April 01, 2008

nice morning in the forest

click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

On Saturday -- all the while I was taking this photo -- I was reminding myself just how lucky I am to live nearby.   Found it between the old railroad right-of-way that leads to Taylor State Park, and the bubbling and bucolic Lagunitas Creek.

Yesterday I wrote a comment in http://www.whatimseeing.com -- one of my favorite blogs (written from the perspective of a younger generation), and I typed out this comment that is way too long, but it was a trip-down-memory-lane, and I thought some of your folks might enjoy [ endure ] it, so here it is:

I read with rapt attention to Travis Jensen's life story -- or at least the brief parts he shared with us -- I'm sure there is much, much more.   I don't think many skateboards were around when I was a kid, but I do remember kids who would occasionally nail regular skates to the bottoms of two-by-fours.   For me, building coasters was fun and about all the risk I could handle...

But hearing that Travis Jensen writes for the Chronicle will inspire me to buy it more often than I do and search out his work.   Disrespectfully, I've always called the Chronicle -- the Comical...   Yes, it is a time-honored and prestigious newspaper, but you've got to admit it's been pretty bad at certain stages over the years.   At times Herb Caen was the only column worth reading.   When he died the only good thing remaining IMHO was when Macy's ran a big bra and panty advertisement.

Now, I don't know exactly why I feel I need to mention all of this, but my father worked for the Chronicle for two or three years back in the '50's as a bookkeeper, and about all I can remember is his comments about how much he hated his bosses and working there.

Get this -- the job situation for accountants in the Monterey area must have been so bad in the 1950's (he worked as a bookeeper for a succession of canneries on Cannery Row, as one by one, they all folded) that he decided to take a job at the Chronicle, about 115 miles to the north.
Our family owned a sleek 1947 Pontiac, but he commuted by Greyhound on the weekends between Monterey and San Francisco.   He would leave Monterey on Sunday afternoon, room and board with my grandparents who lived in Marin County, and then commute into the City on the bus each day, until Friday evening when he would take Greyhound back to Monterey.   All that time he was considering moving our family to San Francisco or Marin County, but eventually he landed a bookeeping job in Monterey with the school district.

But I DO remember going to, but not inside, the Chronicle Building back in the '50's...   I probably was no older than 8, but I remember having to wait in the Pontiac while he took mom inside to meet his bosses.   Before leaving me and my brother in the car he gave us the lecture of our lives about not getting out of the car or letting anyone in...   My brother and I sat there all the while absolutely petrified that some terrible harm might come our way as we were waiting.   I doubt if Mission Street in that area looked too much different in those days than it does today.

Anyway, I still don't know why I had to tell you all of that, but there you go...

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Anonymous said...

i laughed pretty hard when i read this: "the only good thing remaining IMHO was when Macy's ran a big bra and panty advertisement."

great story by the way. i love hearing people talk about the old bay area.

the best way to understand the future is to learn about the past!!

Travis said...

Great story. Thanks for the link. I will be back.

Tomate Farcie said...

Great story!

I do too, love these little slices of life into the past. I can't even remotely imagine how Marin County must have looked before yuppyfication, by the way.

I can identify with the "waiting in the car" bit very much.

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