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San Francisco 1882

[Post Followup] [San Francisco Memories Board]

Posted by Rana on Tuesday, September 24, 2013 at 12:30:48 :

San Francisco – May 10, 1882

The summer season, with all its antecedent picnics and excursions is now close at hand. Summer is San Francisco is easily recognized. The heavy drifting fogs that come sneaking in from the Pacific; the clouds of dust that go flying down the streets; the cobble stones that find a lodgment in your eyes, blown there by the frisky wind, all give evidence of the approach of summer. The man with his never ceasing cry of “I-c-e – C-r-e-a-m” will soon patrol the streets. In most cities summer is heralded with joy; and rejoicings at its return are great. Here, it is different. Perhaps at no time in the year is the city so deserted. Everybody who is anybody and whose business will allow it, takes his family off for a holiday jaunt to some country resort, for a couple of months. Santa Cruz, Monterey, Napa Soda Springs, the Geysers and even Tavlorille, a camp on the North Pacific Coast R. R., will soon be crowded with visitors. Everybody is off to “the Springs.” Golden Gate Park, which is usually such a resort for the people, is now almost entirely deserted. Occasionally some rich man’s carriage rushes past. But these are few and far between, Society, that is to say, the society of upper-tendum, is nearly as much at a standstill, as it was during the Lenten season. For nearly everyone of the “society” people are obliged to conform with the fashion, and the fashion says “Go out of the city,” so they go. A few, however, remain in the city, whose business forbids their departure, or whose exchequer is in a somewhat ragged state.

As I sit at my desk, a military company, off for a picnic, is passing my window. The blare of the trumpets; the clash of the cymbals; the rub-a-abub of the drums, all go to make up a pleasant picture, especially when you are trying to write, and when all this clamor is in addition to the screeching of your last six month’s old “mamma’s precious darling.” Everyday, some pic-nic or excursion takes off some of the people in the morning, and bring them “off” at night. But these are the pleasures of summer life in San Francisco, and so they must not be scoffed at. Pic-nics, excursions, watering places, etc. are all well enough to those who like them, but for me, “Give me autumn or give me death!” An autumn season in San Francisco, and its suberbs, is simply superb, it is the finest time in the year. The boys begin to leave; the men with the water-cart, gets around to “sit on” the dust; and the weather is delightful. There, the people return home – society is “booming” – and the people feel in the best of spirits. In fact, as our old friend O. W. has it, just “too utterly utter.”

Special correspondence of the Epitaph
The Tombstone Epitaph
May 20, 1882 – Page 4

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