Civilian Memories: 1960s through 1970s

Posted: 11-Mar-09

Year(s): 1967

Age at the time: 21

Was a civilian

Connection with the Presidio: My love of San Francisco

Most vivid Presidio Memories:: A very beautiful, place.

Humorous memories: The base kicked my fiancée and me off a couple of times when we drove there "after hours", just to look at the scenery of course!!!

Posted: 02-Jan-09
Contributed by: Rosemary Nelson Jepson
e-mail address: JAJRNJ@COMCAST.NET
Year(s): 1966
Age at the time: 28
Civilian: civilian with American Red Cross

Most vivid Presidio Memories: Standing at the second floor office windows watching the USS Enterprise arriving under the Golden Gate Bridge with returning troops from Vietnam, as well as casualties, who would end up at Letterman Hospital (new hospital not built yet).


Posted: 09-Sep-08
Contributed by: Cathy Geddis
e-mail address: clgeddis@comcast.net
Year(s): 1960 – 1963
Age at the time: 5-9 years old
Civilian: Army brat

Most vivid Presidio Memories: My Father was a career solider and I was the eldest of seven children all living on the Presidio. The youngest two were born there. My father was the staff photographer at Letterman Hospital and very active with their news letter or publication – “The Fog Horn” I have fond memories of blue skies, playing in woods (tom boy), learning to ride a bike, and roller skating to the bottom of the hill we lived on (bumpy pavement that made my arms itch), seemed like a happy time.

Humorous memories: Killing bees in the woods for our pet cemetery and climbing up the tall evergreens and scaring my mother. It was a different time - mothers sat and drank coffee with neighbors. This was the case as my sister and I were jumping on the bed (not an approved activity) in our second story bedroom. One jump up and another and out the window she went, as our mother sat at the house below watching. Our poor mother - what she endured as an army wife and parent of so many army brats. Years later we all laugh about it.

Other Memories: All of us sitting on the porch in the evening and singing along with our father as he played the guitar, something he did off and on through out his military career (6th Army competition?) My sister and I will be visiting next month to see what we can see.


Posted: 23-June-08
Contributed by: Joseph Hensley
e-mail address: justjoel45@yahoo.com
Year(s): 1968-1970
Age at the time: 8-10
Lived on the post: we lived in house # 59 featured on the website at the corner of Funston and Presidio.
Civilian: military brat, my dad was the Army Band conductor

Most vivid Presidio Memories: I remember, in the Fifth grade, the bay had an oil spill and my class got to go and save the birds that were covered in oil. I thought it was strange that we used baby oil to clean off the crude oil. My school was Windfield Scott Elementary. I remember the wall at Fisherman’s Wharf that had all the stick figures with the people who had jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge, male, female, and even children. Of course we walked over the Golden Gate Bridge a few times and what I remember the most is waiting for the school bus, in the fog and listening to the fog horns. It was a great time in my life and the energy of the city as well as the hippy movement stayed with me spiritually.

Humorous memories: As a family that was so large (6 kids in total ) we got one of the largest homes. A group of kids Sally Dresser, Alen Hammer and many from my family, stole the janitor’s keys at post headquarters. Actually Alen got the keys, and then convinced us to join in one night to rob the place. We took typewriter cases and filled them with whatever we found in people’s desks money, candy, watches, radios etc. All the homes had a basement, but Alen’s house had a boiler room and we hid all the stuff in it. Sally left the light on and when Allen’s dad came home he saw the light on and went in to turn it off, thus finding all the stolen goods. We were busted, Alen’s dad was the police chief at the post and suffered embarrassments that poor Allen still probably laughs about today. As far as my family goes the four of us took turns with dads belt!


Posted: 08-Jun-08
Year(s): off and on from 1969 to closure
Age at the time: 3-mid-20's
Lived off the post.
Civilian: Air Force daughter and Army wife

Most vivid Presidio Memories: I grew up in northern California and regularly visited the city as a child. The presidio was always a beautiful place to visit with my dad, who was a physician (I remember thinking Letterman was HUGE). As an adult, my husband was stationed in Korea when our son was an infant. Trips to the Presidio for well-baby check-ups and to make purchases at the PX and Commissary were a regular event for me and my son during his absence. I loved the variety of foods from all over the world that were available at the commissary. The multi-cultural make-up of the area was most evident there. The staff at Letterman were fantastic, and I was deeply saddened when the hospital closed. After my husband returned, we were stationed out of the area for a few years, returning a year before the post shut down. Before the post closure occurred, we bought our son a Presidio sweatshirt. The sweatshirt was one of his most prized possessions (it was stolen from him in grade school). One of our closest friends lived on Fort Baker until the housing there was closed. I am really glad the National Park Service has opened the post to the public, and has preserved so much of its history. Friends of mine are visiting this Fall, while he is home from Iraq for a month; and we plan to visit the park.

