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San Francisco Gay Pride Parade

July 9th, 2003

On A Wednesday
Monday. Went to a book signing at Black Oak Books in Berkeley to hear Bob Levin, a local author reading from his newly published The Pirates and the Mouse "Disney's War Against the Counterculture" and meet up with MRW. Sounds catchy, doesn't it? The Air Pirates were a group of cartoonists who drew two comic book parodies published by Ron Turner's Last Gasp in the early seventies while I was working at another comix publisher called The Rip Off Press. Parodies of Mickey and Minnie and Donald and the rest of the early Disney characters. The Mouse had not been amused. The idea was to meet up with MRW, who was not an Air Pirate, but, none the less, an artist and a pirate and see what this book was about.

Dan O'Neil showed up, he was the nominal leader of the Air Pirates, one of the better known cartoonists in the early days from his Odd Bodkins syndicated daily strip in the Chronicle and it was good to say hello and see he was still alive. We have some history and I was able to hear that mutual friends were similarly still living (and, one hopes, kicking). A bunch of old farts, at this book signing, a bunch of old one time stinkin hippies probably, this being Berkeley and all, freak central, but that's because they were friends of the author who was, you know, old, right? I wish.

Wednesday. Wow, two days of being really, really tired. I got in around nine-thirty after the Monday book signing, MRW didn't make it because he hadn't been able to get a ride, so there was no late night alcohol to destroy the next morning, yet I still awoke weighing five hundred pounds. So, what the hell, I'll get another sleep test, check into the sleep motel, find out what's going on here in sleep deprived prosthetic America while I've still got my health insurance. One is allowed.

Another get together of the Ladies and Gents Who Lunch this afternoon at PCB. George was there, apparently having suffered no serious wounds from stumbling further into his early thirties, along with Phil, Gwen and James arriving later, Starmamma and son arriving just as I had to leave and get back to the office. A good lunch out on the patio under the sun. I got mired down at the office and didn't get out until six, but I was able to shoot some hurried (not good to shoot hurried) pictures of the band playing around the corner from PCB.

Other than getting shots of the performers - there are only so many ways to shoot a man or a woman at a microphone, a horn player half in. half out of the sun or a drummer who's lost in shadow - the opportunities lie in shooting the crowd, if the crowd is up for being shot by a stranger with a camera. Many crowds are not and there's a serruptitious dance that goes on that doesn't produce much in the way of pictures. (I just had a thought of an obvious series I missed. Mumble. I'm not sure you're supposed to have a functioning head after work on a Wednesday. I'd use the "I'm tired" excuse, except I seem to feel better as the day progresses. I'm practically conscious now in the early evening as I'm writing.)

A note. I received a print request from a subject in one of my artandlife photos which will at least jack me out of my coma for long enough to do the printing. This is good. On a Wednesday. Here in Oakland.

The photograph was taken at the San Francisco Gay Pride Parade.