Tuesday, October 03, 2006

October Blues

Today is Tuesday, my regular day off. I am feeling sad. I found out after reading the paper today that an old friend of the family has passed on.Frances McAteer was our neighborhood "mom" if you will. This wonderful woman would open her heart and home to almost any kid she knew. We loved her because she would make us laugh and was always interested in what we were doing. She would always have a smile to greet us, as well. Most of the neighborhood knew Mrs.McAteer, not just as a State Senator's wife, but as an encouraging and generous friend. Those days when it was unusually hot in San Francisco, she would let all the kids come and swim in her pool. We would dash out of our houses and run with our towels over there to be the first one off the diving board. I think that there must have been about twenty-five kids in her pool at one time.That was a treat not to be missed. I remember one time she took me along on a special trip to Alacatraz. This was long before it opened up to the public ( and even before the Indian "take-over" ) when there was a committee forming about what should be done with the property. She taught kids respect to be respectful of one another and to be polite towards adults. One time, Governor Edmund G. Brown was visiting her husband Gene at their home. I had the good fortune to meet him, because Mrs. McAteer invited me in and introduced me to him. I felt important because of her. I will never forget this kind gesture.

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