Third Street Stroll …

by Rochelle Metcalfe

MY, MY, MY, HOW TIME FLIES – seems just yesterday the 49ers talked about leaving the city and building a new stadium in Santa Clara – WHAT? City politicians could have SAVED the team, if the man who led the 49ers football team of the 80s, EDDIE DEBARTOLO Jr., former owner (1977-2000), who purchased the club in 1977, forced to RELINQUISH his power and ownership due to SCANDAL of his own making! GAMBLING!

Back in the mid-‘90s, during WILLIE BROWN’S tenure as MAYOR, and DeBartolo reign, voters had voted for a new stadium to be built at Candlestick that would include a shopping mall, entertainment center!

49ers CEO Jed York with True Hope Pastor Arelious Walker
49ers CEO Jed York with True Hope Pastor Arelious Walker

This writer joined other media reporters to fly down on a one-day jaunt with DeBartolo and VIP officials to MILLS Shopping Mall, located in Southern California, to get a firsthand view of the spacious site that DeBartolo wanted to duplicate! Mayor GAVIN NEWSOM, in office during the heated discussions to keep the team in the city, could have STILL welded a deal with Eddie’s sister Denise DeBartolo-York, who took over the team with her husband, DR. JOHN YORK, to keep the team in San Francisco! FAILED!

One can’t cry over spilt milk, it is WHAT IT IS! THE END OF AN ERA AT THE ‘STICK! Aug. 14, ex-Beatle PAUL MCCARTNEY will perform in concert – he and the Beatles played their FINAL PAID concert there in 1966. The show will be an historic event! Demolition will start sometime this year. I WILL HAVE A FRONT ROW VIEW!

First 49ers post season Exhibition game, Aug. 7, vs RAVENS, will kickoff at LEVI’s STADIUM. No more traffic congestion during game time on 3-street, going and coming after game play (fans took their money with them – few cars stopped on the Black strip of 3-street. BUT some money was made! Due to NO PARKING signs listed on surrounding residential streets during game day, many residents charged fans to park in their driveways! Economically, a GOOD DEAL!)

Rev. ARELIOUS WALKER, Pastor, TRUE HOPE CHURCH of God in Christ, and members BENEFITTED as well! Located at the end of Gillman Avenue, across from the ‘STICK’S parking lot and 49ers stadium – an economic windfall! 10,000 square feet, space for about 50 cars, accommodate church members. Game days, arrangements were made that allowed fans to park in the parking lot for a fee ($40-$50), services started 10:30 a.m. to about 12:30 p.m. TRUE HOPE site became the ONLY AFRICAN AMERICAN parking lot in SAN FRANCISCO! Location, location is important!

Rev. Walker and 49ers JOHN YORK became GOOD NEIGHBORS and continued under his son, JED YORK’s leadership, appointed President of the team! Definitely hopes were high for ONE MORE GAME this past JANUARY! SUPER BOWL fever, BUT that didn’t happen.

On a beautiful quiet morning back in January of this year, sat down with DR. WALKER in his impressive office to ask his thoughts about the 49ers move. Saddened, but understood it was an economic decision for the team. He shared, “I wanted them to stay here. We were GOOD NEIGHBORS!”

Rev. explained, when JOHN YORK took over the 49ers operation from DeBartolo, he heard about the good works True Hope was doing in the community through its nonprofit True Hope Foundation. York wanted to be a good neighbor to Dr. Walker and the Church. Under the auspices of the team, they donated to the Computer Learning Center. Donation also made to the YMCA on Lane Street in the Bayview. Rev. Walker, a community activist, has a lot on his plate, involved with several ministers in the nonprofit Tabernacle Development Corp.

When JED YORK became President of the 49ers, and the decision to move to Santa Clara, according to Dr. Walker, Jed told him, although they are moving, STILL wanted to help with the church’s vital programs –  Foundation is nonprofit and will need funding.

Dr. Walker was often invited to York’s luxury box on game days, and still invited, although he has not seen the new stadium, but WILL by OPENING DAY!

So when DEMOLITION begins later this year, Candlestick will be torn down, and the city will build housing, shopping mall, entertainment center. ALREADY approved. Dr. Walker is EXCITED about the changes – there will be JOBS – ECONOMIC ENGINE!

