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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Photos: Meet Diamond John, a 'San Francisco Native'

Posted By on Wed, Dec 23, 2009 at 11:06 AM

Among the delights of being a big-city newspaper reporter is the opportunity the job offers to have truck with folks from all walks of life. Politicians, drug addicts, strippers, clowns, animal trainers -- who's to say, on any given day, that official business won't carry you into their presence? Like, remember that house on your block that was always ridiculously tricked out for seasonal holidays, with a full sleigh-and-reindeer at Christmas and three dozen Jack-'o-Lanterns at Halloween?

Diamond John and his ride.
​On Cortland Avenue, one of the narrow streets that criss-cross the top of Bernal Heights, that house belongs to Diamond John, a.k.a. John Ribeiro, and his wife, Sandra. Diamond John -- he says he was so nicknamed by a rock musician during the freewheeling days of yore -- is an interesting guy, with an interesting home. Originally from San Francisco (with a black-and-white photograph of his infant self riding a miniature horse on Paly Road in Potrero Hill to prove it), Diamond John has plenty of interesting yarns to spin from the kitchen of "The Love Shack," as he calls his current abode. For those who are interested, he plans to auction off a screenplay telling his life story to the highest bidder.

He's also a model of civic engagement: Diamond wrote a letter to President Barack Obama inviting him to The Love Shack for a July 4th pasta-feed earlier this year. "This may be a great way for your administration to turn this economy around," Diamond John wrote. "I am also inviting the Fabulous Thunderbirds and Dr. John of New Orleans. Diamond John would love to welcome you and these lengendary [sic] musicians to my home. We will adjust or schedule according to your arrival from 10 am to 10 pm."

Obama didn't show up. A few months later, however, we did. On a recent afternoon, Diamond John gave SF Weekly a tour of his home, which, in the lull between Thanksgiving and Christmas, was still, well, pretty darn decorated. Check it out.

The ride, up-close.

The man in full.

Welcome to the love shack.

'Nuf said.

Diamond John's original design for the flag of San Francisco.

Gnomes, check.

Midnight in the garden of Diamond John.

Explorer figurine, check.

Diamond John and wife Sandra.

And in a few months' time, the Easter Bunny!

Diamond John: A quiet moment.

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Peter Jamison


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