“Dude! Tornado!”

Ambrosia, which is staffed by a bunch of avid, amiable fishing enthusiasts who would probably be much, much happier in Berkeley if it weren’t for the lack of walleye and lake trout, was all abuzz this afternoon about the near-tornado. “You could feel the hair raise on your arms and you could smell the copper in the air,” one of them marveled. The buzz was either about the tornado or the CD on the stereo, which made me feel like I was being cast back to a lazy afternoon in some hippie SF cafe (the cafe would not be in the Haight, where the Dead are now disdained as way too obvious and touristy and you’re more likely to hear Detroit techno or world music, but probably some lonely, underpopulated spot in the Outer Sunset, where the owner is struggling to keep the place open because of the high rent and there’s a bunch of anti-Bush and anti-imperialism flyers on the bulletin board and an aloof tabby cat is sunning herself on the bay window facing the sidewalk) listening to KFOG—because the CD was the Grateful Dead, of course, and, of course, one of the regulars came in and pounded on the counter and excitedly asked what the twenty-minute jam was on the CD. “That is some really long jam! Sounds like Europe ‘72, man! Is it ‘Dark Star’?” “No,” the counter guy replied. “It’s actually San Francisco ‘69, and it’s ‘Morning Dew.’” Somebody will probably write to correct me that the Dead never played “Morning Dew” in 1969.