Third Street Stroll …

by Rochelle Metcalfe

BLACK LIVES MATTER!!!! HEARTBREAKING! The tragic murder of nine Black churchgoers, kneeling in prayer, at EMANUEL African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, attacked during bible study by a 21-year old white gunman, who sat with them for an hour, murdered these unsuspecting souls in cold blood! Families left distraught, as well as many of us – my heart bleeds for them!


My deep condolences to their families, who were willing to FORGIVE the shooter, caught and waiting for arraignment. That’s hard, for I wonder if I could be so quick to do the same if the victim was a loved one of mine.

HOW SWEET IT IS, GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS 2015 NBA CHAMPIONS! Congratulations! Yeah, exhausted after Game 6 that saw the team beat LEBRON JAMES and the Cleveland Cavaliers! James may think he’s the greatest, BUT the Warriors showed him who got game!


Proud fans celebrated with DIGNITY – no tearing up downtown Oakland or the shores of beautiful Lake Merritt – gave the team and community R-E-S-P-E-C-T! Ah, what a beautiful day and sight to behold! The parade was AWESOME!

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A lonely tower stands in the rubble of the Candlestick Stadium parking lot. – Photo: Rochelle Metcalfe

NOW, THE BATTLE IS ON TO KEEP the team in Oakland and owners from moving WARRIORS TO SAN FRANCISCO Mission Bay and proposed new arena to be built at Third and 16th Street. An alliance of businessmen oppose the move near UC Medical Center, which opened in January of this year, across the street from the intended arena, and fear of traffic problems in a hospital zone. During the Giants game there’s plenty of traffic at AT&T Park, plus the owners are proposing new development on Lot A to build housing and retail. My head aches just thinking about it, BUT like the idea the Warriors will be in S.F. Easy access via the T-MUNI LINE!

SO, what a predicament the Warrior owners are up against, since faithful FANS do not want them to leave Oakland! BUT, one must remember they WERE in San Francisco BEFORE they moved across the Bay! Well, if the move is successful, look for this to happen by 2020!!!

While talking sports, CANDLESTICK STADIUM IS DOWN! GONE! Nothing left but the TOWER in the parking lot!

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Nolan “Little Brother” Davis of Crown Burgers has retired. – Photo: Rochelle Metcalfe

SAD to say, the oldest standing HAMBURGER JOINT on Third Street , since the ‘40s, has been CLOSED for several months ! HEARD CROWN BURGERS, next door to SAM JORDAN’S, HAS BEEN SOLD! Understand NOLAN “LITTLE BROTHER” DAVIS and ANN WONG HAVE RETIRED!

LISTEN UP! CHARLIE WALKER, BAYVIEW HUNTERS POINT ICON, will tell you “AMERICA IS STILL THE PLACE”! Hey, my brother, WHAT DO YOU MEAN??? The outspoken community activist, businessman, risk taker, does not mince his words when telling BLACK folks, in particular, to take advantage of an opportunity, not wait for handouts! Walker continues to live in Bayview, off Third Street; often his voice heard at community meetings!

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Charlie Walker on his Cable 29 TV show, “America Is Still the Place” – Photo: Rochelle Metcalfe

“America Is Still the Place,” based on a novel written by Walker, airs weekly on Cable TV 29, now made into a movie about his life, struggle to succeed in the trucking business, and CLAIM TO FAME! GOT LUCKY in the ‘60s hauling OIL AND SAND off STINSON BEACH in Marin County. Walker made HEADLINES! I remember the NEWS about the spill and racial injustice Walker endured in an effort to clean up Stinson Beach, after an oil spill THREATENED the beach town and much of the Bay Area coast line, after a tanker collision near the Golden Gate Bridge.

Missed the red carpet premiere – Warriors game got my attention – opening the San Francisco Black Film Festival, June 11, at Sundance Cinemas Kabuki Theater. Heard there was a great turnout, and after party at Boom Boom Room, Fillmore and Geary.

My intro to Charlie was after his BIG PAY DAY in the early ‘70s, during the time he owned CHARLIE’S HALFNOTE on Divisadero, former HALFNOTE JAZZ CLUB, which he bought from HERMAN WARREN and his wife NORMA. Boy, did he keep the JUKEBOX LOUD!!! At the time, musically inclined, he was into drumming! He later sold the place.

San Francisco legendary bartender, DAVID GUNTHER, attended the premier, shared the film was excellent. He was an employee of H. Warren, therefore an eyewitness to the sale of the popular Halfnote Club (now the Independent Club) to Charlie, bartending at the time until Charlie hired his own staff.

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Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi came with his son to support the Save the Jazz Heritage Center rally on May 16, organized by the Fillmore Bay Area Media Group. – Photo: Rochelle Metcalfe

Those days of The HALFNOTE bring back memories of the old Fillmore and Divisadero days of BLACK life and entertainment. MOVING OVER TO FILLMORE – NO MORE. Sad to see the once vibrant Black community and HOPE for new life – JAZZ RENAISSANCE – DASHED!

Fifteen years ago groundbreaking at Fillmore and Eddy to make way for the Fillmore JAZZ HERITAGE CENTER (Yoshi’s, 1300, Lush Life Gallery, film screening room and high rise apartments, condos). Feb. 12, 2005, Emmit Powell’s Soul Food Restaurant FIRST kicked it off on the opposite corner of Eddy and Fillmore. After a year or two GONE! Prior to the building of the Jazz center, Powell used the vacant land for parking, before 1300 was built! Today, a different community – 1300 Restaurant the lone light of night life – BUT HOW LONG??? OH, SHEBA LOUNGE is still doing good business.

On the scene for the noon RALLY held in front of the now closed Yoshi’s/Addition on Saturday, June 6, called by FILLMORE BAY AREA MEDIA GROUP (FBAMG) formed to SAVE THE HERITAGE CENTER – A PETITION WAS PASSED OUT that expressed their desire and support of the community for a piece of the action to occupy space within to develop creative programs in the San Francisco Bay Area to support event promoters, media professional and business owners in disenfranchised communities through television and media arts. FBAMG has been operating since September 2014. The FIGHT is still on!

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Happy golden wedding anniversary, Ann and Thurman “Popcorn” Austin! – Photo: Rochelle Metcalfe


SADLY, THE “A” TRAIN left the station with another group of passengers. R.I.P. WILLIE SMITH, one of San Francisco’s finest firemen, who passed in June; The GODFATHER – legendary labor leader LeROY KING; RILEY JAMEISON – praises for his annual Riley’s SENIOR Swingers Shotgun GOLF TOURNAMENT, for 20 years at Sharp Park, Pacifica, that benefited Junior Golfers – covered many of them; FRANKIE ‘M’– former radio station KDIA BLUES DJ; R&B and Blues singer FRANKIE LEE; MARK SIMON, son of prominent San Francisco businessman and LEGEND – Joseph “Bunny “ Simon, brother Timothy Simon, his daughter Lateefah Simon; San Francisco hairstylist DOROTHY JONES; JAY’E RICHARDSON … will miss his sweet sounds on the horn.


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