Thursday, November 29, 2007

jr. grade

i watched a documentary on the summer of love tonight. it's wild to learn about the history of our city, and even more wild to consider why some may have not welcomed the swift shift in culture and lifestyle.

when i was on the bookmobile tour, we met a spry and energetic woman who ran a victorian bed and breakfast. without meaning to, she encouraged us to stay a few extra days. over time, we learned more about mary. we learned that she recently had experimental surgery that moved her stomach to her throat. we learned that she had run this large bed and breakfast on her own since her husband's death 6 years prior. and we learned that she was raising a family in san francisco in the 60's.

she and her husband eventually decided to leave the city. they were devastated. they loved san francisco and wanted to raise their children there, but the city had changed, and not for the better. mary told us how hard it was to leave, and how hard it was to see the kids whose lives were degrading before them. she told of seeing kids on the street, suffering from malnutrition and overdoses. she told a story we hadn't heard.

tonight i learned that when north beach, home of the beatnik hipsters, became commercialized, young hip folks moved to where the rents were low in haight ashbury. these folks shared the same values as the counterculture hipsters, but wore bright clothing and preferred rock n' roll to jazz. people called them jr. grade hipsters--hippies, for short.

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