Humorous memories: This is a "had to be there" moment. I don't remember the exact date, but we were there when unexploded ordnance was uncovered on the main post. The expressions on the guys faces when they realized what they had banged their shovels against was priceless-but only because no one was hurt, and the shell was removed safely.

Other Memories: The architecture of the officer's housing! So glad the homes are still standing.


Posted: 05-Jun-08
Contributed by: Rose Eley
E-mail address: shirleyrose@live.com
Year(s): January 1968
Age at the time: 21
Lived off the post.
Civilian: ex-husband was a patient at letterman

Most vivid Presidio Memories: Honeymoon at Letterman, my ex-husband Bill and I had been recently married. Just as he was to be shipped to Viet Nam, Hill Air Force Base learned he could not sweat, and sent him to Letterman for tests. He snuck out to our motel every night. By about the third night his nurse said "Bill, it's you honeymoon, you should go be with your wife."

Humorous memories: It was Chinese New Years, we spent all of our money on stupid games in China town. The rest of the week was spent in playing ping pong with the guys in the hospital. I had a great time. We also ate most of our meals at the hospital because we were broke.

Other Memories: I often wonder what happened to those nice boys, many wounded from Viet Nam. They were wonderful to me, and I enjoyed every minute, much to the dismay of my new husband. Bill and I were married for 13 years and have three daughters and one grand daughter. He has two sons from his second marriage. We have remained friends over the years. My memories were triggered at our grand-daughters birthday party. Bill is quite ill with Parkinson’s. I flash backed to those early memories of our "honeymoon", broke in San Francisco. Ah, to be young again.


Posted: 07-Apr-08
Contributed by: Bahra Anne Eddy (Morgan)
E-mail address: eddyfam5@sbcglobal.net
Year(s): 1960-1964
Age at the time: 2-5
Lived on the Presidio: 2nd floor of the military housing
Civilian: My dad was an army surgeon.

Most vivid Presidio Memories: I have always been curious as to where some of my childhood friends ended up.

My father was a surgeon, and we lived in the 4 plex housing. There was a stone wall behind our dwelling, and from my bedroom window, I could see the Golden Gate Bridge. In front of our building was the huge playground where we used to play. Every day, we were out there, playing and swinging and riding the merry go round.

I went to Post nursery school and kindergarten. My kindergarten teacher was named Mrs. Durbin, and I still have our kindergarten picture. My friends were: Chris Plecha, Sherry, Mary Ellen Applebee, Mary Ann Crabtree, Becky Chambers, Katie Burdick, and a few others I can picture, but not name. There was a kid in my class named Jamie, with blond hair and dimples. He used to get in trouble for digging for gophers at recess. There was a kid named Charles who was very quiet, and a little black girl named Jerry who constantly scratched herself.

I knew other kids who lived around us, but they were too young to go to school, like Allison Holmes. My next door neighbor was Patrick Thorpe, and the kid who lived across the yard was Archie Meredith. My pediatrician was Dr. Lukens.

I have a huge picture that was taken on Halloween. It was the whole class in costumes.

Humorous memories: The old lady who ran the playground was named "Lulu".

Other Memories: The "Candy Man"- He was a black man who pushed a green wheelbarrow and used to give out Bazooka bubblegum.


Posted: 14-Feb-08
Contributed by: Glenn Michaels
E-mail address: glennmichaels@hotmail.com
Year(s): 1962 - 1973
Age at the time: 5 to 15
Live off the post.
Civilian: Dependent who’s father retired from active duty at the Presidio.

Most vivid Presidio Memories: The natural beauty of the Presidio was just stunning. The view from the parade grounds of the Golden Gate Bridge was something to behold. Back in the 1960s we would attend the parades frequently; the Sixth Army Band played magnificently. When I was a freshman in H.S., I fractured my ankle, so I was treated at Letterman General. I will never forget the faces of the young soldiers that were being treated for serious wounds they suffered in Vietnam. God bless all of those men.

