Monday, January 31, 2011

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Catholic Schools Week #4 -- January 30, 2011

Today is the start of Catholic Schools Week. Yesterday at 5pm mass, the kids of Good Shepherd brought up the gifts and did the readings. The school choir performed one number. It was nice to see the teachers.

I'm grateful that my parents put me in Catholic schools for 12 years.

Good Shepherd gave our daughter a great education and continues to do the same for many other children. It is worth considering if you live in or near Pacifica:

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Marin -- January 29, 2011

We took a drive up to Marin County to find a high school where there is going to be a meeting next week. As soon as we crossed the Marin County line, it started to rain.

We stopped at the Bon Air Shopping Center on Sir Francis Drake and did some shopping at the Mollie Stone's Supermarket. They have a remarkable variety of products. After getting something at Starbuck's, we drove by Marin Catholic and saw where the entrances and exits were located.

We went to the Village shopping center, and found the parking lot very full. We tried to eat at Boudin's, but the line was almost out the door. We went to the shopping center across the road and had lunch at AG Ferrari's. We visited a toy store, then headed home.

It was interesting to see how traffic from and to Park Presidio had been diverted around to one side.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Carter B Smith, RIP -- January 28, 2011

I was sad to learn that Carter B Smith had died. I remember him on KNBR and KFRC. I was too young to remember him on KRE or KSFO with Don Sherwood, and I didn't listen to KABL. His radio career lasted more than 50 years.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

A Windmill at Sea -- January 27, 2011

From the 06-February-1895 San Francisco Call. William A Coulter did many maritime drawings for the newspaper. Click on the image for a larger view. I found a report that Dashing Wave was sailing to Alaska in 1918, when she was 65 years old. Captain Morehouse killed himself in 1900.


Novel Motor Employed on the Dashing Wave.


Utilizing the Breeze on the Ship's Bilge Pump.


Setting the "Studding Sails" in Lighter Airs — Future Possibilities for the Old Ship.

The old packet ship Dashing Wave, whose white sails have swelled to the breeze in every quarter of the globe and whose voyages have been made with chronometer-like regularity for almost half a century, carries an unnautical kind of motor on her quarter deck.

It is not an ultra modern contrivance, intricate and wondrous, baffling the non-mechanical mind by the mystery of its hidden source of power, but a plain, every-day windmill.

"And that windmill," said Captain Morehouse, from whose ingenious brain the idea sprang full armed and canvased, "is so sound and sturdy in its work that it should be rated A-1 at Lloyds like the old Wave herself.

"The ship has been in use continuously ever since her launching in 1853 at Portsmouth. N. H., and, after bumping through the billows of four oceans, it is not strange that her seams open when she labors and lets the ocean in. We carry eight men before the mast, when she used to have twenty-two, so I cast about for some other force outside of sailor power for pumping purposes."

The novel contrivance for keeping the old leaky ship out of Davy Jones' locker is rigged with six arms, upon which are spread canvas sails, each having a surface of about one square yard. In a light breeze additional wings or "studding-sails," as Mate Wilson calls them, can be attached, and in the further dying out of the wind the sail area can be increased to startling proportions. It is said that the awful spectacle of these monster wings of canvas whirling between the main and mizzen masts of the Dashing Wave has driven many a good, though superstitious, sailor-man to drink.

First Officer Wilson, a truthful but tarry man of the sea, spoke feelingly and loyally of the captain's windmill and dwelt for several columns of space upon its further possibilities.

"With a beam or quarter wind," said he, "and the lee tack of the mill hauled well aboard, the machine not only buzzes around about a million revolutions a minute, but it takes the place of all the sails on the mizzen ; in fact we seldom bend those sails during the voyage.

"But when we clap all the canvas on the mill, cast off the stops and turn her loose, the thing draws strongly on your admiration. The long arms sweeping up among the rigging and down athwart the deck from starboard to port, make the bilge pumps suck emptily in a short time. That windmill, sir, would pump out the ocean from its basin in a dog-watch. However, it is a source of danger also, for we lost our pet goat and half of the cook's head one night last trip. They ran into the wake of the mill in the dark -— didn't see it -— and were struck by the sail swinging silently through the air.

"We stop the machine by bracing it sharp up on the wind and when the motion is checked throw a bowline over one of the arms. This part of the business isn't down very fine, as it was built to go and only a dead calm can really knock it out. The captain is thinking of getting a dynamo and having our own electric lights, and possibly we can use a propeller with the power generated from the windmill. The Dashing Wave is known as the 'lucky ship' because she never had an accident or wreck, and she never failed to meet expectations in any form or in any kind of weather, and water can't run into her faster than our windmill can run it out again."

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Comic Book #1 -- January 27, 2011

I always enjoy seeing the Axis leaders get their comeuppance. Boody Rogers created Sparky Watts for newspaper syndication in 1940. Later the Columbia Comics Group picked him up for their book Big Shot. Sparky got his powers when a mad (but good) scientist zapped him with cosmic rays. Here Sparky delivers a salute to Hitler, Mussolini, and Tojo.

Monday, January 24, 2011

East Bay Terminal Being Demolished #4 -- January 24, 2011

Today I looked down Howard Street from Third and could see all the way to the bay. The ramp across Howard between First and Second got demolished over the weekend. Here is what is left on the south side. On the north side there is only rubble. Where the main building of the East Bay Terminal stood, they are digging into the basement.

