Campfire: Tom Rapp & Patricia Kerman

Patricia Kerman is a disabled senior citizen, who has lived in her current flat for the past 27 years. Tom Rapp has lived there as her roommate for the last 15 of them. They are being evicted by Kaushik Dattani. Eviction Free San Francisco wrote about Patricia and Tom:

“Born and raised in Detroit Michigan, Patricia Kerman first came to San Francisco in 1970* while hitchhiking her way around the state.  As soon as she set foot in the City she felt like she finally found her home and has lived here ever since.  As Patricia says “it’s the people who make San Francisco what it is. […]

“In 1988, Tom Rapp moved to the Bay Area from a tough, San Joaquin Valley town with his best friend to start a band.  His first stop was the notorious Oakland punk rock squat known as “The Ashtray”.  He crashed there for a couple of months until moving on to San Francisco.”

The San Francisco counterculture that Tom encountered on arrival was entrenched in Tenant Politics from 1980 to 1996 (which is how the City got rent control) and Punk politics. There were some raging punk rock shows in the old warehouses of the declining northeast industrial corridor of the Mission during that period. A few people still remember the Dead Kennedys playing at the steal mill (where the Mission Cliffs Climbing & Fitness gym now stands), and at the Farm on the southeast edge of the Mission. An amazing Youtube video series “Farmcore” gives insight into the early days of organic farming and punk on The Farm. The Farm is still there next to the freeway and bikelane hairball passing over Cesar Chavez Street!

Patricia says that before her disability she made her living as a jack-of-all-trades in San Francisco, as many other residents did at the time, because “…we had better things to do than to be at a job all day long.” With the forced ousting of elders, such as Patricia, goes the international youth migration of hippies to San Francisco that came in the wake of the Summer of Love; one of the most iconic happenings shaping the City’s character.

* Visit Shaping San Francisco to learn more about San Francisco in the 1970s.

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