Storied: San Francisco

Jeff Hunt

Storied: San Francisco is a collection of stories about life in the city and the Bay Area. The goal is to further enrich the experience of living here by learning about the people all around us who continue to add to the feeling that this place is special. This place is special, and these stories illustrate that. We hope that you'll be inspired to share your own stories.

All Episodes

In this episode, Matt picks up where he left off in Part 1. He talks about places in the US that his family traveled before Matt went to college in Santa Cruz. He shares what went into his decision to stay close to home for school. He graduated in five years and stayed one extra because he didn't want to leave. Then he came back to what is essentially his hometown: San Francisco. His first place was at the top of Telegraph Hill and he loved living in North Beach. He worked in catering, and despite the recession that hit in 2008, never lost his job. Matt still loves to travel, but like our host Jeff, he always loves coming home to San Francisco. He tells us about jobs he's had since his return to living here, including at the Edgewood Center for Children and Families. After Edgewood, Matt started working for Tonic Nightlife Group, which owns a few bars here in The City. From here, we go on a sidetrack about what being from here means to Matt. He talks about his never-ending appreciation for all the sites and attractions in The City. Hosting pub quizzes started for Matt at Tonic Bar in 2014. He shares that story for us. Matt wrote the San Francisco trivia we read and guests competed in at our first ever pub quiz. That was at "We're Still Here" back in September. Pub quizzes went virtual when the pandemic began, and they remain online (and in person) today. We end the podcast with Matt's response to our Season 4 theme: We're still here. If you missed Part 1, please go back and listen to Matt talk about his ancestors and his early life. We recorded this podcast at Soda Popinski's on Nob Hill in November 2021. Photography by Michelle Kilfeather

Dec 2

31 min 28 sec

One side of Matt Sterling's lineage is a big, Irish Catholic family. In this podcast, the bartender and pub quiz host delves into his family's history in San Francisco. Three generations ago, great-grandparents came here from Ireland, established their roots, and had kids. Matt's maternal grandma was one of them. She grew up in Ingleside and raised seven kids of her own, including Matt's mom. Matt says that on his mom's side, he's got 23 cousins and he knows them all pretty well. Through his mom and his aunts and uncles, Matt shares stories from the neighborhood back in the 1960s. He describes Thanksgiving dinners, first at his grandmother's house and then at his own home, where somewhere around 50 family guests showed up. ​ Matt's dad came to the US from the Philippines when he was 22. He got married and had three kids, but that marriage ended in divorce. Then Matt's parents met when they both worked for the SFPD. His dad was an officer and his mom worked a desk job. The couple had Matt and his sister for a total of five kids. His dad worked many different beats around The City in the thirty-plus years he worked as a cop. As his family started to grow with the arrival of Matt and his sister, his dad found a larger home in Daly City. Matt tells us some of his earliest memories, including going to Catholic school in South San Francisco and later, Sacred Heart in SF. He ran cross country, which helped him get to know San Francisco really well. Matt ends Part 1 talking about various excursions in The City that sealed the fate of his moving here for him. Check back Thursday for Part 2 and the continuation of Matt Sterling's life story. We recorded this podcast at Soda Popinski's on Nob Hill in November 2021. Photography by Michelle Kilfeather

Nov 30

28 min 36 sec

In this podcast, Shizue picks up where she left off in Part 1. Her paternal grandmother, Shige, had just located her husband in Stockton. Shizue goes into more depth about her grandmother's life. Her dad, Barry, grew up in Stockton and went to UC Berkeley. He was set to graduate in June 1942. But then Pearl Harbor was bombed in December 1941. The order to "relocate" Japanese-Americans to internment camps was issued in February 1942. Her mom's family had been in camp in Arizona. At this point in the conversation, we springboard to a larger, broader talk about the dominant, northern European culture in this country and what it's like not to be part of it. Shizue worked for many years at the J. Walter Thompson office in San Francisco. At first a fine arts student, she switched to commercial art at the Academy of Art here in The City and got the job in advertising. She describes a white, male-dominated work culture and how she navigated that. We rewind to talk about Shizue's early life. Her parents met shortly after WWII, when Japanese-Americans who had been forced into internment camps were now free. Her dad joined the Army and so the family moved around. Shizue was born in Baltimore. Around the time she was 12, they moved back to California and eventually up from the Santa Clara Valley to San Francisco, where Shizue went to high school. She describes being a shy, bookworm-ish kid who strove to fit into the "model minority" demographic. That ended when she was a teenager and had an existential crisis. After her work in advertising, she ended up doing HIV prevention outreach to folks living in subsidized public housing. It was through this work that Shizue started to turn her attention toward people of color. She also started writing poetry. We end the episode with Shizue's thoughts on our theme this this season: "We're still here." Shizue's personal site is Her creative writing for people of color website is We recorded this podcast at Shizue's apartment in the Outer Richmond in November 2021. Photography by Michelle Kilfeather

Nov 24

39 min 5 sec

This podcast is almost totally about Shizue Seigel's ancestors. In the episode, the poet and author digs deep into her family's history, which goes back to Japan just two generations ago. Sakuichi Tsutsumi and Umematsu Yokote Tsutsumi were from Kyushu, a large island in the south of Japan. Irene Yoshiko Tsutsumi Saiki, Shizue's mom, was born in Hawaii. Her family moved there to work on sugar plantations, but the conditions were brutal and they weren't able to save money thanks to the sugar companies' "company store" operations. Also, conditions in the cane fields were dangerous. The family went back to Japan. Sakuichi moved to San Luis Obispo on the central coast of California. He and his cousins bought some land and used their knowledge of irrigation to help them grow produce. Thanks to an oil boom in the area, the town of San Luis was growing and its population needed vegetables. Now successful, it was time to send for his wife back in Japan. Shizue shares the incredible story of finding the tiny mountain village and home where Sakuichi's family lived. It's one of those "you have to hear to believe" tales. Shizue's mom, Irene, was born in 1920. Shizue shares many stories of her mother's family and the Japanese community in and around San Luis Obispo where she mostly grew up, notably before World War II. Her dad's family moved from Hiroshima to Hawaii with his two older brothers. Life was tough there for them as well, and so it was decided that her grandfather, Yasaburo, would go ahead to California while her grandmother, Shige Matsuoka, took their children back to Japan. Shige waited for two years with no word back from the US. She left her two kids with in-laws and decided to come over to track her husband down. Her journey east is another amazing tale you just have to hear. Check back tomorrow for Part 2 and the continuation of Shizue's life history. We recorded this podcast in Shizue's Outer Richmond apartment in November 2021. Photography by Michelle Kilfeather

Nov 23

39 min 2 sec

In this episode, Andrew picks up where he left off in Part 1. He starts with the different bands and music projects he took part in during high school. He got a guitar and started writing solo songs when he was 16. Andrew shares the story of how he got his stage name. (Surprise! Andrew St. James isn't his real name.) It involves being totally smitten with a woman way, way older than he was at the time. After high school, he moved to Boston to go to Berklee School of Music. The twist—he got in on the wrong instrument. Turns out, he didn't dig college life too much. He had just released a record, Doldrums, and it got wide critical praise. He went to New York to play a show and was immediately awestruck by the city. It all led to Andrew quitting college and recording another album: The Shakes. In 2014, The Killers' manager called him and had him do a residency in North Beach. But San Francisco had changed so much in his short absence that Andrew moved to LA, a town that had been luring him. It turned out to be a wild but pretty brief stay, as the pull of San Francisco and family brought him back. Once he returned to The City, Andrew started playing with a friend and touring. He hooked up with a producer to start putting on shows at Amnesia, and with that, the Fast Times Presents series was born. For Andrew, the aim was to bring together San Francisco's many segregated music cliques. He's the first to admit the messiness of the music events. They eventually relocated to The Chapel to accommodate a bigger audience, but then the pandemic hit and Andrew took his show to the streets, literally. Starting in September this year, Fast Times Presents events have moved to Make-Out Room. The next show is tonight (Nov. 18). We end this podcast with Andrew reflecting on our Season 4 theme: We're still here. We recorded this podcast at Hyde Street Studios in the Tenderloin in November 2021. Photography by Michelle Kilfeather

