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Chocolate and Jitneys

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Posted by Donna Wingard Becker on Wednesday, July 13, 2005 at 08:54:37 :

I was nose-high to a knee-cap, but San Francisco made its impression on me nonetheless.
Our house sat atop Hillside Boulevard in Daly City. I checked several times each day the view from our dining room window to count the ships going in and out of the harbor. Occasionally, I'd notice that certain ships seemed to take forever to get there. What was the cargo that held them so low and slow? Well, it had to be the best chocolate, of course. Lots and lots of it for all of us.
I'd always look for it when Mom would take me downtown. There it was, stacked neatly behind shining glass at the candy counters waiting to be chosen by the discerning shopper (my Mom) and the ready consumer (me).
It was the 1950s, and our trips from Daly City to the downtown were always made by jitney. A regal conveyance, able to seat several riders, and costing a small fortune! My Mom would hand the driver a coin and off we'd go, stopping from time-to-time to invite another passenger in or to deposit one along the way. What a civilized way to travel!
Once downtown, there were magical stores to be explored and deft shopping to be done. My personal interest, once my senses were full of the sights, was the lunch counter at the 5&10, where I would be given permission to have what we NEVER had at home. My Mom would urge me to try other culinary delights, but my heart kept to its only true passion -- hamburger, fries and ... a COKE!
And on the way back home, a niblet of the finest chocolate ... brought to San Francisco's harbor fresh, and almost daily, by ships passing my dining room window.

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