Tag Archives: CA

HIWAY AMERICA – THE BANANA MUSEUM, Hwy 111 Mecca, SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

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HIWAY AMERICA – THE BANANA MUSEUM, Hwy 111 Mecca, SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

Southern California real estate agent Ken Bannister went bananas—literally—more than 40 years ago. What began as his marketing strategy of handing out banana stickers at conventions ripened into a full-blown persona as the “Banana Man.” He’s amassed nearly 20,000 artifacts now on display at the Banana Museum.

It’s just one of the odd collections found across America. Whether devoted to barbed wire or Bigfoot, most of these strange museums spring from the passionate hobbies of individuals like Bannister. And their labors of love are a reminder that what can be considered worthy to collect is as varied as the country itself.

Unlike major institutions displaying Picasso paintings, Egyptian sarcophagi, or Jeff Koons’s latest balloon animal, these strange museums are rarely crowded. You certainly won’t confuse New York’s MoMA with MOMA—the self-described “museum of meat awesomeness” devoted to SPAM in Austin, MN.

a California farmer has the pumpkin for you

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If buying a pumpkin, cutting it open and carving it into a jack o’lantern is too much work — or if your best efforts are scary for all the wrong reasons — then a California farmer has the pumpkin for you.

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Pumpkinstein is already the perfect Halloween pumpkin because you don’t have to do a thing to it. Each one is grown in a mold to take the shape of Frankenstein’s head.

 

People never believe it’s real the first time they see it; they all want to touch it to make sure,” Tony Dighera of Cinagro Farms in Fillmore, Calif., told The New York Times.

Dighera told the Tri-Valley Dispatch that it took four years and $500,000 to develop the technique and find the perfect pumpkin for the job.

“When you try something for four years of your life, people really start to think you’re wacko,” he told the Times.

What some people may find “wacko,” however, is the price. Dighera is selling Pumpkinsteins for about $75 wholesale, with retailers marking them up to $100 and even $125.

For a pumpkin. A very cool pumpkin that looks like Frankenstein, but still a pumpkin.

At least it’s organic.

 

Dighera is not finished with his pumpkin tinkering. He told the Los Angeles Daily News that next year, the pumpkins will be grown with eyeballs made of marbles. He’s also developing a second type of pumpkin grown to look like a skull.

Marty the Marijuana Mouse

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Marty the Marijuana Mouse

Marty the Mouse became famous in 1974 after he made a home for himself in a box of marijuana stored in the evidence room of the San Jose, CA police station. Police were only able to lure him out by baiting a trap with marijuana seeds. (He ignored bacon, peanut butter, cheese, and a female mouse called Mata Hairy.) He became known as Marty the Marijuana Mouse.

But instead of killing him, he was first sent to UCLA to aid in studies of marijuana. Then he was returned to San Jose where he became a police mascot. When he died in Nov 1975, the nation mourned.

Posted By: Alex | Date: Sun Sep

HIWAY AMERICA- THE PEZ MUSEUM, BURLINGHAM CA.

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THE PEZ MUSEUM

An integral part of the American scene for approximately 50 years, PEZ Candy has been

enjoyed by generations of Americans.

PEZ was first marketed as a compressed peppermint candy over 83 years ago in Vienna, Austria. The name PEZ was derived from the German word for peppermint… PfeffErminZ. Today, over 3 billion PEZ Candies are consumed annually in the U.S.A. alone.

With great tasting flavors and collectable dispensers, PEZ is more than just a candy… it’s the pioneer of “interactive candy” that is both enjoyable to eat and fun to play with. PEZ Dispensers are a hot collectable for adults and children alike as well as being a staple and part of American pop culture. New character dispensers are introduced regularly to reflect current trends.

PEZ Candy is manufactured in Orange, Connecticut by PEZ CANDY, INC. and marketed through supermarkets, mass merchandisers, variety stores, drug stores, convenience stores, toy chains and gift stores throughout the U.S. and Canada. Available around the world in more than 80 countries, PEZ Candy and Dispensers truly have universal appeal.

THE PEZ MUSEUM

PEZ MUSEUM STORE 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14

For a more detailed view, click on the Pez in the picture or search the lists below.

whats new pez store home
PEZ MUSEUM STORE 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 search
pez exhibit
For a more detailed view, click on the Pez in the picture or search the lists below.