Nov 18

41 min 57 sec

Andrew St. James's birth mom was a tour caterer for the Rolling Stones. In this episode, the musician traces his lineage back to his being adopted by a young San Francisco couple. Carol moved to San Francisco in 1971. She worked at the Gap and what used to be Live 105 and KMEL. Nathan was born in Brooklyn to Holocaust survivor parents. After his New York marriage fizzled, he hopped on a motorcycle and rode to San Francisco in 1978. Nathan and some friends opened the original Captain Video stores. The two met when Nathan went to buy radio advertising from Carol. The couple lived in Glen Park when they adopted Andrew, then they all moved to the Sunset District, where Andrew was raised. Andrew shares early memories from both neighborhoods. He sang in the San Francisco Boys Choir for a number of years before getting jaded at a young age. He decided to branch out more on his own, and so he bought an organ. He soon began playing rock music with friends roughly his age—12. Andrew got into Urban High School, which he shares the background and philosophy of for us. Andrew says that by the time he entered high school, in the late-2000s, that philosophy had more or less gone by the wayside. Check back Thursday for Part 2 and the continuation of Andrew's life story. Shout out to Ashley Graham for connecting us with Andrew. ​ We recorded this podcast at Hyde Street Studios in the Tenderloin in November 2021. Photography by Michelle Kilfeather

Nov 16

34 min 55 sec

We start with the honeymoon, time away from The City. Jeff and Erin spent two weeks in northern New Mexico, bouncing around between Taos, Santa Fe, and the small town of Dixon (about halfway between Taos and Santa Fe), where old friends of Jeff have some land with a house, a casita, a tiny house, a large garden, and some chickens. Then we back up to start chronicling Thursday, October 14, 2021. Jeff's wedding day started with some rather incredible news: Storied: San Francisco won Best Podcast in 48 Hills/SF Bay Guardian's Best of the Bay 2021!!! The whole point of our recording us talking about the wedding is that we felt it needed to be memorialized. Yes, it was my wedding ... but I have no problem saying that it was fucking epic. Please listen to the podcast for details of the day, but here, shout-outs are in order. As you'll see, many of the folks instrumental in making the day what it was have been on the podcast. Some will be soon. Here they are: Olivia Andreani: Wedding Director Belen: Olivia's Assistant Chloe Jackman (Part 1 / Part 2): Photographer Michaela: Photography Assistant Julie Dy: Makeup Gillian Fitzgerald (Part 1 / Part 2): Co-owner of Casements Bar Shawn: Co-owner of Casements Bar Aireene Espiritu (Part 1 / Part 2): Ceremony music Angela Tabora (Part 1 / Part 2): Officiant Alex: Owner of Gillibus Debbie and Paul: Owners of Royal Cuckoo Chris and Levay (Part 1 / Part 2): Amazing humans who are also musicians MJ's Brass Boppers: Second Line Brass Band Kevin Cline (Part 1 / Part 2) (and the amazing Front Porch/Rock Bar staff): Owner of Front Porch + Rock Bar Big Russ + CJ Flash: Dance Party DJs It takes a village, y'all. Check back next week for our first storyteller in almost two months: musician Andrew St. James! We recorded this podcast at Shovels Cocktail and Whiskey Bar in the Tenderloin in November 2021. Photo by Allison Tom

Nov 9

49 min 45 sec

In this podcast, Yeva picks up where she left off in Part 1. She backs up from her time in Brazil to tell us about peace camps she went to as a kid, and how that took her to places like Tanzania. As the kids who went the camps got older, they started having reunions they dubbed "seminar camps." As a teen, Yeva went to one such reunion the French Alps. Years later, as a college student in Brazil, she was on staff as a seminar camp, coming full circle. Back in Rhode Island, she went straight into medical school. Returned from her time abroad as a young adult, Yeva noted the material abundance found in US versus a place like Brazil. She says she almost quit med school because it was so intense, but she ended up sticking with it. Once her education really ramped up, things like writing for the newspaper and playing flute fell by the wayside. Yeva explains that it was during her time in med school that HIV/AIDS started becoming known. But that wasn't necessarily what brought her west to San Francisco. She cites a spring break trip to The City while she was still in med school that sealed the deal for her—that, a brush with Armistead Maupin, and getting matched with a program at San Francisco General Hospital in family medicine serving underserved populations. Just before her move here in 1990, she came out to help with Loma Prieta earthquake recovery efforts. She did her training, met a partner, had kids, and has worked a lot since her move. Yeva also discovered poetry and shares the story of how that happened. We end this episode with Yeva's thoughts on San Francisco today as well as what could be in store for The City's future. And then she reads one of her poems: "Incantation for Black Lives to Remain in Focus After the Outrage Fades." We recorded this podcast at Shakespeare Garden in Golden Gate Park in September 2021. Photography by Michelle Kilfeather

Sep 30

31 min 31 sec

Yeva Johnson was born in Detroit by necessity. In this podcast, we welcome Yeva back to the show. We first met her back in 2018 at Working With Death, the show we did that year with Reimagine End of Life. Her family moved from Michigan to Washington, DC, when Yeva was young. She often joined her siblings and parents at various marches in the capital city—for the ERA, peace marches, etc. As a student, Yeva liked to read. She talks about going to DC museums and the Library of Congress ("They had every book—almost!") when she was young. Her parents moved her to a new school, and so she had to adjust to a new environment and make new friends. Music has always been a big part of Yeva's life. She has been playing the piano since she was five and the flute since she was in fourth grade. When she was young, she went to several jazz festivals in the DC area with her mom. She kept playing flute throughout her time in school and in fact, she still plays today. She went to Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, where she immediately got into their medical program. In her third year of college, she spent time in Brazil, which we wrap this episode with. Check back Thursday for Part 2 and the continuation of Yeva's life story, including her move to San Francisco. We recorded this podcast in the Shakespeare Garden at Golden Gate Park in September 2021. Photography by Michelle Kilfeather

Sep 28

32 min 53 sec

In this episode, Bishop Megan talks about their trans identity. Through popular culture and with age, they knew they were queer around the time they went to college. Eventually, as the world and language evolved, "trans" became what they identify with. ​One of their children is also trans, and Bishop Megan shares their perspective of what it's like to parent the kid. Then they us about life after college. Deciding to pursue religious studies wasn't so obvious, as churches at that time refused to ordain LGBTQ people. They ended up at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in Berkeley. Within the first year there, they started working with hungry and homeless folks on Polk Street in The City. We pivot to the story of meeting their wife. It involves therapy homework and falling off a curb. Needless to say, the two hit it off. Because they wanted to adopt children, they moved to the Sunset to a place with multiple bedrooms. They continue living there with their family today. Next, Bishop Megan discusses the arduous process of becoming a bishop in the Lutheran Church. If you missed it, Megan is the first trans bishop of a major U.S. church. We end this podcast with Megan talking about the current state of things in San Francisco as well as their vision for the next phase here in The City. If you missed Part 1, please go back to hear the story of Bishop Megan's early life and their ancestors. We recorded this podcast at Harvey's in the Castro in August 2021. Photo by Vince Donovan

