Best of San Francisco Story 2023

The top ten San Francisco Story posts for 2023 according to the guy who wrote them and who is, of course, incredibly biased.

Best of San Francisco Story 2023
The top ten San Francisco Story posts for 2023 according to the guy who wrote them and who is, of course, incredibly biased.

Happy almost New Year. All Grab Bags are open to everyone for a couple of weeks if you not-yet-Friends of Woody want to see what you missed.

I can’t say I am sorry to see this year pass, but, like every year, some of it was fun. For Woody LaBounty, most of that fun usually connected to San Francisco Story. This project provided me breaks from some tough times through research, writing, and a community of good people. Here’s to a 2024 where I don’t have to write mini-obituaries for friends and relatives at the end of these otherwise fun history posts.

[Insert your favorite foreign toasting word here.]

Before we make sure 2023 remembers its coat on the way out the door, let’s do the official San Francisco Story tally for the year. We don’t go for those advanced statistics overrunning sports. There are no metrics like Wins-Above-Replacement (WAR) or Keyboard-Smacking-to-History-Research-Scrolling (KSHRS) here, just addition, division, and Woody feelings.

Top three San Francisco Stories from 2023 as determined by the outside world (web traffic): 

1)    The Legacy of Uncle Cliff

Cliff Kamaka and Ocean Beach surfing

2)    The House Build on Sand

1904 DIY house in the Sunset

3)    Accordion House

Goofy house “sign” that used to be on Union Street.

This doesn’t accurately measure the “tail” of later-in-the-year posts. Secret Ice Rink is a comer. And you know how the internet works: likely people were searching for something else and landed on these pages. Maybe there is an awesome B&B somewhere named Accordion House, and if so, here’s my credit card.

(Top SFS posts according to the outside world over all time—well, back to June 2022 at least—are Cobweb Palace, Dennis O’Rorke’s Playland photos, and the Telegraph Hill Castle.)

Most Opened San Francisco Story Email of 2023 (as determined by my robots)

Sweeny’s Observatory. With a cover photo like this, I’d click on the email too:

Number of Subscribers to San Francisco Story: 940.

The monthly fee for the system I use (Ghost, which is great) goes up big time when I hit 1,000 subscribers, so I have been slow-rolling any promotions so as not to get more of you. Yes, I have an anti-growth mentality. But let’s have a party when we hit four digits, eh?

Number of Friends of Woody: 219

Stickers my brother Matt made for me. Maybe you have one on your laptop cover?

You guys are the best. Let’s give a hand to: Adam B., Al B. & Randall H., Alan L., Albert B., Alex M., Andre B., Angel C., Angus M., Anita B., Anita D., Ann G., Anne M., Art S., Barbara P., Barbara C., Barry F., Ben Z., Berit P., Bill B., Bob E., Bob S., Boyd S., Brendan P., Brian S., Bruce D., Bruce M., Canice F., Carol G., Cassidy L., Chris C., Christine G., Christine S., Christopher L., Corinne B., Courtney M., Dan and Joan M., Darlene P., David C., David F., David G., David N., David P., Denis F., Denise C., Denise L., Denise S., Dennis M., Dennis O., Diane M., Don M., Duncan M., Dustin M., Ed F., Edward A., Elizabeth J., Ellen B., Emiliano Echeverria, Emmanuel M., Frederick B., Gabe E., Gabriel G., Geoff P., Gretchen B., Harold B., Harry H., Hilary P., Hugh B., Hugh G., Isabel H., Jaci P., Jackie P., James D., James L., James Y., Jan and Harold B., Janet M., Jean K., Jeff B., Jeffrey M., Jim and Julie O., Jim H., Jim W., Joan C., Joel B., John A., John L., Jonathan C., Joyce K., Judi L., Judith L., Judy H., Judy R., Julie Ann Y., Julie N., Julie Z., Junior H., Karen H., Karen K., Karen P., Karen U., Kate F., Katherine P., Kathleen F., Keith D., Ken S., Kevin F., Kevin B., Larry L., Laura I., Lauren P., Len H., Lenore A., Leslie L., Linda G., Linda H., Linda R., Lisa A., LisaRuth E., Lorraine L., Lorri U., Louise B., Luba M., Lynn W., Marc L., Marc N., Marc W., Margaret O., Margaret W., Margie W., Marilyn C., Martha B., Martine D., Mary K., Mary M., Matt L., Megan S., Melissa G., Michael M., Michael M., Michele D., Michele R., Mike C., Mike D., Mike M., Mike P., Miranda L., Moira D., Monty W., Morgan K., Nancy F., Nancy M., Nate T., Nick O., Nick W., Nik D., Olga M., Paige O., Pam H., Pam W., Pamela D., Pamela M., Pat H., Pat K., Patrick M., Patrick S., Paul H., Paul J., Paul S., Peggy L., Pete M., Peter F., Peter Q., Phil M., Phil V., Richard L., Richard R., Robert L., Rochelle J., Sandy B., Sarah R., Scott F., Serge E., Sharon V., Shelley H., Shirley S., Stacy M., Stephanie M., Stephanie S., Steve C., Steve Y., Sue B., Tammy A., Tania A., Taryn E., Ted B., Theo D., Thomas B., Thorsten S., Tia L., Tilly C., Timothy M., Tina P., Todd C., Todd S., Tom G., Tyler S., Veronica M., Vincent C., and Vivian I!

Woody’s 10 Favorite San Francisco Story Posts from 2023

You think it’s a bit egotistical for me to pick my own favorites? Be careful, you might get one of these stickers my nephew Duncan made me for Christmas:

Who would I even give one of these to?

First, the Weird Things Category: 

The Goat Cart Man

Goofy vehicles pulled by horned quadrupeds

 Accordion House

Goofy sign again. This is still crazy to me.

Jobson’s Folly

Goofy tower that used to be on Russian Hill

Second, the Too Long Looking at an Old Photo Category:

Lone Mountain

A great photo, to be fair.

Castle on the Square

"Game of Thrones" where Tiffany's is today...

Street Cameraman

OK, I’ll just look at ten more photos of women wearing gloves downtown.

Third, the Continuing and Unsolved Mystery Category:

 Atlas Displaced

Where are those brawny column bearers? Tell me!

Last, the Grabby Grab Bags Category:

Grab Bag #011

My Dad and the Streets of San Francisco

 Grab Bag #024

Too beautiful Treasure Island photos

Grab Bag #018

Ramblin Woody...

Thank you for coming. Do not forget your swag bag on exiting the ballroom. Let me know if your opinions on the best of 2023 differ. As long as we can agree something I did was OK this year...

And thank you all again for allowing me into your device of choice each Wednesday morning. It’s been wonderful for me. Let’s make 2024 awesome, or at least nice, or pleasant, or not a bad place with a lick of paint, really...

Woody Beer and Coffee Fund

Beverages Bought this Year: Hundreds! More than $2,000 was spent making me more sociable, thanks to donors to the Woody Beer and Coffee Fund. Look at some of the fine folks I was able to visit with in 2023.

Feel free to chip in for 2024 drinking. I still have never had a kombucha...