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weird museums

http://youtu.be/HDXKR2U3ty0

HIWAY AMERICA – MADERA CA. A MIGRANT FARM WORKER

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Farm Confessional: I’m an Undocumented Farm Worker

In our new feature, Farm Confessional, we talk to agricultural workers whose stories often aren’t told. Do you have a story to tell? Anonymity is okay and guaranteed. Contact us at edit@modfarmer.com. For our first installment, we talked to Odilia Chavez, a 40-year-old undocumented migrant farmworker.

As told to and translated from Spanish by Lauren Smiley

I’m Odilia Chavez, a 40-year-old migrant farm worker based in Madera, California, the heart of the fertile Central Valley. I’m also a single mother of three: my 20-year-old eldest son came and joined me in 2004, crossing with a coyote. My son is now at the university, studying political science. The younger two were born here — American citizens.

I grew up in Santiago Yosondua, Oaxaca, in southern Mexico. I went to school through third grade, my dad was killed when I was 11, and we didn’t even have enough food to eat. So I went off to work at 12 in Mexico City as a live-in maid for a Spanish family. I’d go back each year to Oaxaca to visit my mom, and the migrants who’d come back from the United States would buy fancy cars and nice houses, while my mom still slept on a mat on the floor in our hut. A coyote told me he could take me to the United States for $1,800. So I went north in 1999, leaving my four-year-old son behind with my mother. I was 26.

I’ve seen on the news that some Congress members or American citizens say undocumented workers are taking their jobs. We’re not taking their jobs. In the 14 years I’ve been here, I’ve never seen an American working in the fields.

We crossed through the desert into Arizona, hiding from the border patrol. I finally arrived in Madera in March of 1999, and I moved into a boarding house for migrant farmworkers.

I’d never worked in a field. It was really hard at first — working outdoors with the heat, the daily routine. But I’ve certainly learned. In a typical year, I prune grapevines starting in April, and pick cherries around Madera in May. I travel to Oregon in June to pick strawberries, blueberries and blackberries on a farm owned by Russians. I take my 14-year-old daughter and 8-year-old son with me while they’re on their summer break. They play with the other kids, and bring me water and food in the field. We’ll live in a boarding house with 25 rooms for some 100 people, and everyone lines up to use the bathrooms. My kids and I share a room for $270 a month.

I head back to Madera in August for my children to start school. We own our house now — paid off in April! I reached the American dream — ha — thanks to the help of the father of my youngest son, who died in 2007 after he returned to Mexico after a problem with immigration authorities and was killed while working as a policeman. In Madera, I pick grapes that will be made into raisins in September, usually rest in October. In November, I travel each day to Stanislaus County to work planting trees in a nursery until February.

On all the harvests, men and women work side-by-side doing the same job, and women work just as fast as the men. I’ve been harassed one time: when a boss who drove us out to the field every day wanted to hug me, and said he wouldn’t charge me the $8 a day for the ride if I’d go out with him. (Most of us don’t have driver’s licenses, so the contractors organize rides to work.) I left the job. In California, especially in Fresno and Madera counties, there’s an abundance of farm jobs. So you don’t have to do one you don’t like.

Odilia Chavez.1
Chavez harvesting raisin grapes near Madera California in 2011.2
Harvesting cherries in Fresno County in 2010.3
Carrying irrigation pipe lines near Hickman Ca. 2011.4

 

  • 1Odilia Chavez.
  • 2Chavez harvesting raisin grapes near Madera California in 2011.
  • 3Harvesting cherries in Fresno County in 2010.
  • 4Carrying irrigation pipe lines near Hickman Ca. 2011.

 

I’ve seen on the news that some Congress members or American citizens say undocumented workers are taking their jobs. We’re not taking their jobs. In the 14 years I’ve been here, I’ve never seen an American working in the fields. I’ve never seen anyone work like Mexicans. In restaurants and construction, you’ll find Salvadorans and Guatemalans, but in the fields, it’s almost all Mexicans.

The work is hard — but many jobs are hard. The thing that bothers me more is the low pay. With cherries, you earn $7 for each box, and I’ll fill 30 boxes in a day — about $210 a day. For blueberries, I’ll do 25 containers for up to $5 each one — $125 a day. With grapes, you make 30 cents for each carton, and I can do 400 cartons a day – $120 a day. Tomatoes are the worst paid: I’ll pick 100 for 62 cents a bucket, or about $62 a day. I don’t do tomatoes much anymore. It’s heavy work, you have to bend over, run to turn in your baskets, and your back hurts. I say I like tomatoes — in a salad. Ha. With a lot of the crops, the bosses keep track of your haul by giving you a card, and punching it every time you turn in a basket.

