"Old Frisco with end of land sadness." --Jack Kerouac
Watching this footage of old time San Francisco (circa 1960s, that is) and hearing Jack Kerouac describe being here brings up two things. First, it makes me love the place, the history and the home the city is, the views I'm familiar with, and the many streets I've never been down, but hope to hoof with my small kid in tow.
It's because of the people! It's a real candy box of humans. For a kid there's the chance to grow up to be who one wants to be, really truly there's an encouragement to fly your freak flag. Man, it's refreshing!
I just came back from international travels via Texas, land of Bush and God, which reminded me of the best part of San Francisco, the people.
I like thinking of some of the local kids I grew up with in the Eighties who still are here, or just over the bay or down the peninsula. They're a big reason to stay--not just them as individuals, but each of them as a possibility for my own kid to become, or to look at and say, "Yeah!"
|Credit: Sheryl Mayo|
Sheryl was my friend from elementary school. She learned Native American dancing, which meant everything to her being Native American, and it made her blossom.
Terri is raising a real San Franciscan boy, spirited but sweet, like the boys I remember back when the Giants and the Niners were always winning.
Nikki, a hunky transvestite from Puerto Rico who liked to preface sentences with "Girl!" went to my high school. He loved being in San Francisco because he would've been killed back in Puerto Rico, he told me.
Curly-haired Casey (who was my secret crush in middle school) now grows native plants and tends several farms in San Francisco; he can tell you about lupines on Bayview Hill and which butterfly prefers them.
Good old Andy's drinking beer in the Sunset District, writing stories about Old Man Kuo, and channeling Charles Bukowski. He's got a turtle named Turky, who can't spell for shit.
Suzie's singing jazz and dipping brushes in oil paints, meeting up with Thea who's been rambling around the country in a flatbed truck and living in Mexico, only to finally find her way home.