495 Third Avenue, San Francisco, 1975. These days I ride my motorcycle, and have plenty of spare time in between the postering runs for The Thumbtack Bugle. And while I was out putting up posters one day, I was looking at one of the posters.
I had been hired to put up a brightly colored large poster with colorful, banner-like flags pictured. It was advertising a special ritual that was to be performed by Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, a Tibetan Buddhist teacher, at the Nob Hill Masonic Center auditorium on California Street.
Sounded weird and maybe interesting, so I went.
I found it kind of noisy at the time — lots of banging drums and clashing cymbals and blatting, discordant horns — it was plenty weird, and I didn’t understand it much at all.
A week later I was speaking with my cousin Bruce (Richard Bruce Hurn), in Berkeley, and mentioned it because he was studying that same tradition, because they had a study center in Berkeley.
He fell upon the ground laughing. Apparently the ritual that I’d attended was a ritual for the dead.
Gosh. looks like I was in the right place after all!