In Memoriam: Neil Armstrong (1930 – 2012)

Caturday has been put on hold. We’ll make it up tomorrow.

JBoD has just learned that Neil Armstrong has passed away at the age of 82. On July 21, 1969 Armstrong set foot on the moon and uttered those imortal words.

That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind

Neil Armstrong, Commander of Apollo 11

I was seven years old and I’ve never forgotten the thrill of it all. He provided inspiration to an entire generation.

Our condolences to his family, friends and the many fans. He will be missed.


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In Memoriam: Scott McKenzie

We don’t try to write about the passing of everyone. However, Scott McKenzie recorded one of the most famous songs of all about San Francisco. Written by John Phillips of The Mamas & The Papas, it raced to the top of the charts in 1967. It it became symbolic of a city and a generation.

From the Scott McKenzie website:

It is much saddness that we report the passing of Scott McKenzie in LA on 18th August, 2012. Scott had been very ill recently and passed away in his home after two weeks in hospital.

It has been our pleasure to maintain this web site over the past 15 years and this is the hardest update of them all. Farewell our much loved and wonderful friend.

Gary and Raylene Hartman

Our condolences to Scott’s family and friends. He will be missed.

animated-candle-2-sm


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Caturday: Catso Fascista 2009-2012

They say that when you’re young, you know what you hate and that as you get older, you know what you love and shift your focus.
I think that’s true but I hate disease more and more, disease of any variety, which diminishes those you love until it kills them. I can’t get used to it, and I’m not certain Kitsy’s passing has sunk in even now.
Maybe it’s because he was so much larger than life, that I have trouble thinking of him as truly gone.
Everything about Kitsy was superlative and he was a hell of a model, even though he never managed to hold a pose quite long enough. One thing he liked was getting petted roughly before I blew raspberries on his gut. He’d get up, fold his big flappers of ears back and leap off.
What we had for the past couple months or so was a wasted version of him.
Lately, he had appeared to make some improvement. The weight, however was located in his gut and his spine and ribs continued to show. His muscle mass continued to diminish and he had more trouble jumping in the last few days.
What confirmed what we were afraid to know and discuss, was what the other cats did. They nestled with Kitsy to keep him warm at night, Jenny checked on him constantly, and Tito would lure me to the bathroom were I’d sit on the edge of the tub and pet him on my lap.
New behavior which I took  as offers of comfort from the big cat.
As to Jenny, she accompanied Kitsy wherever he went, literally shadowing him. By then she also looked much bigger than he.
So we had him for two years, and that seems like a very short time…
The vet told us that the disease affected mostly young cats, and what a rotten thing that is.
I will miss his excesses and countless transgressions. I used to joke he was like a shark, an eating machine constantly looking for food to steal, and last night it struck me to see bacon strips on a plate in the kitchen left unmolested. Yet I can’t help thinking that even though he’s clearly not here he is not in fact gone.
I will miss our arguments, me calling him names and him probably demanding noms. He was a great outlet for my frustrations the fearless little bastard who never had a bad mood and would make Tito and I exchange disbelieving looks.
I can’t wait to dream about him.

Maz Whang
Catso Fascista 2009-2012

Oh let the sun beat down upon my face, stars to fill my dream
I am a traveler of both time and space, to be where I have been
To sit with elders of the gentle race, this world has seldom seen
They talk of days for which they sit and wait and all will be revealed.

Led Zeppelin “Kashmir”

 


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We are grieving

We lost our wonderful Kitsune/Kitsy/Mazuzu Whang? to FIP today. This isn’t a proper post for him. I’ll do that when I’m in a bit better shape. I’m just too damned sad right now. Rest in peace baby boy. Mom and dad will love you forever.

