to 30,000 persons at Hampton Beach.
At peak crowd periods there may be 100,000 persons at Hampton Beach.
Of the total population, probably 75% of those at the beach center and 50% of those in the entire Hampton Beach area are under the age of 25. Thus there may well be 10,000 to 15,000 young people at the resort at any given time during the summer, or up to 50,000 or possibly more on holiday weekends.
Many of these are casual day visitors, with or without their families. Probably 1000 or more are employed at the beach. Within the groups of young people who could be classed as semi-permanent - frequent visitors or full-time summer residents - there were four major divisions or cliques, based essentially around places of employment.
1. The "C" Street gang" - young patrons and employees of the Patio Restaurant at the Ashworth Avenue end of C Street and of the Tiki Restaurant (in 1964 the Troll Bridge) near the Ocean Boulevard end of C Street. Probably 25 to 50 young people from this group were on the beach at all times through the summer; another 250 to 300 would come and go during various periods, with the peak on weekends. When a special party or outing - frequently a luau away from the Hampton Beach area - was held, nearly everyone from this group would be on hand. Of the various cliques on the beach it was the most cohesive, the most happy-go-lucky, probably the most casual in its attitudes towards sex and liquor.
Around this group - probably to a greater extent than with the other groups - there clustered a collection of hangers-on, particularly around the Tiki Restaurant. Of all the cliques on the beach the C Street gang was most "in." Perhaps "clannish" would be an appropriate term to apply to this clique, for on the occasion of its parties attendance was by invitation only; those not thoroughly accepted were pointedly omitted. Perhaps some of the hangers-on gave the C Street gang a worse reputation than it deserved, for although the Tiki and the Patio were never centers of trouble from a police viewpoint, it should be noted that some of the tougher kids of the beach did hang out there.
The C Street gang - and indeed all the other home-based groups on the beach - took a rather conspicuous stance against riots and rioters. These people came to Hampton Beach for a good time, and primarily they wanted to be left to their own devices. Specifically in the 1964 riot they had taken an active part in defending their own territory against the rioters and had prevented damage for the length of their street. Throughout the summer, many members of the C Street gang were on excellent terms with the police and the rapport was mutual.
2. "The Renwood Group", based around the employees of the Renwood Dining Room and Gift Shop, the Moulton Hotel and the Carrousel luncheonette, all properties of the Downer family. In this group there was a similar cohesive spirit. The individuals in the group were probably a little older - more of a college age - than those on C Street, and their behavior and attitudes a little more conventional. Of all the factions on the beach this one was least active in its participation in CAVE.
3. The Dunfey group, employees of Dunfey's Restaurant and various other beach enterprises and their friends. Through the years as the Dunfey enterprises have expanded and the Dunfeys themselves have had less opportunity to participate personally in their beach enterprises, their employees have become a less close-knit group. Nonetheless, this was a distinct faction in the beach society, both overlapping and in competition with the C Street group. For instance, during the summer of 1964 there was considerable horseplay over the "kidnapping" of the Dunfey piano by the habituees of the Troll Bridge and its subsequent recovery.
4.Casino employees - a distinct group in itself, especially around the employee domicile known as the Gink, but also fragmenting and taking part in the affairs of the various other cliques.
The remainder of the beach society was considerably more amorphous, composed of day visitors who came and went and smaller groups looking for beach outings or dates. As a rule there was very little cohesion along home-town lines. In some few instances there is contact between various members of these several groups during the winter season, but for the most part it centers around the beach itself, starting about mid-April and ending rather abruptly after Labor Day.
To some small extent there were some cultures around the few places of teenage entertainment on the beach. For instance, the Seagate Ballroom, running rock and roll bands four nights a week, consistently attracted a crowd of 14 to 16-year old youngsters who may have had other contacts during daytime hours. The Onyx Room, a teenage nightclub a mile to the north of the beach center, also had its own following, although here again there was overlapping, since much of its clientele obviously came from the C Street group.
To some extent the members of CAVE came from all these groups along with many other miscellaneous ones. As the summer progressed, CAVE itself became a distinct fifth group of a kind.
Early CAVE Members
Especially at the beginning, the fact that CAVE drew most heavily from the C Street group was both a source of strength and a disadvantage. The cohesiveness of the C Street people and the fact that a number of them had hoped and planned for such an organization served the Project well. On the other hand, there was a conspicuous sprinkling of beach bums - or kids who did their best to look like beach bums; it was hard to tell which was which. Typically they wore their hair long; the later the summer the longer grew the hair. The rest of the uniform was apt to be frayed chinos, often cut off above the knees, shirttails out - or no shirt at all - and bare feet or sandals. The more extreme wore leather vests with or without shirts, sweatshirts cut off at the shoulder and bleached their hair. One or two wore a single earring. In a number of cases a guitar was part of the uniform, even if the owner could not play more than one or two chords.
The girls' dress was a little more moderate - in many respects similar to that of the boys. Long straight hair was in vogue. Bathing suits tended to be on the skimpy side.
A handful of these young people had had brushes with the law, mostly for misdemeanors related to vagrancy, drinking, fighting or traffic violations. One or two - everyone knew who - had been more serious offenders.
A good deal of discussion among the CAVE committees centered around these borderline kids. Obviously, some of them were the very ones who might be in trouble as soon as a riot started were it not for CAVE to provide counter motivation, so it was well to keep them if possible.
On the other hand their conspicuous presence - hunched over a guitar or stretched back in chairs, feet up - was giving CAVE a reputation for being a bunch of rowdies, both with the adult population and with other young people. Adult reaction varied from amused tolerance through mild complaint to one or two real tirades about "punks" and sarcastic offer to provide free barbering services to new members. Some of the young people, especially the Renwood group, refused initially to have anything to do with CAVE, on about the same grounds.
Ultimately the CAVE Rules Committee stuck by its decision to accept all new members in good faith and to take action on members only if they were convicted of a misdemeanor or felony in court. A special Board of Review was set up to hear such cases as they occurred. Rather than to establish a penalty of their own in advance, the committee decided to weigh each case on its merits and build its code by a series of precedents.
The question of informing on their peer group was more difficult to meet. When the TAR Business Practices Committee proposed that CAVE try to take steps to curb shoplifting and skipping out on food checks, the young people decided that efforts to curtail such practices would brand CAVE as a fink outfit and render it ineffective for its larger responsibility in relation to riots. Thus the agreement came to be that members would inform when "big trouble" was pending, but small trouble would remain the province of the police.
On Wednesday, June 2, it poured during the entire day. When, at 6:00 pm, I arrived at our A Street store there were several large puddles on the floor. The water was coming in through the fluorescent fixtures overhead. With some hesitation I switched on the lights. Water continued to drip out of two or three of them in a steady stream, but they burned brightly and there was no sign that a short circuit was about to occur.
In an hour the conference of the combined CAVE committees with representatives of the Hampton police and the state police was to take place, hopefully to determine whether the first songfest would be sanctioned four days hence. All had faithfully promised to appear, but on this bleak evening the deserted face of the beach offered little comfort.
A few minutes after 6:00 pm Bill Farris, chairman of the Program Committee, saw the lights and wandered in. Then Jimmy Watkins roared up on his Honda. Together we tackled the puddles with mops and brooms and a shovel, rearranged the plank tables away from the leaks, and as we worked we talked. The boys were quietly hopeful, perhaps trying not to be cynical. The fact that a project like that at Hampton Beach was a pioneering effort lent an element of adventure, but it also posed the very obvious question whether anything at all would come of our plans. What did I think the chances were, they wanted to know. Would the "Staties" come this time? Would we get our clearance? Among other things, I was being tested as a representative of the adult world and of the Hampton Beach community. These young people and I had seen each other only a few times.
As objectively as I could, I answered their questions, talking in terms of hopeful probabilities and at the same time trying to make clear the difficulties we had to face in the light of Hampton Beach's history and the responses of the community at large and of the various levels of officialdom which represented the community.
As seven o'clock approached, more young people came, in ones or twos. On this rainy night, there were finally 20 to 25 of them - not only local people but from cities as far distant as forty miles.
Shortly thereafter came Chief Paul Leavitt and a detective sergeant from the Hampton Police and finally Lt. Paul O'Leary and an aide from the state police, and the conference began. Lt. O'Leary at once announced that his instructions were to listen and observe rather than to talk, that however he might feel personally inclined, he could make no commitments without consultation with higher authority. It was clear from the outset that no decision could result from tonight's conference.
Lt. O'Leary's statement put Chief Leavitt in the position of again having to conduct the conference pretty much by himself. Once again the same ground was covered concerning what might take place if this first songfest went badly and how CAVE might respond to such an initial disappointment. At one time it had been hoped that if one or two songfests were carried off effectively, then the ban on guitars might generally be lifted. However it was now made clear that musical instruments would be permitted on the beach only at the specified times and places where officially approved CAVE events might occur - if indeed any did occur. The history and structure of CAVE and its hope for constructive activities were outlined in detail for the state police representatives.
Although occasionally someone would attempt a humorous aside, it was a very serious meeting for all concerned, reminding one a little of preliminary truce talks between warring factions only recently brought to a cease-fire. Very gingerly a few of the young people posed questions about police motivations, and one or two questions of a similar kind were put by the police representatives to the committee members - the first exploratory steps toward a common understanding. Even so, the fact that the state police representatives were not in a position to respond to any substantive questions made the meeting an inconclusive one, and it was finally adjourned with a suggestion from Leavitt that CAVE representatives should meet with the selectmen and the promise from Lt. O'Leary that he would report what he had seen and heard back to state police headquarters.
After the meeting the young people who stayed around were pretty glum about it, and as I had a number of times before reminded them that this whole project was not going to be easy, that it would take patience, that if they continued to show their good will and to persevere that a beneficial program could result, in whatever slow fashion.
