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The Madera Tribune

Final days of freedom

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webmaster | 09/29/12

Note: The last in the series of the author’s memories of San Francisco in 1967 and the Summer of Love.

Outside the Psychedelic Shop on Haight Street, Starlight, Eric the Nasty, and I watched a drug deal go down on the corner. It was not just a few bucks for a little grass or a postage stamp of acid. This was a sale to a shady character with needle tracks up his arm.

The deal done, the pusher headed our way. I leaned against the wall. The creepy looking dealer approached Starlight and offered some heroine. Big Eric sprang into action. Towering nearly a foot over the scumbag, he grabbed his jacket with both hands and slammed him against the wall next to me. I stepped away.

Eric, given the nickname by Starlight because he took very few showers, said some nasty things to the dealer including to stay out of the Haight. With a push in the back by Eric the dealer stumbled down the sidewalk and hastily disappeared around the corner. Starlight, standing on her toes, gave her hero a kiss. “He’ll be back,” said Eric.

The Summer of Love had inhaled and held its breath far too long. Unfortunately, in the last few weeks in the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco there had not been a whole lot of love. The leeches, cultists and dealers had turned the idyllic times of 1966 and early 1967 into a sea of homeless drifters and drug addicts...


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