“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!

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

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