Thursday, January 19, 2017

Not Quite Old

So did you know that Pier 39 is 39 years old this year?

It's weird, but I can actually say I was there at the beginning.

We would have only been in California (the first time) for about a year and a half.

I remember how cool it was compared to Fisherman's Wharf.

I also remember the introduction of mylar balloons.

They were a new thing back in 1978, and people were being forced to learn the Ideal Gas Law.  Being 9 years old that was new to me, but it was a cool thing to learn.

You see the mylar balloons were so new that they didn't have anything printed on them.  They were just silver mylar inflated discs.  But the balloons were amazing novelties, and they were selling big time during the day.

Then the fog come in as it does and it got colder in San Francisco as it does.  And the helium in the balloons bean to contract and the taught mylar became loose.  People started tog et upset that their balloons had leaks.  I would guess that with regular balloons the shrinkage wasn't noticed as much because the balloon would stay relatively taught.  But mylar doesn't stretch, so they were saggy.

The salespeople were friendly enough, and I want to say that we got a replacement, but were told what was happening.  Then I remember inadvertently proving it right when we entered a store with lots of lights (All incandescent of course.  No LED light bulbs in 1978), and it was noticeably warmer inside.  And the balloon became "full" again.

That balloon lasted a long time... for a balloon.

Pier 39 became a regular place to go with visiting family and friends, and just to go with mom and dad.

I bought a scrimshaw pendant there.

We bought our first Yanni album there.  And at the same shop I bought a crystal heart pendant for my high school girlfriend.

I bought a big fluffy jacket that was my winter coat for years, and then my winter work coat for years more.

Mom became enamoured with Harry Mason jewelry, and it was a Christmas Eve tradition for a while for Dad to buy her earrings there (or at San Francisco Center when he had a store there).

I bought silly hats there.

I bought cartoon themed ties and clothes there.

It has changed a lot over the soon to be 39 years, but it's still a fun place to visit.


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