Count Basie And Lily Pons In One Week

honolulu_cliipper_o_1024 as Smart Object-1


Saturday October 14, 1939. To the Fair with Tony, Dodo & Jeanne. Saw glassblowers, the Honolulu Clipper. Lovely day. Nite – Ted back the house with us. He and Tony left about 1 am.


San Francisco Fox Theatre, One of the grandest movie palaces ever built was demolished in 1963. Image Source Cinema Treasures

Sunday October 15, 1939 “Sam to Union meeting. Jeanne, Tony & I went to the Fox Theatre – Then drove to Fisherman’s Wharf and saw the fishing fleet go out. Nite with Sam to Scotts – Tired!

Monday October 16, 1939. “Downtown – paid phone. Shopped a little. Nite with Sam to Library. Ted phoned & tried to date Jeanne.

Tuesday October 17, 1939 “Lovely Fall day – Walked in the park. Shopped on Clement Street. Read.

Image Source Jazz Lives – Count Basie seated, middle.
Wednesday October 18, 1939 Sam and I to the Fair after picking up Press Card at Marc’s. To Palace of Arts and heard Count Basie. Saw the Guard Mount and the Clipper departs. Bought shakers for Carola. Home early Tony called – party to be Friday.

Fillmore Street Hill _ Fillmore at Chestnut

Views of Fillmore Street, image source

Thursday October 19, 1939. “Went to Fillmore Street for Brazil coffee – window shopped – very interesting. At the library afternoon and nite. Went alone to a show at nite. Nice walk in the park. Beautiful Fall day.”

Friday October 20, 1939. “Cleaned house. Nite to the party at Tony’s for the Brazil band. Vic and Ginni had a fight on the way home.”



Lily Pons 1939. Image Source

Lily Pons was renown and successful on many tracks. She was an opera singer known for her coloratura soprano repertoire – distinguished by agile runs, leaps and trills. She was also  a successful concert singer with a lucrative schedule until her retirement in 1973. She was a recording artist, worked in movies and television.

Saturday October 21, 1939. “Hot today. Jon & Fred got in from L.A. Tony and I to the Fair. Heard Lily Pons. After coffee Tony and I went to the Press Club, etc. with Vic. Then home. Waldrons here. Drank Tom Collins. Vic stayed at Tony’s.”

Sunday October 22, 1939 “Jon, Sam & Fred to the Fair together. Tony, Jeanne, Phil & Vic and I met Sam and Jon and we did the rounds.”

Nice Birthday

From the ongoing series, Diary of Helen Hussey – Golden Gate International Exposition Years, 1939 – 1940.


Saturday October 7, 1939. “Downtown with Jeanne + To the Fair with Tony – Went through many buildings again. Coffee at Brazil + and saw Gen there. Beautiful day + clear nite. Home early.”

Nov-12-1936-bay-bridge-dedication-w-pedestrians as Smart Object-1Opening_day_of_the_San_Francisco-Oakland_Bay_Bridge_Nov_12_1936_AAD-2287 as Smart Object-1

Using Opening Day of the San Francisco Oakland Bay Bridge to illustrate a long wait on the bridge.

Sunday October 8, 1939. “Warm day. With Tony, Jeanne, and Dodo to the Fair. One hour over the bridge. Biggest day of the Fair.
Image Source

“Saw and heard Bing Crosby. Nite – Brought Ted back and we stopped at his apartment for drinks. Met William Saroyan’s cousin. Went to Cat Show.”

Dodo  Mark_Niece and Nephew Tony Schmidt

Dodo and her brother Mark. They were the niece and nephew of Helen’s friend, the downtown San Francisco dress shop owner, Tony Schmidt. Tony’s the wife of Phil Schmidt.

William Saroyan was an American dramatist and author. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1940, and in 1943 won the Academy Award for Best Story for the film adaptation of his novel The Human Comedy.

An Armenian American, Saroyan wrote extensively about the Armenian immigrant life in California. Many of his stories and plays are set in his native Fresno. Some of his best-known works are The Time of Your Life, My Name Is Aram and My Heart’s in the Highlands.

He is recognized as “one of the most prominent literary figures of the mid-20th century.” Stephen Fry describes Saroyan as “one of the most underrated writers of the [20th] century.” Fry suggests that “he takes his place naturally alongside Hemingway, Steinbeck and Faulkner.”

