At this time in 1946, merely a year beyond WWII, Conrad Weil was a football-crazy Calistoga kid of 16.
It was a thrill for him to travel to Santa Rosa Junior College to watch the new Chicago Rockets train there. And on the first day of that September 68 years ago, Weil paid 50 cents to see the also-new San Francisco 49ers take on the Rockets at Kezar Stadium.
The Niners won their first-ever home game, 34-14.
Weil became a season ticket-holder and ardent fan. When the 49ers outgrew Kezar, there was no question that he would follow them to their new digs by the bay.
He trekked to Candlestick Park on Oct. 10, 1971, for his team’s first game there. It was a stinker that the Niners lost to the Los Angeles Rams, 20-13. But Weil didn’t love the red-and-gold because he expected them to win.
Now comes the 49ers’ move to Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara. Weil, who has turned 84 and retired from a career that included about 20 years of working on the Niners’ video team and their former instant-replay booth, didn’t expect to make Sunday's debut football game at the new stadium, an exhibition game against the Denver Broncos.
But tickets became available and Weil thought, “What the heck. Why not make a trifecta out of it?”
Buddy Phil Trowbridge will go along to share the moment and hear, from one of precious few fans qualified to say, how today’s 49er housewarming compares to those at the ‘Stick and Kezar.
LIVES A-MENDING: Topic A at the meeting of the Santa Rosa Quilt Guild was the mission in Haiti that’s helping women to provide for their families by sewing and selling high-quality purses and bags.
On the spot, Guild members dug into their own purses and donated $300 to the cause. Member Gari Jones offered to use her wholesale license to purchase $300 worth of thread for Haiti.
Jones is especially keen to lift up stunningly poor Haitian women. A former fire-service medical tech and international disaster volunteer, she served in Haiti following the devastating earthquake of 2010.
She filed an order with Utah-based Superior Threads, and in a note mentioned where the money for the purchase came from and where the thread was going. A return email shocked her:
Superior Threads doubled the order.
Jones said $600 of thread will do great good in Haiti.
“It’s amazing,” she said. “So little money to us is so much money to them.”
SHE’S NOT YET 3, but Carrie Lynn Osborne of Alexander Valley sings.
Her family loves car racing, so Carrie Lynn is practiced at standing to belt out the national anthem before the first race.
When everyone rose one recent evening at Chico’s Silver Dollar Speedway, Carrie Lynn really cut loose on the “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
As she drew out the final note, one of three young men sitting in front of the Osbornes turned with awe on his face. He took out his wallet, showed Carrie Lynn and her folks, John and Michele, his military ID and told the child he’d never heard that song sung better.
AS SHE PEDALED the hills of Annadel State Park, Tamara Long now realizes, her mind wasn’t entirely on the trail.