Today in My History
Cast (updated 7/16)
ANGELO AND ANGELINA
September 3, 2020
I was born in a flat on one of the steepest streets in San Francisco and lived there until I was 18 and moved to Berkeley to start UC Berkeley. This was the door to our flat.
The windows to the right were the bedroom of my sister and me, the two windows to the left were in my parents' bedroom and the bay window was our living room. My parents moved in when my mother was pregnant with me and they paid $35/month rent. Over the years, my father became the manager of the flat complex (3 flats and a grocery store) and the owners actually apologized when they had to raise his rent to $47. David was in nursery school when they moved out and were still paying $47. The new renters paid $200 and when I checked the internet today, people living there now are paying nearly $5,000/month!
The web site I found about the flat has 9 photos and I can't even picture where the rooms are. It says the flat has 1-1/2 bathrooms, which means they added a half bathroom and I don't know where. The windows don't match anything that I remember. I would love to see what it looks like today.
The street view allows you to do a 360 degree look and you can get an idea of the slope of the hill. As you can see, hidden under the trees (which were not there when I lived there) you can see a bit of the Bellaire Market, which was a little store where we did some of our shopping, though the Searchlight Market a block away was a bigger store and if my mother was doing a big shopping she went to a supermarket, something new in my childhood.
(I should also add that when I lived there, parking was parallel, not diagonal, like it is now)
The little market was owned by Angelo and Angelina Gueralas who, I believe, were Greek. It was a small place. You walked in the front door and to the left was the counter where you paid, to the right was the butchering area, where Angelo would butcher meat for you. There were three small aisles of food and fresh produce was on display outside, in front of the store.
Off the right aisle was a little kitchen, where Angelina cooked lunch for the two of them every day. She often invited me to come back and taste something that she had baked.
By the butchering area was a door that led to the basement and when their cat had kittens, Karen and I would go down to the basement and play with the kittens. There was one that I considered "mine" and I was heartbroken when he got caught in a machine somehow and it killed him.
The thing about this small market was that my father could give me money and send me up to buy liquor and/or cigarettes and they would sell them to me, which of course you could not do now! I believe my mother could also send me up for something to be put on account if she didn't have money.
Angelo sold little candies at the check out counter and I routinely stole little chocolates. I still feel guilty about that. I don't know if he knew I was stealing them or not, but he never confronted me about it.
Angelina was the very first person I
knew who died. I remember we were driving home from church one Sunday and
as we drove past the market there was a black wreath on the front door. I
don't remember anything about a funeral or anything but I still remember hearing
a musical chord in my head when I saw the wreath and my mother said that
Angelina had died.
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This is entry #7466