In 1995, I spent ten glorious days in San Francisco, walking through the neighborhoods, eating falafels, visiting City Lights bookstore, and glorying in the environment. There were two highlights of my trip. One day, after visiting Coit Tower and those marvelous murals, I walked down an improbable street that is really a staircase, and saw the infamous Parrots of Telegraph Hill. And, I was there when Jerry Garcia died.Why was that significant? Because the hippies came to San Francisco from every corner of the world. They drove their VW Microbuses to the Haight, and there were impromptu altars on three of the four corners of Haight-Ashbury (there was no shrine in front of The Gap).
I remember walking the streets with my friend Lisa (who was ten years younger than I and who had never heard of The Grateful Dead) and I told her that this day, this time, was the closest I could ever come to experiencing the summer of love. I was a tad too young to experience the San Francisco of the sixties and seventies, but I wasn't too young to romanticize it. THIS was the San Francisco I wanted to see.
And now, forty-one years after that time of free love, rock 'n roll, and acid, comes a new Summer of Love. As of Monday, gays and lesbians will be allowed to marry in California!People are planning to travel to California, and specifically San Francisco, from all over the world. They will be descending on that fairest of cities in their Subarus and Volvos to have the opportunity to legally marry the loves of their lives.
I know this is only one of two states that allow gay marriage. I know that there are Californians who plan to fight this ruling, but it gives me hope, my friends. The times may indeed be a'changin'.