Wednesday, April 30, 2014

1939 New York World's Fair Opens -- April 30, 2014

75 years ago, on 30-April-1939, the New York World's Fair opened in Flushing Meadows.  The theme of the fair was "Dawn of a New Day."  The Trylon and the Perisphere were symbols of the fair.  The Perisphere contained a model city of the future.  The opening ceremony, including President Franklin D Roosevelt's speech, was televised. 

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Stutz Displays Speed and Endurance -- April 29, 2014

The article and the ad about Ralph Cooper's victory at Corona in Riverside County are from the 13-September-1913 San Francisco Call.  Admission Day is September 9.  Portola Festivals were held in San Francisco in 1909 and 1913. 


Machine Is Feature of Corona Race and Is Praised by Driver Cooper


Big Village Boosters Are Back From South and Portola Advertising Trip

One of the most remarkable features of the Corona automobile race, which was run last Tuesday, Admission day, was the wonderful performance of the Stutz car driven by Earl Cooper. Not alone did the machine beat all others in the field and take first money, hut it completed the 301.81 miles without any mechanical adjustment necessary.

Earl Cooper, the "speed king." who has won every race during the last year in which he has entered, in speaking of the car yesterday, said:

"Not once during the entire race was I or my mechanician obliged to make any alteration in the mechanical adjustment of the machine. The car 'streaked' around the course with all the ease and grace of an eagle.

"In all my races I have used the Stutz. In Tacoma last month, and also at Santa Monica's recent meet I
navigated the track in this make."

Local auto men expect that all the racing machines which participated in the Corona meet will be brought to this city during the coming week Those dealers who had cars entered in the race will put them on display.

Great interest was attached to the special carload of boosters who traveled south to the race from this city.  The delegation was made up of local automobile men. under the auspice of the Big Village boosters. Everywhere the San Franciscans went they boosted for the Portola festival.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Dual Canonization -- April 27, 2014

Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II are being canonized today.  I don't remember Pope John XXIII when he was alive, but I remember people talking about him after he died, and I remember reading about him in an issue of Life or Look at my grandparents' house.  He convened Vatican II, saying the church needed to "open the windows...and let in some fresh air.".  Among the results of the council were mass in the vernacular, the presider facing the congregation during mass, involvement of the laity during mass and in many operations of the church and countless other changes.  Some paleo-Catholics still find the results of the council controversial.   I think he saved the church. 

In 1987, my wife and I participated in the mass at Candlestick Park which was celebrated by Pope John Paul II.  I remember the part he played in the fall of the Communist Party in Poland.  He carried on bravely through his long illness.  Some people feel he did not do enough about the sexual and monetary scandals that wracked the church. 

A commentator recently mentioned that both men were from the television age, and both had outgoing personalities.  I think it would not hurt if we went back to the rule that a person had to be dead for 50 years before we could open a case for sainthood. 

Pope John XXIII was Time Magazine's Man of the Year in the 04-January-1963 edition.

Friday, April 25, 2014

New Cat #6 -- April 25, 2014

I took the photo on 28-March-2014.  When I get up from the computer chair, she sits on it. 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

To Circumnavigate the Globe -- April 23, 2014

Captain Joshua Slocum sailed around the world alone in 1895-1898 in the sloop Spray.  This was the first solo circumnavigation. Slocum and the Spray disappeared in 1909 on another solo voyage.  Captain Adolph Freitsch attempted a solo circumnavigation in a smaller sloop in 1899.  Freitsch gave up when he reaches Honolulu. 

From the 02-April-1899 San Francisco Call. William A Coulter did many maritime drawings for the newspaper. Click on the image for a larger view. 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Site of First US Branch Mint -- April 21, 2014

The first United States Branch Mint in San Francisco opened in a building on Commercial Street near Montgomery in 1854.  The building was too small and operations moved to what is now known as the Old Mint at Fifth and Mission in 1874.  The current mint, on Duboce, went into operation in 1937. 

A new building on the Commercial Street site later served as the San Francisco branch of the United States Sub-treasury. 

