Sunday, December 18, 2016

Five-Year Flashback

After spending two weeks in the solitude of the Marin Headlands across the Golden Gate, I am winding down from a weekend of hyper metropolitan experience in San Francisco. Breakfasting in the Fort Mason hostel cafe, while overlooking the morning fog hugging the bridge towers and obscuring Mount Tam, I reflected on my recent respite at the Headlands Hostel and Arts Center.

Today ended Fleet Week on San Francisco Bay, and the concurrent carnival of militarism. Even the dazzling air maneuvers of naval fighter jets leave something to be desired as loud speakers at the Maritime Museum blare with patriotic bon ami. Alas, the one point of sobriety and sanity on Fisherman's Wharf was the booth manned by Iraq Veterans Against the War. As their sign noted, "War is Not a Game."

Between my benign breakfast and hectic encounter with war tourists on the Embarcadero, however, I caught the Van Ness/Mission bus from Galileo Academy over to the Mission District, and enjoyed a brief stroll around the neighborhood where I went to graduate school ten years ago. The school itself is closed and boarded up, but the art nouveau iron work out front still sports the NC in silent memory of New College of California, an institution that for thirty years promoted peace and freedom and mindful creativity rather than mindless conformity.

It has been a month now since our lives were thrown into turmoil, and coming to terms with our exodus from Marin has been daunting. But today reminded me of the ties I will always have to San Francisco, regardless of where I venture forth. Taking another week to do these tasks is just something that has to be done.

All part of the long goodbye.

*This article was originally published at Skookum on October 9, 2011 as The Long Goodbye.

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Helter Skelter Shelter

The City of Oakland, according to KQED, ignored public safety violations at the illegal indoor RV park that was the site of a warehouse fire last Friday in which 36 people perished.

Saturday, December 03, 2016

Favored Son

J Troplong "Jay" Ward was born in San Francisco in 1920. Jay Ward Productions was most notable for the Rocky and Bullwinkle children's TV program.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Coming Home

Rupa Marya, MD and professor of medicine at UCSF, says veterans who served in the oil wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are preparing to support the Lakota at Standing Rock, and are ready to serve the people now, rather than the corporate interests. "These oil wars," she says, "have come home."

Saturday, November 26, 2016


Golden Gate Fields hosted the Hall of Fame horses Noor v Citation--one of the top ten racehorses of all time--in 1950.


The 76-ft solid oak, copper-sheathed, deep-sea schooner WANDERBIRD--having sailed 5,000 miles from Vigo, Spain to Las Palmas in the Canary Islands and on to Miami Beach, Florida--was commanded by Captain Warwick M. Tompkins, whose home was in Berkeley, California. With no auxiliary motor, it depended on sail, even in the gales of the Bay of Biscay, where she encountered eighty-three mile an hour winds.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

No. 1051

San Francisco Municipal Railway streetcar No. 1051 is dedicated to Harvey Milk.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Making Sense of Nonsense

Secular Rapture on the wings of Golden Promises visits the Louisiana bayou to probe the depths of Tea Party bigotry and Biblical nonsense of Trump supporters was the mission of a Berkeley liberal. Her suggestion that we should all hold hands is equally nonsensical.