A San Francisco Treat…………..#195A (80’s)

Fisherman’s Wharf

Pier 39

The second morning in Foster City finding the Cavalier ascending the El Camino Real,  a recrudescence to San Francisco, another adventurous day for the Willson family and Gary’s rumination with the north bay.   Fisherman’s Wharf still a vista of maritime presence and a historic chronicle of the cities nugatory endeavor.   Arriving at Pier 39, the cavalier finding a statutory residence on Beach Street, an abbreviated distance to the beckoning fanfare of the various enunciated proclamations.

Robert, Jan & Sandi – The Balclutha

Aboard the square-rigged Balclutha

Gary having traverse this wonderland many times before, guiding them on Jefferson Street to the Hyde street pier,  moored at rest in the water was the majestic Balclutha, its presence beckoning an open invitation to come aboard.  The square-rigged whaler was built in 1886,  its presence still communicating a residency of a bye gone era and within it,  an essence of consciousness still remaining of the brazen able-bodied sailors,  the generation who encountered the sailing vestiges of the sea.

Robert and the Thayer

The Eureka

A thing of the past

Continuing on with a tour of the schooner C A Thayer, a lumber bearing wind-driven vessel of sea-going worthiness built in 1895 near Eureka California. Before them a familiar sight for Gary, at berth the Eureka, a member of the  Richmond  San Rafael  ferry boat fleet.   An anamnesis from Gary’s past,  the ferry having spent decades traversing  the bay,  its labor  providing an automotive avenue to Marin County, its tenants bypassing the two San Francisco iconic bridges.  Gary’s remembrance of the Eureka on the Bay, the on-shore ocean breeze buffeting him on the deck of the gallant carrier,  the Ferry’s presence a reminder of the nostalgic memory of his youthful quintessence.

The Pampanito dockside

The Pampanito

Aboard the Pampanito

The decommissioned submarine Pampanito was solace in the water,  a veteran of the Second World War, commissioned in 1943 with a compliment of 10 officers and 70 enlisted men,  receiving a compliment of six battle stars,  a monument to those submariner’s having giving their all during  battle in the Pacific.   Gary perceiving a tempestuous atmosphere  when boarding the battle tested submersible,  a consciousness of immortality reigning from its past duty-bound participation.   Descending into the bowels of the vessel, the family experiencing the circumscribed quarters the crew endured,  the captured ambiance of the surroundings,  giving all who boarded a new perspective of the endurance of a submariner and their dedication.

Marine Terminal 41

The Blue and Gold bay cruise casting its mooring at Marine Terminal 41, the family having been entertained by a gathering of pigeons who conveniently gathered at the first toss from Robert and Sandi’s popcorn bags.  Once aboard, the family experiencing the on-shore breeze that cascaded thru the entrance aperture of San Francisco bay as they passed beneath the Golden Gate Bridge.   Its brisk breath-taking coercion giving connotation to all who have passed thru this gateway portal to the affable world beyond.   Gary again sensing the aura, the bouquet of the bay,  the tidal breath aspiring thru the Golden Gate,  the dampening wind engulfing him and son Robert, the only ones to stand at the bow.  Once again engendering a faction of his youth, an anamnesis of a buoyant memory still able to experience a childhood recognition of  acclamation.

Alcatraz occupation

 The island of Alcatraz drawing near, known earlier as La Islade las Alcatraces, the island of the pelican, the 47 acres being named by spanish explorer Juan Manuel de Ayala in 17 75.  Acquiring it’s modern day notoriety in 1934 under the jurisdiction of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, incurring a reputation as a staunch symbol of discipline for 29 years, gaining the callous name, The Rock.  The Bureau of Prison with a softening of juridical prudence and increasing budget cost closed its doors in 1963.  A 19 month occupation by a fractal group claiming to be native americans in 1969 caused major damage to the landmark before being removed in 71.  The Golden Gate National Recreational Area acquired the island and opened it to the public the following year.

A Pretty Picture

An addition to Panoramic San Francisco

Gary found the skyline of the city by the bay as observed from the aquatic vessel, a panorama vestige of  prominence and heritage.  Tony Bennett having painted a melodious picture with his iconic song,  I left my heart in San Francisco, high on a hill it calls to me.  To be where little cable cars climb halfway to the stars,  the morning fog may chill the air, I don’t care.   The family stood as the Blue and Gold  floating appliance  edged itself within the brine covered pilings that rose like  benevolent corral,  the crew brandishing the securing rigging,  a gangway in place,  the peregrinations fulfilled.


Ripley’s wax museum

The family deciding on  luncheon meal at Alioto’s, Gary in years past  having been introduced to  an aquatic delicacy native to California, the Sand Dab, a seasonal delight in the spring and summer months.  Upon satisfying their appetite, the San Francisco quest traversing onto the pedestrian filled Jefferson Street, which played host to the enterprising business’s and many street entertainers.  Gary having lost his status as a visitors years ago,  introduced his family to the renown Ripley Believe it or Not Wax Museum, a tour acquainting them with the life-size wax replicas of individuals of historical prominence.

A Hill Climber

Continuing down Jefferson, approaching Hyde Street,  the clanging of a bell drawing their attention,  it was the Beach and Hyde Street Turn Around for the applauded cable car.   Securing their tickets, the family finding a position in the very front, Robert standing on the running board, leaning out, a glee expounding from him as the trolley proceeded up the steep incline, then descending to the Powell and Market Street Turn About. The family remounting the car for the return excursion to the Beach and Hyde Street conclusion.

Jan going strong in China Town

Jan going strong in Chinatown

A final objective before the resolute return drive  to Foster City, Chinatown.  During his youthful years Gary having ventured thru almost all areas of the city, but never had a purpose to for an in-depth exploration of the realm known as Chinatown.   Grant and Stockton Street extending eight blocks was the designated tourist path to explore oriental expenditures, open outside markets stocked with varieties of fish and meats stayed on ice, fresh vegetables, fruits and endless shops of clothing, knickknacks and trinkets, the sidewalk filled with a multitude of visitors an everyday occurrence.  Jan continuing to enjoy the emporium and boutiques, but with the family noting signs of fatigue and the sun giving notice of the lateness of the hour they were ready to frequent the car and depart for Foster City, a farewell to the city by the bay, a memory forever inscribed, their expectations having been fulfilled.

A farewell to the city by the bay, a memory forever




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