Bill Farris, Jack Derby, chairman of the Rules Committee, Jack Lamb from Membership and Jimmy Clark were designated by the combined committee to meet with the selectmen the following Friday. It was apparent now that we could have no more than 36 hours in which to set up the songfest if it were to be cleared. Members of the Program Committee were commissioned to contact the invited musicians and to put them on a standby basis. During the course of one of the police conferences, the site of the proposed songfest had been changed from the northern end of the beach to an area adjacent to an old breakwater off Haverhill Street, seven-tenths of a mile away from the CAVE headquarters and half a mile from the center of the beach.
On Friday afternoon at four the CAVE representatives - a little startling in suits and ties - visited the selectmen at the Town Office and conferred with them for half an hour or more. Afterward both they and the selectmen said that the meeting had gone well and that things looked hopeful - but still no conclusive statement had been made. Finally at 6:15 that evening Chief Leavitt called me and said permission had been granted both by town officials and state police, and I hurried to the beach to notify such young people as I could find scattered here and there.
After all this buildup the songfest itself seemed almost anticlimactic to me, although the young people most certainly did not regard it in this light. They felt it was fully a success and looked forward at its conclusion to many more affairs. Sunday was a beautiful day, so hot in fact that several of us went out to buy hats in anticipation of several long hours under the sun. The ground rules were that the event could last from 3:00 to 5:00, counting on the fact that the beach normally cleared at this supper hour to break up any crowd who might be reluctant to leave. Both state and local police had indicated that their surveillance of the songfest would be no more than a routine patrol. Signs were posted inside the CAVE building announcing the event, and word was circulated as widely as possible Saturday and during Sunday morning.
As 2:30 approached Sunday afternoon several small groups of us gathered rather self-consciously with guitars and banjos, crossed to the boardwalk and headed south on the long trek to Haverhill Street. When we reached the area where the songfest was held the young people were wryly amused to note that the routine police patrol consisted of several police cars pulled into Haverhill Street and numbers varying from six to a dozen of state and local policemen in uniform posted along the old breakwater above the sane. Several detectives in bathing suits mingled with the crowd.
Promptly at three o'clock a handful of banjoists and guitarists plopped themselves down on the sand to strum and sing, surrounded by perhaps fifty other young people, lounging, singing, listening, sunning. In the next few minutes a hundred or so more drifted into the area and joined in. At its peak perhaps 250 people were singing or listening or just watching. Certainly it was an unspectacular event but perfectly amiable and pleasant, and it was far enough away from the main beach so that there was no possible chance of the crowd's getting out of hand. In actual fact few people beyond a distance of a hundred feet realized what was going on. A handful of spontaneous watchmen from CAVE circled the group from time to time to look for signs of tension or trouble, then gave it up when it was obviously unnecessary.
The only real problem was that Dan Gravis, one professional singer and guitarist whom we had invited, was so much better than the general run of amateurs that it threatened to turn into a one-man performance, but ultimately some of the others drifted away and the large group broke into several smaller ones. It was the sort of event you'd expect to see on any Sunday afternoon beach outing - young people singing, lazing in the sun, paddling in the water, having a good time.
At one time or another we were visited by various members of the TAR Committee, the selectmen, and Chief Leavitt, all of whom indicated that they were delighted with the success of the event. By five o'clock the tide had come pretty well up, and the songfest broke up uneventfully. Committee members headed back toward CAVE headquarters for a scheduled six o'clock meeting with both police departments for a critique and a possible clearance for another event next week.
At that meeting the consensus was that it had been entirely successful. CAVE committee members asked whether another songfest could be scheduled for the following Sunday, this time with sufficient advance notice so that handbills could be passed out and a few posters put up in places frequented by young people. The subject of a possible dance on the sand was brought up for the Saturday two weeks hence. For this conference both Chief Leavitt and Lt. O'Leary had sent other representatives in the hope of widening the acquaintance between their own men and the CAVE members. To an extent this was effective; this meeting was more relaxed than the previous one had been. The drawback was that the representatives could say nothing about possible clearance for any future events. Thus one more meeting was held inconclusively.
Second Songfest Clearance Sought
The next morning, June 7th, I phoned state police headquarters in hopes of getting permission for a songfest to be held on June 13th. However I was told that Colonel Regan was on vacation for the week. Conversations with two captains and a lieutenant indicated that no one else could give the permission; one captain went out of his way to indicate that if it were up to him no more CAVE events would be held on the sand. Ultimately it was suggested that I might contact Colonel Regan by phone at his home. It seemed strategically unwise to bother a man during his vacation to ask permission for an event about which I suspected he was unenthusiastic.
Again I sought the advice of Chief Leavitt. As far as he was concerned the program had taken its initial step in proving itself. He suggested therefore that the next songfest be held just a little closer to the center of the beach - a few hundred yards north of Haverhill Street in an area about opposite M Street. If we were to use Fourth of July as any sort of extensive test program for Labor Day, there were a number of preliminary programs to be tried during the remaining weeks of June: a larger songfest nearer the center of the beach to see whether larger crowds could be handled adequately, one or two daytime dances on the sand in several possible locations, and an event after dark to test lighting systems and possible crowd behavior. We were hampered by the fact that the beach, in this interim period, was either deserted during the week days and nights or heavily crowded during the weekends until the regular season began with the close of schools. After June 20th we thought we might try the first night program on a Tuesday or Wednesday: by then there would be enough people on hand to make the event a moderate success and yet few enough so that it would not get out of hand.
Also to be faced was the rather delicate question of jurisdiction at Hampton Beach. At various times a number of private citizens and officials from the Governor on down had made categorical statements that the ultimate authority for law enforcement at Hampton Beach rested with the State Police Department. Some town officials and other police chiefs strongly questioned this stand. Hopefully the question would never need to arise, but at this time the difference in the degree of support for the TAR program between the two forces made it a subject at least for private speculation. In the area of Hampton Beach the question was further complicated by the fact that the beach itself was under the jurisdiction of the State Parks Department.
Therefore in an effort to seek maximum concord, Chief Leavitt and I dropped the question in the lap of Commissioner of Parks Russell Tobey, whose response was to set up a meeting in Concord for Thursday, June 10th, of all interested parties. On that day Chief Leavitt, Selectman Chairman Noel Salomon, Commissioner Tobey, Commissioner of Safety Robert Rhodes, Colonel Regan and I met in Commissioner Rhodes's office.
For an hour or more the group again went over all the concepts of the youth project and the details of program to carry the project through - the various songfests and dances leading up to July Fourth weekend, the July Fourth weekend program, and the ultimate goal of a Labor Day program which might offer sufficient diversion for youthful energy to supplant the need for a riot, the whole supported by a strongly growing youth organization through the summer centered around its headquarters building. Commissioner Tobey was strongly in favor of the program if it could be developed and tested at a cautious rate. Commissioner Rhodes and Colonel Regan still had strong doubts about assemblies of youth of any sort for 1965, complicated by their own internal problems. The primary function of the State Police Department is as a highway patrol; the legislature was still in session and the budget was tight; special funds for a contingent of state police in Hampton Beach were still up in the air. From their viewpoint any program which would call for added state police personnel only added to the problem, and while it was obviously the hope that the TAR program would ultimately make the police job an easier one, there could be no guarantee. There was only the option of trying the program step by experimental step. At the conclusion of this conference Commissioner Rhodes and Colonel Regan felt they could not yet give a general clearance to the program to proceed even on the understanding that it would be curtailed if there was difficulty at any point, but they did approve a second songfest for the M Street area of the beach on the following Sunday, June 13th.
The weekly report covering that day describes the scene succinctly:
. . . Unfortunately, it poured Sunday, so rather than let the event pass by we invited everyone into our A Street store which is some 27' by 80'. For an hour or two it was a wild and wooly, thoroughly wholesome scene with groups of kids strumming guitars, singing and hollering back and forth, while we struggled to keep the ID procedure in motion and to explain what it was all about to newcomers who happened by. In the middle of it all Selectman Noel Salomon came in for a conference on a proposed building with volunteer Dick Hammond. I suspect he found it both distracting and appealing. Brief personal observation - chaos is certainly a prime ingredient in fun for young people, a principle to keep in mind for Labor Day, just being sure that it consists of something other than battling the police.
Only the previous day, June 12th, had we been able to initiate the identification-membership procedure with the arrival of the official seal and the cards themselves. The need for these, we felt, was multifold: first, an amazing number of young people, even in their late teens, carried no identification at all, particularly unfortunate in a situation such as that at Hampton Beach where any youngster might be stopped by police and checked; second, it was necessary to reduce the anonymity factor toward potential riots, to make as many young people as possible feel that they were citizens of Hampton Beach with the same responsibilities they would carry in their home towns; third, these were membership cards, helping to weld the CAVE organization both by virtue of the benefits and discounts to which they would entitle the bearer and also by their existence alone.
The Cards themselves were wallet size, bore large letters C A V E in red ink, and called for all the customary identifying data. They carried a photograph of the member and were signed by the member and by a paid employee of the program. An ordinary corporation-type seal was then imprinted on the face of the card, covering the official signature, the photograph, and the member's date of birth, to make the cards as forgery-proof as possible.
A member could supply his own photograph or we would take it with a Polaroid camera with a divider front. We found that by lining young people up shoulder to shoulder we could in theory get as many as 64 faces on one roll of Polaroid film, although it never worked out that well since there had to be groups of people ready to have their pictures taken in concert and nobody liked to wait around. For the photos we charged ten cents apiece, which should have covered the cost of film but never quite did because of inevitable wastage.
At best the procedure for issuance of cards was a cumbersome one: the ID card and our office 3 x 5 card had to be filled out, along with a log book which listed members by card number; photographs had to be taken, coated, dried and pasted; and the proper signature and seal had to be affixed after the applicant had properly identified himself.
