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Outside Lands Podcast Episode 221: Japanese Tea Garden

Gardener and historian Steven Pitsenbarger gives the story of Golden Gate Park's crown jewel.
Outside Lands San Francisco Podcast - Apr 22, 2017

Outside Lands Podcast Episode 221: Japanese Tea Garden Outside Lands Podcast Episode 221: Japanese Tea Garden

(above) Japanese Tea Garden, circa 1910

Golden Gate Park, View from inside Japanese Tea Garden with lantern, tea house, and main entrance gate

Podcast Transcription

221 - Japanese Tea Garden

Woody: [00:00:00] It's Outside Lands San Francisco, the podcast of the Western Neighborhoods Project. I'm Woody LaBounty.

David: And I'm David Gallagher.

Woody: David!

David: Yes, Woody!

Woody: Last week I said we were going to have some tea and maybe a fortune cookie with a special Golden Gate Park gardener.

David: I'm off cookies right now.

Woody: Well, he might be too. Who's our special guest?

David: It's Steven Pitzenberger.

Woody: Yeah, okay, that's right. You said that right. That's good. Hi Steven.

Steven: Hi, hi.

Woody: Thanks for joining us.

David: Yes, Steven is a volunteer. He has come to us as a volunteer recently, and he, the way I got acquainted with Steven was that he wrote in on our opensfhistory.org website. Because we have every picture, you can send in…

Woody: Comments.

David: Comments about a particular picture. And Steven quickly identified himself as an expert on the [00:01:00] Japanese Tea Garden, of which we had none.

Woody: We had no experts.

David: We had no experts, which is why he sent a lot of messages about the pictures of the Japanese Tea Garden.

Woody: Right.

David: Because we didn't have any, almost any, details.

Woody: Well, Steven, what's your connection to the Japanese Tea Garden?

Steven: I've been a gardener there for the last ten years now. But I'm also a native San Franciscan, so I've been visiting since I was a kid. So I have a functional connection now, but a sentimental one going back to my early days.

Woody: Right. How did you get in? Were you a gardener first and then you got moved there? Or did you actually just apply and get in right at the Japanese Tea Garden?

Steven: I landed in the Japanese Tea Garden.

Woody: Wow.

Steven: Yeah. A rare thing, yeah.

Woody: Is it hard? I mean, is there people fighting to get in there?

Steven: Yes and no. There are some gardeners in the system that that's their dream job, and there are other gardeners that that's the last place they'd want to be.

Woody: Right, because there's a billion tourists every day, for example.

Steven: Yeah.

Woody: Right. Yeah. It's funny. I think of it like, David, like the Muni? You know, to be a cable [00:02:00] car driver is like got to be one of the star…

David: Sure. Yeah, yeah.

Woody: You know, roles. So, I feel that way about gardening in the Japanese Tea Garden. It probably has the same pluses and minuses.

David: Right.

Steven: And I think it takes a certain temperament to want to do that style of work.

Woody: Right. So, you got into the Garden as a gardener. But you also, I guess over time, over ten years or maybe before, got into the history of it.

Steven: The history came after I started working there. I started asking questions. Some questions about the myths that get kicked around about the Garden and started finding out that some of the stories that I had heard when I started were far from anything that could be true. And so that started me on digging deeper into the Garden's past. And from there I just started running with it. The more I learn, the more I want to learn.

Woody: Terrific, yeah. I feel like there's two main origin stories that I heard growing up and I'm, maybe there's a third now. But the Tea Garden had two stories and two sort of camps behind the two stories. One was [00:03:00] a gentleman named George Turner Marsh, who we know very well because he's sort of like the father of the Richmond district.

David: Right.

Woody: And was a merchant, an art dealer…

David: Had an Asian art store downtown, I believe, yeah.

Woody: And that he started the Japanese Tea Garden as part of the 1894 Midwinter Fair. Then, I heard this whole other story, that it was Makoto Hagiwara who was a gardener who basically was responsible for creating it. I've always thought there was probably some element of truth in both of them. Have you come up with a version?