I remember when a bank wanted to tear down the building to put up a skyscraper.  Somehow they were persuaded to save part of the façade of the sub-treasury and some of the vaults.  The building now houses the Pacific Heritage Museum, which has some displays about the mint and sub-treasury on the bottom floor.  The rest of the museum has rotating art exhibits. 

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Churches Unite in Solemn Anthems At Great Festival of Easter -- April 20, 2014

Happy Easter, everyone.  This list of Easter Services is from the 07-April-1912 San Francisco Call.  Most of the Roman Catholic parishes are still active, except for Holy Cross and Saint Rose.  Notice Christian Yoga and Grace Pro Cathedral. 
Last night we went to Easter Vigil at Good Shepherd church.  I always like the darkness and the candles. 

Be sure to click on the images to see larger versions. 

Churches Unite in Solemn Anthems At Great Festival of Easter

The festival of Easter, at one time merely a commemoration of an event then fresh in the minds of all who took part but now surrounded with other observances giving it a varied significance, will be celebrated at nearly all of the churches of San Francisco today with special musical services.  Ecclesiastical musical history of all periods, from Gregorian chants to the most recent compositions of Dudey Buck, will be represented, either in the original form or in a present day adaptation in the vernacular, all for the one purpose, however, of recalling to mind the event of 1,912 years ago. 

Saturday, April 19, 2014

1926 Daimler Model 45 HP Salon Cabriolet - April 19, 2014

We visited the Blackhawk Museum in June, 2013 to drool over their collection of classic autos.  The 1926 Daimler Model 45 HP Salon Cabriolet is a unique vehicle built for Gulab Singh, the Maharajah of Rewa.  Coachbuilder Barker and Company of London built the body.  The horns are shaped like boa constrictors.  I would like to drive down the street in this and see how people would react.  (051/dsc_0063,0065)

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Sherlock Holmes Comic Book -- April 17, 2014

I bought this comic book in 1975 when DC published it.  I enjoyed the adaption of "The Empty House."  Unfortunately, they did not do another edition.  My copy probably resides in a box in my mother's basement. 

The image comes from the Grand Comics Database:

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Matt Williams -- April 15, 2014

Inspired by the book Few and Chosen: Defining Giants Greatness Across the Eras by Giants great Bobby Thomson and Phil Pepe, I thought I would devote my nickname meme to Giants players for the next several months. 

I remember when José Uribe's wife died and Matt Williams got called up to play shortstop. He had a terrible game with many errors. When he got to play third base, he did much better. He also turned out to be a great hitter. 

He could do a good Babe Ruth imitation. 

I was sad when he went to the Cleveland Indians and sadder when he went to the new Arizona Diamondbacks.  He currently manages the Washington Nationals. 

I remember people calling him "Matt the Bat" on rare occasions.  Sadly, he played in a period when baseball nicknames were at a low ebb. 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Real Home-Made Candy -- April 13, 2014

This ad, from the 17-November-1921 New Orleans Herald, extols the virtues of the Lousiana Home-Made Candy Factory.  "Delicious Wonder/Heavenly Hash/Creole Pralines/Marshmallow Caromels."  Sounds good to me. 

Today would have been the 75th birthday of Irish poet Seamus Heaney, who passed on last September:

Yesterday we went to see the Giants play Arizona.  The Giants failed to score any runs for Cain so they lost 1-0.  We went to Our Lady of Mercy church for Palm Sunday mass. 

Friday, April 11, 2014

All the Comforts of Home -- April 11, 2014

This ad for the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad, the Burlington Route or the "Q," advertises connections from San Francisco and Los Angeles via the Southern Pacific.  "Cars are clean; porters are accommodating; excursion managers obliging; and the route is without an equal in point of interest. 

