Flower power ignites into firepower when a lonely young woman
entangles herself in a treacherous plot and murder during the Summer of Love.
City of Redemption is an enthralling novel about the turbulent days of the 1960's free sex, drugs, rebellion and murder. Set in San Francisco during the Summer of Love the story's voice gives vivid color and power to an unforgettable time and place in history. The strong plot and dialogue of City of Redemption exposes the seldom seen seedy side of the Summer of Love.-->
HOW DID LIZ END UP IN SAN FRANCISCO?
By chance encounter she met an old man who foretold her future.
March 1967 – Evening
“BUGGER OFF!” Liz said crossly.
The gnome-like man at the next table chuckled at her response to his offer of a cocktail. Lifting an empty glass in the air, he caught the bartender’s eye then flashed two fingers up with his opposite hand, a gesture not lost on Liz.
Under her eyelashes Liz peeked at the gent’s gnarled hands, which were a deeper shade of red-brown than his weathered face. Between his coloring and pea coat, she reckoned the shabby little fellow was a seafaring man.
He set the glass down on the table and resumed rummaging through a worn leather satchel. He brought out a pen and a black journal. They were placed next to an ink bottle and a scroll. Along with the two empty glasses and newly added items, the table was fast filling up.
Liz slid her eyes away and raised her glass of whiskey to her lips to discover it was empty.
From the Haight to Eureka Valley
July 11 1967 – Midday
MIDWAY DOWN THE 33 Ashbury bus, Liz sat forlornly, looking out the window at the dreary San Francisco summer fog. Uncombed hair hung loosely around her face and landed on the shoulders of a wrinkled, white peasant blouse. She wore no make-up. Two teen girls sitting in front of her laughed about the stories they told to get out of school for the day. The girls, like so many young people coming from the suburbs for the day to be part of the action, lied to their parents about their whereabouts. Then they complained about how they hadn’t expected such cold weather in the summer, and wished they’d dressed warmer. Both wore light cotton blouses, long flowing skirts and sandals. Liz realized she didn’t feel the cold. She didn’t really feel much of anything except the growing need to make some money. Her bellbottom jeans, slung low on her hips, were tattered from constant wear. Patting the large leather bag on her lap, she thought of the red-beaded earrings she’d made that morning, hoping somebody would buy them today. When I get some money, I’m getting a new pair of Levi’s and a couple of blouses, she decided.
Next to her sat a middle-aged woman with a boy about six-years-old on her lap, fidgeting and whining, “Are we almost there, Grandma?” The woman answered, “Almost,” in a voice which told Liz she was as fed up with the delay as much as the boy.
Like them Liz’s patience was running thin with the parade of people dressed in tie-dyed tee shirts, jeans, long flowing dresses, and flowered wreaths. Here and there bare chests were painted with blue and red paint or big flowers. They were too stoned to feel the fog’s damp sprinkles. Banging on pots, they danced around wildly, and waved placards reading MAKE LOVE NOT WAR and U.S. OUT OF VIETNAM. Laughing and singing they were oblivious to the blocked traffic.
The raucous singing drifted through open windows on the bus. Liz recognized the song. It was the band Buffalo Springfield’s popular, “For What It’s Worth.” The words conveyed the unrest of the young people in the United States.
There’s something happening here.
What it is, ain’t exactly clear.
The words were often taken up as a battle cry for the turbulent times.
There’s a man with a gun over there, telling me I got to beware.
Read more about this story and my other books at juneahern. com