One time, a contractor who was an American citizen with Mexican parents called me a no-good illegal, and claimed he was going to call immigration on me. I said, “Send ‘em over, I’ll be waiting!” I left that job.

I wish they would be more considerate of what we’re doing with the pay rate. They’re a little cheap: 31 cents for a carton of grapes. I would like another two or three cents a carton, because it’s really hard and heavy work. I’ve never worked a union contract job — a lot of them are in tomatoes or oranges — but if anyone doesn’t want to pay you, the United Farm Workers of America where I’m a volunteer, will help you get paid.

I’m very fast. In jobs where you’re doing delicate things, like pruning plants, they don’t want you rushing, so they pay you by the hour. But harvest jobs are usually paid by the quantity you pick. I prefer it that way — you have to run, but you can get home faster. We get there at 6:00 in the morning and, if I rush, I take a break at 1:00, drink and eat something, then work for another hour and head home. You pick the amount of hours you want to work, and you try not to take a lot of breaks so you can earn more. Some people will go until 5:00 in the afternoon and want to work and work, but I have my kids.

You come home really tired. I’ll come home, take a shower, put lotion on my hot feet, and be ready for the next day. I’m usually in bed by 9:00 to get up at 3:00 or 4:00 in the morning to make and pack some tacos for the day. Also, undocumented workers don’t have any medical insurance — so the majority of us just buy over-the-counter pills for any problems. Luckily, I haven’t had many health issues yet.

Some contractors think they can abuse you because you’re undocumented. One time, a contractor who was an American citizen with Mexican parents called me a no-good illegal, and claimed he was going to call immigration on me. I said, “Send ‘em over, I’ll be waiting!” I left that job.

We all want immigration reform. First, I’d get a driver’s license, social security, and go see my mom in Mexico. (The last time I went was in 2008, and I had to cross the dessert again with a coyote to get back here — but it was the only option.) I would still work in the fields. I don’t know how to do anything else. A lot of workers haven’t gotten very far in school, and they can’t use a computer. What job are they going to do? We can’t get a better job. They were farmworkers in Mexico and we’re going to die as farmworkers. I do have a lot of pride in my work, though. It can be fun. We joke around.

I’m going to keep working as long as I can. My youngest son says he’s going to invent a robot to do the housework for me, and he’s going to earn a lot so we can buy our own ranch.

And yes, you can use my real name! Some undocumented people are scared, but I’ve never seen an immigration raid on a farm. (I hope they don’t start, either.) Agriculture is dependent on undocumented workers. We need the money from the farmers, and the farmers need our hands.

COOL PEOPLE – JOHN STEINBECK AND CANNERY ROW

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CHAPTER 1 CANNERY ROW

John Steinbeck is one of the best-known and most revered American literary figures. He won the Pulitzer Prize for his novel Grapes of Wrath (1939), highlighting the lives of migrant farm workers in the Salinas Valley, and was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1962. Seventeen of his works, including Cannery Row (1945), The Pearl (1947), and East of Eden (1955), were made into Hollywood movies.

Best Of Cannery Row

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Monterey County Beginnings

Steinbeck was born about 30 miles from Cannery Row in Salinas, California, on February 27, 1902. He graduated from Salinas High School in 1919 and attended Stanford University, about 90 miles north of the Monterey Peninsula. He married his first wife, Carol Henning, in 1930. They lived in Pacific Grove next to Cannery Row, where much of the material for his books was gathered.

Cannery Row Characters

Steinbeck’s strong personal attachment to Monterey was perhaps inevitable. Living in Pacific Grove, in a house owned by his father, Steinbeck wrote stories spiced with the vibrant tales of cannery workers and roughnecks he knew.

Cannery Row ignited Steinbeck’s imagination and his affection for the colorful mix of people there influenced a number of stories and characters. Tortilla Flat (1935) received the California Commonwealth Club’s Gold Medal for best novel by a California author and marked a turning point in Steinbeck’s career.

