There were the skinheads and the punks, boys and girls sporting brightly colored Mohawks, nose rings, tattoos, and clothing held together by safety pins, with giant crosses dangling from their earlobes and from around their necks. Then, of course, the prevalent surf culture, one and the same with the skateboarding culture, made up the foundation of Santa Cruz youth. The heavy metal crowd mostly inhabited the logging towns of Boulder Creek, Ben Lomond, and Felton. Heavy smokers and dedicated tobacco chewers, the boys sported long hair, short and spiky on top, and wore t-shirts that advertised their favorite bands, while many of the girls with their heavy makeup, big hair, skin-tight clothes, and black pumps looked more like they were setting off for work in a strip club than going to school. There were the preppies, including many of the Scotts Valley kids, and the mods with their dark clothes and brooding looks. And there was me, usually sitting off to the side, reading a book or writing a story. I carried a backpack with me everywhere, even when I wasn’t in school, packed with notebooks full of my creative writings and novels. I rarely did homework, but I read and wrote every day.
–Synanon Kid Grows Up by C.A. Wittman