The 90-Year-Old Missionite
By Jeremy Joven
Wouldn’t it be nice to know what life in the Mission was like in the early 1900s?
Imagine what the kids did for fun in those days and how they experienced San Francisco in its early days. Sure, you can read up on the history of the city, or you can learn about it through the eyes of someone who’s lived in SF since the ’30s.
Meet Connie Ramirez-Weber, a 90-year-old Missionite still living in the district.
“San Francisco is an unbelievable place. It has changed a lot since then. It was so nice. You had everything in the Mission. Sears, JC Penney and Halle’s Department Store were here.”
Weber has been a San Francisco resident since she was 12. She moved to North Beach from Los Angeles with her family and has lived in the Mission for the last seven decades.
She remembers the time when the neighborhood was predominantly occupied by Germans, Irish and Italians. “They kept the place so nice,” she shares. “You could walk around at any time of the day and night without worrying about your safety.”
She would entertain herself by attending dances and hopping on the streetcar that used to run on Harrison Street. During warmer days, children would play at Garfield Park and ride bikes or play hopscotch. “The park was so nice back then. The bushes were up high!” she says.
Most days she stayed at home doing chores. It was definitely a simpler time. She recalls how her mother used to buy soles for their shoes during the Great Depression—unlike today, when children have almost anything they could ever want.