In the matter of identification we had no choice but to be rigid if we expected police and other officials to accept the cards as valid. For the most part we required a driver's license or draft card and if we were in doubt we asked the applicant to recite back to us his date of birth or home address. With some of the younger people we were a little more lenient, accepting perhaps a good-conduct certificate from a mom and a library card in combination, or whatever else seemed within reason. One youngster brought in his mother's driver's license along with a special note from her identifying him as her son. Another offered an ID bracelet, his name stamped on his guitar case, and the adamant verification of five friends. One or two little girls brought their mothers with them.
The fact that the June 13th songfest had to be held indoors because of rain threw us severely off our schedule of tests leading up the Fourth of July weekend. However Stone and other members of the TAR Committee felt that we had no choice but to see whether a dance could be held in the designated K Street area the following Saturday, June 19th. Permission was obtained from Leavitt and the selectmen. Again an attempt to obtain clearance through the state police produced inconclusive results, but by mid-week town officials gave us a full go-ahead and said that they would clear it at the state level.
Policy on Dancing
The question of clearance for a dance on the sand through the Chamber of Commerce directors was a puzzle. The motion in the minutes of that body stated only that major policy decisions should be subject to directors' approval. Whether dancing came under this category at this time was not clear. Time was a factor - between June 8th and June 22nd there was no directors meeting to which the TAR Committee had access. Certainly no deliberate decision was made to bypass the directors, and as many of them as possible were contacted personally and informed that a dance was to take place. Interestingly, in all the subsequent complaints about dancing, there was never criticism of the TAR Committee for taking this particular step unilaterally.
Inasmuch as dancing ultimately became such a crucial issue in the program it is worth brief speculation to consider what might have happened. Had the question of dancing been broached as a major policy issue in the directors meeting of June 8th it seems apparent it would have been either defeated or deferred for several weeks, by which time it would have been too late to undertake the proper test steps to include it in the July Fourth program. It was strongly felt by several members of the TAR Committee that no program which had not been tested on July Fourth weekend would be permitted for Labor Day weekend, which proved to be the case.
However since, in fact, dancing was proscribed for July Fourth weekend in direct reaction to the two dances ultimately held on the sand during June, there arises the question whether it might not have been better to have debated the issue beforehand in the meetings of the directors in hope of building the program more slowly through the summer and obtaining clearance for Labor Day weekend without the precedent of July fourth. In balance, it seemed wisest to try a dance right away, first because it was imperative to test the validity of dancing as a diversionary device in moderately heavy crowds, and, second, because the CAVE Committees felt it was imperative to show progress in programming if the organization were to continue to grow. John Dineen had offered the use of the Casino Ballroom for indoor dancing, but the young people unanimously felt that this would neither attract the crowds nor solve the problem of spontaneous entertainment of the casual beach youth visitors.
There certainly is no question that a number of us on the TAR Committee were predisposed to employ dancing as a counter-riot technique as a result of the counseling and encouragement we had received from agencies in Washington - not only the Office of Juvenile Delinquency, but the International Association of Chiefs of Police. Norman Kassoff, who was conducting the IACP training course for the Hampton Police Department, had been a lieutenant on the Dade County Police Department under whose jurisdiction and sponsorship the program of intervention, prominently including dancing, had been successfully employed at Fort Lauderdale. At that city, in addition to various welcoming techniques, there had been conducted for several years, during the spring invasion of college students, dances on the sand lasting from mid-morning to late each evening. At first, one location was tried and when it proved effective three or four dances were conducted simultaneously on separate sections of the beach. As a result, the record of arrests and the behavior problem have been radically improved. Feeling that they were welcome and that they were being treated - as they said - like adults, the youth have, in the years since this technique has been tried, settled down to enjoying themselves without causing trouble.
There were, of course, distinct differences between Fort Lauderdale and Hampton Beach, but we felt that the techniques might be modified for effective use here. Fort Lauderdale's contact with young people is for a period lasting approximately two weeks during Easter school vacation. Hampton's contact with youth is a summer-long affair, with a history of trouble only at peak-crowd holidays. Liquor is sold at Fort Lauderdale; Hampton is dry. Fort Lauderdale is considerably larger than Hampton Beach. In the Florida resort the program was undertaken with the direct sponsorship of the police; in Hampton it was a civic group working through the Chamber of Commerce. One other striking difference was the age of the police department: Dade County's police force averages 24 years in age. Particularly during the early stages of the dancing experiment, a great number of them were deployed on the beach in plain clothes and bathing suits, leaving only routine traffic patrols in uniform and other police in reserve out of sight with the express thought of giving the young people a feeling of as much freedom as possible while still having force available for use if necessary.
With all these differences, it still seemed that dancing might be the most effective single device for crowd diversion which could be employed at Hampton Beach. It seemed to be the one universal which could attract and hold the attention of the largest number of young people while simultaneously putting at least non-destructive use to their energies. If liquor was not available at Hampton Beach perhaps so much the better. Physical size might not be a serious limitation: there was still enough room for good sized dances in separate locations north and south of the Seashell, with possibly a third dance conducted in the area by the bandstand if the seats were removed. The great factor that Hampton seemed to have working to its advantage was the long season. Fort Lauderdale conducted dances nightly for a period of two weeks at considerable expense to the community and other contributing agencies. If in Hampton there could be dances perhaps once a week through the summer and possibly at some nominal fee, there would have to be really intensive use of the technique only at the peak-crowd periods during Fourth of July and Labor Day weekends. Obviously, the semi-permanent society at the beach opened the further possibility of a stable organization, already rapidly shaping up in CAVE, which could supply continuity and organization to all these events. If the lack of enthusiasm for the program on the part of the state police made it impossible to keep uniformed law enforcement officers to a minimum, perhaps their presence would not seriously alter the effectiveness of the dances, and if the dances continued to go well through the summer it might be that at least visible police surveillance could be reduced through the summer.
All of this was discussed in great detail by those of us actively engaged in the program, advised and supported by Cy Rosenthal, who had made it possible for us to obtain written data on Fort Lauderdale and who had put us in contact with Kassoff. It was our sincere hope that if one or two dances could be conducted effectively in June the technique might be accepted by the community.
One roadblock stood in the way of the use of dancing for the peak holiday weekends: New Hampshire's "blue laws" strictly and specifically forbade dancing on Sunday. In the case of both Fourth of July, 1964, and Labor Day, the peak periods of tension and trouble were the Sundays of the three-day weekend. The advice from several friendly police officials and from several directors of the Chamber of Commerce was not to worry about it but just to go ahead and plan dances for those days on the assumption that no one would blow the whistle. To several of us on the TAR Committee the advice seemed well-meaning but the results might be potentially explosive. Therefore I went to Concord to discuss with one of the Governor's aides what sort of abridgement of the law there might be for this occasion. If we were to seek Chamber of Commerce approval for such Sunday dances, it seemed obvious that their first reaction would be that it was illegal, and the only hope of getting approval from the directors would be if we could show there was a legal and ethical way to bypass the blue law for a situation as important as that at Hampton Beach.
The Governor's aide said that there was no way the law could be suspended by executive order and that the only hope was in getting a special rider through the legislature which would exempt Hampton Beach for the two specific days in question. At his suggestion I went to see Herbert Casassa, a member of the TAR Committee and a representative to New Hampshire's House of Representatives from the town of Hampton. After consultation with several other legislators, Casassa said he would consider the matter. He was greatly concerned that such an attempt might harmfully affect the chances for passage of the pending riot bill, now in the hopper pursuant to the recommendations of the Blandin Commission. My response was that it would be helpful if there were a legal way to have dancing at Hampton for the two Sundays in question, but that I would certainly understand if political realities made it out of the question.
It was about at this same time that we lost further use of our temporary headquarters. The A Street store had been loaned to us for four full weeks with utilities through the generosity of George and Ray Downer, but now it was to be rented for use as a shoe store. It obviously was going to take several more weeks to settle the matter of a permanent youth building or even its site. A number of merchants were helpful in trying to find another temporary store or building, but the season was opening up so rapidly that none was available.
CAVE Headquarters -- A House Trailer
Finally, at a special meeting of the TAR Committee, at which C of C President Vanderpool and Selectman Trofatter were present along with Selectman Salomon, we were given permission to place a house trailer, if we could borrow one, in the parking lot south of the Seashell and adjacent to the beach and the children's playground. During the week, Dick Hammond successfully persuaded a trailer company in North Hampton not only to loan us one of their used trailers but to bring it down and set it up at no charge, and this was done about mid-week. The fact that it was a battered old relic if anything was to our liking, since it meant we didn't have to worry whether kids tromping through it would do any damage, but rather quickly several business people across the street suggested it was hardly a beauty spot on the waterfront.
Meanwhile preparations were being made for the beach dance Saturday afternoon, June 19. Dick Hammond, with volunteer help, constructed a stage some six inches high in four by eight foot sections, small enough to be broken down and carried in a station wagon yet large enough so that the eight-by-sixteen foot area would hold a rock and roll band and all their electronic gear, some of it very expensive and possibly subject to damage from the sand. Arrangements were also made to borrow a generator from a tool rental outfit in town, and we made inquiries about a band for the occasion. Far from having trouble locating free entertainment, we discovered ourselves with an embarrassment of riches - both the Trolls and the Warlocks, rock and roll quintets, were vying for the right to play the first CAVE dance on the sand, and an unfortunate duplication of effort made it so that both were engaged for the same affair. Only some delicate negotiations straightened the matter out without hard feelings. In both instances we said we would do our best to see that the band in question was hired for a paid dance in the future in the event that any were held.
