Following in my own footsteps (Part three)

In May of 2019, as part of the longest title of any of my posts, I promised ‘Still, still, still more pictures from the 1980s’. These are another collection of slide pictures I took from 1983 to 1986 that I had converted to a digital CD. Slide pictures convert to digital much better than snapshots, and A1 Photo & Video Lab in Berkeley does about the best job of doing the transfers that I know of. Oh, no, now I’m even running commercials on my blog! (Thumbnail images)

Cable cars are up and running again, and for now they’re free, which is even better than the 25 cents I used to pay to ride them when I was a teenager. I don’t remember what the fee was in 1983, but I was riding one up California Street in the spring of ’83 when we got in somebody’s picture passing Old St. Mary’s Church at Grant Avenue and California Street. Last weekend, I thought I’d ride on a California Street cable car to update my 1983 slide. I missed my shot heading up because I couldn’t get a spot on the side of the cable car I had to be on, so I got off at Powell Street, waited for another one going down California Street, and got on the side I needed to be on without having to knock somebody off. The cable car stopped pretty close to the angle I was in 1983, (just for me, no doubt) and I got my update. The traditional phone booth next to St. Mary’s was still there in 1983. Photographer Fred Lyon took a great picture during the 1960s at this phone booth that I updated in October of 2019.

Looking down Jones Street past Union Street in 1983: I rode my e-bike here earlier this week to get my recent picture, you can see it down by the corner. I don’t remember how I got up here in 1983. You have to do a lot of uphill traveling to get here. I didn’t ride Muni much back then, but I did have a 1973 Ford Maverick that I took over to the City a lot in those days. That old nag would’ve made up here okay.

The Hyde Street Pier in 1985: The C.A. Thayer schooner, on the right, was repositioned aft out now to make room for the sailing ship the Balclutha, on the left.


Looking up Powell Street from Geary Blvd. in the spring of 1983: You can still see the repair work on the Powell Street cable car line that necessitated a shutdown of the entire cable car system from the fall of 1982 to June of 1984. The recent shut down of the cable car system due to the Covid-19 Pandemic of 2020, although not as long, was the longest closure of the cable car system since the 1982 – 1984 overhaul of the system.


The rest of the updates were taken on Fleet Day in October of 1986 from Telegraph Hill. This one was taken from Chestnut Street looking toward Pier 35. This was still during the Cold War when I took my first picture, and there was quite a lot of naval presence on display that day. We’ll get closer to the aircraft carrier in the next photos to see who she is.

I moved further up Telegraph Hill in 1986 to get this slide. The aircraft carrier is number 65; the USS Enterprise. She was decommissioned in February of 2017.

Like the previous photos, these ones were taken from the end of Lombard Street before it climbs the rest of the way up to Coit Tower. I’ve zoomed in on the slide to see if the ship second from the left is the Jeremiah O’Brien, but I don’t think it is.

I watched USS Enterprise as she moved off and sailed under the Bay Bridge. We’ll just never see anything like this again.

One thought on “Following in my own footsteps (Part three)

  • Maverick? Oh my! That car was . . . unique. The Blazer in the first picture would have been new at the time. Prior to that, Blazer was a full sized vehicle. When our neighbor got the new smaller sort, we had never seen anything like it before. It was like a small station wagon coup. It was weird, but was the predecessor to SUVs. Yuck!
    So, the Thayer stayed parked there for all these decades, and just now got moved?

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