Steven: The best version that I have at this point, based on the research that I've done is that, yes, George Turner Marsh was the guy that held the concession for the 1894 Midwinter Fair. And he was more than just a white guy that sold Japanese goods. He was very invested in Japanese culture. He built gardens not just in San Francisco, but also in Mill Valley, in Coronado near San Diego, [00:04:00] and Pasadena, other places. And he had Japanese art stores across the state. So, he was somebody that knew a lot more than the average Caucasian, certainly, about Japanese culture. So, I don't see him just as a man who showed up to make money off of the concession. Makoto Hagiwara, from what I can find, started after the Fair ended. But he was very good at self-promotion, and he told anyone that would listen, that he created the Garden, that it was his idea to have the Garden in the first place.

Woody: Right.

Steven: And so that's a story that tends to stick. Partly because like William Hammond Hall and John McLaren. Even though John McLaren, you know, was there for fifty years, William Hammond Hall was the guy that was there first. Same thing with the Hagiwaras and George Turner Marsh. Marsh was only there for the duration of the Fair, which only lasted six months.

Woody: Right.

Steven: And the Hagiwaras, Makoto, you know, worked there till he died in 1925 and the family stayed until 1942. So, a [00:05:00] lot more time put in. And they did many expansions. So, they're responsible for a lot of what we see in the Garden today. But they weren't the first.

Woody: Right. So, I mean there's truth on both sides of it really.

Steven: Exactly.

Woody: Because you have George Turner Marsh isn't just some businessman who wants to make money. He's a guy who really loves Japanese culture and art and gardening. And Makoto Hagiwara is not just some simple gardener. He's a guy who's also a businessman.

Steven: Oh, he was a very good businessman. And he had businesses before he came to the Garden, so.

Woody: Right.

David: Yeah, I mean the Japanese Tea Garden wouldn't exist without both of them. I mean, that’s really it.

Steven: It wouldn't exist like it is today, certainly. Yeah.

Woody: So, I mean, just real briefly, David, you know the 1894 Fair we've done a whole podcast on.

David: Yeah.

Woody: But the Japanese Village was not, it wasn't the Japanese Tea Garden. It was The Japanese Village.

David: Right.

Woody: Which was sort of like a little concession area, like other things they had there at the Fair, right?

David: Right. I mean, it was, I think it was a lot larger than the current Tea Garden.

Steven: No.

Woody: I think it, it's the opposite.

David: Oh, it was smaller.

Steven: [00:06:00] It was less than an acre. Yeah.

David: Oh, okay.

Woody: Yeah, or about three and a half acres now.

David: Then I don't know anything about it.

Woody: Well, we have like pictures of Cairo Street.

David: Yeah.

Woody: Like it could have been a Egyptian Bazaar Garden or something. Right? It's funny because it was just this sort of World's Fair-type concession.

David: Right.

Woody: But that's one I guess people liked enough that it stuck.

Steven: I think de Young really wanted to sell the international flavor of the Fair. So, he was bent on getting other countries, other cultures involved in the Fair. So, you did have a very international flare. The difference between The Japanese Village and other concessions, I think it was larger than most of the other concessions, and it was placed right on the edge of the main concourse. And so, they were more visible and perhaps got more foot traffic because of that.

Woody: Right. And then the Fair ends, it's very short. It's like six months.

Steven: Six months, yeah.

Woody: Right. The Fair ends. What is the immediate, I mean, the story again, these are lore, these are legends that come down. The story, I think the simplistic [00:07:00] story that gets told is John McLaren, didn't like the Fair, didn't like most of it. Tore it all down immediately but had some sort of affinity for the Tea Garden or The Japanese Village and that helped the Tea Garden survive. Is there better evidence of what happened?

Steven: Most of the buildings, obviously, and the concessions were built to be temporary, and, if you did the podcast, you know that a lot of those buildings sat on there for way too long after the fact until McLaren got rid of them. The de Young, of course, was built as a permanent feature or the Memorial Museum, The Fine Arts Museum at the time, was intended to be permanent before it was built. I found a couple newspaper articles that suggested there were some talk of keeping the Japanese Garden even before it was built. So, there may have been some plans in the works to keep that as a permanent, you know, addition to Golden Gate Park. My guess is that because it was a garden, that's something that John McLaren would've been more open to.

Woody: Right. It fits in a lot better than creating a Egyptian street bazaar or something.

Steven: Yeah.

Woody: Or the indoor [00:08:00] volcano that was there and that sort of thing.

