[Travelogue] I just returned this afternoon from four days in the sassy and totally independent 51st state of San Francisco. And I feel right now as I always do after returning to SLC from SF--a little dizzy, a little like I've been transported from one planet to another.
In a good way.
My husband and I drove to SF for the wedding of a gay couple that is very dear to us. David Hardy and James Brentano have been committed to each other for 27 years. They own a condominium together in the city's Mission Dolores neighborhood. They have been together in sickness and in health. They each come from a huge, extended family (David a former Mormon of pioneer stock who grew up in Salt Lake City; Jimmy a Catholic who spent most of his youth in Connecticut). They got married in a lovely public park called Sigmund Stern Grove in the city's Sunset neighborhood. (That's the historic Trocadero Inn, above, which is where we danced and drank toasts to our friends' happiness.) Siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles and friends came from all over the country to celebrate. It was one beautiful event.
Of course, it held all that much more meaning that our friends chose to get married in the final days leading up to California's vote on Proposition 8, which would ban same-sex marriage. David and Jimmy are taking the whole thing in stride--if pro-Prop 8 forces are successful in banning their now-legal marriage, they will simply stay together, stay in love and keep fighting for the long-overdue recognition of their civil rights.
Anyway, San Francisco is famous for running a huge number of ballot initiatives every election year, and this season is no exception. There are 24 initiatives (they are identified by letters in the alphabet, so the list goes all the way to X). Needless to say, there are measures before San Francisco voters this year that would curl the hair of Utah voters. For instance, a nice woman with wildly curly gray hair, hanging past her waist, was standing outside a natural foods store in the Bernal Heights neighborhood, where we were staying, handing out leaflets for Initiative V, which would ban the Junior ROTC program and military recruiting in the city's public schools. This newspaper columnist is outraged by the notion.
Couldn't you just see it here in Utah?
So, I'm back in the real world now. SLC is my city and I love it. But it's always good to get the ol' senses recharged in San Francisco now and again. (Holly Mullen)