Monday October 8, 1939. “Very warm today. Tired! Lazy day today – short walk in the park. Nite: to library. Read + bed early.”


Helen with the Hussey/Martin household pets, Bijou (left) Pancho (right).

Tuesday October 10, 1939. “Another warm day. Phoned Kathleen – wrote Ruth, Carola, M. Tinney. Sent Shakers. Bathed Bijou. Shopped for turkey for tomorrow. Got Pancho from hospital. She acted so cute! Nite: stuffed turkey and made cranberry sauce.”

Wednesday October 11, 1939 “Hot Day! Cleaned house. Tony + Phil here for turnkey dinner. Tony brought port + beer. Sam and I up late drinking port.”




Gayatri Devi often styled as Maharani Gayatri Devi, Rajmata of Jaipur. She was the third Maharani of Jaipur from 1939 to 1970 through her marriage to HH Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II. She has been counted in ‘The Ten Most Beautiful Women of the World’ along with actress Leela Naidu by the Vogue Magazine.

Thursday October 12, 1939. Another hot day. Jeanne and I to the Fair. Saw miniatures + rifle drill. Maharajah of Kaipur there. Met Tony + Ethelwyn at Brazil. Drinks at the Island Club. Jeanne and I home early.”

Miniature RoomsS

Friday October 13, 1939 “Nice Birthday. Jeanne gave me a lovely amethyst necklace, Sam a bracelet. Tony over in the evening with plaid skirt. Home most of the day. Fog in the evening. Jeanne out with Duke. Kathleen phoned in the A.M. Ross called at night.





Heat Wave

Friday September 15, 1939. “Very hot today. To town in a.m. + bought gold belt. Nite: to Marc’s birthday party dinner at House That Jack Built. Had Manhattans + a swell dinner.”
2014 Grant Ave

“San Francisco in the 1930s: The WPA Guide to the City by the Bay” lists the House That Jack Built as a Costa Rican restaurant located at 2014 Grant Avenue. No indication of that historic time and place  today here at the end of Grant Avenue.

King's Koffee KupKing's Koffee Kup Napkin

“Then to the Press Club – African Dancer. Stopt at Will King’s Koffee Kup. Home about 12.”
Kings Koffee Kup Rumpus RoomKoffeeKup1929Alexandria-
They made the space look a lot more spacious and dramatic than the boring treatment of the same view today.


Former Koffee Kup, now two store fronts. One selling comics. The other an ice cream parlor.

Towers Of The East And Temple Compound From Lakes of the Nations

Image courtesy of Bjorn Palenius

Saturday September 16, 1939. “Beastly hot! To the Fair with Tony – Saw Harry Owens Show…”

Harry Owens Voice Of The Trade Winds

Selection from Harry Owens and his Royal Canadians  Voice of The Trade Winds.

Owens was the band leader who organized The Royal Hawaiians orchestra at the hotel of the same name in Waikiki in 1933.

But he was most renown as the composer of “Sweet Leilani,” a song he wrote for his daughter 0n the day she was born in 1934. It won an Academy Award for Owens when sung by Bing Crosby in the picture “Waikiki Wedding” in 1937. More than 20 million recordings of the song have been sold, with Crosby’s alone accounting for 5 million copies.


“Went to Brazil. Saw Mayor Bowron of Los Angeles…”

Los Angeles Mayor Bowron

From the Los Angeles Times, September 17, 1938.

Sally Rand+nude+ranch+girls as Smart Object-1

“Nite: To Sally Rand’s new show – home about 9:30.”

Lake Merced 2 Lake Merced1

Lake Merced 1939

Sunday September 17, 1939. “Sam to Union meeting. Tony, Jeanne and I to the beach for several hours. Another hot day. In the evening took sandwiches etc. + ate by Lake Merced. ”

Old Maid

Monday September 18, 1939. “Hotter today – Went downtown – got iron with coupons – book left at Penney’s. Bought ticket for the Fair. Met + talked to Vic, Carlos + Ted on Market Street. Nite: went to see Old Maid while Sam worked. Home about 11.”