Sep 23

48 min 14 sec

The Rev. Dr. Bishop Megan Rohrer's ancestors must've liked the cold. In this podcast, Bishop Megan traces their South Dakota family lineage back to Switzerland, Germany, and Norway. In the new country, they lived in barns and farmed the land. Their great-grandmother carried a bucket of lard with a piece of bread in it when she went to school. Eventually, their family survived the Depression. They discuss the culture in South Dakota as being one where grudges can't be held long. As they put it, "Your neighbor might be the one to pick you up when your car runs off the road and into a ditch." Their mom grew up in a small town in the state and moved to Sioux Falls, where their dad grew up. Dad, a veteran, eventually turned to alcohol. Things got so bad that his restraining order meant he had to move out of state. He chose California—Visalia specifically. On a visit to see their dad, Bishop Megan learned of some half-siblings in California. They also have a full brother and half-sister from back in South Dakota. When it comes to growing up in Sioux Falls, Bishop Megan says the Eastern South Dakota town is more diverse than you might think. They go on to explain the politics and economics of the place, and point to the reason many of us might already know of the town. We also talk about the weather there. After graduating from high school, they moved onto to the college campus in town to work there. Through that job, Bishop Megan got free tuition to college, which they finished in three years. We end Part 1 with Megan's experiences following the death of Matthew Shepard, something that eventually led to their going to religious school. Check back Thursday for Part 2. We recorded this podcast at Harvey's in the Castro in August 2021. Photo by Vince Donovan

Sep 21

32 min 52 sec

In this podcast, Mike picks up where he left off in Part 1. He tells us about a comedy class he took at SF State that had a pretty profound effect on him. From there, the conversation turns to how Mike discovered that he's funny. He shares the story of a secret show he put on for fellow college students that you just have to hear. Around this time, Mike started doing comedy at Mutiny Radio (Pam Benjamin). Then he collaborated with Joe Talbot and Jimmie Fails ("Joe and Jimmie") on a project that ended up being the movie The Last Black Man in San Francisco. Through that, Mike met Joe's dad, David, author of Season of the Witch. David was hosting an event and invited Mike to do political comedy there. Mike says this was when his loves of comedy, politics, and movie-making all came together. The success of Last Black Man, after five years of production, inspired Mike to write his own stories. He talks about the evolution of his show Rent Check Series. A preview is up on Youtube now, and the rest of the series drops this fall. We end this episode with Mike's thoughts and feelings about still being here. Mike will be part of the comedy lineup at our live event (!!!) next Thursday, Sept. 9, at Casements Bar in the Mission. We hope you can make it. We'd sure love to see your faces. Event info here. We recorded this podcast in Mike's home in August 2021. Photography by Michelle Kilfeather

Sep 2

31 min 33 sec

Mike Evans, Jr., is a funny guy. In this podcast, the young comedian traces his family history back to his parents, who were both born in San Francisco and met here. They raised Mike and his two older sisters in Diamond Heights as long as they could before moving to Vallejo for more space. But the family still commuted back to work in The City and brought their young son with them to go to school here. Mike stayed in San Francisco public schools as long as he could. When his cover of not living in The City was blown, his parents got him into Leadership High School—a charter school focused on social justice. He shares the experience of being young and going through a racial identity crisis around how he talks. But talking ended up being central to Mike's life. He wound up on the speech and debate teams at SF State. Mike talks about various sports he played—baseball, football, and basketball—and how he kept up with baseball to impress a girl he was crushing on. We end Part 1 talking about how Mike got started "performing," something else he owes to his parents. Mike will be one of the comedians at our live event next week: We're Still Here. Details coming soon. Please join us for Part 2 with Mike Evans, Jr., this Thursday. Shout out to Larry Dorsey, Jr. (Part 1 / Part 2), for connecting us with Mike. We recorded this podcast in Mike's home in August 2021.

Aug 31

29 min 32 sec

In this episode, Midgett picks up where she left off in Part 1. She had just escaped an abusive relationship out east and decided to make her way to San Francisco. One of her brothers was in the Navy and already in the Bay Area. Another had just moved out here, and so Midgett had people already in place. Her mom had left an apartment on Jones Street in The City that she was able to move into with her two kids. It was 1974 and the women's movement was well under way. She met Roma Guy and got involved with opening the Women's Building, among other things LGBTQ and women's rights activists were engaged in at the time. It was there that Midgett started doing her workshops. We rewind a little to discuss how Midgett got started teaching. It began with her agreeing to serve on a school board, then she got her daughter into that school, and others recognized how good she was with kids and suggested she teach. Her first job in San Francisco was at the Booker T. Washington Community Service Center. She also taught fifth graders in after-school programs. She retired at 70 in the face of petitions that she stay on. She went back as a substitute regardless. She's currently working with the Kai Ming Head Start program. These days, Midgett is launching a subscription service to publish writings based on the workshops she did at the Women's Building for years. The topics include: parenting, friendships, relationships, sensuality, sexuality, and aging. Please go to her site, Midgett's Reading Room, and consider subscribing. We end the episode with Midgett talking about what it means for an 85-year-old to still be here. We recorded this podcast at Midgett's home in Bernal Heights in August 2021. Photography by Michelle Kilfeather

Aug 26

29 min 18 sec

Ed note: I was off-mic for this one, so my part is a little ... quieter. I hope that doesn't take away from Midgett's incredible life story. -- Jeff In this podcast, the 85-year-old ex-school teacher shares the story of her life with us. It starts in the British West Indies, where Midgett's mom was born. That family moved to Boston, where her mom met her dad. Midgett was the only girl in a family otherwise full of boys. Her mom was a strong woman, but, Midgett feels, overly protective. And so she spent a lot of time with "auntie." She shares stories of her first sexual encounters, her lesbianism another source of strain in her relationship with her mom. After high school, her aunt convinced her to join the U.S. Army. It was there that her preferred name emerged—Midgett. She shares stories from her time as a young, Black lesbian in the service, including her first encounter with prejudice. After a little bit of partying in New York City, the Army sent Midgett to Germany. It was her first time overseas, and through some experiences there, she came to see how good people have things here in the U.S. In the early '60s, Midgett got back to the States and out of the Army. She wanted kids and made that happen. She and the father of her son moved around a bit, then she went out on her own. She married another man and had a daughter, but that didn't work out either. One of her brothers lived in San Francisco, and Midgett saw a way out. Check back Thursday for Part 2 and the story of Midgett's move to The City. In the meantime, check out her site, Midgett's Reading Room, and subscribe. We recorded this podcast in Midgett's home in Bernal Heights on her birthday in August 2021. Shout out to JoJo Depakakibo (Part 1 / Part 2) for connect us with Midgett. Photography by Michelle Kilfeather

Aug 24

31 min 21 sec

In Part 1, you heard about Stuart Schuffman’s ancestors and his life up to the point when he moved to San Francisco. Now, in Part 2, Stuart picks up where he left off, chronicling jobs, zines, TV shows, books, and other stuff he’s started from the ground-up. He ends with his vision for San Francisco post-pandemic. Broke-Ass Stuart's Goddam Website Broke-Ass Stuart's Guide to Living Cheaply in San Francisco When the Lights Go Up in The City Photography by Michelle Kilfeather

Aug 19

29 min 21 sec

Let's try this again. Back in Season 1, ​we met our friend Stuart Schuffman, aka, Broke-Ass Stuart, for a recording at The Willows. We have to admit: What we did for the podcast back then is much different than what we do now. Let's just say that the episode is more about Stuart's whacky San Francisco stories than about his total being. Fast-forward to this summer, and we sat down with this affable SF character at The Wooden Nickel to hear his life story. Check back Thursday for Part 2 and more from Broke-Ass Stuart. We recorded this podcast at The Wooden Nickel in July 2021. Photography by Michelle Kilfeather

