Shortly after attending the memorial for John F Kennedy we were off to the Presidio of San Francisco in spring of 1964.
We were probably some of the last military dependents into Vietnam and we would be some of the very last out of Vietnam a few years later. In the interim on our west again we made a stop in San Francisco. I may have left my heart when I came at 10 years old, because I eventually settled fairly close by. It did once again feel like home. The Pacific ocean had a lot to do with it, especially since we stayed at the Presidio for 6 six weeks until we were finally “deployed” to Vietnam. High on a hill overlooking the bay, the Golden Gate Bridge,
Alcatraz, Oakland and the Berkeley Hills across the bay. I felt like Katherine Hepburn or Sophia Loren with their hair whipping in the wind each day we went out and had a new adventure. I actually wore a thin scarf tied over my ears and around my neck once or twice during my stay. We rode a cable car. Today the cable cars still run from Hallidie Plaza at Market Street, up Powell Street, past the hotels on Nob Hill, and down to Fisherman’s Wharf,
providing a scenic ride. Our food journey was an experience of bits and starts. We had the clam chowder in a cup at fisherman’s wharf, hot dogs from a street cart, fried rice and egg rolls in Chinatown interspersed with the recognizable and dependable staples from the food canteen at the Presidio. Their chili is what I feel compelled to elaborate upon here. It was a Chili con Carne (with bits of ground beef). It was so thick my spoon could stand up in it. Without fail my brother and I would upon adding our condiments sit and see who could be the first to see if our spoons stood up in our chili. Standard condiments for my chili were always diced onions, shredded cheddar cheese and Fritos.