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What It Means to Live in Berkeley parade.
November 1st, 1999

I'm Losing Marbles
The hell with shooting pictures in the San Francisco Castro district Halloween party next year. The Examiner reported there were 275,000 people partying there last night. People evidently come from all over the world, all the rooms in the area booked months in advance. That's a lot of people. The paper estimated only 7,500 people showed up and paid for a ticket to attend another party held in front of City Hall (The Castro Street party is free). Only 7,500. There are that many people standing in line on any given afternoon waiting to get on the Powell Street cable car. There's some thought they won't hold the City Hall party again next year for lack of interest.

The San Francisco City Hall is right next to a BART station and easy for me to reach (as, really, is the Castro), but coming home late at night and then walking to the apartment in the dark lugging a bunch of expensive camera gear is not my idea of fun. Actually, what am I talking about? I don't want to walk home? I could drive and park at the BART station over in my old neighborhood (15 minutes drive, max, and that in heavy traffic) and return in safety. In all my rationalizing about not covering the Halloween party in the Castro area these last few days, why didn't I think of that? (Internal dialogue here on possibility I'm losing marbles.) Maybe I just need to practice some candid night shooting. See if that doesn't get my interest up, take away some of these obstacles. Or else just say fuck it and not worry about it. (Internal dialogue here on whether or not the remaining marbles are holding their roundness.)

I received a copy of Ron Goulart's new book, the third in his Groucho Marx series. Very nice A new book by Ron Goulart. cover graphics. I put in a "ship when published" order at some time back and it arrived in the mail today. Ron Goulart is an author who's first work I read in the California Pelican when he was a student at Berkeley. I obtained some of the old Pelicans that had been stashed away in the Communications department at the University of Washington when they were cleaning out their closets. Ron had written one of the truly funny pieces I ever found in any of the college humor magazines I knew about in those decades and I've bought and read his books when I've found them since. There's one of his titles on my 100 Books list and he found it somehow doing an Internet search so he signed my guestbook. We exchanged emails, he sending me a copy of a newsletter he sends out to interested readers (and, I suspect, libraries and booksellers). I suspect he is a classic in the great pulp tradition (he's had over 160 books published) and I like his take, the way he looks at things. If you read this, Ron, I hope you sell a million of them. How hard is it going to be to cast Groucho when they begin shooting the movies?

So I'm going to turn in early and read it.

The banner photograph was taken at the What It Means to Live in Berkeley parade. The cover of Ron Goulart's book was scanned this evening.