The Library of Congress photo caption reads “Italian Restaurant, North Beach, San Francisco.”

Saturday February 25, 1939. “To town with Jeanne. Bought Jeanne a hat and Expo tickets. Me-lipstick and powder. Lunch with Sam at Amerigos. Walked around North Beach.”


“Nite: Sam, Marc, Ruth Taylor, et al, to Izzy Gomez, and William Tell Place. Lots of fun.”
San Francisco in the 1930s: The WPA Guide to the City by the Bay lists William Tell Place in Historic San Francisco at 630 Clay Street. It was a German Swiss Restaurant with nightly dancing. All indication of this time and place has been erased by modern tall buildings.

Sunday February 26, 1939 “With Jeanne, Phil + Tony to the Fair. Saw the Ski Jump.
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The Google View of The Shack today, 400 Bay Street at Mason.

Back to the city about 6:30 Dinner at The Shack. Sam came home drunk again. Awful!”

This was the last mention about Sam coming home intoxicated. The issue it appears was really about Helen not being included in Sam’s festivities. She mentions being upset about the issue on Monday, but that was the last of it.

Monday February 27, 1939 “Very depressed today. Washed + picked up the apartment. Sent money orders + paid garage. Met Jeanne and went to the library.”

Tuesday February 28, 1939 “Phil + I to the Fair. Saw more exhibits.”


Sally Rand was fairest of the fair when she became number one  on the Gayway.

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“We listened to the Expo Band and Walt Roesner’s Band.”


Fifth biggest attraction of the Gayway was Stella, who first appeared at the Panama Pacific International Exposition of 1915. Stella grossed $100,000 in 1915. A string was attached to the back of the painting, then pulled back and forth, causing Stella to “breath.” After the Panama Exhibition a dozen imitation Stellas appeared. This one was said to be original.

“We saw “Stella,” then came home about Six. It was a grand day.”

I am Dan Soderberg, award winning documentary film maker and phototgrapher specializing in architecture, historic preservation and nature.

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