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Emmy Lou Packard 2/7/79 page3 of section 4

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descrip 8
Jackson ST


Amy Schechter


Giacomo Patri

labor day
Frank Cerda


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Page 2 of this section gets into the time when I had left the Richmonf Shipyards after WWI - V-E and V-J Day over. One of the editors on Fore 'n Aft had a lease on one of the old Hotaling buildings, the one west of Hotaling Place facing on JacksonStreet, number 473. It had been the WPA writer's project and some of the the the Art Porject too. When McElroy leased it, the building together with all the other buildings on Jackson Street in that neighborhood, was vacant, the windows broken, the interiors in-habited by pigeons. Many of the building were excellent archi-tecturally. This particular one and its twin acoss Hotaling Place were the whiskey warehouse which survived the 1906 Earthquake and were made famous by the verse often quoted at the time:
"If as some say God spanked the town
For being over-frisky
Why did He burn the churches down  [[crossed]] find [[crossed-out]]
and save Hotaling's whiskey?"

Walter McElroy, former head of the Writer's Project and editor of the original WPA Guide to California, had admired the old buildings on the street, particularly the old French Consulate.
He and a friend, apinter Glynn Collins, had remodled one florr of the three-floor building. They had built a community kitchen and community sanitary facilities, and separated the rest of the space into four studio apartments. One of the apartments was occupied by Amy Schechter, a brilliant woman who had once been married to one of the top revolutionary activist in Russia. Her father was a famous rabbi Soloman Schechter, the first Jew to have allowed to graduate from Oxford. He was he most prestigious rabbi in America who believe that to be a good rabbi here you had to know all about the game of baseball. Amy came west with a contract from Doubleday to write a history of US labor struggles. Many, many people from all over the United States would come from time to time to have long political and philosophical talks with Amy. She had dozens of boxes of book and notes for her own book, but lacked the ability to pull it all together and actually get a book written.
She went back to New York and did some writing for the New World Review.

Collins and McElroy left for New York and I took over the lease on 473 Jackson from them. (They and a few other friends and I thought of buying the building. The owner, a wealthy Italian, wanted 38,000 for this historic three-story building with ample basement, and such an enormous sum discouraged us. The building is now an historic landmark, worth about 
  ). I had a fife-year lease on the building for $80 a month. I leased the top floor to Giacomo Patri, a graphic artist bert known for his book of linocuts called "White Collar". Giacomo had been a top illustrator for the SF Chronicle, whith a whole page to himself. He had been red-baited and fired from this job, but I don't remember the details. (I can check this with his former wife Stella or his widow Tamara.) At any rate, Giacomo remodled the top floor of 473 Jackson into small studios and rented them. Peter Macchiarini the fine silver jewelry maker had one of the studios (He was one of the people who had been badly beaten by police at the Battle of Rincon ill, when the ILWU was established.)
Fran Cerda, a member of the Sing and Scenic Artist Union, had another. He was an expert in sil screen and reproduced my "Chinese Market" watercolor for me. Cerda was also the center of planning when we designed and built floats for the Labor Day parades. There used to huge marches of unions up Market Street in those days.
I don't remember themes of specific floats, but I'm sure the had political-economic significance. Cerda is still around, and Bob McChesney and Byron Randall, who also took part in designing and construction, might remember more details.

I lived at 473 Jackson for five years. I did a great of paint-ing, mostly in watercolor and tempera, of scenes in the neighborhood. The corner of Jackson and Front Street, just three blocks from my studio, was the wholesale produce market for many years. The trucks began to come in from the country around midnight, fires were built in 50 gallon steel drums and the truckers stood around them drinking coffee inbetween unloading their huge trucks of produce. The fruit and vegetables, packed in boxed with bright colored cheap paper, were piled up in a highly decorative manner. The cobbled street was so crowed it was hard to get though, and  there was auch yelling, laughing, insults and general hilaraty. I made many drawings in a small notebook, later converted to prints or paintings.
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