Other Memories: The only time I've seen a U.S. President was at the Presidio. Richard Nixon came through, and we saw him at the parade grounds. I was 12 at the time, and he looked so very presidential to me.


Posted: 05-Jan-08

Contributed by: Betsy Everhart Melton

E-mail address: bmelt53@yahoo.com
Years: 1974-1977

Age at the time: 20

Lived on the Presidio at: 1001-B O'Reilly Avenue. Daughter of an officer (dentist). My father was a Colonel. We lived across the street from Letterman Hospital where my dad was one of the heads of the dental clinic.

Most vivid Presidio Memories: I was married at the Presidio Chapel in 1975. It was thrilling to be married in such an historical setting. I hope it is still standing!

Other Memories: The beauty of the Post in general. Gazing out the third floor window at the Golden Gate Bridge, the Bay, and of course, the Palace of Fine Arts.



Posted: 15-Jan-06
Contributed by: Ellen Fee Morrison
E-mail address: Rockinjerel@netscape.com

Year: 1969
Age at the time: 13
Lived on the Presidio at: at Simmonds Loop, 513 A.
Dependant: Father was Col. Henry J. Fee

Most vivid Presidio Memories: My father was the 6th army Provost marshal during the protests. My neighbors were four-star General Larsen and Colonel Charles Davis, a Medal of Honor winner in World War II. Some of the stories they told after a few drinks! The riots at the gates…my dad on one side us kids on the other. Soldiers with wigs in their lockers for leave parties. Riding our horses EVERYWHERE…truly rebels without a cause or a care. Those were the days my friend.

Humorous memories: Meeting General Stanley Larson—my dear neighbor—and thinking he was the butler, as my mom had told me to go to the back door to return a pie plate. I told him "it was so good we ate the s*** out of it!” I was eleven years old and had no idea who he was. It was the beginning of a friendship. He got me my first horse and built a stables for us girls. Throwing a box (big blue Kotex box with white flower…remember those?) with dog crap off the third-story window and hitting my dad and Col. Davis as the two were at the back door of the duplex for lunch at home instead of the officers’ club. Did some serious room time for that. Hey Mister Wilson…it’s the tomboy with bow and arrows terrifying officers and soldiers alike! Father was a full bird, and I was only thirteen in Letterman Hospital full of young men. Got in some serious trouble there too…

Other Memories: Borrowing VW’s with Randy, Steve, and Sandy Blinn, the “rat pack” officers’ kids. Truly sitcom material if it wasn’t for the bottom line, the soldier, the family, the sacrifices so hard to see or believe until you are faced with the phone calls at night—the one black phone in the hall downstairs—your father taking the call that General Larsen’s son was killed by another driver at the Sausalito tunnel, the rainbow one. He never was the same. I recall my dad taking the call about a soldier killed at the stockade. That black telephone. Six kids and a very special place in time. Janis Joplin, Hendrix, and military police. A confusing mix.


Posted: 28-May-07

Contributed By: James (Calvin) Farmer II

Email address: jcdeuce@hotmail.com
Year(s): 1973 to 1975 (approx)

Age at the time: 10 to 12

Lived on the Presidio at: Brooks Street above Baker Beach

Civilian: Son of Army serviceman at Letterman Hospital.

Most vivid Presidio Memories: I remember me and my brother would go to the matinees on Saturdays for a quarter; we would walk by the cemetery as the fog would roll in and be eerie but beautiful. I remember "playing army" with our neighbors in the woods where we dug out forts and had pine cone fights, just a lot of fun.


Humorous memories: While playing DYA basketball, I got the rebound and shot the ball at the opponent’s basket. It was not so funny then.


Other Memories: It was so very nice to walk all over the post from Letterman to the Golden Gate.

