(article courtesy of the SFGate, Wednesday, November 29, 2006)
Jack Macpherson, who co-founded the party-loving Mac Meda Destruction Company crew immortalized in Tom Wolfe's book "The Pump House Gang," has died. He was 69. Macpherson died of liver and kidney failure on Nov. 16 at a La Jolla hospital, his son, John Macpherson, said Wednesday.
Jack Macpherson was "an old school surfer who had a great life," said his son, 50, of San Clemente. "Mac" Macpherson was never mentioned by name in Wolfe's 1960s magazine article about Southern California youth culture, which was later included in a book. However, Wolfe did mention the Mac Meda Destruction Company in his chronicle about young surfers who hung out at the sewage pump house at Windansea Beach.
The Mac Meda Destruction Company was named for the antics of Mac and his friend, Bob "Meda" Rakestraw. At parties, Rakestraw "wouldn't just walk into a house, he'd run through the door and jump out through a window," Macpherson told the La Jolla Light newspaper in a 2003 interview. "People would say, `Here comes Mac and Meda. They're a walking destruction company.'"
Crew members wearing football helmets and wielding sledgehammers demolished condemned houses for fun and held wild parties. Wolfe described the company as an "underground society" that "is mainly something to bug people with and organize huge beer orgies with." The crew's logo was a mushroom cloud. Macpherson stenciled it on T-shirts and it began showing up on cars and windows around town. Police suspected the youngsters were involved in some kind of dangerous gang.
"Back then," Macpherson told the surfing magazine Longboard, "the cops hated us so much that you could get arrested for walking down the street in a Mac Meda shirt." Mac Meda shirts and car stickers still are produced in town...
[Mac] "spent his whole time around the beach area," his son said. In addition to his son, Macpherson is survived by his sister, Jill Higgins, and two grandsons. John Macpherson said his father's ashes will be taken out to sea in a Hawaiian-style "paddle out" ceremony on Dec. 10 at Windansea beach.