Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 - December 31, 2010

2010 has been a good year. A family member got sick, but he is better now. In November, the Giants won the World Series. Health care reform passed in March. In November, Jerry Brown won the gubernatorial election, saving us from another novelty governor. In general, the November elections were disappointing. The Citizens United decision has wounded our country deeply. In December, the Senate confirmed the Start 2 treaty and Congress repealed Don't Ask, Don't Tell.

This is the 300th post in this blog for the year, the 840th overall. I had an interesting year. I have enjoyed the regular monthly series. In the train stations series, I posted pictures of all the surviving stations of the Ocean Shore Railroad. In the aviators series, I found some interesting people and newspaper articles. I want to write more about Israel Ludlow and Walter Wellman. I have gotten some nice comments on the William Coulter series. In writing about the remarkable Van der Weyde (Vander Weyde, Vanderweyde) family, I found articles about Doctor Peter Henri, his wife Jeanette, their son Henry, and their grandson William M.

I wrote about the 125th anniversary of the publication of Huckleberry Finn, the 100th anniversary of Mark Twain's death, but somehow I didn't write about 175th anniversary of his birth.

In February, I contributed three articles and some cash to the For the Love of Film film preservation blogathon. We raised about $13,000, which will be used to preserve three silent films from a large cache discovered in New Zealand.

In March, I spoke to the Daughters of the American Revolution about the transcontinental railroad. Angels Flight reopened in Los Angeles. I started short monthly series on the Wax Museum and the Jejune Institute.

In June I started a series about doors.

In July, we visited Seattle (first time ever) and Disneyland. The BP Oil Spill started. Somehow, I never mentioned it here. I started a new series of magazine covers with slapstick performers.

In August, the East Bay Terminal closed. Demolition started later. It has been the source of many posts.

September was the bicentennial of El Grito de Dolores.

In October, I spoke to fifth and sixth graders at Good Shepherd school about Paul Revere. I was interviewed by Ken Bastida of KPIX Channel 5 about ferryboats. I got called a historian on television. I started a new series about Benny Bufano.

In November, Kevin Brownlow won an Oscar for his work in film preservation. I finished my series on Grauman's Chinese. The Giants won the World Series (It is worth repeating).

In December, there was the 150th anniversary of South Carolina's shameful secession from the union. Some current defenders spelled it "succession." I also had the pleasure of hosting my first guest post, a nice essay about Hitchcock's The Birds.

I wrote reviews of three DVD sets, American Slapstick II, Harry Langdon: Lost and Found and Lost Keaton. We are lucky to be living now. I have wanted to see many of the movies for many years. I've been watching a set about Gaumont, but I won't finish it till 2011.

Three last updates for 2010: The Stanford women broke UConn's record 90-game win streak last night. We watched the second half. Today San Francisco was name host of the next America's Cup races. Finally, the Giants won the World Series.

I hope we all have a happy and prosperous 2011. I hope to do some interesting things with this blog.

The image of silent and sound movie actress Mary Brian, who played Wendy in the 1924 version of Peter Pan, comes from the excellent site AceCovers:

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Steamer Queen Anchored Off Muir Glacier -- December 29, 2010

From the 23-August-1896 San Francisco Call. William A Coulter did many maritime drawings for the newspaper. Click on the image for a larger view.

The Pacific Coast Steamship company's steamer Queen, also known as Queen of the Pacific, was one of the best ships carrying sourdoughs to Alaska for the next year's Yukon Gold Rush. I'm not clear if the "whaling" mentioned is actual whale hunting and killing, or an early version of whale watching.

Pacific Mail Steamship Company steamer Columbia went on the rocks near Pigeon Point on 14-July-1896. No one was killed. Saint Paul, also a Pacific Mail Steamship Company steamer, grounded at Point Pinos on 09-August-1896.


She Goes Out This Morning to Capture a Leviathan.

The Pacific Coast Steamship Company's handsome Alaskan steamer Queen started on a whaling cruise this morning. Two boats' crews went out last Friday and have been cruising on and off around the Farallones ever since.

A whaleboat and its crew will accompany the Queen, and should a whale be sighted before the other boats are picked up it will at once give chase. If a whale is not sighted the steamer will be headed for the wrecks of the Columbia and St. Paul, now lying at Pigeon Point and Point Pinos.

The work of provisioning and getting the Queen ready for the whaling cruise has been a hard one. The officers of the company have worked night and day, however, and this morning she will go out thoroughly equipped.

The caption with the image:


Among the Passengers Who Returned Last Friday From an Excursion to the Icefields of Alaska Was Manager J. A. Fillmore of the Southern Pacifc. He Grows Enthusiastic Over Muir Glacier and Says He Never in All His Life Saw a Finer Spectacle Than That of the Steamer Queen at Anchor, Huge Blocks of Ice Floating Around Her in the Placid Water of the Sound and the Whole Set Off by the Magnificent Glaciers in the Background. The Artist Has Caught the Spirit of the Scene.

Monday, December 27, 2010

It's Hard Work Being a Cat #42 -- December 27, 2010

I took this photo on the afternoon of Christmas Day.

We left soon after for my mother's house, and it rained hard all the way. Yesterday the sun came out. Today it was cold.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas #4 -- December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas, everyone. Peace on Earth and goodwill to men (women, and children).

The image is from the 24-December-1910 San Francisco Call. Santa Claus is on his way to San Francisco and Uncle Sam says he'll be along on January 17 to let them know if they have been awarded the Panama-Pacific International Exposition.

Yesterday we went to 5 o'clock mass. There were lots of people. Three Good Shepherd students read the first reading and the Gospel. I'm grateful that Knights of Columbus members helped with the collection.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Tetrazzini 100 Years -- December 24, 2010

On 24-December-1910, opera singer Madam Luisa Tettrazini performed at the intersection of Geary, Market and Kearny, before an enormous crowd. "A conservative judges the crowd at 90,000. There were those who said 250,000 persons crowded to hear the incomparable Tetrazzini sing her love of San Francisco." The event was sponsored by the San Francisco Chronicle, which had its headquarters at the intersection, but other newspapers chose to describe the location as Lotta's Fountain. This image is from the 25-December-1910 San Francisco Call. She poses at the event with Mayor PH (Pin Head) McCarthy.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Recalibrating Fear: Hitchcock’s The Birds -- December 23, 2010

I'd like to thank Camiele White for her kind offer to create this guest post, the first on my blog. Be sure to pay Camiele a visit at Star Costumes (

I found the image of Tippi Hedren and one of her costars on AceCovers:

It goes without saying that Alfred Hitchcock is probably the epicentre of all things cinematic. With his uncanny sense of perspective and lighting, he effectively educated the world on the simplicity of fear. What most would never even consider as shocking or frightening Hitchcock exposed as truly terrifying. In my mind, there’s no other director of suspense that has had the good sense to tackle those subjects so banal that they go unnoticed by the trained eye.