Tuesday September 19, 1939. “Hot morning – cooler in the afternoon with showers but hot again later. Evening to Tony’s + got a grape jacket.”


Wednesday September 20, 1939 “Hotter than ever. Bought a lite dress. Went to the Fair about 1.  Grand Hotel Day. Saw the Cavalcade and Jade Exhibit. Nite with Tony + San Diego man to Sally’s Nude Ranch. Still hot all nite.”

Thursday September 21, 1939 “Up early and to the park. Took Sam downtown. Went to Fort Winfield Scott – cool there. Scorching day. Hottest yet. School let out at 12:30…”

754 Clement Street See's

Today it is See’s at 754 Clement Street. In 1939 it was Ladenheim’s Women’s clothing, as many of the shops on Clement street were clothing stores for men and women.
“Jeanne and I to Clement Street and bought dresses. Nite, Tony over and rode to the beach. Walked along the shore-cool-but…”
4320 Fulton_Real

Front Room at 4320 Fulton

“at 10:10 still 81 degrees in the front room.”



Hope And Colonna On Stage


Bjorn Palenius

Friday September 8, 1939. “Walked in the park with Bijou. Received check and went shopping. Lyle called – party at his place. Tony over – Sam worked.”

Saturday September 9, 1939. “Sam didn’t get home until 6 a.m. Tony and I to the Fair – Swell day. Nite went to party after all. An orgy. I’m getting sick of these affairs. Home about 4 a.m.”

Sunday September 10, 1939. “Felt rotten – Tony over in the afternoon. Got up and took a ride. Bed about 10-”

Monday September 11, 1939 “Didn’t feel so good – a cold. Shopped and paid some bills. Jeanne also feeling bad – a cold. Wrote to Carola + card to Ruth.”

Tuesday September 12, 1939 “Felt slightly better today. Walked in the park. Went to the library and picked up Jeanne. Nice day. Went to Tony’s – gave 10 – on account.

Wednesday September 13, 1939 “Stormy morning – Thunder, lightning, heavy rain but lovely afternoon. Picked up Jeanne and cleaned the flat. Sam not home for regular dinner.”

Jerry_colonna_bob_hope_1940_nbc as Smart Object-1

Bob Hope with long time side kick Jerry Colonna in 1940. As noticed in The Capitol Times “Bob Hope and Jerry Colonna have signed for a personal appearance at San Francisco’s Golden Gate Theater, come September 13.”

Thursday September 14, 1939 “Beautiful day. Went to the Golden Gate Theater – saw Bob Hope and Jerry Colonna. Good! Bought Jeanne an umbrella and charm bracelet. Package from Carola – nice black dress – white suit – sweater. Bathed Bijiou. Sam and I walked in the park.”

Jerry Colonna






Schleswig-Holstein bombing Westerplatte.

Thursday August 31, 1939. “Quiet lazy day. Nite: read + listened to the radio – war is more imminent every minute. Up late listening to the news, fighting between Nazis + Poles begun.”

In August of 1939, Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union signed a non-aggression treaty. One week later, Germany invaded Poland and World War II began. The first attack of the war took place on September 1, 1939, as German aircraft bombarded the Polish town of Wielun, killing nearly 1,200. Five minutes later, the German battleship Schleswig-Holstein (above photo) opened fire on a transit depot at Westerplatte in the Free City of Danzig.

bombing Poland

Friday September 1, 1939. “War on between Poland and Germany. Home and listening to the newscasts most of the day. Nite: Harry H. from Beverly + Amy phoned – I called Tony. Letter from B.K.”

Aerial view of bombs exploding during a German bombing run over Poland in September of 1939


Saturday September 2,1939 “To the Fair with Tony. Saw Jack Benny Show. ToBrazil + talked with the boys. Nite: Went to party at Ross’s. Stayed all night. Marc, Palmer and Sam in Uniform. Britain + France declare war on Germany.

Following the huge success of Benny Goodman performing at the Fair, a line up of more big name entertainers followed.  Fair goers then saw Jack Benny and his wife Mary Livingstone with the Phil Harris’s Orchestra on stage.


Sunday September 3,1939 “Breakfast at Louis. Sam and R. stopped the cable cars. Went to Doc’s Ranch in a caravan car. Back by train. Ross brought us home.”

world's fair 1939 post card

Monday September 4th, 1939. “Labor Day. Home all day reading and listening to the radio. Jeanne went to the Fair.”

