During WWII, AC Smith’s old man enjoyed the great good fortune to serve stationed on islands in San Francisco Bay for the duration. Immediately on discharge, he hightailed it back to Iowa, told his sweetheart “you’re not gonna believe what I found,” and joined the Great Postwar Western Migration, never to endure another Midwestern Winter.
Growing up in the Bay Area in the 1950s and ’60s proved a boon — quite possibly a life-saver for a tall, gangly kid who just never fit in anywhere.
By the time he was 13 or 14, AC was cutting school on the Peninsula to hitchike to San Francisco and spend countless hours reading poetry, philosophy, and leftist socio-political screeds in the basement of City Lights Bookstore in North Beach.
By the time he was 16 or 17, he ran away to join the circus that was the Bay Area music and conterculture scene and never looked back.
From then until now, he has enjoyed more than his share of opportunities to be places, witness and participate in events, and perhaps learn two or three things along the way. For reasons more fully explored here (and here), he’s now using this venue to download some of that information while the opportunity presents.