Case in point: The Birds.

Humans have always had the desire to fly as a bird, to see the world as it is above the clouds. However, with advents of planes and instant travel, there came intense waves of claustrophobia, fear of terrorism, and an unsettling feeling of being in the hands of a complete stranger with unconscionable power over a flying, metal vacuum. As with the Wright brothers, Hitchcock had the world quaking with fear. The idea of being pecked alive by the very majestic creatures we’ve learned to adore as the freest species constructed has forever niggled away at our sense of safety.

For the first time in cinematic history (well, as far as I can tell) a film pushed the boundaries of what the audience could experience. The Birds allowed the audience to experience the power of Mother Nature at her most wrathful. Those who’ve seen the film understand the implications --a society built of the caged “other” (in this case, birds, to which there is an undying fascination) becomes hell-bent on reconfiguring the balance --the prey becoming the predator, essentially. But, there’s more to the film than the obvious social commentary.

How many times have you been at a dock, a menagerie, or any other space overrun with pigeons? Do you remember being around someone who had the instinctive urge to duck or dodge anything that made a sudden movement towards them? What an interesting revelation when you find out the source of that desire to risk bodily harm to avoid a beak came from Hitchcock’s avian classic. Every subsequent generation following The Birds has had to endure a heightened sense of unease whenever around open areas populated by an alarming amount of bird life.

The senses have been recalibrated to be attuned to the sound of wings flapping, irrational squawking noises, and overhead shadows of gangland pigeons waiting to attack. Scenes like the infamous image of a man slouched in a corner dead with his eyes gouged from his head are imprinted in the human psyche and forces certain members of the so-called “intelligent race” to react like cockroaches when the lights are suddenly turned on in the kitchen: scattering and slithering atop each other just to get out of the way and find a dark hiding spot where the killer can’t find them. It’s actually pretty hilarious until you revisit the film and find it oddly difficult to step foot outside lest a swarm of predatorial doves seeking blood suddenly swoop down from their perches.

Thank you, Alfred Hitchcock. You’ve given horror, film, and the morbid corridors of the mind new fears to consider and exploit.

As unexpected as her path was to loving all things weird, more unexpected is her ability to get attention for writing about the stuff. From Japanese horror and Korean melodrama, to the acid soaked animation of the 70s, Camiele White loves to talk about, debate, and watch film that teases, pleases, and messes with the senses. Right now, she gets her jabberjaw jollies writing about Halloween costumes. If you want to give her a buzz, she can be reached at cmlewhite at gmail [dot] com.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Knox Hats #3 -- December 22, 2010

"Knox Hats Make Splendid Xmas Gifts." An ad from the 18-December-1908 San Francisco Call. I like wearing hats.

It rained a bit in the morning. The sun came out in the afternoon.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

East Bay Terminal Being Demolished #2 -- December 21, 2010

It was cold and windy at lunch time, but I had to take a walk by the East Bay Terminal to see what was left. The big red crane was dropping a wrecking ball on the upper floor. The ground shook as I walked by on Fremont Street.

Monday, December 20, 2010

150 Years of Treason -- December 20, 2010

150 years ago today, 20-December-1860, a convention in South Carolina declared that the state was going to secede from the United States. I am aghast that some people claim that the war was not about slavery. The root cause of the war was slavery. To get people in the North to fight, Lincoln emphasized that he wanted to preserve the Union. To get non-slaveholding people in the South to fight, its leaders stressed that the evil Northerners wanted to impinge upon their rights. The trouble is, the right the leaders most wanted to defend was the right to keep fellow human beings as chattel slaves.

One person mentioned on the internet today that a union is not a union unless members have the right to secede. He said the European Union is a union because member states can secede. He said a union from which states cannot secede is an empire. He ignores the basic reasoning of Abraham Lincoln, that the United States, despite its name, is not a union of states, it is a union of people. That is why the preamble of our Constitution begins "We the People," not "We the states."

The image of the South Carolina congressional delegation, which withdrew from Congress, is from the 22-December-1860 Harper's Weekly.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Southern Pacific Schedule -- December 19, 2010

This Southern Pacific schedule is from the 29-December-1910 San Francisco Call. Note the Netherlands Route (riverboats to Sacramento) and the Oakland Harbor Ferry (also known as the Creek Route, to the foot of Broadway).

The storm continues. Some areas have had record rainfall.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Crane -- December 18, 2010

I went to the barbershop today. After I got out, I stopped to take a photo of the big crane that has been sitting at the end of Aura Vista Drive (Bill Drake Way) for some time, placing rip rap along the bluff by the ocean.

Last night there was a big wind storm. It has rained on and off all day today.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Pulp #19 -- December 17, 2010

The cover of the January, 1932 Aces features Ernst Udet, the highest scoring ace to survive World War One and recipient of the Pour le Mérite. I assume the red Fokker Triplane is his.

After the war, he appeared in movies and toured the world giving exhibition flights. After the Nazis took power, he joined the party and became head of the new Luftwaffe's development wing. When World War Two broke out, Udet felt overwhelmed by the Luftwaffe's problems and eventually killed himself.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Thelma Todd/Bob Feller/Blake Edwards/Moody -- December 16, 2010

75 years ago today, beautiful and funny actress Thelma Todd was found dead in her car in a closed garage. People debate whether it was an accident, a suicide, or a murder. In any case, it sure was sad. She was a wonderful comedienne in two Marx Brothers movies, many Laurel and Hardy movies, and starring series of short subjects with Zasu Pitts and Patsy Kelly.

Bob Feller, great pitcher of the Cleveland Indians and WWII Navy vet, died. My father was a big fan.

Director Blake Edwards died. His step-grandfather was silent director J Gordon Edwards. Blake obviously grew up watching a lot of Laurel and Hardy.

James Moody, the great reed man, also died.

What a sad week.

The cover of the 04-June-1931 Pour Vous magazine comes from AceCovers:

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Benny Bufano #3 -- December 15, 2010

Hillsdale Mall developer David Bohannon commissioned sculptor Benny Bufano to provide sculptures to decorate the new mall in San Mateo. Bufano opened a studio on the mall site in 1955 and created ten of his famous animal sculptures. I took this photo of "Mouse" on 13-December-2010. Great eyes.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Slapstick #4 -- December 13, 2010

Just in time for Christmas, a pretty picture of Mabel Normand. When she was in her teens, Mabel Normand starting posing as a model for artists such as Charles Dana Gibson. She started acting in movies for several studios including Biograph, where she met Mack Sennett. When Sennett left Biograph to start Keystone in 1912, Mabel went along. She was engaged to Sennett for while, but they never married. People still debate the reasons. She became one of Sennett's most important comedians, but, like his other comedians, left Sennett for other studios and more money. Mabel starred in a series of popular features for Goldwyn, went back to Sennett, but then became tangled up in scandals, for things with which she was not involved. She died of tuberculosis at 37.

