Thursday, November 12, 2009

San Francisco Past & Present

San Francisco

We traveled to the Bay Area for a birthday party (the third one) for my mother who turned 90 last week. The City by the bay has captivated me my whole life. I may not have “left my heart” there, but I adore it just the same. There is something very captivating, beautiful and edgy about the City. Herb Caen, the famous newspaper columnist, said “One day if I go to heaven….I’ll look around and say, ‘It ain’t bad, but it ain’t San Francisco.” The sounds of many languages and the rattle of cable cars fill the air as you walk down Market Street. When you are living on a fault line, life is different. You’re definitely not in Kansas.

Captain Browne’s Ship

Captain William Browne, my great-grandfather, sailed around Cape Horn to San Francisco in the late 19th century. It was the time of steam sailing ships.

My grandfather definitely got his sea legs early on his father’s ship as a little boy.

Early photograph of Sutro’s Baths and Cliff House.

Captain William Browne, became friends with Mayor Adolph Sutro and often visited his baths.

Early poster for Sutro’s Baths.

1906 Earthquake

My grandmother was a little girl when the big 1906 earthquake hit San Francisco. It was the fires in the aftermath of the quake that caused the most damage.

My great-grandfather on my mother’s side had an artist studio and framing shop. After the damage of the earthquake, he took what he could on a horse-drawn cart and settled across the bay. He eventually set up shop in Berkeley.

My great-grandfather used to travel to the Oakland hills with other plein air painters to paint beautiful landscapes. The painting above was done by one of his friends, Carl Henrik Jonnevold.

My grandmother and friends picnicking on an Oakland hillside. What a carefree time.

Amalie, my Mom was born in 1919.

In 1919 the 18th amendment, authorizing prohibition, was passed by congress. Also in 1919, the Treaty of Versailles was signed, ending World War I.

Mom met my dad at Alameda High School. He was an Army Air Corp pilot in World War II.

We fast forward.

Marla and I are pictured on the right at this party at the University of the Pacific. I was lucky to make it out alive!

Tribal Stomp in San Francisco.

Marla and I loved the San Francisco music scene. Family Dog concerts, Fillmore auditorium, The Avalon, were our favorite haunts. We would see triple bills with the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, and Quicksilver Messenger Service.

Family shot on the coast.

Well, of course it’s embarrassing! I looked like I was trying out for the world disco championships. You have to give me a little slack as it was in the day. Marla and the girls are cute though.

Marla with great jeans she bought in Aspen in the 70’s.

The boys with mom.

My brother and I hosted a wonderful party for mom’s 90th.

Amalie with her sister Shirley at her party.

Shopping in Chinatown.

Our daughter Stacy came out from Dallas and Lisa from Denver.

There is always something interesting to read in Chinatown.

Glide Methodist Church

A trip to the City isn’t complete without attending the Glide. We love it!

Marla and I at the Japanese Tea Gardens.

Stacy and Lisa on the bridge at the Japanese Tea Gardens.

Brother Gary in contemplation.

Mom and Stacy

So many memories. Snapshots of past times buzz around my head. What a great life! I have a strong feeling there will be many new and wonderful moments to come.

1 comment :