I can still remember when I was twelve (1962) and Uncle Leo, who owned Clearwater Outfitters in northern Idaho, wanted to try out summer Dude trips. He figured that we were about as "Dude" as they come, so he took my mom, dad, my brother, and I on a horse trip into the mountains. My mom was a capable horsewoman having grown up on a farm, but the rest of us were "city folk". After my first sore day of bouncing along, I learned that you partly stand in the stirrups. How about that! I was given a very gentle horse that got me up a steep trail when I was exhausted by threatening to step on my heals as I led the way up. My dad who needed a large horse ended up with one who sensed that my dad knew little about horses. The horse walked along quietly until he saw a low branch then ran under it, neatly unseating my dad. My dad kept a close eye on that horse after that. Though they didn't get along, we all had a great time riding down the trails and reaching out and picking and eating the huckleberries which grew along the trail and sleeping under the stars. I'll always remember this special trip with my Uncle Leo.
Lew Pearson, Jim Groom, Ethel Crane, Leo and Zola Crane, Jenny Crane, Lloyd Crane, Arlene Crane Pearson 1969
Leo 2004 ; reminds me of our tripLeo 1987, Scott Crane (khaki shirt)
When I was young (2 to 7 years old), my family lived in Oakland which is just across the bay from San Francisco. When I was in high school we lived in Concord and later in Lafayette. They are just over the hill from Berkeley ( about half an hour from San Francisco. My husband and I spent the first couple of days of our honeymoon at Fisherman's Wharf. Yes, memories of San Francisco are woven through my life.
From when I was little to when I was in junior college, I enjoyed the Golden Gate park. As we drove through the curving roads looking up at the towering tree limbs and old windmills.
We explored the gardens.
Nearby were many other exciting places.
I stared mesmerized watching the tide go in and out in the huge aquarium building and spent hours wandering though the immense art museum galleries.
I enjoyed going to the zoo. Once I entered the Lion house just before feeding time. The place was empty except for me and the big cats. Suddenly, a male lion let out a roar that shook the bars and made my ears ring. He was hungry!
When I was in junior college, my Institute group (college students who are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) took children from the orphanage to the zoo. My partner and I took a little girl with a blond pony tail to the zoo several times. She loved it!
When I was very little, we went to the Storyland and rode the train at the zoo. I even had my birthday party at Storyland when I was very young. All the neighbor kids were invited and we ran around and played in all the kid-sized fairytale houses.
The Carousel was beautiful! I loved it when I was little, but it made me dizzy when I got older.
There was a small train at the zoo which was fun to ride.
We saw all the fishing boats tied up to the piers and gaped at all the fish and seafood displayed at Fisherman's Wharf. A few times we even ate there.
We'd walk around Chinatown. Once we went into a real Chinese furniture store. They quickly let us know that tourists were not welcome!
I like the quaint houses on the steep hills,
and riding the cable cars.
I enjoyed it when we drove across the Golden Gate Bridge and even just looking at the bridge as the wind from the ocean blew my hair and coat was something special.
I've heard people sing of leaving their heart in San Francisco and understand. I think a part of my heart will always be there.
Downtown San Francisco 1960's when I was in High School
The most fun day I had in high school was when my senior honor's class was given a field trip to San Francisco. Our small class of less than twenty, was dropped off in downtown San Francisco. We had several hours to explore the city before we needed to be back for the play. Our only instructions were to stay with our partner. I ended up with a wonderful partner. She really knew the city and showed me around. We went to art galleries, an oriental temple complete with burning incense, and the exclusive Gump's department store. Gump's had items from all over the world. I looked at it more like a museum than a store. In the early afternoon our class all met at an old theater to see a production of the classic play, Charlie's Aunt. That was a day I will always remember.
On my mother's birthday my family would dress up and go to the Cliff House in San Francisco for a lunch of shrimp louie (a salad with cooked shrimp on top). It was both scary and exciting for my brother and I to be in a fancy restaurant. They had china dishes, glass goblets, and real silver spoons, knives, and forks and of all sizes. I tried very hard to "act like a lady". The most fun was looking out the window and seeing the seals on Seal Rock. They basked in the sun, slid into the ocean, and barked at each other.
We left the San Francisco area when I was 7 years old (1957). I saw the Cliff House again on our honeymoon in 1972. It had been closed for several years due to a fire. I'm glad to find that it has been rebuilt and is open again.
