Tuesday, May 31, 2011

1939 Alfa Romeo Berlinetta Aerodinamica - May 31, 2011

San Francisco's Academy of Art University has a fine collection of classic cars available for study by its design students. They shared the collection at the 2010 San Francisco International Auto Show. Here is the remarkable 1939 Alfa Romeo 6c 2500 ss Berlinetta Aerodinamica. It doesn't look like a 1939 automobile. DSCN6384.

It rained again today.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day #4 -- May 30, 2011

On Memorial Day it is fitting and proper to remember the men and women who gave their lives, who continue to give their lives, to give us the country we deserve.

I could not find anyone to sell me a poppy.

General George S Patton said: "In my mind, we are here to thank God that men like this lived, rather than regret that they died."

I took this photo on 14-December-2007 at the national cemetary in the Presidio.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Marmon Wins -- May 29, 2011

On 30-May-1911, Memorial Day, Ray Harroun won the first Indianapolis 500 in the Marmon Wasp. Today was the race's 100th anniversary. I like the image in this ad from the 31-May-1911 San Francisco Call. Despite what the image shows, Harroun chose not to carry a riding mechanic. To help make up for the loss of another pair of eyes, Harroun used a new invention, the rear-view mirror.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Four Naval Vessels Will Illuminate To-Night -- May 28, 2011

President William McKinley visited San Francisco in 1901 to break ground for the Admiral Dewey monument in Union Square and to observe the battleship Ohio being constructed at the Union Iron Works. Battleship Iowa served in the Spanish-American War. Battleship Wisconsin and torpedo boat Farragut were built by the Union Iron Works. Cruiser Philadelphia served various roles from 1890 to 1926. Admiral Silas Casey III was the son of a Civil War Union Army general.

From the 14-May-1901 San Francisco Call. William A Coulter did many maritime drawings for the newspaper. Click on the image to see a larger version.


Battleships Iowa and Wisconsin, Cruiser Philadelphia and Torpedo-Boat Farragut Will Make a Magnificent Showing on the Bay During the Presidential Reception in the Grand Nave of the Ferry Building — Each Man-of-War Will Be Decorated With Bunting and Electric Lights

THE warships now in port are all in readiness for the grand display to-night. The Farragut came over from Sausalito yesterday and during the afternoon her captain went aboard the flagship. The captains of the Wisconsin and Philadelphia also went aboard the Iowa and all three received their final instructions from Admiral Casey. The Farragut did not remain in the stream, but went back to her anchorage at Sausalito. She will be on hand to-night, however, and will help in the display to be made by the big vessels. Everything for the illuminating of the Iowa, Wisconsin and Philadelphia is ready and a few hours' work will see all in place. Each vessel will have her name spelled ouf in lights along her side, while the fighting masts and superstructures will be one mass of fiery designs. During the afternoon every man that can be spared will be landed at the foot of Folsom street. Both marines and bluejackets will then march to Fourth and Townsend streets, where they will take part in the parade in honor of the President. On their return to their respective ships they will proceed to get ready for the illumination of the evening.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Vincent Price 100 -- May 27, 2011

Vincent Price was a good actor with a beautiful voice. I loved his portrayal of the weak, handsome Shelby Carpenter in Otto Preminger's Laura. He played Simon Templar, The Saint, on the radio. Later, he became typecast in horror movies.

The photo is from The Abominable Doctor Phibes. When my wife and I were dating, I took her to see this one. She didn't like it. We agreed to disagree about this point.

He was a great gentleman, always interesting in interviews, and had a collection of fine art, paid for by making movies like Doctor Phibes.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Comic Book #5 -- May 26, 2011

Detective Comics Number 1 from March, 1937 is not as famous as Number 27, where The Batman made his debut. Number featured a variety of stories, including the debut of Slam Bradley, a detective feature by Jerry Seigel and Joe Shuster, who went on to create Superman. Despite its racist roots, the image on the cover is striking. Detective is still published by the company which is now known as DC (for Detective Comics).

The Giants lost to the Marlins last night in extra innings, and they lost catcher Buster Posey, who was hurt trying to tag out the base runner who scored the winning run. Buster may be gone for the season.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Slapstick #9 -- May 24, 2011

Larry Semon was very big in the early 1920s. Note how much larger his image is than Gloria Swanson's in this ad from the 28-February-1922 Ogden Standard-Examiner. Bebe Daniels had been Harold Lloyd's first leading lady, but left to become a big star. Be sure to click on the image to see a larger version.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Pulp #24 -- May 23, 2011

The cover of the January, 1932 Aces features James Norman Hall, who served as an infantryman for Britain and a pilot for France in the Escadrille Lafayette and for the United States during World War One. He received the Croix de Guerre. Before he went down behind enemy lines and became a prisoner, Hall met fellow pilot Charles Nordhoff. After the war, Nordhoff and Hall wrote Mutiny on the Bounty and other books.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Still Here -- May 22, 2011

"But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone." Matthew 24:36.

