We note with sadness the passing of Lawrence Ferlinghetti. At the ripe old age of 101, he had outlived most all of the Beat poets – is Harold Dull still with us? – like Ginsburg and Corso and Kerouac, of which he was a younger but still card-carrying member.
In my 20’s, adrift in San Francisco like the rest of my generation, I spent hours at the City Lights bookstore – this is pre-internet, children, and radical books were hard to come by – and met Lawrence several times and sat in on discussions with the hairy (and smelly) denizens of the hippie era. I never dared spout one of my own poetic rhapsodies in his direction (and looking back on them, good thing), but he was a great one for gentle cut-and-thrust conversation, and I am just remembering the praise of his eyes widening in a smile at some riposte I had to his ribbing.
Goodbye, Lawrence, and thanks for all you did!