Aug 17

25 min 36 sec

In this episode, Marcy picks up where she left off in Part 1. She came out to friends on a walk across the country, but then, when she returned to California, had to go through that process again with her parents. Turns out her mother had "met someone" too. Her dad didn't take the news so well. Marcy made the move to San Francisco in 1994. She talks about what we now call the LGBTQ community in the Mission back then, and how special a time it was. She left for the East Coast, where she lived briefly. But, because it was a much different place back then, was easily able to move back to The City. Marcy ended up directing the Eat Real Food Festival in Oakland for a while, as well as other food and agriculture gigs. Then she ended up at CUESA, which runs the farmer's markets at the Ferry Building here in San Francisco. It was there that Marcy began to work on establishing "third places," which start with food and agriculture but go beyond that to create full experiences that are memorable and important. She levied her work with CUESA to get involved at Pier 70. ​Shortly after joining Pier 70, lockdown happened. But Marcy is excited to be with them nonetheless. As she talks about in the podcast, Pier 70 is a project that honors San Francisco's industrial and maritime history while also creating spaces for artists and makers and looking toward a more inclusive future. ​We end the podcast with Marcy talking about the potential for what's next here in San Francisco. We recorded this podcast at Pier 70 in June 2021. Photography by Michelle Kilfeather

Aug 12

25 min 20 sec

The California Central Valley and its agriculture aren't too far from the Bay Area. But, as Marcy Coburn knows well, they're worlds apart. ​Today, Marcy is the creative director at San Francisco's Pier 70, a mixed-use development just south of Oracle Park. Her mom's family moved west from Oklahoma and her dad migrated to California from his childhood home in Central Florida. The two met at Cal Poly Pomona near LA and moved to Visalia to raise a family. Her folks split up and Marcy lived with her mom, who relocated to Stockton when Marcy was 13. She had dabbled in neon in punk before the move, but the kids in her hometown weren't ready for that. Stockton proved to be a better fit for the teenager. ​Once they were 16, she and her friends started taking car trips to Berkeley and San Francisco. But Marcy's move to The City took quite a detour first. She and a friend took a bus to New York City and walked across the country on a "peace walk" in solidarity with American Indians whose lands were being used for nuclear testing. That lasted nine months and ended with them at a test site outside of Las Vegas on Shoshone land. It was on that walk that Marcy came out. Please check back Thursday for Part 2. We recorded this podcast in a construction trailer at Pier 70 in June 2021. Photography by Michelle Kilfeather

Aug 10

22 min 48 sec

In this podcast, Khafre picks up where he left off in Part 1, with the changes he underwent after taking part in the 2003 protest against the Iraq War in San Francisco. He was rapping with Richie Cunning and later with a group called B-Pos. He was also putting on shows and touring the country. ​Khafre talks about the systemic racism coupled with capitalism that he experienced negatively when trying to do hip hop shows. It manifested in places like higher insurance rates based solely on the genre of music. He went to City College for a handful of years and then to Mendocino Junior College and studied psychology. He also worked at some group homes up north teaching kids how to make hip hop. After spending a few years there, Khafre returned to The City and got a job at Greenpeace, which put him on the streets of San Francisco raising money for the organization. He became the director of grassroots fundraising there. After a few years of that, in 2013, he married his love of education, hip hop, and his new experiences of canvassing and fundraising, and launched Hip Hop for Change. The spot on KPOO started with Khafre going on a program there to advertise a show he was putting on. Hip Hop for Change on the radio evolved from there. The non-profit exists to take back control over the genre from corporations. Its grassroots fundraising and work in the community to counter white supremacy has been going for more than eight years. Please visit their website and consider a donation. Khafre ends the podcast with thoughts about surviving and coming out of the pandemic and a plea to support smaller, less well-known POC groups who need money. We recorded this podcast at the Hip Hop for Change offices in Oakland in June 2021. Photography by Michelle Kilfeather

Aug 5

36 min 33 sec

Khafre Jay found his power through hip hop. In this podcast, the founder and executive director of Hip Hop for Change shares his life story. His parents met in the Bayview when they were kids. They got together around age 11 or so and have been with each other since. Khafre tries to imagine what his parents went through as a young Black couple struggling to survive and raise a family in San Francisco. Owing to his dad's being a singer and actor, Khafre got started singing in choir at a young age. In his teen years, he was influenced by hip hop artists who were getting bigger and bigger, including some local stars like E-40. He says he saw those artists taking their own power from a broken system. After getting into trouble while at a public high school, Khafre moved to School of the Arts, then located on the campus at SF State. He met other artists and started to get inspired. He also taught the children of ESL students around this time. Then, at an Iraq War protest in 2003, along with several other folks, Khafre got beat up by police. This incident sparked the activist in him, something that continues to this day. Check back Thursday for Part 2 and the continuation of Khafre's life story. We recorded this podcast at the Hip Hop for Change offices in Oakland in June 2021. Photography by Michelle Kilfeather

Aug 3

31 min 25 sec

The story of Gus' Discount Tackle begins with skiing in the Alps. In this podcast, Stephanie Scott, the current owner, shares with us the story of her life. Her dad, Gus, escaped his home in Austria when the Nazis began persecuting Jews. He arrived in New York but went west for a restaurant bussing job in San Francisco. Gus met his wife (Stephanie's mom) in The City. She was a Sorbonne-educated lab doctor who immigrated here from Russia. Gus opened a general merchandise shop on Clement Street, but the predatory landlord there kept raising Gus' rent. Through a handshake-type agreement, he got the funding to buy his own place—the spot on Balboa where the shop still exists today, around 60 years later. Stephanie grew up on 17th Avenue on the northern side of the Richmond in the 1950s and '60s. She shares impressions of what San Francisco was like back then—a busy time with Beats, hippies, free-love advocates, and LSD, none of which the more square Stephanie took part in. She met her husband when they were both at SF State. After post-graduate opportunities fizzled out, Stephanie started working in her dad's store. The rest, as she says, is history. She's been there 45 years. Stephanie ends the podcast reflecting on the people she's watched grow up around Gus's, the changes that the store has seen, including transitioning from general merchandise to fishing supplies, and her hopes for the next phase of the only place she's ever lived—San Francisco. We recorded this podcast at Gus' Discount Tackle in the Outer Richmond in June 2021. Photography by Michelle Kilfeather

Jul 27

29 min 31 sec

Blue Bear Executive Director Steven Savage starts this one off telling us all about Tennessee Mowrey's step-mom. It's a story that involves three siblings (Bonnie Hayes and two of her brothers) who showed up at the fledgling music school in 1971 when it was located on Ocean Ave. Susie, Tennessee's step-mom, knew Bonnie from both of their touring gigs (possibly a Billy Idol tour), and Bonnie brought Susie to Blue Bear. Tennessee joins in to give a little more context to his step-mom's story. Then Steve rewinds a bit to share the story of Blue Bear's opening. Originally started as a way to make money while the band aimed for stardom, the school saw success in the first few years, with something like 60 students enrolled. But it started to founder a bit, and Steve had left. He got a phone call asking him to come back and save the operation, and he did. There was a sizable debt to pay off. But in 1977, they made the decision to move to Fort Mason. And with that, the school started to grow. We talk about how they went about recruiting students back then, a common practice in those days that might surprise some of you. These days, it's mostly word-of-mouth, and to a somewhat sobering effect: 40,000 students have enrolled at Blue Bear in its 50 years. We talk about how the school has evolved its teaching philosophy, especially with the advent of completely new genres of music. And then we hear about a few standout success stories coming out of Blue Bear. We end this podcast with Steven and Tennessee talking about what it means for Blue Bear School of Music to still be here after 50 years. If you missed Part 1, please go back and check that out. And for the Jack Black video that Steven mentions in the recording, watch here. We recorded this podcast at Blue Bear School of Music in Fort Mason Center for the Arts and Culture in June 2021. Photography by Michelle Kilfeather