Jack LaLane died in the prime of his life. As I walked down Howard, saw a Channel 5 van outside of the LaLane studio. A camera lady was getting something out of the side door. Mike Sugerman came out of the studio and shouted something like "It's his great-great grand nephew." Actually the studio was started by his great nephew. I saw the story after I got home.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Book: Fighter Pilot -- January 23, 2011

Robin Olds was the son of Robert Olds, a World War I aviation instructor and squadron leader, who went on to become one of Billy Mitchell's Boys and he developed the original operating procedures for the B-17. Robert Olds and his friends who visited the house to sing, Hap Arnold, Eddie Rickenbacker and others, all had a major influence on young Robin.

Robin went to West Point and joined one of the classes which passed through in an accelerated fashion because of World War II. He went on to fly P-38s, then transitioned to P-51s. He became an ace during the war.

After the war, he became one of the early pilots of the P-80 Shooting Star. I was interested by his comments about how the Army Air Force seemed to have no idea how to use it tactically, and how he tried to get his superiors to think about that. He received an exchange posting with the RAF and flew Gloster Meteors. He was impressed by the way the RAF used radar and ground controllers to fly in all kinds of weather, another thing that the Army Air Force did not do much.

He married actress Ella Raines. I thought a photo of her would be more interesting than the cover of the book. (update 24-January-2011: I should mention that the cover of the book is actually a good one -- a photo of Olds being carried on the shoulders of his men after his last combat mission in Vietnam. He said he was trying not to cry.) Olds spent many pages in the book talking about the dynamics of their relationship, through good times and many bad times. This is not common in military autobiographies. Olds learned twenty years after the fact that his wife had pulled strings in Washington to prevent his being sent to the Korean War.

I thought the most interesting part of the book was the section on Olds' service during the Vietnam War. He found the 8th Tactical Fighter Wing in great disarray and applied many lessons he had learned over the years to make them a cohesive unit, and to raise the morale of the groups with which they had to cooperate. One thing Olds did was to fly his F-4 Phantom on a regular basis. He revived the fighter sweep to reverse losses to North Vietnamese MIGs.

After his return, he made many politically bad but truthful statements to President Johnson, the Air Force Chief of Staff, and the press. Somehow he wound up serving a year as Commandant of the Air Force Academy, where he again had to deal with poor morale.

The final part of his book, after his retirement, gets poetic about flying.

I enjoyed reading the book and I am happy that General Olds' friends and families harassed him to work on it, and I am happy that his daughter Christina and his friend Ed Rasimus were able to assemble it from his unfinished writings.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Are You Cold? -- January 22, 2011

The Chutes was a popular San Francisco amusement park. In 1895 it was located on Haight near Golden Gate Park. The ad appeared in the 26-November-1895 San Francisco Call.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Winton Bullet II and Ford 999 -- January 21, 2011

Barney Oldfield moved from bicycle to auto racing on the Ford-Cooper 999 in 1902. Here, in a photo from the 24-March-1904 Motor Age, Oldfield poses on the Winton Bullet II while Ed Hausman poses on 999, which had been rebuilt after an accident. Oldfield and Hausman were touring the south, racing against each other. Be sure to click on the image to see a larger version.


The Winton Bullet II, driven by Barney Oldfield, and old 999, formerly known as the Ford-Cooper racer, and now driven by Ed Hausman, are now being used in exhibition and match races in southern cities, and Saturday and Sunday, March 26 and 27, Oldfield and Hausman are scheduled to race in New Orleans. Each combination is under separate management, the report that both were being managed by Colonel Billy Thompson, having been a canard. Oldfield is under the racing management of his erstwhile racing partner, Tom Cooper, while Hausman is being managed by W. H. Pickens, who says he has purchased outright from Tom Cooper the 999 car.

Interest in these matches is enhanced by the fact that the car against which Barney rides now is the one on which he first rode into motor racing prominence, before he was engaged to drive the now famous Bullet, holder of the track records and a likely candidate for mile straightaway honors.

After the southern engagement Oldfield proposes to go to Ormond beach, Florida, for a try at this and other straightaway marks. Both he and Hausman expect to be on hand in the east when the regular track season opens with the Decoration day meeting at New York. Oldfield's program for the season, as now arranged, concludes with another trip to the Pacific coast in the fall, this western trip including appearances at Omaha, Denver, Salt Lake City, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Benny Bufano #4 -- January 20, 2011

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 fuzzy photo of "Black Cat" on 13-December-2010. Note the mouse perching on the cat's back.

It was relatively warm today. At lunchtime I walked over to California Street today to look at the work. They were pouring concrete in the trench between the inbound and outbound rails.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

KUSF/KDFC -- January 19, 2011

I was sad to learn that KUSF suddenly went off the air on Tuesday at 10am. KDFC, the classical music station, will take over their frequency and go non-profit. I started to listen to KUSF in 1977 or 1978 when it started playing punk. I was when we moved to Pacifica and we couldn't receive their signal. KDFC is far from ideal, but perhaps they will get better.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Pulp #20 -- January 18, 2011

Before the pulps, there were the dime novels. Pluck and Luck made the second printing of Alert J Booth's early science fiction novel Two Boys' Trip to an Unknown Planet in 1901. It was originally published in The Boys of New York in 1889. Two boys run away from school, volunteer to participate in a balloon ascension, and wind up on the planet Margino.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Happy Birthday, Doctor King #4 -- January 17, 2011

"At the center of non-violence stands the principle of love."
The image comes from the excellent site AceCovers:

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Slapstick #5 -- January 16, 2011

Charlie Chaplin was the first comedian to appear on the cover of Time Magazine, in a scene from The Gold Rush, on the 06-July-1925 issue.

The image comes from the excellent site AceCovers:

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Door #7 - January 15, 2011

Another view of the entrance 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. Previous view:

Today was the first warm sunny day in months. We went to the Stanford Shopping Center and ate at the hotdog place. It was nice to sit outside and eat.

