June 19, 2005

On 14th

On 14th next to the building site near the Sutter Hotel, an old black ex-cowboy, thin, tall, large white cowboy hat with a brown band, straight-legged blue jeans, large round cowboy belt buckle (and belt), long brown leather coat, glasses, brown gloves, a mustache, brown leather cowboy boots with shined steel toes, carrying an Andronicos grocery bag under one arm.... About 100 yards down Clay I'm stopped by a matronly white woman, probably in her seventies, immaculately dressed in long black dress, black shoes, a white fur-lined coat, curled white hair, pearl earrings, who asks in a Deep South accent how she could get onto "the hahway" (I keep expecting her to say "any damn highway", she looks so frustrated; she tells me her car (a large old Cadillac no doubt) is "way over there somewhere", pointing at 12th...). I give her directions, she smiles broadly and says "God bless you! Oakland ... it's bigger than I remember..." and strides off past the Federal Buildings.... [April 1997]

(Part of Oaktown).


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