Cannery Row (1945), one of Steinbeck’s best and most widely read fictional works, immortalized Cannery Row as a one-of-a-kind neighborhood of fish packing plants, bordellos, and flophouses, and made it the most famous street in America. Sweet Thursday, the sequel to Cannery Row, was published in 1954.

Steinbeck & Ed Ricketts

In 1930 Steinbeck met Ed Ricketts, an accomplished marine biologist who operated the Pacific Biological Laboratory at 800 Cannery Row. Ricketts was the inspiration for the character ‘Doc’ in Cannery Row, although he wasn’t called Doc in real life. Ricketts brought Steinbeck along on his outdoor adventures studying the biological mysteries of the “Great Tidal Pool” near Asilomar Beach, and on a voyage to the Sea of Cortez.

In 1948 Ed Ricketts was hit by a train after his Buick stalled on the tracks near Cannery Row. Today, the location of the train accident is memorialized with a bust of Ricketts at the street corner adjacent to the Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa.

Steinbeck died on December 20, 1968, in New York City. His ashes were placed in the Garden of Memories Cemetery in Salinas.

For more information about John Steinbeck’s life and work, visit the National Steinbeck Center.

FROM CANNERY ROW (1982) – FORGOTTEN TREASURE

 Uploaded on May 5, 2010

BEATNIK HIWAY – Hippie Hill San Francisco Ca.

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#Hippie Hill

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 #the Hippie Hill annual pot festival April 20th 2014

Published on Apr 22, 2014

Every year on April 20th, THOUSANDS gather at Golden Gate Park for the Hippie Hill 4/20 event. If you have never attended, this is a minute glimpse of what you can expect!

 

From the rhythmic beat of hand drummers to the questionable smoke signal swirls, you truly have no idea what you’ll discover on Hippie Hill. Depending on whose lens you choose to view the atmosphere of the infamous meadow and sloping hill that notoriously received its name from being a gathering spot during the 1960s, it’s a fascinating fixture in Golden Gate Park. When the field isn’t ultra- packed, Hippie Hill is an interesting place to enjoy the sights and sounds of a sunny day at the park.

Things to Do

Sprawled out with a book across the spacious open field, catching the rejuvenating rays of the sun, or enjoying a toss of the Frisbee, the colorful cast of characters at Hippie Hill is never-ending. People-watching is definitely a favorite pastime of Hippie Hill visitors. For some, there is something somewhat magical about visiting a place that at one time attracted the likes of Janis Joplin and the Grateful Dead.

Adults enjoy bringing lawn chairs, blankets, picnic lunches, canopies, and other accessories that helps usher in a lazy day. On the weekends, drum circles are commonplace. Perhaps you can teach an old or new dog a few tricks, as many visitors bring their faithful companion along to the Hill. However, keep in mind that this is probably not the best place for an outing with the youngsters.

Location

Hippie Hill is found on the eastern end of Golden Gate Park. Head for the hill located in between the Conservatory of Flowers and Haight Street.

#Marijuana and Cannabis News

Hippie Hill, Golden Gate Park, 4/20: Toke Was There [Photos]
By Steve Elliott ~alapoet~ in Culture
Monday, April 23, 2012 at 10:02 pm
All photos by Jack Rikess for Toke of the Town
The climactic moment: 4:20 p.m. on Hippie Hill in Golden Gate Park, April 20, 2012

By Jack Rikess

Toke of the Town
Northern California Correspondent
Maybe there’s no greater metaphor for what’s going on with marijuana in 2012 than the proceedings that took place with Friday’s 4/20 celebration in Golden Gate Park. To recognize marijuana or not, that is my question.
Last Wednesday I called the director of Golden Gate Park, wishing to speak to him about the annual 4/20 festivities and if the Park plans to do anything different on that day, e.g. add more trashcans, porta-potties, security, etc…
I wasn’t allowed to speak to the director because all media questions are to be routed through the Park’s media person. When I asked if they were prepared for this Friday’s yearly gathering she explained that because there weren’t any permits or paperwork submitted, she didn’t know anything about the event.
I was thinking, is this the new “don’t ask, don’t tell?”