The cover of the January, 1918 Motion Picture Classic comes from AceCovers:

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Door #6 -- December 12, 2010

Here is an entrance to the East Bay Terminal on 10-December-2010. The ramp over First Street had just been demolished.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Playing Tourist #3 -- December 11, 2010

Today we played tourist. Yesterday I bought three one-day Muni passports. We parked at Fifth and Mission and caught Milano car 1818 decorated for Christmas. We got off at Drumm and caught California Street cable car 60, decorated for Christmas by my friend Val Lupiz. We got off at Taylor, intending to look around Grace Cathedral, but there was some kind of event going on. We walked over to the Fairmont to see the giant gingerbread house.

We went down the hill to the cable car barn. I had heard they were remodeling the recreation center, but actually it had been torn down. I got some photos of a different angle of the barn. We found that the Powell Street cable was stopped. We walked down to Powell and Jackson to catch a car. 21 was stopped inbound just patch Washington. We later learned that there had been a hairball, an unstranded cable.

We caught an almost empty blue and gold car 16 on the Powell-Mason. I pointed out John Street, where my family had once lived, and looked for apartments where other relatives had lived while I was alive. We got off at Bay and Taylor and walked over to the IHOP for lunch. Since we flew to Southern California, we had not made our traditional stop in the summer at the IHOP in San Luis Obispo.

We walked out to Hyde and Beach and found a short line, so we joined it. We watched Escape Man do his act. He had an assistant chain him to a lamppost, then struggled free of the chains and a strait jacket. Not bad. We saw car 11 which had been decorated and we got on 13, which had been decorated by the Buena Vista Cafe. We had a nice ride back to Powell and Washington. The substitution bus was jammed.

We also saw 6, which had just gotten out of the paint shop. It had no dings except in the bell.

The Union Square area was jammed, but we stopped to see the sugar castle at the Saint Francis and the animals at Macys.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Hark the Herald #14 -- December 10, 2010

The Kansas City Southern Railway recently announced that it is going back to an old corporate logo. I like it.

We had a lot of drizzle and some rain today.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

An Experience of Virginia Prisons -- December 9, 2010

Doctor Peter Henri Van Der Weyde wrote the series of articles which gave this blog its name. His son, Henry Vander Weyde (this is how he spelled it) served as an officer in the Union Army. After service in the American Civil War, Henry emigrated to England, where he became a pioneer in taking photographs using artificial light. He made the drawing during his time as a prisoner of war in Virginia's Danville Prison. Click on the image to see a larger version.

George Haven Putnam delivered this memoir of his imprisonment during the war 100 years ago, on 10-December-1910 to the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States, a veteran's organization. After the war, he carried on the family publishing business.


Read Before The New York Commandery, December 7, 1910, By Companion George Haven Putnam, Adjutant And Brevet-major, 176th Regiment, N. Y. Vols.

Putnam was taken prisoner during the Battle of Cedar Creek, part of the Shenandoah Valley Campaign in 1864.

The following record of my sojourn in the winter of 1864-65 in Libby and in Danville prisons has been prepared under the instructions of the Commander of the New York Commandery of the Loyal Legion for publication in the volume of Reports of the Commandery. Forty-six years have elapsed since the winter here described, and I cannot undertake to say that my memory can be trusted for all of the details or incidents. I have no doubt that these will be open to correction on the part of comrades who may have shared the experiences of those strenuous months. I can only say that the record has been set down in good faith, and may be accepted as possessing such value as belongs to any individual experience recalled after a long interval of years...

In the course of an hour or so, these prisoners, aggregating I think ten or eleven hundred, were stood up in line, and certain non-commissioned officers, delegated for the purpose, "went through" each individual of the line with a thoroughness and precision that indicated previous practice. They took possession of overcoats, blankets, and the contents of our pockets—money as far as we had any, watches and knives; they also took what under the circumstances was the most serious loss for men who had a long march before them, our shoes. I was pretty well down on the left of the line and some time before my turn was reached I was able to note what were the articles that were being appropriated. I realized that a considerable march had to be made and I was not at all happy at the idea of being obliged to do my tramping without shoes or with the fragmentary apologies for shoes that the "rebs" were chucking back to the Yankees in exchange. I took my knife and made some considerable slashes in the uppers of my shoes. The result was that they were not considered worth appropriating and they fortunately held together during the march and for some time thereafter. The only other man in the line, as far as I noticed, who saved his shoes was a young staff officer of the 6th Corps, Lieutenant Vander Weyde. I had observed the youngster before because he had small feet and wore patent leathers with which he seemed to be well satisfied. I remembered hearing some of our boys throwing out jeers at "pretty little patent leathers" as, a day or two earlier he had ridden through our camp. The smallness of his feet saved for him his pretty boots. These were taken off two or three times by the examiners but no one was able to put them on, and with a half indignant good-nature, the last examiner threw back the articles with the words, "Here, Yank, you can keep your damned pretty little boots." As far as I can remember, Vander Weyde had the only decent looking boots to be seen that winter in my division of the prison...

The prisoners were marched south towards Richmond.

In the course of the evening, our guards remembered to scatter among us a little hardtack taken from one of our own commissary wagons, but the ration was very small for the amount of marching that had to be done with it. Sometime before midnight, in company with Vander Weyde with whom I had fallen into "chumming" relations, I made a break for liberty. We remembered the region through which we had marched not long before as "ruthless invaders," and it was our idea to strike for a ditch which was on the farther side of a field adjoining the road. We bolted just behind the nearest guard and took him so far by surprise that his shot and that of the guard next in line did not come near enough to be dangerous, and we succeeded in tumbling into the ditch which we found unfortunately to be no longer dry. There was, in fact, an inch or two of water in the bottom. There was nothing to do but to he quiet and wait until the column of prisoners and guards had passed. We were disappointed, however, to find that the sound of the marching continued for an indefinite period; and in fact pretty soon there were added to the tramp of feet sounds from a long series of wheels. It was evident that the trains, or such of the wagons as remained of the trains, were being moved southward. Then there came a rumble which seemed like that of field-guns. While we were puzzling in our minds as to whether the whole army could really be on the retreat, the question was answered in a most unsatisfactory fashion. Not only were Early's troops marching southward but they were going with such urgency that the road was not sufficient for their purpose. They were straggling into the fields on both sides, and a group of two or three, too tired and too sleepy to watch their steps, tumbled into our ditch on top of us. They said things and so did we. Our state of mind was in fact like that of South Carolina three years earlier; we only wanted to be let alone. But that privilege was not granted to us. We were hustled out of the ditch, chilled and out of temper at our failure and at what seemed to us the unnecessarily rough treatment of our new captors. We were, so to speak, butted back into the road and hustled along from group to group until in the early hours of the morning we found ourselves again in the column of prisoners. I understood later that our cavalry had pursued that column through a large part of the night and we must have done pretty lively marching to keep ahead of them, but the horses doubtless were tired on their part.

