A chance encounter on the ‘old 55-Sacramento’


This is one to tell your grandkids. Muni rider Davy sent us the following:

So, as I‘m getting on the bus today and attempting to scan my Clipper card on the bus’s meter by the back stairwell, the bus driver decides to gun it up the hill, and I suddenly find myself holding onto the metal grab rail for life, completely sideways, my whole upper half now almost completely in the lap of a white-haired 80ish lady in a leopard-print overcoat who’s sitting in the seat facing me. Her lipstick is very red. Somehow I am able to maintain my equilibrium and rectify the situation with some major coaxing and deft calibration of my person, and soon am sitting quite comfortably in the seat next to the elderly lady. In a strange, low voice she says (I’m not sure at first to whom it’s directed), “San Francisco used to have a county fair.”

I look at her. “…um…what?”

Her teeth are stained with lipstick and her white hair is slicked straight back. “San Francisco used to have a county fair.”


“This bus line was called the 55-Sacramento back then. And they used to have an event called ‘Surfing The 55.’ You would’ve been a star.”


I haven’t felt this good about myself in a long, long while.

San Francisco history, old, retired Muni lines, strangers sharing stories with each other … more of this, please. Thanks for sharing, Davy!

Photo by Marc Tarlock