When Martin Frumkin, Wash Park resident and local author, reached out to us about his latest book, we knew immediately, that we were in for a wild ride. The title alone, begs you to take a look inside and travel through time alongside Martin’s bohemian adventures in the 1960s.

Your book, Suspected Hippie in Transit, hits shelves Sept. 13th. Can you give us an idea of what we can expect?

In short, a celebration of free spirit. The first scratches and scribbles I made in now-yellowed notebooks morphed into an adventure travel memoir. I really had no expectations. Only in hindsight do I realize my story reflects what it was like to backpack along the International Hippie Trail (IHT) fifty years ago. My pre-tech countercultural rucksack romp throughout Asia captures the tumultuous, I don’t-give-a-damn attitude of such notable vagabonds as Marco Polo and Jack Kerouac.

In this first volume of four, the reader joins me as I trek within the glacial Himalaya, hang with royal freak princes in India, partake of guiltless debauchery in tropical Goa, and enjoy opium-induced romance with willing maharinis. I discover the silky white sands of tropical Sri Lanka, in great contrast to the gritty deserts and Hindu Kush of Afghanistan. As I travel, I search for enlightenment within Indian mysticism—while integrating East and West, the Force, and dark chocolate-covered mescaline.

Enriching the text are dozens of photos to illustrate the many places I visited and people I met on the emotional rollercoaster I rode, portrayed by the inevitable vulnerabilities and pitfalls encountered on the IHT.

I asked myself, “Where did my motivations to travel, to seek another way, another Tao, originate?” Dissatisfaction and restlessness with life at home, adventure, rebelliousness, and the free-spirited 1960s counterculture’s fascination with Indian mysticism and the East? The Beatles and “Sexy Sadie?” The Beats of the 1950s? The Aquarian Age and Woodstock? An age-specific developmental stage that caused me to pursue “Who the fuck am I? Why do I exist?” Honestly, I am still not sure.

Written with humor, insight, and striking detail, Suspected provides the reader with an opportunity to experience the IHT, a moniker that did not exist back in the day. It will open your eyes to my search for adventure and the meaning of life in a world still unknown to most of humanity.

Not knowing the laws, values, and mores of the foreign lands I visited, nor bound to those at home, I experienced an inexplicable free-floating freedom. Written in journal form, Suspected takes one on a unique journey of a lifetime. No doubt, the book’s subtitle is exactly what the reader will experience.

It was only after I had crossed into most countries that I was able to clarify where they were geographically located. I had read little about them. Silver lining? Without expectations, I was simply blown away! My unsolicited advice? Get off your ass and smart phones and try it.

How did your five year backpacking trip shape your career?

As a result of the incompatible cross currents of the Beats and the Hippies, and instilled ancestral  values, my return home filled me with fear and panic. Everyone seemed to have a niche in life. But I hadn’t the slightest. The high priest of psychedelics, Timothy Leary, had preached, “Tune in, turn on and drop out.” I chose not to dropout, seeking instead a career in psychiatric social work—my compromise between corporate tyranny and monkhood/monasticism, an avenue to righteous behavior without selling my soul.

You were born in 1948 in Manhattan. How did you find yourself in Denver?

Travels in Japan, California, and Colorado preceded my return to New York City, which had become, metaphorically, jeans that no longer fit. I completed the MSW program at the Smith College School for Social Work in Massachusetts and returned to Colorado’s mountains and Denver to couch-surf with friends in 1981. Decades working in medical and mental health and child protection ensued, often serving the have-nots and homeless of Metro Denver.

I now live with my wife in Denver and continue my search on haunted Welton Street for the ghost of Neal Cassady, Kerouac’s Dean Moriarty in On the Road.

Where can we find your book?

Suspected is currently available on Amazon in both print and Kindle editions. The paperback is also available through major online retailers, including Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, and Books-A-Million. By taking a grass roots approach to marketing Suspected, I have reached out to a large number of independent bookstores to take advantage of their consignment programs. 

You’ve given us much to ponder, Martin. We look forward to taking a deep dive into the endless adventures of your past. Thank you so much for offering a glimpse in what appears to be a wild ride in Suspected Hippie in Transit.