Willie Lewis Brown, Jr...."Da Mayor"

Monday, January 8, 1996

Inauguration Day, San Francisco

Willie Brown became the mayor of San Francisco today.

He proved to be the inspiration of public merrymaking on a spectacular scale which recaptured the city's legendary style and joie de vivre as he took the oath of office at noon in an outdoor ceremony at Yerba Buena Gardens fittingly beneath The Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial.

The inauguration closed with a rousing rendition of "San Francisco" -- with Brown leading the orchestra from its perch above the stage. Tonight, the public was invited to a celebration at Pier 45, featuring a plethora of food donated by the City's best restaurants and six stages with entertainment from Santana to actor Don Johnson.

Says Herb Caen, "It's Brown 'n' Serve time."

Ok, now for the unofficial version...


Just between you and me, I really hate crowds. Yugh. I guess it's because I'm a bit smug and think I'm kinda special....well at least different, you know..."far from the maddening crowd. When I find myself surrounded by thousands and thousands of my fellow men, no matter what their carriage, I feel trite. Do you get that feeling too?

Today and tonight proved no exception. It was a toss up as to whether I'd go to the inaugural and party. I wasn't on assignment, I certainly have enough to do and what with the Hell Week of MacWorld starting today...well...I have more than enough on my plate. I can get very laid back and just watch all this celebrating on the tube.

But I do have a great sense of history, not to mention an unquenching curiosity, so my higher level self made a deal with my lower level self and I took my poor body along to see what all the hoopla was about.

I actually had a dual experience. The crowds were as bad as I anticipated...and I had the reaction I just described...that of severe loss of identity...like that of a "fart in a hurricane" (as my Uncle Ed used to opine.) It took a good thirty minutes to just enter the party this evening and a stranger inching forward right next to me voiced thoughts that I'm afraid we all silently shared... "We might just as well be cattle blithely moving toward the slaughter house." Somehow, just hearing that helped.

The good news was that there was a great feeling of anticipation in the air. I took a once in a lifetime memory home with me plus I got this cool shot of "Da Mayor" for "My Week."

*Hey, don't forget to check in this Thursday night to the Digital Be-in event. I will be broadcasting live photographs which will accompany the word smithery of my fellow reporters flailing at their keyboards.

If you are using Netscape 2.0 check this page out also regarding the event.

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