I didn’t want to push the subject, be accused of single-handedly ruining the day for everyone else by making the City acknowledge that every April 20, a large portion of our state descends upon Golden Gate Park for the purpose of getting as high as possible.
I didn’t know if I wanted to see that proclamation put forth. Maybe it is better that 4/20 is kept unofficial and hasn’t been forced to go the corporate route that is ruining the Burning Man vision.
So, what I did is celebrate April 20th the best I could…
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Golden Gate Park at 6:30 a.m.: I have the brilliant idea of doing before and after shots of the park before the herds of heads roll out their blankets and bongs
 
6:30 am: I have the brilliant idea of doing before and after shots of Golden Gate Park before the herds of heads roll out their blankets and bongs. I know that for the past week, travelers from all over the world have been sleeping in the park, waiting for the Stoner’s Holiday to commence. With that said, I wasn’t expecting the 100 or so people, already gathered on Hippie Hill cleaning their pipes, internally and externally, to be getting prepared so early in the morning.
After a week of clouds and shadows, the fog never had a chance against the early morning blazing sun; the Weather Gods once more shining down upon the hippies they love. It could be a beautiful day.
Weird Note: Usually on April 20th, from all directions of the compass, folks of all stripes and garb typically are heading to Golden Gate Park for the big pot party. There is hardly anyone making their way on the sidewalks and beaten paths that head to the park. Foot traffic is thin. Could this mean a low attendance? Like the dream is over?
Attendance at this point: 200-300 people.
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10:30 a.m.: The unofficial vendors start to arrive; a small village is being formed
10:30 am: The unofficial vendors start to arrive. First up are blankets full of munchies. Not the exotic or flamboyant, more like your Snickers and Doritos’s, with small bottles of Tropicana. I ask the ladies setting up if they did their research and if they determined that this is the food that pot heads love? “Absolutely, they’re people here bar-b-queuing hot dogs and hamburgers, but this is the easiest and this is what people want,” the woman smiles like a true marketing head.
I run into two pure 4/20 characters. One is offering a raffle for home-made decoupage pot-friendly hats. The raffle tickets are going for 2 bucks a piece. The gentleman encourages me to buy a ticket early before they sell out. He starts to argue with me that for a two dollar ticket, I can get a hat worth a $100.00. I say maybe I’ll come back. The problem is, he has a junk-yard megaphone and is berating me loudly as I walk away for not purchasing his ticket. I can hear his logic continue about the value of the lottery system and how this country was built on such a system as I slowly move away.
As I try not to listen to my short-comings as a non-consumer, another fellow shows me a laminated ticket from the original Woodstock in 1969. He says that he’ll be giving the ticket away today. To me, this is much more interesting than the Dr. Seuss pot leaf hat from the raffle guy.
I ask him how much would he take for the ticket now? “No, man, I can’t sell Woodstock, or the memories. This needs to be given away.”
I inquire, “How are you going to give it away?”
“I’m not sure man. But it’s going to be stupendous!”
It’s a little after eleven a.m. and there’s no army of heads trotting like lemmings to the park like year’s past. I’m starting to get skeptical. Has the world changed this much because of the Federal busts of this past year?  Tents and make-shift shelters are being erected around the crown of Hippie Hill and out on the grounds. A small village is being formed.
Attendance at this point: 300-400 people
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1 p.m.: The streams of people are starting to follow the tentative blue smoke beginning to rise fromn the park
1 pm: Okay, this is more like it. The streams of people are starting to follow the tentative blue smoke beginning to rise from the park like Yogi Bear to Huckleberry pie. Drums circles are magnetically attracting other drummers. Guitars are being played. And the surest sign that this gorgeous sunny day is beginning to transform to its core value: Young hippie chicks in halters and long, cotton dresses are twirling as the natural rhythms and beats of the day begin to overtake one of the country’s most famous parks.
If the unofficial vendors had a meeting and brainstormed on what would sell the best on 4/20, I believe the answer to that question had to be edibles. By early afternoon, the pathway to Hippie Hill is strewn with pans and sheets and shoe-boxes filled with anything that could be infused with marijuana. Of course brownies and Rice-Crispy treats are the best sellers but the teas and the grilled-cheese sammys are major crowd pleasers. There has to be over hundred people selling edibles throughout the grounds.
Attendance at this point: 500-600 people.
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3 p.m.: It is now wall-to-wall stoners
3 pm: I left the park briefly and returned. It is now wall to wall stoners. The cops have set up a gauntlet at the main entrance to the park. Anyone with glass bottles, coolers, sound systems, cabanas, porters carrying luggage, and being outright uncool, is being pulled from the oncoming herd. This is new. Usually the police form a perimeter around the hippie show and sit back and chill, unless needed. Today, they’re showing that they’ve stepped up their presence.
The only problem with this is that there are like a million ways to get into the park. So they’re really only stopping the few who aren’t smart enough to approach the park from the north and south entrances.
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3 p.m.: The cops have set up a gauntlet at the main entrance to the park
I think back to my conversation with the park spokesperson. The park isn’t doing anything different, yet the police are aware that 4/20 exists. Huh?