Posted: 26-Jan-07

Contributed By: Stephen O'Connell

Email address: geographilia@hotmail.com
Year(s): 1976

Age at the time: Newborn

Civilian: Born in Letterman AMC

Most vivid Presidio Memories: Being as I spent less than 1 year in the San Francisco area after my birth at Letterman, I can't say too much about life there in the 1970’s. My mother (Patricia O'Connell) was in the Army, stationed at the Presidio, when I was born. She subsequently left active service for the Reserves, then moved back east, where both of my parents were from. As the only member of my extended family born west of Pittsburgh, I have always embraced my California and Presidio roots. The fact that my place of birth is now part of the National Park Service has also been an added mark of personal pride. Thirty years later, now pursuing a doctorate in geography, I find the line of research I have chosen to follow quite fitting: history, management, and policies of the National Parks. What better place to evaluate the ever changing criteria and perceptions of those places that our nation selects for protection than my own birthplace!

Posted: 22-Jun-07

Contributed By: Linda Wright

Email address: wrightla@slingshot.co.nz
Year(s):1961

Age at the time: -1

Civilian status: I was born at the Presidio.

Memories: I wish to honor my mother Katherine, who gave birth to me at the base hospital in 1961. She died in 1998. Whenever I return home, the first thing that I always do is place flowers on the site of the original hospital in memory of her. I miss her very much, and still think of her every day.


Posted: 27-Jun-07

Contributed By: Terence Looney

Email address: megaterang@msn.com
Year(s): 1962 to 1964

Age at the time: 7-9

Lived on Presidio at: 341 Infantry Parish

Civilian: Son of Army officer

Most vivid Presidio Memories: My bedroom was on the third floor of this wonderful brick Victorian house. I would watch ships or sometimes listen to their foghorns at night. And I could see Alcatraz right out my window. I always thought this was the most beautiful home in San Francisco.

Humorous memories: It is only humorous now as I look back but I was riding down the hill in front of our house on my bike and I went head over heels on the pavement. I didn't feel much but I must have looked so bad with blood on my face - my parents and the whole base came to a stand still to look after me.


Other Memories: I remember the 21 gun salute and parade when General MacArthur died. In the parade grounds down below our house. I also remember the news of President John F Kennedy's assassination and how the base was in such shock.


Posted: 09-Jun-07

Contributed By: Heather Jo Heneman

Email address: lotophage@earthlink.net
Year(s): 1968-1970

Age at the time: 3-5

Lived on the Presidio at: Kobbe Dr.

Civilian: Daughter of Army serviceman.

Most vivid Presidio Memories: Blue skies, palm trees and the tall ceilings of the sturdy brick houses. The violent family making a lot of noise upstairs!

Humorous memories: Dad got a bunch of the neighborhood kids together to play a game, the object of which it seemed, was to dive head-first into garbage cans with 50-foot running start. To this day we talk of "little Ricky" who did it with particular oblivion.

Other Memories: Post-kindergarten ... I think I had a crush on Peter Walby ... or was it the other way around?


Posted: 21-May-07

Contributed By: Mark Kalafatas (aka Chiminiello)

Email address: markkalafatas@yahoo.com
Year(s):1969-70

Age at the time: 10-11

Lived on the Presidio at: Old 3-story house near 6th Army HQ

Civilian: Father was Army officer

Most vivid Presidio Memories: Walking home from Winfield Scott Elementary school, turning a corner to see a huge, loud, and frightening crowd at the Gate, protesting the war. President Nixon's visit; playing little league baseball; walking down to the Bay.

Humorous memories: One Saturday afternoon, with mischievous friends, we imagined we were spies and broke into the 6th Army headquarters building. We even got away with it. (Until now!)

Other Memories: Cutting through the Palace of Fine Arts on the walk home from school; the Indians on Alcatraz island; SF Giants games at Candlestick. It was a great childhood.

Posted: 02-Jan-07

Contributed By: Sharon Lee (Nelson) Becker

Email address: db4birds@aol.com
Year(s): 1962-64

Age at the time: 20

Lived on the Presidio at: Bldg 65 Funston Ave.

Civilian: Army brat. My father was stationed there.

Most vivid Presidio Memories: Just the beauty of the Presidio, the history. Moving into our house, it was so big and we needed the room. Meeting my husband on a blind date and getting married a year later at the Presidio Chapel. All my brothers, 4 of them were married there as well as a niece and nephew.

Humorous memories: We had a big family and there were a lot of humorous events. The funniest was when my now husband asked my father for my hand in marriage. He did it outside while my dad was doing yard work and daddy walked in with the rake and said lets have a beer.

Other Memories: Having a lot of friends that we had been stationed with elsewhere being stationed there. That was the beauty of military life, extended families.