Telenews Theatre

Tuesday September 5, 1939. “Went downtown – paid Sherer. Went to the new Telenews Theatre. Saw the war pictures – horrible. Bought a slip and necklace. Nite: walk in the park. Letter from Carola. Wrote to Carola, Irene, and B.”

Mikado the movie

The Mikado is a 1939 British musical film based on Gilbert and Sullivan’s operetta. Directed by Victor Schertzinger. With Kenny Baker, John Barclay, Martyn Green, Sydney Granville.

Wednesday September 6, 1939. “Up at 9:20. To picture matinee of Mikado. Nite to library after walk in the park. Bought sugar which is going up on account of war.

Thursday September 7, 1939. “Shopped on Clement Street. Walked in the park with Bijou. Nite to Tony’s, got a Jacket and skirt. 9 pm Marc, Palmer, and Frank G came over and we drove to Sausalito. Interesting saloon – Marc + Palmer stayed all nite.”

Swing Makado

swing makado

Wednesday August 23rd, 1939. “Jeanne and I to matinee of Swing Mikado. Grand show!! Nite: to the library with Sam. To bed early.”

More about Swing Mikado

Thursday August 24, 1939 “Jeanne and I to the matinee at the Coliseum…”

Coliseum Theater

JUAREZ+-+William+Dieterle+argentina as Smart Object-1

“Saw Juarez. Rotten! Nite: To Bessie’s birthday party at Izzie’s. Rather boring. Same gang there + Jack Allen of “Life” more pictures.”

Friday August 25, 1939 “Jeanne and I to matinee at the Golden Gate Theatre. Window shopped a bit, then home. Nite: short walk in the park.”

Saturday August 26, 1939. “Jeanne and I with Tony to the Fair. Saw the Eddy Duchins show – Rufe Davis – Larry Adler…”

eddy duchin

Eddy Duchin was exceptionally popular as a pianist and showman bandleader in the 1930’s and 1940’s. His style was rooted in classical music – some saw him as a forerunner of Libarace. He was one of the earliest pianists to lead a commercially successful large band. Here is a 1935 clip with the Eddy Duchin Orchestra playing How Do I Rate With You. It features the dancing of Johnny Downs and Betty Burgess.

Gauchos+of+El+Dorado_LC as Smart Object-1

Rufe Davis is the lavender clad cowboy on the left. He sang, played guitar, was a voice contortionist and impressionist. He was  in over 30 movies and eventually played on television as conductor Floyd Smoot (Petticoat Junction). Gauchos Of El Dorado with The Three Mesquiteers perhaps inspired the 1986 John Landis film with Steve Martin, Martin Short & Chevy Chase called Three Amigos. Here is a clip showcasing the talents of Rufe Davis.

larry adler

The extraordinary Larry Adler

“…Went to the Yerba Buena Club…”

yeba buena club

“…To the Press and Island Clubs – Saw Guy Streets, an old paperboy from Santa Monica. Home about 9:10”

press building

From the fair guidebook it appears the Press Club was open only for members of the Press and related printing, publishing, and newspaper trades. Perhaps Helen, Jeanne, and Sam Hussey gained access through Hussey’s Printer’s Union card. Or as a writer Hussey may have had a Press Pass. The fair guide says the facility was not a public exhibit space.

August 23,1939 Stalin+German pact

Sunday August 27, 1939. “Very quiet day Sam and I took Bijou for a nice long walk in the park. Rest of the day read and listened to the radio – European news. Nite: Marc, Bessie, and Ross in for a minute.”

The European News on this date would have been all about Poland, which was increasingly at risk. The beleaguered country had mobilized the best it could. In the photo Soviet premier Josef Stalin (second from right), smiles while Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov (seated), signs the non-aggression pact with German Reich Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop (third from right), in Moscow, on August 23, 1939. The man at left is Soviet Deputy Defense Minister and Chief of the General Staff, Marshal Boris Shaposhnikov. The nonaggression pact included a secret protocol dividing eastern Europe into spheres of influence in the event of a conflict. The pact now guaranteed that Hitler’s troops would face no resistance from the Soviets if they invaded Poland, bringing the war one step closer to reality. (AP Photo/File)

Alvin Steinkopfbroadcasting from Danzig

Monday August 28,1939. “Hot day. Walked in the park with Bijou. Jeanne and I to Clement Street and shopped. Napped. Nite: Lots of news from Europe – no war yet. Letter from Irene.”