David: Or a rollercoaster or a electric light tower or whatever, yeah.

Woody: Oh, I wish they'd kept the electric light tower. I guess the guy had a patent on it or something. So, what happens after the Fair then? The Garden is there, is it still run privately? Is it part of the Park now?

Steven: The Garden, it was a concession obviously when George Turner Marsh was there. It was run by The Recreational and Park Department, or The Parks Department, I guess at the time.

Woody: Yeah.

Steven: From the time that it ended. But once the Hagiwara family was running the place, they, there was no admission to the Garden. The Garden was free until 1980. So, they essentially just sold tea at the two tea houses that they had and maintained the Garden. And it seemed like, even though the City always owned the land, it seemed like they essentially just handed it off to the Hagiwaras and said, “Here, you figure it out. You take care of it.” And there wasn't a lot of oversight or even [00:09:00] documentation of what was going on in the Garden financially. But it was always something that was the property of the Park, but, managed by the Hagiwara family.

Woody: Right. It seemed like there were a few things like that. Traditionally, again, in my lifetime in the Park, there was the Boathouse and other places.

Steven: Yeah.

Woody: They felt like they were almost their own little islands of business or operations outside of the Park. I don't know if that was just a casual thing, that, the way it was run.

Steven: I had gone through a lot of the old Commission meeting notes and one of the comments, someone was asking of one of the Commissioners, “is it really necessary that someone live in the garden?” And John McLaren said, “yes.” And I think that may have been partly because, just as you know could happen today, there's vandalism and theft and those sorts of things. And so, they wanted a caretaker. Somebody that would be, who would have eyes on the Garden 24-7.

Woody: Right. That makes sense, I guess. And how long are the Hagiwaras there? Because they, for a while, I mean, I keep running across things that they had a garden in the Sunset District too. What happened there? [00:10:00]

Steven: Somewhere around 1899 after James Phelan got to be mayor. And…

Woody: A-ha, wait, I know what's going to happen. James Phelan.

David: Oh yeah.

Woody: That guy is not pro-Japanese.

Steven: Absolutely not.

David: No.  No.

Steven: His career, his political career as mayor of San Francisco, and then when he worked his way into the State Senate was really geared toward keeping California white for white people. And among those non-whites that lived in the state, Japanese seemed to be the ones that got his, his skin going more than any others. And so, he also was forefront in changing the City Charter. Which for Golden Gate Park was a big change because Golden Gate Park had been managed by the state, state of California before that point and then the City took it on. So, there were changes to the City Charter that may have made it difficult to have someone, you know, living in the Park...

Woody: Living in there, yeah.

Steven: And running it. But I wouldn't be surprised if it wasn't, you know, somewhat Phelan's influence of trying to get rid of the Japanese guy from the Japanese Garden.

Woody: Right. [00:11:00]

Steven: But from 1899 to 1901 there are lots of references to maybe Hagiwara leaving. And then it seems that in September of 1901, they actually removed him. And the Board of Park Commissioners took over management of the Garden. So, Hagiwara, of course, goes over to H Street.

Woody: Yeah, Lincoln Way. He's right outside the Park, right?

Steven: Exactly.

Woody: And he runs a concession right there, right?

Steven: And he calls it The Japanese Village.

Woody: Right, right, so it's like back to The Japanese Village.

Steven: Yeah.

Woody: But he's not there that long though, right?

Steven: He's there from somewhere, you know, late 1901, early 1902, up until maybe as late as 1909.

Woody: Oh, wow.

Steven: But there are comments as early as 1904 in the Commission meeting notes, talking about Hagiwara, the guy in charge of the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park. So, I think he may have been running both for a while. I think maybe after Phelan was no longer mayor, maybe he came back.

Woody: Right. Right. So that's interesting. David. People on Lincoln Way and whatever, Eighth Avenue, Seventh, Eighth Avenue.

Steven: Yeah.

Woody: They were living on like a subsidiary [00:12:00] Japanese Tea Garden.

David: Yeah. And they have no idea.

Woody: Now they do!

Steven: Well, of course, nothing remains of that garden

David: So that's why…

Steven:  Because it was subdivided and sold and built up.

David: So that's why those ferns keep popping up in my backyard.

