Communal Excavations

The presentation of David Parkhurst’s recently uncovered photographs from 1967 to 1970 inspired this talk. David narrated the photos that Joseph Johnston had developed from the long-lost negatives. David told how he first arrived in San Francisco at the height of the Summer of Love. He has photos of the Communication Company, the Diggers, Straight Theater people, and later the Sutter Street Commune. One of David’s stories prompted me to do a deep dive researching this presentation. David told how he was brought to the commune by Dunbar Aitkens after the two of them ran into each other on Haight Street in March 1969. One of the oddities of the story is that David and Dunbar ran into each other in 1969 on the exact same corner as they had two years previously. On both occasions, Dunbar was handing out leaflets about the current project he was pursuing. On this second occasion, David remembers that Dunbar was handing out a leaflet announcing a free university for communes.