Conventional wisdom and the quest for "The Bruce"
of the conventions than Al Jeezera." That's how comedian Will
Durst described the three major television networks' barely-there broadcasts
of the Democratic Convention in Boston.
PBS aired the historic speeches of former President Bill Clinton, Senate
candidate Barack Obama of Illinois, and of course Senator John Kerry.
I was relieved that in them the party had found a palatable, non-shrill
tone in which to cloak its arguments against the current administration.
Pundits and pollsters have said that Bush bashing turns off voters.
Personally, I always thought Howard Dean wasn't outraged enough, including
in his infamous yelling speech earlier this year.
In 1990, the committee that runs the gay parade in San Francisco offered
its members two choices for that year's theme: "Hand in Hand Together"
or "In Your Face." They went with the nicer slogan and look how far
gays have come.
But, no matter how hard you try, you can't serve all lords. A couple
of weeks ago I lamented here that a Walgreen's now marks the spot where
an art gallery used to be at the corner of Sutter and Powell streets.
A lower Nob Hill resident wrote me to stick up for Walgreen's. "I get
around with the help of a walker," she said, "and the Walgreen's that's
three blocks away is too far." This reader got no argument from me!
San Franciscans are a famously sentimental lot. My mailbag frequently
contains kind words and enthusiastic recommendations for local joints.
These are the folks that warm my in-box between miscellaneous rebukes
and out-of-town novelists looking for free research.
Rox Marie wondered whether I visit Quetzal on Polk near Bush. It's Rox's
favorite coffeehouse in Polk Gulch and mine, too. Quetzal has the triple
threat - delicious coffee, cheap internet time, and good art on the
Brendan Jackson writes, "One of my local favs for years has been the
Route 101 bar on Van Ness between Bush and Sutter. They have one of
the best jukeboxes in the city - everything from Howlin' Wolf to Frank
Sinatra to the Clash." Route 101 also has $2 hot dogs.
Others write with memories of favorite pit stops of the past. William
Katz wanted to remind me of Frank's Extra Bar which closed in the 1980s.
Katz says the bar, at Stockton Street and Columbus Avenue, was part
of a vanishing scene in the City. He remembers "older Italian guys enjoying
a smoke at the tables on the outdoor patio, young Chinese guys playing
pool, younger Italians coming in to watch soccer on the tube."
Martina Klingenfuss remembers the Oasis nightclub at 11th & Folsom.
"I was a regular at the Oasis during its heyday from 1988 to about 1991,"
says Klingenfuss. "My girlfriends and I used to dance on top of the
pool on their see-through disco dance floor to Madonna, INXS, Alison
Moyet, Duran Duran and all the best dance hits of the day until 4 a.m.
every Friday and Saturday night. The roof would open up on warm nights
for a really tropical summer experience in the heart of SF."
Jim Hanratty wrote with an update on one of the great athletic rivalries
of San Francisco, the annual contest between Saint Ignatius College
Preparatory and Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory for the Bruce-Mahoney
trophy, aka The Bruce.
The schools face off in basketball, football, and baseball in the quest
for The Bruce. This year, St. Ignatius won the trophy for the sixth
straight time, winning in football (28-14) and basketball (60-56). With
two out of three in the bag for St. Ignatius, the baseball game was
played as a formality. St. Ignatius has won the trophy 39 times; Sacred
Heart 18 times.
The Bruce-Mahoney Trophy is named in honor of Bill Bruce, who graduated
from St. Ignatius in 1935, and Jerry Mahoney, a 1944 graduate of Sacred
Heart. Both men died in World War II.
At St. Ignatius, Bruce was student body president and a star of the
football team. He joined the Navy at the start of the war and was killed
in an airplane crash at the Naval Air Station at Pasco, Washington,
Mahoney was a football and basketball star at Sacred Heart. He enlisted
in the Navy after graduation and was aboard the U.S.S. Denny B. Plant
when the ship was destroyed by a German submarine.
The Bruce recognizes the team spirit and good sportsmanship that have
been passed down from generation to generation of Wildcats and Irish.
The rivalry between the two schools is as vibrant today as it was in
1893, when it all started with a rugby game.
Hanratty is a native San Franciscan who grew up in Glen Park and attended
Saint Ignatius in the Sunset.
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