Even though Stannous Flouride never completed high school, he can tell you about anything you’d like to know. Whether you want to know the history of Haight-Ashbury’s development or the origin of the Caribe goddess Yara (who is tattooed on his leg), Stan’s the man. He was on the game show, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, which paid for his vacation to Italy, where he translated Italian to sign language for deaf athletes. He is learning his sixth language and already knows English, German, Italian, sign language, and Spanish. “I love learning for the sake of learning,” said Flouride.
Flouride was born in November 1956 in Rockford Illinois. When he was still young, his parents split and he moved with his mother to Toms River, New Jersey. He dropped out of high school and moved to Washington D.C. where he wrote for the Quicksilver Times, an underground, counterculture publication.
He was drafted to the armed forces in 1970 and sent to Texas for medic training. He graduated at the top of his class and was given the choice to either stay in the U.S., or go overseas. Flouride remained in Texas for six years where he treated burn victims from all over the U.S. and wounded returning from the war. He then moved to the Tenderloin District in San Francisco in May 1976.
Flouride was hired as a dishwasher at the Acme Cafe, where he moved up the ranks until he became the best chef at the restaurant. While working there, Flouride was introduced to the punk scene by a friend. On January 14, 1978, Flouride attended his first punk show, at the age of 25, at the Winterland Ballroom. The band he saw was the Sex Pistols, in what turned out to be their last performance.
The punk scene drew Flouride into using hard drugs such as speed. In the mid ’80s he met UC Berkeley chemistry students who learned how to make high quality methadone. “This stuff was so fresh that I had to dry it with a hairdryer before I could sell it,” said Flouride. Flouride became their distributor in San Francisco. He dealt in large quantities, nothing less than and eighth of an ounce at a time. Most deals were done by the ounce.
Flouride used his medical training from Texas to teach people how to shoot up and properly handle needles. He ran into a girl on the bus whom he taught. She was on her way to rehab. She pointed out that because of Flouride, people knew how to clean needles and never got AIDS.
Flouride was hired by Target Video, a punk video studio that also put out Damage Magazine, the third largest punk magazine in the world. He wrote articles for the magazine and became a doorman for the studio’s warehouse, which acted as a venue for various bands and events.
In 1982, Flouride moved to his current residence on Masonic Avenue after being evicted. He holds numerous positions as customer service clerk at Robert’s Hardware, apartment manager and handyman for neighbors, and tour guide for Haight Ashbury Flower Power Tours. “I don’t work many hours, but I work, like, six days a week,” said Flouride.
Flouride has earned himself a free pint of beer every day, for the rest of his life from the Trax Bar. He entered into a bidding war on eBay for a collectable ash tray from the ’60s with a question mark logo on it. Flouride recognized the logo from Question Mark Bar on Haight Street, and knew where it belonged. After winning the auction, Flouride worked on making a case for the ashtray. He mounted it to a plaque and donated it to the bar. The owner asked Flouride to name his price. “I want a note signed by you guaranteeing one free beer for the rest of my life.”
Flouride’s current goal is to learn Tagalog. He is enrolled at Community College San Francisco in a Tagalog class. Once he learns the language, he plans to take a vacation to the Philippines.