At 5pm mass yesterday, our pastor, Father Piers Lahey, announced that his successor will be an administrator. I left the bulletin in the car, so I don't have his name handy.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Happy Armed Forces Day -- May 21, 2011

Happy Armed Forces Day. Think of all the people who defend our coasts and the rest of our country.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Door #10 -- May 20, 2011

A former loading dock door at Jessie and Annie Streets, behind the Hearst Building. I took the photo yesterday.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Wapama to be Scrapped -- May 19, 2011

I was sad to read a Chronicle article by Carl Nolte (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/05/19/BABT1JGTES.DTL) which says that the steam schooner Wapama, which is the only survivor of its type, is beyond saving and will probably be scrapped later this year. Wapama was my favorite ship at the pier, after ferry Eureka. She had flying bridges, a mysterious engine room, passenger cabins, and a grand stairway, like an ocean liner. In 1980, she was put on a barge and sent to the Oakland Estuary. I remember seeing her from a Fremont BART train. Later she moved to the Bay Model in Marin. I kept hoping she would be restored and returned. Lately, she has been hidden in Richmond. There is no money or will to restore Wapama. The Park Service hopes to salvage her engine and perhaps some representative pieces.

I took the photo from the hurricane deck of the Eureka on 19-October-2010.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Once Upon a Time 1821-1848 -- May 18, 2011

The San Francisco Arts Commission (http://www.sfartscommission.org/) has set up a series of posters by artist Elisheva Biernoff representing important moments in San Francisco history and geographic features that lie beneath the developed city. I took this photo today of a poster that depicts the rancho of Juana Briones and the first Gold Rush ships abandoned in Yerba Buena cove. The small map shows the locations of five buried ships, provided by eminent historian Ron Filion. Click on the image to see an enormously large version.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Alley #19 -- May 17, 2011

Malvina Place extends west from Mason on a steep block between Sacramento and Clay Streets. I took the photo on 11-December-2010.

Monday, May 16, 2011

STS-134 Launched -- May 16, 2011

Space shuttle Endeavor, mission STS-134, left on its last journey into space this morning. I remember when the shuttles began flying in 1981. I remember people commenting that no one thought of it as the world's fastest, highest-flying airplane. I thought by now we would have a successor.

It rained today.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Boot Jelly and Shirt Coffee -- May 15, 2011

Doctor Peter Henri Van Der Weyde wrote the series of articles which gave this blog its name. This article, excerpted from the 17-October-1874 Scientific American mentions an unusual culinary experiment.

Boot Jelly And Shirt Coffee.

Some time ago, Dr. Vander Weyde, of New-York City, regaled some friends not merely with boot jelly, but with shirt coffee, and the repast was pronounced by all partakers excellent. The doctor tells us that he made the jelly by first cleaning the boot, and subsequently boiling it with soda, under a pressure of about two atmospheres. The tannic acid in the leather, combined with salt, made tannate of soda, and the gelatin rose to the top, whence it was removed and dried. From this last, with suitable flavoring material, the jelly was readily concocted. The shirt coffee, which we incidentally mentioned above, was sweetened with cuff and collar sugar, both coffee and sugar being produced in the same way. The linen (after, of course, washing) was treated with nitric acid, which, acting on the lignite contained in the fibre, produced glucose, or grape sugar. This, roasted, made an excellent imitation coffee, which an addition of unroasted glucose readily sweetened.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Saint Monicas 100 -- May 14, 2011

We picked up my mother and went to 5 o'clock mass at Saint Monicas. There was a nice turnout and the choir was excellent. We went down to Foudy Hall for wine and hors d'oeuvres before the 100th anniversary banquet. They had a display of newspaper articles about the building of the church and old class photos. I spoke to Father Green and the parents of some old classmates. Dinner was in the large hall, which doesn't seem all that large now. We had chicken.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Friday the Thirteenth #3 -- May 13, 2011

Today it was sunny but the wind was cold.

Blogger.com was unwell last night, but I can't complain -- it's free.

