Chet Helms: Summer’s Child



Today is the third anniversary of Chet’s passing.

He left at 12:34 a.m. on June 25, 2005.

Chet was born in summer and Chet died in summer. And along the way, he became known as “The Father of The Summer of Love.”

“The hearts that love will know never winter’s frost and chill. Summer’s warmth is in them still.”
— Eben Eugene Rexford

Chet was, and always will be, Summer’s Child.

Published in: on June 26, 2008 at 2:52 am  Comments (2)  

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  1. Great realization. Summer is an endless theme. Endless summer, summer always comes anyways, summer in the city, in summertime, the living is easy… Fish are jumping and the cotton is high…

    I remember that summer of love well. I was living in Phoenix and was a pre-teen kid with “almost beat” credentials. My dad was hip and played with a folk-rock trio called “The Cockroaches” and my mom loved him no matter what. They still played coffee houses and pulled crowds. People were looking continually for some sort of connection with values and morals that meant something.

    Martin and Bobby were still alive and kicking.We were lucky and happy people, at least we thought we were. We knew about Be-in and acid test and stuff but didn’t really get it completely. We were behind.

    We saw the whole San Francisco thing as immediate, though we, in the hinterlands, were really more than a year behind in digging the groove. As a kid in those days, I heard Big Brother, Quicksilver, the Dead, the Airplane. We heard them, but it was always after the fact.

    But, man, we did hear about Chet and the Avalon. How could we not? It might have been a word slow in coming to the suburbs, but it came in any event.

    I never knew Chet, but I still miss him because of what he brought out into the light and the music and ethic that he promoted all through his life.

  2. Thanks, Leo. Yeah, them were the days. I still can’t believe my dumb luck of landing in the SF area in ’64 and being privileged to be exposed to what was happening here. I very nearly went to Florida instead.

    I, too, miss Chet, whom I barely knew. He was a true Original who stayed true until he drew his final breath.

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