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San Francisco Love
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In San Francisco, CA — As I sit here drinking water and eating snacks at random bench with tables on the corner of Green and Columbus in north beach San Francisco, I ponder. I watch people walk by and suddenly I’m struck with the notion that the younger generation has truly taken over. My kids’ generation and younger dominate a scene that was once inhabited by the old beatniks of the 60s and 70s. Some of the young people may be aware of this, but to them it’s ancient history. That weird music I don’t understand plays on car stereos that drive by. One musician at a restaurant did play pleasant music I dug outdoors. But it was simply a breath of fresh air.

For example, I had a conversation with a younger chick at City Light Books a while ago about the book, Just Kids by Patti Smith. She said she loved the book and read it several times. I agreed, yes it’s a great book. Then she went on to talk about Patti Smith as a mythological figure of the past. That freaked me out so much, I was speechless. I’d usually say something like, well when I was growing up, these people were alive and well..things were different. But I didn’t because it would be like saying, in my day, we walked ten miles in the snow to get to school.

I nodded in agreement and walked away because I feared I’d say something crazy that didn’t make sense.

Oh there are a few older ones of my generation traipsing by. I can tell because they’re the only ones who make eye contact with me. Like it’s a knowing thing. Some are older. But they’re in the minority here. Are we becoming invisible in certain circles now? Tomorrow I’ll be surrounded by ukulele players and everyone will know me there. We need the ukulele, music and writer worlds to bring the generations together.

I’d hate to see the history and ambience of North Beach to fade away…maybe all the younger folks should at least check out the Beat Museum. It’s where I saw my friend Floyd Salas read from his books for the last time. Al Young read as well and others. They were integral parts of the beat scene which eventually morphed into hippies. Now Al Young and Floyd Salas have passed away along with so many others from that scene… I can’t let it go! Gotta hang on.


This is wonderful!

The only constant is change itself. I totally get your piece, especially with AI and social media, taking over the brains of the unsuspecting ones. Thanks for writing it.

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