Woody: Yeah. In your backyard, in the sand dunes. I don't think so. I also think, Steven, it's, you know, the Tea Garden is, and we'll talk about memories of San Franciscans and what's real and what's not in the Tea Garden, because it is kind of like, it's kind of like a historical reenactment in some ways, but then it's also this a pastiche of tourist ideas and gifts and odd things. But the story that came down, that was really prevalent after, is that the Hagiwaras get caught up in Internment. And in 1942, what's left of the family living there gets kicked out of the Tea Garden again. Right?

Steven: Exactly. So, whether the date is coming back into the Garden in 1904 or 1907 those dates are a little bit in dispute. Makoto certainly moved the family back into the [00:13:00] Garden at some point. And by 1910, they built a house in the Garden. They have a seventeen-room house that has a banquet room that could sit 200. It's, it's a house.

Woody and David: Wow!

Steven: It took up a big chunk of what is now the Sunken Garden behind the gift shop.

Woody: And did they have events there? I mean, if you can seat 200 or have 200.

Steven: The Crown Princes of Japan came to visit. I think they also housed people that were immigrants that came to this country. That they would work for the Hagiwaras until they could get established. And so, they certainly seemed to be influential in the Japanese community, as well as, you know, being known to San Franciscans as the people that ran the Garden.

Woody: So, it was a little center of Japanese life there In San Francisco, essentially?

Steven: I think so, yeah.

Woody: Yeah. Interesting. So, they are there up until World War II.

Steven: Yeah. So, like I said, Makoto passed away in 1925. His son-in-law, Goro, ran the garden until he passed away in 1937. And then 1942 comes along and, at that point the Hagiwaras had kind of moved up in San Francisco society. They were rubbing [00:14:00] elbows with some of the wealthy and well-known folks in San Francisco. And I get the impression that they, perhaps, thought that internment was something that was going to pass them over.

Woody: Right.

Steven: Because of their status.

Woody: Right.

Steven: And, unfortunately, they had a Japanese surname and anyone else in their shoes, you know, they got sent to the Camps with everyone else. So, they got sent to Topaz, Utah. And a lot of their possessions that they could gather, you know, they had friends hold for them. But they really were not allowed to come back after that.

Woody: So, I mean, I remember reading Mark Daniels, who was a landscape architect

David: Yeah

Woody: And there was a big cry, a big patriotic cry, to change the name of the Japanese Tea Garden. And they wanted to make it like a hotdog stand.

Steven: Yeah, a hamburger stand is what I heard.

Woody: A hamburger stand was all American, right? And Mark Daniels, who was an artist for sure. He was like, no, no, that's horrible. At least let's just call it like a Chinese Tea Garden or an Oriental Tea Garden. And then he tried to like write an art article or an editorial about [00:15:00] that. What happens to the Tea Garden while the Hagiwaras are, they’ve gone now? What happened?

Steven: They're sent to the Interment Camps. Again, the City takes over management of the Garden again. And the name of the Garden is changed to the Oriental Tea Garden.

Woody: It is? Okay, yeah.

Steven: And in the minds of a lot of people, and that continues today, a lot of people don't really seem to even have a true understanding of the difference in cultures between Japanese and Chinese and other Asian cultures.

Woody: Right.

Steven:  Oftentimes people kind of lump all those together as just generically Asian. Because they don't really have an understanding of those distinct cultures.

Woody: So, if you look in the Garden today, is it all Japanese?

Steven: Yes.

Woody: It is.

Steven: The Garden all along, even when the name was changed, most people still called it the Japanese Tea Garden. Just like most people didn't call Freedom fries, you know, Freedom fries, they called them French fries.

Woody: Willie Brown Bridge or whatever.

Steven: Yeah, all that.

Woody: I'm going to call it the Bay Bridge.

Steven: So, there are postcards and there are references to the Garden as being an Oriental Tea Garden, but that was the official name. And maybe not popularly used. There were a couple [00:16:00] elements that were put in the Garden. There's a fence overlooking the Sunken Garden that has more of a Chinese design. But there wasn't a lot changed. And, certainly, the Garden was never altered to be a Chinese garden.

Woody: Well, what about these fortune cookies? Because I think of fortune cookies, I think of going to a Chinese restaurant.

David: Right.

Woody: But you can get, or you used to be able to get fortune cookies in the Japanese Tea Garden. And I heard that they started there. Is that true?

