September 25, 1997
Oakland, California, USA
This morning, I took BART across to San Francisco. On my way to Shaklee Terraces in down-town San Francisco, I saw a homeless girl, sitting on the side-walk, next to a shopping cart, asking for change. I stopped and talked with her for over half an hour. She told me that her name is Sarah and she is 21. She looked about 16. She said that she has been living on the street since last December. I asked her where she would like to be in ten years, and if she had any goals. "Ive never thought about it." she replied. "If I was you, I"d head to Yosemite. You might be able to get a job there ...and it sure would be a lot nicer place to live." I ugred. She didn"t take me seriously. Rarely, do I give homeless people money, especially ones with cigarettes in their hand; so, before departing, I gave her a Vita-Bar instead.
At Shaklee Terraces, I met Don Karn, President of Shaklee, and other senior staff members - including, Lois Chapman, Karren Topping, and Ed Beck. After getting a grand tour of the Shaklee headquarters, and replenishing my supply of nutritional products, I headed for the Bank of America building.
On my way there, I met another homeless girl named Emily. She was 20 years old, married and had been traveling since she left her home in Montreal at the age of eleven. She told me she couldnt talk with me at that time because she hadn't made her twenty bucks yet. She said I was bad for business. "If you want to talk, come back in a hour or so." she said, "We can go for a coffee." I didn"t give Emily any money either. People can be so foolish - asking for money with one hand, and burning it in the other. I split my Snickers Bar with her.
Rich, back in Blaine, Washington, had recommended that go to the 52nd floor of the Bank of America building in San Francisco and check out the view, so I did. The restaurant at the top has huge windows over-looking the bay, Alcatraz, the Golden Gate bridge and the Pyramid building. The view was superb. I took a few photos, then split.
From there, I took a bus to the Exploritorium, a science center with interactive exhibits. One of the displays just blew me away. It featured the hologram of a spring that I could reach in, and try to touch. When I did... of course, it was a hologram, and there was nothing to touch. I spent ten minutes playing with it, in amazement. The gardens outside are extremely impressive as well. There is a Roman courtyard surrounded in 75 foot high Ionic pillars, and in the center of it is a huge dome, and pond. Someone told me it was built a long time ago for a Worlds Fair, to encourage people to come back to San Francisco after a big earthquake.
And that was my day in the big city.