Above Photo: Alvin Steinkopf broadcasting from Danzig. (AP Photo).

Jeanne Polytech 1939

The 1939 Polytechnic L-10  class photo. “Class of June 1942.” Sounds like tenth grade.

Tuesday August 29, 1939. “Cleaned today – walked in the park. Jeanne started school today. Home at noon – read, listened to the news reports. To bed early.

Wednesday August 30, 1939. “Grand fall day. Walked to the beach. Nite: Jeanne and I to the show. Home a few minutes after 9:00. Sam at a Union Meeting – not home until after 12:00. Tony left two black blouses.”







Off To See The Wizard


Monday August 7, 1939. “Cleaned house. Sent money to Jeanne. Sammy Peabody, Rene phoned. To bed early.

Tuesday August 8, 1939 “Lunched downtown with Sammie, her friend Lorraine and Sammie’s daughter–shopped with them, and then I bought shoes, bag, + gloves. Dinner at Log Cabin. Walter I. out in the evening. To bed at 12.

Wednesday August 9, 1939. “Got check from bank. Returned papers to Hickson – sent money for Jeanne’s return. Nice walk in the park with Bijou. Nice dinner – to library tonight – home, read, and bed early.

Wednesday August 10, 1939 “Downtown with Zella – Bought hat, comb, sweater, costum jewelry which is to be delivered tomorrow – nite nice walk in the park. Later Tony + Phil over – Rene phoned.”


Friday August 11, 1939 “Met Sam and had dinner at the Green Lantern. Went the rounds – went to Xochmilca – Circus performer there.

Saturday August 12, 1939 “Met Sam in day – later met Marc. Dinner at Canary Den and the rounds again with a very hazy ending – lost my hat.”

Vanessi's lunch counter_tatteredandlost

Sunday August 13, 1939. “Met Jeanne at 8:25 a.m. Breakfast at Vanessi’s. Went to Scotts + downtown – later Nick + Indai over and we all had dinner with the Filipinos.”

Monday August 14, 1939 “A horrible day – spent  in bed mostly.”

Tuesday August 15, 1939 “Slightly better today. Short walk in the park – to the bank. Drew some money and sent check to personal. Rene out at nite. Sam and I read. To bed by 10 p.m.”

Wednesday August 16, 1939 “Nice walk in the park. Zella phoned and I went over there. She leaves on the 7 p.m. train for Louisiana. Nite Sam and I walked in the park. ”


Thursday August 17, 1939. “Hot day! Downtown with Jeanne. Bought her some new clothes. Nite: spaghetti feed. To bed early.”

Friday August 18, 1939. “Cleaned house after a nice early walk in the park. Rene called – gets an audition Tuesday afternoon. To Clement Street, bank and shop. Nite: Marc out  with Ann. Bought  Sherry.”

Saturday August 19, 1939. “Picked Bessie up and then all over to Alameda for Palmer’s party – Grand party – Murphy took lots of pictures.”

Piedmont Fire House And City Hall

Sunday August 20, 1939. “All up and Palmer cleaned the house up. Then we all went to Lyle’s home in Piedmont and continued the party – Sam back to S.F. for a Union Meeting. Marc brought Jeanne and I home. No Sam.

Monday August 21, 1939. Sam, Eddie J. showed up this morning. Drunk. Left again and didn’t see them until evening when Jeanne and I picked Sam up at Tony’s saloon!!! Disgusting. Jeanne and I went to the show.

the_wizard_of_oz_movie_poster-2402 as Smart Object-1

Tuesday August 22, 1939. “Jeanne and I went downtown to see Wizard of Oz and shopped. Bought hat and bag. Nite picked up Sam and to Murphy’s studio – party gang there – drinks. On to the Green Lantern and to  Louis Fashion for dinner…”

Louis Fashion Restaurant Directory Listing 1941





“Is Everybody Happy?”


