Number One in an Occasional Series of Odd and Obscure Periodicals
Published in Kansas City at 2 West 39th Street by an entity or individual who went by the moniker “Cornflower Hermaphrodite”, The Aquarian was a short-lived alternative magazine that dates from June and July of 1969. Issue number one states that “this paper is printed under the auspices of good vibrations, creative industry, sleepless nights, gallons of cohesive optimism…we have no have no pressing need for straight capitalistic backers or would-be patronesses of the arts in Barbie doll minis so don’t bug us.”
Each issue features poetry, original artwork, reportage, and essays. The “News” section in what is presumed to be issue number two offers articles on the local chapter of the SDS (Students for a Democratic Society), a “rebirth of the roundheads”, and a piece on the establishment of a “hip help center”, which offered a “crash pad, 24 hour coffee house, draft counseling…legal help, free clinic, and help for runaways”. A visit to Iowa City by drug guru Timothy Leary is covered extensively in the same issue.
As intriguing as the magazine’s content are its advertisers, which number such establishments as Arsenic and Olde Leather at 429 Westport Road, the Genuine Article (“Bellbottoms, Incense, Shirts; One-of-a-Kind Fashion, Now More than Ever”) at the same address as the magazine, and the Eletrologist [sic?] on 63rd Street in Raytown, the ad for which features what appears to be a woman with a mustache and five-o’clock shadow. While not as colorful as it’s contemporary The Westport Trucker, nonetheless The Aquarian offers insight into a moment of Kansas City history long gone.