Steven: That's something that Makoto Hagiwara introduced in the early 1900s. And he altered a cookie that was from Japan and stuck the fortunes in them. And that was his idea. And he started making them himself and then realized it was too difficult. So, he had Benkyodo Bakery make them for him. And the best guess that I've had from most people I've talked to about this, is that during the war when the Japanese were interred, Chinese people started picking up this idea and ran with it. And now we know it as the Chinese fortune cookie. Because that's where it became more popular and more known.

Woody: I should be getting them in, like, sushi restaurants, you're saying? Really. Right? They're like Japanese cookies. Wow.

Steven: [00:17:00] But again, something that doesn't happen in Japan, doesn't happen in China. It's an American thing.

Woody: Yeah. It's like pizza or something, yeah. So, what are the biggest, as a gardener, been there ten years, historian, what are the biggest misconceptions, myths, mysteries, that we should know about in there?

Steven: I think one of the myths, that seems to be very popular, is that the Garden is this mishmash of all things Asian. And it isn't, really. It's a Japanese garden and there are elements in the Garden that wouldn't necessarily be popular if you were designing a Japanese garden from scratch today. They're more things that would've happened in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

Woody: Kind of a Victorian version of a Japanese tea garden or something.

Steven: There is some of that but also, just, the Meiji period was a brighter and more colorful period in Japan. So, the Garden reflects more of a Meiji era design than what, like I said, is popular today. Which is more gardens that would've been designed in the 1600s.

Woody: Right.

Steven: So that spartan, spare style is something that is more popular now. But [00:18:00] one of the myths that gets kicked around a lot, and has had a life for at least forty years, is that one of our gates, it's next to the pagoda, we refer to it as the Temple Gate. That, that came from the Siam Pavilion of the PPIE. And that story may have even been started by a member of the Hagiwara family, but it's absolutely not true.

Woody: I had, yeah, I had heard after the Panama Pacific International Exposition, there were some aspects of it that were incorporated into the Garden when that Fair ended. Is that not true or?

Steven: The only feature that we have that I can directly document that came from the PPIE are South Gate. So, there's a big fancy front gate that you come in and then there's another gate that is generally closed, that is closer to MLK. That gate was at the Japanese Pavilion.

David: Oh, okay.

Steven: I've got pictures of it from the Japanese Pavilion. So that gate absolutely came over. There are stories that the pagoda and this temple gate came from the Fair and I've searched them, I've talked to Laura Ackley. No evidence…

Woody: Historian of the PPIE.

Steven: [00:19:00] Yeah. No evidence of those structures having ever been there.

Woody: Right.

Steven: So, my best guess is they were built in the Garden to coincide with that Fair to draw some foot traffic.

Woody: Right. So, I think you told me the tip, like you said, it used to be free and when we were kids it was free. And now it costs, I don't know what it costs.

Steven: Eight dollars for non-residents and six for residents.

Woody: Oh my gosh.

David: There's a free time that you can go in though.

Steven: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from nine to ten. If you come in during that time you get in free.

David: First thing in the morning, then you could stay there all day.

Steven: You can. And some people do.

David: Get in early in there and stay for the duration.

Steven: We have regulars, we have people that come in, you know, say, every Friday or regularly on some of those free days, and I get to know them by name. It's kind of nice. They appreciate the Garden in all its changes, you know, through the seasons. And, if I change something, if I move a plant or I take something out, they notice.

Woody: Wow. That's great.

David: One thing that we've noticed recently in our, in the pictures that we've gotten scanned recently from the Department of Public Works, [00:20:00] are some that seem to indicate a proposed streetcar line that would've gone straight through…

Woody: Oh my gosh!

David: The Japanese Tea Garden.

Woody: Under the bridge there, under the, you know…

Steven: It would've gone immediately behind where the pagoda is now. So, we've got a beautiful grove of Cryptomerias with moss underneath them and a dry garden. Those would not exist had this streetcar line gone in.

David: Yeah. And I don't, I mean, we just discovered these pictures, so we don't really, haven't done a whole lot of research on what this proposed route was.

Woody: The plan was.

David: But we saw them and we're like, what?!  It’s going to go through the Japanese Garden. How could that be?

