Saturday, May 27, 2017

Sales Force Tower -- May 27, 2017

The building with the slanted roof is the Leaning Tower of San Francisco, the Millennium Tower. at Fremont and Mission. Behind it is the nearly complete Sales Force Tower, which is now the tallest building in San Francisco. The two cranes make it resemble a Dalek.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Summer of Love 50 -- Mother and Child, Free Huey Rally, De Fremery Park, Oakland -- May 23, 2017

The San Francisco Arts Commission ( has set up a series of posters by artist Deborah Aschheim.  "The Zeitgeist" is part of a larger series for the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love.  The posters in The Zeitgeist represent people involved in the Spring Mobilization against the War in Vietnam on 15-April-1967.

Huey P Newton, one of the founders of the Black Panther Party for Self Defense, was pulled over by an Oakland Police officer on 28-October-1967.  A gun fight broke out.  Newton was wounded and the policeman died.  Newton went to prison.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Ringling Brothers, RIP -- May 21, 2017

Tonight the Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus. the Greatest Show on Earth, will hold its final performance at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Long Island, New York. My parents took me and my sister every year to see the circus at the Cow Palace. I can still smell it. 

Friday, May 19, 2017

French Railroad Guns Look Formidable -- May 19, 2017

Railway Age, 14-Jnaury-1918

A railroad gun is a large piece of artillery that is mounted on a rail car for transportation and often for firing.  They were common during World War One, but are no longer used because they are too inflexible and vulnerable to air attack. 

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

1897 New York Giants -- May 17, 2017

1897 Spalding Baseball Guide
The 1897 New York Giants finished in third place in the National League, with a record of 83 and 48.  Their manager was Bill Joyce.  I don't see pitcher Amos Rusie in this photo. 

Monday, May 15, 2017

1939 Packard Model 120 Darrin Convertible Victoria -- May 15, 2017

We visited the Blackhawk Museum in June, 2013 to drool over their collection of classic autos.  Dutch Darrin designed the Convertible Victoria for actor Preston Foster. Foster had the front end updated in 1941. (051/dsc_0132-133)

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Mother's Day, 2017 -- May 14, 2017

I'm grateful for my mother and my wife and my mother-in-law and sisters-in-law. All excellent mothers.

I took the photo at Good Shepherd School in Pacifica on 05-October-2008, during the school's 40th anniversary celebration.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Our Lady of Fatima 100 Years -- May 13, 2017

Attributed to Joshua Benoliel - in Ilustração Portuguesa no. 610, 29 October 1917, Public Domain,

100 years ago today, on 13-May-1917, three children tending sheep near the Portuguese village of Fatima saw a woman in white who asked them to pray the rosary and ask for an end to the war. Lúcia Santos and her cousins, Jacinta and Francisco Marto, saw the lady on other occasions and came to believe that she was Mary the Mother of God.

As is always the case with apparitions, there was controversy.  The government of Portugal had a strong anticlerical element. 

On 13-July-1917, the lady gave three secrets to the children.  I remember when the third secret was released in 2000.  Some people claimed that the Vatican did not release the full text.

Jacinta and Francisco died in the influenza epidemic.  Lúcia became a nun.  I remember when she died in 2005.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Shadow Comics -- May 11, 2017

The August, 1944 issue of Shadow Comics features "The Shadow Brings Terror to Tokio."  It took a while to standardize American spellings of Japanese names.  

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Doc Savage -- May 9, 2017
Doc Savage was a pulp character who debuted in 1933.  Doctor Clark Savage, Jr was a many of many talents, mental and physical.  He gathered a team of aides including Monk, Ham, Johnny, Renny and Long Tom.  Each had his own unique talents.  His cousin Patricia turned up in many stories.  Doc and his team had many adventures fighting evil around the world.  Lester Dent created the characters and wrote many of the novels.

I first got to know Doc Savage from reprints that Bantam Books did in the 1970s.  I often spent what little money I had at Canterbury Corner on Geary or Green Apple Books on Clement buying copies.