Jul 15

28 min 48 sec

Steven Savage came of age in Southern California in the 1960s. In this podcast, the executive director of Blue Bear School of Music shares his life story with us. His first instrument to play was banjo, inspired by his love of folk music. But then he discovered rock 'n' roll, and soon after that, he picked up the drums. ​He went to college in Ohio, where he met people and starting playing in bands. He came back to California and made his way up to Santa Cruz, playing in various bands along the way. Next was Palo Alto, where Steven lived in a garage and continued playing music. And then a band here in The City needed a drummer and Steven got the call. Those folks he joined up here had already decided to start a music school while they played and worked toward stardom. That school ended up being Blue Bear School of Music. It was June 1971. Then we hear from Tennessee Mowrey, Blue Bear's current Little Bears director. Born and raised in San Francisco, Tennessee traces his story back to his parents' meeting. Raised in a musical family, he took to playing from a very young. But he didn't like lessons. His dad and step mom enrolled Tennessee in Blue Bear. Once in these rock band classes, he started playing several different instruments, and eventually began student teaching. Please join us Thursday for Part 2. We recorded this podcast at Blue Bear School of Music in Fort Mason Center in June 2021. Photography by Michelle Kilfeather

Jul 13

25 min 18 sec

In this podcast, Mama C. (Nola Curtis) picks up where she left off in Part 1, talking about finding confidence and a sense of self-worth through music and family. Papa C. (Maestro Curtis) jumps in to express his admiration for his wife. Then we throw it over to the kids. First, introductions. Zahara (16), Nile (15), Isis (14), Kiki (13), and Phoenix (11 as of Tuesday). Nile talks about how the band evolved over time. The kids had their own band (The C-Notes) and mom and dad had a separate band. Zahara got started in music during her time at Everett Middle School. But as that faded out, she picked up instruments lying around the house and asked her siblings to join her. The C-Notes were born. When it came time for mom and dad to join forces with the kids, Papa C. tells us that they didn't want the spotlight to ever be on just one member, stressing the importance of family and the group dynamic. At this point in the podcast, Erin Lim (Part 1 / Part 2) of Bitch Talk Podcast takes over hosting. We start off talking about the kids' fascination with physics. They each take a turn explaining how they got interested and what application of science pertains to their individual interests. Then Erin asks the family to talk about the judges and host of America's Got Talent, the show on which the family is currently competing. We end the episode by talking about the family's "special sauce." Related Podcasts Uncle Damien (Part 1 / Part 2) We recorded this podcast in collaboration with Bitch Talk Podcast at the Jones United Methodist Church in the Fillmore in May 2021. Photography by Michelle Kilfeather

Jul 8

52 min 52 sec

The Curtis Family C-Notes' star is on the rise, y'all. In this episode, the San Francisco family shares their story with us. We dive into Papa C.'s past in Louisiana and San Francisco. Then we learn a little about Mama C.'s time growing up on the Peninsula. Papa C. (Maestro Curtis) can't remember when he started playing musical instruments. He was asked to perform for family members from a very young age. He owes his lifelong work ethic to his growing up, as well. He spent time between Louisiana and San Francisco, but it was out here that he got involved in martial arts and positive social change. After getting into some trouble in his high school years, Papa C. took a scholarship to Grambling State University in Louisiana. Then he spent seven years in the Army. Mama C. (Nola Curtis) grew up a competitive ice skater. She's Tongan and grew up in San Mateo surrounded, essentially, by so many famous professional skaters. Looking back, she enjoyed performing, but not so much competing. Her father passed away when she was 14 and one of the effects of her grief was that she stopped skating. She turned to books, especially reading stuff that wasn't assigned at school. To help her graduate on time, she took a history of jazz course at a community college, and that's where she first heard Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn, and Billie Holiday. That class and those performers inspired her to start singing. Soon, she was asked to start a band with some folks, but she decided lessons were the first step. Nola met her future husband in this context. Be sure to check back Thursday for Part 2. Related Podcasts Lavay Smith and Chris Siebert (Part 1 / Part 2) ​We recorded this podcast in collaboration with Bitch Talk Podcast at Jones Memorial United Methodist Church in the Fillmore in June 2021. Photography by Michelle Kilfeather

Jul 6

47 min 21 sec

Pam Benjamin has lived in California her entire life. In this podcast, the Mutiny Radio DJ and comedian shares the story of her life. She was born in Livermore and raised in Danville, not fully knowing that her family was well-off because there were always richer kids around. From there, Pam talks about her religious upbringing (a story involving an invisible cat), her eating disorder at a young age, and being a varsity cheerleader ("reverse-stalking"). Pam shares early memories of SF (somehow, a nunnery and her dad's work downtown factor in here). She left Danville for UC San Diego, where she did lots of acid but got good grades, as she attests. Pam lived in Davis after college and taught special ed there. She and her then-husband moved back to San Diego, where Pam started a theater company. Her ex-mother-in-law convinced her to get a corporate job, which she did. But she stopped taking birth control and wrote a novel in six weeks. Pam got a DUI, quit her corporate job, and then had people at Burning Man telling her to move to The City, which she did in 2007. Now in San Francisco and going to SF State grad school, she started doing poetry readings all over SF, and then tried comedy in 2011. At Pirate Cat Radio in 2008, she started reading stories after Common Thread with Diamond Dave Whitaker. In 2011, after the station's manager embezzled from them and the FTC started snooping around, they changed from Pirate Cat to Mutiny. A few years later, the board that ran Mutiny Radio bailed on her, but Pam stayed on and took over. During the pandemic (or, as she refers to it, the "PAMdemic"), she stated doing comedy shows in parklets and at Mutiny in the Mission. Pam plans to bring Mutiny's comedy festival back this October 10–16. We end the podcast with Pam's thoughts on where San Francisco goes from here. We recorded this podcast at Mutiny Radio in June 2021. Photography by Michelle Kilfeather

Jun 29

45 min 15 sec

In this podcast, Joey picks up where he left off in Part 1. After high school, knowing that he wanted to continue learning how to make movies, he went to SF State. And then he entered a Justin Lin video contest, and, to his surprise, was one of the finalists. Joey tells us about a career detour that came after that: He learned about a sleep-technology course, and got a job in that industry that required tough hours (7 p.m. to 7 a.m.). In 2014, a friend told him about a video-editing job at that he ended up getting. He was there a couple years before moving over to CBS Interactive to work on gameplay videos. From there, we pivot to when and how Joey figured out that he loves his hometown—San Francisco. He ends the podcast talking about making movies about the Richmond District and how he got the "​Uncle Fuz" nickname. To see Joey's photo and video love letters to San Francisco, following him on Instagram and Twitter. We recorded this podcast at Sutro Heights Park in May 2021. Photography by Michelle Kilfeather