Those working with teenagers and young adults in the field of entertainment would do well to know that at least for the present time it is not necessary to employ big names to draw and hold a good crowd. At least in this area there are literally dozens of competent rock and roll quartets and quintets, composed mostly of boys in their teens, who are available at fees ranging from $50 to $150. Though I have been a musician most of my life, I was not familiar with the niceties of rock and roll music, but I found that it is safe to follow the suggestions of the young people themselves so long as one is clearly getting a consensus.
Perhaps it is almost too obvious to say that the universal in work with the young is music, and the more familiar the adult worker is with young tastes the more effective will the programming be. Further comments will be found in the analysis of the Fourth of July weekend program, but for the moment it should be noted that the fact I can play a string bass passably gave me an entrée to young people I never otherwise could have reached, even though I was almost totally unfamiliar with their music at the outset.
On Saturday, June 19th, at three o'clock two events were simultaneously scheduled. One was the CAVE dance on the sand, and the other was a special meeting of the executive board of the Chamber of Commerce, and since it was urgently suggested that I attend the latter, Hammond took responsibility for the first hour of the dance.
The executive meeting raised two serious questions of protocol, complaining that we had been out of order in approaching the state legislature with the question of a dancing-for-Sunday rider and that we had not obtained proper clearance to place the trailer even temporarily on the waterfront. On the former question it seemed pointless to try to explain that the only practical possibility of getting dancing for these days was to see if it could be made legal before seeking permission from the directors. Therefore I simply apologized for stepping out of line, and promised that it would not happen again.
On the question of the trailer I felt on surer ground, since permission for its placement had been granted by two of the three selectmen and since the president of the Chamber of Commerce had seen no objection to it. However, since the members of the executive board were vehement in their criticism, both of the trailer as an eyesore and of TAR personnel for placing it there without proper clearance, I agreed that it should be removed to Ashworth Avenue beside the police station rather than chance losing the site for the permanent building two weeks or so hence.
First Dance - June 19th
After the meeting I hustled down to the M Street area of the beach where the dance was taking place. All seemed to be well. Somewhere between 500 and 1000 young people and adults were gathered around, more watching than dancing. The music was loud, plenty loud enough to satisfy the young people, yet from the boardwalk it could hardly be heard over the roar of the generator. By the time one crossed the adjacent parking lot and reached Ocean Boulevard itself, neither the band nor the generator could be heard.
For the most the police stayed at the railing along the boardwalk, and none seemed to feel that the dance posed a problem in terms of crowd control. Such criticism as there was initially from either police department was more in terms of the propriety of the dancing. Earlier in the hour, one bikini-clad girl had been cavorting in what Chief Leavitt and several others thought was a distasteful manner. However, when Leavitt spoke to Hammond, Hammond had in turn sent a boy to speak to her, and she had quickly donned a shirt. Interestingly enough, a number of other girls therewith put on shirts without being asked. Rather than resenting the criticism, the young people seemed anxious to take any reasonable steps to avoid criticism.
The dance ran its course from three to five o'clock to the obvious delight of the committees who had helped make it possible and to the quite general satisfaction of the young people who participated in it. They felt they had not only put on a program which was fun for everyone but had conclusively demonstrated that a sizable and conspicuous event could be undertaken without trouble of any kind.
The next day a songfest was undertaken in roughly the same area of the beach, but by now it was old hat, particularly compared with the impact of a rock and roll dance, and only a handful of people attended. Even the sight of a guitar on the beach failed to arouse any particular interest of the casual sun and surf bathers.
However, during Sunday and on the days that followed there began a tide of adult criticism of the dance which had been held Saturday. There was great concern whether today's dancing was the sort of thing that ought to be done in public, and particularly whether it ought to be permitted, to say nothing of being encouraged, at Hampton Beach. More distressing still were the rumors which accompanied the criticism - alleged eye witness reports that one girl was dancing in a G string or that she had lost the top of her bathing suit. Other statements were made to the effect that the dancing was worse than what you would see in a burlesque house, and it was alleged that rock and roll dancing had been forbidden in both Boston and Revere. On the other hand, one or two of the selectmen had attended the dance and had been warmly enthusiastic about its success, and a number of other adults were pleased that the program had progressed satisfactorily to date.
The following Tuesday, June 22, was the date set for the directors meeting at which the TAR Committee would present the next phase of its program, including the Fourth of July weekend schedule. Obviously, judging from the mixed reactions to the dance, a substantial debate was shaping up.
Policy Debate Shapes Up
We were much concerned that Richard Stone might be flying and not able to be present, either for this meeting or for the TAR meeting which was to precede it. Throughout the spring Stone, Van Nostrand and subsequently Hammond and I had worked very closely with all aspects of the program, with Rosenthal a close advisor on no less than a weekly basis through telephone or personal contact.
Stone, as TAR chairman, had gone far beyond his duty as head of an advising and authorizing committee to take an almost day-by-day part both in thinking through practical decisions and in helping to carry them out by personal contact with all the various officials and lay persons responsible for or interested in beach policy. Often his patience and tact had helped carry an issue through a trying negotiation or debate to a workable solution. In a number of instances he bore the onus for the decision which was not his alone, for instance a policy which other individuals felt they could support privately but not publicly.
The question of the teenage nightclub - the Onyx Room - was a case in point. Originally a good number of officials and lay persons had felt that there was real need of such an establishment if it could be a healthy diversion for young people. Then, when the Chamber of Commerce made it clear that teenage nightclubs were not acceptable, it became incumbent upon TAR and Stone, as chairman, to take no further action upon this program element. However, a few officials still supported the efforts of Carmen Fichera, a young man about 22, who was attempting to establish a teenage club with the backing of a beach businessman. Then it became apparent that a property was available for the club in the Boar's Head area, about one mile north of Hampton Beach center. No official felt he could take the step of recommending Fichera to the landlady, so Stone was asked to do so. After some thought he did make the recommendation, and there his participation in the matter ended.
As a result, although no direct charges were made, there were a number of strong hints that Stone had clandestinely set up the Onyx Club counter to the wishes of the Chamber of Commerce.
Police Training Course
Another area where Stone had played a quiet but important role was helping to establish the police training course under the International Association of Chiefs of Police. At Rosenthal's suggestion, Stone made the initial contacts which resulted in Chief Leavitt's visit to Washington and the subsequent agreement to have instituted a course which dealt effectively with human relations in police work and the changing role of the policeman in a society where he must cope, not only with criminals, but with social situations like that at Hampton Beach.
Originally it was hoped to have state as well as local police participation in the IACP course if it were to have any significant effect in improving the relations between police and young people. Both Stone and Chief Leavitt did everything possible to encourage this state level participation, but in the end it proved impossible for a variety of reasons, not the least of which was the fact that even in late June there was no clear indication of which state troopers would be permanently assigned to Hampton Beach or even whether there would be a rotating force.
Particularly during June the calendars of everyone associated with the Hampton Beach Project were crowded with conferences and consultations with this person or that group as all these various matters were carried through to some sort of resolution. One particularly time consuming issue was the matter of the youth center building, which would also have to be cleared at the Chamber of Commerce meeting on June 22nd.
Youth Building Questions
First there was the question of location. If it was to go on the beach front, was it to be north or south of the playground? If it was to be in the most desirable location - north of the playground - there had to be, before it could be brought to the Chamber of Commerce directors, approvals from both the selectmen and the Parks Department since this particular piece of land was in process of being transferred from one to the other. Ultimately, approvals of all these locations were obtained so that the matter could be finally decided by the directors.
Then there was the question of money. Since federal funds could not be used for permanent acquisitions, the only source of funds available at that time was the $3000 allocated for Project use by the Town of Hampton. It was finally decided that it would be permissible to use these funds for a building with the contingency that subsequent funds raised by the TAR Committee would be turned back into the town account.
There arose then the question of ownership and indeed whether possession of the building would be an asset or a burden. Would the building be the possession of the Chamber of Commerce under whose sponsorship it would be erected, or of the town which was supplying the funds. At one stage an attempt was made to solve these questions by the rental of a prefabricated structure which could be dismantled at the end of the year, but fortunately or unfortunately, the only building available under these terms was unsuitable and not available until well into July.
All these questions were considered in Chamber of Commerce meetings, TAR meetings, with the selectmen, and with a great variety of interested individuals. At the conclusion it was apparent that the least expensive sort of semi-permanent building would be one of wood. For a little over $2000 we could probably put up a very basic sort of structure with volunteer help, not including costs for any utilities or for painting.
Hammond drew up designs for such a building, then went the extra step of approaching a builder of prefabricated homes in Portsmouth. When the builder heard what the structure was to be used for, he offered a unit 20 x 40 complete with a prime coat of paint for $2600 which could be erected in two or three days time. The only additional cost would be the second coat of paint and the roofing, and here again Hammond got free assistance from a friendly roofing company. Drawings of the building were supplied for consideration by the TAR Committee and the Chamber of Commerce.
Finally, of course, the most pressing matter to be presented to both these bodies was the July Fourth program. An earlier attempt to establish a substantive program with the TAR Committee on June 9th had produced initial discussion but no conclusive result. Now the option of dancing for Sunday was definitely out of the question, so Hammond, Stone and I met to see what the strongest second choice could be. Dancing, we felt, should at least be used for the Saturday of the three-day weekend. It seemed impractical to attempt anything on as large a scale as the all-day all-night affair at Fort Lauderdale, but perhaps a long dance or series of dances carrying through from four in the afternoon to midnight would be possible. There was the question of lighting, but we hoped to face this in the preparation for a special night dance on the Wednesday before Fourth of July weekend, which would serve as one more in a series of tests. For Sunday, the only solution seemed to be the best possible variety show which could be put together in the ten-day period between the 22nd and the big weekend.
