Tom’s Garden

Growing by the Bay

Category: people

Photo Wednesday: Voting on marriage

prop 8 protester

This photo of a protestor at an anti-Prop 8 rally comes from Raquella’s photostream.

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Pan American Unity

pan american unity detail one

In 1940, Friday Kahlo and Diego Rivera, who had been divorced for a year, met on Telegraph Hill in San Francisco. Rivera was in town to paint Pan American Unity, a large mural commissioned by the Golden Gate International Exposition.

pan american unity friday kahlo detail

In the mural, Rivera had depicted himself with his back to his ex-wife. In the image he was holding the hand of Hollywood starlet Paulette Goddard. The gesture, Rivera said, symbolized “closer Pan-Americanism.” When the mural was unveiled, Kahlo did not attend the ceremony. “I do not want to meet Paulette and other dames,” she said.

Then, to the surprise of many, Rivera and Kahlo showed up together on December 8 at City Hall. There they were quickly married for a second time. But within a couple of weeks Kahlo — who had married on the condition that there would be no sex between the two and that Rivera would support her financially — left for Mexico, never to return to the city.

At the advent of the war the mural was put in storage, where it remained for two decades. Today it hangs in the lobby of the theater at City College, testament to the midcentury affairs of artists and nations.

For more, see Intersections: True Tales of San Francisco

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Oakland Hillbillies

max baer, jr.The provocative Mr. Charles Barkley, an NBA legend in his own estimation and currently a TNT network commentator, referred a moment ago to “Golden State” as a “a “smoky little town” full of hillbillies. Certainly an original take from Barkley (who was born and raised in rural Leeds, Alabama), as you’d be hard-pressed to find a home in the Oakland Hills for under half a million dollars.

Still, I can think of one Oakland Hillbilly. Max Baer, Jr. (Maximilian Adalbert Baer, Jr.), was born in Oakland in 1937. His father was the heavyweight boxer Max Baer, Sr. At the University of Santa Clara he studied business administration and philosophy, but he ended up pursuing a career as an actor. His best-known role? Jethro Bodine on The Beverly Hillbillies.

It would be a great part for Barkley — known as the Round Clown of Rebound — if they ever do another remake.

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