Monthly Archives: July 2014

The Legendary Larry

“Long-haired freako” embraced by the Mill Valley golf society By Jason Walsh
This article appeared in the Pacific Sun in March of 1977

The Legend of Bagger Larry


One of Marin’s finest golfers of the 1970s was facing something of a personal dilemma – should he give up Marijuana if it would lower his handicap?

Larry Kimzey, a “confirmed pot head” of eight years, according to Sun reporter George Frazier, wasn’t taking lightly the possibility of sacrificing his passion for the “greener” in favor of his passion for the greens. But alas, he worried his frequent lighting of the chronic was hurting his short game.

“It’s affecting my memory,” lamented Kimzey, whose average score was then in the 80s. “And what is putting the memory – trying to remember that ‘touch’ of ‘feel’ of putting” The 26 year old held dreams of going pro, but was concerned the he too often “ends up looking like a spazo around the greens.”

Kimsey, at the time, was living in a diplapidated truck near Sausalito’s Gate 5 and he estimated his cost of living at about $250 a month. He was also the newest member of the prestigious Mill Valley’s Golf Club.

“That long hair freako often seen hitch hiking between Sausalito and Mill Valley with a bag over his shoulder is Kimzey,” wrote the reporter.  But why, in the words of Frazier, would the posh Mill Valley’s Men’s Golf Club “totally accept…a stoned golf nut?”  Kimzey put it down to two primary qualities his fellow golfers were looking for in a club member: “I don’t run off at the mouth in a crazed manner…and I don’t smoke dope with the older guys.”

At this juncture in his life, Kimzey considered golf his chosen profession. ” I don’t play golf for pleasure,” he said. “It’s like a job…this is what I do.” But it wasn’t long before that when Kimzey was juggling a pair of careers that may have ultimately kept him out of Mill Valley “High Society”: selling pyramid schemes and dealing drugs.When the pyramid scheme/drug dealing scene turned sour (“people were getting killed”), he took a job scrubbing pots and pans at the famous Trident Restaurant. Just when it seemed his career in the service industry might be taking off (he’d been promoted to vegatable slicer) Kimzey’s fate took a turn: He cut his foot on a piece of glass while leaving the Trident. Several months and one worker’s compensation suit later Mr. Kimzey was $10,000 richer.

Still, that kind of money doesn’t last too long being an out of work golf fanatic in Marin. ” I pinched pennies, but I’m spending money and I just don’t like it,” said Kimzey. “Golf, food, and chicks, my money just dribbles away.”  Kimzey, now 56, currently lives in San Francisco and has upgraded from a truck to an apartment. Aside from that, not muched, has changed. “I’m still the last of the independents. I didn’t go corporate. I’m still just a small time chisler just like I was then,” he says.

Kimzey still hits the links with regularity – he’s won flights in the San Francisco City Golf Championship and has an 8 handicap. All this despite never having abandoned the loco weed. “The one thing that has been universal in my life these 30 years has been golf and pot,” reflects Kimzey. “Your right, that’s two things.”

Special thanks to Jason Walsh and the Pacific Sun Newspaper for permission to reprint their article here!
And, Larry, how the hell are ya? Check in when ya can….will ya?

A Rookie Cop vs. The West Coast Mafia

For all the people that remember and wondered how the Trident was robbed in the early 70s Tanya Chalupa and William G. Palmini, Jr. have written the definitive book on the subject.  All the urban legends that surfaced around this event (that it was an inside job, and all kinds of other theories) can be put to rest.

The backdrop for this story is the Trident Restaurant, Sausalito, and the Bay Area in the 1970’s.  The book details how a rookie Sausalito detective, Bill Palmini, Jr. discovered the link to the West Coast Mafia as a result of his investigations into the Trident robbery.


Breaking up the “Best in the West” Gang is a true story.  In this gripping crime expose’, Bill Palmini – a rookie detective, hopes to take down the West Coast Mafia by gaining the confidence of notorious mob operative William Flody Ettelman.   Set against a backdrop of social turmoil this book immerses readers in the sub culture of free love, drugs, robbery, and murder, orchestrated by organized crime in locations like the coastal enclave of Sausalito, California. Artist, writers, musicians, and hippies took refuge there.  The Trident restaurant was once a drug mecca for Hollywood, the music industry, and the New York hip.  At the time it was owned by the Kingston Trio, and their manager Frank Werber, a self proclaimed drug preist.  Robin Williams worked there as a bus boy  (74,75,&76).  The Rolling Stones were regulars, and Janis Joplin had her own table when she dropped by which was frequently.  Sally Stamford, the former San Francisco Madame who later became Sausalito’s mayor, was a confident of the famous and infamous.  Her relationship to all of this should fascinate those familiar with Sausalito’s wild and untamed waterfront “back in the day!”  This book can be found on Amazon.


The Kingston Trio Interview

Trident : How did it all begin?

Bob Shane: We bought the place in 1960. When we took over it was called the Yacht Dock. It was a jazz club. It was a very straight, conventional kind of place. It had a nice big dock so people could tie up and come in. I think we kept the name until around 1966 when we started changing it—painting the ceiling, putting in all the curved railings and woodwork—going for the hippie style. That was done by Frank with the architect, Roger Summers.

Frank closed the place, but we (the Trio) were on the road for most of that time so we didn’t see it taking shape.

When did you guys start playing and how did Frank become your manager?

We started the Trio in ’57, and we were playing at a place called The Cracked Pot in Redwood City. It was like a little beer garden—had a little stage, and Frank Werber came in and liked us. He drew up a contract for us right there on a paper napkin. So we started rehearsing with him, and played a couple of places around the Bay Area, and then he got us booked into the Purple Onion. It was a two week gig, and we ended up staying for sixteen weeks.

So how did you end up owning the Trident?

Well, when we started really making money in the ’60’s we decided we were going to have to have some things to invest in, so we bought the Columbus Towers in San Francisco, and then we bought some property in Mill Valley and San Rafael, and we leased the option for the Trident. Then in ’76 I did a stock trade out—I traded my share of the property we owned including the Trident for the rights to the Kingston Trio name. From that point on everything got great for me but I’m not so sure it did for everybody else.

Tom Dooley was your biggest hit, but Scotch and Soda is perhaps the Trio’s best and the best known. Tell us where that came from. The music has Dave Guard’s name on it but I heard he didn’t write write it. What’s the story?

It was written back in the thirties by an anonomyous musician in Phoenix, and was given to the Seaver family. Tom Seaver, you know, the baseball pitcher, was about nine when Dave (Guard) was dating his older sister at Stanford. We were driving down to LA, and we had dinner with their parents, and afterwards they said, “We’ve got this great song for you guys.” and they gave us the music. And then later, when we weren’t paying attention he put his name on it. It caused a lot of bad feelings later on. But he actually did it in order to give the money to the Seaver family, and they used it to put Tom through college. Of course, he did pretty well for himself later on. And there’s a pretty funny story about Dave. We were on the road and he picked up this chick, and checked into a hotel as Mr and Mrs using his credit card, forgetting that his wife paid the bills. That marriage didn’t last.


The Kingston Trio Web Site 



The Trident Menu


Trident Flashback

The Rowan Brothers Live at the Trident

The Ed and Jiro Show

The Rowan Brother’s Trident Interview