BLACK FOLKS BETTER HURRY, GET ON BOARD AND GET A PIECE OF THE ACTION! THIRD STREET – Southeast corridor of town is jumping – ESPECIALLY along the MUNI T-LINE from end of the run, Old Bayshore, to Third and King – Construction is HOT – OFF THE CHAIN! The Warriors Stadium open, 2017 or 2018, Third and 16th Street, further down the road – McDONALD’S, Third and Townsend, block away from AT&T, will be TORN DOWN to make way for a HOTEL!

Somewhat SHOCKED when learned small businesses are FORCED to move from a mall on Third near 23rd, where the popular DOUBLE K restaurant is located, moving out the day I dropped my printer off at AMERTECH Computer Repair Store, who also will have to move sometime this month; many have already closed. Seems the owner of the lot, that included a GAS STATION on the corner of 23rd, FORCED TO MOVE! Property owner wants to develop, what I don’t know!

Willie and Ernestine Howard, always kind and generous to everyone, smile for the Chronicle photographer inside their beautiful bakery. Painted pink and white on the outside – looking good enough to eat – Wendy’s Cheesecake was a landmark on the corner of Third and Quesada. – Photo: Liz Mangelsdorf, SF Chronicle
Willie and Ernestine Howard, always kind and generous to everyone, smile for the Chronicle photographer inside their beautiful bakery. Painted pink and white on the outside – looking good enough to eat – Wendy’s Cheesecake was a landmark on the corner of Third and Quesada. – Photo: Liz Mangelsdorf, SF Chronicle

PASSING – Third Street LOST one of its successful businessmen last month – MR. WILLIE HOWARD, co-owner of WENDY’s Cheesecake Bakery, located corner Third and Quesada, passed on July 13. Our lovely, dynamic Supervisor MALIA COHEN (D-10), acknowledged his passing during Roll Call introductions at the Board of Supervisors Tuesday meeting – “Mr. Howard and his wife ERNESTINE opened Wendy’s Cheesecake on Third Street in 1982. The bakery was a popular mainstay for people in the neighborhood and served some of the BEST cheesecake in town. He will be missed by many.”

Funeral services were held on Aug. 1, at Dan Scales Funeral Home, 6434 Third Street. REPAST held at the Gloria G. Davis Senior Citizen Home on LaSalle Street.

COME RUN WITH ME TO SAM JORDAN’S … LET’S PARTEE! What fun on a Sunday evening – OLD SCHOOL BIRTHDAY soiree in celebration of loyal, longtime customers – MISS MARSHA, “PIN BALL” ARCHIE, and LEGENDARY KING – CHARLIE GENERATT – flawlessly dressed, celebrated his 89th year. Ah, my man STILL has that young, groovy swagger on the dance floor!

Owners Lil’ RUTH JORDAN, partner CLYDE COLEN, AND brother ALLEN JORDAN, served a delicious buffet and hors d’oeuvres. Hip DJ (sorry, didn’t get the name) and 3-STREET COWBOY – JOHNNY DOLLAR, kept the night upbeat – DJ’S retro video connected to music that featured Bobby “Blue” Bland, Marvin Gaye, Mel Waiters, Buddy Ace and more. There enjoying the evening, included: FAMOUS 3-STREET REALTOR – J.Y. and his pretty wife GWEN; HAROLD MOON, ANITA HINES, SLENDER LINDA, MR. SMITTY – OF course, mixologist MISS NEISY kept the drinks flowing!

MONDAY NIGHT JAM at DR. GEORGE DAVIS SENIOR CENTER … CATHY DAVIS, Executive Director Bayview Hunters Point Multipurpose Senior Center, celebrated her ??? ( I’ll let her tell you) birthday that weekend, but on the scene Monday night enjoying the down home funk sounds of recording artist, guitarist-vocalist PAT WILDER and band. Pat and seniors sang happy birthday to the lady, and a few gents – foxy HERMAN PHILLIPS, DANCIN’ DAN DANIELS, swung her around on the dance floor to the beat of the birthday song. Ah, the lady was all smiles, a chance to take a break from her busy schedule, enjoy the evening with staff and swinging seniors.

HEY, IT’S NICE TO BE NICE AND TO ALL OF YOU OUT THERE … LOOK FOR ME … I’LL BE THERE …

Email Rochelle at iheard@earthlink.net.