Monday July 24, 1939.  “Irene M. called and said she can’t take Jeanne so Jeanne and I to town and bought her a bus ticket. She leaves Wednesday. Saw Zella. Fog here, sun downtown.”

Tuesday July 25, 1939. “Had cable put in the car. Shopped on Clement Street. Jeanne packed. Tony and Phil over for a few minutes. Nite: Leo and Irene over – sherry – bed 1 a.m.”

Wednesday July 26, 1939. “Up at 4:45 – took Jeanne down to the bus station – Sam and I then to Fisherman’s Wharf and then home. Took Sam to work. Nite: Sam and I to the Grotto for a good dinner. Sam back to work. Marc by for a few minutes with 1/2 gallon of sherry. Picking up Sam at 11 PM.”

CliffHouse1939PostCardCliff House 1939 Postcard Back

Thursday July 27, 1939. “Telephoned Jeanne. She arrived OK. Took Bijou for a walk along the cliffs. Warm and foggy.”

Friday July 28, 1939 “Sam at Jacopetti’s. Picked Sam up later and then to Izzy’s with Eddie J. and girl. Met several people. Closed the place up.

BennyGoodmanSFExpo1939-d as Smart Object-1 BennyGoodmanSFExpo1939_Preview

Saturday July 29, 1939. “To the Fair with Tony. Saw Benny Goodman play, the rifle drill, Highland Village, and Drunkard. Sam to the plant at 11 p.m. had to work most of the night. Skimmy, Lyle, Marc to the Music Box and the Press Club. Met  Reg. Denny + Tibbs”

Sunday July 30, 1939. “Got home about 6 a.m. Slept for a few hours. Marc here, Bessie picked him up. Went to the plant and loaned Mr. S. $20 and he put on a party. Eddie brought us home. Late.

Monday July 31, 1939. “Terrible hangover – bed most of the day – Tommy drove Sam to work in our car. Bed very early.”

Tuesday August 1, 1939. “Still a trifle shaky but did some work. Picked up Sam but delayed by Mr. S. He gave Sam $40. Walked in the park in the afternoon and evening.

Wednesday August 2, 1939. “Up early and walked in the park. With Sam down to the bank and sent money order. Picked up Zella, payed more bills and we drove to the beach and hiked along the cliffs. Rene called. Papers about the house came. Greek! Nite: to the library.


Thursday August 3, 1939: “To the bank about house papers and loan. To lunch with Tony. Bought two skirts and a jacket. Nite: dinner at Veneto’s. Then to Izzy’s and Sinaloa. Fog”

389 Bay Street

Today Veneto’s is gone. 389 Bay Street is under the bay windows on the right-but the restaurant actually occupied that and the corner, and the store front at 383. Catty-corner is another one of their hang outs, The Shack. That site, for sale, appears to be doomed. Overall from this view you see the uglinessation of San Francisco in progress, as it is almost everywhere else. Turning once charming Victorians/Edwardians with bay windows, and eclectic revival structures into generic looking vinyl windowed stucco boxes.

Veneto Today

The cookie cutter “anywhere you go” look, even in San Francisco.
Louis Fashion Restaurant Matchbook

Friday August 4, 1939. “Met Sam for drinks at Tony’s. Then to Louis, and Jacopetti’s. Then to Izzy’s for dinner. Then to Sinaloa, Jacopetti, and Louis for some time. It was a large evening. Sherry at home. Mr. H. and Mildred in for a time.”

Louis Fashion 526 Market Today

The view of Market Street today at 526.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Tedlewis as Smart Object-1

Ted Lewis (June 6, 1890 – August 25, 1971), was an American entertainer, bandleader, singer, and musician. He led a band presenting a combination of jazz, hokey comedy, and schmaltzy sentimentality that was a hit with the American public. He was known by the moniker “Mr. Entertainment” or Ted “Is Everybody Happy?” Lewis.

A film clip showing Mr. Entertainment in action including his signature baton twirl at 4:21

Saturday August 5, 1939. “Took papers to the bank. In the afternoon to the Fair. Saw the Ted Lewis Show. Met Mary B. To the Press Club. Saw Palmer + Francis and later at the Island Club!! Home, Tommy was here. To Hunters Point then took him home.

