Reflections on the anniversary of Martin Luther King’s assasination
Written April 4, 2013.
I had hitchhiked down to San Francisco from Oregon. We didn’t have a radio in the car, and when I got to the Haight to stay with some friends it was 2 a.m. and no one came to the window to throw us keys from the loft. My ride took off and I headed down the street to find a crash pad. A National Guardsman accosted me under the streetlight on the corner. He had an M-1 rifle with bayonet mounted, and I knew he wasn’t dressed for Halloween. He was amazed I hadn’t heard about Martin Luther King’s assasination that day. That was why the Haight was under martial law, along with about 16 other cities that night, for fear of riots. I took his tip about a church a few blocks down that might be taking in street people so late. I got lost though, and finally climbed over someone’s fence and rolled out my sleeping bag and went to sleep. Someone was yelling “Prince! Prince! Stay” really loud and the sun was shining and a huge Weimaraner hunting dog was standing at attention a foot away from me. He had jaws the size of my pack. But he stood fast long enough for me to realize I had jumped into his dog run in the middle of the night. I got the hell out of there and moved on, deeper into the conundrum of America forever more.