Jun 24

33 min 9 sec

So many San Francisco born-and-raised folks' stories go way, way back. That's certainly the case for Joey Yee. Joey begins this episode telling us about his maternal grandfather, who was from Isleton and was a pilot in World War II. After he came back from war, he met Joey's grandma, who was born and raised in SF. He charmed his future wife by giving her the biggest tomatoes she'd ever seen. Joey's grandfather wanted to put roots down, and so he bought a building in San Francisco. His dad's dad immigrated to the US from China. Joey's parents met ice skating and dated for eight years before getting married. After living in Daly City a short time, they moved back to the family house, the one his grandfather bought on Nob Hill. Joey was born during this time. When he was 12, the family moved to the Richmond District. Joey regrets that he didn't explore Nob Hill when they lived there, but he goes on to share his early Giants memories and describes games at Candlestick. He tells us about the public schools he went to, eventually ending up at Washington High in the Richmond. It was there that Joey started dabbling in video classes. That's when his love of video, film, and editing began. ​ Join us for Part 2 on Thursday, when Joey will share stories from life after high school. ​We recorded this podcast at Sutro Heights Park in May 2021. Photography by Michelle Kilfeather

Jun 22

30 min 42 sec

In this podcast, Tara picks up where she left off in Part 1, talking about how to be in the world. The thoughts are related to her time in La Cañada, California, where she finished high school and took some college courses before deciding to move back to her hometown—San Francisco. From there, Tara discusses sentimentality and having more diverse perspectives in life and art. Tara picks up the story of her move back to The City, which involves handing over exact change—all she had left—to the toll-taker at the Bay Bridge. She talks about jobs she had, including at Tower Records. Then we get into her history with singing. It started back when she lived in Maine (see Part 1). She played Eva Peron in Evita in Texas when she was 12. She reflects on art, passion, limitations, and collaboration. She talks about singing in Europe before coming back to San Francisco and singing mostly jazz and American Standards. Tara ends the podcast with her vision of what San Francisco can be as we emerge from the pandemic. Visit Tara's website,, and follow her on Instagram @tarademoulin. We recorded this podcast at Vesuvio Cafe in June 2021. Photography by Michelle Kilfeather

Jun 17

32 min 32 sec

Tara DeMoulin grew up collecting eucalyptus buttons in the Panhandle with her mom. In this podcast, the singer/songwriter, activist, and filmmaker shares the story of her life. It starts in San Francisco in the late-1980s, travels east to Maine and New York City (where she discovered and became obsessed with Broadway), starts to circle back west with a stop in Texas before scooting over to Southern California. In the early 2000s, after some college, Tara decided to come back to her native home in San Francisco, which we'll get more into in Part 2. The rest of this episode includes some of Tara's thoughts on living in such wildly different places in the U.S. Check back Thursday for Part 2 and the conclusion of Tara's life story. We recorded this podcast at Vesuvio in June 2021. Photography by Michelle Kilfeather

Jun 15

30 min 6 sec

In this podcast, Jaime picks up where he left off in Part 1, describing his evolution as an artist. Like a lot of kids his age, Saturday morning cartoons were a big influence. Comics in the newspaper also played their part. We shift back to his return to SF after high school. He worked as a screen-printer at The Color Machine and Winterland. The music venue was closed, but Jaime shares stories of playing and seeing shows at The Mab back in the day. Jaime dives into the street art scene in The City in the '80s, which he dabbled in. He also talks about his first publishing experiences. He took a brief break from his art and left San Francisco to raise a kid and go back to college. But his friend Harvey Pekar got him back into drawing about five years later. He shares the story of starting Corn Tortilla Press (check out their About page for all the stuff in Jaime's life we didn't have time to talk about here). Jaime ends the podcast reflecting on what's become of the city he used to call home and what's possible for the future of San Francisco. Related Podcasts Ricky Rat (Part 1 / Part 2) We recorded this podcast at Jaime's home in Alameda in May 2021. Photography by Michelle Kilfeather

Jun 10

31 min 12 sec

Jaime Crespo's first drawings were made on the blank pages in a Bible. In this podcast, the cartoonist traces his lineage back to his mom, who was born in Northern Mexico and is Yaqui/Yoeme. She came to LA with her brother in the early 20th century. When their mom got deported back to Mexico, she moved up to run a cafe in Sacrament, where she ended up meeting Jaime's dad. But his mom took Jaime to San Francisco when her husband became abusive. The kid was 4. They made their way back to Sacramento to live with Jaime's widowed step-grandad and his new wife, a Black couple from Louisiana. He finished school up there and shortly after that, moved back to The City instead of New York, which he and his friends had dreamed about. In the podcast, Jaime reflects on both stints in San Francisco—when he was 4 and then again when he was around 20. He reminisces about seeing hippies on Muni, his first Giants game and seeing Willie Mays, BBQ joints and bars that are long gone, and how he was moving away from sports like baseball and football, and more toward punk rock music and art. He shares how he got started drawing at a young age with a story that's either charming or blasphemous, depending on how you look at it. Check back Thursday for Part 2, when Jaime will continue the story of his life. Meanwhile, check out more of his art at his website: And follow Jaime on Instagram @the_real_comixvato. ​ We recorded this podcast at Jaime's home in Alameda in May 2021. Photography by Michelle Kilfeather

Jun 8

30 min 53 sec

In this episode, H.P. picks up where he left off in Part 1. He had moved with his mom to Daly City and starts off telling a story about the Colma Target. It involves a kid he met while hanging out at Radio Shack and Walden Soft at Serramonte Mall across the freeway. From there, we go on to talk about H.P.'s first feature-length movie, Colma: The Musical. He shares how he went about writing the story that became the movie. Next, we discuss H.P.’s time at College of San Mateo, where he went to study film. Following up on the success of Colma, H.P.'s directorial debut came with the movie Fruit Fly. He pivots from there to address the hate and violence that Asian folks have experienced in recent years. Then we talk about H.P.'s music and artists he's often compared to as well as younger musicians who've told him that he influences them. H.P. wraps things up reflecting on what his hometown, San Francisco, means to him in 2021. He ends with his personal thoughts on our theme this season: "We're still here." We recorded this episode at Casements Bar in May 2021. Photography by Michelle Kilfeather

Jun 3

55 min 57 sec

So, we're doing something a little different here. Way, way back in Season 1, on Episode 14 (Part 1 / Part 2), we had friend of the show H.P. Mendoza on. Back then, we were all about stories, not necessarily people's stories, like we are today. And so, we asked H.P. to come back on and share his personal history with you. He starts off with his birth (St. Luke's in the Mission) and his childhood (on La Grande Avenue in the Excelsior). Then he backs up to go into some depth about his paternal grandmother, who taught English and adored H.P., her first grandchild born in the U.S. She had a piano and that's how H.P. learned to play. A tangent leads to H.P. talking about his love of movies from an early age. He credits his brother Joe with that, as well as H.P.'s continued interest in storytelling, video games, cartoons, and more. H.P. shares stories from his school days. Being the first U.S.-born kid in his family, there were higher expectations placed on him. His early curiosity about kids who were different from him and his family led to some pretty funny mischief. His parents pulled him out of public school and sent him to Epiphany Catholic School. After skipping second grade, H.P. experienced ostracism from kids older than him and kids his age. Because of this, he added one year to his age well into his twenties. He ends Part 1 rattling off different obscure, adult-ish movies he was into as a kid. Join us for Part 2 on Thursday, when we'll hear the rest of H.P.'s story. We recorded this podcast at Casements Bar in the Mission in May 2021. Photography by Michelle Kilfeather