George Pal produced a bad movie in 1975.  I saw a still in Famous Monsters of Filmland and immediately knew that they had done a poor job with Doc's aides.  I went to see it anyway. 

DC did some comic books in the 1980s.

I never heard the NPR recreation of the radio show. 

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Tramp Steamers F. S. Ciampa and Cycle -- May 7, 2017

San Francisco Call, 22-September-1901
The drawing is from the 22-September-1901 San Francisco Call. William A Coulter did many maritime drawings for the newspaper. 

Talcahuano is a port in Chile.   Hyōgo Prefecture is in Japan. Kobe is the capital.

F. S. Ciampa, Flying Italian Flag, Drops Anchor in Port.

Among the fleet that made port yesterday were the Italian steamship F. S. Ciampa and the British steamship Cycle. Both were under charter to load wheat, but the Ciampa was twelve hours behind her canceling date, and now the charterer does not want to pay as high a rate. The matter will probably be amicably adjusted on Monday.

The Ciampa was 25 days coming from Talcahuano, while the Cycle was 24 days coming from Hiogo. The former is 4040 tons gross and 2634 tons net burden. She was built in Genoa, Italy, in 1899, by N. Odero and Co., and is 340 feet 5 inches long, 45 feet beam and 19 feet 8 inches deep. Captain Cafaiero, who commands her, has scores of friends in this port, as he traded here for years in the ship Francesco Ciampa.

The Cycle is 3411 tons gross and 2227 tons net burden. She was built in Sunderland. England, in 1900, by J. L. Thompson & Sons, Ltd., and is 331 feet 2 inches long, 49 feet beam and 24 feet 5 inches deep. Each steamship will take away about 5000 tons of grain.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Corregidor Surrenders 75 Years -- May 6, 2017

Seventy-five years ago today, on 06-May-1942, US Army Fort Mills, on the island of Corregidor in Manila Bay, after being under siege since 29-December-1941, General Jonathan Wainright decided that it was time to surrender to prevent a massacre by the invading Japanese soldiers.  Wainright sent a signal to President Franklin D Roosevelt: "There is a limit of human endurance, and that point has long been passed."  The stout defense put up by members of the Marine Corps, the Philippine Scouts, the Navy and the Army threw off the timetable the Japanese had planned to follow in conquering the Pacific. 

Friday, May 5, 2017

Happy Cinco de Mayo, 2017 -- May 5, 2017

Happy Cinco de Mayo everyone. General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguín led the Mexican army which defeated the French invaders at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. "The national arms have been covered with glory" General Zaragoza wrote in a letter to President Benito Juárez. Some people credit this defeat with preventing French interference in the US Civil War.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Ormer Locklear, Premier Acrobat of the Air -- May 3, 2017

Aircraft Journal, 07-June-1919

After serving in the US Army Air Service during World War I, Ormer Locklear became a barnstormer who specialized in wing walking. He and his partner Milton (Skeets) Elliot toured the country thrilling audiences. The Great Air Robbery was Locklear's first starring movie role. While shooting his second starring movie, The Skywayman (great title), pilot Elliot was blinded by spotlights during a night dive and both men were killed. The producers left the scene in the movie.  

Josephus Daniels was the Secretary of the Navy. Harry Hawker, who had been chief test pilot for Sopwith, tried to fly non-stop across the Atlantic on 18-May-1919.  His plane crashed in the ocean and Hawker and his navigator had to be rescued.  Hawker criticized the first transatlantic flight, made in May, 1919 by a group of US Navy flying boats.  It was not a non-stop flight and it was not intended to be one. 

Ormer Locklear, Premier Acrobat of the Air

Thrilling Feats Performed by Him and Others Before the Memorial Day Spectators at Sheepshead Bay

Lieut. Ormer Locklear trifled with death standing erect on the upper wing of a speeding airplane and later jumped from one plane to another, May 30, at Sheepshead Bay Speedway.

