Miss Beatnik 1959
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July 22, 1959, Vol. IV, No. 39
Brooklyn's Angel is 'Miss Beatnik'
Angel, age 17, last week regained the title of "Miss Beatnik" for the local folk when she was chosen First Lady of MacDougal Street by her peers at the Gaslight Coffee House.
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The contest had been staged to clear the beatnik name, which had been sullied a few days earlier when, according to the coffeeshop cognoscenti, a girl from the Copa kicking squad was given the palm at a 10th Street bar.
The shoeless winner of the accolade may, perhaps, be beat, but she is not just another passive member of the Waiting Generation, as Professor William Barrett has characterized the beatniks.
"I consider myself an artist and an intellectual, and I smoke Viceroy and I think for myself," Angel declares.
She does a good deal of her thinking at Brooklyn College, which is in the borough from whence she comes and the school which she attends on a state scholarship.
"I love the Village," Angel yesterday told The Voice. "I think my parents are Bohemians. My mother took up guitar, piano, and algebra at the age of 40. My father paints, writes, tells funny stories, and tap dances."
She is deeply concerned about the way the public views the beatniks, although she considers herself a hipster [Like cool, man, not weary.--Ed.] [That's an original editor's note, by the way--T.O.]
"I wish people would try to understand what the so-called beat generation is, and maybe they will realize we have something to offer society. We are considered anti-social, but we are not!"
John Mitchell, owner of the Gaslight, broke in: "You tell 'em, baby, that if anybody's anti-social it's Ike and Khrushchev."
"By living this sort of life we will eventually find truth and a place for ourselves out of this sick society. The BG is the search for truth," concluded 17-year-old Miss Beatnik on her day of triumph.
[Each weekday morning, we post an excerpt from another issue of the Voice, going in order from our oldest archives. Visit our Clip Job archive page to see excerpts back to 1956.]
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