Family visited from out of town.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Monticello Steamship Company -- January 14, 2011

The Monticello Steamship Company operated fast ferries between San Francisco and Vallejo, with a stop at the Mare Island Navy Yard on some runs. The boats connected with trains of the San Francisco, Vallejo and Napa Valley Electric Railroad. In later years they carried automobiles.

Ferry Sehome had a complicated life. She was built in 1877 as Mountain Queen, a stern-wheeler. In 1889, she was rebuilt as a side-wheeler. Monticello purchased her in 1909. In 1914, she was rebuilt to use a propeller. On 14-Dec-1918, fellow Monticello boat General Frisbie, rammed Sehome while proceeding through the fog near Point Pinole. No one was injured and Sehome's passengers were able to transfer to General Frisbie before Sehome went down. The Mare Island Navy Yard Marine Band played music to help calm the passengers.

The ad is from the 20-February-1910 San Francisco Call. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Signs of the Times #35 - January 13, 2011

I was walking down Howard Street yesterday and I noticed several examples of this poster by San Francisco artist Eddie Colla. It seems apt in light of the Tuscon shootings. Note that someone added in pencil that this is not an actual quote from former Governor Palin.

It rained today and was a little warmer.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

East Bay Terminal Being Demolished #3 -- January 12, 2011

I took a walk by the East Bay Terminal to see what was left. These girder structures stood on First and Fremont Streets, but most of the building in between was gone. Part of the ramp before the crossing at Howard between First and Second was gone.

It was warmer today.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Alley #15 -- January 11, 2011

Down Burritt Street, on the left-hand side, Sam Spade's partner Miles Archer met his doom. I remember Herb Caen writing that the white-on-blue street sign still hung on the wall, just as it had in The Maltese Falcon. Almost immediately, someone stole the street sign. Now there is a standard black-on-white sign and a plaque that gives away the identity of the murderer. I took the photo on 03-January-2011.

Today it was very cold and it rained at lunch time.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Beach Chalet Squirrel -- January 10, 2011

My daughter and I had the day off so we took a drive to the city and did some exploring. I took the photo of a squirrel in Lucien Labaudt's WPA mural at the Beach Chalet. The new place out back smelled wonderful, but it wasn't open yet. The weather was clear and cold, but there were some odd streaks of clouds out over the ocean. I was able to take photos of several firehouses. We stopped at Panda Express in Stonestown and had lunch.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Jersey Lilly -- January 9, 2011

Henry Van Der Weyde was a son of Doctor Peter Henri Van Der Weyde. After service in the American Civil War, Henry emigrated to England, where he became a pioneer in taking photographs using artificial light. In this 1885 photograph, he captures Lilly Langtry, the famous actress. Late in life, she became an American citizen, and lived in California's Lake County for a time.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Golden Gate Express Railway #3 -- January 8, 2011

Today we went to the Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park. For the third year, in the special exhibit room at the west end was the Golden Gate Express Railway, a garden scale layout designed by by members of the Bay Area Garden Railway Society. The famous San Francisco structures were made from recycled materials. The layout was quite different this year. The cable car ran on a separate table, with the Ferry Building, the Castro Theatre, and Coit Tower. Today the car was running backwards.

A freight train ran around the primary layout. I think one track was not in use today. Several Golden Gate Park fixtures were there, including the buffalo herd, the carousel, and the Music Concourse with the De Young Museum and the Academy of Sciences.

Another table had the Victorians, Ghiradelli Square and other San Francisco landmarks, but no train was running there today.

A jazz band was practicing in the tunnel. They were playing "Body and Soul" when we left.

I was shocked to hear that an Arizona Representative was shot in the head and several people were killed today. This is not the way politics are supposed to work in our country.

Update 11-January-2011:

I posted a video:

I'm sorry the cable car was running backwards. I hope they were doing it to equalize wear on the car.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Train Station #30 -- January 7, 2011

I took this photo on the platform at the Colma BART Station on 03-December-2011. A Millbrae or Airport-bound train leaves from platform one. The station opened in 2003 and was the end of the line until the tracks were extended to the airport and Millbrae in 2003.

There was a small earthquake this afternoon.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Mark Twain Bowlderized -- January 6, 2010

A new edition of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn will replace the word "N---er" (sorry, can't bring myself to type it) with "Slave." In addition, "Injun Joe" will become "Indian Joe" and "half-breed" will become "half-blood." Allen Gribben, the perpetrator, says that these changes will make it safer to assign the book in schools.

I chose the headline above, from the 22-April-1910 San Francisco Call because it makes me think of one possible reaction Twain would have had were he alive. After all, he once wrote "The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug."

"Slave" is not the word people would have used in the circumstances in the book when Twain was a child. "Injun" was a way of pronouncing "Indian." "Half-breed" is what people would have said.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Firehouse #39 -- January 5, 2011

North Coast County Fire Authority Station 44 is on Gellert Boulevard in Daly City. I took the photo on 13-December-2010.

It was 44F when I got to the BART station this morning.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Magic #1 -- January 4, 2011

Harry Kellar was one of the great American magicians of the late Nineteenth and early Twentieth centuries. Here he is featured at the Columbia Theatre in Washington, DC. The ad is from the 10-March-1902 Washington Times.

Monday, January 3, 2011

America's Two Most Daring Aviators Meet Tragic Deaths -- January 3, 2010

These articles from the 01-January-1911 San Francisco Call talk about the double tragedy which struck aviation on the last day of 1910. Arch Hoxsey gave Theodore Roosevelt his first airplane ride ( John B Moisant was a member of a pioneering family of aviators. The list of aviators killed during 1910 is also interesting. Charles Rolls was one of the founders of Rolls-Royce.

