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Why The Lines Crossed On My Palm

 

I moved to San Francisco from across the bay in early 1977, the year before Hell tapped on our doors. I was 19 years old, and dad got me a two-bedroom house in the San Francisco suburb known as the Ocean District. It was the type of home that adjoins with your neighbors. I had started working part-time for the Feinstein family who owns a lot of properties. Most notably, there was a rising politician named Diane Feinstein.

I worked at their hotel and not involved with politics, not my cuppa. My fulltime job was still across the bay. Feinstein's hotel was on the other side of San Francisco's famous Tenderloin District, a.k.a., the Red Light District. Dad was a Golden Glove, and he taught me the ropes, I also ran track in school, being tall and 130 lbs lean. Unbeknownst to anybody, I would pass this church called The People's Temple where kids played on the side of it. Fortunately, I only worked part-time, so the kid's faces didn't linger with me in passing. Later that year, they had closed up and moved their church activities down to South America.

I celebrated my 21st birthday a month ago, and it's late October 1978. The buzz in San Francisco is down in South America and Jonestown. News of this ran through mid-November 1978. Then fellow San Franciscans received the headlines in a trail of bits and pieces, from Guyana's airport shooting, followed by the Jonestown massacre. I took my car instead of the BART train to work that afternoon. I offered to pick up a couple of stuffed white bears and two dozen red roses for my parents and myself. Mom had called early and since they lived across the bay, I offered to do it before work that evening.

It's still November 1978, the latter part, when San Franciscans received more bad news. Our mayor Moscone and assemblyman Milk were just killed in San Francisco's City Hall, which is next to my BART train stop, the CIVIC CENTER. I walk eleven blocks to and from my part-time job, through the Red Light District, before and after my three to eleven PM shift. All the while, nobody bothered me, not for a cigarette or even for a light, of which I possessed neither anyhow.

Those two tragedies troubled many San Franciscans. We were resilient, and my former boss, Diane Feinstein became our cities latest mayor following the tragedies. Her subsequent marriage to Blum signaled my departure from their employ in early 1980.

Copyright © William Kekaula 2018

Author: William Kekaula
I am a retiree of the hospitality industry, presently, residing in my birthplace town of Hilo, Island of Hawaii, a.k.a. Big Island, in the 50th State of Hawaii, USA, and as a writer, I have a passion for fictional storytelling, but some nonfictional, as well.

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