Both were once arrested for painting fire hydrants around town with psychedelic patterns "to brighten people's day." Upon being hauled into the station, a cop at the desk recognized Margo from some racy photos pinned up on the wall. Ravi Shankar once brought her a bouquet of flowers shaped like vaginas. And there's the one about the hippie group called the Diggers, who once killed a buffalo from Golden Gate Park, roasted it, and fed people for free in the Panhandle, vegetarians be damned.
Josh eases the Ruby into its dock behind the China Basin outdoor bar/restaurant called the Ramp. As the bow nudges the pier, a slightly pie-eyed computer engineer from Atlanta walks up to me.
"Why are you interviewing Margo?" he asks, dying of curiosity.
"Because she's legendary," I answer.
"Why?" Another engineer drifts over, wearing a Purdue sweat shirt.
"You'll have to ask her."
The perky H-P employees get her attention.
"I founded COYOTE and started the Hooker's Balls," she answers matter-of-factly, lashing the boat to the dock. "Campaigned for prostitutes' rights."
A moment passes, and after the initial shock wave subsides, they immediately all want a picture with her. She poses for cameras on the deck of the Ruby, surrounded by clean-cut guys in tennis shoes and Ray-Bans. The boat unloads its chuckling cargo, and Margo stays behind, picking up sacks of empties, making things shipshape for tomorrow's sail.
Hooker's Ball, Sat, Oct. 28, Galleria Design Center, 101 Henry Adams Place, S.F.; doors open at 9 p.m., tickets through BASS.