Steven: And it seemed like during the time when this railway was proposed that the louder complaints at the Board of Park Commission meetings were that it would upset the band at the Bandshell. Like people seemed more concerned with that, than the fact that it would’ve destroyed…

Woody: The garden.

Steven: You know, part of the Japanese Tea Garden.

Woody: Which is how big now? Five acres, more?

Steven: Five acres is another myth.

Woody: Yeah, it’s more?

Steven: That gets kicked around a lot, it's about three and a half.

Woody: Three and a half. Oh, it's less.

Steven: Yeah. [00:21:00]

Woody: I guess people round up.

Steven: Yeah. We had a survey done in 2005 and it's about three and a half acres. Yeah.

Woody: Okay. And do you have a picture of yourself on the bridge there as a kid or anything?  

Steven: I do. Absolutely.

Woody: Yeah, probably David does. Probably, we all do.

David: No, I don't.

Woody: No? You don't? I feel like every San Francisco kid has a picture of them on the bridge.

David: I think I was too afraid to climb up the bridge.

Woody: It does feel like you shouldn't, it does feel like you shouldn't. It feels like you're going to get in trouble.

Steven: Occasionally, people, if I'm near the bridge, when they're getting ready to climb it, they'll ask, you know, “is it okay?”

Woody: Yeah, but that's iconic. I feel like. I mean, I know the other parts, the Garden itself, but it's something everybody remembers is the bridge.

Steven: Yeah.

Woody: I just kind of feel like it sticks out. So, future, it's all going good? Anything, any recommendations? Should we do anything to the Tea Garden? Should we leave it alone?

Steven: The pagoda that is from, you know, roughly 1915 is kind of falling apart at this point. And it needs a major restoration. We have an estimate for 1.3 million dollars.

Woody: Really?

Steven: So, if [00:22:00] someone is listening to this and they have an extra, you know, 1.3 in their bank account and they want to write us a check. Certainly, feel free to contact us.

Woody: Okay. That's good. And are you writing a book?

Steven: Yes.

Woody: All right. When are we going to get it?

Steven: It's been a slow process. Partly…

Woody: We're just going to push you. We're just going to push you.

Steven: Yeah, well part of the deal is there are so many myths. So that when I go to write something based on a story that I've heard, something that I think I know. I challenge every one of those.

Woody: That's good.

Steven: I've been finding so many of those to be untrue. That it makes it kind of a slow, painstaking process, but then I learn something else because I go to research that myth.

Woody: Well, it's got to be a hard subject. Not only has it had myths all through time and different stories, but it's a very well-known place. It's like there's a lot of people invested in it and have memories in it, and so you got to get it right. I appreciate that. Well, thank you so much for coming, Steven. We're going to, we're very happy to have you and we're very happy to have you as a volunteer, also. So, it's been great to have you here.

David: Absolutely, I mean and thanks [00:23:00] for coming on the podcast with us because it would've been a very sad podcast had it only been Woody and me talking about the Japanese Tea Garden.

Steven: Perhaps perpetuating some of those myths.

Woody: We would've made up some new ones. We would've had new myths. That's what we’re good at.

But David, we’ve got to do listener mail before we get out of here. So what? We have any listener mail? Dun, dun, dun.

David: Oh, we do. We have a message from Josh Weinberg. He says, “I've been listening to the podcast, and you keep asking us to let you know if anyone is listening. So, no, I'm not listening.” No, no…

Woody: He is, he is!

David: “So yes, I am listening and enjoying it. Just finished the Earthquake Shack episode.” Woo!

Woody: That was, like, episode number fifteen or something.

David: He's got a long way to go. See, the great thing about podcasts is, Woody.

Woody: Okay.

David: You can start even years after we recorded it. They live forever.

Woody: Yeah.

David: As long as we pay our hosting costs.

Woody: Yeah, that's true.

David: “He [00:24:00] hopes the new ones are as good as the old ones.”  Well, he's going to, he's in for a good surprise because…

Woody: Yes, they got way better.

David: The sound got a lot better after that. Anyway, someday you'll get caught up. That’s what he says.

Woody: Yeah, well, thanks Josh. And if you're listening, you can send us mail. We would love to get it. We love feedback. Even if it's from four years ago, because that's like time travel. When you listen to podcast.

David: Yeah, I mean it's going to be a long time until Josh hears our mentioning him.

