Tuesday, May 17, 2016


We will be in Baghdad by the Bay this summer for a conference. I am thinking of hitting the the Tonga Room. It's kitsch, but it's delightful kitsch. We might head up to the Top of the Mark before heading back to the Berkeley Hills, if I can find them.

OK, I'm sure I can find them. I can see them from the driver's seat in my car parked in Pacific Heights.

The odd thing about Bagdad-by-the-Bay is that it is a city that sleeps. If you find yourself there at 0300, the silence is deafening. With the demise of Borders in Union Square, probably nothing happens at all after dark in downtown.


virgil xenophon said...

"Top of the Mark"

God, how long its been. Was first there in 1960 as a soph in HS with my parents while on vacay from Illinois. Cousin Lt Col A. J. Hughes, (arty) was in command of the Nike Ajack/Zeus missile defence base up on San Pablo ridge protecting the bay area. He made O-6 out of that assignment. I was there later in Christmas 1966 up from pilot tng in Del Rio to visit my fiance in Sacramento/Rancho Cordova--a SAC NAVs daughter who was stationed at Mather AFB Haven't been back since..

virgil xenophon said...

*Nike "AJAX"---GAAAK!!!!

HMS Defiant said...

Good grief VX, I knew you were AF but I had no idea you flew Spads.

I was born in '61 to an artillery lieutenant who lived in Germany with my mother and older sister who was also born in Germany in '59. we were still occupying the place to keep them from doing mad crazy shit again.

I think 6th Army was headquartered at Fort Mason or the Presidio because otherwise I can't think why anybody would have put in air defenses around the place.

My brother and I took the general (air defense artillery) for a walk through the Tennessee Valley and toured a Nike site on the hill over San Francisco. It was a brutal walk which we had done many times and we finished at this pub yclept The Pelican.

There was also a nice Nike site on Angel Island. I liked it but I have no doubt the AF ruined the experience of living on a desert island in the middle of San Francisco Bay by experimenting with having the entire island painted white, by hand.

My father graduated West Point in '57. He remembers hitch hiking with a classmate to Canada and then getting a ride in a B24 out of Malmstrom all the way home to Virginia where a 3 star Air Force General gave him a lift home to his parents house at Fortress Monroe.

Oh, those were the days.