W.W.II in San Francisco took on many different shapes and sizes. This is one of those stories.
On the morning of December 7th, 1941, a trolley exited the Twin Peaks tunnel, dragging sparks from the overhead wires. Anne Klausen disembarked and crossed three lanes of traffic against the light. A Hudson tooted and smoked to a halt, but Anne didn’t hear the complaint. She stomped along, thinking about her vigilante dad, cussing him out in silent rage. Anne entered an Art Deco building where blue neon letters read CASTRO. The marquee heralded the feature attraction, The Maltese Falcon. The images of Humphrey Bogart and Mary Astor, however, did little to extinguish the gnashing inside her head. Anne ordered some popcorn from a cashier, blabbing about how a father who was a regular down at Sally Rand’s strip club had no right lecturing his daughter on Catholicism and such nonsense.
December 7th, 1941:
The cashier corkscrewed his face, handed the teenager her treat and called out “next”. Anne Klausen climbed a carpeted staircase and slouched into a seat. The Wurlitzer organ played a haunting tune as Sam Spade whirled his lover around and said, “I don’t care who loves you, I won’t play the sap for you anymore.” But before his beloved could answer, a squatty man with a Hitchcock paunch marched onto the stage, signaling for another to turn on the houselights. In a husky voice, he asked for everyone’s attention. A murmur rose from the puzzled patrons as the manager directed all to the exits, that Lieutenant General John L. DeWitt, commander of the Fourth Army at the Presidio, has announced that the Japanese have attacked Pearl Harbor. December 7th, 1941.
Next time, Anne Klausen’s father and his militia group assist the National Guard in manning the Golden Gate Bridge where panic brings the first casualty of W.W.II.