Woody: Hears us mentioning him. It's going to be like four years, but if you write in, you can, we'll probably read your letter, but if we don't, there's an easier, more efficient and guaranteed way to get on the podcast.

David: Semi-guaranteed.

Woody: Semi-guaranteed. It’s called…

David: You can get a shout out on a podcast or a…

Woody: A spout off.

David: A spout, off. Whatever you want.

Woody: And we have one from a friend of ours, Craniff.

David: Yeah.

Woody: The guy who used to record our podcast.

David: Yeah, Mark Weibel has sent us a message. He's going to spout off and he would, it's totally altruistic. It’s just like him. Right?

Woody: Wait hold on, I want you, I want to say also that Mark [00:25:00] said, “when you read this, add your own spicy flavor to it.” He wants the Woody and David flavor. So go ahead.

David: Okay. I'm going to do my Mark Weibel imitation.

Woody: Okay, go ahead.

David: “I'd like to spout off about the Ocean Ale House at 1314 Ocean Avenue. My new favorite place to grab a beer and a burger.” [chomping noise]

Woody: Yeah, that sounds like him

David: That's how, that's what he sounds like when he eats a burger. I've seen it.

Woody: He does. He inhales it, yeah.

David: Anyway. “They've got 10 beers on tap that change daily, so there's always something new to try. Although the proprietor, Miles Escobedo, doesn't serve milk punch.”

Woody: Oh, I know what he's talking about. He's going to get to it, I think.

David: Oh, milk punch. “While you're quenching your thirst, you can check out the Ingleside Presbyterian across the street. That's episode 134. And the nearby site of the old Ingleside Coursing Park site. Which is episode 126.” Those were pretty close together.

Woody: Yeah

David: The podcasts. “And [00:26:00] the charming bungalows of Westwood Park. Which go way back to episode 71. Check out the Ocean Ale House,” says Mark.

Woody: So, he basically bought the Ocean Ale house an ad.

David: It sounds like it, doesn’t it?

Woody: But he also is promoting our podcast.

David: Maybe he'll, maybe he’ll get a couple of free burgers out of it.

Woody: Well, thank you. Thank you, Mark, for your spout off or shout out. If you want to do it, it's only $50 you can send in a hundred words. Go to outsidelands.org/podcast. Hit the PayPal button. Type in your a hundred words.

David: Yeah. It could be just about any message. Could be for a local business that you want to promote or a happy birthday wish.

Woody: Yeah. Or anything. Or saying, “we like Steven on the podcast and we want him back.” It could be anything you want. So, do that. And thank you, Mark. I hope that was spicy enough for him.  David. David. David. We still have events though, we have events.

David: We have events!

Woody: We have an event coming up.

David: We have an event coming up. It's the bird life history member walk. That's April 29th, that's a Saturday. You [00:27:00] got to get out there early, 8:30 AM. It’s early for us, really.

Woody: Yeah, but not, you know…

David: Early for our walks. But if you, you know, if you want to see the birds, you got to get there early.

Woody: You do have to get there early.


David: So, it's at 8:30 to 10:30 AM. It's in Golden Gate Park. Brian Turner will lead a member tour.

Woody: Yeah, so you got to sign-in your RSVP. I'll tell you where to meet and you can bring a guest, but you can only do it if you're a member. And how do you become a member, David?

David: I think, let me see if I can get this right.

Woody: After 200 tries!

David: I think you click the “become a member” link, which is at the top of every page on our website at outsidelands.org.

Woody: That's right. And, David, I have a preview for you for next week. We're not going to have Steven back, unfortunately. Thank you for coming again, Steven.

Steven: Oh, it was, it was a pleasure.

Woody: But next week we're going to have, here's my one-line preview: Where there's smoke, there's fire…and, history.

David: Aaahh.

Woody: Can you guess what we're going to talk about?  Well, you figure it out.

David: Something's going to happen next [00:28:00] week.

Woody: Something incendiary.

David: Yeah.

Woody: Anyway, I'll see you next week, David.

David: Alrighty, goodbye.

Ian: Outside Lands San Francisco is recorded by Ian Hadley, content creation and media production at ihadley.com.

Woody: To learn more about the Western Neighborhoods Project and more about San Francisco history, go to outsidelands.org.

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