Friday, February 06, 2009

Goodbye to All That

In which we hail the last survivor
Read in today's colorful new San Francisco Comical that Herb Hamrol, the last survivor of the Great Earthquake and Fire of 1906 died yesterday, aged 106. Hamrol, reporter Kevin Fagan's warmly written obit noted, was also the world's oldest grocery clerk, who worked at the Andronico's on Irving Street right up to the time he was hospitalized for complications from pneumonia last week.

Back when I lived out in the Richmond I went to Andronico's frequently and had often seen Herb working in the store. I didn't know he was an '06 survivor. I remember wondering what dire circumstances the fellow was in that he could not retire. Evidently, none at all; he just liked to work.

Fagan relates Hamrol's advice for young men:
  1. Don't spend every dime you get
  2. Stay away from wild women
  3. Don't smoke, drink or do drugs
  4. Wear a tie when you go to work, also a nice shirt
Next April 18 at 5:18 a.m. I'll be at Lotta's Fountain, ignoring rule three as a lift a glass of sparkling wine in ol' Herb's honor. Afterward, I'll ignore one and two for good measure.

(Photo courtesy the San Francisco Chronicle, used entirely without permission)


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