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The National AIDS Memorial Grove: Grief and Beauty

Located in Golden Gate Park, the National AIDS Memorial Grove is a testament to love and grief. According to the website:

The National AIDS Memorial Grove, located in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, is a dedicated space in the national landscape where millions of Americans touched directly or indirectly by AIDS can gather to heal, hope, and remember. For all the promising prospects on the horizon, AIDS continues to invade our lives, violate our past, and rob us of our comfortable assumptions about the future. The sacred ground of this living memorial honors all who have confronted this tragic pandemic both those who have died and those who have shared their struggle, kept the vigils, and supported each other during the final hours.

National AIDS Memorial Grove
Circle of Friends

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April 18, 1906, 5:12 a.m. The Great Earthquake of San Francisco

On April 18, 1906 at 5:12 a.m. the people of San Francisco and the Bay Area were awakened by violent shaking. The ground shook for a whole minute and when it was done, the city and it’s people were devastated.  The magnitude 7.8 was felt all over California, Western Nevada and Southern Oregon.

1906 San Francisco Earthquake
San Francisco Earthquake of 1906: Market Street, west of Powell and Fifth Streets, showing area east of Taylor and Powell Streets. This is the main part of the retail district of San Francisco, ca. 1906

While the quake caused massive damage, it was the fire that completed the devastation. Of a population of about 410,000, up to 300,000 were made homeless. The death toll was originally reported as a mere 375 because government officials felt that the true number would hurt real estate sales and the rebuilding effort. It’s now estimated that a minimum of 3000 perished in the quake and ensuing fire. Chinatown, with a population of around 14,000 was destroyed and the dead were never counted. As a result, the true death toll of the 1906 quake will never be known.

1906 San Francisco Earthquake
Photograph of a Camp in Golden Gate Park Under Military Control After the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake, 1906

Every year the event is commemorated and attended by the survivors. The number of survivors have been dwindling over the years. This year, three of the four remaining survivors attended the parade and private dinner on Tuesday evening.

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

William Del Monte and Winnie Hook, who are both 106 and George Quilici, 108 — will all be on hand to remember the great earthquake and fire.

Ruth Newman (b. 1901), the other survivor, wasn’t well enough to attend.

Lotta's Fountain
Lotta’s Fountain located on Market St. and Kearny

This morning, the survivors met at Lotta’s Fountain. There, they had a moment of silence beginning at 5:11 a.m. to mark the time of the quake.

Lotta’s Fountain is San Francisco’s oldest surviving monument. It was donated to the city by Lotta Crabtree and dedicated in 1875. In the aftermath of the quake and fire, people met at the fountain to exchange news and find out who was missing and who wasn’t. That is why it is used today to commemorate the Great Earthquake of 1906.

In 1910 Lotta’s Fountain was a meeting place again when the famous opera soprano, Luisa Tetrazzini came San Francisco and kept a promise to sing in the streets. At the fountain, she gave a free concert that was attended by an estimated quarter of a million people.

For more information, please visit these links.

Virtual Museum of the City of San Francisco

The Great 1906 San Francisco Earthquake at the USGS


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In Memoriam: Elizabeth Taylor (1932 – 2011)

Hollywood has lost an icon. She passed away at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center of congestive heart failure. She was surrounded by her four children.

Beginning her career as a child star, Elizabeth Taylor became on of Hollywood’s biggest icons as well as one of its greatest beauties. Her first movie of note was Lassie Come Home (1943) with Roddy McDowall. She launched her career with National Velvet (1944) and went on to make many more memorable films, such as Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf (1966), Giant (1956), and Cleopatra (1963).

Our condolences to her family, friends, and fans.

Elizabeth Taylor in the trailer for Giant
Elizabeth Taylor in the trailer for Giant



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Jack LaLanne: An Icon is Gone

I don’t use the word “icon” very often. However, this man was a part of my life at a very young age. I’m going to celebrate a half century of life at the end of the year. This man was there for 49 years of it.

A lot of you won’t remember life withoutout color tv or cable or computers or cell phones. I remember all of that. Note for younger people: It doesn’t make me better…just older.   This man…

Jack LaLanne
Jack LaLanne

was a part of my life for all of those years.

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