Remembering Elizabeth Gips

My memories of Elizabeth:

I met her in about 1983 in front of the Whole Life Expo as she handed out flyers for her radio shows. She was friendly and lively, and I still have her flyer somewhere, with her familiar logo and "evolutionary audio" on it. I couldn't get her show yet because KKUP had not gone to full power, and I couldn't get KZSC. It wasn't until after I had gotten my own show at KKUP that I met her again. I auditioned on her time shift, which her good friend and fellow hippie Verge Belanger was hosting. He had me on, and the PD Joe Sodja liked my presentation and gave me my slot on Friday afternoons.

Then I started listening to the other shows and would call in and visit Elizabeth on occasion, and also sub for her show. I liked her enthusiastic support for my New Age Renaissance Fair production in San Jose and for my astrology ideas; she had me on several times as a guest. At the end she thought my ideas too restrictive or past-oriented, but through the years gave me much support. We both liked to ask difficult questions, and she said on the air that I was a good interviewer and recommended that people listen. I enjoyed tuning in many weeks to hear her program. She read her wonderful poetry on occasion, and I noticed how well it was written, which somewhat belied her rambling and hesitant style of on-the-air conversation. But this off-the-cuff spiritual discussion was also unique and heartfelt, and noone did it better, even if she was less sure of herself and her ideas than some other radio spiritual broadcasters are. It reflected her conviction that the truth is always "changing" and the best attitude is openness and not dogma. I especially enjoyed her musical selections (at least most of them-- forget the reggae), which included very obscure 60s and 70s psychedelic bands that were really mind-trippy. She played a good selection of visionary new age music too, which she liked in spite of her occasional comments that it was too quiet or slow for her.

She was a friend and mentor to me as she was for so many. She generously counseled me when I had some difficult relationships with others at KKUP, and successfully got another person to sit down with me in mediation, as I asked her if she could do. I thought that was quite an impressive feat on her part. She was proud of her acumen as a counselor and justly so. She told me that "people are endlessly fascinating."

For me, Elizabeth was a repository of wisdom and good vibrations. Her library and her wall hanging was a delight to see when I visited her house. She embodied the spirit of the Haight-Ashbury, and pointed out frequently and correctly that it was not just about sex, drugs and rock 'n roll, but primarily about spirituality. She recommended psychedelics, including to me, but didn't see it as "the only way" to enlightenment as some people had a tendency to do. She embodied that spirit too by always keeping up to date. She had rather too much enthusiasm for high tech for my view, but to an extent she was correct about the internet being a tool of high potential. She was an enthusiastic booster of raves and trance dancing, and thought that a New spirit lived on there and moved through them, and I thought so too. She was older than me, but in many ways more youthful than me-- and most of us; an eternal explorer. I thought at the end her body looked almost like a walking skeleton, as if her eternally youthful and bright spirit was the only thing keeping it going. She was so enthusiastic and mentally bright that, even despite her physical condition, it was difficult to conceive of her dying, even though she faced death so honestly.

I will always treasure our last-- or maybe it was our second to last-- meeting, in which I embraced her side to side, after talking to her about how we both like to question the usual views people take about things. For a while she didn't want people to hug her because of her illness. I will miss her free spirit, and her Tuesday afternoon program, and treasure her contribution to my life.

Eric Meece

changes home page