The perils of summer vacation
Ann Q. Peters
July means vacation, for all of us at the Kenwood Press, and judging by the lack of events in July, for most of you as well. We’re in that golden period right now where our kids are grown and gone and we don’t have anyone to worry about other than a couple of ancient dogs. Our daughter is spending the summer at our house while she works at an internship in Santa Rosa, but she’s 26, in law school, and is keeping her apartment in the city, so we aren’t afraid that she’ll have a kegger while we’re gone.
It wasn’t always so, especially for Alec and me when we were young. I grew up in Texas, where the drinking age was 18, so on hot summer nights, my friends and I would park our cars and trucks in the parking lot of the U-Totem and drink beer. We called them Totem Parties. No one seemed to mind that a bunch of mostly underage teens were sitting on the hoods of their cars, blasting music and generally carousing.
Meanwhile, Alec and three of his buddies were at loose ends on the mean streets of Pacific Heights, right next to the Presidio, which was still occupied by the U.S. Army. There was a jeep parked in an unsecured motor pool lot, and one of them (not Alec) knew how to start it up without a key. Brilliant, right? They proceeded to drive it downtown, in broad daylight, all the way to Union Square, at which point Alec started to think that maybe this wasn’t such a good idea. Here they were, four boys, none of whom had driver’s licenses, in a stolen army jeep, in the middle of San Francisco. (This kind of logical deduction is why he got into Stanford.) So he hopped out and took the bus home.
No one got into any trouble. The guy who hot-wired the jeep left it parked about four blocks from his home, and the next day it had disappeared, probably picked up and returned to base by some exasperated MP.
This was in the ‘70s. I’m sure you have similar stories of things you should have gotten caught for but didn’t. We’re only now starting to learn some of the things our own kids did – and we thought they were such angels! Obviously, some things will never change.
Speaking of things that never change… 4th of July in Kenwood! We think it’s the best small-town celebration anywhere in the United States, with the most red, white, and blue, the oldest 10K footrace, the shortest parade, the most delicious pancake breakfast, and the best party in the park. Plan to spend the morning and early afternoon here, with plenty of time for a nap before you head out to see the fireworks in Sonoma or Santa Rosa.
We’ll be heading east on I-80 and the office will be closed until July 18. That means NO July 15th issue of the Kenwood Press. We’ll be back in your mailbox on Aug. 1. If you have news, photos, ads to place, go ahead and email them to us and we’ll respond when we get back. In the meantime, enjoy the summer, and try to stay out of trouble!