Posted: 02-Jan-07

Contributed By: Duke Becker

Email address: DB4BIRDS@aol.com
Year(s): 1962-64

Age at the time: 23

Lived on the Presidio at: 54-1B Presidio Blvd.

Civilian: Army Brat. My Dad was the Provo Marshal of the Presidio.

Most vivid Presidio Memories: The beauty of the post. Working in the P.X. & at the armory. Fishing at Ft. Point. Working at the bowling alley. Meeting great people. Marrying my wife Sharon Nelson at the Post Chapel.

Humorous memories: Teasing the M.P.'s. Hunting for worms on the golf course at night & the sprinklers go on plus the M.P.'s wondering what I was doing in the middle of the night with a flashlight and a coffee can on the golf course.

Other Memories: Met my 2 best friends. My wife Sharon Nelson and buddy Stan Bivens. Bowling tournaments. My wedding at the Post Chapel. Various dinners at the officer clubs. The poker games at Ft. Cronkite.


Posted: 22-Dec-06

Contributed By: David Nelson

Email address: dcnelson0381@hotmail.com
Year(s):1962-1966 about

Age at the time: 3 until 7

Lived on the Presidio at: 44 Funston Ave.

Civilian: Son of USA Warrant Officer

Most vivid Presidio Memories: Watching the parades, walking with my mom down the VERY long corridors of the old Letterman Hospital and wandering all over the Presidio.

Humorous memories: I had a war against the bumble bees. The bees always won. It wasn't funny at the time.

Other Memories: Walking to Winfield Scott School out in the Marina. A San Francisco Police Officer at Lombard St. gave out bullet
key chains one day. It was very cool.



Posted: 8/14/04
Contributed by: Bob Brown
E-mail address: bbrown78@earthlink.net
Year(s): 1958-1967
Age at the time: 0-9
Live on the post at 755-B Portola
Was a military dependent: Father was master sergeant
Connection with the Presidio: Born in the old Letterman Hospital

Most vivid Presidio Memories: The discovery of large tombstones in an area below Julius Kahn Park. It was an eerie foggy morning with a group of kids. There were also individual grave markers walking on our way to school on a secluded path behind our street at the bottom of the hill. As the cannon fired each evening signaling the lowering of the flag, soldiers/officers stopped there cars, got out, and faced the direction of the flagpole and placed their hands over their hearts. We also from time to time playing in bushes or fields would come across live ordnance and bring it home to our parents!

Humorous memories: There was an old man driving a panel truck through our neighborhood in the mornings with racks of fresh doughnuts for sale. His name was Phil.

Other Memories: We used to play and hike all through those wooded areas non-supervised by adults, feeling safe, without a care in the world.


Posted: 19-Dec-05
Contributed by: Steven Smith
E-mail address: sgtstsmith@ssctv.net
Year(s): 1959-61, 1963-66
Age at the time: 12-18
Lived on the post at Stillwell and Pershing and on Kobbe Ave.
Was a dependant whose father was a Lieutenant Colonel.

Most vivid Presidio Memories: Playing in the woods behind Wherry housing.

Humorous memories: Playing football against the soldiers behind the old PX.

Other Memories: Going to the movies for only 25 cents!


Posted: 03-Dec-06
Contributed by: Andrew Skeehan
Year(s): 1960-64
Age at the time: 4-8
Lived on the post at Infantry Terrace.
Was a military dependent.

Most vivid Presidio Memories: What a great place to be a kid! We lived in a three-story duplex on Infantry Terrace with a sweeping view of the bay out front and dense woods behind. We built tree houses and underground forts; set up rope swings that would have made Tarzan proud; slid down the "ice weed" covered hills on cardboard "sleds"; explored the abandoned coastal defense fortifications—of which our elders were strangely unaware…

Humorous Memories: I once "hung out" with some G.I.'s on KP behind a barracks and learned the art of potato peeling.

Other Memories: We were in school in the city (St. Vincent de Paul at Steiner & Green) the day President Kennedy died.


Posted: 13-Nov-05
Contributed by: Lorraine Madden
E-mail address: lawakefield@comcast.net
Year(s):1967-1970
Age at the time: 7-10
Lived on the post at 820A Quarry Rd.
Was the daughter of an enlisted person.

