Back in 1906, my family - my great-great-grandparents, the Nortons; My Great-great-grandmother, Bridget Collins, all her children and her brothers, The Nolans - already lived in San Francisco for a decade or two. From genealogy research and photos, I know most worked hard, but always presented themselves with heads held high and neatly attired.
Nell Collins, my great-aunt, cleaned houses for a living. According to family stories, she had pride, strength, a sense of humor and dignity.
As a fifth generation San Franciscan, I believe the people of the city back then were grittier, more solid, had pride. From research I know my great-great-grandpa Norton worked as a livery driver and more laborious jobs through out his old age... he didn't ask for help from others, just worked as hard as he had to to feed, house and clothe his family.
In this video, these people are fearless, walking in front of streetcars with long, purposeful strides. Their eyes and ears aware - not lawsuits, regulations and mandates - to keep them safe. These are people who came from harder lives in other countries, as all my ancestors had. They didn't assume life would be easy or have the luxury to take much for granted. They walk as though they truly know freedom.
Would these rugged, prideful, long-striding people recognize the city of San Francisco today?