Faces Around the Bay: Ellis Clay

Ellis-Clay.jpgPhoto and text by Barbara Fluhrer.

ELLIS CLAY and his wife Julie live not far from “the Haight” where he works as Director of Bar Room Debates at Hobson’s Choice, the Victorian Punch House. Remembering the Haight-Ashbury District from the 60s one is amazed at the changes: more commercial, many boutiques, and where are the hippies? Clay says, “There are no real hippies now; it’s a mixed bag, lots of tourists and transient traffic. While it still has the Haight street flavor, the dope is more underground, and the ticket for marijuana is less than you pay for a parking ticket. There are random acts of breaking into cars and occasional altercations on the streets, but crime is down.”
Clay has lived in S.F. for 12 years, studied history at S.F. State and hopes to teach high school eventually. “I enjoy meeting new people, and here I have a brief moment to show tourists and other visitors a good time.” A customer nearby praised Ellis for the respect he shows his customers, “He’s always treated me well and the conversation is rich”.
About the presidential candidates Clay said, “There is a part of Obama that touches your sensibilities.”