Moisant Killed While Attempting to Land, and Hoxsey Is Victim of Fearful Fall

John B. Moisant and Arch Hoxsey, America's foremost aviators, were killed yesterday. Moisant met his death when attempting to land in a field several miles from New Orleans at 9:55 o'clock a. m.

Hoxsey, displaying his skill before another crowd of thousands in Los Angeles, lost control of his Wright biplane shortly after 1 o'clock p. m., and, falling several hundred feet, was dashed to death.

Startled as was that part of the world which has watched the airmen reach farther and farther into the realm of endeavor of the birds to receive the news of Moisant's fatal drop in his 50 horsepower Bleriot machine early in the day. the later news which told of the death of Hoxsey cast a broader shadow over it.

Moisant, who won the $10,000 prize recently in New York for circling the statue of liberty from Belmont park, defeating Grahame-White of England, was killed when his monoplane tipped "on its nose" and dropped in one swoop to earth. The pilot's neck was broken.

Hoxsey was more than 500 feet in the air, where he had gone to better, if possible, his world's altitude record of 11,474 feet, made within the week. The rear control of his biplane evidently failed to answer to his touch, and the machine turned over several times, crashing to the earth. His death was instantaneous.



Here is a list of daring aviators and balloonist killed during 1910:
Jan.4.—DeLaGrange, Leon, killed at Bordeaux, France.
April 2—Le Blan, Herbert, instantly Killed, falling on rocks at San Sebastian, Spain.
May 13—Michelin, Chauvette, killed at Lyons, France.
June 2—Zeosilly, C., a Hungarian, killed in flight at Budapest.
June 4—M. Popoff, Instructor, of aviation in Russian army, killed at Gatheina, Russia, in Wright machine.
June 17—Speyer, Eugene, killed at San Francisco.
June 13—Robl, Thad, killed at Stettin Germany.
July 3—Wachter, Charles, French, killed by fall at Rheims.
July 12—Rolls, Charles S., English, killed by fall at Bournemouth, England.
July 13, Erbsloeh, Oscarr, German, killed when dirigible balloon burst at Leichlingen, Rhenish Prussia.
July 13—Hoeppe, killed with Erbsloeh.
July 13—Kranz, killed with Erbsloeh.
July 13—Spicke, killed with Erbsloeh.
July 13—Toelle, killed with Erbsloeh.
July 15—Kinet, Daniel. Belgian, killed by fall at, Ghent, Belgium.
July, 15—Logily, F., killed by collapse of machine.
Aug. 3—Kinet, Nicholas, Belgian, brother of Daniel, killed by fall at Brussels.
Aug. 29 —Vivaldo, lieutenant, Italian army, killed in Farman biplane near Rome.
Aug. 27—Van Maadsyk, Clement, Dutch, killed; in cross-country flight at Arnheim, Holland.
Sept. 25— Poillot, Kdmond, French, killed by fall at Chartres,:France.
Sept. 27—Chavez, George, Peruvian, killed, by fall at Domodossola, Italy.
Sept. 28—Lilochmann, H., German, killed in fall of biplane.
Oct. 1—Haas, German, killed by fall at Metz, Germany.
Oct. 7—Mecievitch, Captain, Russian, killed by fall at St. Petersburg.
Oct. 23—Madiot, Captain, French. Killed by fall at Doual.
Oct. 25—Menthe, Lieutenant, Prussian, killed by fall at Magdeburg, Prussia.
Oct 26—Blanchard, M., French, killed at Issy, France when machine fell with him and crushed him.
Oct. 27—Saglietti, Lieutenant S., Italian army, Instructor, killed at Centosello,Italy.
Nov. 10—Peters, J., Dutch, killed when machine capsized.
Nov. 13--Lange, Captain, German army, swept out to sea in balloon Saar, and never heard from again.
Nov. 13—Rommeler, Lieutenant, German army, lost in same balloon.
Nov. 13—Zimmerman. civilian, lost in same balloon.
Nov. 17-—Johnstone, Ralph, killed in fall at Denver, Colo.
Dec. 3—Cammarata, engineer in Italian army, hurled from aeroplane at great height and dashed to death.
Dec. 3—Soldier, unidentified, in Italian army, carried to ground with Cammarata'a wrecked machine and killed in wreckage.
Dec. 3—Archer, Walter, 17 years old, killed at Sallda, Colo., by a fall of 70 feet in an aeroplane of his own construction.
Dec. 5—Metzer, drowned by falling from balloon in ocean flight from Munich to Orkney Islands.
Dec. 23—-Grace, Cecil, English, disappeared in return flight over channel from Calais, France, to Dover.
Dec 28—-Laffort, M., French, killed at Issy, Les Molinaux, France, in fall of 50 feet.
Dec. 28—Pola, M., French, killed with M. Laffort, with whom he was riding as a passenger.
Dec. 30—De Caumont, Lieutenant. French army, killed by collapse of monoplane at Buc, France.
Dec. 31—Moisant, John B., killed in fall at New Orleans, La.
Dec. 31 —Hoxsey, Arch, killed in 300 foot plunge at Los Angeles.


Hoxsey, Star of Los Angeles Meet, Is Dashed to Death During Descent
Spectators Mute as Young Birdman and Airship Drop to the Earth

AVIATION FIELD, LOS ANGELES, Dec .31.—The wind, whose treacheries Arch Hoxsey so often defied and conquered, killed the noted aviator today. As if jealous of his intrepidity, it seized him and his fragile flying machine, flung them down out of the sky and crushed out his life. He fell dead upon the field from which he had risen but a short time before with a laughing promise to thousands of spectators to pierce the zenith of the heavens, surpass his own phenomenal altitude records and soar higher than any man dare go.

