Re: Did You Have an After School Job?

02/10/08 - posted by jb

I must be having a mental wedgie, forgetting to mention my most influential job as a young man and perhaps, in my entire life. It was this experience which formed or maybe reformed my feelings and impressions of this place we all hold near and dear in our hearts and minds: San Francisco.

It was the Summer of 1964, and my grandfather hired me to work at his high-class hock shop on Mission and Mint; The Provident Remedial Loan Co. This was a real job and I still have my social security card to prove it. I ran raw stones, watches and repairs to the master craftsmen in the Phelan Building,held doors opened wide for society matrons needing a quick pawn on the family fortune and dined at such epitomical bistros as Mannings, Fosters, Moors and Kress’ counter.

I had my hair cut at the St. Francis and my shoes shined on Geary & Mason. I learned walk with purpose and look people in the eye. On paydays, I’d give the corner bum a quarter. I was becoming a gent, kinetically connected to the sidewalks that held adventure at every alleyway and reverberated with an edgy excitement of old and new.

Someplace between the ’06 fire and the counter culture soon to come, San Francisco stood suspended, like the Golden Gate. My imagination and recollections are painted with the fog of this time; Mint St. is now etched in granite. The City I knew best remains closed in a heart-shaped locket, pawned to bankroll the dreams and visions of a new generation.

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