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webmaster | 09/12/12

The third in a four-part series of the author’s memories of San Francisco 1967 and the Summer of Love.

In what would eventually be called the Summer of Love, the kids and runaways that had arrived in June when school had ended were leaving Haight-Ashbury by the thousands. They had flooded the district after reading the newspapers, seeing us on television or hearing of the Monterey Pop Festival with Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Country Joe and Scott McKenzie’s now iconic “If You’re Going to San Francisco” (wear flowers in your hair).

Now, most were returning home to the waiting arms of their worried parents to start their junior or senior year of high school or return to college. Most did so with different hairstyles, a new attitude and some with new ideals.

Still roommates in a Victorian on Clayton a couple blocks from the famous corner, Starlight, Eric and myself watched them board buses, stick out a thumb for a ride from anyone, or for those whose parents had sent money, catch a cab to the airport. I wondered what those parents would think when they arrived in beads, leather and bell-bottom corduroy jeans.

August had come and gone with its cool, gray morning fog turning to bright afternoon sun for enjoying in the panhandle of Golden Gate Park, people watching at the I-Thou Coffee Shop or the Blue Unicorn. Earlier that month Beatle George Harrison and his wife Pattie had taken a stroll of the Haight. I had been in North Beach at City Lights Books reading Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road” and missed the whole show...


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