(Late) Friday Notebook

My keys: An ever-popular household line: Have you seen my keys? No — seriously. I haven’t seen them since about Tuesday. I missed an appointment — a casual one, on Thursday — because I was stuck at home searching for them. So far, the usual thing — finding them in some obvious place that I never thought to look — has not happened and they remain MIA. So if you see them. …

Peet’s: I first went to Peet’s Coffee, the original store up at Walnut and Vine, in the late ’70s. The first time I really remember being there was when I was working as a construction laborer in early 1979. One day it rained and we couldn’t work — I think we were in the middle of digging a garage foundation by hand, since it was on a steep slope — and the carpenters on the crew said we ought to go to Peet’s. We hung out for awhile, mostly under the eaves out on the sidewalk, with about a dozen other people. It was chilly and wet, but it didn’t seem so bad because the coffee was so … well, it was really like a drug. I went home after two cups, and I probably didn’t sit down for the rest of the day. The foregoing reminiscence is prompted by the news, passed on by KTVU this evening, that Alfred Peet, the guy who really is responsible for both Peet’s and Starbuck’s, has died. He was a true coffee visionary, though uninterested in a commercial empire, and a first-rate drug pusher. (“Coffee Pioneer Alfred Peet dies,” San Francisco Chronicle.)

Poem:After Reading T’ao Ch’ing, I wander Untethered Through the Short Grass,” by Charles Wright (from The Writer’s Almanac).

And last: The Bay Bridge is closed tonight. Closed, completely. For four days. As part of the generations-long project to make the bridge seismically sound, the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans, not Caldot) has shut it down for the holiday weekend. That’s all the time it needs to demolish a section of the bridge on the Oakland side of the Yerba Buena Tunnel and slide in a pre-built piece to replace it. The last time the bridge was closed so long: 1989, from October 17 to November 17, after the Loma Prieta Earthquake lifted up the east end of the bridge and let it drop, causing a section to collapse. That was a generation ago, and we have a ways to go before the bridge rehab and rebuild is complete.

Oh, and give me a holler if you see those keys.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *