Kung Fu Bill lived alone, above John James, in a house high in the trees near the Limahuli stream. Bill played the congas and often, in the afternoon, you could hear him from everywhere in Camp pounding out a beat for hours, sometimes accompanying his drums with spoken word refrains. One of his mantras that I still remember was, “Chicks with checks.” That caught my attention and I climbed up into his treehouse and asked if I could take his picture.
Bill was the younger brother of Eduardo Malapit, the country prosecutor who drafted an ordinance against hitch-hiking to harass the hippies and then won a seat on the County Council for his strong stand against Taylor Camp. Eduardo was then elected Mayor, promising to close the Camp.
"I was Mayor of Kauai from 1974 to 1982. Lot of changes, all good. I was a prosecutor before that. We had a lot of these guys, and they started hitchhiking and they started to Camp here and there, sleep down at the beach. That was the beginning of it all. We had a plantation economy at that time and people just did not like Taylor Camp because it was different. I got complaints. People did not like hippies, they were planting marijuana all over the place. They were throwing marijuana seeds in the river, then the marijuana would be growing on the banks. I did a big marijuana plan with the police department; it was getting quite big back then.”
– Mayor Eduardo Malapit
From the 2020 LA ART Show Limited Edition collection of archival digital prints signed, titled, numbered, and dated by the photographer, these wood-framed photographs are approximately 29 x 23-inches and meet all Library of Congress standards with non-glare, UV protected Museum Glass over 100% Cotton RagMat and backing board. The collection is a limited edition of twelve with several pieces already acquired by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Stanford University as well as private galleries and collectors. Wehrheim's historic Taylor Camp photos are the most complete and evocative documentary of a sixties and seventies counter-culture community and represent "the ultimate hippie fantasy".