Another Day At The Fair

California and SF Buildings

The California Building on the left. The San Francisco Building on the right. They are joined by the circular Court of Seals and its slender columns. At the Portico of the California Building was a 10,000-square foot mural. These were the host buildings of the 1939 Golden Gate International Exposition.

Sunday February 19, 1939 “Another day at the fair. Toured the San Francisco and California Buildings.”

California Auditorium

California Auditorium on the shores of the Lake of Nations features programs of radio, music, and drama for the entertainment of Exposition visitors.

“We went to concerts.”


“Sam had to leave early. Jeanne and I went to the phone exhibit. It was fun.”


“Heard + saw Ray Noble and His Orchestra. Home at 9:30. Sam and I drank good sherry.”

The Fair Opened

Jeanne1939 Sam+Helen1939

Jeanne with a Coke and sandwich, above. Husseys on the move, below.

Saturday February 18, 1939. “The Fair Opened. Breakfast at the Ferry Building. Then ferried to Treasure Island. Grand!”

Ferryboat Slips

“We rode around the Island.”

Elephant Train and Federal Building


Sally Rand Nude Ranch

“Went to Sally Rand’s Nude Ranch and Riply’s Believe It Or Not.”

Riply's Post Card+Phot

“Then back San Francisco…”

Photo Source:

“…and Chinatown for food.”

Parades, Fireworks, and Noodles

World's Fair Poster

The flurry of parades and fireworks at this time was to herald and celebrate the opening of the San Francisco World’s Fair–just days away for Jeanne and the Husseys.

Tuesday February 14, 1939. “Jeanne + I went to Market Street to see a parade. A very good and gala crowd. ”

Portsmouth Square

“Met Sam at noon + went to Portsmouth Square to see a pic. being made. Had noodles + walked through Chinatown.”

exotic China Town

“Nite: Sam, Jeanne, Tony, + I to Chinatown. Music and fashion show. Lovely Chinese gown. Fog out here!”

Wednesday February 15, 1939. “Walked in the park. Friends of Cy here from L.A. Scotty called. Marion didn’t go home.”

Marina San Francisco

“Nite: Sam, Jeanne, + I to the Marina. Marvelous display of fireworks. Beautiful day + nite.”

Thursday February 16, 1939 “Beautiful day-out to shop. Scotty over, no word from Marion yet. Nite: With Tony, Jeanne + Sam to parade on Clement Street.”

Season Ticket Book

Jeanne’s World’s Fair Tickets, either found or replaced.

Friday February 17, 1939. “Jeanne’s Fair tickets + my bracelet missing + no word from Marion. Nite: Tony, Jeanne, Sam + I to parade + then to Marc’s.”
John's Rendezvousjohns rendevous wine list

“Tony and Jeanne came home + Sam and I went with Marc to John’s Rendezvous. ”

The San Francisco World’s Fair Opened the next day, Saturday February 18, 1939.

Busy Weekend – No Less on Monday

Empire Hotel

Saturday February 11, 1939.  “Jeanne + I to Tony’s business. Bought a skirt for me + a suit for Jeanne–wholesale. Then to other stores. Bought hat and purse. Marion + friend over for short time. Nite with Phil + Tony to Polk Street. Dinner at German American Restaurant. To the Sky Room at Empire Hotel.”

Empire Hotel Picture+Blurb

“Then to Izzy Gomez’ and the Beach.”

Izzy Gomez and salt shaker, “M’ Fren'” Image Source CLAY BANES.

“Home about 11:15.”

Sunday February 12, 1939 “Jeanne, Sam + I took Bijou for nice walk in Golden Gate Park. Started to rain on the way home. Sam + I walked to the branch library + Clement Street. Shopt. Took bus home. Took streetcar to the big library.”

Ferry Building

“Walked to the Ferry Building and took streetcar line number 21 home.. Marion here. Jeanne to movie alone.” 21-car as Smart Object-1

Monday February 13, 1939 “Jeanne + I to town early-paid phone bill. First scraping of fenders.”

san-francisco-chinatown-circa-1950 as Smart Object-1

“Lunch in Chinatown.”

cable+cars as Smart Object-1

“Rode the cable car.”

Jeanne Helen Hussey4


“Nite-Sam all decked out Western Style.”

cissie-loftus-and-hilda-trevelyan1 as Smart Object-1Curran-Theatre_San-Francisco_1922-1 as Smart Object-1

“Took me to see Cecilia Loftus at the Curran.”