Most vivid Presidio Memories: The Golden Gate Bridge on beautiful sunny days. President Nixon coming to visit in 1970. Putting flags on the gravesites of all the fallen soldiers every Memorial Day.

Humorous memories: Running wild on the Presidio with my friends. We would take the post shuttle bus and ride all over the post. Getting off here and there, taking in an afternoon movie for 25 cents.

Other Memories: Walking across the Golden Gate Bridge on Sunday afternoons with my family. We would sail in the Bay and watch the Indians that had taken over Alcatraz.


Posted: 8/31/04
Contributed by: Gayle Milne (Spoon)
E-mail address: karpowsky2002@yahoo.com
Year(s): 1969
Age at the time: Newborn
Did not live on the post
Was a civilian: Father was in Vietnam
Connection with the Presidio: Place of birth

Most vivid Presidio Memories: I don't have any memories of the presidio. I only know that i was born there during the Vietnam War. I have visited there with my own children and find it to be one of the most beautiful places in the Bay Area.

Humorous memories: My mother had to do sit ups only hours after she gave birth to me.


Posted: 9/17/04
Contributed by: Dan Clavin
E-mail address: dan_clavin@yahoo.com
Year(s): 1969-1972 (approximate)
Age at the time: 8-11
Live on the post in 4-plex on Quarry Rd.
Was a civilian: Father was an Army NCO
Connection with the Presidio: Lived there as Army brat

Most vivid Presidio Memories: My friendships with Ralph Spry and family, Ted Hammacher, Jeff Delmonte, and many others. Playing baseball at Pop Hicks field (team was the "Oaks"). Cub Scouts. Being a kid.

Other Memories: Having the park-like setting of the Presidio as my "backyard" was the best for a kid in the middle of San Francisco.



Posted: 15-Jan-06
Contributed by: Ellen Fee Morrison
E-mail address: Rockinjerel@netscape.com
Year(s): 1969|
Age at the time: 13
Lived on the post at Simmonds Loop, 513 A.
Was a dependant whose father was Col. Henry J. Fee
Connection with the Presidio included starting the riding stable with help of Gen. Stanley Larsen.

Most vivid Presidio Memories: My father was the 6th army Provost marshal during the protests. My neighbors were four-star General Larsen and Colonel Charles Davis, a Medal of Honor winner in World War II. Some of the stories they told after a few drinks! The riots at the gates…my dad on one side us kids on the other. Soldiers with wigs in their lockers for leave parties. Riding our horses EVERYWHERE…truly rebels without a cause or a care. Those were the days my friend.

Humorous Memories: Meeting General Stanley Larson—my dear neighbor—and thinking he was the butler, as my mom had told me to go to the back door to return a pie plate. I told him "it was so good we ate the s*** out of it!” I was eleven years old and had no idea who he was. It was the beginning of a friendship. He got me my first horse and built a stables for us girls. Throwing a box (big blue Kotex box with white flower…remember those?) with dog crap off the third-story window and hitting my dad and Col. Davis as the two were at the back door of the duplex for lunch at home instead of the officers’ club. Did some serious room time for that. Hey Mister Wilson…it’s the tomboy with bow and arrows terrifying officers and soldiers alike! Father was a full bird, and I was only thirteen in Letterman Hospital full of young men. Got in some serious trouble there too…

Other Memories: Borrowing VW’s with Randy, Steve, and Sandy Blinn, the “rat pack” officers’ kids. Truly sitcom material if it wasn’t for the bottom line, the soldier, the family, the sacrifices so hard to see or believe until you are faced with the phone calls at night—the one black phone in the hall downstairs—your father taking the call that General Larsen’s son was killed by another driver at the Sausalito tunnel, the rainbow one. He never was the same. I recall my dad taking the call about a soldier killed at the stockade. That black telephone. Six kids and a very special place in time. Janis Joplin, Hendrix, and military police. A confusing mix.


Posted: 03-Apr-05
Contributed by: James Parks
E-mail address: mikesdiamond@hotmail.com
Year(s): 1969-1972
Age at the time: 4-7
Lived on the post as an army brat whose father had a rank of E-5

Most vivid Presidio Memories: To step out of my dads place of duty and see no sun over head because I was in the shadow of that big golden bridge, playing with my Tonka toys in some unknown sand box with kids who I may have passed at some other military base and not know them, the fog was spooky, the fog horns, the big rocks the waves crashing on to them, and one Easter, I have this pic but will have to find it, my dad wanted to take a pic of me and my brother and two sisters at the one end of the Golden Gate where there is a parking lot. He made us get up on these rocks, and any one who has been there knows how the wind blows through the bay area, and knows it's real windy there. Any way, he got the pic and for my life up till now, I have been afraid of heights.