It was an adventure to take the Alameda-Oakland Ferry to San Francisco. We drove our cream and black top 1950 Pontiac to the pier and got in line behind the other cars. We watched the Ferry come up to the pier, the ramp put out, then the other cars drive off of the deck. Now it was our turn. It seems that my mom and brother and I all got out of the car and my dad drove it over the ramp and onto the ferry's deck. There was a large cabin over the lower auto deck and above the passenger cabin and, above it was the small cabin where they steered the ship.
This picture looks so calm, but that is not how I remember it. I was glad to have the protection of the cabin from the cold wind. I was only 4 or 5 years old and would stand on the wooden bench which went around the passenger cabin, so I could look out the glass windows at the gray sky, flog, and choppy waves. Even with my coat on, I could always feel the damp coldness surrounding me.
In 1958 this auto Ferry service was discontinued. After that, we drove across on the San Francisco Bay bridge. It seems like the whole ferry ride was at least half an hour with all the loading and unloading.
Red construction paper hearts and small heart shaped candies, fill my memories of Valentine's Day in elementary school. The days before Valentine's we cut red, white, and pink hearts out of construction paper and made Valentine people out of them. We also made designs by coloring hearts and by pasting colored hearts together one on top of the other. I liked the Valentine crafts.
The night before Valentine's Day was busy. Mom would help my brother and me find shoe boxes and cover them with white paper, then we pasted on the hearts we had cut out. When it was done, we put our name on the box.
Next the real work began. Our teacher had sent home a list of all the boys and girls in the class and we had to write each classmate's name on the valentine's envelope and our name on the back of the valentine. Everyone gave small three inch tall valentines that we bought in a box. The were colored drawing of things like cowboys, ballerinas, animals, flowers, hearts, cars etc. and said things like "Don't break my heart. Be My Valentine.", or ""No horsing around. Be My Valentine." I had to be very careful not to give anything "mushy" to a boy, or I would be teased. It took me awhile to pick the right card for each person.
When we got to school, we put our shoes boxes on the counter with everyone else's boxes. On Valentine's afternoon, we got our shoe box and set it on our desk, then we went around and put one Valentine in each classmates box. A mother would bring in homemade heart shaped cookies with pink frosting on top. We sat at our desks and ate our cookie and opened our Valentines. It was a fun, noisy afternoon!
I loved Christmas! As a young girl, I would sit in a large upholstered rocking chair beside our Christmas tree; rocking, rocking, and waiting. It seemed that Christmas would never arrive!
This is a picture of our home in Concord, California where we lived when I was in my teens. My mother loved to have lots of presents under our tree, so she would beautifully wrap up our school supplies besides our big presents. One year I bought a large sausage for my step-father, Lew Pearson. I wrapped it and put it under the tree. The Irish Setter (the large red dog), Kelly, was my brother's dog. He found the sausage and had himself a feast.
At Christmas time we made lots of cookies which I loved to decorate.We made star, bell, and ball ornament cookies. Mom also made date nut bread, and cranberry bread. I loved to eat it with cheese.
When I was little, my dad worked nights to buy lots of presents for us. We always opened one present on Christmas Eve. It was our Christmas pajamas which my mom made for my brother and I. We wore them to bed that nigh, so we were ready for my dad's Christmas movie the next morning. I could barely sleep - I was so excited!
I loved Christmas candles. I remember a big red candle we used year after year. I liked to dip my finger in the hot wax and let it cool and peal the wax off. When I was ten and we were living in Athens, Georgia, Mom tried making candles. She cooked blocks of white paraffin wax and we put some of my crayons in it for color. When it was all melted, we poured the wax into cardboard milk cartons. After it was cool, we ripped off the cardboard and there was a large red candle. Next, we used a hand mixer and whipped up some of the white paraffin wax. We used a knife and spread the white wax over the red candle. It hardened and looked like frosting covering the candle. When the candle was lit, the red shown through the white "frosting". It was fun to do.
When I was in my teens, I helped with the Christmas decorating and wrapping. I spread it all out on my bed and wrapped for hours. Our old dog, Teddy, is "helping" me wrap.
My dad would spend days working on his Christmas cards. He wrote personal notes to all his family and friends. Mom knitted, and sewed presents for us. Christmas was a busy, fun time filled with lots of good food, sparkling lights, presents, and Christmas Carols.