A while back, I wrote about a cache of very old and mysterious letters and photographs that I found in a crawlspace in my apartment (I live in the Haight, in a house that pre-dates and somehow survived the San Francisco earthquake.) I took another look in the crawlspace this weekend, and found dozens of items that are even older and stranger than the first batch. I found a 70-year-old letter from Camp Curry, Yosemite, begging the recipient for cash and urging a response about an undescribed “serious matter.” I also found a vaguely menacing letter, urging the recipient to march in a parade scheduled for Labor Day, 1926. “Remember,” the letter reads. “You will be conspicuous by your absence!” I also found a King of Hearts playing card from the turn of the century, an identification card dated Dec. 31, 1937, an advance advertisement for Steinbeck’s Cannery Row, and a catalog filled with photos of old corsets, yokes and other kinky-looking things from the early 1920s. Obviously, this apartment has had quite a life before I moved in last year!
I’m hoping to find an SF cultural historian who can help me make sense of all these artifacts. When that happens, I’ll file an update right here.