“A Salute to the Golden Gate Bridge”
by Georgia I. Hesse
“The Bay, San Francisco; the Bridge, Golden Gate… .” Balladist Noah Griffin crooned his latest composition as a Red and White Fleet ferry slipped slowly beneath the great span, carrying BATW members on a Bridge 2 Bridge sailing.
May 19’s meeting at the Hyatt Fisherman’s Wharf was staged (in greatest part by Molly Blaisdell) on a splendid day around the Bay: warm, sunny, and welcoming. The program, an unabashedly patriotic salute to the city itself, starred the giant structure in superb photos, winning words, even memorable music.
Following a gentle reminder by Stu Wilson of the importance of reading BATW’s suggested bylaw revisions and its new Code of Professional Conduct, the floor was taken by David Shaw, vice president of communications for the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy. Shaw spoke of the presents that will be given to the Golden Gate Bridge during its year-long 75th birthday celebration, which began officially on May 27 with Golden Gate Festival activities stretching from Fort Point to Pier 39.
In cooperation with the Golden Gate Bridge Highway and Transportation District, the National Park Service, Presidio Trust, and City and County of San Francisco, the Conservancy has arranged lasting gifts: new guided tours and enhanced park trails, a revitalized Bridge Pavilion and welcome center, a spruced-up Round House as a departure point for first-ever night tours, the improved Bridge Café, and bridge-themed summer camp for children at Crissy Field Center.
Next up were literary agent/publishing consultant Peter Beren and photographer extraordinaire Mort Beebe, who introduced their smashing new book, The Golden Gate: San Francisco’s Celebrated Bridge.
The meeting was adjourned and the crowd departed for Pier 43½ on Fisherman’s Wharf. Happy Birthday, dear Bridge; you’re looking mighty fine! (For further information on the events of the 75th anniversary and suggestions on how to become a part of it all, click on www.goldengatebridge75.org).