They arrived in Richmond's Libby Prison.

Floor space was made for us under the supervision of one of our own officers who took upon himself the responsibilities of what might be called quartermaster's duties. At our request, Vander Weyde and myself were given floor space together, and we then took an account of our joint property. I had picked up en route (I do not recall where) a small piece of blanket and I had also succeeded in retaining a broken pocket knife. My chum had a tin cup and a pocket comb. These things were held in common. As personal appurtenances we had been fortunate enough to save our tooth-brushes which the examining sergeant had not considered worth appropriating, and my chum, who was a clever artist, had also been able to retain possession of a pocket sketch-book and a pencil. These tooth-brushes later became noteworthy. It is my memory that there were not more than a dozen or so among about 350 officers. The possessors placed their tooth-brushes through the buttonholes of their blouses; partly because there was no other safe or convenient storage place, and partly perhaps to emphasize a sense of aristocratic opulence. We became known as the "tooth-brush brigade." My chum, with some protest from me against the using up of my knife, did some artistic carving on the handle of his brush, producing with no little skill a death's-head and a skeleton. Late in the winter, when we had been moved to Danville, one of the officers of the guard offered me for my brush $300, of course in Confederate currency. I expressed a little surprise that the article, no longer new, should have such selling value, and he began to reply, "Well, but you see now we cannot get any more," and then checked himself. The word "now" emphasized itself on my ear, and connecting this with certain rumors that had already leaked into the prison, I realized that Wilmington must have fallen and that no more tooth-brushes or other supplies from England could be secured. But this is, of course, advancing in my narrative. In Libby, as later in Danville, the prisoners comprising as said, only commissioned officers, maintained an organization and ordinary discipline. We accepted as authoritative the orders of the senior officer in the prison, and this officer associated with him two or three men who divided up between them responsibilities for keeping order, for assigning quarters, for adjusting difficulties, etc. Our general went through the form, and it was not much more than a form, of appointing on his staff a commissary. It was the duty of this officer to receive from the prison sergeant the daily ration and to arrange for an equitable distribution of such ration among the prison messes. We had, for the convenience of such distribution, been divided into groups of six or eight. The so-called commissary had, of course, nothing to issue but the ration that was brought in. His office reminded me of the description given by the young showman in the menagerie, "this is the jackal what perwides for the lion always perwiding that there is anything to perwide." The Libby ration in these last months of 1864 comprised soup made out of inconspicuous little beans, and a chunk of corn bread. During the close of our sojourn in Libby, the soup part was cut off and the ration reduced itself to the corn bread. The corn bread as baked was marked out into squares, but for some reason which I never had explained to me, each square of corn bread was a ration not for one but for two. The messes, therefore, were subdivided into pairs and the chums had to arrange between themselves each morning for the division of the flat chunk into two portions. My chum and myself took turns in cutting that chunk into two pieces. On one piece was laid the broken knife and the man who had done the cutting then called to the other fellow, who stood with his back to the cake, to say whether he would have it "with" or "without" (the knife). Whichever piece one got, the other always looked a little bigger. We regretted to part with the black bean soup, although we had not been fond of it. It contained about as many bugs as there were beans, the taste was abominable, and the nourishment probably slight. I understood later, when I was on parole in Richmond, that the beans and cornmeal issued to the prisoners had been rejected by the commissaries as unfit for their own troops. I should not venture to estimate with any precision the size or the weight of the chunk of corn bread which came to us once a day. My memory is, however, quite clear on the point that it was absurdly small. Some of us went through the form of cutting our chunk into three pieces with the idea that we would make three meals out of it; but it was very difficult to avoid eating up the three meals within the first hour even though we knew that we should have to wait until eleven o'clock the next morning for another chunk. Large or small, the chunk was not even nourishing throughout. The cake as baked contained other things besides corn-meal. Pieces of the corn-cob were ground up indiscriminately and we also found in the cake cockroaches and other insects and occasionally pieces of mice who had lost their way in the meal-bins. In reply to complaints that were from time to time submitted, the prison officers had nothing to say but that it was the best they had and that the Yankees had better be thankful that they got anything. I judge that by December, 1864, it must have been a very difficult task indeed for the rebel commissary general to secure by his two lines of single track roads, one of which was from time to time being cut by our raiders, sufficient food to supply the army and the townspeople. It was not surprising that the fare remaining for the prisoners should have been inconsiderable in amount and abominable in quality. The stupid brutality of the whole business was in keeping prisoners at all in Richmond during the last winter of the war; for that stupidity which, as it meant the loss of many lives, may fairly be described by the simpler word of murder, the responsibility must rest with Jefferson Davis, Commissioner Ould, and General Winder.

They were moved to Danville Prison, in Danville, Virginia.

My selection of a chum proved fortunate in one way that I could not have anticipated. Vander Weyde was clever with his pencil and some portraits that he had sketched of the guards attracted attention not only in the prison but with some of the officers outside. He was fortunate enough to be invited by one or two officers who had homes in town, to go to their houses and to sketch wife or daughter. He objected properly enough that his blouse was shabby and his trousers disreputable and also that in the absence of soap he was not fit for the presence of ladies. The officers wanted the portraits, and the result was that the fortunate Vander Weyde secured a bath with real soap, and a jacket and pair of trousers that held together and that gave hirn in the midst of the rags with which he was surrounded, the appearance of an aristocrat. The rags discarded by the swagger artist enabled me to do some very important patching on my own garments. Further, in going first to one house and then to the other, Vander Weyde had the opportunity of getting something to eat and finally, and that is where I came in, he was thoughtful enough to remember to stow away in a pocket a couple of hoe-cakes for his chum. It was Vander Weyde's good fortune a few months later, to serve on the staff of the officer who commanded the advance brigade of the troops taking possession of Danville. His commander, knowing of his prison experience, authorized him to receive from the mayor the formal surrender of the town.

