The Sunset District

quintarasuse Speaking of the Sunset District, here’s a vintage San Francisco Archives picture from Bill Yenne’s terrific collection of San Francisco then & now pictures looking down Quintara Street at 15th Ave. from the Sunset Heights steps in 1940. They still had room to develop! That’s Lincoln High School being constructed in the background and today.  Marcellauseone Right around the corner from the Sunset Heights steps, the psycho Scorpio ran up these steps near Noriega and 14th Ave. at Grand View Park to kidnap a school bus full of children in the 1971 film ‘Dirty Harry’.  marcellatwouse The frightened lady driver of the bus he hijacks was named Marcella Platt in the movie. If all lady school bus drivers were named Marcella Platt, this would be a better world! shrinersbloguse A speeding ticket on 19th Avenue in 1926:
“This ticket’s going to cost you 50 cents, Mister!”
“Can I work it off, Officer?”
That’s the original Shriner’s Hospital Building in the background.

“a tiny corner of this great big world”

StoogeFerrybloguse The Ferry Building clock in the 1930’s, (I hope that wasn’t the Three Stooges up there!) and the clock with an orange Ferry Building in October of 2014 during another Giants Championship run.  HotelEmpirebloguse The Sky Room in the old Empire Hotel near the Civic Center rivaled The Top of the Mark for rooftop lounging in the 1940’s. Cushmankearny1952replace Another Cushman Collection gem, Market, 3rd, and Kearny in 1952:  Farnsworthtvsansomebloguse It’s interesting that Charles Cushman would take a color picture of this unimposing building on the corner of Green and Sansome Streets at the bottom of Telegraph Hill in 1952, when its significance was not generally recognized yet. You’ll notice the Historical Marker in front of the building that was not there in 1952. An event occurred here on September 7, 1927 that had an impact on everybody in the world from Lucille Ball to me, who spends most of my spare time reaping the benefits of what happened here. This is where the first television set was invented.  FISHERMANSLAGOON1950USE Fisherman’s Wharf Lagoon, 1950: Darn, I forgot which one was the San Francisco Archives picture, and which one was the one I took!

More talking to the Stars around San Francisco

butterflies  “Goldie Hawn, Edward Albert, you guys are passing by my favorite watering hole in the City, Vesuvio’s. Are you going in?”
“You bet your sweet bippy!”
“Oh, Goldie, you stopped saying that when Laugh-In went off the air!” (Butterflies Are Free – 1972)

Phallic “Tyne Daly, Clint Eastwood! What are you guys doing up on Telegraph Hill?”
“Tyne was telling me that Coit Tower has always seemed phallic to her!”
“Well, size doesn’t matter.” (The Enforcer – 1976)

bathroombogie “Bogart! Hello again. Where are you going in the jalopy?”
“I’m looking for a place to go to the bathroom!”
“Okay. Well, come back in about seventy years.” (Dark Passage – 1947)

Chaplin “Charlie Chaplin! Have a nice trip! See you next fall. Don’t get mad, I probably learned that one from you!” (A Night Out – 1915)

BogieUnionSquare “Bogie, here you are riding here on a cable car past Union Square! Where are you off to now?”
“I’m hiding from the cops, and I’m not going to let them catch me. I’ll go down shooting if they spot me”
“Oh! Well, I’ll just get off right here, okay?” (Dark Passage)

TalkPJoeyuse “Frank Sinatra, Kim Novak! Where are you two going?”
“That’s it! It’s all over! There’s nothing left for us!”
“The Golden Gate Bridge!!! You’re not thinking of….. You’re not going to…..”
“No! The movie’s over. Go home, kid!” (Pal Joey – 1957)

“Get back to where you once belonged”

Balstradeuse The parking lot from the entrance to Coit Tower in the 1930’s and today: The balustrade with the urns was considered unsightly by many, and was removed by the 1940’s.

3DChinatownuse Chinatown in 3D colors: Not really, but that was popular in the 1950’s when the top picture was taken.

Hortiusetwo This picture bothers me! I love the view from Coit Tower, but sometimes it would be nice to just enjoy the Telegraph Hill view from the parking lot, like you used to be able to, without the claustrophobic elevator ride to the top of the tower. For some reason, they will not trim the bushes that now almost entirely block the view from ground level. I’m not a horti….. a horti….. a person who cultivates plants, so I don’t know if there is some reason that this will harm them or if this is just a deliberate attempt to force visitors to pay for the ride to the top of Coit Tower.

Sansomerockuse Sansome Street at the bottom of Telegraph Hill:
“Hey, Mulldoon, we better run the license plate so we can notify the owner of the boulder that crashed down on the person’s car.”
“Wait, Officers, don’t leave! I’m inside the car!”
They’ve shored up this area since this Images of America picture was taken in 1948.

Macarthuruse “I shall return!” He wasn’t taking about San Francisco. One of the principal players in the drama of World War Two, General Douglas MacArthur, giving a speech in front of City Hall in the 1950’s during the Korean War.

GuardtowerbloguseA guard in a tower on Alcatraz Island when it was still a penitentiary: That would have been good enough for me; he probably had a pretty high powered rifle.
“Hey, Mugsy, let’s go back to the cell.”

Where it all began, and where it all ended


Where the crime careers of two punks who became folklore, Bonnie and Clyde, began, and ended:

BarrowstationuseIt always amazes me that this building has survived the test of time. This was the Barrow family home and gas station on Eagle Ford Road, now Singleton Road, in Dallas Texas. Clyde was living here when he met Bonnie.

Bonnie&methisoneuseBonnie and Tim: At this house three blocks from the Barrow gas station, Bonnie and Clyde killed their first police officer, Malcolm Davis. On January 6th 1933, police were waiting at this house for another fugitive not Bonnie or Clyde. While Bonnie waited in the car while it idled, Clyde went up the walk to the house to pick up a friend. Suddenly suspecting something was wrong, he fired a shot through the window on the right side of the house as he stepped up on the porch. When police rounded the house from the left side, Bonnie began firing a gun from the car, but Clyde killed the Deputy Sheriff with a shotgun from the porch behind me where I was standing in December of 2015. The top picture is a police photo from the scene of the crime.

GrapevineuseOn Easter Sunday, April 1, 1934, Bonnie and Clyde committed the crime that sealed their fates. On Old Dove Road in Grapevine, Texas, Bonnie and Clyde where waiting to meet their families here when two motorcycle patrolman, E. B. Wheeler and H. D. Murphy turned onto the road thinking they might be stranded and in need of help. Like Clyde said later on, they never would have gone up that road if they knew Bonnie and Clyde were in that car! Clyde and Henry Methvin, a recently new gang member whose father would later betray Bonnie and Clyde, opened up on the policemen. The top photos are from a police reenactment film taken at the spot of the murders, but most historians agree that Bonnie didn’t do any of the shooting during this particular crime. Many people who had thought of them as modern day Robin Hoods changed their minds after this, and an all out effort to find and kill them began. A Historical Marker is now at the site.

DovetodayuseA vintage Picture looking up Dove Road after the shooting of the motorcycle Officers: The photographer was standing about where the Officers were shot as they approached Bonnie and Clyde. My photo is the same view today.

AmbushuseTheir two year robbing and killing spree ended on this lonely road near Gibsland, Louisiana on May 23, 1934 in a hail of posse bullets. Bonnie, whose body is still in the car in the ambush photo, summed it all up in a poem she once sent to a newspaper;
Some day they’ll go down together.
They’ll bury them side by side.
To few it’ll be grief,
to the law a relief.
But it’s death for Bonnie and Clyde.