Learning to Haight
By Andrew Bardin Williams
Copyright 2011 Andrew Bardin Williams
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Jack and Dean tumbled out of the faded, weather-stained Victorian in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury neighborhood on a Thursday afternoon, the streets still crowded with tourists and neighborhood types. It was what Jack liked to call a “Full House Day”: sunny, cloudless, a perfect day to drive a shiny red convertible over the Golden Gate Bridge and hang out with Danny, Uncle Jesse, Kimmie Gibler and the Olsen twins.
Still high from the bud they’d smoked upstairs in Dean’s apartment, they floated toward Ben & Jerry’s scoop shop at the center of the hood, across the street from the famous Haight-Ashbury street sign. Dean, in a wrinkled white dress shirt, dusty jeans and no shoes, walked several feet ahead, his gangly legs taking long strides. Jack, two inches taller and forty-three years younger than his companion, was having considerable trouble keeping up with Dean’s frenetic pace. Jack shoved his hands into his Lucky Brand jeans and let himself be pulled along behind, unwittingly drawn closer and closer into the Haight underworld, drafting in Dean’s wake.