Christianity in the World Today

Robert W. Ross And Sherwood E. Wirt*

“The gayest, lightest-hearted city of the Western continent.” So Will Irwin once characterized San Francisco; and so it is: a city whose magic is inescapable. Chinatown, the cable cars, Fishermen’s Wharf, the Embarcadero, the bridges, the Cliff House, Golden Gate Park, Civic Center, Union Square—where else than in San Francisco?

From the days when the first prospects sailed into her matchless harbor, San Francisco has attracted millions of visitors by her charm. To American troops stationed far across the Pacific in two World Wars, the very name “San Francisco” conjured up visions of all that seemed worth staying alive for. Joseph Henry Jackson speaks of “My San Francisco” as “a great and greatly loved city” whose “first response is always ‘Yes!’ ” (My San Francisco, Crowell Publishing Co., 1953).

Diamond In A Turquoise Setting

The city’s secret is mysterious. Part of her quaintness is due, of course, to the unique geographical location on the rugged tip of the peninsula. Seen from the air, she appears a glistening spiderweb, with her network of bridges and the numberless Mediterranean-type houses trimming the hills like beads on a string. Yet the true source of San Francisco’s magic lies not with her setting but with her people. Western, cosmopolitan, easy-going, pleasure-loving and hospitable, they have given her the reputation of “the city that knows how.” A never-ending procession of conventions, sports shows, stock shows and commercial exhibits has enhanced her fame as the place to go in the twentieth century. Those seeking lighter entertainment have no trouble finding it amid the nostalgic memories of the Barbary Coast.

Yes, a wonderful city, ...

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