Summer of Love + 50

10 thoughts on “Summer of Love + 50”

  1. I moved to SF in ’78 and lived there off and on till ’85 (the off’s being some overseas jobs), living in the Richmond and later Glen Park. It was a fun time to be young, despite what was generally a less than great economy. What I remember well is all the young Irish in the Richmond and the various Irish bars. Even today an aging contractor over 60 is quite likely to speak with a brogue.

    I think we’re more in an age analogous to the mid ’80s, and the millennial generation is at about the same age range as baby boomers were then. The eldest millennials have been working for a decade and are moving into positions of responsibility and authority. We’ll see what they do with it. Certainly we’ll continue to have booms and recessions, and I do believe that so long as Washington is essentially stalemated that the states will go more and more their own way and regional differences will widen, but largely I expect pretty good times ahead.

  2. Johnny, you comment that”When the dust settles things will begin to improve again, but with new rules and different concepts of how things should be”.
    The new rules and different concepts will correspond directly to a much depleted supply of natural resources and energy. The new reality will not be as extravagant and this will be the kicker for a society where consuming is the religion of choice . We can’t return to business as usual as consumers.

  3. Not in San Francisco during the ‘period of Love’ but in Los Angeles at Griffith Park at that time. Taking my little daughter there and wandering around, spending time listening to a cellist play Bach’s solo pieces all by himself, wonderful! And smells of pot and perhaps other incense wafting. Nice times then… thanks for the memories, Johnny!

  4. My grandparents rented a flat in the Haight in the early 50s. They told me it was a clean cut family oriented neighborhood back then. By the mid 50s, they’d bought a house in the nearby burbs where they raised my mom. By the late 60s, my parents were hanging out in the Haight. My father was offered a massive Victorian in the early 70s at a steep discount by a buddy of his. But instead, per the trend at the time, they chose to buy a house an hour outside the City. In hindsight it seems there was an almost irresistible supernova of suburbanization.

  5. 1967 interesting coincidence, we were both to set off on a perilous adventure from the same point, you being born and myself being hurled into the far beyond of South East Asia, at the sweet innocent age of 22, and you my friend as I, are attempting the great unraveling. All I have left is a quote from Cormac McCarthy: What’s the bravest thing you ever did? He spat in the road a bloody phlegm. Getting up this morning, he said.”

    1. My expectation is that we’re currently in a time that’s very similar to the 1930s and heading in to an era of restructuring similar to the 1940s. All our institutions will be reorganized on a grand scale to accommodate external reality – not necessarily in a voluntary fashion. That isn’t “The Road” per se. But it will involve a lot of folks dealing with hard times. When the dust settles things will begin to improve again, but with new rules and different concepts of how things should be. Wait long enough and a new generation will be born who will rebel against the conformity of their day. Rinse. Repeat.

  6. I’m also a 1967 kid. It’s interesting to see the changes in SF even in the last 20 years. I lived in San Francisco in the late 1990s working for the National Park Service. Then, the Presidio was just beginning the process of redevelopment and developers were eyeing South of Market. In the Fishermen’s Wharf area, where I worked, there were still a few hole in the wall diners, like Francesci’s (now rebuilt and renamed “Capurro’s”). The old Eagle cafe is part of Pier 39. While a few gritty places endure (like the Tenderloin), some parts of the place are just looking a bit too polished. Palm Trees on the Embarcadero? Scharfenberger chocolate store in the Ferry Building?

    Thanks to marrying a woman from the SF/Bay area we get back there often, staying with the family in Marin. My old uncle in law, with whom we stay, was born in North Beach and has spent his whole life in the area. He was an IBM typewriter repairman. One of his accounts was the office of the People’s Temple in the Haight. As time went on they wouldn’t let him repair typewriters in the office and he had to do it out on the front steps. Then one day the office was locked up…

    Later our uncle opened a fishing bait business and trapped bait all over the bay. He was always very secretive about what he did and never shared his adventures. Sadly, his dementia has caught up with him, so we’ll never know what it was like to be out in South San Francisco at three in the morning trapping baitfish.

    I agree that San Francisco seems to have reached some sort peak. Perhaps it’s just me, but it seems that the building, and now the sinking, of the Millenium Tower is a sign of something ominous.

  7. I, the late 80s I was soldier at the Presidio in SF when it was a military base. I remember that period of SF with great fondness still kind of a funky place with lots of cool places to go until the wee hours of the morning, not just bars either, but also not entirely safe and certainly not clean. A real city like the cities of my imagination. A place where ostentatious wealth and grim poverty existed side by side in a mix of tawdry neon signs for sex shows and upscale European restaurants; streets teemed with interesting and potentially dangerous people a babble of ideas languages and pure noise wrapped in cool fog. Wasn’t at all like that when I returned in the early 2000s. Having a government provided house, food, free medical care and lots of down time might have clouded my vision.

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