Heritage Weekend Halftime Report

Families and fans lined up to ride 1896 “Dinky” Streetcar 578 outside our museum, as they did for the two boat trams that operated on Saturday, but everyone got a ride.

Great first day for Muni Heritage Weekend. Most diverse group of vintage transit vehicles ever; biggest crowds ever; most visitors to our San Francisco Railway Museum ever.

We’ll post most of the photos after Sunday’s action, but we want to make sure you see a few shots, and more importantly, these links:

1938 White Motor Coach 042, Muni’s oldest surviving bus, a prime subject of Steve Rubenstein’s Chronicle story, linked below.

The Chronicle’s Steve Rubenstein looks at the first day’s action, with a focus on buses.

And the Chron’s venerable “Native Son”, columnist Carl Nolte, pens a paean to Sacramento-Clay Cable Car “Big 19” as it made its public debut on Saturday.

“Big 19”, originally built in 1883 and the oldest operable cable car in the world, waits its turn at the California and Market terminal with 1907 O’Farrell, Jones & Hyde line CABLE CAR 42 right behind.

If you’re reading this Sunday morning in San Francisco, drop what you’re doing and head down to 77 Steuart Street, across from the Ferry Building, where the action continues from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. on Sunday.

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Carl Nolte: The Only One Who Does What He Does

The legendary San Franciscan Jerry Garcia said, “It’s not enough to be the best at what you do; you must be perceived as the only one who does what you do.”


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Carl Nolte. Photo by Mike Kapka, Courtesy SF Chronicle

Ladies and Gentlemen, Carl Nolte.
Since the passing of Herb Caen more than 15 years ago now, Carl Nolte has been the only one who does what he does — tell San Francisco stories with a unique combination of personal knowledge, style, and grace.
These are the kind of things that get said in an obituary, but what a waste to wait. Carl’s not going anywhere for a long time, we hope, except perhaps on more of his Magical Muni tours so wonderfully described in last Sunday’s paper. (Clearly, the Chronicle thinks Carl’s Native Son columns are premium content; it’s about the only thing from that paper they still hold back from website posting until Tuesday.)
Another reason we’re posting this mini-tribute now is because the Chronicle recently put one of Carl’s classic accounts on line for the first time: a 1984 story entitled “How to talk like a San Franciscan.” We natives of a certain age can attest to its accuracy as we shed a little tear for how much that true San Francisco verbal style has waned in the 18 years since Carl wrote that.
I guess we should say something to keep this on topic. When the F-line opened, Carl told me he wasn’t a big fan of the PCCs. He liked the original Muni streetcars, like No. 1 better. Of course. Unlike the PCCs, Car 1 was built in San Francisco!
Carl, thanks! Just a little note of appreciation from your friends at Market Street Railway.

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