On Saturday afternoon May 26, 1973-- Memorial Day Weekend-- I arrived in San Francisco in my green 1967 VW van completely loaded with books, records, a sofa (primarily to keep all the boxes from sliding around) and my Dad's black and white cocker spaniel, EZ Dandy. The load was so heavy that top speed across flat Nebraska was about 48 MPH. I was completely exhausted after my eight day journey from Pennsylvania-- almost entirely on Interstate Route 80.
I already had a key to 3615 - 23rd Street and moved right in. I had been paying rent since May 1st. My friend Carole Rhineheimer, "Puck," had found the flat before returning East for a short vacation and had given me the key. We lived together for about five months, before she moved to Marin. So for thirty-eight years, I've never had to look for an apartment in San Francisco!
After buying a queen-size mattress and box spring, the next thing I did was audition for the Choir of Men and Boys at Grace Cathedral --where I sang regularly for twenty-two years, and now sub -- before I sang for twelve years with the Schola Cantorum at the National Shrine of St. Francis of Assisi-- until we were let go four years ago. Now we are an occasional professional concert choir.
(The photo above was from the following year, when I went back to my grandfather's St. Lawrence River Thousand Island summer house, Zavikon, for the last time. The only year I missed --before it was sold-- was 1973. I couldn't justify returning East for a vacation only six weeks after I had moved to California.)
Photo:by Carole Heisey LeFever