Come one, come all – to the Collier Park Picnic – Sunday, March 27th

by on March 25, 2011 · 13 comments

in Culture, History, Life Events, Ocean Beach, Popular

Monday, March 28th, is the 40th anniversary of the Collier Park Riot. (See why it’s important here.) On Sunday, March 27th, the OB Rag is having a commemorative picnic at the park, located in northeast Ocean Beach at the intersection of Greene Street and Soto Street, a block north of Voltaire. It will begin at noon – and weather permitting – and will be a celebration of OB, its history, Collier Park itself, and anything else that seems appropriate.

There will be some speakers, some music, and some games at this very, informal gathering. Really, more a pot-luck than a traditional paid picnic, everyone is asked to bring something to share at this unique happening. Some chicken, some hotdogs, and potato salad will be there, we’ll have a BBQ set up – so come on down, y’all!  We’ll also have OB Rag T-shirts for sale.

There is a horse-shoe pit at the park, picnic tables, and lots of green space to roam with kids and pets.

The Games Committee has not met yet, but the current suggestions include:

  • Beer bottle toss – there are two categories: quart bottles half-full and three-quarters full.
  • Shovel duel – (must bring your own shovel).
  • Three-legged race – your buddy has just been beaten with batons, how fast can you carry him or her across the park?
  • Construction stake pull – how many construction stakes can you pull up in sixty seconds without being discovered?
  • Barefoot Lawn Chase – full bore race without shoes, men and women categories.
  • Hide-n-seek among the Eucalyptus trees – how long can you last.
  • How many (fake) joints can you put in your mouth while walking backwards?
  • Call a lawyer/ raise cash: how fast can you call a lawyer and raise (fake) bail money?

If you have any suggestions, please let us know.

This should be fun, hopefully there will be sun, and you might enjoy yourself, meet old OB veterans from the Seventies, and be inspired. Come on down, from noon to 3pm. And oh, bring something to share … in the OB tradition.

If you do plan to attend, why not give us an RSVP at our email address or simply leave a comment below.

Why Collier Park and the riot are important to Ocean Beach – go here.

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Frank Gormlie March 25, 2011 at 1:50 pm

Sure, go ahead and make me be the first to comment on my own article, but what the hay, we will have a Port-a-John at the Park for the picnic.


doug porter March 25, 2011 at 4:09 pm

who’s bringing the shovel?


Dave Rice March 25, 2011 at 6:39 pm

I’ve got a little garden spade…


jettyboy March 25, 2011 at 7:48 pm

From what I know about the Collier Park incident I think Frank should bring all the shovels, and everyone else should wear helmets, and stay at least a shovel length away from him at all times.


Frank Gormlie March 25, 2011 at 7:59 pm

Don’t know what y’all are talkin’ about. At any rate, we’re not into glorying riots per se or violence. We are celebrating OB, its history, the park – and about the park – it’s being neglected: kids’ play equipment has all been removed, there are no public restrooms, seems little maintained, …


Dave Rice March 25, 2011 at 11:14 pm

Urban awareness campain=gn in 5…4…3…2…


Frank Gormlie March 26, 2011 at 9:17 am

Dear reader: I know you know we were just kidding about most of these games – just having fun. Glass is not allowed in the park, so no quart beer bottle tossing. But we will have horse-shoes and some races.


Dickie March 26, 2011 at 1:41 pm

I heard of OB for the first time soon before Collier Park. One of my roommates at the time back in Cambridge Mass, George Katsiaficas, went visiting a good friend, Peter Bohmer, who had ended up teaching at San Diego State and living in this “youth community,” Ocean Beach, where all kinds of cool things were happening. The Collier Park Riot happened during this visit When George returned he told us about this incredible event he had witnessed.
We were involved in radical “community development” work ourselves in Cambridge (food co-ops, communes, alternative publications) and also very involved in anti-war work, so the situation really resonated . . . but the community’s, that is OB’s, readiness to struggle compared to our scene in Cambridge is what really caught our attention. At the time I was a pretty burned out “old” (almost thirty) activist having been an organizer for years and then was unable to pursue a career as a community college teacher in Cleveland, Ohio because of political blacklist. The militant embodiment in OB at Collier Park of what was to me a new concept, think globally, act locally, inspired me anew, and really led me to OB.
I visited for the first time in Sept. 1971 for 4 days to see for myself. I then came back to OB for a three-week visit in late 1972 but ended up staying seven years, working on the orig OBRag, and several other community projects, most proudly the OB ChildCareProject. Even after moving to the Bay Area, I kept visiting every year, two, three, four times . . . every summer during the 80s with my daughter who grew up a kind of partial OBCean ands till counts many of her “family” among OBecians.
I’m sorry to miss a great Collier Park event for the second time. I hope a lot of people have a great time all over again . . . this time maybe the cops will be a lot kinder, even join in . . . And everyone who appreciates, as I do to this day, the very special qualities of OB in all its tumultuous variety, might well celebrate the struggle at and for Collier Park as part of the history that made us and that we continue to make . . .


Sunshine March 26, 2011 at 4:32 pm

anyone bringing acoustic guitars or sitars? imho, a folk music groove would enhance the event


Rick Ward March 26, 2011 at 11:56 pm

Ocean Beach and acoustic instruments.How “Fire Ringish” Listen,you guys,don’t do nothing stupid sunday.


Allen Lewis March 28, 2011 at 10:46 am

Just had to comment on the part in the story where it says ” meet some old OB vetarens from the 70’s”. I’m a almost secoud generation from OB. My Mom went to Dana Jr.Hi and a grad from Pt. Loma, Dad also went to Pt. Loma Hi. I was Born in 1950, schools I attended; Ocean View Elementary, Ocean Beach Elementary, Collier Jr High, Dana Jr. High and dropped out of Point Loma High in 1966. If you want some history about OB, I lived it. My band back then (Horizon) was playing at Webbs in 1973. I remember the late 50’s and 60’s “O” so well. I know all of you living in OB love it very much, what’s not to love. I was just back for a visit and my home town feels some what over run, it has lost that smal town feel it had when I grew up there.


Frank Gormlie March 28, 2011 at 11:15 am

Allen, thanx for visiting the OB Rag. I graduated PLHS in ’66. We know what you mean by “somewhat over run” and have been involved these last few years to bringing some history and that “old feel” back to OB.


Allen Lewis March 28, 2011 at 11:25 am

Hi Frank, thank you, I see you get it, I do still love the place. The very best to you my OB friend. Allen


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