aunt agnes: local celebrity


Agnes Farrell, my great-aunt and birthday twin, was recently profiled in The Noe Valley Voice. Now she can add "local celebrity" to her resume, along with "great-grandmother", and "bingo champion". Here are some highlights from the article:

Both of Farrell's parents were Irish immigrants, and her dad was in San Francisco for the 1906 earthquake. He often regaled the family with stories of watching the city burn from a perch atop the Noe Street hill.

My great-grandfather and I had a similar mindset. You could argue that this blog, and perhaps my life in general, are a modern-day equivalent of sitting on a hill and describing the wreckage I see below me. Probably while also drinking gin.

Wonzod's was the place for candy "and other necessities," according to Farrell, and Marguerite's was the local ice cream shop, The local butcher gave all the local kids slices of baloney.

"Wonzod's" is a phenomenal name. Sadly, this interview is the only mention on Wonzod's on the web. Still, I trust Aunt Agnes's memory. Even though she visited the local butcher a lot as a kid, she is not at all full of baloney.

The more adventurous of the children hitched a ride on the produce truck, and would continue on their merry way until the driver started pelting them with potatoes.

Some ethnic stereotypes are rooted in fact. I like to think that the kids weren't hurt by the flying spuds, and only jumped off because they were so excited to collect the potatoes, take them home, and boil them up.

"We'd do dances like the Stack of Barley, the Hornblower, and the Highlander all night long."

Aunt Agnes can still do a mean version of the Highlander. Other relatives occasional try to outdo her at the annual New Year's party, but we all know there can be only one. When I put together my own squad to compete in America's Top Dance Crew, I am going to call them Stacks of Barley.

I hope the sudden fame doesn't go to Aunt Agnes's head. If you see her around the Noe Valley area, feel free to stop to say hello or take a picture, but please, no autograph requests.



I especially like the potato-flinging. It suggests SF has ALWAYS hated its children.


Pink cheeks!

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This page contains a single entry by Sean Keane published on March 18, 2008 2:03 PM.

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