Monday, April 20, 2009

Did we all Look like Patty Hearst then?


Picture of Patty Hearst from before the kidnapping.

Mimi Pond and I were talking about how weird the Patty Hearst history had been, how strange the reaction at the time, how much power the S.L.A. had briefly. I was living in Berkeley when Patty Hearst was kidnapped. I worked at Snazelle Films near where they gave away all the butter and cheese as part of the S.L.A.' s demands.

I told Mimi that when I used to walk around Berkeley after the kidnapping, I tried to look merry and unconcerned and swing my arms a lot so no cops would mistake me for Patty. Talk about nut case reasoning. Although there was a certain resemblance...



Then I got an email today from my old pal Jane who worked at Snazelle too, but I couldn't remember if she was working there at the time of the kidnapping. Here's what she wrote back:

"I was not in SF then. In fact, I was driving with my mother near Chapel Hill a few months after her kidnapping, and was stopped by the police. I was doing nothing wrong, and my mother hypothesized that the police thought I looked like PH, and wanted to do a check. The excuse for stopping my car was pretty feeble, as I recall."

12 comments:

RHSteeleOH said...

I remember when Patty Hearst was on the news a lot. I was quite young at the time and I recall being afraid of the SLA and what they would do. They seemed to have some strange power I couldn't understand.

Mars Tokyo said...

I know I looked like Patty Hearst at the time-- same kind of hair and I used to wear those same shaped sunglasses that she did in the bank pictures. I'd get a hard time when I'd cash checks at a bank-- and this was in Illinois. But i guess they thought Patty Hearst was *at large* and could have been anywhere. I thought it was funny.

stray said...

Maybe that cop was using that as an excuse to pull over all the pretty girls....

Mean Jean said...

I had short, curly hair in '74 and didn't make it to Berkeley until '98.

I was living in southern Oklahoma and if the SLA had taken her there, well she'd still be there. Talk about out of the loop.

The whole episode still makes my skin crawl.

Namowal said...

The Patty Hearst story is so wacky.
kidnapping, joining forces with the kidnappers, bank robbing...
...and a creepy reminder of how people can grow to respect and protect some creepy guy/group that keeps them hostage. I bet some people join cults under similar circumstances.
Anyway, I'm glad none of you were arrested under suspicion of being Patty.

Linda said...

When i saw Marjorie Knoller's photo in the paper, I was convinced we were separated at birth. Then I saw a recent photo of Liza Minelli and that was even more terrifying.

Sally said...

Linda, though I've never met you, I don't think you look like Marjorie Knoller at all.

stray said...

I don't see marjorie or liza?

Mimi Pond said...

Wow, Sally, you do look a little like Patty in that picture. But I think you're right. We all had hair parted down the middle and no one gave the slightest thought to plucking eyebrows back then. I guess Susan Boyle never got the early-80's eyebrow-plucking memo that went around...I was in my first year at CCAC and this crazy girl in my dorm, a genuine Texas oil heiress, came back from Xmas vacation and said friends of hers claimed they'd seen Patty at parties in Texas. Funny thing is is that at that very time it could have been because she and her captors kept crisscrossing the country and there were sightings everywhere, even of her walking around on the Upper West Side of Manhattan!

Mimi Pond said...

Sally, I thought of something else. I told my family your story about trying not to look like Patty and everyone laughed so hard. But then I remembered when I was about 8 or 9, a younger girl lived next door who was brain-damaged and looked and acted like it. When I was in the front yard, on our swingset, I tried to act "normal," meaning vigorously swinging and moving around like I wasn't a spaz. I was worried someone would pass by and think I was retarded too.

Sally said...

Mimi, I thought it was the nose and mouth. But I also did a childhood thing that was so similar to what you're describing.

I used to walk on stilts on our front porch, but if someone was passing by I'd jump off them so they'd know I wasn't crippled.

huh? when do crippled children go around on stilts? The way the mind (doesn't) work!

George Vreeland Hill said...

The Berkeley women must have had fun during that time.
That is, the ones who looked like Patty Hearst.
Just think of the publicity.
Berkeley in the 1970's was not police friendly.
Power to the people.

George Vreeland Hill