Caught in Current

Cross currents, whirled off by a vagrant storm that floated in from the sea, caught his biplane and shot downward 563 feet to earth. Catching his frail machine in one of the spectacular spiral glides that are dangerous even in the calmest weather, the warring winds sported it a moment, juggled It and then as if suddenly maddened and frenzied threw it down.

When field attendants reached the spot where the tangled pile of wreckage lay Hoxsey was dead. One side of his face, whose engaging smile had won the regard of thousands of spectators each day during the meet, had been crushed into an unrecognizable mass.

Thousands See Tragedy

His body lay broken and twisted almost out of all semblance of human form. Thousands of spectators in the grandstand witnessed the tragedy as it occurred, directly facing them on the far side of the course. They sat in awe stricken silence for almost interminable minutes as if paralyzed with the horror of the scene; not a person moved, not a sound came from the thousands until the announcer gave the news through the megaphone:

"Hoxsey has been killed."

Then from every part of the grandstand came the sound of sobbing and crying from scores of women, who only a short time before clapped their gloved hands to the daring aviator as he arose from the field for his fatal flight.

Goes After Record

Returning the compliments showered upon him by his feminine admirers, Hoxsey in gallant manner had promised to soar higher than he or any other man had ever flown before.

"Of course the success of this attempt is contingent upon the kind of weather I find up there," said Hoxsey just before he left the ground. "Some of the temperatures one encounters in the higher altitudes are simply beyond human endurance. But if I can stand it and my motor works as well as it has been working I'll come down with
a record of 12,000 feet or more."

Even at that moment the wind had attained a velocity that had kept more cautious aviators on the ground. After he had ascended, it gained rapidly in violence. Moreover, it created "a Swiss cheese" atmosphere, the most treacherous meteorological condition that man-birds have to contend with.

There is nothing by which it may be known why Hoxsey did not go higher than the 7,142 feet which his barograph showed he had attained, but he apparently encountered at that altitude the same conflicting air currents that finally overcame him. Notwithstanding this, and with the same reckless daring he had displayed dally during the last week, he descended by a series of spiral glides and was performing one of his thrilling rolling dips when his biplane suddenly capsized in midair and shot to earth.

Over and over the aeroplane turned as it fell, with a speed so swift that of all the thousands who saw the tragedy not one could tell what effort the aviator made to save his life. When the wreckage had been cleared sufficiently so that his body could be reached, he was found planted firmly in his seat, his arms around the levers. The fall telescoped the biplane. The steel sprocket which drove the propellers lay across Hoxsey's face, the motor resting upon the right side of his body. Every one of the ribs on that side were shattered into fragments. An iron upright, broken by the force of the crash, held the aviator's body impaled upon its jagged point. The stop watches in the judge's stand registered the exact second of 2:12 o'clock when Hoxsey's machine turned over and plunged in the fatal fall.

The news of Hoxsey's fall was on telegraph wires leading out of the press stand before his machine struck the ground in its final crash. The aviator had been In the air an hour and a half when the accident occurred and had sailed again over the snowcapped summit of Mount Wilson. whose heights he had conquered twice before since the meet began.

Walter Brookins, who originated the spiral glide and the dip which brought Hoxsey to his death, was standing in front of the press stand watching his colleague of the Wright team perform. His back was turned to tho field as he talked to friends.


Then the shout went up—"Hoxsey is falling!"

At the same instant a sigh or gasp, not loud, but of a tremendous volume, rose from the packed grandstand. That single suppressed sigh was the only sound that came from the crowd for fully 20 minutes after the accident. Brookins whirled at the sound of the cry and saw the crash. He uttered but one word. "God!" His legs gave way beneath him and he fell in the roadway. Although he had been in several serious accidents himself, he rose thoroughly unnerved and cried like a child.

At that time the field announcers were rushing up and down, shouting through their megaphones, "No cause for alarm: Hoxsey is all right."

But Brookins was not convinced.

"That's a lie!" he shouted back at one of the announcers. "Hoxsey's dead; I know it," and again he burst into tears.


Brookins was not the only airman overcome by the tragedy. Charles F. Willard of the Curtlss team likewise collapsed. Wlllard had predicted just n moment before Hoxsey fell that an accident was sure to overtake him in the dangerous atmosphere, and almost before he had completed the utterance of his prophecy, It was verified.

"I knew it was coming." he sobbed a few minutes later, as he sat in his hanger with his head between his hands.

A reporter of a Pasadena newspaper broke the news of Hoxsey's death to his mother this afternoon at her Bellevue drive home In that city.

With tact, the young man told Mrs. Hoxsey that there had been an accident and immediately she said: "Tell me about It. Was my son in it?"

Gradually he broke to her the news of his terrible fall and death.

She was very brave, and with tears rolling down her face told many incidents of "her boy" and his fine character as it showed in his home life. She bore up under the shock with an exhibition of the courage that had characterized the aerial daring of her son.


Although the tragedy had in it every element calculated to rouse the crowd to the highest pitch of excitement, It remained remarkably calm during the seconds of Hoxsey's fall and the ensuing long period of suspense before they knew whether Hoxsey had been killed or only injured. A squad of mounted police were drawn up around the wreck, but they were not needed. Only a few field attendants and newspapermen attempted to get upon the field. The souvenir hunter was conspicuous by his absence.

Nor was there any excitement or confusion when H. la V. Twining, president of the Aero club of California and chief judge of the field, came back to the Judge's stand and in answer to a query whether Hoxsey were alive or dead, said:

"Dead as a nail!"

Every one in the boxes that lined the course heard Twining's sententious announcement. A few women raised their handkerchiefs to their faces and sobbed, hut that was all.

