The Mac Meda Destruction Co. sounds like a joke, started as a joke, thrived as a joke and ended up like a joke.
Or is it?
Some of the teen-age, members of this loosely organized group boast the motto, “Drinking Destruction and Sex”
Here’s the joke punch line, written Jan 10 (1965):
On that day, beer flowed freely among the young Mac Meda crowd – nearly 200 of them minors – at a secluded grazing pasture of Carmel Valley, just north of the San Diego City limits.
Fifty police cars raided the teen-aged car caravan “beer blast” Four youth were arrested on charges of possession of alcoholic beverages and will be tried March 2 in a North Country Municipal Court, Oceanside.
A juvenile arrested in the raid told one officer the Mac Meda Destruction Co, members are “foot solders for the Hells Angles”, a motorcycle band operating out of Los Angeles.
Since that day, no one is laughing. Police and school authorities are voicing concern.
Dr Richmond Barbour, San Diego city school chief counselor, said, teen-aged organization such as the Mac Meda Destruction Co. breed nothing but trouble.
Barbour claimed many teen-aged organization, which supposedly start out harmlessly wind up with potential; serious repercussions.
“The real problem is with law enforcement,” Dr Barbour said. “Citizens have to help police and sign complaints against the offenders. Then, the courts have to back up law enforcement agencies and get convictions.
“It is no good and it just another example where parenting control is weakling, according to Barbour.
Police said in the three years that the organization has functioned; only one citizen has inquired about Mac Meda. No complains have been filed.
Bob Flood, San Diego police juvenile investigation, said tone member told him initiation to the group required, “tossing a cherry bomb into a police car … and knocking over mail boxes.
Don Fields, sheriff deputy juvenile investigator for the North Coast areas, said, one member told him the group dresses in “dirty old sweat shirt, sports beards and are generally scroungy looking.”
Last spring large crude letter advertising the Mac Meda Mac Meda Destruction Co, were scrawled on Madison High School building walls
The membership cult spreads from Tijuana to Malibu, according to the teen-agers themselves. “Nearly every kid in La Jolla and Pacific Beach is or has been a member of the Mac Meda” one investigator said.
The Mac Meda Destruction Co. is not organized in the sense of electing officers and holding meeting, according to the police and schools authorities.
John Snyder, assistant principal of Madison High School said, membership apparently is obtained by stenciling the name of the group on the back side of a class schedule card cut into tw0-inch squares by pinking shears.
However, word of the Mac Meda function can spread like wild fire through any number of communication pipelines. For example, the Jan 10 beer party in Carmel Valley originally was advertised by a sign in a Pacific Beach beer tavern.
Originators of the Mac Meda Destruction Co., boast chapters from Costa Rica to San Francisco and from Aspen. Colo., to Australia.
Jack McPherson, a mailman for the La Jolla Post Office, said, the butt of the “joke” was from his formal roommate, a fisherman called Albert MacMeda.
“Albert, who is about 5-foot-4 and 190 pounds, is sort of a clumsy. You know how some people are always spilling drinks or breaking glasses at parties,” MacPherson said.
Friends called Albert the “Mac Meda Destruction Co.” MacMeda is an extroverts … “kind of a fanatic about spreading his name around” his friend said.
The original Mac Medas expanded “memberships” by stenciling the name on T-shirts – and new chapters.
MacPherson said the last time he heard from Mac Meda was during the summer when the fisherman was in Costa Rica.
McPherson said he “couldn’t care less” the way teenagers have adopted members but says what they do is their business.
Police evaluation of the teen-ager organization is twofold.
Lt Robert Randle of the sheriff’s office regards the group as a “serious potential threat to the community” However, he regards membership as “mostly talk and something to join”
San Diego police crime reports fail to pin any form of teenage “drinking, destruction and sex” on the Mac Medas as an organized gang.
School authorities regard the membership as “curious”
Cy Harris boys vice principle of La Jolla High School said, “I don’t like it. The entire thing is a bad attitude, but really, there is nothing much you can do about it”
Special thanks to Harry Marriner, who saved this article after 45 fricken years!! He also sent the following message to Dave Osborn…
Attached are a couple news articles about MacMeda from 1964-65 that you might like for your files. Jack mentioned in one article that MacMeda started as a joke in Feb. 1962, but not sure if he was pulling the reporter’s leg or not. I’m also re-sending a foto of my 45 yr old MacMeda teeshirt that Jack stenciled in May (or a bit earlier?) 1965 at the Cuyamaca Park Convention. I may have sent that foto a while back, but now have the date more exact.
RIP Tom Wolfe.
Tom Barber says
January 10, 1965…That fact is correct. January 10, 1944, 21 years before (my birthday) is correct.
A few minor things may also be distorted:
My dad, Richard Barber, was the Principal of LJ High School at that time, just transiting from Point Loma in September of ’64.
In December of ’64 and after some preliminary skirmish drinking and loose thoughts, the consensous came up with a need for a “Blow-Out “party away from the town ……… one that would support some unhindered mass drink and fun.
