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Powell, near Market Street, San Francisco

March 15th, 2002

In The Seventies
Scooby Doo is not a bear, but a dog. A cartoon dog, but a dog none the less. I'm told he's a product of the 70's, a time when I'd entered my thirties and was playing at being hip in San Francisco. I did not watch Scooby Doo. There was a sing along happy talk theme song, as I recall, but fortunately or unfortunately, I can't quite remember. People of the right age undoubtedly have it acid etched into their prefrontal lobes, just as the Mickey Mouse Club theme song is etched into mine, never to be erased or forgotten. A web search says Scooby Doo ran on television from 1969 to 1979, from the year I got out of the army to the year my sojourn to San Francisco was ending, the Vietnam war through the death of any innocence engendered in the hippie movement.

Ah, Magdeline admits to this day the Scooby Doo theme song still resides in her own head.Shop window near Grand Lake Theater, Oakland "If you want me to regurgitate more about this, I find I have more information on it than I think is really healthy." Maybe I should have been watching cartoons in the 70's. Maybe I should be watching cartoons today. I'm down to reading two strips in the morning, The Fusco Brothers and Zippy the Pinhead, The Fusco Brothers because he uses large voice balloons with easy to read type and Zippy the Pinhead because once in maybe twenty strips he hits his mark. I'm sympathetic to artistic endeavors that hit the mark but once in twenty attempts. Zippy was one of the weekly strips we published at the old Rip Off Comix Syndicate, so I remain morbidly curious and The Fusco Brothers, I don't know, maybe an analyst could give me better insight. Anyway, Magdeline also mentions Scrappy Doo, the name written on the woman's name tag in Thursday's entry (Is it a good sign when you start referring to your own stuff?), is the name of Scooby Doo's nephew. Annie and Cathy provided similar insight.

So there were a bunch of people running up Powell Street on a recent Saturday dressed up as a cartoon dog from the seventies, who had apparently invested a whole lot of effort in their costumes, but to what purpose? Perhaps no purpose. Perhaps they were just having fun. Perhaps they were placed there by a beneficent god for my benefit, to photograph well or badly. Perhaps it was just one of those things and I, like the tourist who asked me somewhat incredulously "who are these people!", am just another rube taken in when I brushed up against a Zen affair far beyond my comprehension. Could be. It happens. Not all hippie dreams and delusions died in the seventies.

The banner photograph was taken on Powell near Market in San Francisco last Saturday and the second photograph in a store window near the Grand Lake Theater in Oakland.