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Friday Slide Show: Two Old Haunts Share This on LinkedIn   Share This on Google   Tweet This   Forward This

29 June 2018

We were out of aspirin. The low dosage variety recommended by doctors for a healthy heart when you've reached the point of no return. We didn't expect to actually like taking them but we do. Wonderful placebo.

You'd think we'd just take a short stroll over to the local pharmacy and buy a three month supply. But no, we walked for miles across town to our care provider's pharmacy where everything is less expensive.

And on the way we visited two old haunts from our high school days.

We had the Olympus E-PL1 with us so we took a few snapshots. Souvenirs, nothing more.

But we subjected them to the same post processing we subject everything else to, although when we're working with a set of image, we resort to Lightroom.


Lightroom was misbehaving, though.

Run the cursor over an image in the Library or Develop modules and it would fade to a pink monotone. We didn't have that problem last week after the most recent update, so we were puzzled.

We restarted the MacBook Pro but that didn't help. So we visited Lightroom's preferences and reenabled the GPU. That seemed to do the trick.

We got on with our edits and settled down to tell you about these two places.


Our high school building for the first three years was on Stanyan St. about a block and a half from the northeast corner of Golden Gate Park. It had most of the city block to itself although the eastern side was populated by a row of houses that our sophomore Latin teacher liked to paint in watercolor.

He would perch his easel on the wooden staircase that ran just behind the backyard fences of those houses. Looking west from staircase you'd see the field surrounded by a cinder track and off in the northwest corner the field house.

That all shared the block with the main school building, which had a chapel in the middle of it somewhere and a theater just below the chapel and a basement where food was sometimes consumed in the cafeteria, which (if we recall correctly, was a row of vending machines used mainly for artillery).

Oh, and there was a gym with locker rooms and showers east of the school building. That's where the dances were held.


As you can see from our elaborate description of the old grounds, it lacked one essential facility for an all-boys high school.

There was no place for two antagonists to have it out, mano a mano.

That's where Golden Gate Park came in. In the near corner of the park you could find the Pits. And when things got heated, an invitation to the Pits was made, according to the gentlemanly custom. After school.

The Pits are formerly known as the Horseshoe Courts. And that's how you'll find them on the Park maps today. They're just a flat cement row of horseshoe pits cut into a gorge whose wall is more interesting that the courts themselves, which have none of the charm of the lawn bowling greens a bit further away (but less secluded).

We don't recall attending any events at the Pits ourselves, of course. You could get suspended. And still have to pay tuition. Which cost a good deal more than aspirin.


The other old haunt was Saint Ignatius Church. It wasn't really our church, although it used the same name as our high school. It was too grand to be monopolized by mere high school students of one particular gender.

But we did have our graduation there.

Apart from being released from prison or being discharged from the hospital, there are few more liberating events in a life than graduating from college. God knows the administration would keep you there another four years if they could, doubling the tuition they'd earn, but society fortunately frowns on extending high school beyond a certain age.

It was an elegant venue for a mere high school graduation. But we earned it.

It even has a dead guy in one of the side altars. Not really, but that's the story we tell. It's actually a statue of St. Aloysius Gonzaga. But it depicts his corpse lying under the altar in a glass enclosure.

We rather prefer the statue of St. Anthony of Padua in the back. From the looks of _his_ statue, he knew how to have a good time.

Shooting the dim interior of the church required an ISO of 1600 and image stabilization for hand-held shutter speeds of 1/15 second. The Upright tool in Lightroom helped immensely in restoring the church's architectural uprightness. But that was all there was to it.


We suppose the combination of these two scenes in one slide show may only amuse a few fellows who once had their noses bloodied and knees scraped and yet avoided suspension or expulsion (which would at least have ended tuition payments) to be able to graduate from the ornate building.

But we can't help thinking in these days where navigation is more by phone than moral compass, that there is something to be said for a fair fight and an education.

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