I found this photo of Sally Phipps and another actress on the wonderful site LucyWho: http://www.lucywho.com/

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Nickname #2 -- May 11, 2011

Willie Mays, the Say Hey Kid, 24-time National League All Star, Giants immortal, the greatest living baseball player, perhaps the greatest ever, at his 80th birthday party with 42,000 of his closest friends. I took the photo on 06-May-2011.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Train Station #34 -- May 10, 2011

The Santa Fe Railroad's Oakland depot, at Fortieth and San Pablo. This is from the May, 1914 Pacific Service Magazine, published by the Pacific Gas and Electric Company.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Firehouse #43 -- May 9, 2011

Station 19, on Buckingham Way behind the Stonestown Shopping Center, was built as part of the Park Merced housing development. I like the slanted roof.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mothers' Day #4 -- May 8, 2011

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

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

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Willie Mays 80 #2 -- May 7, 2011

06-May-2011 was the 80th birthday of the greatest baseball player who ever lived, Willie Mays. Last night we went to see the Giants play the Colorado Rockies and honor Willie Mays. When I left the office, I was shocked by the power of the wind. My cap blew off as I crossed Harrison. I found a huge crowd waiting in line at the front gate. I also found that the statue of Mays was wearing an orange party hat. I took this photo.

I walked around the outside of the park, waiting for the booth that sells Muni tickets to open. The line for the main gate extended across the bridge and past the McCovey statue. The line for the gate by the bridge went to the marina. The line for the Second Street gate stretched off down the Embarcadero.

I bought the tickets and had a nice chat about Pacifica with the seller. I went across the bridge and found the end of the line near the gate to the little ball field by the McCovey statue. The line wrapped around the statue, back across the bridge, and up to the front gate. My wife and daughter tried to join me as we passed the Dugout store, but a security guard rudely threw them out. I stayed in line to be sure to get one of the statues the Giants were handing out.

I went up to the Club level and looked at the exhibits. I found our seats, out in the left field corner. When the family made it in, we bought sandwiches and took them to our seats. The cold and the papers blowing around reminded us of Candlestick.

Before the game, the Giants honored Willie Mays on his birthday. Two of his teammates from the Birmingham Black Barons, Jimmy Zapp and the Reverend William Greason, were on the field, along with Hall of Famers Gaylord Perry, Orlando Cepeda, and Willie McCovey. Teammates Felipe Alou and Jimmy Davenport were also there. Lon Simmons read a letter from Monte Irvin. Jon Miller read a letter from President and Mrs Obama. Many people spoke on video, including Hank Aaron, President Bill Clinton, Barry Bonds, John Montefusco, and Bill Cosby, who led us all in a toast to his great friend Willy Brown. Willie Mays cried. I wanted to cry.

In the game, Matt Cain pitched against Ubaldo Jimenez. Cain gave up a home run in the first and two in the third. The Giants weren't hitting at all, scoring only one run through the 7th. They tied it in the 8th and won in the 9th. Brian Wilson got the win.

I felt bad, but we had to leave after the 8th. We took an N car to Powell, and drove home from Fifth and Mission.

Today is National Train Day.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Willie Mays 80 -- May 6, 2011

We went to the Giants game, where they celebrated Willie Mays' 80th birthday.

I took the photo of the Willie Mays statue on 21-September-2007.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Happy Cinco de Mayo #3 -- May 5, 2011

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

It was very warm today.

Claude Choules, the last surviving combat veteran from World War One died in Australia.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Magic #5 -- May 4, 2011

Frederick Bancroft was a dentist and real estate entrepreneur who wanted to be a magician. He invested in beautiful posters and lavish stage sets ("Gorgeous Scenic Embellishments"), but audiences did not care for his tricks. He died at a young age. One of these months, I'm going to present more about Bancroft.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Balloon Ascension and Triple Parachute Drop -- May 3, 2011

I would like to have been there. I have not been able to find much about the life of Aeronaut C. E. Bankston. From the 05-December-1913 Lancaster, Kentucky, Central Record.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Bin Laden Dead -- May 2, 2011

"I have never wished a man dead, but have read some obituaries with great pleasure." - Mark Twain (thanks to Kevin Walsh and Charles Haletcky)

Ever since 09/11, I have dreamed of seeing him tried and convicted, but I knew he wouldn't want to be taken alive.

Let's hope we can get out of at least one war.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

May Day -- May 1, 2011

Today is May Day. The cartoon comes courtesy of San Francisco's Holt Labor Library (http://www.holtlaborlibrary.org/). It seems appropriate in light of recent attacks on labor.

Yesterday was nice and warm. We went downtown.