Re: San Francisco

Michael Pearce (
Tue, 30 Jan 1996 13:09:00 -0500

Jack Jackson writes,

>One book that you might want to add to your list is Joel's Selvin's "The
>Summer of Love." Despite the books critics, he got at least one thing
>right: The 'summer of love' never happened. I lived in Berkeley in the
>50's and 60's (I grew up with Selvin) and visited the Haight on a number
>of occasions. What I saw, during the cold SF summer months, was a street
>scene of drugs and runaways,with many of the runaways selling the drugs,
>and themselves, for a meal or a ticket to the Fillmore, where they could
>listen to music inside, where it was warm. The music was happening and
>it was definitely free - Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Janis Joplin
>and many others - (read Selvin's book) but the Haight was not a friendly
>place unless you were just passing through, spending money. The myth
>surrounding it is just that.

I don't know about unfriendly. When I was just about 21, I went to the
Haight for the first time, in April 1967. The scene had supposedly died by
then; the Larry, Sam and Dave (LSD) Burger place was open and there were
tourist buses on Haight St.

That weekend I ate free food with the Diggers, got laid for the first time
in my life (hey, late bloomer), got high and had a place to crash.

The bed was awful, the sex awkward in the extreme, the food was, well,
food. But as a my-first-time story for the life to follow, it was a good
one, even for a boy grown up in Hollywood.

Side note: as I lay there in a room with the girl I'd met (and the 3 or 4
others crashing there) I mentioned that I had a car out front; a wagon with
a mattress in the back. One of the guys asked if he could sleep there
instead. I said sure and gave him the car keys. The next morning he came
back to the apt. and gave me my keys back.

Yep, it was another time, all right.

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