Who was Magnolia Thunderpussy?

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Hello, I'm looking for more information about a woman named Magnolia Thunderpussy. She was a burlesque dancer turned dessert maker (she ran an eponymous erotic dessert delivery store out of 1398 Haight Street from about 1967 to 1969, post Drogstore Cafe). She also had a gossip column type thing on a local radio station. And she ran a restaurant called "Dish." She died May 15th, 1996. I'd like to know more about her and would love to see a picture. (Most of the information I have is from The Magnolia Pub's online presence - http://www.magnoliapub.com ... they currently occupy 1398 Haight).

Thank you, Kelly J. Cooper

-- Kelly J. Cooper (kjc@apocalypse.org), January 14, 2005


I can almost remember some of the clever names of her baked creations...and I seem to recall her running a restaurant in the Tenderloin, across from the old Tommy's Joynt / Main Stem where Turk ends at Market.

-- salty (salty@beer.com), January 21, 2005.

Wasn't she in the 1970s the hostess at Capp's Corner?

That's the first time I encountered her memorbale name. Her picture might still be on the wall at Capp's.

Good Luck in your research.

-- kurt iversen (iversenk@aol.com), January 24, 2005.

Dear Kelly,

Here is an article you may find interesting.

Peace and Love,


An old friend from my Haight Ashbury days in San Francisco just sent me the obituary for Magnolia Thunderpussy, 60's Restauranteur." It was a real revelation. I had forgotten the name "Magnolia Thunderpussy," and also forgotten that it belonged to -- not just a café -- but to the woman who ran it.

I hadn't thought of either in years.

About Magnolia Thunderpussy, the place, though. Back in 1968, word spread like Acapulco Gold through all the Victorians in the neighborhood that this groovy new café had opened that would deliver at any time of night. Catering just to us (didn't everybody?)

No-one had ever seen the likes of it, yet, as we did every good thing befalling us, we accepted it as our due. It was happenin'.

So distinct was the food, that the flavors still remain in my mind, in particular, one green curry beef dish, costing a dollar, that included raisins, peanuts and treats proper for the hippie palate.

But the talk was about the desserts -- such artfully obscene desserts as the "Montana Banana" -- a banana flanked by balls (get it?) of ice cream, topped with heh, heh, whipped cream and chocolate shavings.

True to the commune ideal, it, these desserts could not be eaten by one person alone.

I'll leave the Pineapple Pussy to your imagination right now. I'm getting into the trip that introduced me to it.

It involved a roommate, two dope dealers, and a Hells Angel.

Although the Hells Angels part is where I may be apt to run astray.

But so did the other hippies. Unlike us pathetic, over-privileged, middle-class hippies -- they (we felt), were original authentics, free-spirits, the romantic "real thing" -- like the American Indian, whom we emulated, in fact.

We realized the Angels in head shop posters, such as the realist-styled print of a cat with a red, white and blue bandana, hair flying in the wind, chick in the sissy seat, an American flag waving in the background.

It was, I think, Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters who had started it all. One famous and much -recorded night, they'd turned some Angels onto acid at a party at Kesey's La Honda "spread." To skip forward a bit -- as a result, the Angels became tight with the hippies. One artistic Angel, name of "Gut Turk," even invented the Zig-Zig insignia that began popping up on t-shirts.

Actually, by the time I'd arrived on the scene from L.A., Angels were our mascots, so to speak. They functioned as bodyguards at our ballroom dances ˆ even gave their own (although any poor schnook who refused to give up his cigarette to an Angel soon enough got stomped...Hey! Angels will be Angels!!)

As for me, I figured them for big, cute, hairy hippies on bikes. Sexy as Hell, haha. I attended every Angel-hippie gathering that I could, including the wake for "Chocolate George" in Strawberry Fields, where the Dead played (and only four people got stomped).

Once I even followed a band of them up to Twin Peaks. But I lost the trail.

This was all before Hunter Thompson, the first "gonzo journalist," got beaten to a pulp after his great new Angel buddies -- who he'd hung out with for a year to write "The Hells Angels" -- finally read it.

Of course, you knew not to approach more than one at a time.

But I couldn't even get near one.

Then, one night, seeking a waitress job at the Keystone Corner -- a low-rent blues joint in North Beach, --- I saw one looking at me from a barstool. His nickname was "Thumper" -- not for the two rabbity teeth in front, it turned out -- but for his (haha) prowess in "other arenas."

I learned this later that night, after I brought him back to my room in the pad I shared with another girl. He was on acid, and to my surprise, acted quite normally, as he gazed out my bedroom window and waxed rhapsodic about the stars and the cosmos. Quite a turn-on.

But a week passed and after this tryst, Thumper did not see fit to return.

Thus, with my usual MOR, I set out for the Keystone Corners to chase him down -- dragging the roommate along for support.