Hunters Point 1940a

Originally Bay View/Hunter’s Point was an Italian and Maltese enclave southwest of Third Street. Hunters Point was for many years the site of a Chinese shrimp fishing community. There was an artists community there. Beginning the late 1930’s the Hunters Point Navy Base took over in the looming advance of World War II. Photo Source: Jack Tillmany/Arcadia Publishing.

Hunters Point

Hunter’s Point/Bay View. This street corner at 4900 Third Street was home to the Ronan Meat Market (left under the awning) and George Jones Insurance, floor above. Next door, to the right, Men’s and Boys Wear. Image Source: Betty Jones/Arcadian Publishing.

Sunday August 6, 1939. “Nice ride with Tony to Hunters Point. Stopped at Fisherman’s Wharf – bought crabs, shrimp, beer. Home and feed. Nite: Zella and Harry over for awhile. ”

4900 Third Today

That corner building in particular has visually suffered significantly from someone’s “improvements.” Note the horrible windows and doors. What is good for the big box   “improvement” centers often isn’t so good buildings that were originally well designed, very attractive, and a source of community pride. Let’s just turn this nice building into an everyday anywhere piece of junk. Progress!

Sam Met Hecht and MacArthur

pennsylvania-under-golden-gate as Smart Object-1 Uss Indianapolis2

Monday July 17,1939. “Up early and cleaned the flat. Had the car greased. From den window saw the fleet depart. Water canon salute. Irene M. over in the afternoon. Picked up Sam at 9:30. Took Leaches home. One rum coke.”

Golden Gate Park

Golden Gate Park 1939. Photo from Jeanne’s album.

Tuesday July 18, 1939. “Made appointment for Jeanne’s perm tomorrow. To the bank, cashed check. Walked in the park with Bijou. Later Jeanne and I to the park with Bijou and the kitten. Nite: Tony over with the Mortons who are leaving in the morning.


Wednesday July 19, 1939 “I window shopped while Jeanne got her perm. Bought two pairs of gloves. Went to Chinatown – Pagoda – for a drink, and then El Prado. Picked up Sam and then dinner in Chinatown. Clar’s marriage split!”

JohnWayneStageCoachsan-francisco-jeanette-macdonald-clark-gable-1936 as Smart Object-1

Thursday July 20, 1939. “Nice walk in the park. P.M. Jeanne and I walked to the library and then to a show. Stagecoach and San Francisco. Check from Ruth came. Nite: Tony and Phil over for a short time. Rene here. It was HOT today.”

SaturdayEveningPost July1939Image Source Christian Montone

Friday July 21, 1939. “Jeanne and I downtown. Bought her two bathing suits and a sweat shirt. Back to Clement Street and shopped. Nite: picked Sam up. Turkey + Cafe Diablo. Jacopetti’s. Jeanne and Rene to the show. HOT day!”

ben-hecht-06 as Smart Object-1 CharlesMacArthur

Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur. Prolific writers individually, but also collaborated on several renown projects including the play Ladies and Gentlemen which was performing in San Francisco at this time. The film version was Perfect Strangers. They also wrote Twentieth Century, and a constant Hollywood favorite, The Front Page. Hecht was particularly busy in 1939 which saw completed screenplays for Some Like It Hot, Gone with the Wind, Gunga Din, and Wuthering Heights.

Saturday July 22, 1939. “Took Bijou for a walk in the park. Foggy and delightful. Shopped at Clement Street and sent money orders. Jeanne and I to Geary Street, then a lazy afternoon. Sam was invited to the Press Club and met Hecht and MacArthur. Picked him up at 8 PM. Tom Collins at Jacopetti’s and then home.”

Land's End

Fort Miley & Lands End, January 1939. Golden Gate Park, upper right. Photo source John Martini.

Sunday July 23, 1939 “Took Sam to plant for a while then we walked to Lands End. Home, read and lazed most of the day.”



Martin – Frazenbach


Jeanne’s grandparents on her father’s side. Otto Rudolph Martin from Saxony (Germany) and Agnes Franzenbach also from Germany. They were married on June 18th 1891 in Walla Walla, Washington, U.S.A.

