Picnic in San Jose – Lot of Fun

Diary of Helen Hussey

Fillmore Hotel 1936

Shopping along Fillmore Street and the New Fillmore Hotel on the right. Image source: http://newfillmore.com “The New Fillmore – The Latest News From The Heart And Soul Of San Francisco.”  Robert F. Oaks the the author of the Arcadia published “San Francisco’s Filmore District.” https://www.arcadiapublishing.com/9780738529882/San-Franciscos-Fillmore-District

Wednesday November 8, 1939 “Went to the bank and post office. Money Order came from Ruth McKales. Sent receipt and final payment on tires! Matinee at the Alexandria. Nite – Sam and I to Fillmore to buy dinner for tomorrow. Bought some Port.

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On the marquee “Tea And Sympathy” starring Deborah Kerr. It was released November 5, 1956. Image source: Richmond Street Blog

From Cinema Treasures

The Alexandria Theatre opened on November 26, 1923 with Douglas MacLean in “Going Up.” It was built at a cost of $350,000 by Oppenheimer & (Alex) Levin; Reid Brothers were the architects. From the beginning, it was one of the Richmond district’s leading second-run theaters.

In 1941, it underwent extensive remodeling, emerging totally Moderne, with only the original stone pillars on its corner facade still exhibiting evidence of its original Egyptian roots.

It re-opened on June 19, 1942, but due to wartime blackout restrictions, much of its new neon elegance had to be subdued until sometime later. In the late-1950’s it was upgraded to a first run 70MM, reserved seat policy premiering such roadshow attractions as “South Pacific” (48 weeks), “Exodus” (20 weeks), “Can Can” (19 weeks), El Cid (21 weeks), “The Longest Day” (19 weeks), “Cleopatra” (56 weeks) & “Oliver!” (43 weeks).

On November 24, 1976, it re-opened as Alexandria 3, with the former balcony and loge sections converted into two separate, smaller auditoriums, but with the original downstairs section more or less intact.

Beneath the remodeling, rumor has it that the original dome and atmospheric ceiling still exists, retaining it’s twinkling lights, or at least the sockets, and that behind the bland walls of the lobby one can still see lotus-topped columns and colorful hieroglyphics.

The theater closed in the beginning of 2004 and its future is uncertain.

The Golden Gate Theater

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Image Source: Amazon

Thursday November 9, 1939 “To town and bought shirts and shorts for Sam. Went to the Golden Gate and saw the Marx Ritz Brothers. Very funny. Marc out with Sam for dinner. Phil stopped in tonight.”

Friday November 10, 1939 “Busy morning. Shampoo and bathed Bijou. Washed, shopped, etc. Walked in the park. Nite met Sam and dinner at Hotel Espanol. Stopped at Tony’s. She’s not feeling so well. Home and port. Sam doesn’t have to work tomorrow. Found a parking ticket on the car. Pacific.

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Hotel Espanol was at 719 Broadway. There is no 719 there anymore – probably demoed. The highest number on the corner building goes to 715.  The peach color stucco building next to it is number 777. Google maps points to the empty space of an alley for 719. Nothing there.

Saturday November 11, 1939 “Jeanne and I to town. Had to walk from Civic Center on account of the Armistice Day parade. Bought new hat, sweater for Jeanne. Nite Ruth and Bill came in. Quite a binge. They brought a bike, etc.”

Winchester House

Sunday November 12, 1939 “Tony, Jeanne, Ruth, Duke, and I to see Winchester House. Picnic in San Jose – lot of fun. Beautiful country. Home about 3:30. Nite gabbed and beer. Bed about 11:30.

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Monday November13, 1939 “Ruth and Bill left about 9. Met Tony at 5 and to the Palace Hotel. Saw Boys of Brazil band. To Jacopetti’s for sandwiches. Then to the Curran – first night of Taming of the Shrew, Lunt and Fontaine. Swell!!

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Standford Daily

Tuesday November 14, 1939 “Ironed in the morning. Then shopped, library, and walked Bijou in the park. Afternoon and Nite, Read + Radio.”

Bradbury Building – 21st Century Vision

It was a building inspired by a vision of the 21st century depicted in an 1888 novel. Then 94 years later was depicted in a film vision of the 21st century.

 

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Image: Creative Commons

The street view doesn’t quite reveal the characteristics of a future vision. The building’s facade is clearly an Italian Rennaissance Revial, Romanesque Revival design of its time (1894).

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Image: Creative Commons

You might walk by without ever knowing what lies beyond the arched entry.

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Image: Creative Commons

But the inside – that’s another story. It was the shared dream of two men. Lewis Bradbury who had a specific philosophy and ideas of what he wanted built.  And the young man whom Bradbury met – they shared that philosophy and those ideas. He was George Herbert Wyman – who wasn’t even an architect, but draftsman by trade.  Their common vision stemmed from a futuristic novel called Looking Backward 1887 – 2000 by George Herbert Wyman.