Without waiting for the announcement that all flying events were off for the day, the crowd of its own accord began filing out through the exits to go home. Only a few scattering, disgruntled ones remained to demand back their admission fee and to dispute with police and committeemen when their demands were curtly refused until arrangements could he made for proper refunding. Even this thoughtless few left within an hour after the accident.

In departing no one sought to hang about the little field hospital in which the dead aviator's body lay. Sorrow, not curiosity, was the sentiment apparently uppermost in every heart. Hoxsey had been a hero with the crowds since the meet began.

Before 4 o'clock the entire, field was cleared. Only the mechanicians and a few aviators remained about the hangars, and these worked silently or walked aimlessly about.


A pall of silence seemed to envelop the entire park, embracing aviators and spectators alike, immediately after the fatal crash. Every flag about the grandstand and hangars was half masted and every scrap of fluttering bunting was torn down. The entire field was stripped bare of all festive symbols. Tonight grandstand and boxes were denuded of all decoration, excepting some mute expression of mourning which had been hastily put into place in memory of the intrepid„ aviator whose feats for the last week made him the object of admiration of the thousands who witnessed his record breaking flights.

The coroner's office in Los Angeles was notified of the tragedy within a few minutes after its occurrence. Coroner Hartwell arrived at 3.30 o'clock, impaneled a jury and held an inquest on the field. It was a short formality, involving a visit to the spot across the field to where the wrecked aeroplane lay. A verdict of accidental death was rendered in a few minutes and Hoxsey's body which had laid upon the operating table in the little field hospital, was taken to Los Angeles to be prepared for interment in his home city, Pasadena.

Miss Emily Willard, sister of the aviator, Charles F. Willard, made a flight today with her brother in a Curtiss machine. She was the first woman to take a ride in an aeroplane during the present meet, and her example set more than a score of other women to clamoring for air excursions. It was ladles' day again on the field, and a crowd of women besieged the hangars with requests to the aviators for flights about the field.

Phillip O. Parmalee of the Wright team went up with two passengers, taking on a half hour's journey Thomas E. Gibbon, proprietor of a Los Angeles newspaper, and the latter's son.

One tent was blown down by the wind that caused the tragedy, and two machines which had been standing on an eminence to the northwest of the field were wrecked by the gale as they stood on the ground. One of these belonged to Frank Stites and the other to George Deussler, both local aviators. Both were biplanes and only the motors and propeller of each were saved out of the wreckage.

"Poor Chap," Said Hoxsey

[Special Dispatch to The Call]

LOS ANGELES. Dec. 31.—Twenty minutes before Aviator Arch Hoxey ascended on what was to be his last journey Into the clouds he bought an afternoon newspaper containing an account of the death of Moisant at New Orleans.

"Poor chap," said Hoxey, "I guess he must have been tired out. The strain was too much for him and his strength failed. I am going up today. I won't go very high, but the crowd must be entertained."

Walter Brookins, who saw his friend Johnstone fall to death in Denver and witnessed Hoxsey's tragic death today, is almost heartbroken.

I would stake my life that Hoxey's aeroplane was sound and true and that the accident was not due to a break in any part," said H. J. N. Hazzard mechanician for Hoxey.

"The loss of Hoxey is the saddest blow that we could have received." said Roy Knabenshue, manager of the Wright Brothers. "Of all of the aviators on the field he was the one we least expected to suffer accident."

Elks to Conduct Funeral

PASADENA, Dec 31. —The remains of Arch Hoxsey, the aviator killed at Los Angeles aviation meet today, were brought here tonight in charge of Roy Knabenshue and Thomas P. Jackson of the Wright company.

The funeral will be in charge of the Pasadena lodge of Elks and the interment will b« here. Hoxsey was a member of the Detroit lodge of Elks.

Mrs. Minnie C. Hoxsey, the mother of the aviator, bore up remarkably well under the ordeal and discussed her boy's career.

"I spent many sleepless nights when he asked my consent to take up aviation." she said. "I finally consented. Last spring I endured much, constantly thinking of the danger my boy was experiencing. But finally I conquered my nerves and lately I have entertained no fears for him. When I saw him fly last Saturday I was not affected. I was simply proud of my boy. I do not want the remains brought to the house, because I want to remember my boy as I saw him this morning."

Hoxsey, who was 26 years old, was a native of Indiana. His father died when the boy was 7 years old. The mother and son came to California 18 years ago and have since lived here.

Hoxsey followed his mother's wish and became a machinist and later took up automobiling. For two years he was chauffeur for Charles W. Gates and traveled in Europe.

Hoxsey performed at the principal aviation meets in this country during the present year. At the recent meet in St. Louis he took up Roosevelt for his first aviation ride.

Hoxsey Star of Meet

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 31.—Arch Hoxsey had been the star performer at the meet that began last Saturday. Day after day he took out his machine and ascended to almost invisible heights. In fact, there had not been a day when the intrepid airman had not gone beyond the range of human vlsion, disappearing behind clouds or swinging in ever widening circles until he crossed the mountains, or hung over the sea. His prolonged absence from the field day after day gave rise to the salutation of one friend to another on the aviation field, "has anybody here seen Hoxsey?"

Last Monday Hoxsey broke the world's altitude record, ascending to the height of 11,474 feet, almost 1,000 feet greater than the record. But Hoxsey was not satisfied with this record. Ever since Monday he had ascended for another try at altitude. He found the conditions favorable, but could never reach Monday's height. On Tuesday he made 6,800 feet; Wednesday, 8,500; Thursday, 10,005, when he crossed 4,700 feet above the summit of Mount Wilson, some 25 miles from the aviation field, and 10,575 yesterday.