I knew Mac from years back …. having grown up at Olivetas street around the corner from Greg (grog) Sands and DR. Macphearson ….My Granny (O’Connell) lived across the ‘Crick Bed’.
Deciding to get some Professional advice from Jack, a few of us… Gary Wickham, Eric Carpenter, Harold Nelander, Mike Clark and others drove over to get some better ideas and a plan. Turns out that jack said the best bet was Sorrento valley where the guys had done some collective Barn-razing……… that’s another Story.
How to make the thing work out was to charge a buck each and make “Red mountain Winw Swipe” (1Gallon R.M. And 2 Qts. Squirt) for whoever might show up. What we thought might be more than enough Swipe barely lasted for the crowd that roared up to drink. It turned into a Roaring and great Meda convention. The details were recorded in pictures but mind forgotten in thr Swipe. I do, though remember Eric shot bird into my Chevy Flatbed radiator and it was never the same…. Drove well but there was that deep, lingering smell!! ! Anchovie did appreciate the engine he salvaged for his Chevy, but I think he nixed the radiator.
Jack and Bob got a big laugh out of the newspaper articles and quotes my dad made about the “Juvenile Delinquents” ……… He never knew! We had other times later but the Sorrento Convention was the first that the Gremmies had together with “The Big Dogs”……. We got properly educated.
Claudia Craig says
Mr. Harris! Cy Harris!
THE ONLY ‘UNDDERGROUND’ IN LA JOLLA WAS WHEN WE USED TO RIDE OUR BOARDS INTO THE CAVE AND DRINK COORS.
wHO EVER WROTE THIS ARTICLE DIDN’T GET HIS FACTS STRAIGHT. THE HELLS ANGELS WERE OUT OF OAKLAND NOT LA.
Albert Mac Meda, El Presidente. Muchas graacias, San Diego Zoo!
Bill Sowles says
Albert MacMeda aka “the Little Beast.”
I think this article was the first article on Mac Meda. Jack kept all of his Mac Meda articles in a bag he affectionately referred to as ‘The Archives’.
Part of his year were interviews. Every year, the phone would ring. It would be a reporter or a writer or a student … They would have read The Pumphouse Gang or heard about Mac Meda and wanted to know more. “Come on down kid,” Jack would reply…John Glionna from the L.A. Times in 1990. Tristan Wand, a UCSD student, who wrote a killer story – ‘Don’t Call Us’, which won a literary prize at UCSD. A year later Tristan was an editor at Longboard and his student paper was reprinted as ‘Mac Meda: The La Jolla Underground’. s.d. Liddick did the last interview…spring 2006…for San Diego Magazine.
Jack was always polite and would give the whole bag of Archives to the writer of the moment.
And for posterity…there is a famous painting of 1987 La Jolla, done by Candace King, who lived on Jack’s route. At the lower right corner is a small mailman wearing a visor, based on Jack. Carl Bunch had said, “That’s not you,”. Jack had Candace King autograph his copy of the painting and Ms. King left this inscription: “To Jack, our mailman. And yes, that is you,”.
Dave Osborn says
Tuesday, March 02, 2010
In the early 1960’s my fiends and myself picked up on the Mac Meda Destruction Company as soon as it got going as Jack & Rackstraw where already well
known to us as the ‘older guys’ that where party animals. I recall the first time
I was invited to Macpherson’s Girard Street house, it sort of like the Yankee’s
calling you up from the minors, now your playing with the big boys & girls!
His house was a place that could do anything and not worry about it as
Rackstraw always did something that would be so outrageous that no one would remember what you did.
Mac Meda may have started as sort of a ‘joke’ but became the bond for many
of us in the Southern California Beach culture that where not exactly main
stream people. Jack Macpherson was the rock, the guy that never changed, the
real heart of Mac Meda. There was never any structure to the group, no
membership list, initiation, rules, dues, or codes, but just sort of something we all kind
of loved being part of. I think Jack’s wake was testimony that the original core
spirit of Mac Meda is still intact.
In the early years where attempts and stories of attempts by ‘authorities’
to break up the Mac Meda Destruction Company. The problem was
Mac Meda was a just a Joke or Mac Meda was Macpherson, Mac Meda
was Robert Rackstraw, Mac Meda was a myth, Albert MacMeda was a
fisherman that last know to be off the coast of Costa Rica, or the president
was Albert MacMeda was a Gorilla at the Zoo the was nothing but stories.
if they tried to nail down Mac Meda there was just nothing there. Then the
Mac Meda Destruction Company would come to full life like as a ‘Convention’
then to the outside world just sort of disappear again.. It was perfect..
it just worked and never changed.
Gary Wickham says
Ah, the art of making something out of nothing, spread it around the world and then call it a joke.
Don’t forget the power of the stencil, you would see Mac Meda stenciled everywhere, on cars, sidewalks, rocks at the beach, buildings and even on the side of a big white german shepherd named Lobo.