Dad’s Letters # 06

My Dad always assumed that I had a copy of my letters to him and so he often did not repeat my question. When I recently pulled out his letters that were sitting in a drawer for many years I was able to find only one of my letters to him. I may have kept the others but they were probably lost when I replaced my old computer with a new one.
Anyway, here is my letter # 4 to him which he answered with his letter # 6:

Dad1994 myletter04p1
My letter # 4 to Dad, page 1
Dad1994 myletter04p2
My letter # 4 to Dad, page 2

And now for Dad’s Letter # 06.

Dad1994 letter06p1
Dad’s Letter # 06, page 1
Dad1994 letter06p2
Dad’s Letter # 06, page 2
Dad1994 letter06p3
Dad’s Letter # 06, page 3
Dad1994 letter06p4
Dad’s Letter # 06, page 4
Dad1994 letter06p5
Dad’s Letter # 06, page 5
Dad1994 letter06p6
Dad’s Letter # 06, page 6

Notes on Dad’s 1994 Letter # 06

Regarding my letter # 4 to Dad: In a discussion with some of my siblings and their spouses my brother-in-law Dan Murphy suggested that I ask Dad some questions on the various places he visited and how he got there.

p 1

(1) The official name is Mission Dolores Park but it is commonly called just Dolores Park. Mission Dolores stands on the corner of Dolores and 16th Street, a couple of blocks north of the park.

Views from the back porch : Lincoln Beachey died on March 14, 1915 when his plane crashed into the bay near Fort Mason. Another stunt flyer, Art Smith , took Beachey’s place doing air shows for the 1915 Panama Pacific International Exposition. Smith later flew for the US Post Office and died in a crash in 1926.

Dad’s record collection. Dad mentions several of his father’s records but we also remember his own collection of records of the 1920s. Our favorite by far is Abdul Abulbul Amir. I have to admit that about half of these records never made it past the Dwyer Six childhood years! I inherited those that did.

p 2

(4) Dad spent his senior year at the TUO fraternity house on Le Conte Ave in Berkeley.
(5) My Grandpa was known for his Buicks. His first car was a 1921 Buick touring car.

Grandpa in his 1921 Buick touring car. The car is parked on Wildwood Way around the corner from the entrance to their house at 101 Westwood. That’s Elise standing on the left and my Dad on the right. The lady with the big hat is his mother. I don’t know who the other two are.

p 3

(6) Here’s a photo of Brookside Farm in Santa Rosa.

The Dwyer family at Brookside in 1914. From left to right: Elise, Mabel, Don and Nash. I think the woman on the right is Sadie Drew, wife of George Drew, my grandfather’s best friend. George probably took this picture.

(7) I thought I inherited that book, too, but haven’t been able to find it.
(8) a concise history of the Pacific Coast League!

p 4

(9) location of SI on Hayes Street: My sister Pat attended St Mary’s School of Nursing from 1956-59. It was located across the street from where Dad’s high school once stood. One year after Dad graduated the Jesuits moved to a new SI four blocks north on Stanyan between McAllister and Turk. That’s the school I attended from 1953 to 1957. In 1969 the school moved again to 37th Avenue and changed its name from high school to college preparatory.

(11) New Mission and Varella’s. The New Mission theater closed in 1993 and became a furniture store. But it reopened in 2015 as a five-screen theater, a part of the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema chain. There was a Varella’s at Fifth and Market for awhile. I guess another store was closer to Mission and 22nd Street.
Balboa – when I was a kid Gene’s food market stood on that NE corner of Faxon and Ocean. It then became Littleman’s and finally Walgreen’s sometime after 1964 when I moved away from San Francisco to Oakland.
Gem – Harold Ave in the Ingleside runs for three blocks from Ocean Ave near City College south to Grafton and just short of Lakeview. Harold is five blocks east of Miramar Ave.
El Rey – we spent many Saturday afternoons at the El Rey; we also sometimes walked to West Portal to see a movie at The Empire Theater.

Dad’s Diary. I inherited Dad’s two-volume diary of 1925-26 when he was a sophomore at SI. I hope to digitize the diary someday and post some excerpts in a future post. 

p 5

(12) how Dad got to Cal for three years — here’s a map of the Key System routes in the 1920s.

A map from The Key Route
Key System routes in 1926. Courtesy of Wikimedia (image in public domain). The middle fork through central Berkeley went straight to the UC campus. Dad took the “K” streetcar from Faxon and Ocean all the way to the Ferry terminal at the foot of Market Street.

(14) first airplane ride — Dad was 58 in 1968. I was 22 when I went on my first airplane trip in 1962. My granddaughter was only two years old when she first flew to Hawaii!

p 6

(16) and (17) as in most questions I try to obtain some specific answers but Dad had the tendency to dodge the question sometimes, as in his favorite place being anywhere Mom is with him and favorite means of transportation being any ride as long as Mom is there with him. We understood his grief and did not press further whenever he answered this way.


Published by crowcanyonjournal

I am a family man with interests in family history, photography, history and travel.

3 thoughts on “Dad’s Letters # 06

  1. While reading your latest post on your dad’s life, I was amazed at the detailed answers your dad provided in response to your questions. At the same time, I became painfully aware of myself have missed the opportunity to ask my father, when I had the time to do so. The two photos are priceless.


    1. Thanks, Peter! One reason I got into this project with my Dad was that I realized that it was already too late to ask my Mom similar questions. She was still alive at this time but in the fourth year of Alzheimer’s disease and didn’t recognize any of her own children at this point. I couldn’t obtain any information from her but she still had many cousins still alive and so the next year we traveled to her hometown of Virginia City, Nevada to look for them and ask them my genealogical questions. I found several of her relatives and in 1996 we had a successful family reunion in nearby Carson City, Nevada. 25 years have gone by and I am still working on my family roots. I hope to start another website on my mother’s side of the family after I complete the story of my Dad’s side.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It seems the work of someone doing family research is a never-ending task. Lucky you that you have relatives still living to add precious details to your parents’ story!


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