“When I arrived in San Francisco in 1957 I discovered a community existing on the edge of the city unlike any other in America. Reckless, creative, frenetic, insane, it was too insane for a lot of people, for not many survived. I did, however, and in surviving came of age in the cheap pads and artists' lofts in North Beach. In the process I lost my innocence and my youth, but gained an indelible memory of a bunch of crazy people who lived, fought, struggled, loved, and even died together with a sense of elan and community that I had never experienced before nor have found since.
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