Outtake: San Francisco Municipal Railway Bus Transfer, 1968-1969
|San Francisco Municipal Railway Bus Transfer, 1968-1969
In late 1968, Stoney
and I hitchhiked San Francisco.
Evidently, while there, we rode the bus, as evidenced by this bus transfer,
but I don’t recall using public transport, although I do remember construction
was going on for BART.
Even then, I was astounded that the city was actually building a subway
in an earthquake zone ꟷ I mean, who does that?
We had hitched from Los Angeles; some kind truckers picked us up, so our
trip (going and returning) was fast and easy.
DISCLAIMER: I don’t recommend hitchhiking at
all, but Stoney and I were young and stupid, and we thought we were invincible.
There were dozens of ways our trip could have gone sideways.
What I remember most about this trip:
ꟷ We stayed in a “crash pad”
that was painted a vivid purple and inhabited by a lot of “freaks” (term for
hardcore hippies, not carnival oddities) who liked to party.
ꟷ I suppose the statute
of limitations has run out by now, so I can admit this: Stoney had about 25
tabs of acid sewn into the lining of his jacket (Later, in early 1969, he made
the same trip alone with 487 tabs sewn into his coat; I decided not to
accompany him on that trip). To tell the truth, I was terrified we would
be picked up by the police; in those days, being caught with drugs in any
amount could have resulted in serious prison time. On my own, I would
have never had anything to do with drug trafficking, but I, impressionable and
naive, was in love with someone who had no problem with selling dope.
Not my best moment in
I was incredibly lucky in
that I was given another chance to change my life without having to serve time
in the big house. My involuntary commitment in Cherokee was peanuts compared to
what could have been.
ꟷ I refused to take off
my plastic go-go boots during the entire trip because my feet stunk, and I was
embarrassed about it (Stinky feet have plagued me all my life, but I refrain
from wearing footwear that doesn’t allow my feet to breathe).
ꟷ At Haight-Ashbury, a
stranger gave us brownies baked with marijuana, and we actually ate them. How
stupid was that? I, obviously, lived to tell about it, but, still, eating anything
offered by strangers is risky.
That’s about it for memories of that infamous trip, but as they say about
the late 1960’s: if you remember them, you weren’t really there.
Who would think that an old bus transfer would stir up so many memories?
“Outtake: San Francisco Municipal Railway Bus Transfer, 1968,” © copyright 2008 - present, by Jennifer Semple Siegel, may not be reprinted or reposted without the express permission of the author. Published in Memoir Madness: Driven to Involuntary Commitment