Monday, April 27, 2015

Encounter: Herb Caen

Although I never met Her Caen face-to face, the signed photograph he sent me still sits at my desk. As may of you may well know, for many years he was the most successful columnist in newspapers around the Bay Area. Most of his work was for The Chronicle, although he also wrote for a time for the rival Examiner. 

On one occasion, I sent him an item emanating from the East Bay. He asked if there were a San Francisco angle. I replied that although I worked in Oakland, I played in San Francisco. He chortled at that response, although I knew there wasn't much truth to it.

Our last communication began when I reported that I had been withdrawing money from an ATM, and sneezed loudly. A woman waiting for her turn said that I must be "allergic to money." By the time Herb Caen printed the story, he added the perfect response, which I didn't actually make: "No, I just have withdrawal symptoms." 

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