Mom and the summer of 1939

In 1939 my 17 year old mother took a train out to San Francisco from Grand Forks North Dakota, and spent that summer there. She left behind some vintage photographs of the City back then. She fell in love with San Francisco, and came back to the area to live after marrying and starting a family. She died in 2006, (Darn! Didn’t get to see her Giants that she loved so much, win three World Series) and although I was born in North Dakota as well, my love of San Francisco was, undoubtedly, inherited from her. Here are some of the pictures she kept from that summer.


My mom (on the right) is with her cousin Frances, who she stayed with, at the old De Young Museum in Golden Gate Park. The new museum opened here in 2005.

AnzaredoHere my mom on the left is on the porch with Frances at the house where she stayed on Anza Street. It’s nice to see that the same door is still there. I think “Foo” was mom’s nickname for herself, but I’m not sure what mom’s calling Frances. I don’t know what became of Frances; I remember in the 1990’s, mom trying to get in touch with her but she was never able to locate her again.

DiMaggio'sredoHere they are at Joe DiMaggio’s Restaurant in Fisherman’s Wharf. Love that holding hands bit! DiMaggio’s is now called “Joe’s”.

AquaticParkredoMom, on the left with Frances, swimming at Aquatic, and a picture of Alcatraz they took from there:

FWharfredoDiMaggio’s again from the Fisherman’s Wharf Lagoon. I think my mom had a thing for DiMaggio; if he’d have married her instead of Marilyn, I might have been a great ball player!

CliffHouseredoI’d know where this is even without my mom, photo left of Frances, identifying it!

Zooredo At the old Sloat Blvd entrance to what used to be called Fleishhacker’s Zoo, (You spelled it wrong, Mom!) now just called the San Francisco Zoo. This entrance is now closed off.

PoolredoSwimming with Frances in, what was then the largest swimming pool in the world, Fleishhacker’s Pool. The pool has been buried over, and is under the parking lot where the zoo’s main entrance is today.

One thought on “Mom and the summer of 1939

  • This was two years before my great grandparents, who had lived in a few places between San Francisco and the Santa Clara Valley, finally settled in Sunnyvale. My great grandfather was born in 1899, so was forty in 1939.

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