Herb Gold Reminisces: Wine in the Park in Cleveland

Author Herbert Gold is a well-known fixture in San Francisco life and has been for years. He's been known to lift a glass of wine or two and actually, despite his sardonic interview below, he loves wine and loves parties. The summer 2008 author event at City Lights Bookstore for his most recent book, "Still Alive - A Temporary Condition", packed the house and was well reviewed. Fans sat tripled up on the stairs to the discussion room, listening to his tales of the beat generation, on-the-road style. His biography includes a list of books and articles so long that we can't put it here, but click here to read about one of our California writer icons!

Herbert Gold, cornered at a garden party on Russian Hill in San Francisco on the Ides of March, was asked to talk about wine. He said: "I love when people start talking about wine. I often then quote a writer who said, "big people talk about ideas, medium people talk about food, very tiny people talk about wine." Diogenes, I think, was asked what his favorite wine was, and he said, "Other people's". This is the way I avoid getting invited out very often. If people start talking about wine and you indicate you're bored... you are not invited again.

My best wine-associated memory? It is the day I got married to Melissa, my second wife and mother of my three youngest children. The wine drinking happened in Big Sur. We stopped on our way there, in Pacific Grove, and got married. What wine was I drinking? I don't remember, it was a long time ago.

My wine-associated memory that I sometimes wish hadn't happened? Well, this occurred in a park in Cleveland. I was in high school. My friend and I stole wine from our parent's liquor cabinets. We took some other kinds of alcohol too. We went to the park, it got dark and we got drunk. He picked up a knife and started chasing me and accused me of stealing his girlfriend. Turned out later that my friend was quite a talented writer. He published one great book, and several others not so great. But his life was compromised by alcoholism.

If he reads blogs in heaven, I want him to know: I did not steal Lucille from him!"

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