It was a creative little stretch of time in my small world, a lot of poetry writing and an eclectic group of artist friends I'd met along the way - Michael Frimkess, a potter from Emerson College days; Chuck Ross, a sculptor met in Berkeley when I was still married; Marzette Watts, musician and painter, who had been a neighbor when Felix and I first lived together on the Lower East Side; and my roommate, who is today a painter in the Bay Area named Electra Long. Except for her, I lost touch with all of them when I left New York.

The decision to go was forced when I moved into an apartment of my own and developed a hernia hauling furniture up the stairs. I wound up in Bellevue Hospital for surgery during a snowstorm in early November and spent nearly a week there recuperating. Exhausted, I headed to Oregon to spend December with my family on the way back to California and the warm yellow sun. The new year found me in San Francisco living with old friends from Emerson College in a flat that looked out toward the Bay Bridge. Felix arrived toward the end of the month to enroll at the San Francisco Art Institute, and I signed up once again with a temp agency for office jobs. Back in New York that month, Dylan was laying down the tracks for Bringing It All Back Home, his first electric folk-rock album; in Alabama the SCLC launched a voter drive in Selma that would escalate into a nationwide protest movement; Lyndon Johnson began a massive bombing campaign in North Vietman, and I had not yet heard of the Haight-Ashbury. (Some fascinating commentary by Kenneth Rexroth from 1965)

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