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Farewell to Abextra, Psychedelic Reminder of the Sixties

Linda Miller Published: July 24, 1983

A fragment of the 1960s will begin fading in the next couple of weeks when the well-known Abextra closes.

But even with merchandise marked at 30 and 40 percent off, there seems to be little demand for the psychedelic-era paraphernalia. No one these days wants posters, hip jewelry, black lights, bumper stickers, patches, incense and pipes.

Years ago, however, the Abextra was a haven for those caught up in the love and peace movement. Crammed elbow to elbow, they sorted through love beads and rock posters while Frank Zappa music vibrated through the store and the undeniable scent of incense lingered in the air.

But those days are gone.

"It's time to give it up," said Tim, who likes to be referred to by his first name only.

"People aren't into posters, psychedelic lights, groovey gifts or pipes."

The 30-year-old owner, his straight, blond hair almost touching his shoulders, was casually clad in a t-shirt and shorts. He said he doesn't know what the "in" thing is now. He only knows what it isn't.

"It's kind of sad," he said. "You come here for a whole day and at closing time the cash register says only $10 or $15."

The Abextra first opened in 1964 at NW 6 and Classen and was an immediate success.

When the novelty store came up for sale nine years ago, Tim bought it "out of sentimentality."

But he was forced to seek another location three years ago when the building was sold. Business hasn't been the same since.

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