Monday, May 30, 2011
Steamed Crabs on Fisherman's Wharf, S.F.
Addressed to "Lois & Gil Yorba, 110-Morton Ave., Sierra Madre, Cal." This is the second postcard I have, sent to the Yorba family during World War 2. (Navigate back one to see the other.) The great depression and the war were great periods of internal migration in American history. The Yorba family had either family or friends who, at least, got to San Francisco and New York City. If they were like most Americans they knew people who spent time at a military training camp in some other part of the country, working at a war plant far from home, or overseas in Europe or the South Pacific. My father was born in 1919, dropped out of high school in the ninth grade because of the depression. He and his father ended up living in a dug out. (They dug out a flat spot on a hill side, pounded in some planking as a roof, shored it all up, and had an old rug for a door.) Then he ended up a homeless teenager, spending time with both the CCC and WPA. Then it was into the peace time army, then a few months after returning to civilian life, drafted into the war time army. As a cryptographer he never saw combat. but he did live in Iceland, England, France and then Germany. He thought that that was a good thing, and if it hadn't been for the depression and the war, he may have never got further than a few hundred miles from his small, home town.
"One of the principal industries of San Francisco is fishing, and centers around this point. From Fisherman's Wharf the fishing boats leave each morning to make their catches in shell fish and other sea foods. Here one may partake of the freshly caught ocean delicacies in one of the many outdoor stands or in the fine restaurants adjacent." Post marked, "SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF MAY 31 9:30 PM 1944" And the message, "Hello, We are simply eating ourselves in to a stupor but surely enjoying it. Going dancing at the Mark tonite. C you this weekend. Mary & Steve." And written in a different hand with a different ink, 'STAN HAS A NEW CADILLAC!" Of course since the auto industry had been turned over to war work, Stan had a used Cadillac new to him.