Minnie’s Can-Do club was on Fillmore, at the corner of Wilmot alley where O’Napes and Bluebird had a place. Debbie Chicago lived up on California, around the corner from Dunkin’ Donuts with its SFPD cars outside. Up the street from what was soon to be Ruel’s Kingston Records, where I found the scene that led to spliffs with Toots and Dennis Brown, and the Soul Syndicate, but that was still a few years to come.

One time we were sitting at the bar in Minnie’s Can-do, spray painted silver walls, drinking a pitcher of beer, and next to me on my right was a ginormous, intimidating, smoldering mountain of a man, darkest ebony, shaved head, I kept being distracted by the worry that he would notice the lil’ young ofay crowding the space next to him. So, upon leaving, I squashed my trepidation, turned to him, and said (my voice sounding an octave above usual), “there’s still a half pitcher here, you’re welcome to it.” He turned slowly, met my gaze, and in the most clear an kindly voice replied, “Oh that’s very kind of you, but I don’t drink.” There was no monster under that bed.

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