Dean Clough

January 2, 2023

Portico Darwin: Jim Morrison Was Right


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Happy New Year and face it:  it's the dead of winter.  But winter in SF is arguably the best time here.  Sure, there are storms (and we're having some fabulous rain this season and OMFG do we need it - just not too much too fast, please), but boy, do we have some Chamber of Commerce days, too.  In fact, New Year's Day in SF was one - it looked a lot like this, which I took in December.  Many native San Franciscans agree it's their favorite season.

Elsewhere - like where I grew up, in Albany, NY - it, um, isn't quite like that.  In Albany and a lot of places like it, winter means cold, cloudy or worse days.  One after another after another.  Mix in some mix - sleet and freezing rain - and it's not heaven.   Here it is!   

Or, we can jump to the present, with crazy town blizzards literally snowing in my family outside of Buffalo.

Now, I came of age in Albany in the 1970s, and I can confirm it was pretty bleak.  And while we had mostly sweet winter weather recently during our sojourn in Metro NYC, we also had days that reminded of me why The West is The Best.   Here is my childhood home, in the winter of 1965, soon after my parents had moved in.  Looks cozy, don't cha think?

Just being there can be bad enough.  But do you know what was worse?

What was worse was having the beauty and extraordinarily nice winter weather of California rubbed in my face growing up.  Every single week.  Because each Saturday and Sunday brought yet more reminders of how far away California and its idyllic weather really were from us, huddled around our console color TV.  We had something at least this posh.

Because as a kid in Albany, in that house, it seemed like every time I turned on the TV in the winter to watch sports, in came a blast of Cali sunshine!

The situation was made far worse by these factors:

  • The 3 hour time difference
  • Winter's short days
  • The weather sucks in Albany

Think of it:  I'm talking golf tournaments and football games from California that would come on at 4PM Eastern time.  And in late December and January, it's also dark outside or getting so.  And typically cold as shit, too.

Yet, in California, it's 1PM and decidedly not dark.  Or cold.  Take the Rose Bowl, for example.  Every year!  My parents would be mixing Brandy Alexanders, the sun would be setting over the meat packing plant, and sure enough, there'd be this.
More?   I urge all of my fellow San Franciscans to watch at least a smidge of the 1970 NFC Championship, in living color.  Football fan or no, you'll love seeing Kezar Stadium and the last Niner game played there, and a classic gorgeous January day in our beloved SF of 52 years ago.

So, indeed, Jim Morrison of The Doors was correct in this stunning 15 second conversation with Dick Clark on American Bandstand, in 1967.

Not Cali (or wacky) enough?  Here's their entire appearance on the same show - performing The Crystal Ship and Light My Fire (OK - lip syncing).  I don't think it gets much more Californian than that.


Although this is close:  check out the microchip czar Devin Singh, PhD with one SF's most prized citizens - this is about the 4th time I've personally seen Mayor Brown out and about.  He is always extremely gracious - this was last week at the beyond Textbook Sam's Grill.
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Pro Tip:  if you long for the days of professional waiters and bartenders in real settings, look no further than either Tadich Grill (also beyond Textbook) or Sam's Grill, or preferably both.  I went on consecutive days and my faith in humanity was restored. 

We'll move on to a forgetful Bob Scarf and his effusive praise of this year's Darwin Award winners.  

Excellent Party of Year!  No mention of NFTs as your favorite artwork conversation? 😜

You are a unique man, Stung. 

Love your post.  I forgot my blog name - maybe AC Young?  Or was it Al Current?

LOL AC Young or Al Current!  NFTs!  And Stung!  I love that - have I ever mentioned people have said I look like Sting?  BTW, the first chance I have to deem someone "Al Current", I'm going for it - I love that name.

And I absolutely adore this calendar GIF that accompanied the lovely New Year's wishes I received from the ski bum granny Elizabeth "Polly" Michaels, likely sent from a hot tub:
And yes:  I (and "Polly") am still on this big gratitude kick.  Expect Nothing and Appreciate Everything?  Sounds about right and it's a perfect swing thought for the year.

I'll wrap with big happy birthday wishes to Ol' Purple Label, and a major bon voyage to Arthur and Mrs. Crup, departing for a full two months in Thailand.  And I thought Hoboken was exotic . . .

Thank you to any one that is reading this newsletter.


Captain Obvious, sure, but I must.  Yes, it has both The Crystal Ship and Light My Fire, but it also has The End, which features Jim Morrison's immortal take on the west.  He even shares his feelings on a word that rhymes with "west"!   

Here are The Doors with their eponymous and largely Killer first record.  Probably a shoo-in on rock's debut album Mount Rushmore, no? 

Here is a treat for making it this far.  If you've never heard Crystal Method's remix of Roadhouse Blues, get ready to be f'ing blown away.

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