Vander Weyde had, during his experience as a working artist, been a guest at the mayor's house and had been there cared for by the mayor's wife. He had, therefore, an additional motive for desiring to make the function of surrender as gentle and as informal as possible. He found himself, however, received by the mayor with the utmost severity and with not the slightest sign of recognition. In April, 1865, the mayors of Virginia towns found it difficult, and it was quite natural that they should have found it difficult, to accept any social relations with the triumphant invaders.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Alley #14 -- December 8, 2010

Looking down Natoma from Second Street at the exit ramp from the East Bay Terminal, which was being demolished on 01-December-2010.

We had heavy rain today.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Pearl Harbor Day -- December 7, 2010

69 years ago a sneak attack by forces of the Japanese Empire sank much of the US Pacific Fleet, including the battleship Arizona, shown transiting the Panama Canal in 1921, at Pearl Harbor in the territory of Hawaii. The Japanese Empire came to regret doing this.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Firehouse #38 -- December 5, 2010

Station One, on Howard near Third, decorated for Christmas. This station will get torn down soon for an extension of the Museum of Modern Art. I took the photo on 01-December-2010.

It got dark early and started raining in the afternoon.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Clouds at Sunset -- December 4, 2010

I was debating with myself whether I should write about the Boeing X-37B space plane, which landed yesterday after seven months in space, or about Ron Santo, who died on Thursday. Then we got out of the car on our way to 5 o'clock mass and saw this. School kids helped us take up the second collection for support of the school.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Train Station #29 -- December 3, 2010

Today they started to demolish the main building of the East Bay Terminal, which opened in 1939 to serve the electric trains of the Key System, Southern Pacific's Interurban Electric Railway, and the interurban Sacramento Northern.

I took the photo on 10-August-2010.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Aviator Drops 4,000 Feet -- December 1, 2010

James C (Bud) Mars was a pioneering aviator who lived until 1944. We saw a photo of Mrs Mars, whose first name may have been Marie, a while back:


Aviator's Engine "Goes Dead" but He Guides Machine to Earth from Height of 4,000 Feet


Brother Aviators Are Horrified Spectators of Daring Performer's Skillful Handling of Craft


Special Dispatch to the Call.

FRESNO, December 18.-- Dropping from a height of more than 4,000 feet after his engine had "gone dead" and his machine had been left to the mercy of the elements, J. C. Mars, a member of the Curtiss camp of aviators, today came safely to earth following one of the most sensational exhibitions of aerial navigation ever witnessed. The downward swoop of the plucky birdman took place before 10,000 persons at the fair grounds in this city.

Skillfully Guides Craft

So skillfully did the aviator guide his frail craft, however, that a realization of the awful battle taking place did not reach the big crowd until Mars had returned to the earth.

Mars had started out to break the Pacific coast record for altitude made by Louis Paulhan at Los Angeles. Gracefully he rose into the air and as he swept around the field he mounted higher and higher into the sky until no longer could the crowd below hear the whirr of his engine.

Darts Toward Earth

Suddenly the other aviators were horrified to see Mars suddenly dart toward the earth. Involuntary cries broke from the lips of both Curtiss and Willard, and Mrs. Mars, who was seated in an automobile, shrieked with horror as she, too, realized, what was taking place thousands of feet above her. Once around the field Mars glided his machine swiftly losing its momentum. Unable to hold it in the air any longer he tilted the planes downward and swooped toward the earth.

Mechanics made frantic efforts to remove Willard's machine, which seemed to be directly in the path of the oncoming aeroplane, but Mars passed 300 feet over them heading directly for a row of automobiles which lined one edge of the field.

Saved by Cool Nerve

His cool nerve saved the daring young birdman at the last moment. Had his machine gone straight ahead it would have crashed into the automobiles, but Mars almost stood it on end as he turned it right about and glided down in perfect safety.

Glenn Curtiss described the drop as one of the most thrilling bits of aerial navigation he had ever seen. He was the first to grasp the hand of Mars when he left his machine, and congratulated him on his success.

While climbing upward Mars struck a cold strata of air which froze his engine and put his biplane out of commission for the remainder of the afternoon. Earlier in the day, however, he made a thrilling glide to earth from a height of about 1,200 feet.

Curtiss Makes Record

Glenn Curtiss added to the features of the meet today by making the fastest time for five miles ever made by an aeroplane on a circular track. The time was 5:05. Curtiss used his new biplane, and in circling the track never rose to a height of more than 20 feet at any time. Three of the miles were made in three minutes.

The crowd was also entertained, and frightened. as well, when the aviators, all made individual flights, dipping and plunging, sometimes skimming close to the ground, and other times shooting up to a height of 50 feet.

On one occasion Mars almost struck a dog that had wandered into the field, diving down from a height of about 20 feet to reach the animal.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Hippo in Union Square -- November 29, 2010

Watching the Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade the other day has inspired me to dig out a photo I took on 14-October-2006 when a travelling exhibit about the parade visited Union Square for the (roughly) 80th anniversary of the parade. I liked the pink Hippo.

It was very cold today.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Leslie Nielsen, RIP -- November 28, 2010

I was sad to learn that Leslie Nielsen had died. Even though F. Scott Fitzgerald said "There are no second acts in American lives," Leslie Nielsen managed to have a second act. He started out playing good guys and bad guys in movies like Fantastic Planet and many, many television shows. In 1980, he played a doctor in Airplane! and his career moved towards comedy with lots of slapstick. Dracula, Dead and Loving It is a particular family favorite. Surely he brought happiness to lots of people. And don't call me Shirley.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Run Down by the Oakland -- November 27, 2010

From the 23-January-1899 San Francisco Call. WA Coulter did many maritime drawings for the newspaper.

Ferry Oakland, rebuilt from the riverboat Chrysopolis, sailed for the Central Pacific Railroad and later the Southern Pacific until it burned in 1940. I don't think Coulter did the drawings of the victims.


A Gasoline Launch Sunk and Two of Its Occupants Drowned in the Bay.

Neither Boat Saw the Other Until Too Late — The Launch Party Was Looking for the Bodies of Two Missing Boys.

Frank E. Orr.
J. Otis Wattles.
William Seabury.
Edward J. Finn.

Charles C. Finn.
Joseph Mathews.
Chris Gustafson.

The ferry steamer Oakland and the gasoline launch William D were in collision yesterday morning. The launch was sunk and Frank E. Orr and J. Otis Wattles were drowned, while Charles E. Finn, J. Mathews and Chris Gustafson had a miraculous escape for their lives.

The party in the launch were on their way to search for the bodies of William Seabury and Edward J. Finn, as they had heard that the skiff in which the young duck-hunters left Berkeley had been found bottom up.

