At the risk of stealing ex-convict/author, Bill Baker’s descriptive modifier, I set off for Alcatraz by bus from Marin County to San Francisco this most sublime “lollypop” * afternoon.
Having descended at the stop before last, I made a straight bee line for the Ferry Building, hung a sharp left and walked up Embarcadero, past sunglass-clad pedestrians sporting souvenir T-shirts and SF Giants caps; pushing strollers, walking dogs, riding rickshaws and dining al fresco at cafes along the way. Weather-wise, it was definitely what you’d describe as a 10+ day, the kind of day that makes you giddy from just being alive.
Upon setting foot on the Alcatraz dock, I quickly encountered Ranger Steve (Stephen Cote)who took me on the most amazing private tour – to places on the island I had never before seen. Enthralled with lush gardens (a horticulturist’s paradise); diverse bird life (Geese and goslings; a snowy white egret nesting, a mass of black cormorants dotting the rocks at the water’s edge below) and varied views of the bay from every possible perspective of the island.
When I arrived at The Band Practice Room, it was filled with a stream of visitors who took their time to look at and enjoy all the artwork lining the walls. Not to mention all the positive comments, names and places people were from, already filling up the Guest Sign In book. And this just the first week out since the show opened on May 1st. WOW!
*Page 23; ALCATRAZ 1259; William G. Baker
Leslie Lakes, Director