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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
        Friday, March 5 2004

Jon Kennedy, webmaster

I left my heart...

The nationwide news coverage from San Francisco City Hall in the past couple of weeks got me to reflecting about my love affair with what Californians, even if they live in Los Angeles, like to call "the City." This has been supported and augmented by reading a book I found, ironically in an Oakland used bookstore, called San Francisco Stories, a collection of essays about the City by famous writers including Robert Louis Stevenson, Mark Twain, Jack Kerouac, Tom Wolfe, and many others.

My favorable impressions toward San Francisco began with my first-ever favorite TV serial, at about age 8, the classic, "Mama," (1949-57) about a family who lived on Steiner Street with Aunts and cousins scattered around the City. That show used virtually all interior shots (played out on a stage, of course), so I had to wait a few years later, until "The Lineup" came along with some previews of the spectacular scenery the city affords to pique my inborn tourist curiosity in that direction.

My first actual visit was during the writing of my book about the hippies (The Youth Revolution, 1968), when all my literary pre-explorations and poster-musing about San Francisco were fulfilled. I've been from Pittsburgh to Delhi, Hong Cong to Des Moines, Flagstaff and Fresno to Budapest and Moscow, and I've now lived more than half my life within an hour's drive from San Francisco and still consider San Francisco undeniably world-class, justifiably often referred to as "everybody's favorite city."

When my late brother Tom was visiting California in 2000 I took a week off to show him the best parts of the state. We went to Hearst Castle, Gold Discovery State Park, Yosemite, giant redwood groves, and San Francisco. I told him if he had to choose, I'd have said San Francisco was the top priority. I like the triumph of the human spirit embodied in any great city, but San Francisco with its spactacular geography blends the best of both human and natural handiwork. It is famous for the city's main park, Golden Gate, but it also includes both state and national parks within its territory. Budget accommodations are readily available (as well as some of the world's finest hotels, like the Mark Hopkins, the St. Francis, and many others) and the best attractions are free and just around any corner.

All this is despite all the screwball "only-in-San Francisco" characters and political misanthropes. The current incarnation of Emporer Norton—a legendary "colorful character" in early San Francisco who thought himself a world ruler but was never elected to any office—is the Mayor, elected last November, who is playing a game almost certain to lead to tragic outcomes. He's betting that his orders resulting in thousands of same-sex "marriages" will be too formidable a fait accompli to be undone.

His opponents are as sure that his outrageous defiance of both state and national laws and public opinion will do more to derail the gay marriage train than anything else, though lots "else" is occurring on its way.

My bet would be on this taking a longer time to play out than probably anyone foresees.

Webmaster Jon Kennedy 

Steven Wrightisms

20. If Barbie is so popular, why do you have to buy her friends?

—Sent by Trudy Myers 

Lenten thought for today

From the outset, prayer is really our humble ascent toward God, a moment when we turn Godward, shy of coming near, knowing that if we meet Him too soon, before His grace has had time to help us to be capbable of meeting Him, it will be judgment. And all we can do is turn to Him with all the reverence, all the veneration, the worshipful adoration, the fear of God of which we are capable, with all the attention and earnestness which we may possess, and ask Him to do something with us that will make us capable of meeting Him face to face, not for judgment, nor for condemnation, but for eternal life.

Archbishop Anthony Bloom, 1914 - 2003 

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