TRAGEDY followed tragedy on the bay yesterday. Friday morning two lads, named William Seabury and Edward J. Finn, started out in a small boat from Bath Beach, West Berkeley, on a duck-hunting expedition. They were to have returned Friday night, and when they failed to do so their relatives got anxious. Saturday passed and still there was no trace of the young hunters, so yesterday morning a party from Berkeley crossed the bay and secured Henry Peterson's gasoline launch William D to search for the missing boys.

The William D was in charge of Captain Chris Gustafson, a licensed officer, and the party with him was composed of Frank E. Orr, a clerk with Monteleagre & Co.; Charles C. Finn of the John Finn Metal Works; J. Otis Wattles, a student at the Berkeley University and son of William S. Wattles, stock broker, 307 Montgomery street, and Joseph Mathews, formerly chief engineer of the steamship Rio de Janeiro, but now with Captain Metcalf in Lloyds' agency.

Mathews makes his home with the Seaburys, Finn is a brother of the missing boy and the others were personal friends of the two families. News reached them just before they boarded the launch that the boat in which the boys had set out Friday morning had been picked up bottom up and that there was no trace of either young Seabury or Finn. They decided to go on, however, and search the shore line from Bath Beach, West Berkeley, to Point Richmond, and in order to thoroughly examine every cove and creek they took along, in tow of the William D. one of Peterson's Whitehall boats.

The William D left the Folsom-street float at 8 a. m. and was headed for the north end of Goat Island. The Oakland, in command of Captain William Clairville, left the ferry slips at 8 a. m. and headed for Oakland. There was a light haze on the water, but otherwise it was clear and all the parties concerned say that Goat Island was clearly visible. The launch was quickest away and passed the Coast Survey steamship McArthur, which was at anchor in the stream, two minutes ahead of the Oakland. The ferry-boat gradually cut down the launch's lead, and, overtaking her just as she crossed, the Oakland struck her on the port quarter and capsized her.

Orr was sitting in the cabin of the William D reading the morning papers and Wattles had Joined him a few minutes before the collision took place. Finn and Mathews were on deck at the time and Gustafson was in the pilot-house steering. The latter knew nothing about the threatened danger until the launch was struck, and Captain Clairville says he did not see the William D until he looked down out of the pilot-house window, and then she was under his starboard bow. He blew the danger signal and reversed the ferry boat's engine, but it was too late to prevent the collision.

Just before the collision young Finn ran aft on the launch and called down into the cabin: "You'd better come on deck, boys; the Oakland is running us down." The words were hardly out of his mouth when the collision took place. Finn jumped from the William D into the Whitehall boat and then overboard. Mathews jumped clear of the launch and swam away. A few minutes later Orr and Wattles floated out of the cabin, while Gustafson made his way out of the pilothouse window. Both Orr and Wattles seemed to be Injured. The former made only a feeble effort to save himself, while Wattles did not seem to be able to swim.

By this time the steam launch from the McArthur had arrived on the scene and a boat had been lowered from the Oakland. Mathews and Finn went to the assistance of Orr, and Gustafson started after Wattles, who was floating away. "Come back," yelled the sailors in the boat. "Come back and get aboard," but Gustafson only yelled back, "I know what I'm about. Save the other fellows." With powerful strokes he made his way to the drowning man, and had just put out his hand to grab him when he went down for the last time. Gustafson swam around for a few minutes, but, seeing no sign of Wattles coming up again, he swam back and was taken aboard the McArthur's launch.

Orr and Finn were already in the launch, while Mathews had been taken aboard the Oakland. Orr was in a very precarious condition, and Finn was more dead than alive, so the launch was headed at full speed for Mission street wharf. On reaching there Gustafson ran to the Harbor Receiving Hospital, and told the driver of the ambulance of the accident. Drs. Fitzgibbon and Sweeney were in bed, but at once got up, and Dr. Fitzgibbon started out in his bare feet, but was stopped. When Orr was brought in the doctors were sure he was dead, but nevertheless they went to work on his body and everything known to medical science was done tn resuscitate him, but without avail. The right side of the dead man's head was bruised and his hair and clothes were all greasy, evidently from the gasoline that had washed back from the engine room into the cabin.

Finn was undressed and put to bed. He was then given a stimulant and about 11 a.m. was able to dress himself and go home.

Contradictory stories are told about the collision. The people who were on the William D state positively that the Oakland ran them down. The captain and mate of the ferry-boat say the William D ran into them.

"I was called to the telephone last Saturday and asked if I could spare a launch for Sunday morning," said Henry Peterson yesterday. "The message came from Captain Seaburys' house in Berkeley, and I agreed to have the William D ready for them at 7:30 o'clock Sunday morning. At the hour named four men put in an appearance and said they wanted to go to Pinole to search for two young fellows who had gone duck hunting and had not returned. Just then one of them was called to the telephone, and he came back saying the boys' skiff had been found, but that there was no trace of the hunters. After a conference they decided to go first of all to Berkeley, see the men who had picked up the skiff and find out the best place to look for the bodies. To assist them in their search they took along one of my Whitehall boats. They left here at 8 a. m., and the last time I saw the launch she was steering a course for the north end of Goat Island."

"All I know is that I escaped by the skin of my teeth." said Captain Chris Gustafson. "There was a light haze on the water, but I could see Goat Island distinctly and I steered a direct course for the north end of the island. As to how the accident happened I haven't the faintest idea. One thing I can swear to -— I had a clear course and there were no whistles blown. The first thing I knew was that something had turned the William D on her side and the water was rushing into the engine-room. I was nearly smothered for a moment, and then I remember grabbing the window frame and the next instant I was on the surface of the water. I saw the paddle-wheel of the Oakland coming down, and making a dive, I got under it. Then I saw Mr. Wattles making a very poor struggle for his life, and, thinking he was hurt. I went to his assistance. Poor fellow, he went down for the last time as I was putting out my hand to help him. I then swam back and got into the McArthur's launch, after which we raced for the wharf with the injured men."

"It was a little hazy when we left our slip on the 8 a. m. run," said Captain William Clairville. "I could see Goat Island, however, but did not see the launch until she was down on us. I cannot for the life of me understand how she came to run into us or how any one of the people aboard escaped. The first time I saw the little boat was when I looked down out of the pilot-house and saw her under our starboard bow. I turned to the mate, who was with me in the pilothouse, and said, "She is. getting very close. 'Too close,' said he: 'we'd better go astern.' With that he blew the danger signal and rang up full speed astern in the room. As soon as they got the danger signal on the launch she seemed to swing right into us, and struck the Oakland just forward of the paddle box. Luckily our paddles began to go astern and the wash from them threw the boat away from the Oakland, or else everybody on board would have been killed."