As noted above, we were seriously concerned that Stone might not be available for these two important meetings since he had so strongly led the way in previous program discussions. The program we were about to present was obviously a long way from the original considerations of the TAP Committee, and the decision was not going to be an easy one for the Chamber of Commerce to make. Feeling we needed all the support we could get, we checked with C of C President Vanderpool to see whether he thought there would be any objection to having Cy Rosenthal on hand. When he said he could see no objection, an urgent call was placed to Rosenthal, who agreed to come for that day.
C. of C. Clears Program
Then, at the last minute before the TAR Committee meeting was to convene, Stone appeared unexpectedly, having rearranged his flight schedule. The TAR meeting itself went quickly and effectively. The building plans were accepted, and if the Fourth of July program was not brought to an official vote there was a general consensus of approval as we went into the Chamber of Commerce meeting. Since the minutes of the meeting included herewith were not kept by Bill Elliot, they are somewhat bare of the detail he customarily fills in. Nevertheless they do give the essentials.
Minutes of the meeting of the Board of Directors of the Hampton Beach Chamber of Commerce:
Fire Station Hall
Hampton Beach, NH
June 22, 1965
The meeting was called to order by President Vanderpool at 8:00 P.M. with the following directors present: King, Cann, Doherty, John Dineen, Downer, Gerald Dunfey, John Dunfey, Fallon, Foley, Fuller, Goding, Grandmaison, Henneka, Jordan, McCurdy, McLane, Moulton, Preston, Ross, Salomon, Trofatter, Vanderpool, Cunningham, Stone and several visitors. The minutes of the last meeting were omitted as our Executive Secretary was away.
Salomon spoke on the CAVE location, saying there were two proposed locations either north of the Children's playground, or south of it. He said he would like to go on record as favoring the north side location, because of Rest Room facilities. He also thought that the part of the building 20' should be east and west, and the 40' sides north and south, so as not to interfere with parking. Paul Estaver said the question of the building had to be settled tonight as it must be erected by June 30.
Several spoke for the front location and several were against it. Dick Hammond showed sketches of the proposed prefab building, which could be erected for $2600.00.
It was felt that registrations would increase, when the building was up, and this was what we were striving for. Motion by George Downer that we have CAVE on the front, seconded by Jack Dunfey, and motion carried. Motion by Salomon that the location be the North side of the playground, that the narrow ends be east and west, subject to the approval of Russell Tobey, Division of Parks, the state and local police. Motion seconded by Preston. Motion carried.
Dr. Rosenthal, who was present from Washington, D.C., spoke of how enthused they were in Washington with the Hampton Beach project. It had created a lot of interest because most projects run into millions whereas this was being operated on $42,000. When they heard of the Riots this past week-end he was sick but greatly thrilled when he learned it was not his beloved Hampton Beach.
The following CAVE program was proposed:
June 26, 1965 Dance 3:00 to 5:00 PM "M" Street area on sand
June 30, 1965 Dance 3:00 to 5:00 PM "M" Street area on sand
Dance 8:00 to 10:00 PM (If public lighting is not available, we will provide it for night events.)
July 3, 1965 Dancing 4:00 to Midnight "M" Street area
July 4, 1965 Variety Show 5:00 PM to Midnight, followed by two (2) hours of dancing.
(To disburse the crowd) "M" Street area
Motion by George Downer, seconded by Jack Dunfey, that program be accepted subject to the approval of the State and Local police. Motion carried (17 to 4).
Many present spoke opposing the type of dance they had seen on the beach.
Bob Preston passed around the full page write-up which appeared in the Boston Globe. It was felt that it was good coverage and an excellent resume.
Jack Dunfey spoke of the changing times and that we had to expect to change with the times.
Two teenagers were present and introduced as representing CAVE.
Meeting adjourned at 11:00 PM.
A few corrections should be noted: under the heading June 30, 1965, for the program, there is erroneously listed a dance from 3:00 to 5:00 in the afternoon. Also, when the program was passed, the midnight dance for Monday morning was limited to one hour. Although the minutes note that only the program was subject to local and state police approval, it was our understanding that the building as well had to be cleared.
This meeting was attended by 20 or 30 members of the Chamber of Commerce other than the directors, and the debate, particularly on the issue of dancing, was intense. There was a good deal of sincere objection to today's pelvic dancing, countered by arguments that the gyrations of the young have always been subject to raised eyebrows on the part of the adult generation and that any dance can be made provocative if the individual chooses to make it so. There was also the question whether such dancing would hurt Hampton's image as a family beach, however much those who were regulars in the community might be willing to accept it. Unquestionably the vote in favor of the program called for much soul searching on the part of those who ultimately supported it, and many did so hesitantly, and only because they were convinced that it was the right thing to do that and the crisis at Hampton Beach called for drastic action.
Rosenthal and Robert Preston made very strong presentations, both on the theme that the younger generation is quickly coming to a position of majority in our society and that we must make adjustments, however radical they may seem, to changing times and a way of life which has room for persons of all ages.
Once the program was approved our real work had only begun. First there were conferences with such members of the CAVE Program Committee as could be rounded up, first to find out what bands and entertainment were appropriate for the various functions to come, and, second, to see what we could do about obtaining them. Then too, permission had to be obtained from Chief Leavitt and Colonel Regan to clear the program and to start work on the building. Wednesday, the day after the C of C meeting, I spent some nervous hours chasing Colonel Regan all over the state by telephone to set up an appointment with him and Leavitt to consider the program, but more important to get his approval for the building. The only possible chance we had of getting it put up for July Fourth weekend was if we could start construction Thursday, the next day, because of the schedule of the erecting crew. Hammond, activist that he is, had taken the chance that approval would be forthcoming and had given the go-ahead to the building company, but having been severely reprimanded for acting out of protocol, I was not comfortable until I reached Colonel Regan at his home late Wednesday evening and received permission officially. Since we could still take no concrete steps toward setting up the actual July Fourth program without police permission, and since time was short, Colonel Regan agreed to meet with me and Chief Leavitt two days hence for a decision.
On that same Wednesday night a mass meeting of all the CAVE Committees, some 30 to 40 young people, assembled at the cabana by Dick Hammond's swimming pool to consider all the various elements of program that were now about to begin. A newspaper crew was set up under worker Nancy Deane, a money-raising crew under Craig Little, the Rules Committee was disbanded and replaced by a Board of Review to consider the cases of a few CAVE members who had been arrested recently as soon as they came to court, and a few members of the Program Committee were delegated to work with me and Hammond in setting up the actual details of the July Fourth program as soon as police permission was obtained. The fact that the Chamber of Commerce directors had approved the program served as a tremendous morale booster for all present. When the question of volunteers to help erect the building arose, there was an ample showing of hands.
(It should be noted, however, that more man hours were probably put in by Project employees and by adults paid by Dick Hammond than by volunteers. The young people did come from time to time, but as usual it was a small number of regulars upon whom one could depend, and several changes in the work schedule further reduced their number. If we could have worked the following Sunday, probably we would have had more volunteers than we knew what to do with, but one woman in the community raised a violent objection to labor on Sunday, and rather than face this complication we held a moratorium on work for the Lord's day.)
Attempts to Line Up July 4 Program
Obviously the most difficult problem we had to face was that of either money or backing for the variety show scheduled for Sunday of Labor Day weekend. Something miraculous was going to have to happen, help either from a radio station or the gift of talent from someone, or at the very least some sort of loan to carry us through to the time we could undertake our own fund-raising efforts.
Our first approach was to Peter Fuller, president of the largest Cadillac-Oldsmobile franchise in Boston and a summer resident on Little Boar's Head in the town of North Hampton. He seemed a logical person to approach, not only because of his avowed interest in young people, but because he had just completed heading a million dollar fund raising drive for cancer research in the state of Massachusetts. By mid-week I was successful in reaching him and explained in detail what the Hampton Beach Project was all about. He certainly was most interested and seemed inclined to help. Had it not been for the unfortunate circumstance that he was to be away for the next full week, this was the one individual who probably could have put together a program without cost. As it was, he gave me a list of people who he felt could be helpful and suggested I use his name in reference.
Meanwhile Rosenthal, on his end, was doing what he could to help. He set up an appointment for us with the president of WBZ in Boston, the largest rock and roll station in New England whose functions with disc jockeys in various communities were well known. Further, Rosenthal promised to see whether, if it were necessary, funds could be borrowed from the federal project for use in program.
Friday morning I met with Colonel Regan and Chief Leavitt at Leavitt's office. Once again Leavitt played the devil's advocate, going over each detail of the program with a critical fine-tooth comb. As before, it was agreed that if there was trouble at any step, the remainder of the program might well have to be curtailed or abandoned. After much discussion both Leavitt and the Colonel finally did agree to proceed with the program on the understanding that we would evaluate each event and, if it were successful, go on to the next one. Thus there was now approval for the following Saturday's rock and roll dance in the afternoon, an evening one on the Wednesday thereafter if adequate lighting could be provided, and so on through Fourth of July weekend.
Subsequent calls for help in setting up the Sunday program were less encouraging. The manager of radio station WBBX in Portsmouth, while volunteering personnel from his own radio station, was dubious that we would get free assistance to any other extent, particularly with so little time to prepare.
The next visit was to Arnie Ginsberg, a popular rock and roll disc jockey of WMEX in Boston who had a summer place in Ogunquit, Maine. It took a little time to hunt him down and subsequently to convince him that I wasn't a crank. Once convinced, however, there was little he could do except offer advice. He himself was already booked at Boston Garden for the day in question and he was quite sure that most of the other "name" jockeys from the Boston area would be similarly tied up. He did give considerable advice on setting up the affair in terms of staging and public address system, and supplied other names in reference. Possibly, he said he might be able to help for Labor Day weekend. Finally, he was sure there was no way to set up such a program as we were anticipating without spending somewhere between one and two thousand dollars.