There has to be over 5,000 red-eyed, pot-loving kinfolk floating around the park by this time. I caught up with Andrew and Jeff from New Jersey. They’ve been sleeping in the park for the last couple of weeks. I ask if they’re here for the 4/20 celebration? “Naw, we’re trying to get into a school out here. We’d be smoking here regardless what day it was.”
Teresa and Wendell from Texas describe themselves as “Old Hippies.” They didn’t know about SF’s 4/20 preoccupation. “It is so cool that you can smoke here. Does the city allow it?” Teresa asks. I say, “Yeah.” “It’s too bad we don’t have anything to smoke,” Teresa replies.
Then to show the out-of-towners the true 4/20 spirit, I quietly ask the good people that are near us if anyone has an extra joint for some visitors?
T and W walked away with two nice sized bombers.
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I begin to notice how many people are from outside San Francisco, from across the bay and other nearby locales. It’s like the true San Franciscans are partying elsewhere.
Rebecca, Turtle and Burdman made the pilgrimage from Marin County. It is their second 4/20 for Rebecca and Burdman. They love the vibes and people. “Everyone getting together is so beautiful,” Rebecca says. “What is sad is, some people don’t know today is a holiday. There’s some that don’t even know what 4/20 means,” Rebecca says despondently.
Turtle had recently moved from Cincinnati and is blown away with the spectacle that’s parading before him. He sums it up best by saying, “This is so cool. This could never happen in my town.”
More and more people are arriving by the minute, presumably to find a location in preparation for the magic clock strike of 4:20 pm.
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4:15 p.m.: More and more people are arriving by the minute, presumably to find a location in preparation for 4:20 p.m.
I’m not good at counting heads, but I know tokers. I would say conservatively by 4:15 pm at Golden Gate Park, there are at least 10,000 people, if not more.
It soon feels like pagans preparing for war. Faces are being painted. There is an escalation of voices and music, dovetailing and bombarding off the throngs of people. Drum beats are getting faster as the anticipation of twenty after four approaches. Young men hit the ground in unabashed excitement, unable to control their exhilaration. The hippie girls twirl faster. More people get naked.
Then the countdown begins.
At 4:20 pm, San Francisco time, the park is ablaze. Forget contact high; this is subdermal. I am bathed in blue smoke. The sun was shining and people are happy. These really tough looking big Hispanic guys are maybe some of the nicest folks I meet. They shared their pre-rolls and huge smiles broke out from these guys, reminding me not to judge.
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4:20 p.m.: The park is ablaze. Forget contact high; this is subdermal.
And that’s an important point: I don’t know how many people attended 4/20 in the park, but most everyone was mellow and full of love. The saying of the day was, “Hey, its 4/20, be nice to someone today.”
People shared what they had. I did hear that some of the edibles were just that, only edible, no cannabis added. You know, some things can’t be helped.
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People shared what they had.
A few young ladies are seen doing the old, “Timber!” as they fell to the wayside. I asked the medical people if there were any problems. “Only dehydration for the most part. Nobody hurt so far.”
An hour later, motorcycle cops begin motoring on the park paths in order to clear people out or at least give the stoners the message, “We’re here and we’re in control.”
The only problem or outburst that garnered attention from the crowd is when a three-person Jesus Squad shows up to try to dissuade the revelers from partaking in their herbs. A circle surrounds the man on the evangelistic bullhorn as he swore we all are going to Hell. The police enter the circle; I think to protect the street preacher from the kids in tie-die and hemp. It is actually good theatre.  Then a member of the hippie crowd complains that the police are always on the side of religion and it’s not fair which turns into a shouting match. I think that was the most aggressive the day got.
4/20 is crazy. The liquor stores, grocery stores and other businesses next to Golden Gate Park that cater to concert-goers did great. I talked to other merchants, they hate 4/20.
The owner of one of the many coffee shops that line Haight Street said, “Today is a huge hassle for us. Kids want water, to use the bathrooms. There’s puke all over the place. People can’t move or park.”
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It was true. Haight Street looked like a parking lot. Cars moved to a slow crawl. Then I realized that the reason for this was most of the people attending were from outside of the city. 4/20 brings a multitude of stoners to the city for the day. Why? Because they can’t do in their town, like we can here in San Francisco.
Like Rebecca said, “It is sad that some people don’t know today’s a holiday.”
For so many people and locations, to smoke a joint in public is a quick way to take a ride with Barney Fife. In SF, we’re lucky.
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But how much should we push our luck? The bureaucrats that run Golden Gate Park do not recognize a gathering that has been happening for the 20 years that I’ve been attending. On the other hand, the cops call in off-duty officers and put in for overtime.
Four to five bathrooms are there to service the umpteen masses that attend. Garbage cans the same. So people piss and throw garbage everywhere.
What to do? Beyond the medicinal and the recreational, will there ever come a time when we can say this is who we are and for one day a year we want to recognize a plant that does so much for us? We don’t care if you agree; we just want more bathrooms. Y’know, like the ones you put out for St. Patrick’s Day, Columbus Day and for Super Bowl parties.
Should 4/20 be an official Golden Gate Park event? If that was to happen, there would have to be rules and regulations.
Isn’t that what we want on some level? Or don’t we?
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Jack Rikess
Toke of the Town correspondent Jack Rikess blogs from the Haight in San Francisco
Jack Rikess, a former stand-up comic, writes a regular column most directly found at jackrikess.com.
 
