`LogoJune08.jpg (30844 bytes)          

Today in My History

2000:  It's OK--I'm With the Band
2001:  Serial 7s
2002:  All in a Day's Work
2003:  The Road Back
2004:  Pomp and Circumstance
2005:  Having a Gay ol' Time
2006:   Young Pups and Old Poops

2007:  Just a Normal Morning

A Number

Books Read in 2008
Updated: 5/28
"The Apprentice"
"Body Double"



You Tube

Mefeedia Video Archive

My Favorite Video Blogs
Desert Nut
(for others, see
Links page)

Look at these videos!
Operatic Parrot
Cat Fight (stolen from Steve)
Judy Garland on What's My Line
Hillary (long, but watch it!)
JibJab Ballet
The Real John McCain

Family Stories Vlog

(updated 10/2/07)

New on My flickr_logo.gif (801 bytes)

Mothers Day

Mirror Site, for RSS feed:
Airy Persiflage


13 June 2008

I'm working on making a map to show the location of Dr. G's new office (he moves later this month).  I used Google maps and was surprised -- actually I shouldn't have been; I knew about it -- to find that there was a street view.  I'm wondering how many people have been taking street views of how many cities for how long!

Intrigued, I started checking out addresses of places where I've lived to see if there were street views, and I found this excellent one.

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This is the flat on the hill in which I was born and raised   (well, not exactly born--my mother did go to the hospital!).  It looks VERY different today.  For one thing, there were no trees on the street when we lived there and there was no diagonal parking; you had to parallel park, and my father wouldn't let me get my driver's license until I could parallel park on the hill--in a stick shift car.  You can see the slope there.  It's around the corner from the steepest hill in San Francisco, which is a 31.5% grade, and this one ain't exactly small either (I couldn't find the exact grade for this particular hill, but the one which is one block away is a 29% grade).

The rounded archway on the left was the door to our flat (the other 2 rounded arches were first to the flat upstairs over ours, where our landlord lived, and the one at the right was to a semi-underground flat where my first boyfriend's aunt lived, and later where my own aunt lived).  The two windows to the right of our door were in the bedroom I shared with my sister.  The two windows to the left of the door belonged to my parents' bedroom, and the windows to th left of those are a bay window, which was in the living room.  It had a wonderful window seat on which you could sit and watch the tourists try to drive up the hill--one of our greatest pleasures!

I see that there appears to be a garage under the living room windows.  When we lived there, it was a tiny door that led to a huge basement, where my father kept the huge barrel of sawdust Walt and his brother moved when they finally left that flat (among lots of other thing).  A garage makes a lot more sense, given the impossible parking on the hill...we would sometimes have to drive around for 15-30 minutes before we could find a place to park in the neighborhood.

When I went to school, I caught the bus at the top of the hill (or walked the block to get the cable car) and my mother remembers that I usually left home, put my head down to ward off the wind, clutched my books to my chest (the years before backpacks), and ran up the hill.  She would watch from the bay window and remembers the time I was so preoccupied that I didn't see the ladder resting against the side of the building and ran smack into it.

You can also see a light-colored door between our landlord's door and my aunt's.  That led into a tiny concrete back yard which had an infinitesimal raised plot of dirt in which my mother tried to grow vegetables.  She also hung her clothes on the clothesline over the cement.  Across the street, in the penthouse of the apartment building the photographer is standing in front of, lived the owner of Seabiscuit, the racehorse.  My mother was friendly with his maid, who said the man used to stand at the window and look down at my sister and me playing on the concrete back yard and say that we were his idea of what true happiness was.

My father had put a series of nails on top of the wall into the yard, to discourage would be burglars.  We actually did have a couple of burglars in that house.  Once my father was sitting in the kitchen and saw someone trying to break in the front door.  My father carried a gun for his job, so he got the gun and just sat there, with the gun pointed at the front door and was able to catch the guy.

Another time we came home to discover that someone had been in the house.  I don't remember everything they stole, but my mother lost her wedding and engagement rings (which she didn't wear) and they broke my piggy bank, which I kept in my underwear drawer.  It took a long time to lose that feeling of having been "violated" by this intruder into our home,

The bay window over the windows to my bedroom were in the sitting room of our landlords, Joe and Irma Gallian.  Joe was an old Italian who practically adopted my father.  Irma was a large woman who had three sets of most of her dresses--in a thin size, a "losing weight" size, and in a large size.  The two of them had been involved in local theatre and were members of the local "thespian society."  I never did know what their involvement consisted of, but I remember that the walls of this sitting room were covered with photos of their friends and fellow thespians.  I always found that so claustrophobic -- that all you could see were photos in frames, no wall at all -- until we started posting our own thespian photos.  Ned and Marta have a hallway that is pretty much reminiscent of Joe and Irma's sitting room.

When I was little, there was a set of books that my mother used to read to me from.  We just called them "the red books" (and I wish I could find them!  They are in this house somewhere).  One story was about the man in the moon and how the blotches you see on the face of the moon are from a child who put his dirty hands on the man in the moon's white robes.

One night my father was taking me upstairs to Joe and Irma's house for some reason--or maybe just up to the roof to look at the full moon--but I remember being totally freaked out by the bright, full moon, certain that the man in the moon was going to come and get me.  (I was easily freaked out when I was a small child!)

Funny how when you start writing something like this the memories just roll in.  Another of the stories in "the red books" was "Bozo the Button Buster."   I remember a lot of the stories, but this is the only one whose title I remember.   I looked it up on the internet and discovered it was written by Carl Sandberg.

There was another story I always liked about a Chinese family in a time when Chinese people were forbidden to eat pork.  This family raised pigs and one day their barn burned down.  In poking through the remains to see what he could find, the farmer inadvertently stuck his hand in the side of a burned pig, tasted what was on his fingers and discovered that it tasted good.  I can't remember how the story ended, but it seemed he kept burning down his barns so they could eat cooked pork.

Funny the kinds of memories that can bubble to the surface on seeing one little photo.

Just to note:  This is entry #3000.


roses.jpg (49375 bytes)

These are roses I saw at Costco today.
The photo is more impressive in the large size.



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