Re: Your Corner Market - Jack's10/21/06
posted by jb
Thanks Woody! The gauntlet being tossed, I only wish I could pick it up...seems my back and memory are both hard to bend these days.
What I do recall about corner markets in the Sunset and various other locals around SF are the ones who sold liquor to kids during the mid 60's. It was a nefarious and cryptic process to get the "secret code" by Friday night in time to "buy up" for the dances at St. Anne's, St. Stephen's or the Jewish Community Center. We were equal opportunity hoodlums back in those days, well before being PC was fashionable.
...so some Riordan or SI dudes are getting loose at Blum's and you intercept the binomial nomenclature of 24th & Irving or Carl & Stanyan or some other combination of street intersections and, come Friday nite, pull up to the corner with an entourage of the peach-fuzz patrol cruising low in back of someone's parents Buick.
And suddenly, you all realize that there are 4 corners and 3 stores and your heart starts pounding out strange rhythms like Robert Johnson going "down to the crossroads" so you flip a coin and pray you won't have to be the "suicide man" who takes everyone's order and walks into your gang's best guess: hopefully, the one where other kids are coming out of with big shopping bags. Cuz if you're wrong...
That right, you win a free life on restriction and ridicule from all your "former" friends, who you had to rat out in order to get back on your parent's good side, so they'd loan you their car, so you could go out next Friday with your forgiving, life-long buddys and find that elusive combination of street corners that somehow would shower you with something which probably tasted worse than when it came out, so you could go to a dance and have the nerve and swagger to ask a sweet young girl to dance, who would say "no, because you smell like a brewery, drive your parent's car and have a bunch of friends who do nothing but look for trouble."
Ahh...the wash and rinse cycle of my soiled youth. If I had it to do all over again, I'd join the chess club and ask Cathy Brickley to the prom!