Jun 1

50 min 46 sec

In this podcast, Wanika picks up where she left off in Part 1. After high school, her band Mystic Youth became more of a full-time gig, writing music, playing shows, recording. She shares the mischievous story of how she got started playing bass. Self-taught at first, she eventually took lessons, and that made her think that music school at City College was a good idea. She came to think of herself as a songwriter around this time. Wanika talks about the influence that Father "Blue Water" Haven had on her relationship with music, as well as others she didn't know personally who affected her. From there, Wanika talks about the history of "Uplift," a show on KPOOthat she took over and was the DJ on for two decades. And then she tells us how her parents founded the St. John Coltrane African Orthodox Church. It all started with jazz "listening clinics" in the Bayview. The small but growing group began to investigate Coltrane and the message in his music. The church was born and became part of the AOC in 1982. And Wanika decided she wanted to be active in this new church—she became a deacon. Wanika was the Uplift DJ for 19 years. She handed the show over to her nephew as Wanika sets out to launch her own show on Coltrane Consciousness Radio (Live 365) later this summer. She wraps up this podcast with her thoughts and wishes for the future of San Francisco. Shout out to Rev. Arnold Townsend (Part 1 / Part 2) for introducing us to Wanika. We recorded this podcast at St. John Coltrane AOC in May 2021. Photography byMichelle Kilfeather

May 27

34 min 47 sec

Wanika King-Stephens' life is full of music and church. In this episode, Wanika traces her life back to her parents' move to San Francisco from Los Angeles in the 1960s with their four-month-old daughter. Her dad's dad was an evangelist in the Pentecostal Church. It was a strict upbringing where, if her father as a young man wanted to listen to so-called music of the world, country music was the only acceptable genre. Despite that, he grew up loving jazz and, especially, John Coltrane. And he raised his own children in that light. Wanika's little sister sings, and the two were in a band when they were younger called Mystic Youth. Wanika played bass in the group and was the band leader. They wrote their own music but were too young to play clubs at first. Her mother sang jazz and, along with Wanika's dad, joined with Alice Coltrane to help found the Vedantic Center, which was originally in San Francisco. Around this time, the family had moved to Visitacion Valley, a diverse, lively neighborhood that Wanika describes for us. From there, she shares stories of trips around town she took as a young girl. Wanika wraps up Part 1 talking about her high school days in The City. And after that, as she puts it, she "was jammin' pretty hard with Mystic Youth." Join us Thursday for Part 2 and the continuation of Wanika's life story. We recorded this podcast at St. John Coltrane African Orthodox Church in May 2021. Photography by Michelle Kilfeather

May 25

31 min 55 sec

In this podcast, we pick up where we left off in Part 1. After college out east, Modesto's Tomas Moreno moved to the Bay Area. His mom is a recently retired high school teacher who taught kids with disabilities, and Tomas feels that her work instilled in him a drive to serve others. That eventually led him to Maitri. Tomas is joined by Maitri Executive Director, Rev. Fr. Rusty Smith, to share with us the history of the nonprofit, which was founded by Issan Dorsey in the Castro in 1987. Rusty tells us how he came to work at Maitri, explaining how a big part of its mission is to serve those with HIV/AIDS who also suffer from poverty. Rusty and Tomas talk about how Maitri has fared over the past year of the pandemic. Stories include non-volunteers like these two stepping up to facilitate and play bingo with the residents. We end this episode with Rusty and Tomas's hopes for San Francisco as it emerges from the pandemic. We recorded this podcast at Maitri Compassionate Care in April 2021. Photography by Michelle Kilfeather

May 20

30 min 48 sec

In this podcast, Maitri Compassionate Care's Executive Director, Reverend Father Rusty Smith, shares stories of his youth. His very New Mexican mom was a powerful figure in his early life, shaping the liberal world view Rusty espouses to this day. Rusty traces his military family upbringing all over the country and the world. The family eventually settled in Texas for his high school years. After that, Rusty became a priest in the Anglican Church, given that the church allowed openly gay priests. He began his adult life in his mother's home state, doing charitable work in Albuquerque. While living in New Mexico, Rusty and his husband noticed that San Francisco had become a second home for them. When the opening at Maitri happened, they made the move. Then we meet Maitri's Development Director, Tomas Moreno. Tomas shares his story of growing up in the Central Valley and making his way to San Francisco. Check back for Part 2 on Thursday, when we'll hear more of Tomas's story as well as his and Rusty's discussion of what Maitri is and what it does for the community. Related Podcasts Project Open Hand, Part 1 / Part 2 We recorded this podcast at Maitri Compassionate Care in April 2021. Photography by Michelle Kilfeather

May 15

30 min 59 sec

​Ed. note: As with Part 1 of Larry's episode, a reminder that we recorded under the BART tracks, so we took pauses when trains passed by overhead. We left that audio in the final edit and we hope you enjoy. In this podcast, Larry picks up where he left off in Part 1. He talks about going to Lowell High School in The City and then Academy of Art University, where he first got to know people very unlike himself. In his high school days, Larry had started to question things he was into as well as stereotypes of Black young men such as himself. He took some acting and movies courses at AAU and then went on to actual theater school. But Larry didn't wanna be an actor. A chance ride one day turned out to be fortuitous. He got an in at The Punchline. As he was coming up in comedy, as he puts it, he "disappeared from the world" to hone his craft. It was around this time that he also got an internship at KMEL. Larry traces his activism to his time at City College. He worked with Black Lives Matter, various Black student unions around The City, fed houseless folks. He makes light of his activist work, but ties it back to his comedy. He shares stories of some of his first times on the comedy stage. He lets us know about his 101-year plan. 2020 being 2020 threw things off a little, but thanks to his week-by-week plan, Larry was able to pivot. And he ends the podcast sharing his hopes for San Francisco to get its soul back through culture and youth and how he wants to focus on reparations. Follow Larry on social media @larrydorseyjr We recorded this podcast at Cayuga Park under the BART tracks in April 2021. Photography by Michelle Kilfeather

May 13

37 min 21 sec

Ed. note: This one is special for a couple reasons. First, Larry blew us away with his kindness, energy, and knowledge. Also, we recorded under the BART tracks, so we took pauses when trains passed by overhead. We decided to leave that audio in the final edit because, well, it was part of the experience that day. We hope you enjoy. ​ Larry Dorsey, Jr.'s parents came to the Bay Area from the South and South America. In this podcast, the SF born-and-raised comedian and radio personality shares the story of his parents' migration to San Francisco. His dad played football in the NFL before his move west; Larry's mom, a lawyer, left her home country of Colombia because of political reasons. They arrived in Oakland separately and met at SF State. Larry is their first-born, one of two sons. Larry has vague memories of his first years on Earth, which he shares with us. One is a pretty hilarious (and hilariously cute) playground-type story. Larry tells us what it was like to go to a "hippy" elementary, and then contrasts that with his time at Aptos Junior High. But he also spent many school lunchtimes in the library. His curiosity and pursuit of knowledge was just getting started. He ended up at Lowell, during a time when he started getting into "a lot of trouble." Larry wraps up Part 1 sharing the first time he got in trouble with a cop. Join us Thursday for Part 2 and the continuation of Larry Dorsey, Jr.'s story. Related Podcast Arthur Gaus, Part 1 and Part 2 We recorded this podcast at Cayuga Park in April 2021. Photography by Michelle Kilfeather

May 11

31 min 30 sec

Marcia Gagliardi could've ended up in LA. In fact, if it weren't for the 1994 Northridge earthquake, there might be no Tablehopper. In this podcast, Marcia picks up where she left off in Part 1. She came back to the Bay Area and found a place in the Western Addition (where she still lives today!). She chronicles various jobs at design firms before the 2000 "dotbomb." Not long after that, she started Tablehopper. We asked Marcia to name three of her favorite San Francisco bars or restaurants in 2006 when she launched her newsletter. Then Marcia tells us how she got started in 2018 doing My Milligram, a media brand featuring reviews of low-dose and high-quality cannabis products made in California. She ends the podcast with her outlook on San Francisco in the near future. We recorded this podcast at an apartment in the Western Addition in April 2021. Photography by Michelle Kilfeather