Lewis Bradbury

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Image: Creative Commons

Bellamy’s futuristic structures in Looking Backward were described as “vast halls filled with light.” The Bradbury building has a glass roof which baths the entire central portion of the interior in daylight. The railings, balconies and supporting columns are made of iron. The resulting effect is a suspended, floating illusion of interior elements.

It stands as one of the most distinctive and remarkable interiors of any office building ever constructed.

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Images: Creative Commons

The Bradbury interiors inspired by a Utiopian future depicted in Looking Backward by Edward Belamy.

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It is a curious twist in the history of the building that 94 years later it again would be part of another science fiction spin of the 21st Century – the 1982 film The Blade Runner.
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The building not only attracted the producers of Blade Runner. There have been dozens of other Film, Television, and Commercial productions that have used the Bradbury Building as a set.

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Image: Dan Soderberg

Louis Bradbury died before his building was complete. His dedication to creating his lasting legacy notwithstanding, even he likely wouldn’t dare imagine how the building would continue to inspire and fascinate well into the 21st century.

The Bradbury Building is located on Broadway at 3rd Street, Los Angeles, CA

Williams, Arizona – Historic Route 66

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Had stopped for gasoline. But also had to grab a few quick stops in this classic Route 66 town, Williams Arizona.

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Image source Bill Pettitwww.mountainmanbronzes.com

It’s named for “Old Bill Williams,” William Sherley (January 3, 1787 – March 1849). He was a noted mountain man and frontiersman. Fluent in several languages, including native ones, he served as an interpreter for the US government. He lead several expeditions in the west mountain man and frontiersman. He served as an interpreter for the government, and led several expeditions in the West. Fluent in several languages, he lived with the Osage Natives and was married the daughter of an Osage chief. He also had lived with the Ute people.

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Touted as “Gateway To The Grand Canoyon,” Williams is also a railroad town. Not only a stop for the Amtrak Southwest Chief, and it is also the southern terminus of the Grand Canyon Railway  which takes visitors to Grand Canyon Village.

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There is a large influx of tourists especially during the summer and holiday seasons. Numerous inns, motels, restaurants and gas stations cater more to the tourist trade more than local residents. But it helps keep this slice of Route 66 and American history alive.

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Williams was the last town to have its section of Route 66 bypassed, due to lawsuits that kept the last section of Interstate 40 in Arizona from being built around the town. After settlements called for the state to build three Williams exits, the suits were dropped and I-40 was completed. On October 13, 1984, Interstate 40 was opened around the town and newspapers the next day reported the essential end of US 66. The following year, Route 66 was decommissioned.

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Hike To Potato Chip Rock Dec 14, 2014

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Lake Poway a day after some much needed rain. Although the rain helped, the lake level is still low.

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It was a good day for horseback riding, it seemed.

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The drought has left the native chaparral looking severely parched. Rain brings new life.

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After a few hikes the boulders become familiar. But the lighting is always different – and so is how they look.

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Almost like a mini potato chip rock.

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Luís Felipe Junqueira Vargas and Guilherme Amorim capturing the classic southern California natural landscape.

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Luís Felipe Junqueira Vargas

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Lucas Seiti and Luís Felipe Junqueira Vargas charging up to the Mount Woodson Summit and Potato Chip Rock.

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Potato Chip Rock was popular on Sunday. Here’s the line of Chip climbers waiting there turn. With Lucas Seiti.

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The men from Intrax. Brazilians  Guilherme Amorim, Luís Felipe Junqueira Vargas, and Lucas Seiti awaiting their Potato Chip Rock experience.

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Guilherme Amorim, Lucas Seiti , and  Luís Felipe Junqueira atop Potato Chip Rock.

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Luís Felipe Junqueira. More photos to come…

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Post hike meal at Hodad’s on Broadway. It’s the Guido Burger with fries.

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The Guido Burger with delicious onion rings.

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Luís Felipe Junqueira Vargas, Guilherme Amorim, and Lucas Seiti

 

 

 

 

Ham And Eggs Beaten

Golden Gate Park Dutch Windmill

Wednesday November 1, 1939. “Cleaned! Went to the park and Clement Street. Read at night. Marc, Rose, and Duke phoned. Tony called this AM -going to Lunt + Fontanne – Taming of the Shrew (Preview).
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Lunt and Fontanne, American husband-and-wife acting team who performed together in more than two dozen theatrical productions, from Sweet Nell of Old Drury (1923) to The Visit (1958). Alfred Lunt (b. Aug. 19, 1892, Milwaukee, Wis., U.S.—d. Aug. 3, 1977, Chicago, Ill.) and Lynn Fontanne (original name Lillie Louise Fontanne; b. Dec. 6, 1887, Essex, Eng.—d. July 30, 1983, Genesee Depot, Wis., U.S.) were long associated with the playwright Noël Coward, whose play Design for Living (1933) was written for them. They eventually earned a reputation as the greatest husband-and-wife team in the history of the theatre. — Encyclopædia Britannica

