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Late Chron scribe Herb Caen still writing up in heaven 

Wednesday, May 27 2009

Did you miss me? The Sackamenna kid certainly hasn't forgotten about you, though the view has changed. Yes, you can now call it the celestial three-dot lounge. The fingers have kept on pecking away, and on the loyal Royal typewriter, no less. And what a strange view it is. It's a hot time on the old Earth tonight, and getting hotter. Glaciers melting, mayors globetrotting, and who would have thought that the Chronicle would be a more endangered species than the polar bear? A pint-sized Brand Ex outliving the Chronicle? Perish the thought, and hand me another glass of that Vitamin V ...

Still, who can blame our dear readers for deserting the newsprint and becoming ensnared in the World Wide Web. The tales in the old paper ain't what they used to be, and their best writers now crowd the bar on our upper (and lower) eternal floors. Charles, Stanton, Art, Ambrose — they're all here. At least the pink section is still pink, but it's pink slips that are now flying across the old newsroom, and no white or blue collars are apparently exempt. Hat's off, though (if that's possible in this case) to pal Willie Brown, who now occupies my old haunt in the tonier section of the paper. Pity the poor ink-stained wretch who tries to give the slip to "Da Mayor" ...

Nothing can beat pounding the floors at Bimbo's, chewing the fat at Alfred's, or hearing the beatniks howl at City Lights, but there are benefits to being this far up in the pecking order. No pigeons, for one. For another, it's a look down on the fog, not a look up.

Where in the world is Gavin? ... Yes, your loyal scribe also gets to see the comings and goings, mostly the latter, of our jet-setting mayor. Is there no convention, seminar, get-together, or pow-wow our would-be governor won't attend? Our pavement is cracking, our schools crumbling, and our cable cars climbing only a quarter of the way to the stars, but our fair-haired boy has set his sights on Sacramento, and there's no turning back. Take some advice from someone who knows — it's the trip down the Delta that counts.

Heavenly sightems: Harvey Milk smiling at the spread of gay marriage, and sighing, "So much opera, so many men, so little time" ... Emperor Norton ordering that a retractable roof be put over San Fran. A boon for Candlestick dwellers, no doubt, but our fair city a "Kingdome by the bay"? Fuhgeddabouttit ...

More high times: Whatever your take on the prospect of the city getting into the pot business, it could do wonders for our long-suffering restaurant business. Make mine 400 pastramis — and hold the mayo.

Herb Caen has been dead for years, but the Chronicle keeps running "classic" old Caen columns in its pages.

About The Author

Staff, SF Weekly


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