06/14/09 - posted by Paul Judge
John, I too have clear childhood memories of those great old streetcars on the B Line. From half a block away we could sometimes feel the vibration of a crowded street car as it rolled down the steep hill between 42nd & 43rd on Balboa bound towards Playland. Refer to this great photo of Jack Tillmany's of a B Line Streetcar at the turnaround loop at Playland found in the 'Richmond' section of the WNP Photo Collection.

My Dad got me out of bed late on the Saturday night that the last two B Cars made their final return run from Playland back downtown. I was just a sleepy six year old in my jammies and bathrobe while we waved to the celebrant passengers who shouted and waved singing songs as they and their streetcar passed on into memory.

I'm pretty certain that the B LIne tracks were pretty much torn up. For certain that was the case along Balboa and Cabrillo Streets as I recall those streets being opened and gutted of the line. Us kids on the block made a big deal of gathering the rail spikes on our walk home each afternoon from school. We'd compare who had collected the most. Our collections lay around for weeks. One night after dinner my Dad came up from the basement garage where'd he often spend the evening tinkering around. He presented me with a 'golden spike' that he claimed was the original last spike struck when the line had been built. Like many found 'treasures' from our time spent exploring, walking around and beach combing he wired that golden spike to the wall on our garage. I'd try to impress my friends with it. I recall that Richie and Bobby Links from across the street managed to follow the trend and did the same spray paint job on some specimens from their collection of spikes and displayed them on their basement wall too.
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