Monday, September 03, 2007

Summer of Love 40th Anniversary

After much wrangling by various impresarios on how to best mark the 40th anniversary of the Summer of Love in Golden Gate Park, a gentleman named Boots Houghton stepped up and put on a free all-day concert with veteran musicians on Sunday.

It turned out to be a perfectly charming event with close to 100,000 people attending.

The only fly in the ointment in this City That Often Doesn't Know How was the Muni bus service, which instead of adding vehicles for this special event, actually cut them down because they were on a Sunday schedule, so there were huge clumps of passengers being passed by buses that were already packed to the gills.

So we grabbed the car out of the Civic Center garage and drove to the Van Ness and McAllister bus stop where we offered a ride to two older women from Russian Hill and Sacramento respectively.

The very proper-looking middle-aged ladies had both been hippies in their youth and had nothing but fond nostalgia for the era.

Our good deed translated into instant good karma with a parking spot just a block from the concert in Speedway Meadows.

Unfortunately, the flowered peace sign is no less relevant today than it was forty years ago...

...and absurdly enough, marijuana is still illegal.

There was less nudity than expected for such a warm day, though George Davis, who is running for San Francisco mayor on the single issue of clothing optional areas for Golden Gate Park, finally found the perfect place to campaign.

There was an amazing span of ages in the large crowd...

...being entertained all day by the makeshift bands who would play twenty minute sets.

I had to leave after an hour to attend an opera rehearsal...

...for Wagner's take on sex and spirituality, "Tannhauser."

The crammed 5-Fulton bus ride back to Civic Center was graced, however, with the perfect hippie dog.


Nancy Ewart said...

Great post on the day at the part. I couldn't face the bus so walked back along Haight St. remembering how optimistic we were about changing the world. I guess we did make some changes but the old guard still wants to kill youth and divide people along class, gender and racial lines. Plus ca change, plus ca la meme chose.

Plus, I think that my link back should work now. I've been adding away like a "seasoned" blogger so I should be doing SOMETHING right.


Civic Center said...

Dear Nancy: Brava, your link works.

As for the hippie days, I was never all that optimistic about any of those times and attitudes "changing the world," but in retrospect they actually did. Unfortunately, we're still dealing with the violent reaction to many of those proposed changes (see Bush/Cheney, etc.)

zoo said...

SF mike , you're always a pragmatic, I loved the hippie dog, barking love!! rauuff! Hope you're well.

janinsanfran said...

I figured you'd get there. Glad you did, I guess.

Extreme ambivalence here -- I was there then more or less (Human Be-In 1967 in Sharon Meadows) and not particularly happy or optimistic.

But I agree -- in some good ways we did change the world and a lot of people are still pissed off about that.