Courses & TravelSeptember 14, 2009

Bay Area Booklet

[#image: /photos/55ad719eb01eefe207f6835f]|||SanFrancisco.jpg|||I was born and raised in Santa Rosa, an hour north of San Francisco. I went to college at St. Mary's, in Moraga. If I needed extra cash in college, I would go into the city and tend bar at my Uncle's restaurant--Capp's Corner, in North Beach. I remember working there late at night, it was like a odd-person parade. Some strange characters would roll through, but there's nothing like college with a pocket full of jing.

The Ginella family history rolled through Ellis Island, but settled in San Francisco. My great-grandfather on my Mom's side landed in 1906, a few days before the earthquake. It shook him North, to try and find gold for a stretch of time, but he eventually came back--empty pans in hand. Papa Tony, who lived to be 99, started a bar and restaurant in Truckee, Calif. and made a mean coleslaw up until the day he died.

One of my grandfathers on my father's side was born in Northern Italy, landed in San Francisco as a kid, grew up to be an engineer. Jim Ginella helped build the Golden Gate Bridge, the Bay Bridge and helped start the San Francisco 49-ers.

The team was started in 1946 by Tony Morabito, as a member of the All-America Football Conference. Tony died in '47 while watching a game and the team was passed to his wife and his brother, Victor. In 1950, Victor wanted to get an NFL franchise, which would cost $100,000. He only had $55,000, so to get the remaining money, Victor went to nine friends and asked for $5,000 each. My grandfather was one of those freinds.

After the group of male owners passed away, the wives ended up selling the team to Eddie DeBartolo Jr. in the 70's for roughly $30 million. A five percent interest resulted in a $1.5 million profit. A trust fund was established to put the 20-something grandkids through the college of their choice. My Dad, a Santa Clara graduate, never understood why I picked St. Mary's, their rival.

Needless to say, San Francisco is like an old trusty putter that no longer lives in the bag. I've lived in New York for 14 years, and I may not use San Francisco like I used to, but it doesn't mean I don't still appreciate it for the history of clutch-putts. And it will always get a special spot in the garage.

Here's a link to the latest Metro-Guide on good golf and other places and things worth sampling if you're in San Francisco. I put together for the October issue--it was a labor of love.

And after week 1 of the new NFL season, the 49-ers are back to their winning ways.

--Matty G.

More from The Loop