Another San Francisco landmark saved by an act of clemency: The old Eagle Café with the Balclutha behind it, a waterfront café and watering hole since 1928, was slated for demolition in order to build the Pier 39 Parking Garage. Instead it was moved across the street to the upper level of Pier 39, and remains in business today.
Executive Order Number 9066, signed by Franklin D. Roosevelt in February of 1942, forced Japanese citizens on the West Coast to leave their homes and businesses for internment after Pearl Harbor in fear that some may create acts of sabotage in support of Japan’s military machine. The Japanese owners of this business on Grant Avenue in Chinatown are selling off as much of their inventory as possible before being relocated. Ironically, their shop was the one with the green BLOWOUT SALE sign in the window behind the California flag.
Looking west from the Hayward hills above East Bay Cal State. The tall building on the right, the Warren Hall, was imploded in August of 2013. Hayward’s movie claim to fame was in the 1973 film ‘Steelyard Blues’, (See the September 26, 2016 post called ‘Some of my favorite pictures’) but there are some interesting historical photos of the city. Downtown Foothill Blvd in the late 1950’s or early 1960’s: This the main shopping strip before the Southland Mall was built. The old Hayward City Hall, opened in 1930, was deemed unsafe because it sits on top of the Hayward Fault, and closed in the late 1970’s. Tykes on bikes at the intersection of B Street and Main. Bobbysoxers line up to see heart throb Tony Martin in ‘Casbah’ at the old Hayward Theater in 1948. The theater was demolished and is now a parking lot. Another interesting city southeast of San Francisco is San Leandro. The popular Cherry Festival has been an annual event in San Leandro for almost one hundred and seven years. A parade on Washington Ave. seen from the San Leandro Plaza in honor of San Leandro Day coming to the Treasure Island Fair August 4th 1939: All of the buildings behind the parade have been demolished, and the spot is now a parking lot and strip mall. (SLHPDC) A mid 1950’s photo from the San Leandro Historical Photograph and Document Collection: Some people who are very dear to me went to school at Washington Grammar School. Off to Pleasanton: Abbott and Costello shot scenes for their 1943 film ‘It Ain’t Hay’ at the Alameda County Fair Racetrack in Pleasanton. Lou Costello, on a runaway horse, races under the Downtown Pleasanton sign. Since the location of the film is supposed to be New York, the sign was temporarily changed to Saratoga for the famous racetrack there. At the film’s end, Lou’s horse jumps the racetrack while he’s riding underneath it, and wins the main race. Hey, it can happen! Lou rights himself in time to cross the finish line. The Winner’s Circle in the movie and in July of 2015:
The sailing ship the Balclutha, built in 1886, and seen in the top photo in the 1940’s: Now at the Hyde Street Pier, the Balclutha was docked at Pier 43 back then. I don’t know if that fellow was a sailor, longshoreman, or like me, just a drifter. A special thanks to the pretty girl who obliged me and took the picture.
The Maritime Museum on opening day in 1939: This steamship looking building was originally a casino. The inside of the Maritime Museum, a Works Progress Administration project, under construction: My crazy mother on the left and her cousin Frances swimming in the Bay behind Maritime Museum on a trip to SF from North Dakota when she was seventeen. That water is always cold! On the right are the two antique wall phone booths with the phone stands still inside. They may have called my mom’s aunt to come get them when they were through swimming at one of these booths seeing as how iPhones were only about seventy years in the future!
The Fountain of the Turtles, installed in 1955 at Huntington Park on Nob Hill: In the background is the Mark Hopkins Hotel; the top windows are where the Top of the Mark looks out. On the right, the Fountain of the Turtles seen from the Top of the Mark.
Spent the day in Fisherman’s Wharf, as good a place as any to enjoy a birthday. The World War Two submarine USS Pampanito, a direct creation because of Pearl Harbor, is decked in bunting to honor the anniversary. It, kind of, got to me. As much as the island invasions and the atomic bombs, these “Pig Boats’ helped to end World War Two. They were fast, lethal, and unlike the statue of Venus de Milo, well armed! (Oh, I’m in a weird mood today!) Everybody’s taken the Alcatraz Cruise, the Red and White, and Blue and Gold cruises, but like me, you may be ignoring the little boat cruises in the lagoon. They’re only fifteen bucks, and a lot of fun! Some of the scenery, left to right as you head toward the Golden Gate Bridge: Coit Tower, the Pyramid Building, Hyde Pier with the Balclutha, Russian Hill, Ghirardelli Square, and the Maritime Museum. You hit some good swells as you approach the Golden Gate Bridge, which makes the little boat buck like a horse sometimes, and adds to the fun! “The weather started getting rough, the tiny ship was tossed! If not for the courage of the fearless crew, ‘Lovely Martha’ would be lost!” Just kidding, these rides are safe, and the crew knows what they’re doing. They even throw in a few trivia questions to add to the enjoyment! “What was Otis Redding doing on that “dock of the Bay?” (wasting time.) I got that one, but it wasn’t an accomplishment, it just meant I was the oldest one on the boat! They do a loop around under the Golden Gate Bridge for as fine of a look at the bridge as you’re going go get. Watch that spitting up there, buddy! When you double back from the Golden Gate Bridge, you head for “The Rock”. The north eastern side of Alcatraz that you can’t see from San Francisco: On June 11th 1962, Frank Morris and two other inmates snuck out of their cells, and were never seen again. Thought to have drowned for years, credible evidence surfaced in 2015 that suggests that they made it to Brazil, and may still be alive, but this hasn’t been substantiated yet. The three prisoners slipped into their raft down below the building covered with the white tarp just to the left of the old Power Plant Building with the tall chimney Hell, I couldn’t even swim to the boat from there! Heading in and to the Buena Vista Café on a perfect Irish Coffee day.