Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Little Man in the Chair

Here's an old favorite - the ever popular "Man in the Chair" which has always accompanied the movie/theater reviews in the Sunday Datebook. This little guy was the creation of artist Warren Goodrich sometime back in 1942.

On the Little Man’s 50th birthday in 1992, Goodrich recalled it was just another assignment that he sketched quickly, noting, “I’m surprised (it) continued." Goodrich, who died in 2007, once recalled that a woman (possibly a disgruntled actress) once hit him on the head with her umbrella and said, “I hate the Little Man!”

Here is what famed movie critic Roger Ebert had to say about this Bay Area icon:

"...The only rating system that makes any sense is the Little Man of the San Franciscio Chronicle, who is seen (1) jumping out of his seat and applauding wildly; (2) sitting up happily and applauding; (3) sitting attentively; (4) asleep in his seat; or (5) gone from his seat….The blessing of the Little Man system is that it offers a true middle position, like three on a five-star scale..."

I don't know about now, but years ago, the Datebook was printed on pink paper(years after the Chronicle stopped printing the Sporting Green on green paper back in the very early 1980s, remember that?), dubbing it the "pink section". On Sunday mornings in my house, I was the first to mangle my dad's paper by grabbing two things: the pink section and the funnies.

Here's to 50 more years of that little man hoping that in this eceonmy, he can still afford to go to the movies!

Thanks to and for pics and info.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Kids' KTVU in the mornings

Anyone growing up in the late 1970s/early 1980s in the Bay Area can't help but remember Pat McCormick and his puppets, Charlie & Humphrey. Thirty years later, I still find myself using the phrase, "Glue!! I need glue!!" Enjoy this treat from the vault; it should stir up a few memories:

Thursday, April 9, 2009

And now...another Chronicle working stiff

Scott Ostler

Few columnists have that true staying power, especially in this city. One of those that has stood the test of time is the Chronicle's own Scott Ostler. Ostler is currently a sports columnist, but years ago he wrote a weekday column that rivaled Jon Carroll to the "N"th degree. His witty writing and observations never failed to keep me laughing, even if I was sitting in the middle of a gang fight on the 14 Mission. I found the following column a good example of Scott's unique comic relief:

Cops protect S.F. From Sandwiches.

Column courtesy of archives:

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Good Night, Cabbie

Back in the late 1990's, The San Francisco Chronicle ran a weekly column on Mondays called The Night Cabbie. Does anyone else recall this great segment???

A local cab driver whom, to this day, I have yet to uncover his (or her!) identity, would dazzle us locals with tales of late night fares throughout the city. For some reason, I was always convinced this was a DeSoto cabbie, don't ask me why. Sometimes it was the ramblings of some homeless kid on Polk St; other times you'd hear tales of apathy and ignorance from wealthy tourists. They ranged from the hilarious to the bizarre, and you always got the feeling that this guy should have been a sociology professor at SF State, or at the least run some head shop on Haight.

His column ran until 2004, when he finally decided that struggling to make ends meet peddling cab fares was just not worth it, and he hung up his keys (and his pen) for good. It was a real loss - a real shame.

I enjoyed his stories because of his ability to tell it the way it was. I could almost imagine myself sitting in that back seat, watching these random, bizarre exchanges, wondering, "What is THAT guy's deal?"

About two or three times a year, although living out of state now, I still find myself googling "Night Cabbie" hoping to see him back in the drivers seat but alas, he has vanished from the cab scene it seems for good. He brought the realness of the city home - and he is greatly missed. I wonder if he ever googles himself, perhaps to see if anyone still remembers.....

Luckily, the online SF Chronicle keeps ALL his work archived on their site, so below I have posted a link to his final column, written shortly after Christmas of 2004.

You can find his last column here.

As you read it you truly understand why he gave it up and wonder how many other cab drivers out there are starving as well. You wonder why the city makes it so hard for these guys to make a living.

You are still missed, and not forgotten Night Cabbie. I hope that wherever you are today, that if the opportunity arises to make a little extra money driving looneys from the Fairmont to Big Al's on Broadway, you just might take it....

Remember when Scott Ostler wrote non-sports columns?? Tomorrow....

Link courtesy of and the SF Examiner/Chronicle.

Baghdad by the Bay

I spent most of today arranging a rather busy collage, that once I posted it to my blog as a background, seemed just a tad too busy, so I am submitting it as a regular blogpost. Enjoy.

You can take the girl out of San Francisco but....

Hello there and thank you so very much for taking the time to check out my blog. I am a transplanted native of San Francisco and have found that my love for this beautiful, unique city will surely never die. From my lovely home in Raleigh, North Carolina I find myself spending so much time either reading or reminiscing about my far away city by the Bay.

Since I realize that returning to the City is highly unlikely, though not impossible, I am very happy and content in my new life in the Southeast living with my long sought-after other half/best friend. Sometimes he isn't sure if I might run back to the Bay Area! I decided the best thing to do was to start this blog about all things San Francisco as a way to not only channel my affection for the Bay Area, but also as a means to bring it to those who have never been, and never known, this one of a kind world.

I plan on sharing memories, stories, history, pics, and any bits of interesting pulp I happen to come across. My theory is that in doing so, my memories will remain intact and my knowledge of the City will grow, to a point where I can someday call myself a San Francisco historian.

Please enjoy this trip through MY foggy SF memories and feel free to post comments and/or stories as well. Peace and love to you all.

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