Agnes Martin

Agnes Franzenbach was born on April 4, 1865 in Cöln, Germany. She came to the U.S. through New York on October 25,1889 with her first husband John Michels aboard the Belgenland. On the back of the photo she wrote: “This was taken, made in Pendleton Oregon. I don’t remember when. Long time ago.”

Val 205

Otto Rudolph Martin, he went by Rudolph, was born in Oederan – Kingdom of Saxony (now part of Germany) – on July 19, 1853. He demonstrated, though various documents he ever faced filling out, that he claimed Saxony as his origin, not Germany. Rudolph immigrated to the U.S. in 1881, coming through Baltimore aboard the ship Hohenzollern on August 4th, 1881.

The caption for the above photo reads “Dad Martin his delivery wagon. The building being built is Dad’s State Hotel” Further research needs to be done to know the exact location of  the State Hotel. Businesses in the background include one W.G. Hansford & Company – Stoves. Also a banner reading The Fair. Under it US Boys Club. I can also make out “Hair, Shoes, Trunks.”

Census records through the decades indicate Rudolph’s Bakery and Grocery occupation or business in  both Pendleton and Portland, Oregon. The 1900 Census lists Railroad Street. 1910 Census showing Mississippi Avenue in Portland. But through the years, according to Bette’s memoirs, Rudolph owned many properties and could be possibly described as a compulsive Lessor (landlord).

Agnes "Mama"190

Agnes Franzenbach Martin, 1895, Pendleton, Oregon. The 1900 Census lists her as a Saleswoman in Pendleton. “Chew Horse Shoe Plug Tobacco.” Shall we assume this was a product in her sales portfolio?

William Franzenback

Agnes had a brother, William Frazenbach. His history however is tragic. On the back of this portrait Agnes wrote: “I am Agnes Martin. This is my brother William Frazenbach. Somebody killed him in Medford for his money. He was a fine man.”

Val 207

A note on the back, perhaps written by Carola, reads “The Pendleton House where all of us were born”

Carola, Frances, Otto

Carola, Frances, Otto (Val).

Val 210

Otto (Val).




Martin family, 1907 at their home on Kerby and Graham Avenue, Portland Oregon. A caption reads “We are all here. Otto (upper left), Frances (lower left), Dad and Lewis (lower steps), Mama (upper steps), and Carola (upper right). The house no longer stands. A concrete parking structure is there now as part of a hospital complex.

Dad and LewisMomFrancesVal_Carola

Rudolph Martin and Lewis “Bob”  Agnes “Mama,” “Mutti”    Frances                            Otto (Val),  Jeanne’s Dad                               Carola


Yet another Martin Frazenbach property. On the back it reads “The house Dad built in Oak Grove about 1907 or 1908 possibly a little later.”

Bette recalls in her memoirs her grandparent’s home life “Mutti (Agnes Martin) and Dad (Rudolph Martin) were from Germany and spoke a lot of German, or English, with an accent, and I grew up hearing it. I recognized a lot of German words, but I didn’t really speak a lot of it. I picked up more of the accent and ways of pronouncing certain words that I relearned quickly when I started school.”


Relentless home buyer and Landlord Rudolph Martin, early 1920’s.

It was reported by Agnes Martin that Otto Rudolph Martin, born in the Republic of Saxony on July 15, 1853, son of Wilhelm Martin  and Mollie Spindle, passed away on May 3, 1939 in Long Beach, WA. He is buried in Portland Cemetery. Agnes passed away in 1952, and is also buried in Portland Cemetery.

Frances Martin_Cousin Bette1

Jeanne’s aunt Frances and Cousin Betty (Bette).  Bette explained in her memoirs She was “Betty” until she was 15 years old. “One day I got a letter… addressed to BETTE BAKER. I was enchanted! Bette Davis was the leading actress in the movies in those days, so I thought it sounded so glamorous. From that day on, I was BETTE.”

Betty Jane2 Betty Jane1

Bette remembers, “My very earliest memories are going to Mutti and Dad’s beach house in Long Beach, Washington for three months every summer.

“I went every summer until I got married in 1940. The old house was several blocks from the beach, but I remember walking down there with Mutti and Dad to pick up driftwood to burn in the wood stove. Dad would tie it up and drag it along behind him back to the house.”

More of Bette’s Story

Also visit Family of Otto Rudolph Martin and Agnes Frazenback