Tag: Haight-Asbury

Slouching Towards Bethlehem by Joan Didion

March 4th, 2022 — 6:25pm

Slouching Towards Bethlehem
By Joan Didion

Ms. Didion has a style and skill to bring out the essence and feelings of various characters as they deal with the major events of a lifetime. The book consists of 20 essays and is apparently her first non-fiction book. It mostly addresses personalities and events of the 1960s on the West Coast in California where she grew up. She did delve into the life of John Wayne, Joan Baez and Howard Hughes and touches upon what it was to live in Haight-Ashbury during the 1960s. Ms. Didion takes the reader into a deep dive into various characters as well as a particular time period. I did get the feeling that she truly captured each person and their life setting. As I read each essay, it seemed quite real and genuine. She provides a brief visit with an interesting person. However, as honest and is true as the encounter may be, the essay was not particularly memorable. I did not find myself engrossed in each essay nor reminiscing over the literary experience. No doubt she is a great photographer with her words. I had the thought that I would treasure one of her essays, if she were writing about a time and place of people with whom I had interacted and lived. For example, I would really enjoy reading her insight into Brooklyn during the years that I lived there in my youth. Also, I should add that I have not the slightest idea what the title has to do with the contents of her book.

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Season Of The Witch by David Talbot

June 23rd, 2015 — 4:41pm

SEASON OF THE WITCH BY DAVID TALBOTScreen Shot 2015-06-15 at 10.18.45 AM

If you have ever lived in San Francisco (as I did for one year in 1965) or perhaps visited the city and have fallen under its magical spell then this book is for you. This is especially true if your connection occurred between the 20-year period of 1965 to 1985. This may also apply if you identify with the social movements or news events that originated or were closely connected to The City by the Bay.

Here is a partial list of the fascinating people, places and events that were described in great detail in this very interesting book:

Haight-Ashbury, giving birth to the Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, The Human Be In, the Hippy Revolution, Summer Of Love.

Jerry Rubin, Abbie Hoffman, Timothy Leary, Runaway Children, Beatnik Society, Free Clinic, rock concerts, and Bill Graham.

San Francisco Chronicle, Herb Caen, Mobey Grape, Openly Gay Community, The Cockettes, Finnochios, STD, LSD, CIA, Susan Atkins, Charles Manson, Sharon Tate, Hell’s Angels, Rolling Stones, and Mick Jagger.

Joseph L. Alioto, Good Earth, Vincent Hallinan, SLA (Symbinese Liberation Army), Cinque, Bill Harris, Patty Hearst, Zebra Murders, Zodiac Serial Killer, Asian Law Caucus. Margo St. James, Hookers Liberation, Lenny Bruce, Ken Kesey.

George Moscone, Harvey Milk, Dianne Feinstein, Willie Brown, People’s Temple, Jim Jones, Jonestown, Guyana, Dan White , assassinations at City Hall, Edward DeBartolo, Joe Montana, Bill Walsh, HIV and the AIDS epidemic.

Although this book leaves at the end of the AIDS epidemic, we know this is just 20 years of a small but important part of the history of this great city. David Talbot, in my opinion, has earned the title of Story Teller Supreme for San Francisco. He told it like it was and what a story it has been and continues to be.

At the conclusion of this book, we are also treated to a section with photographs of some of the important players in the history of this great city that were described. These photos and the narration that accompanies, each one of them are a special dessert to the great meal this book has been.

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