Feared for Hoxsey

[Special Dispatch to The Call]

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 31.—Charles F. Willard, who had descended shortly before the accident to Hoxsey's craft, remarked on landing that a terrific gale was raging, and that he feared for Hoxsey. According to Willard, a sudden change tn the air currents and the fact that Hoxsey unexpectedly glided into a stiff wind caused the accident.

Roosevelt's Sky Pilot

ST. LOUIS, Dec. 31. — Hoxsey came into nationar prominence at St. Louis October 11 when he took up for a short flight, former President Theodore Roosevelt, who was then visiting this city.

The flight was not premeditated. Roosevelt had gone to the aviation field as a spectator and was examining the machine when Hoxsey suggested that he take a flight.

Colonel Roosevelt instantly threw off his silk hat and frock coat, donned a leather jacket and cap and climbed aboard the machine.

Hoxsey clambored after htm, and after two trials the motor was started and the aeroplane shot into the air. It sped quickly around the field at about the height of 100 feet and made the first lap of one and a half miles before the crowd knew that Roosevelt was in the machine.

It sailed around the field a second time, going at the rate of about a mile a minute, and then Hoxsey dipped his planes and the aeroplane came easily to the earth.

Aviator Without Fear

DENVER, Dec. 31 -- Arch Hoxsey, the Wright aviator who was killed at Los Angeles today, demonstrated in Denver in November that he knew no such thing as fear. Even with the picture of his flying partner, Ralph Johnstone, falling to his death, which must have been constantly before him, Hoxsey, not wishing to disappoint the people, made most spectacular and daring flights on two days immediately following Johnstone's tragic death.


Skilled Airman Loses Life Trying to Win the Michelin Cup

NEW ORLEANS, Dec. 31.—Leaving the City park aviation field at 9:30 o'clock this morning full of life, vigor and hope, his eyes sparkling in anticipation of adding to his country's glory by bringing the Michelin cup to America, John B. Molsant, one of the world's most flaring and skillful aviators, flew over New Orleans only to meet death near Harahan, 11 miles from the city, 20 minutes afterward.

Tonight at the hour when he was to have been presented with a handsome loving cup bearing the legend "John B. Moisant, the glory of Central America," contributed by the Central American colony in, New Orleans, the plucky aviator lies in the morgue a martyr to the science of aviation and to his country's fame.


Alfred J. Molsant, president of the International Aviators, bade his brother a cheery farewell just before he ascended. Accompanied by press representatives and mechanicians in an automobile, he followed the flight to the place up the river where the cup trial was to take place, only to he met by the stunning news that John B. Molsant was dead.

The added weight Of an extra gasoline tank, the use of a strange machine and the deadly prank of a 15 mile wind at the moment when he had pointed the nose of his machine at a sharp downward angle combined in sending Molsant down to death. Thrown from his machine by its sudden inclination, Molsant described a curve through the air, and, head first, like a diver, shot downward, landing on his neck and head. His neck was broken.

Rene Barrier's, 50 horsepower Blerlot monopalne, which Molsant was using, is a wreck.


The story of the accident is best told by G. F. Campbell-Wood, representative of the Aero Club of America, who was within a few feet of where Moisant struck the ground. Wood was in Paris a few months ago when Molsant made his wonderful flight with a passenger over that city and in England when Charles Rolls fell to his death. Wood's story of today's tragedy follows:

"At the time Moisant was killed this morning he had just completed a preliminary trial prior to making his attempt for the Mlchelln distance cup of 1910, competition for which closed today. He was about to land at the spot agreed on for the start.

"The wind was at his back at the time, and although it is usual for aviators to land against the wind and considered much safer. Moisant had often landed with the wind at his back when it blew stronger than it was blowing today. The accident can not be thus entirely attributed to this fact, although it had its share in determining it. Also, Moisant was driving a machine other than his own.


"Moisant appeared to delay coming down until within 200 or 300 feet of the designated spot, and then made a very sharp dip. When about 100 feet from the ground he stopped his motor and would, no doubt, have landed without mishap, but at that instant a strong gust of wind struck under the tall of the craft and lifted it up. The angle of descent, instead of diminishing, was thus suddenly increased to an almost vertical drop and the ground was too near for recovery."

Moisant was in Rene Barrier's 50 horsepower Bleriot monoplane, a machine which he had used only two or three times. At the front of the machine, almost directly beneath the engine, was strapped a 35 gallon brass gasoline tank built especlally for the Michelln cup trial.


Moisant ascended at the City park aviation field at 9:35 a. m. and flew across the city and along the banks of the Mississippi river to the special four mile course. He appeared to have perfect control of the machine, and probably no one will ever be able to explain Just what caused the accident. He had inclined his monoplane toward the earth for a landing before it took the fatal plunge. It fell like a plummet and buried the propellers in the soft earth.

A moment after Moisant struck the earth, falling in high weeds to the right of the field, workmen picked him up.

A special train of flatcars was landing near the scene of the accident and the body was placed aboard and brought to this city.

Wind apparently was the cause of the accident. Moisant, guided by the white flags which lined the course, rounded the circle twice in an effort to find a landing-place. The third time around the wind, which was blowing about 15 miles an hour across the course, drove the machine toward the earth. Molsant in trying to get back over the grounds swerved suddenly to the left, then attempted his famous right circle, considered so dangerous that it is said only one other man ever attempted it.


At this instant the wind caught the machine. It tipped, pointed its nose directly at the ground and came down like a flash, while Molsant was hurled forth and fell head first.