Jack delivers real-time coverage following the cannabis community, focusing on politics and culture.
 
His beat includes San Francisco, the Bay Area and Mendocino-Humboldt counties.
 
He has been quoted by the national media and is known for his unique view with thoughtful, insightful perspective.
 

Salvaging Steinbeck’s Vessel From a Little-Known Berth

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Salvaging Steinbeck’s Vessel From a Little-Known Berth

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The Western Flyer in Port Townsend, Wash. The boat’s owner plans to move it to Salinas, Calif., but a nonprofit group wants it in Monterey Bay. Credit Matthew Ryan Williams for The New York Times
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PORT TOWNSEND, Wash. — A wooden fishing boat that John Steinbeck chartered in 1940 with a biologist friend, then wrote about in a story of their journey through the Sea of Cortez in Mexico, sits in sad, decaying splendor in a boatyard here, two hours northwest of Seattle.

People have come from as far away as Liverpool, England, to see the vessel, named the Western Flyer, in the eight months since it arrived. There is no exhibit, no effort to market the ship as an attraction, or even point the way so people can easily find it, blocked and braced out of the water at the back of the yard. Mud covers the portholes from its two sinkings and resurrections. The brass doorknobs are corroded to green, and the upper rail buckles inward with rot and age.

“We get a couple of people a week, and we give them directions — it’s pretty low key,” said Anna Quinn, an owner of Imprint Bookstore, a downtown shop that sells a few copies a week of the book that resulted from Steinbeck’s trip, “The Log From the Sea of Cortez.”

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John Steinbeck featured the wooden fishing boat in “The Log From the Sea of Cortez,” sold in Port Townsend at Imprint Bookstore. Credit Matthew Ryan Williams for The New York Times

“They just want to see and touch it and be in the literary aura,” Ms. Quinn said.

A final chapter for the Western Flyer may be about to unfold. And there are fierce disagreements about how — and where — its tale of fleeting celebrity and ignominious decay should end.

The boat’s owner, Gerry Kehoe, a California businessman, said he planned to collect his property within the next couple of months. The 76-foot-long vessel, he said, will be cut into two or three pieces and trucked to Salinas, Calif., where Steinbeck was born, then reassembled and installed as the centerpiece — with real water and a dock — in the lobby of a boutique hotel Mr. Kehoe is developing.

The hotel, with two restaurants surrounding the boat and glass panels telling the story of the voyage, will open in the summer of 2015 with Western Flyer in the name, he said in a telephone interview.

The nephew of the Western Flyer’s skipper in 1940 has been ferociously critical of Mr. Kehoe’s plan. He says the boat belongs in Monterey, where it worked in Steinbeck’s day as a sardine fisher, and deserves better in retirement.

“He talks a good game, but he really doesn’t know what he’s doing — he doesn’t have a clue,” said Robert Enea, whose uncle, Tony Berry, piloted the voyage by Steinbeck and the biologist, E. F. Ricketts.

