TAMARA KEITH, HOST:
Back in 1971, psychedelic school buses were the mode of transportation for Stephen Gaskin and his followers. He led them from California to Tennessee, where they founded what was known as the farm, a commune that still exists today. The charismatic leader of the collective died this week at the age of 79 in Summertown, Tennessee. At its peak, the farm boasted 1,500 members. Today, according to the New York Times, some 200 people live there - most attracted by Mr. Gaskins' message of spiritual awakening, communal living and helping others. And, as it now home to some aging hippies, the farm includes a retirement community.
(SOUNDBITE OF GRATEFUL DEAD SONG "ST. STEPHEN") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.