I grew up just across the San Francisco bay, in a town called Alameda. My dad was in the Navy, and he managed to allow us to live in one place for about seven years, by alternating being stationed on the base at Alameda and being stationed on the USS Coral Sea. At that time, it was the longest time I’d lived anywhere in my life!
Watching this video, it made me remember how much I loved the Bay Area. So much history, beautiful scenery, and amazing weather. I remember watching from across the bay as half of the Transamerica Pyramid was built — the top half, obviously. :)
I left Alameda in 1989 — having moved back there as a married woman with one child, and another on the way — moving to Salem, Oregon just a few months before the Loma Prieta earthquake. The only reason I had the TV on that afternoon was because of the World Series game between the A’s and the Giants. Even though I’m not a baseball fan, I had to watch this particular series!
I walked out to the living room to see how they could possibly have such a quiet lead-in to the first game. That’s when I saw raw footage of the Cypress freeway collapsed in on itself, and just stood there in shock. I’d driven out of the Bay Area just a few months before, on the lower deck of that freeway, and I knew what that road was like at rush hour — packed. The Portland news guy was narrating the raw footage, and I was going absolutely batshit, because he just didn’t understand that the Cypress was a double-decked structure. A lot of people died on that freeway the day of the earthquake, but a mere fraction of the number that would have died, if not for the historic World Series starting that afternoon.
I haven’t been back there in over 25 years, but I’d love to visit San Francisco and the East Bay again. I’d drive around the narrow streets of my old hometown, even though the base has been closed for many years, and the military housing I lived in is gone. I noticed that the Myth Busters are making use of the old runways and my high school pool, so that’s pretty awesome. Then I’d drive across the bridges, down Lombard Street, catch a cable car to China Town (if they’re still running), visit Coit Tower, where the ladies of the Officer’s Wives Club — led my my mom — hung a giant yellow ribbon, to welcome home my dad’s ship after the war, and I’d walk around Fisherman’s Wharf. From what I could see on the video, it looks like they’ve spiffed up the piers and wharf area quite a bit. Weird. I liked it as it was.
Well, enjoy the video. It brought back a lot of memories for me, as you can tell.
This is our daily open thread — What places do you miss?