Thursday November 2, 1939 “I went to cooking school in the morning. Afternoon to the library and the park. Nite at home and read. Tony over for a few minutes. Marc and Ruth phoned. ”

Friday November 3, 1939 “Jeanne home with a sore back.  Went to cooking school in the afternoon. Jeanne feeling better – walked in the park + to Clement Street. Had dinner at the Grotto. Went out with Marc and the Rosses to Burlingame + saw Ruth. Good Scotch. Home at 12:30”

Fisherman' s Grotto

Number 9 Fisherman’s Grotto was typically referred to in 1939 as “The Grotto.” It was built on stall number 9 at Fisherman’s Wharf in 1935.

Bernstein's Fish Grotto

But there was also Bernstein’s Fish Grotto, dating back to 1880. It was at this location, 123 Powell Street, since 1911. Its street-front replica of the bow of a ship was added in 1930. Fun! But sadly it all came to an end in June of 1981.

Bernsteins Former Site

No fun ship bows located there now.
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Another Grotto, Exposition Fish Grotto

Saturday November 4, 1939. “Jeanne and I  downtown in the morning. Met Sam at noon. Ate at Jacopetto’s. At nite Jeanne and Duke to the theatre. Sam and I to Filmore Street. It was interesting.

San Francisco rooftops looking toward Coit Tower on the right, and the Golden Gate International Exposition at Treasure Island on the left. 1939. Image Source: Brett Weston

Sunday November 5, 1939. “A Grand Day. Sam and I walked through the park to the beach, and along the beach, and then back. Tony phoned, also Ted! Jeanne and Duke went to a show. Sam and I stayed home. Read and Radio.

Great Highway and Ocean Beach Esplanade

In view here on the left is Playland. It was a 10-acre seaside amusement park located next to Ocean Beach, in the Richmond District at the western edge of San Francisco along Great Highway where Cabrillo and Balboa streets are now. It began as a collection of amusement rides and concessions in the late 19th century and was known as Chutes At The Beach as early as 1913. It closed Labor Day weekend in 1972. Condos are there now.  Beyond that are the windmills marking the Western entrance to Golden Gate Park.

Monday November 6, 1939 “Up early to town – paid electric bill and window shopped. Bought gloves and writing paper. Walked in the park. Nite – wrote to B. and Irene. Radio and read. Tony phone about card from Humberto.

Tuesday November 7, 1939 “Up early and voted in S.F. for the 1st time – machines. Took Sam to work. Went home and walked in the par. Afternoon Jap washed windows. Jeanne and I picked Sam up at 5:15. Up to 11:30 for election returns. Rossi re elected. Ham and Eggs beaten. Also number 5 – oil – defeated.

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Angelo Joseph Rossi (January 22, 1878 – April 5, 1948) was the 31st mayor of San Francisco. He was the first mayor of 100% Italian descent of a major U.S. city (top 10 most populous U.S. cities between 1776 and 1931). Rossi served as San Francisco’s mayor from 1931 to 1944. He was mayor when the Golden Gate Bridge and the San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge were built, and he presided over the building of Treasure Island and the Golden Gate International Exposition (World’s Fair) of 1939. Under his administration, the city resisted compliance with the Raker Act which required San Francisco to sell power from the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir in Yosemite to municipalities or municipal water districts, and not to any corporations, a condition of use of the Hetch Hetchy Valley. He dedicated the Mount Davidson Cross in March, 1934. Though a Republican he was a strong proponent of the New Deal “alphabet-soup” roster of work programs and worked vigorously and constantly with Washington to bring as many dollars to the City as possible in order to create jobs and improve the City’s infrastructure. Being unfriendly to the Labor movement, Husseys most certainly voted against him.

ham and eggs mast“The Great Depression of the 1930s brought economic distress to many Americans. Although poverty was widespread, the elderly suffered more than any other segment of the population. Faced with a real threat of hunger, many Americans looked to government to provide them some form of financial assistance.

In response to this critical need, various special programs were proposed. The federal government’s New Deal initiative created the Social Security system in 1935. In California the most prominent pension schemes were Upton Sinclair’s End Poverty in California (EPIC) campaign, the Townsend Movement (named for its architect, Dr. Francis E. Townsend), and the Ham and Eggs or 30-Thursday crusade, which proposed a $30 weekly pension for every resident fifty years of age and older.

The Ham and Eggs proposal was first presented to California voters as Proposition 25 in the 1938 general election. The initiative was narrowly defeated with a statewide vote of 1,398,999 to 1,143,670. Because of the closeness of the vote, the movement’s backers, the Retirement Life Payments Association (RLPA) decided to try again. They were able to secure over one million petition signatures–enough to persuade Governor Culbert Olson to call a special election for November 1939.” –Chris Ernest Nelson, Graduate student, San Diego State University
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