There is just too much left to do here. I will be marching around San Francisco tomorrow again. I wandered around the civic center, the downtown district and out to Alamo and Haight-Ashbury.
When I was in the Haight-Ashbury area, there were a lot of people visiting, shopping, hanging out, and driving through. There were also some stern-looking cops walking around, or parked nearby. Hippies and tourists were everywhere.
On one street corner, a shop called, Ben Jammin was holding an outdoor music event. People were dressed in tie-dyed clothing; some wore rainbow wigs and headbands, and others were getting facial tattoos painted on. A really old lady was dancing around doing Flower Child gestures and moves as she listened to a young woman sing and play the guitar. Small children with tie-dyed clothes and face paint were getting their groove on. A very pregnant young woman with her belly exposed and painted was dancing with the children.
I took out my tablet to take pictures. A man who looked a lot like Bill Ayers was sitting under a portable canopy near the singer. He seemed disturbed by my presense with the flag. He got up and told a fat old man with a beard and a tye-dyed outfit to photograph me. I thought the fat man was Ben of Ben an Jerry’s. I just smiled and posed and asked if they wanted the message on my shirt to be visible.
The old fat hippie told me he was Bob, and he posed with me. I asked Bill Ayers to photograph me with Bob.
Bob then offered me a free hot dog, and told me he had attended over 5000 concerts. At least 350 of those concerts were by the Grateful Dead. Bob gave me another hot dog then wandered off to dance with some other hippies who arrived in Sixties-style outfits.
I wanted to proclaim the end of the Progressive Era, but no one else talked to me while I was on the corner of Haight-Ashbury. Thus, I couldn’t find anyone trustworthy to hand my tablet to so I could do it. I decided to walk on, passed the clouds of pot smoke, and along bus stops and grassy hillsides populated by homeless people, teenagers, and hacking drug addicts who were openly free-basing and snorting.
Later in the day, as I was walking from the Civic Center area to downtown, a homeless young woman yelled at me and told me to fly my flag upside-down. This irritated me at first. She then said it’s to signify that the nation is in trouble. She and several other homeless people were lounging on a park slope, complaining that the police rousted them, and kicked them out of the City Hall park. Apparently, there were two big events going on in neighboring buildings, and well-to-do were going to be in attendence.
l had seen several rich people drive by in the area. The men looked distinguished and moneyed, and the women were dripping with jewelry.
The young woman told me that she decided to become homeless after participating in a previous Occupy event. As she told me this, a man lying behind her would periodically grab her breast and gave it a squeeze. The young woman said she would rather live on the streets and do without frequent showers than be a part of what “feeds the system.” Apparently, she can’t do without Facebook. She told me to follow her. Her name is Anonymama.
After chatting with the homeless group, I walked downtown. It was 7 pm by this time.
There would a lot of interesting buildings to look at. As I photographed some of them, I was taunted or threatened by nafarious-looking men with sagging pants who spoke street vernacular. They congregated on the corners and in front of Cash/Western Union shops. One man was behind me, offering his friend $15 to “bitchslap this niggah (me).
I turned around, gave them a look that said, Well? Are you going to do it? I’m waiting. But they turned away and talked about something else.
I wandered for an hour, taking photos and wondering if anyone would ask me about my flag. No one had the entire day. And this is the most people I’ve been around at any given time during my marches. I went into a Starbucks to recharge the tablet and to upload photos to Facebook.
From there, I walked in an arc back toward the 24 Hour Fitness club where I had started from, on Van Ness and Post.
As I was just walking up to the gym to call it a night, a slightly inebriated man named, Larry saw me, my flag, and my shirt message (Protect the Constitution), and he said, “Yes!”
He shook my hand and told me he was once very liberal. Now, he identifies as a libertarian (though he qualified that by saying he’s actually more conservative). He once had long hair, piercings, and thought like a Progressive. Now, he has sort hair, dresses like an average working-class stiff. He is a teacher now, who works with “problem” kids (aka gangbangers and kids from poor, troubled homes).
Larry says he doesn’t like how intolerant the city and its liberal citizens have become. They are tolerant only of what they believe in. He supports gay marriage and is “Pro-Choice,” but he also believes in the Constitution and in the Second Amendment. He owns a gun, in part because of what he does for a living. But he was emphatic about his belief that citizens have the right to keep and bear arms. He has always thought of the Constitution as sacred.
Larry voted for Obama because he hated Bush. But, he soon saw what a disaster Obama is, and didn’t vote for him again. Now, he hates what Obama’s doing to our country and our Constitution. Larry supported the Occupy Movement but disagreed with its focus, and confrontational manner toward the police and others.
One thing Larry was amazed about was how the media has been protect Obama, and yet now have found out that the AP’s information was secretly taken by the Administration.
Larry and I shook hands, agreed that we love American and are proud to be Americans. Then, I rolled up my flag and walked into the parking structure.
Tomorrow, I will video my proclamation and then march northward to the Presidio, and then across the Golden Gate Bridge.