Humorous memories: About 6 of us were taking turns going down this steep hill on post and one of them had a moon buggy with 6 wheels on it and two handles to steer this cool looking toy, any way no one would ride it to the bottom, so I said I would. Soon as I sat down, this thing took off, half way down the hill I pulled on one leaver and not both and this sent me out of control. Needless to say, I just about made it to the bottom when this big parked Ford Ltd station wagon got in my way. I ended underneath the back end of the car and slid all the way up to the rear end. I was dizzy, head bleeding, and my friends had to pull me out. Moral of this story, the hills look tempting but don't do it.

Other Memories: My dad spent three tours in Vietnam and attempted to do a 4th but the army stopped him and asked him why he wanted to go back? I don't know what he told them, but they stationed us at the Presidio of SF, and as for many, it was home for us as well. I was at Fort Rucker Alabama when the Presidio was closed. How do I feel about it being closed? Well it's nice to see out of all the bases I have seen closed since I have been in the world that it still has a place in history. It doesn't make much sense for so many, after spending billions to keep a reservation up and running, and then to just walk away from it and all the history that was made by so many soldiers who have fought and died for it, then and now. Yet now, the sounds of pt, the five o clock cannon, the raising and lowering of the stars and strips, police call, have all fallen silent.

For me, now a military spouse, my wife is an e-5 as my dad was, orders came down sending her from Fort Campbell KY, to of all places, the Presidio, my wife a vet of two wars now as my dad of Vietnam. I couldn't wait to show her all the places I spent a part of my life at, and I was going to show her and my son the bridge and the yacht club my dad took us to when he would drive these huge yachts out for some blue marlin fishing. Well it turns out there were two Presidios, and we are now stationed at the Presidio of Monterey, at the DLI, and we live on old Fort Ord, which had the same fate. Ord closed in 94, it too has become just a thing of the past, but if you are quiet and you listen, you can here army life here as well.|



Posted: 18-Aug-05
Contributed by: Kelly Viray
E-mail address: kaviray1980@yahoo.com
Year(s):1969-1975
Age at the time: 7 to 13 years
Lived on the post at 1510 Pershing Dr. and also on MacArthur St.
Was a civilian whose father was stationed at the Presidio.

Most vivid Presidio Memories: I loved walking all over the base. This was before "Reality TV, Play Stations" etc. There were so many trees, beautiful paths and views were like no other in the world! That was my favorite place to live.

Humorous memories: When my mom was doing laundry in the "community laundry room" there were BIG dryers and she noticed flames coming from the back. She called the fire dept. and they responded quickly. However those flames are supposed to be there, that's what dries the clothes! My dad came home to all these firefighters in our housing area to find out it was due to my mom's call...

Other Memories: Going to the teen club, walking to the library then to the cafeteria that was overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge at the time. I loved smelling the eucalyptus trees!!



Posted: 08-Mar-05
Contributed by: Linda (Dill) Sahl
E-mail address: ldillsa@aol.com
Year(s): 1970-1971
Age at the time: 19
Lived off the post at Fort Baker
Was the wife of an U.S. Army Personnel Clerk and first beloved son, Robert G. Sahl, was born at Letterman General Hospital, not long after the new hospital was built.

Most vivid Presidio Memories: My first impression of the Presidio was the surrounding beauty of the Bay area and the wonderful landscape. Also, the pristine buildings and unique architecture were none like I had ever seen before (I was born in the north and grew up in the midwest).

At first, we lived near the mission district in a studio apartment below an apartment that several kind and endearing enlisted men (bachelors) lived in. About six months after our son was born, we were able to move to Fort Baker where there were many other young families.
One of the outstanding memories that I have, is of the camaraderie that the men and their families all shared while in the service...the servicemen and their families were our families away from home. We all helped one another, and we have many happy memories of making the best of a sometimes trying situation, considering the many controversial events during the Vietnam era. It was indeed an enriching life experience.