May 6

32 min 25 sec

Marcia Gagliardi's family used to own a pizzeria and Italian deli in the Sierra foothills. In this podcast, the Tablehopper creator and author goes a couple generations back to trace her family's story and how they ended up in Northern California. Her Italian grandparents went back to their homeland shortly before Marcia was born, but we'll get back to that. Marcia grew up on the Peninsula, one of two daughters for the Gagliardis. She recounts what that experience was like for her, and shares the story of the time she spent in Italy during college. It was at a Christmas dinner there that she discovered just how diligently her dad had kept up their Italian customs in California. She talks about family's move to the foothills and back and shares how she and a friend would drive up to The City and arrange deals for their high school classmates, long before the internet. Marcia ends Part 1 with the story of her year in Venice and her return home to finish college at UCLA. ​Please check back Thursday for Part 2, when Marcia will tell us how she got started doing Tablehopper, and later, MyMilligram. Related Podcasts Laura Meyer's Wedge of Parmesan We recorded this podcast at an apartment in the Western Addition in April 2021. Photography by Michelle Kilfeather

May 4

31 min 5 sec

In this podcast, Matt picks up where he left off in Part 1, with his involuntary foray into placing temp workers. Turns out, he loved the job. He moved around from job to job over the next few years, but returned to thank the person who pushed him into this new career. A trip to Paris led, in a very roundabout way, to Matt starting his own French recruiting firm. With that, he moved to Europe and lived there for the next 11 years, while keeping his place (and job) here the Bay Area. Jumping back a bit, Matt describes meeting Sister Roma shortly after he moved up to San Francisco. Then we fast-forward to Matt's return from Paris to Glendale to help care for his ailing father. After his dad passed away and his marriage broke up, Matt moved back to The City. After trying unsuccessfully to buy an Italian restaurant in the Castro, he and his chef partner went in search of a new place of their own. Matt closed escrow on the spot where Roma's is on March 16, 2020.* He describes how, in light of the quarantine order, he shifted his business approach—he added an Italian market to the restaurant he had already established. Matt is quick to point out what a communal effort it was to get the place off the ground. Please visit their website for more info, including their "Roma's Drag Deliveries" on Wednesdays. He ends this podcast looking into the future, both for his business and for San Francisco. * the date that San Francisco's shelter-in-place order went into effect. We recorded this podcast at Roma's Ristorante Italiano in South of Market in April 2021. Photography by Michelle Kilfeather

Apr 29

33 min 53 sec

Matt Leum has more friends from his school days now than he did back then. Matt grew up in Glendale, a suburb north of LA. His family's swimming pool was the only one on that block. His dad owned a chain of supermarkets in the greater Los Angeles area. His parents met at the flagship store of that chain back when it was just a corner market. Matt grew up the youngest of six; his younger brother died at 4. In the podcast, he shares stories of his mom's bad-assery as we dive into her history quite a bit, including her French and Inuit parents. After college in Santa Barbara, Matt sent an unsolicited letter to a law firm in San Francisco asking about jobs, and got offered work as a response. Please check back Thursday for Part 2, when Matt will tell us all about opening his restaurant in The City during the pandemic. We recorded this podcast at Roma's Ristorante Italiano in South of Market in April 2021. Photography by Michelle Kilfeather 

Apr 27

31 min 24 sec

In this episode, Morris picks up where he left off in Part 1, sharing some of the pot edibles he was making with a friend. This was back when California had legalized medicinal marijuana, but not yet recreational. And the US government, as they still do to this day, more than frowned upon even this limited use. Morris walks us through the evolution of his business, from a medicinal marijuana cultivation and delivery company known as "San Francisco Roots" through to what SF Roots is today—an equity cannabis company based right here in The City. He tells us about San Francisco's Cannabis Equity Program, whose stated goal is to "lower barriers to cannabis licensing to those hit hardest by the War on Drugs." We chat about how COVID has impacted the business. And then Morris ends the episode with his take on the future of San Francisco. Related PodcastsUncle Damien, Part 1 and Part 2 We recorded this podcast at SF Roots HQ in April 2021. Photography by MIchelle Kilfeather

Apr 22

28 min 27 sec

Morris Kelly's great-grandfather was a sharecropper who bought his own freedom. In this podcast, Morris, who today owns SF Roots cannabis company, shares the story of how he came to grow up in The City. He chronicles the various schools he went to, talks about Muni rides to arcades and movie theaters all over town, and car rides with his grandparents on which they'd visit non-chain stores and restaurants. He shares stories of leaving San Francisco—to visit family in Milwaukee, or to go to Baptist conventions in the South with his grandparents—and the lessons he learned on those trips. Uninterested in conventional high school, Morris found Urban Pioneers—an outdoor program for students that got them out backpacking and exploring various spots around California. Morris got out of high school and, as he puts it, went on to "goof off" at City College. Related Podcast Ricky Rat, Part 1 and Part 2 We recorded this podcast at SF Roots HQ in April 2021. Photography by Michelle Kilfeather

Apr 20

31 min 7 sec

In this podcast, Alia picks up where she left off in Part 1, sharing stories of joining her mom on pot-brownie runs in The City in the late-'70s. She pivots from there to just a few years later, when Alia witnessed the devastation of AIDS first-hand. She also speaks of communities coming together around the epidemic to provide support for those who needed it. We fast-forward to around 2000, when Alia began traveling in Europe for many years. While walking the Camino de Santiago in Spain, she began writing. She started a writing program but left that to spend some time in Cuba and later, different parts of South America. She left her travels when her mom got ill. Spending time with her and recording would eventually lead to Alia's book, Home Baked, which she briefly discussed in Part 1 and which comes out on paperback next week. Look for it at your favorite local bookstore. Alia shares the story of her and Kevin Hunsanger's (Season 2, Episode 10—links below) wedding, which is quite the San Francisco tale. We end the podcast with Alia's thoughts on what's next for her hometown of San Francisco. Related Podcasts Kevin Hunsanger Part 1 and Part 2 We recorded this podcast in Alia's backyard in April 2021. Photography by Michelle Kilfeather

Apr 15

27 min 14 sec

It isn't every episode that we get to learn more about the main character in a book. First of all, if you haven't already read Home Baked, Alia Volz's autobiography about her mom, her dad, and the pot brownie business they had in San Francisco in the 1970s, please do. In this podcast, Alia, who was born and raised amid that booming business four decades ago, dives deeper into her parents' stories, both individually and as a couple. As she does in her book, she sets the stage for her eventual arrival, back when her parents lived and cooked baked goods in a warehouse in the Mission. And then Alia wraps up Part 1 with the story of her birth. Related Podcast Alan Kaufman Part 1 and Part 2 We recorded this podcast outside of Alia's home in the Inner Richmond in April 2021. Photography by Michelle Kilfeather

Apr 13

26 min 43 sec

This one's pretty much all about San Francisco politics 20 years ago. Matt talks about how it was that he ended up running for political office to begin with. He walks us through Tom Ammiano's write-in campaign for mayor in 1999 and Matt's eventual ascension to the Board of Supervisors the next year. What brought him into my sphere was Matt's run for mayor in 2003 against Willie Brown heir-apparent, Gavin Newsom. Other topics discussed in the podcast include: Matt's decision not to run for re-election to the Board of Supervisors his 2008 run for VP with Ralph Nader how he got started doing collage art We end with Matt's thoughts and hopes for what comes next in San Francisco. Related Podcast Hillary Ronen, Part 1 / Part 2 We recorded this podcast over Zoom in March 2021. Photography by Michelle Kilfeather

Apr 8

29 min 27 sec