"We had run about 750 yards from our slip and the boat had not gathered full headway when the accident occurred," said First Mate J. H. Douglas of the Oakland. "I noticed that the launch was getting very close to us, and spoke to the captain about it. I then blew the danger signal and reversed the engines, but before we could gather sternway the William D struck us. The paint on our hull forward of the paddlebox was scraped off when she struck us, and I think that was all the damage done the Oakland. We got our boat out as quickly as possible and did everything we could to save life; when we could not do anything more to help them we resumed our run and reported the disaster on our return to this side."

Joseph Mathews was found at Captain Seabury's home and gave the following account of the accident: "I was in the cabin at the time the collision occurred. It was shortly after 8 a. m. There were five of us on the launch, viz., Frank E. Orr, Charles C. Finn, Otis Wattles, myself and the engineer, referred to as 'captain.'

"The steamer Oakland struck us with her starboard wheel and knocked all the roof of the launch off. We were all thrown into the bay. The stern of the launch was, however, above water, and I swam to it and held on there until I was picked up. A boat was lowered from the Oakland and also one from the revenue cutter. The Oakland's boat picked up Orr and the revenue cutter's boat picked up Finn. Orr was taken to the Harbor Receiving Hospital, but died a few moments afterward. Otis wattles was not seen after the collision and his body was not recovered.

"With regard to the hopes of picking up William Seabury and E. J. Finn, they are becoming slendered every moment. Mrs. Seabury is prostrated by anxiety and sorrow. Several boats and launches are out along the Berkeley shore near Point Richmond looking for any traces of the lost boys."

Charles C. Finn, one of the five in the launch, related his experience as follows: "Mr. Mathews engaged the launch and telephoned to me to start for San Francisco by the 7 a. m. train. I asked him the name of the launch, so that if I missed Mr. Mathews on the train I should know what launch to inquire for, and he told me William D. We had started only a few minutes from Peterson's wharf at the foot of Folsom street when we saw ourselves in danger of being run down by the steamer Oakland, which left the city wharf at S o'clock. I was on the stern of the boat, but was not sure at first that we should be struck. I called to the engineer (Peterson's man) and cast off the Whitehall towing astern of our launch. I jumped into the Whitehall, but when the paddle-wheel of the steamer struck us I thought I should be crushed by it, and dived down. When I came up I saw a life buoy one of the passengers of the Oakland had thrown overboard and got hold of it. The revenue cutter's launch picked me up, however, and the steamer's boat picked up Orr. Frank Orr had been away from Portland for about eight years. He came to California at the time of the Midwinter Exposition and had charge of the concession department. He had been in the employ of Monteleagre Brothers, the California street commission merchants and coffee dealers."

The news of the terrible disaster reached Berkeley in the course of the morning and spread rapidly through the town. When it was learned, in addition, that the scow in which young Seabury and Finn started had been found near Alcatraz sympathy for the bereaved families was felt on all sides. Otis Wattles was the only son of Mr. and Mrs. J. C. Wattles of 2235 Dana street and was very popular among his friends. He was about 18 years of age. He attended the Lick School in this city.

At the homes of the other two boys, Edward Finn and William Seabury, scarcely any hope is entertained for their return and the families accept the conclusion that they must have perished.

A report was spread at first that the scow had been found without the oars and rowlocks. This gave some hope that the boat had possibly drifted from its moorings, leaving the two boys stranded and unable to obtain assistance. The report, however, could not be confirmed and it was later learned that both oars and rowlocks were with the boat when it was found, but had been removed by the man who found it before being turned over to the authorities.

Captain Clalrville and Mate Douglas are two of the oldest and most experienced men in the ferry service. Captain Clairvllle was for years mate of the Piedmont, and some time ago was raised to the rank of captain. Douglas has been on the boats almost from the beginning of the service, and is one of the trusted men of the employ.

During the afternoon Peterson secured wrecking appliances and sent the launch Amy out to grapple for the sunken boat. The tide had evidently carried the William D away, as up to dark no trace of her could be found. The search for her will be carried on again to-day, and the men at work on the job hope that they may also recover the body of Mr. Wattles.

Friday, November 26, 2010

E-M-F "Polar Bear" Resembles a Greyhound When it Tries to Run -- November 26, 2010

E-M-F (Everitt-Metzger-Flanders) was an American automobile manufacturer that ran into quality-control problems. Just as FIAT stood for "Fix It Again, Tony," E-M-F was said to stand for "Every Morning Fix It." Studebaker took over in 1910 and continued to sell E-M-F cars until 1912. This story, from the 16-November-1910 San Francisco Call, talks about a stock E-M-F Model 30, named Polar Bear, that set a class record in Atlanta.

Today the family came downtown with me when I went to work. They shopped, met me for lunch at Chevys, and then went to see Tangled. By the time they were done, I was able to leave. We encountered lots of traffic getting out of Fifth and Mission, but once we got on Sixth Street and the 280 Extension, the roads were clear.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving #4 -- November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. I'm grateful for health and life, my family, and my coworkers.

The photograph shows Judy Garland posing with a tasty turkey and fixings that she probably would not be allowed to eat.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

It's Hard Work Being a Cat #41 -- November 24, 2010

I took this photo on 18-November-2010.

I was able to take a long lunch today and go to the San Francisco International Auto Show. I had not been for a while. The cars from the San Francisco Academy of Art University collection were wonderful: a Cord, two Duesenbergs, and a bunch of Auburns.

It was very cold today.

Monday, November 22, 2010

China Clipper Anniversary -- November 22, 2010

Today is the 75th anniversary of Martin M-130 flying boat China Clipper taking off from Alameda, on its way to Manila. This was the beginning of scheduled trans-Pacific service. The first flight carried only mail. It went by stages to Honolulu, Midway, Wake and Guam. The pilot, Edwin C Musick, was forced to fly under the still-under-construction Bay Bridge. The three M-130s were replaced a few years later by Boeing B-314s.

Tonight we went to the Taco Bell at the beach to eat dinner and watch the crab boats.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Waterless Knox #13 -- November 21, 2010

The Waterless (air-cooled) Knox automobile was manufactured in Springfield, Massachusetts. I like the name Waterless Knox. It reminds me of a Doctor Seuss character. This ad is from the 25-March-1907 Salt Lake Herald.

Yesterday we went to 5 o'clock mass for the Feast of Christ the King. It was raining when we got to Good Shepherd. After a while, we saw flashes of lightning and heard some loud thunderclaps. We had strong winds and hail during the night. There was supposed to be more of the same during the day today, but it was sunny and cold.