This roommate hailed from Brooklyn, New York and was plump and voluptous. Her wardrobe preferences ran to the new flourescents, notably one hot pink vinyl micro-skirt she was given to bend over in, affording willing or unwilling onlookers an inside view. While she did not share my curiousity about Angels, she was always on hand for adventure.

And adventure was there in the person of Thumper, that night perched back on his old barstool.

Unhappily for me, he took one look at the roomie's vinyl skirt and size "D" cups, and decided that would be his evening's aperitif.

Whereupon -- she agreed to go home with him -- or "wherever" -- probably in the name of An Experiment -- the alltime guiding hippie principle.

Sadly, in shock, I gave her my blessings. Then I crawled into my beat-up '58 VW and cried all the way home.

Sometime later, around 2 AM, as I lay forlornly on the floor pad I used as a bed, I heard the sounds of heavy footsteps on the stairs, accompanied by terrible animal-like wailings.

It was the roommate. Seems she had been driven home by the night manager.

As the story unfolded, Thumper had asked her to wait outside on his bike while he conducted "business" inside.

Being from Brooklyn, and holding many opinions she was unafraid to voice (a type the Angels were unused to), she waited for ten or fifteen minutes in the cold. When Thumper did not come back out, she went inside.

She said to him something like, "Hey, if you think I‚m going to sit out there in..."

Thumper...who it turned out was -- on this occasion -- not on acid, but had been downing reds and alcohol all night -- threw her a one-two punch on the chin and knocked her cold.

That ended that Experiment.

If I said I did not feel a delicious sense of satisfaction to hear this from the dramatically-wailing roommate, I would be lying.

However, my glee was to be short-lived.

Sounds traveled far in those Victorians, and the noise had reached the Dealers upstairs ˆ two older brotherly buddies, ages 28 and 31, who were always eager to lend their drooling condolences (or anything else), to damsels in distress.

A ring of the phone later, and the roommate was on her way upstairs to receive yet more mileage out of this minor melodrama. Again, I was left to cool my heels.

I lay there sulking another half an hour or so, contemplating my lack of talent for similarly milking, for mining glory from tragedy. Why had it not been I who had been knocked out? It wasn't fair.

Then, the phone rang again. It was the dealers, asking me to come upstairs for a "surprise."

Why not? I pulled on my robe.

When I reached the open door upstairs, this is what I saw: the roommate, sitting on the lap of Bill, the bear-like older one, as he fed her bites of ice cream, a broad smile breaking out through glistening tears.

On the table, sat a big, inviting Pineapple Pussy -- a hollowed out pineapple with a mess of whipped cream and strawberry ice-cream -- the first I'd ever seen.

I was handed a plastic spoon and invited to join in.

Enough bites of that concoction, and the meanness had all melted away. It was four in the morning and just desserts had been served. This was too sweet.

I never had any Pineapple Pussy again -- but how could you top it?

I wish I could say more about Magnolia Thunderpussy, the woman, but that part is hazier. I remember standing in long lines for take-home treats at the counter, and the good-hearted woman behind it. The obituary describes her as an "earth-mama" type. It said she had been a burlesque dancer before opening her take-out place.

It figured.

Anyway, I figure I owe her some thanks for the balms that soothed our savaged spirits and sweeten the seasons of that time for so many of us.

As I said at the beginning, I would get off on a lot of trips before it all ended.

We all did. It was quite a time.

And I bet no-one else is sorry, either.

May, 1996 from article written by Judy Raphael

-- Skydancer (skydancer_333@yahoo.com), February 05, 2005.

I used to work with Magnolia and David Allen at the Boarding House restaurant and nightclub in the 70's. Fun lady. P.S. Typically the Montana Banana and Pineaplle Pussy were served without eating utensils, thus requiring a bit of going down on them.

-- Kelley W (carol-antone@american-pacific.com), February 09, 2005.

I knew "Maggie" well...she is one of my all time favorite characters!!...and I've known some quite a few living in San Fran. in the late 60's. Magonila did alot of cooking for early rock & roll groups.. Later she run the first "midnight munchie" service in SF for those who would get really hunger after smoking "the Herb".She have gay guys running all over the city, making her deliveries. I had heard that she did have a restaurant that did serve exotic desserts.Maggie also did some film work, some wild and crazy stuff, that she submitted to film festivals. She also ran a comedy club for awhile in SF, I, forgot the name, but Steve Martin and Robin Williams first got their start there. When I first met Maggie she had moved to a little town in Calif. called Point Arena, that I had a jewelry studio. Maggie moved in next door and had a Health Food restaurant. We had a long fun frienship, over several years.Maggie had a "heart of gold" and was great freind to me and most everyone she met. I'll try to find some pictures to send. But, Yes, she was real not a myth....and a beautiful spirit who is missed by this old hippie. Thanks Frank...... need more contact me Thanks

-- Frank Smith (mlpwestut@yahoo.com), February 18, 2005.

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