Gypsy Boots [arm raised], Los Angeles
Born in San Francisco, Gypsy Boots (1915 – 2004), born Robert Bootzin (also known as Boots Bootzin), was an American fitness pioneer, actor and writer. He is credited with laying the foundation for the acceptance by mainstream America of "alternative" lifestyles incorporating elements such as yoga and health food. In the 1940s when he posed for Bob Mizer, Bootzin, along with ten to fifteen other "tribesmen," lived off the land in Tahquitz Canyon near Palm Springs, slept in caves and trees, and bathed in waterfalls. Decades ahead of the Hippie movement, Bootzin and his companions had long hair and beards, lived a carefree existence, and were seasonal fruit pickers. The group became known as "Nature Boys." A combination of the philosophy of the Nature Boys and growing counterculture of the 1950s and 1960s in California may have been responsible for the emergence of California spirituality in the 1960s.