This was Saturday morning; Saturday afternoon I got back to the beach just in time to help set up the second CAVE dance on the sand, attended this time both by more young people and by more adult spectators.
This dance was a little more comfortable than the first, when the young people had been self-conscious and hesitated to get up and dance before so many spectators. This time also there was a sort of unspoken rule on shirts for girls put into effect before there could be any criticism.
Several directors of the Chamber of Commerce, who had heard all the hullabaloo but not seen the event, came down this time to see how bad it was and seemed to be reassured. Of the entire crowd probably no more than a hundred were actually dancing at any one time, and these were so thoroughly surrounded by spectators that one really had to crane one's neck to see them at all from the boardwalk. Apparently, these directors concluded, it was more the idea than the actual spectacle of rock and roll dancing which had set people's teeth on edge.
It should certainly be noted that there were also strongly critical adults on hand again this time, both from the directors of the Chamber of Commerce and from its general membership. Over the course of the past week one director had resigned over the issue of dancing and now another one threatened to follow suit. While the police could not say that this function was anything in the way of a crowd control problem, Lt. O'Leary especially commented that he had had many complaints about rock and roll dancing per se.
One event in the course of the dance served, if anything, to reinforce the argument that CAVE functions were sound as an experiment in group behavior. This was when first one, then three other boys were removed from the crowd by the police for minor offences, neither of which was associated with the dance itself. The arrests were made without incident; the crowd simply stepped back and let the police officers go about their business with as little fuss as possible. Afterward Chief Leavitt commented with pleasure over the incident. A year ago, he said, in order to have made an arrest from such a crowd he would have gone in at his peril, expecting to have his hat knocked off and sand thrown in his face. He therefore gave permission for the rest of the program to proceed as planned.
Continued Search for July 5 Talent
The daytime hours on Sunday, June 27th, were taken up with the beginning of the research interview schedule on the beach and with a conference with the consultants for the staff in the afternoon. In the evening I went to see Jimmy Parks in Manchester, a manager of several popular folk music groups. He said he would do what he could to obtain the Brandywines for our July Fourth Production but at a price. By now it was clear that unless tomorrow's visit at WBZ could produce an unexpected surprise we were going to have to pay for whatever talent was brought in. Parks had suggestions for Labor Day weekend - first that we see whether funds could be obtained through the Musicians' Performance Trust Fund, affiliated with the American Federation of Musicians, and second, that for a very few hundred dollars we could run the First Annual Invitational Folk-Rock-Pop Festival at Hampton Beach. The only funds required would be for prizes, perhaps as little as $500, in toto and if it were set up as a legitimate invitational tournament it could draw the best from all categories in this region to the beach.
The next morning Dick Hammond, my wife and I set out for Boston to see what help could be obtained from WBZ or from whomever else we could track down. We had in hand a list supplied by the CAVE Program Committee with suggestions for various performers in the folk field who they felt would be suitable and exciting for the Sunday variety show. In addition to the Brandywines, whom Parks was already trying to contact, there were Jim Kweskin and his Jug Band, Eric von Schmidt, Dave van Ronk, Bonnie Dobson, The Charles River Valley Boys and a hair-raising rock and roll group from Boston University known as Barry and the Remains.
In response to a telegram from Washington, Perry Bascom, president of WBZ, welcomed us in and said that it was conceivable that WBZ could sponsor the sort of program we had in mind for Labor Day, but it was out of the question for July Fourth weekend since WBZ plans such productions weeks, or months in advance.
However, he made a special call and set up an immediate appointment for us at Folklore Productions in Boston, where we were able to line up a show that included Von Schmidt, Bonnie Dobson, The New Lost City Ramblers, and possibly one or two others. If we could now get either Barry and the Remains or the Brandywines, we would have a show to brag about.
Considerable chasing around at B.U. finally uncovered the name of the manager of Barry and the Remains. He was not sure whether they could make it or not, but the price tag was something over $500. Obviously if all or any of this was to come about there was going to be need for a substantial amount of money.
There followed a series of phone calls to Washington and Hampton to see what could be set up in terms of a loan from the federal funds. Rosenthal referred us to George Roemer, fiscal officer for the Office of Juvenile Delinquency, who agreed that the funds could be loaned in this manner if he received a telegram from Stone and Vanderpool with a formal request and at least an outline of what the entertainment schedule was to be. With two of the feature groups still in the air, we could only pick a figure out of the air and make sure it was high enough to cover all contingencies. Therefore we phoned back to Stone and suggested that he send the telegram with a listing of features whose costs totaled a maximum of $2950. Stone in turn prepared the telegram, persuaded Vanderpool to permit his name to be signed and dispatched it to Washington forthwith. The understanding was that the loan would be repaid from such funds as the TAR Committee and/or the young people from CAVE could raise through the summer. For the time being it would be covered by unexpended funds or borrowed from budget line items not yet put to use.
That evening when I returned home I received a phone call from Vanderpool, who was greatly concerned over the entire matter. He had, he said, been willing to go through the form of letting the telegram go out, but he was sure that the Chamber of Commerce would never agree to borrow funds on the basis stipulated "in their present frame of mind," and he warned me I must not commit the Chamber to so much as one cent until it was okayed by the Board of Directors. The warning was a timely one, letting us know both that something more than this loan arrangement must be effected, and that the coming Chamber of Commerce meeting for Tuesday, the 29th of June, might be rough.
Therefore, that same evening I phoned Rosenthal at home to see whether federal funds might be used outright for a program of this sort. He promised to check it with the staff of the Office of Juvenile Delinquency the next morning, and by ten o'clock Tuesday he called to say that a telegram approving this use of funds was already on its way.
I called Folklore Productions in Boston with a temporary "hold" order for the show we had tentatively lined up. They agreed to wait until Wednesday morning provided I would at that time either cancel the whole affair or make a trip to Boston prepared to sign a contract and to bring a certified check for $500 as a down payment. Subsequent calls to Boston and Manchester made it clear that neither Barry and the Remains or the Brandywines would be available for July Fourth so that an additional group from Folklore Productions of some kind would have to be hired.
July 4 Program in Trouble
During the course of that afternoon I was warned by several more people that the evening's Chamber of Commerce meeting was going to be a difficult one when it came to the question of the use of large sums of money - their own or anyone else's - for a program of free entertainment at Hampton Beach.
That evening at the 7:00 PM TAR meeting the troubles for the program began. Until this time most of the TAR meetings had been fairly peaceful affairs and such formal votes as were taken were usually unanimous. But this was quite a radically altered committee from what it had been during the months of late winter and early spring. Although they were still members the following had been unable to attend meetings for a number of weeks - Chief Leavitt, Herbert Casassa, the state representative, Daniel Maloney, the high school principle and Robert Preston, the businessman-politician who had in the past engineered several important compromises. Also absent from this meeting was George Downer, the moderate of the three new members appointed to the committee in May. Present were Stone, Van Nostrand, Elliot, Foley, Dineen, Salomon, Lt. O'Leary, Hammond and myself. Of the group I suppose you could say Stone, Van Nostrand, Hammond and myself were the liberals. Salomon and Bill Elliot were in the moderate category, while Foley and Dineen were inclined to be conservative, along with Lt. O'Leary. The lieutenant made it a policy not to participate in the voting, but his viewpoints generally were the conservative ones of the state police. Hammond, an employee of the committee rather than a member, had no vote.
It was a difficult occasion for all of us. Once again the question was raised whether the dances we contemplated could become the occasion for a riot, and the pursuant discussion traced the activities we had had to date and the experience of Fort Lauderdale. There was considerable question whether Colonel Regan had indeed made a decision about dancing on the beach: Lt. O'Leary had the impression that no such permission had been granted, while mine was quite the opposite.
The question of the expenditure of almost $3000, however, was the most difficult one with which to cope. First there was the matter of protocol again - was it proper without authorization from TAR for Stone to send a telegram requesting the use of federal funds in the fashion we contemplated: Then came the question how the $3000 would be replaced, and we could only quote Rosenthal as having said that if the program continued in a satisfactory fashion additional funds would be available. The minutes of the TAR meeting of that day outline the remainder of the discussion:
The question of crowd control was raised by Mr. Dineen. Mr. Estaver stated we could control with entertainment. Mr. Elliot expressed the fear that entertainment would create factions among the crowd. Mr. Dineen questioned the wisdom of a soft approach to the kids, saying it hadn't worked last year.
The question of having such an activity at the state park was raised by Mr. Dineen. Mr. Estaver replied that such a program, if it were to be effective, must have the element of spontaneity. It would be difficult to have the element of spontaneity in a program at the state park.
Mr. Salomon said, "The town has a great stake in the business at the beach. Are we going to have a program or are we not? We will shut off the beach if it gets over-crowded."
Finally, as the hour for the Chamber of Commerce directors meeting approached, the question of using the federal funds for the program was put to a vote, and for the first time the TAR Committee split badly. The vote was carried only four to three with Lt. O'Leary abstaining. The meeting was adjourned and we stepped across the hall from the office of the fire chief to the large assembly room where the board of directors was preparing to meet.
Once again the room was packed as the community convened to consider the difficult problem of how to cope with its young. Herewith follow the minutes of that meeting:
Minutes of the meeting of the Board of Directors of the Hampton Beach Chamber of Commerce.
Fire Station Hall
Hampton Beach, NH
June 29, 1965
President Vanderpool called the meeting to order at 8:15 PM with the following directors present: Batterbury, Bragg, King, Cann, Doherty, John Dineen, Joseph Dineen, Downer, Gerald Dunfey, John Dunfey, Fallon, Flynn, Foley, Fuller, Gagne, Goding, Grandmaison, Harris, Henneka, McCurdy, Moulton, Ross, Salomon, Trofatter, Vanderpool, Cunningham, Stone, Van Nostrand, and Secretary Elliot.
