Re: Recollections of Sunset Scavenger & Golden Gate Scavenger weekly pickups

01/22/18 - posted by Mary-Ann


Working at Walter's Creamery on Balboa, I met lots of people from the neighborhood, not just friends and other younger people, but from all age groups - some who worked nearby, moms or dads bringing ice cream home and one special guy, John Guaraglia. He was a big, gruff bear of a man, probably around 20 who came in once in a while for a cup of coffee. The other fellas who were a bit younger than John were in awe of his size, his way of speaking and the fact that he was a big, tough garbage man who you never wanted to mess with. And he was so nice to me and admired the way I kept those boys behaving. Well, of course they would be good - John was sitting right there. He gave me a nickname - "Rocky" after Rocky Marciano, because I was so tough. And it stuck - I would be Rocky for a lot of years.

We met again at a Washington alumni luncheon many years later. He still remembered our address and my retired Dad's Army rank. I believe we lost him late last year.

When we married, we settled in an apartment on 36th Ave. near Geary - about three buildings down from the corner. The garbage bill was included in the rent and after we moved in we put our trash from moving and a few wedding gifts down the garbage chute.

Pick-up day arrived and so did the Irish landlady and the garbage man at our door, she indignantly demanding we pay for the extra trash. After a couple of back-and-forths about who should pay, I looked at the garbage man and asked how much the charge was. His answer, "25 cents." Shaking my head over the whole brouhaha, I managed to find a quarter and handed it to the man who took it and thanked me and I shut the door.

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