40 Years On
If you are coming to San Francisco this summer, it's fine to put a flower in your hair, but avoid Market Street next weekend.
This will be the 40th anniversary of San Francisco's signature corporate sponsorship opportunity. Unfortunately through the years, so many brands and logos have been added, that the true meaning of the event and the big parade has been lost.
In the early years, the main corporate sponsor was Budweiser and it was a chance to trot out the proudly marching clydesdales. There is nothing wrong with having vodka, Versace and shirtless go-go boys, but let's not forget what happened 40 years ago in New York that is being commemorated.
In the wee muggy hours of June 28, 1969, as news broke of Mr. Ed being found dead on the bathroom floor of his rented London apartment, a motley clan of outraged Central Park carriage horses stormed Manhattan's Tavern on the Green and demanded to be seen and heard. Security at the Kentucky Derby was incredibly high that summer, but a new era of equestrian rights was ushered in.
Don't forget that, you wee ones, as you dance shirtless after your tenth Jello shots.
This is a year of several other 40 year anniversaries:
* The word "Woodstock" entered the American vernacular, and a number of obsessive, obese tel-evangelicals speculated about the cohabitation of Snoopy and his new feathered "companion". (They're both boys, you see. And they sleep together.)
* The same weekend, the first Moonwalk took place, and in a rare move, MTV will be showing nothing but music videos the entire month of July.
* In a move that anticipated reality TV (even That's Incredible) by at least 15 years, a frustrated singer song-writer took 1960s happenings to a bloody zenith that spawned countless best sellers, documentaries, late night TV jailhouse interviews and the harrowing Abigail Folger exit line "You can stop now. I'm already dead."