Lieutenant Locklear’s feats were the most sensational in the view of most of the crowd, but the aerial antics of Lieuts. Shirley Short and Milton Elliott, his pilots, and of Jean Momenjoz, caused the worst shudders to army and navy aviators in the crowd. Lieutenant Elliott, especially, took a long chance on his skill with the stick, when, starting at a thousand feet he come downward, his machine rolling around, upside down, with wings vertical, tail downward, and every which way, seemingly absolutely out of control, but actually under the most rigid guidance. He finished less than 200 feet from the ground with an Immelman turn and a few other rotations which seemed like certain death.

Locklear’s Daring Feat

Lieutenant Locklear’s most daring trick came at the end of the program. Curtiss plane No. 7, with Lieutenant Elliott at the stick, on whose eye and arm Locklear usually depends most for his safety, went out of commission just before the aerial derby, so he went up in the plane of Lieut. H. B. Shields. Higher and higher the plane mounted, followed by another Curtiss plane piloted by Lieutenant Short.

Finally at probably a thousand feet Lieutenant Short dropped over the side a flimsy looking rope ladder, which was sent whirling backward by the force of the speed of the plane. Then the risky work began, the business of getting the two speeding planes sufficiently near and yet not near enough for the collision which would mean death for three men. To add to their difficulty the two pilots, their planes making better than 60 miles an hour, must get together at just the right time so that the public, sitting comfortably in the stands, could see the whole thing at as close range as possible.

Black against the blue sky the figure of Lieutenant Locklear suddenly appeared in the upper wing of Shields’ plane. He stood erect, his body inclined against the rush of air which would throw an average man to his face on the ground, his arms stretched outward and his head up, with eyes fixed on the swaying ladder dangling from the plane above. Slowly, almost imperceptibly the machines drifted together, while Locklear somehow retained his footing on the smooth, curving surface of the plane.

Has No Imitators

Then the ladder swung for an instant within reach. Locklear grasped at it, and as he did so the plane below dived downward and the one above loomed upward with his body swinging below the ladder. He had successfully accomplished once more the feat in which he has as yet no imitators.

Lieutenant Locklear had begun his exhibition in or rather on Lieutenant Elliott’s plane at a much lower altitude, walking out on the lower wing and thrusting one arm and leg outward into space, standing erect on the upper wing, sliding down to the tail and crawling up again and dangling by his knees from the axle of the plane with head downward.

The Aerial Derby

Four men started in the aerial derby, an alleged race of 20 miles in which the pilots, Domonjoz and Lieutenants Shields, Short and Micelli, rested themselves and their spectators by some straight flying. Little Domonjoz and his Bleriot, which, it is said, is a 1913 model, were left far behind by the other pilots. To soothe his feeling Domonjoz left the race flat and went further aloft to comfort himself and soothe his machine by a little more upside down flying. He refused to come down until long after the race was over and Locklear was about to perform his most dangerous trick.

The other pilots buzzed around the 2-mile track and over the stand about ten times, and then speeded up for the finish, making real speed for a few moments. Lieutenant Shields was officially first, with Lieutenants Short and Micelli following. The time was 16 minutes 45 seconds.


Resents Hawker’s Slur

Ormer Locklear, airplane acrobat, has wired to Secretary Daniels as follows:

“Like all red-blooded Americans, I resent the slur cast by Mr. Hawker on the great flight across the Atlantic by our naval fliers. To prove that Britain has no corner on courage among fliers I deeply desire to make an attempt to fly to Europe under conditions identical with those surrounding the Hawker attempt. I wish no convoys nor assistance from the government, except to be supplied with an able navigator. I am sure there are many men in your service who gladly will volunteer to make the trip with me. I am asking the American airplane and motor builders to join me in the attempt.

“I propose to defray all my personal expenses, pledge the London Daily Mail prize, if won, to the Red Cross, and agree not to accept one penny from any source as a reward.”

Locklear purposes to start within thirty days without any long drawn out preliminaries.

Monday, May 1, 2017

May Day, 2017 -- May 1, 2017

Today is International Workers' Day. Business owners did not give us the 40 hour week.  Workers had to fight for it.