There were also present about one hundred members and friends.
The president welcomed visitors and made it clear to all present they were welcome to make comments and that after a thorough discussion the hall would be cleared of all except the Directors, who would remain for consideration of motions and voting.
He said the most important thing to be discussed was the outstanding problem of Hampton Beach.
Fallon spoke, as chairman of TAP, and reported that many of the things requested of the State Legislature have been passed; that he was informed the curfew bill has been drafted and that the curfew bill which had been previously passed was inadequate for Hampton's needs, therefore, he hoped the new Curfew Bill would receive approval of the Legislature and Senate. He said TAP is in hopes of getting some type of Regulations and Legislation regarding restrictions on the Letting of Cottages and other units to minors and he felt there is a good chance of this being accomplished.
President Vanderpool asked Estaver for a report on CAVE. Estaver said all programs had been approved to this point for the CAVE Fourth of July weekend program for Youth. He said, however, as time was limited they had found it impossible to get free entertainers, but that they had contacted an entertainment bureau who could furnish the type of entertainment they need for somewhere around $2400.00; that a telegram had been received from Washington, DC to be followed by a letter granting the right to use up to $2950.00 for the Fourth of July Weekend Program. He said the TAR Committee met prior to the general meeting and had recommended this transfer of funds by a vote of 4 to 3.
Stone said he had originally requested this sum on a loan basis but that they now believed with the authority of Washington, up to the amount could be taken out of the regular budget line items.
Salomon spoke regarding the dual approach the TAP and Directors had felt the best way to attack the Hampton Beach problem: first - by strong but fair enforcement; and second - by gaining the cooperation of the teenagers.
There was much discussion by various members of the group; many questions were asked and answered.
One of the Precinct Commissioners, speaking in behalf of the board, said the Precinct Commissioners were one hundred percent against TAP, TAR, CAVE and their program, and further that Gagne, who spoke for the commissioners, believed that this program would promote a riot rather than curbing it.
Mr. Munroe, Greyhurst, said he was opposed to the program and that Hampton is now a teenage jungle.
Mr. Harris said we should not experiment with taxpayers money, and that dancing on the sand would create a disturbance. Mrs. Solloway said we are not responsible for delinquents, it is their parents responsibility. Mr. Harris said we must have faith in the average hotel and motel owners and that these business people must be considered and pull together, but he believed the program of free entertainment is not the answer.
Mr. Royal asked if this was not the answer what would anyone present offer as an alternative. Henneka said he had nothing against the modern dance but he was against dancing in public, particularly on the beach. We must cater to our families, don't appease the kids, and that he was strongly opposed to the complete program.
Mrs. McKenna of Connecticut House also spoke strongly in opposition. Clif McCoy opposed the program.
Mr. Solloway asked for a breakdown of the salaries of the Federal employees. Mr. Thomas asked if there was any program planned for adults.
The president called on Rev. Manning Van Nostrand, who outlined the adult program, for example, a picnic trip to the Isle of Shoals with some restaurant putting up and selling box lunches, etc., card parties, etc. Flynn said this was what he was afraid of, the older people would get too much free program also. Whereupon Van Nostrand said he wasn't talking of free programs, he expected the people would pay their passage to the Isle of Shoals and for lunch to the restaurant before they left.
Downer asked to be recognized, saying he is a fairly large property owner, he feels strongly force is not the complete answer. What to do about the problem has been discussed at many meetings and that the proposal outlines is not a guarantee.
Fallon said he would need to know a lot more about the transfer of funds as he understood most of the money is already committed. President Vanderpool read the telegram from Bernard Russell approving the expenditure of $2950.00 of the Grant money for Youth Entertainment over the Fourth of July.
After further discussion, questions and answers, the president asked for a show of hands, prior to which he told of the hours of work and study put in by the committees to accomplish and suggest the solution now being discussed. He said keep these things in mind when voting because we all have a lot at stake.
Cunningham asked that the TAR program for the Fourth of July be read again.
Mr. Hammond spoke eloquently and sincerely, on behalf of CAVE organization, explaining to all present that these youngsters were on our side, not on the side of the rioters. He said he could ill afford to take part in this program, himself, but believed some good could be done for the youth of the country as well as for Hampton Beach.
An informal vote was taken. 16 voters were in favor of the program as outlined and all the rest present, who voted, were opposed.
The directors were asked to remain and all others to leave the hall and the closed session was open by Foley, who said that he was of the impression the funds allocated to us were for research and study. Cunningham said that if we can't give the entire program let us give something so that this matter can have a try.
Fallon said the request for $3000.00 additional funds for entertainment disturbed him, particularly as it is to be spent in one weekend.
Elliot said it had been agreed early in the program that the Fourth of July would be used as a trial run to experiment for the great problem of Labor Day.
Estaver was asked if there was a surplus in the budget and he said around $1800.00.
John Dunfey made a motion that the program as outlined by Estaver be approved, subject to local and state police approval, and the approval of the selectmen, with the police to select the location to be used for the acts and dancing. Downer seconded the motion.
Following a long discussion it was decided before action could be taken the motion passed at the previous meeting must be rescinded. McCurdy moved, Harris seconded, that the directors rescind the motion regarding Estaver's program for the Fourth of July, passed at last meeting. It was explained that this would require a 2/3 vote. 21 votes cast. 14 in favor of rescinding. 7 opposed.
Van Nostrand put in a plea for a modified program, saying that he felt the majority were opposed to dancing on the beach but what about a compromise. Let's find out what the big objections are, and at least have some program.
Elliot asked if the CAVE committee would consider the State Park as a location. Van Nostrand said he felt the location should be up to the police. Dineen said he had offered his ballroom as a place for the program to be held, several times, and he was offering it again, but no request was made.
Harris moved that the Board vote against the Fourth of July Program as presented by Paul Estaver. Fred Gagne seconded the motion.
George Downer amended the motion that we accept the program suggested without dancing. Cunningham seconded the amendment. There were six in favor of the amendment with 14 opposed.
Stone requested permission to speak before the main motion was put, and stated that he felt if the motion was opposed it would be the end of TAR effort and that he believed the only thing left for him to do would be to resign as Chairman of the TAR committee, simultaneously notifying Washington of the lack of cooperation of the people of Hampton Beach.
A vote was taken and the motion carried 17 to 7.
Meeting adjourned at 11:05 P.M.
William "Bill" Elliot,
Thus, late in the evening of June 29, it came about that neither CAVE nor TAR had any program whatsoever for July Fourth weekend. Several members of the CAVE organization had attended the general meeting, and were anxiously waiting for us outside the fire station to see what the vote of the directors had been. Needless to say, they were disappointed when they heard the news.
Holding Action While CAVE in Abeyance
In Washington Rosenthal was also awaiting our phone call to learn the outcome. We could only tell him that the vote had gone strongly against us despite the best debate we could muster, and that we would continue on to see what could be done to hold the program together. He very strongly urged us to re-establish contact with CAVE members as quickly as possible, to make them understand that the community was undergoing a very difficult sort of social change, that favorable decisions in these matters did not come easily, that all must be patient. He particularly urged us to seek the cooperation of all CAVE members in preventing trouble for July Fourth weekend. If, after all we had demonstrated, there should then be any sort of riot at Hampton Beach, everything we had accomplished to date would be lost.
The next morning I received word that a compromise might come after all. There was talk that John Dineen was upset to have had the entire program dumped and that a special emergency meeting of the Chamber of Commerce directors was being set up as quickly as possible. I therefore called Folklore Productions in Boston and told them that although the program was officially cancelled, there was some possibility that at least a portion of it could be rescued, but no guarantee could be made, and probably no decision, for another one or two days. Their response was a verbal shrug: obviously they couldn't hold any portion of the show for us, but they would do their best to help when and if we ourselves could take some sort of concrete action.
During the next few days my more important endeavors were to do whatever possible to pull together the somewhat demoralized CAVE organization and to round up Chamber of Commerce support for whatever compromise program might be forthcoming. Perhaps my most interesting visit was with the owner of the Hampton Beach Casino.
John Dineen opposed the element of free dancing in the TAR program for a variety of perfectly good reasons. First, he found rock and roll dancing personally distasteful, and he was concerned that the type of young people it drew might be rowdy. Although he is not the sort of person to make an issue of others' morals, he used the moral argument because it was a strong tactic.
Secondly, any free dancing in Hampton Beach was competition, plain and simple. It was enough work to keep a big ballroom like that in the Casino on a profitable basis with the Seagate going four nights a week, to say nothing of free dances across the street.
Third, his FBI training told him that any sort of crowd was dangerous. From the previous fall his advocacy had been the TAP method alone - find whatever way necessary to let the decent people into Hampton Beach and keep the bums out.
Some of these things he said; others are common sense observations. What he did say candidly when we talked June 30th was that he had engineered the vote to rescind the program. He is one of the oldest and probably the largest operator on the beach. He has a lot of friends. He is a persuasive man and a shrewd tactician.
He confirmed that he had not intended that the whole program should be abandoned - it was the dancing to which he objected. Within carefully defined limits, he felt the TAR program was useful and healthy. Now he hoped the coming emergency directors meeting could restore the remainder of the July Fourth program. Further, he wanted it to be clear that he was willing to loan the Casino Ballroom to CAVE through the summer and that he would split profits on dances held there.
We went over this ground a number of times. Then, as later, my response was that we would welcome the use of the Ballroom, but on special occasions we also needed a few dances on the sand, since the problem was on the beach, not in the Ballroom. It was on the beach where diversion was going to be badly needed if this July 4 were anywhere near as tense as 1964.
That, he said, was a police problem.