Friends, Movies, and Tea at Fosters

Clement Street Today_DSC2651

Clement Street 3/15/2014

Monday February 6, 1939. “Quiet day. Home + read except for shopping on Clement Street + picking Jeanne up + to Clement Street again. Nite: with Sam to the branch library.”

Fosters1939 Tranist Terminal

Tuesday February 7. 1939 “To the park early with Bijou-nice walk. Cousin Gen came at 1pm + we had a long visit. Picked up Jeanne + had tea at Fosters. Then Gen stayed for supper + we took her to the bus station about 8 pm. Showers today.”

Wednesday February 8, 1939. “Marion Flack called in the a.m. + came out. Having trouble at home. Took her to lunch + show “Idiot’s Delight.” Good. Home for dinner. Marian and Jeanne to a show. Cold day-saw snow on the mountains across the bay.”

Paramount Theatre SF 1939Honolulu_(1939)mysterious mr

Thursday February 9, 1939 “To three agencies with Marion + to Paramount Theatre. Saw Honolulu + Mr. Moto.  Left Marion downtown. Bought Chicken. Chocolate roll. Finished Jeanne’s plaid dress. Cold day + rain. Sam growing a beard.”

Friday February 10, 1939. “Took Bijou for a nice walk in park A.M. Picked Jeanne up after school + tea at Fosters. Nite Tony over-Scotty called up about Marion. Some rain in the A.M.  but starts out tonight. Second day of Sam’s beard.

Dined at Vanessi’s. Stopped at Sutro Park.

Diary of Helen Hussy February 5, 1939 – Sunday.

Vanessi'sVanessi's Post Card

Sunday Febrary 5, 1939. “Went to the museum in the A.M. Went to Marc’s office, met Kathleen. All to eat at Vanessi’s.”

Venessi's Crew



“Nice ride home. Stopped at Sutro Park.”

Sutro Heights Palm Avenue Post Card

Sutro Heights Park was the estate of Adolph Sutro, land developer and a mayor of San Francisco. The estate once contained many Romanistic statues and a plant conservatory.

Sutro Heights Main Gate

In 1881, Adolf Sutro purchased 22 acres of undeveloped land at the edge of the city, which included a promontory overlooking the Cliff House and Seal Rocks with breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean, Mount Tamalpais, and the Golden Gate. Taking advantage of the views, Sutro turned this property into Sutro Heights, an elaborate public garden that was filled with decorated flower beds, statues, forests and vista points. Photo Source Dennis O’Rorke Collection

Sutro Park Architecture

Sutro built his home on a rocky ledge overlooking the Cliff House and Seal Rocks just south of Point Lobos and north of Ocean Beach. The grounds consisted of a spacious turreted mansion, a carriage house and out buildings set in expansive gardens. The estate dominated the area. He spent in excess of a million dollars trying to recreate an Italian garden. By 1883, Sutro opened his gardens to the public and allowed strolling the grounds for the donation of a dime. That small fee helped to pay the fifteen gardeners he employed to maintain the grounds.
Sutro Park Overlook
Adolph Sutro died in 1898, land rich but cash poor following his frustrating tenure as Mayor of San Francisco. His daughter Emma lived on the estate at Sutro Heights until her death in 1938. The house is visible on the 1938 layer of Google Earth, located at 122°30’42.98″W 37°46’39.71″N. Becoming too expensive to maintain, the family donated the estate to the City of San Francisco that same year. The city demolished the buildings and removed the statuary with the exception of the winged lions at the gate and a few select pieces. The estate became Sutro Heights Park.
An excellent blog article showing Sutro Heights today:

Stow Lake Postcard

“Also walked to Stow Lake. Later stopped at Tony’s. To delicatessen, supper + read at night. Some rain.”

An excellent blog article showing Sutro Heights today:

M’ Fren’

Postcard_4 as Smart Object-1

Monday January 30, 1939. “Showers today. Drove to the beach. Took Bijou walking then drove through the Presidio. Stopped at Gertrude Meyers. She didn’t remember me at first. Bought walking shoes. Met Jeanne at school. Went to Foster’s for tea. Letter from Irene, card from Carola. Wrote to Kings and Irene.”

Tuesday January 31, 1939. “Phil over early. Walked to Stow Lake. The the museum in the afternoon. To corner stores. Nite: read. Showers and hail storm.
1917_SanFranciscoPublicLibrary as Smart Object-1

The 1917 Downtown Library. Library moved to a new building in 1996. The old main library, which was damaged in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, was rebuilt as the new Asian Art Museum.

