Re: If you didn't live in Outside Lands where would you live?

06/26/21 - posted by Mary-Ann Orr


I was born in 1931 Letterman General Hospital in the Presidio of S,F, Dad was career Army. Our first quarters were in what Mom said was a pretty run-down 'shack' in West Cantonment, then in a building of about four apartments with a long front porch. A few years later we moved again across the road to another single home. And our final quarters were up the hill to what were the original quarters of the pilots at Crissy Fields - which are still there. Our first three homes were torn down after we had moved and replaced with (I hope) more up to date quarters.

Then in early 1941 Dad was transferred to Camp Roberts, the new planned training camp opened because of the possibility of war. Our new home town was Paso Robles and the newly built quarters for families was on the outskirts of town. It was several months in the building and Mom, Grandma and I lived in an apartment on Lombard Street just outside the Presidio. I could now walk to school instead of riding in the back of an Army truck.

Finally in October of 1941 Oak Park (new name of our area) was completed and we moved into a brand new small-but-nice three bedroom, one bath (upstairs) home - the third section of a Foursome. And I got to have a bunk bed!

I loved the change - riding the bus to school - and the teacher (5th grade} was so nice. I was not aware of how many of the people of Paso Robles felt about the Army and their families coming to their town. We were not happily received. I never was aware of that until many years later. I loved Paso Robles and most of the kids at school were just like kids anywhere. But then, just a couple of months later it was Sunday, Dec. 7th and we were at war. Dad reported back to camp and we had no word from him for three days. But, he received his orders - not immediately, thanks be, but he would be leaving on a train May 17th and headed for the East coast. The families with kids were allowed to stay in their homes until they finished their terms in school. So Grandma came back to San Francisco to find us a place to live when we came back. She was lucky and found a house at 555 - 38th Ave. just a couple of blocks from Lafayette School. Mom, Grandma and I, also my dog, Sarge all moved in.

I was so lucky - I had only been in school maybe a little more than a week,(starting the 6th Grade) - when a red head named Sally, (but call me Joan), and Jackie invited me to be their friend. and what friends they were - and there was Clare and Joanne and Virginia Vin) too. We went all the way through school together, and kept our friendships up for the rest of our lives. Only two of us left.

Sorry to go off subject...Dad was stationed in London during the war and in 1944 was injured in a London bombing - when strong enough he was sent home on the Queen Mary, converted to a hospital ship during the war. He spent time in Dibble General Hospital and then in Letterman in the presidio for a couple of years. And then, with his broken hip never to completely heal, he retired a Lt. Colonel.

When he retired, the folks bought their house at 887 - 39th Ave.
And when Bob and I were married, we bought our own place at 2522 - 46th Ave. Lived there for just a few years before moving to San Rafael. at 42 Corillo Drive. Our last move was in 1969 up here to Carmichael, Ca. Been here ever since!









The Western Neighborhoods Project is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.