The ad is from the 21-October-1901 San Francisco Call

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Strangerhood -- Mission District -- April 9, 2014

The San Francisco Arts Commission ( has set up a series of posters by artist Lordy Rodriquez called "Strangerhood." Rodriquez reimagines San Francisco neighborhoods as countries.  This is his version of the Mission District.  I took the photo on 14-January-2014.  Be sure to click on the image to see a larger version. 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Le Roy Talma & Bosco -- April 7, 2014

To play the Palace in New York was the height of accomplishment in vaudeville. Le Roy-Talma-Bosco were a popular team of magicians. Servais Le Roy was a Belgian magician. Talma (Mary Ford) was his wife and an expert coin manipulator. Bosco was the rotund comic relief. There were several Boscos over the years. John Bosco is the patron saint of magicians.
Headliner Lucille Cavanaugh was a dancer. "Miss Cavanaugh is Georgeously Attractive."  Georgously?  "Beautiful Face -- Beautiful Figure -- Beautiful Steps."  The Avon Comedy Four was a popular comic act which included Smith and Dale. 

The ad is from the New York Tribune 22-September-1918. 

Here is an ad from a 1915 appearance at the Palace:

The Giants are off to a good start.  They won 3 of 4 against Arizona and 2 of 3 against the Dodgers. 

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Aeromarine Airways -- April 5, 2014

Aeromarine Airways was a subsidiary of the Aeromarine Plane and Motor Company.  Aeromarine Airways operated from 1920 to 1923.  The images and the text are from the 1922 Aircraft Yearbook. Be sure to click on the images to see larger versions. 
The first, and at the present time the only, regularly operated aerial transportation line in the United States, and the largest in the world, utilizing flying boats exclusively, is Aeromarine Airways, Inc., the service of which covers the Florida Straits, between Florida and Cuba, and various points in the Caribbean Sea.  The history of this company is an inspiring example of faith and courage.  The Key West-Havana route was selected in 1920, first, because of the extraordinary volume of traffic, pleasure and business the year round; second, because passage of the stormy Channel required an entire night of discomfort, and third, as the course lay over water, operation need not await the establishment of terminals or routes or even the enactment of Federal Law. 

Starting with one eleven-passenger cruiser, the fleet has been steadily increased until, at the close of 1921, it embraced thirty flying boats of various capacity, the are of operations being extended north along the Atlantic seaboard to Boston, and westward, over the Hudson and the Great Lakes to Chicago and Detroit; south through the Mississippi Valley to New Orleans, thence around the Gulf Coast to the Key West base.  During 1921, Aeromarine Airways flew 95,020 miles, according to their log, carrying 6814 passengers and 29,002 pounds of freight.  They operated their Cuban services daily, making a total of 162 flights during the season, maintaining an average scheduled time of 96 minutes for the 110 miles, and this frequently notwithstanding the gales which sweep the Straits.  and what is most important of all, there has never been a single person -- passenger or employee, injured. 

Friday, April 4, 2014

Hugh Masekela 75 -- April 4, 2014

Today is the 75th birthday of South African musician and activist Hugh Masekela. He plays the trumpet, flugelhorn and cornet. He was inspired to take up the trumpet when he saw Young Man With a Horn, which was loosely based on the life of Bix Biederbecke.  Masekela played with pioneering jazz groups in South Aftica, but left the country after the Sharpeville Massacre.  He worked against apartheid around the world.  I think I first learned about him when he had his big US hit, "Grazing in the Grass." 

The photo of Hugh Masekela and the album  cover are from

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Be Sure It Is a Victrola -- April 3, 2014

In 1906, the Victor Talking Machine Company introduced a revolutionary phonograph with an internal amplifying horn.  They called it the Victrola.  Victrola almost became a synonym for phonograph.  Many of my older relatives called any phonograph a Victrola, just as they called a refrigerator a Frigidaire. 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Marvin Gaye 75 -- April 2, 2014

Happy 75th birthday to the late Marvin Gaye, a wonderful singer and songwriter who shaped American soul music.  I listen to his album What's Going On a lot.  I have trouble believing that yesterday was the 30th anniversary of his death. 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

NBC Announces New Fall Lineup -- April 1, 2014

NBC announced that its Fall lineup will be "going back to basics."  Among the stars of new shows is beloved veteran Felix the Cat.