And so we parted as we usually did - on friendly terms, neither of us accepting the basic premise of the other. Here was the essence of the debate - internal control versus external control. Whether there could have been a compromise somewhere if Dineen had been on the TAR Committee from the beginning is a moot question.
Late that same afternoon I met twenty or more of the CAVE leaders at the Onyx Room. Since several of them had attended the public portion of the previous night's Chamber of Commerce meeting, there was no need to describe what had happened. Instead my emphasis was upon the hopes to continue with CAVE and the Project. We did, after all, still have our building, now being completed. There had been no order to disband the organization. Only the July Fourth weekend program had been cancelled, and now there was the clear possibility that a compromise was in the offing. Also I made mention of the offer of the Casino Ballroom and said I felt we should try to follow up on it. I suggested that if they were sincere in their belief in CAVE now was the time it could be shown - that everything possible must be done to avoid a negative reaction to this setback - that everything possible must be done to "talk down" trouble for the weekend.
Their response was heartening. Not only did they agree to help in these matters, but they wished to take some more active role in helping heal the breach. Would it be possible, they asked, for me to set up a meeting between a CAVE delegation and perhaps the officers of the C of C? They wanted to state personally their own belief in the Project and to explain why they felt it was necessary for Hampton Beach.
It proved impossible to reach all of the C of C officers in the short time available, but Bill Elliot was designated as a Chamber representative and met some twenty young people on the afternoon of July 1. To his great credit, he did an excellent job of conveying to the delegation the viewpoints of both the understanding adults and those who could not cooperate through fear or lack of understanding, as he put it. So effective was his presentation that the young people immediately went forth and called their own special meeting at the now fairly completed CAVE building to spread the word and to urge cooperation.
Compromise for July 4 Weekend
That morning Elliot and I had sat down to draft a compromise program for July Fourth weekend. President Vanderpool had indicated that a basic premise for any program was that both state and local police departments must approve it before it could be presented to the Chamber of Commerce tonight.
As Elliot and I talked it out, the compromise program consisted of dancing on the sand as before, except that now these events would be alternated with the regular Seashell show consisting of band concerts and organ recitals. A previous conversation with Chief Leavitt had indicated that it might be worth while to consider changing the locale of the dances from the M Street area to a section of the beach closer to the center and adjacent to the Seashell complex since this was where the greatest concentration of young people normally took place. It was further felt that dances at the center of the beach would be away from the hotels who might suffer business loss in reaction to youth activities. These suggestions, then, were incorporated as part of the compromise program that morning with Elliot.
Next I called Chief Leavitt and described the program to him. As far as he was concerned, he said, it was acceptable. He felt that Colonel Regan would find it acceptable as well but could not speak for him. Since Robert Preston had in the past several weeks been most helpful in acting as liaison between the state police and the TAR Committee and since on this busy day it was most difficult to reach the Colonel, Leavitt suggested that Preston again be the man to present the compromise program with him. He already had an appointment set up with Colonel Regan and promised to contact me late in the afternoon with whatever decision was forthcoming.
The rest of the day, Hammond, Stone, Elliot, Van Nostrand and I spent contacting various individuals in the Chamber of Commerce to inform them of the compromise and to urge acceptance of it. Cy Rosenthal was also contacted in Washington and was soon on his way to Hampton in hope that he could contribute to the peacemaking venture.
Finally, some time after four, Preston and Dineen met me and said they had seen the Colonel along with Ralph Harris at the Hampton Beach State Police Barracks, a hotel rented for that use for the summer. The Colonel, they said, had felt obliged to accept only a part of the compromise program. In view of the riot rumors and headlines now abroad and the experience at Weirs Beach, he had ruled in the interests of public safety that there should be no rock and roll music or dancing for July Fourth weekend and that any CAVE program would have to be ended by 10:00 P.M.
Certainly there had been such rumors and headlines. With the exception of Hampton Beach itself, every seaside resort from Old Orchard Beach, Maine, to Coney Island had been the subject of riot talk. Particularly some of the Rhode Island beaches and Old Orchard Beach were supposed to be targets. The Maine state police had made a number of public announcements that they were ready for any trouble.
Nevertheless Hammond, Stone, Van Nostrand, Rosenthal and I were severely disappointed at the state police ruling. Preliminary signs at Hampton Beach indicated that there was little trouble likely here. If dancing was not permitted July 3rd, there was little chance that the device would be allowed for Labor Day weekend. We felt that the heart of the program was at stake.
Yet dancing was out. The basic premise for the emergency directors meeting was that the program must be cleared by both police departments. And Colonel Regan had stated his position.
We had two choices - to accept our position gracefully or to accept it under protest. The first course might simply pave the way to subsequent compromise and water down the program for the remainder of the year. The second might kill the spirit of the compromise now offered by the program's opponents. Either way, it seemed that the compromise might render the program ineffectual, and our decision finally was to make the protest.
In the following minutes of the directors meeting, the fourth paragraph from the end makes note of that protest. Specifically, our plea was more that dancing should not be discarded in future programming than it was for the use of a dance on this particular weekend. As before the reasoning was that no other program device could supplant its effectiveness in absorbing the attention and the energies of the young.
Minutes of the special meeting of the Board of Directors of the Hampton Beach Chamber of Commerce.
Hampton Beach Sea Shell
Hampton Beach, N. H.
July 1, 1965
Meeting was called to order at 8:00 P.M. by President Vanderpool with the following directors present: Bragg, King, Cann, Doherty, John Dineen, Joseph Dineen, Downer, Gerald Dunfey, John Dunfey, Fallon, Flynn, Foley, Fuller, Gagne, Grandmaison, Harris, Henneka, Janvrin, Jordan, Junkins, McCurdy, McLane, Moulton, Preston, Ross, Salomon, Trofatter, Vanderpool, Cunningham and Secretary Elliot. Visitors present were Van Nostrand, Stone, Estaver, Leavitt and Rosenthal.
President Vanderpool said the meeting had been called because of a phone call received by him from Mr. Rosenthal of Washington, D. C., regarding the TAR Program. He said Washington is disturbed because we do not have a program, and this was part of the recommendation of the Blandin Commission. Vanderpool then asked Paul Estaver, Youth Coordinator, to tell those present about the modified program TAR hoped to carry out over the Fourth of July weekend.
Elliot said before Estaver presents his program I would like to report a meeting between 14 CAVE members and myself this afternoon. He said the group expressed their desire not to take over Hampton Beach, or run Hampton Beach, but simply to help control the crowds and assist in making Hampton Beach a better place to live and vacation.
Estaver said this same group went out of the afternoon meeting and called a meeting of CAVE at which time they decided to do everything to help Hampton Beach regardless of whether any program was provided or not. Estaver said they believed some beach entertainment should be tried, coordinated with youth entertainment, on the band stand, as well as the Band and Organ concerts. He suggested that the program on Saturday last from 12 noon to Midnight; and from 12 noon to Midnight on Sunday. He said the evening programs on the sand could not be conducted unless proper lighting is available.
Chief Leavitt said he was opposed to any night program on the sand as proper lighting of the sand is impossible at this late date.
Mr. Rosenthal spoke of the grant, explained that if the Board of Directors wished to return the unexpended funds and forget the whole plan the government is ready to accept this decision. However, he hoped the Hampton Beach group would continue their work, but if they were to do so a program of some kind should be forthcoming. He mentioned the Boston Globe writeup on Hampton Beach having solved its Youth Problem, stressed that it was recently read into the Congressional Records and that he believed this a wonderful start toward the goal of the TAR program. He said Washington had been called by several newspapers regarding the Hampton plan and progress but that Washington had referred the calls back to the authorities at Hampton Beach.
At this point Elliot suggested a program for Saturday, July 3 and Sunday, July 4, starting at 12 noon and lasting until midnight with approximately ¾ hour intervals interspersing folk music, Chamber of Commerce Organ and Hampton Beach Concert Band, with possibly two hours of dancing indoors from midnight to 2 A.M.
Dineen said that he together with Harris and Preston had visited Col. Regan, who had told them he was opposed to any dancing on the beach and particularly to any program after 10:00 P.M. Dineen said he had talked, at length, also with Estaver at which time he had offered his ballroom free to the members of CAVE, after this week, one night a week, provided the dance held is acceptable and well conducted.
Harris said he would go along with the basic idea of Elliot's suggested program provided Leavitt and Regan were in agreement that it could be done. He said we are in the hands of capable department heads in our police and fire protection and the Hampton Beach Chamber of Commerce has always been able to present an excellent program for all ages.
Dineen stressed again that Col. Regan did not want a program to continue after 10:00 P.M. He then moved that the directors go along with the modified program as outlined by Secretary Elliot, which included a combination of Youth entertainment, Organ and Band Music from the Sea Shell stage, between 12 noon and 10:00 P.M. The motion was seconded by Cunningham.
Discussion followed during which Estaver and Mr. Hammond endeavored to convince those present to go a step further and permit dancing, at least during the day. Downer also put in a plea for some daytime beach dancing.
Dineen withdrew his original motion and moved that the Board of Directors of the Hampton Beach chamber of Commerce go along with the program as outlined by Bill Elliot including segments approximately ¾ hour long which feature a combination of Youth Programs, such as Folk Music, together with Organ and Hampton Beach Concert Band Music, and further that it be understood that this does not include "Rock and Roll" and dancing. The motion was seconded by Cunningham and voted by a "Yes" and "No" ballot. 29 Directors voting. 22 in favor. 5 opposed. 2 abstaining.
During the meeting many directors expressed their opinions and the entire matter was discussed thoroughly, calmly and with quiet dignity. This was the first closed executive session held by the Hampton Beach Chamber of Commerce Board in more than ten years.
Meeting adjourned immediately following the vote, at 10:00 P.M.