Humorous memories: One night while my husband was on Guard Duty at the Presidio, I was having trouble sleeping there alone with my infant son, when I heard a loud commotion outside our door. I didn't know what to do, so I called my husbands emergency number and he called the neighbor next door to us to investigate...after all the trouble, here it was just a couple of mischievous raccoons trying to find a midnight snack from our trash cans outside.

Other Memories: As an OB patient at Letterman, I had pre-eclampsia and was admitted into Letterman General Hospital a month before my due date, on Drs. orders for bed rest. After 4 days, right before Thanksgiving, I went into labor and, due to complications, a C-section had to be performed so that the baby and I would survive. At the time the Drs. summoned my husband, he was assigned to participate in a parade for a retiring Army Officer, and of course one of the other Servicemen volunteered to take his place, so he could come to the hospital. (After the parade, all of "the guys" rushed to the hospital to give my husband their support and brought flowers for me and gifts for the baby...now, that is truly "Army family" love!)
Alas, would it not have been for the excellent care we had from the Drs. at the hospital, I doubt we would be here today. Now, that little baby boy (our firstborn, Robert), who was a month early, is the proud Daddy of precious twins...now 2 years old in Dec. 2004! A VERY happy ending and blessed, wonderful future ahead!



Posted: 15-Jun-05
Contributed by: Kasandra Smith
E-mail address: imperial@lanset.com
Year(s):1970-1975
Age at the time: I was not born yet
Connection with the Presidio: Father and mother who worked at NCO Club.

Other Memories: I am looking for any information on my father or if anyone remembers him.
He worked at the NCO club during 1970's. His name is John Brandolino. My mother worked there too, her name is Marcia Smith.


Posted: 8/24/04
Contributed by: Jim Meyer
E-mail address: jimsothermailbox@yahoo.com
Year(s): 1970 to 1978
Age at the time: 11 to 18
Live on the post at 1440 C Battery Caulfield and 541 B Presidio Blvd.
Was a civilian: Dependent Son of Colonel
Connection with the Presidio: Army brat

Most vivid Presidio Memories: POWs returning - reunions in front of Letterman. Sitting down and talking to Grace Slick (Jefferson Airplane) while she smoked a joint while topless at Baker Beach (wow! I was 13). Playing Army in the bunkers. Playing pinball in the bowling alley snack bar. President Ford driving by our house before/after the Ford/Carter debates. Taking shortcuts through the cemetery. Catching sand sharks, crabs, etc. from the pier by Fort Point.

Humorous memories: Riding bikes inside the Nike Missile launch area just below Battery Caulfield. Opening unlocked doors and touching a live electrical wire while standing in water.


Posted: 06-Mar-05
Contributed by: Kim Curtis
E-mail address: kdc1love@comcast.net
Year(s): 1972-1973
Age at the time: 9-10
Lived on the post on Stilwell Drive.
Was connected to the Presidio by dad, who was in the Army

Most vivid Presidio Memories: Living in a great apartment and having the lighthouse shine in our bedroom every night. We also enjoyed the bus ride through the city to attend Pacific Heights Elementary School and Raphael Wells Middle School.

Humorous memories: My mom put me on two weeks punishment for hitchhiking to the movies to see American Graffiti!


Posted: 05-May-05
Contributed by: Renata Bridges
E-mail address: Nadaney@yahoo.com
Year(s): 75-76 & 78
Age at the time: 7 thru 9
Lived on the post on Pershing Dr. and then Riley and was an Army BRAT
Connection with the Presidio: Mother

Most vivid Presidio Memories: Living on Pershing Dr. The view from the Apt. was the greatest. Our first below neighbor had a son named Lamont and he always pick on me and my cousin. We got him back. My childhood on this base was the BEST. Sliding down the ice plants and mom yelling at us. At the time there was a tennis shoe called SKIPS and you could never stop with them. Skidding down that hill was the best. Mom used to take us to Baker's beach at night.

Other Memories: The cannon going off at Five on the dot every day.


Posted: 6/12/04
Contributed by: Rachel Reed
Year(s): 1978
Age at the time: 0
Lived on the post: Yes
Dad was in the Army

Memories: Unfortunately, I don't have any memories but I was born on the base. I was born on 1/31/78. My older sister may have some memories. I hope in the next couple of years to get out to San Francisco and check out Presidio. I wish I did have memories but I always enjoy saying I was born there!!

Last updated: January 9, 2017

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