The report that Moisant, who had endeared himself to thousands of New Orleans citizens, had met with a serious accident spread rapidly, and when the special bearing his body arrived at the union station there was a vast crowd surrounding the trainshed. An ambulance and several surgeons were in waiting, and as the train drew in several men leaped to the platform and, running to the ambulance, told the surgeons that Molsant was unconscious, but still alive. The first surgeon, however, who reached the flatoar saw that the aviator whs dead.

Moisant had a married sister living in San Francisco. Two sisters were with him here, Marida and Lulu. Moisant has two brothers in Salvador interested in the banking business.

No arrangement has been made as to the disposition of the body, but it probably will be shipped to Chicago.

Moisant's Daring Career

New YORK. Dec 31.-- John B. Moisant, who was killed today in New Orleans won the heart of every lover of the daring sport when on October 30, he flew from Belmont park around the Statue of Liberty and back to the aviation field, thereby wresting from the Englishman Claude Graham-White, one of the most highly prized of the trophies offered for the aerial feats.

Moisant was born In Chicago tn 1870 and lived there until he was 19 years old, then went to the Pacific coast, drifted down to Central America, became a solder of fortune and trader, and finally was driven from San Salvador when the general under whom he was fighting met defeat.

Moisant at that time was wealthy but his property was confiscated by the government. Soon afterward he went to Spain and later appeared in Paris when the Wright brothers were there exhibiting their machines.

It was told of Moisant at that time that he went to Paris to buy an aeroplane, with the aid of which he planned to sail into the country from which he had been excluded and in a spectacular manner revive the drooping spirits of the revolutionaries. However, so the story goes, Moisant became so interested in the possibilities of the flying machines that political affairs in Central America interested him less and less. Soon he was an avowed aerial enthusiast and himself making flights.

From the start his career as an aviator was marked with daring exploits. He first came into the world's prominence so recently as August last, when he started on a flight from Paris to London with a passenger. Albert Fileaux. He successfully crossed the Engllsh channel, being the first aviator to accomplish this feat with a passenger.

Moisant arrived in New York from Europe October 8 last and was one of the most interesting figures in the aviation meet at Belmont park. He took second prize in the International aviation race when Grahame-White captured the trophy which Glenn H. Curtiss had brought to this country from France the year before. Grahame-White went around the Statue of Liberty in 35 minutes 21.30 seconds. Moisant made the flight in 42 1/2 seconds under Grahame-White's record. His time was 34 minutes 38.84 seconds.

Moisant had a narrow escape from death last Tuesday in New Orleans. After being blown five miles from his course by a 40 mile wind he glided down from an altitude of nearly 9,000 feet and barely escaped a rough landing in a clump of trees.

Moisant's Son a Student

SAN RAFAEL. Dec. 31. —The news of John B. Moisant's death at New Orleans caused sorrow in many homes in San Rafael, where the noted avaitor's 18 year old son. Stanley, has often been a favorite guest while attending the Hitchcock military academy. The academy is closed for the holiday vacation, but Dr. M. E. Hitchcock, the principal, and other members of the student body and faculty who are present, were deeply moved by the fatality.

Stanley Molsant is spending his vacation at Los Angeles, but expected to return here when the school opened January 2. The lad had been popular among the cadets and his teachers, and had shown great interest in his father's aviation feats. In the three years that he has been attending the academy the boy had developed a fondness for aviation that seemed to indicate that he would follow his father's profession, but Molsant's death may change the lad's plans.

When the students return at the opening of school they will send a floral tribute as an expression of sympathy for their schoolmate's bereavement.

Airmen on Death Watch

NEW ORLEANS. Dec. 31.—From every section of the United States and from France and Europe cablegrams of condolence have poured in upon Moisant brothers and sisters.

Great banks of flowers from friends and admirers surrounded the lifeless form of the aviator.

Several fellow airmen—Roland Barrios (Barros), Rene Simon, Rene Barrier, Charles H. Hamilton. Edmund Audemare, John J. Frisbie and Joseph M. Seymour—were on the death watch tonight, silent and broken hearted.

Romantic and Daring

Mrs. Edward Moisant, sister in law of the aviator, was seen at her residence, 1198 Jackson street, yesterday. She said:

"It is hard for us to believe that John Molsant was killed. Although, knowing the dangers to which he was constantly subjected, we have feared that he would meet such an end. We have telephoned to his brother Alfred at New Orleans, who is his manager, hoping against hope that there is a chance that he is still alive."

All his life John was a romantic and daring fellow. His exploits in San Salvador are known to all, but his tenderness for the members of his family, his generous treatment of his two sisters, Miss Tillie Moisant and Miss Louise Moisant of Alameda, to whom he continually gave handsome presents, his deep interest in his son, and his heroic daring in the cause of his brothers, all stamp him as being a remarkable man. The boy and Mrs. Bertin A. Weyl, John Molsan't sister, are in Los Angeles. They were to wait there and meet the boy's father at the conclusion of the New Orleans meet, when John Moisant was coming to San Francisco.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Mentioned in the Chronicle #2 -- January 2, 2011

Carl Nolte's Sunday Native Son column "California Street Without Cable Cars for 6 Months" talked about how today was supposed to be the last day of operation for the California Street line, but a problem with the cable on Christmas Eve caused Muni to shut it down early. The line is going to be refurbished for the first time since the great rebuilding in 1982-1984.

I spoke to Carl about it on Wednesday last week. The column includes a link to my cable car site. He quoted some of the writing of my friend Val Lupiz. As of today, the column is not available online, but it should be there Tuesday morning:

I took the photo of two signs at California and Drumm on 31-December-2010. One sign was prepared for the planned outage. The other appears to be improvised. Click on the image to see a larger view.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year #4 -- January 1, 2011

I wish everyone a happy and prosperous New Year.

The cartoon is from the 31-December-1910 San Francisco Call. I like Baby New Year's glider.