We could see the lights of the crab boats in a line offshore.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Benny Bufano #2 -- November 20, 2010

The Anchor and Hope restaurant on Minna Street occupies a building that was once the studio of sculptor Benny Bufano. I took the photo on 08-November-2010.

Stanford is stomping on Cal in the Big Game.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Grauman's Chinese #16 -- November 19, 2010

Grauman's Chinese Theater opened in 1927. Sid Grauman was a San Francisco showman who came to Los Angeles and built three major houses, the Million Dollar, the Egyptian, and the Chinese. The theater has hosted many film premieres, but is most famous for the hand and footprints (and hoofprints and nose prints and other types of prints) in the forecourt. The first 15 entries in this series showed some of them:'s%20Chinese

I'm sad to say this is the last entry in the series, at least until our next visit to Hollywood. I took this photo on 18-July-2009.

It started to rain today.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Pulp #18 -- November 18, 2010

Secret Agent X was a man of a thousand faces who fought crime as a secret agent. His real identity was never revealed. It is rare to see a threatening walrus.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Interviewed on TV -- November 17, 2010

Back on October 19, Ken Bastida of KPIX, Channel 5 interviewed me about ferryboats for his Good Question feature. It aired last night but I didn't hear about it till I got to work this morning.
A coworker came by my desk while I was on a conference call and said "I saw you on TV last night."

There are some nice vintage movies and some nice shots taken around the Eureka that day at the Hyde Street Pier. I took this photo in the pilothouse.

I had a lot of fun.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Slapstick #3 -- November 15, 2010

Roscoe Arbuckle, who did not like to be called "Fatty," was a skilled comedian who started his movie career with Selig and Universal before he came to Keystone in 1913. While there he made many movies with Mabel Normand. They were a good team. He also helped Charlie Chaplin learn the ropes of working in movies. Like many of Mack Sennett's stars, Arbuckle left to get a raise. He made a series of short films that gave Buster Keaton his start in movies. Arbuckle moved up to feature films before getting tarred in a scandal in San Francisco. Even though he was found not guilty, his career was ruined. He returned to directing and eventually made a series of short sound films before he died in 1933.

The cover of the April, 1916 Film Fun comes from AceCovers:
Buster Posey was named National League Rookie of the Year. Good choice.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Good Shepherd Auction #2 -- November 14, 2010

Yesterday we gave blood, then went to Tanforan for lunch. The Christmas decorations were already up.

After 5 o'clock mass, we went to the Good Shepherd School auction dinner/dance. It had a cowboy theme this year. The food was good and the people were nice. I liked the Hello Kitty tricycle. I kept going back to beep the horn.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Kevin Brownlow -- November 13, 2010

Today Kevin Brownlow will get a special Academy Award in recognition of his work as a film historian and preservationist. It's well deserved, but I don't understand why he's getting it in November, and not as part of the regular ceremony. I also don't see why Francis Ford Coppola is getting the Irving Thalberg award today, rather than at the big show.

I found Brownlow's The Parade's Gone By at the Anza Branch library while I was in grammar school. I read it through, and took it out many more times until I had enough money to buy a paperback copy. Later, I read his books about Westerns and Gance's Napoleon. I learned a lot from his television productions like Hollywood, Chaplin, and Keaton.

I blame Kevin Brownlow for my love of silent film.

This is the 800th post in my blog.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Door #5 -- November 12, 2010

The revolving door of the Pacific Telephone Building at 140 New Montgomery. Timothy Pflueger and his partner James Miller designed the building, which opened in 1925. Sadly, it is empty at present.

It was very cold this morning.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Happy Veterans' Day #4 -- November 11, 2010

Happy Veterans Day to all the veterans out there. Thank you for your service to your country.

This is the 92nd anniversary of Armistice Day. There are three surviving veterans, two from the UK and one from the US.

I remember that the San Francisco Chronicle printed this poster while I was in grammar school or high school. It made an impression on me. Be sure to click on the image to see it larger.

My daughter and I both had the day off. It was a nice, sunny day so we drove to Half Moon Bay, had lunch, and went shopping at Hallmark and Bay Books.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Hark the Herald #13 -- November 10, 2010

This 1938 timetable for the Northwestern Pacific's interurban ferry and electric train operations, includes its herald. The NWP is my favorite railroad.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Alley #13 -- November 9, 2010

I took this photo of Minna Street this morning. I was looking across New Montgomery towards Second Street. It was very cold this morning.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Plymouth Organ Concerts -- November 7, 2010

Doctor Peter Henri Van Der Weyde was the organist of the First Dutch Reformed Church in Brooklyn for many years. Here is an example of a 12-February-1870 program of secular music where he accompanied singers. It is from the 11-February-1870 Brooklyn Eagle.

It rained hard today.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Harvard and Yale #2 -- November 6, 2010

The Harvard and the Yale were fast steamers brought from the east coast by the Pacific Navigation Company to operate between San Francisco and San Pedro, the port of Los Angeles. They sailed the route from 1911 until World War One and 1921 until 1931, when Harvard hit rocks near Point Arguello and sank. The effects of the Great Depression and competition from autos and railroads caused LASSCO to stop service with the Yale after 1936. Both ships carried troops to Europe during WWI and Yale served the Navy during WWII.

This advertisement, from the 23-November-1911 San Francisco Call, refers to the upcoming Harvard-Yale football game.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Train Station #28 -- November 5, 2010

The Seattle Center Monorail Station is the gateway to the Space Needle. The Alweg monorail was built to carry people to the 1962 Century 21 Exposition. I took the photo during our July, 2010 visit to Seattle.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Giants Victory Parade -- November 3, 2010

I got a noon meeting moved to tomorrow, so I was able to attend the Giants victory parade. When I got to the BART station this morning, there were all sorts of fans wandering around. I got off at Powell Street and there were people sitting along the fence.

We left the office about 10:30 and found the streets heading towards Market backed up almost to Mission. We went up Sansome and over on Bush. I couldn't get very close, but by the time I was ready to move over to California or Sacramento, the street had filled in behind me.

There were people hanging out of the windows of the older buildings, like the Millls and the Russ. When parade came by, I could see the roofs of the motorized cable cars, like this one with Madison Bumgarner. It was still exciting.

For the rest of the afternoon, there were people yelling and blowing stadium horns on the street.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Firehouse #37 -- November 2, 2010

These lucky people get to vote at Station One, on Howard near Third. This station will get torn down soon for an extension of the Museum of Modern Art. I took the photo today.

I voted on the way home. Several poll workers and fellow voters agreed that they had never seen our polling place so crowded.

I took a walk at lunch time and saw people selling Giants merchandise on many corners.