The Haight-Ashbury in the fabulous ’60s…yeah, yeah.
But the neighborhood itself is not a fable, and lives its peculiar identity in the 21st century. In Positively Haight Street Herbert Gold, 91-year-old novelist and beloved San Francisco scenester, finds the clear words, as photographer Dennis Letbetter finds the faces of Haight Street’s denizens today, to show how the “survivors and victors” of the past “have found ways to scavenge and even thrive in a new economy.”
Positively Haight Street
By Herbert Gold
Photographs by Dennis Letbetter
(Omerta Publications, 2015) 17 pages including 6 full-color photos
Herbert Gold: “I started writing poetry in Cleveland, the Paris of Northeastern Ohio, but left for Columbia College in New York, Paris in France, Port-au-Prince in Haiti, not counting various dusty and harassed enclaves in downtown World War 2. Somehow I got to writing prose, confining my poetry to folders which will in due course be excavated by my children. Along the way, I’ve published approximately 20 novels and collections of stories (who’s counting?) and maybe 6 or 8 nonfiction books (I’m not a mathematician). I’ve temporarily taught at Harvard, Cornell, Stanford, UC-Berkeley and UC-Davis, but didn’t want to depart San Francisco, my temporary residence for more than 55 years. I’ve had 2 wives and 5 children (this is an accurate count). Isn’t that enough bio? There could be more….”
Dennis Letbetter, a Michigan native, has been a freelance photographer, artist and curator living in San Francisco since 1979. He has work in major public and private collections and has worked and exhibited internationally. His work has touched many genres: portraiture, figure, cityscapes, seascapes, floral, miniature and design, both commercially and with his publishing house Editions Michel Eyquem. In 2014 he introduced a quarterly magazine devoted to his work called Eyemag. Since 1995 he has run The Bonnafont Gallery located in the North Beach neighborhood of San Francisco. There are several books, portfolios and catalogs either containing or devoted to his work.