National Geographic : 1950 Jul
The National Geographic Magazine It's the Kids Who Have the Say in This Comics Library "No adults," admonishes the sign in the Los Angeles Farmers Market, but many grownups, children at heart, take advantage of the free outdoor stand to follow Superman and Donald Duck. vealed the fertile flats of San Joaquin Valley, and I glimpsed the oil town of Bakersfield shimmering like a mirage.* Northward we streaked past valley vine yards and orchards, vegetable and dairy farms; slowed up for Tulare and Visalia; broke the journey at Fresno for supper; then dashed on in the dark. The night air smelled of water on soil and told of well-tilled fields. At Oakland our bus swung onto the Bay Bridge, gliding toward sparkling San Fran cisco. This approach thrilled me more than entering New York Harbor; it surpassed ferrying from Kowloon to Hong Kong, or sailing into Sydney, Australia.t From its sudden hills the city winked myriad eyes in a fickle mist; the Bay winked back. The hum of our bus muffled most of the usual sounds, but I heard the clanging of a cable car's bell. I went to a hotel on a sharp slope of Nob Hill. After registering at the main-floor desk, I rode two floors down to my room. From the roof of the many-storied hotel I looked over the city, the Bay with its bridges, Alcatraz and Treasure Islands, ships and ferries. Berkeley and Oakland backed up the hills on the opposite shore. I started to walk down Nob Hill by Mason Street. The grade was too steep for slippery leather soles; I had to use Powell Street in stead. Later, I hopped on a cable car headed for Fisherman's Wharf. The woman conductor wore pants and worked like a man. She tugged on the hand brake, leaped to the street to turn switches, and had to run to get aboard again. As we approached a sharp bend, her husky voice competed with the clanging bell: "Going around-hang on or fall off!" * See, in the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE: "Southern California at Work," November, 1934; and "Northern California at Work," March, 1936, both by Frederick Simpich. t See "San Francisco: Gibraltar of the West Coast," by La Verne Bradley, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGA ZINE, March, 1943.