Wednesday February 1, 1939. “Bold, bright day. Went downtown to the library. Walked Bijou in the park. Saw two “skips.” Went to the African Museum + Natural History Museum. Saw exhibit of semi precious stones. Phil over for a few minutes in the evening. Read + Radio.”  The word “skips” refers to someone skipping class. Based on Jeanne’s record as a bit rebellious as a school student, one of those “skips” Helen saw might have been Jeanne.

Thursday February 2, 1939 “Rainy day. Out to shop. Branch library + picked up Jeanne from school. Marc M. called up. Letter from Scotty. Tony over in evening. ”
Izzy Gomez

Image Source CLAY BANES

Izzy Gomez place was at 848 Pacific Street. From James R. Smith: “Izzy’s Café was a gathering place for aspiring artists. Famed writer William Saroyan, himself a regular at Izzy’s, immortalized the place, its characters and their situations in his play, The Time of Your Life. Gomez prided himself on the fact that no one left his place hungry. Izzy’s big heart and expansive nature earned him friends at every layer of San Francisco society. He gave away meals to writers, friends and those down and out that caught his eye. The 300-pound tavern keeper, wearing his ever-present black fedora, served great food – thick steaks, crisp fried chicken, huge platters of French-fried potatoes and big salads, all presented with good homemade grappa at two bits a glass, available even during Prohibition.” Izzy’s Café was demolished in 1952.

Friday February 3, 1939. “Took Jeanne to school + drove to the beach. The sea was marvelous. Gen called. Talked with Walter. Several letters today.  Nite: with Sam to see Marc M. + two of his friends. Went to Izzy Gomez place. Drank and danced – lots of fun.

New Routines And More To Explore

Raleigh Coupon

Saturday January 28, 1939. “Nice day. Shopt with + for Jeanne in A.M. Sam home about 1:30. Tony here with friend + Phil. Then Phil, Sam, Jeanne + I took Raleigh coupons + got Jeanne pens + pencil. I got pair of silk hose.”


“Then off to the aquarium. Home + delicatessen meal.”


At nite: With Phil, Sam, and I downtown , walked around + through Chinatown.

Stow Lake

Sunday January 29, 1939. “Sam and I to Stow Lake, then got Jeanne + went to the museum. Rain!!”
richmondbranchlibrary as Smart Object-1

Richmond District branch library

Tony over. Sam + I with her to library. Got cards and books. Then to her sister’s + her mother’s house. To the store, then home. Quiet evening in + reading.


BAyview 7951

Point Montara Lighthouse

Wednesday January 25, 1939 “Took a ride down the coast with Phil. Got back + took a walk through the park to Poly High to meet Jeanne after school.”
Clement-25-Nov-1940 as Smart Object-1
“Then to shop at Clement Street.”
Joe Louis Knocking Out John Henry Lewis
“Nite: Sam, Jeanne, and I went to Tony’s to listen to fights. Joe Louis knocked John H. Lewis out in two minutes and some seconds of 1st round. Grand weather today.”

1938muni as Smart Object-1
Thursday January 26, 1939. “Washed a few things. Signed for a phone. Phil over in the afternoon. Walked in the park. Nite: Sam and I took street car to the beach. Very heavy fog.”


Friday January 27, 1939 “Rain! Took Bijou out early in the rain. Picked up Jeanne after school, shopped + then for a long walk in the park during a dry spell. Bedding arrived today + phone got connected. BAyview 7951. Sam home late – 8:30.”


It Was A Grand Day

Tuesday January 24, 1939. “Jeanne started at Polytechnic High School. We unpacked the trunks which arrived today.”

Polytechnic High School 701 Fredrick Street was open for almost 90 years until the 1970s. Over that time the school had a reputation for a diverse and talented student body, inspirational teachers and administrators, and exceptional football teams. Photo source: San Francisco Public Library Historic Photo Collection

polytechnic_high_school_auditorium as Smart Object-1

In 1987 the school property was re-zoned for condominiums and most of the campus buildings were demolished. Fortunately the magnificent Art Deco Gymnasiums were kept. Photo Source

clement-32ndAve-1949-1 as Smart Object-1
Clement Street Photo Source
“Jeanne and I went Clement Street for shopping. Nice store-fun!”
clement-6th-1943 as Smart Object-1
Clement Street Photo Source

“Nite: Tony over for a few minutes. Then Sam, Jeanne and I went to Clement Street. It was a grand day.”