Mr. Enea, a retired physical education teacher, led a nonprofit group called the Western Flyer Project that he said had raised $10,000 and was trying to buy the boat in 2010 for $45,000 when Mr. Kehoe got it instead. The group, Mr. Enea said, envisioned a mission of environmental education in Monterey Bay, echoing and honoring the Cortez trip.

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Peter and Anna Quinn, owners of Imprint Bookstore. “We get a couple of people a week, and we give them directions — it’s pretty low key,” Ms. Quinn said of visitors seeking the boat. Credit Matthew Ryan Williams for The New York Times

Mr. Kehoe said the Flyer Project lacked resources to save or restore anything — not least a boat built in 1937 that would take “well into the seven figures” to be made seaworthy. And, he added, striking a note that Steinbeck himself might have savored as a champion of the underdog, the economically struggling town Salinas simply deserves the Western Flyer more than wealthy, flourishing Monterey.

“Does everybody want the rich to be richer?” Mr. Kehoe said, adding that access to the boat will be free. Salinas, he said, “doesn’t have a lot going for it, to be honest with you, but it is the birthplace of the great man.”

Literary tourism is a big business, in the bits of a writer’s life that get left around in the messy business of living, or the characters that came to life on the page. From Key West, Fla.,visitors can swill rum in honor of Hemingway, to Dickens World, a theme park in England that offers a re-creation of bleak and stinky Victorian London, writers are still earning their keep.

Here on Washington’s rainy Olympic Peninsula, setting of the hugely successful teen-vampire-romance “Twilight” novels by Stephenie Meyer, Steinbeck is small potatoes anyway. In Forks, which the heroine, Bella Swan, called home and is two hours west of Port Townsend, visitors can stay in one of the Twilight Rooms at the Pacific Inn Motel, or eat a Bella’s Barbecue Burger Dip at the Forks Coffee Shop.

Some who have come to see the Western Flyer pay homage to science. The six-week, 4,000-mile research trip in 1940 to study plants and animals formed a template for thinking and writing about ecology decades before the modern environmental movement, said Ian Hinkle, a Canadian filmmaker who came to shoot in January for a documentary on the Salish Sea called “Reaching Blue.”

“That boat was the inspiration for many ocean researchers and ecologists today,” he said. “Now it’s sitting in a boatyard, just sitting there, one more big old rotting piece of broken dreams.”

But perhaps for at least part of the summer tourism season in Port Townsend that began this weekend, the Western Flyer is going nowhere. Ms. Quinn, who owns Imprint Books with her husband, Peter, said they were hoping to do some Steinbeck readings this summer, with people gathering at the boatyard.

Steinbeck himself, in “The Log From the Sea of Cortez,” said he believed the bond of boats and people ran too deep to sever. “It is very easy to see why the Viking wished his body to sail away in an unmanned ship, for neither could exist without the other,” he wrote.

HIWAY AMERICA-GARBERVILLE CA. THE ONE LOG HOUSE

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CLICK LINK BELOW FOR VIDEO

The World Famous One Log House • Humboldt Co. California • A Brief History & Postcard Tour • Home

REDWOOD ONE LOG HOUSE
This famous Northern California attraction was the result of a three month search for the perfect specimen Sequoia Sempervirens, which was finally located near the town of Orick, in Humboldt County, California. After felling this 13 foot diameter forest giant, Art Schmock and a helper needed 8 months of hard labor to hollow out the log into a room 7 ft. high and 32 ft. long, weighing about 42 tons. His plan was to take it on a cross country tour to promote the redwoods. However its excess size caused highway problems. Its first permanent home was at Hurrin’s Shell Shop at Clam Beach, in Northern Humboldt County. It then became a redwood knick knack shop at Leggett, Mendocino County, just off of the Redwood Highway. During a sojourn in Phillipsville, it slid into decay until the current owners bought and lovingly restored it to a new life along the Redwood Highway. It is now near Richardson Grove State park at Bear Creek Meadows near milepost #1 on California highway #101 in Humboldt County.

Hiway America- City Lights Bookstore -The Beats -San Francisco,Ca

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Hiway America- City Lights Bookstore -The Beats -San Francisco,Ca

 

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A TOUR OF THE BOOKSTORE
http://www.citylights.com/bookstore/?fa=books_tour