Saturday, February 26, 2011


Sadly, I heard the news of my old friend, Darwin Coon, "hitting the road." He really wasn't so much a friend as an acquaintance but he was quite the acquaintance. Darwin Coon, whose resume reads like a surreal portrait of a character who may end up starring in Criminal Minds on TV. He served time in lots of places but ended up here at Alcatraz and made a career out of it--more power to him. He was a prisoner in Alcatraz for four years. He wrote a book about his experience. I became one of his biggest fans. He would station himself down by the ferry to Alcatraz and sell his book. I bought one, then about a half dozen and did it almost weekly for awhile. I would give them away or send to friends. In fact, once he claimed that he had to reprint just because of me. I met him at The Red Jack Saloon. And, really that is the name, Red Jack Saloon. I only went there a time or two. I met Darwin there first and then followed him over to his station outside the ferry. I hadn't seen him for a few months but did asked someone and they said he died. Later on, I went into the Red Jack and Betty said, not true. Now, he has "hit the road" and Darwin, God bless you on your journey . I"m putting you right up there with Emperor Norton and several other characters. The Red Jack had a Memorial.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


San Francisco is, without a doubt, the best hangout town I've ever known. When buds, especially back home in NC, asked me why I love San Fran. One of my quick answers is that it is the best, "hang out" place I've ever known. Last night was a typical example. Funny, fits in one of those categories that simply makes me smile. Lupe (Grand daughter and I had so many laughs. She said, "OPA, this has got to be a great place since it is dark and you're going to it." (Usually don't go out after dark, always say, "I'm scared of the dark)." I am. I blame it on Vietnam: in Nam, everything happened at night. The daytime was always calm, slept, laid around but at night, it was mortars, firefights. The day became a time when you anticipated the night, "what is going to happen?" It gets in your psyche.

Anyway, I picked her up at school. We rushed to her guitar lessons way down on Third St in Bayview/Hunters Point (not a good hang-out spot--don't really know it but lots of crime and drug dealing I hear. In fact, Danny Glover of Lonesome Dove fame, recently announced that he is going to spear head a drive for a Boy's Club there. Treat. So, that aside, we head for Lupe's guitar lessons, teacher didn't show up. Her Mother is ready to fire her. "Noway, she is one of those rare creatures that cross your path and you just go with it. She has a band, is a fabulous guitarist and great teacher. We can go with the flaky, she's and artist." Anyway, a doc friend who is this amazing "foodie," tells us that her MoSpice Kit (recommended restaurant) followed this. All of that being said, had great night with Lupe, not bad when you're hanging out with a 15 year old. When we got to my daughter's, I said , "Lupe, what has the night taught us?"

"OPA," she just smiled, "to go with the flow" --worth it all. I'm going out for Korean. {{{{{{{{Jerry}}}}}}}