November 20, 2017
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Jud Snyder
“Flowers in your hair,”: SF anniversary brings back 50-year-old memories
November 10, 2017

In a recent Rohnert Park City Council agenda packet from City Manager Darrin Jenkins, it stated that he “terminated the existence of a local city emergency” that he put in place when Napa and Sonoma Counties were being charred to a crisp and creating world- wide newspaper headlines. In its place, he created a public Charrette downtown for your vision for a Rohnert Park.

NOBODY ASKED ME BUT I was reminded despite the woes of this upside-down world we all now live in, we’re celebrating the 50th anniversary of “If you are going to San Francisco be sure to wear some flowers in your hair.” It was supposed to answer questions and leave a lot of unanswered questions. 

I gave up my sports-writing career in upstate New York (Troy, Albany and Schenectady) and headed for San Francisco. I knew my wife Pauline and I made the right decision when we rolled across the Bay Bridge and smelled the aroma of roasting coffee.

AFTER A FEW rejections, we found a section of San Francisco called the Panhandle. It led to Golden Gate Park and the Japanese Tea Garden. At the Chronicle I was told to “Put it on that stack over there and don’t call us, we’ll call you.”

We love the tea garden with its colorful tablecloths, with space underneath tables so long legged American tourists had room to sit, delicate Japanese teacups and young waitresses dressed in their native costumes.

We wandered over to North Beach in San Francisco where the Co-Existence Bagel Shop was ground zero for true Beatniks as Herb Caen called them and across the street was the Coffee Gallery where saxophonist Pony Poindexter played almost nightly and the Spaghetti Factory provided the necessary native dish and the really hot sauce.

Back home in our Panhandle apartment I went to a nearby drugstore to get some aspirin for our hangovers and on this afternoon, I saw bottle after bottles of pocket-size booze on sale.

The druggist said, “Yeah, we sell a lot to the homeless living two blocks up the street where even a free clinic exists at Haight and Ashbury.”