Humorous Historical Note: "The Taking of the N-Judah 1, 2,3"
Recently, I found a link to a rather humorous story about the N-Judah's history, courtesy of The Google, and in the process got a nice little history lesson about the N-Judah, the neighborhood, and San Francisco in general.
We start with a story recounted by alumni of the now-defunct Polytechnical High School on Lincoln Way over by what was once Kezar Stadium. (Most of it is now gone, replaced by new housing).
Anyway, in an alumni newsletter, a story was related regarding a particularly crowded N after school in 1955, filled with students leaving school one day. Now, this was in the day when trains had both a conductor and a driver. Trying to figure out why people weren't boarding, the conductor got off the train to investigate, and that's when a little mischeif started when a student pulled the cord telling the driver to take off, leaving the conductor behind!
As the N made its way downtown, students collected fares and gave out transfers, but ultimately were greeted by some fare inspectors and the SFPD. No one was injured or maimed, and students the next day got a stern talking to by The Man, but no one was ever caught. Kind of a funny story, actually.
I ended up checking out some other alumni newsletters and did some Googling about Poly High, and got an interesting view of life in San Francisco, particularly in the 1950s, mostly from the perspective of folks who were in high school at the time. It was kind of fun to read about how different things were back then.
I often find it interesting how we do a good job of preserving structures in town (which is good), but the way of life that once went along with them is long gone, replaced with endless high-end shoe stores and nail salons. And sometimes the most interesting accounts of life back in the day don't always come from history books about political leaders and the like, but the stories of everyday life from people recounting their experiences.