Your Letters

Wright on the Piano

I enjoyed reading your article on Vera Schultz (“Paving New Roads”) in the September issue. I would like to add a historical footnote to the supervisors’ August 2, 1957, meeting. William Fusselman had asked to have a report on Wright read by an investigator for Sen. McCarthy. Many years ago my uncle, William Gnoss, who was on the board at that time with Schultz, recounted what occurred after Wright stormed out of the meeting. The chairman of the board, Walter Castro, promptly adjourned the meeting. Castro and my uncle caught up to Wright outside and invited him to lunch at the Meadow Club. Over lunch Castro and my uncle assured Wright that Fusselman had only a minority vote on the board and that they had the votes to approve his plan without further embarrassment or interference from Fusselman. With a smile on his face, my uncle told me that at the end of the lunch, which included some good wine, Wright played the piano for them. – George H. Gnoss, Belvedere

Immigration Information

Thank you for your nice article (“Ellis Island of the West”) about the U.S. immigration Station, Angel Island, in the September issue. We appreciate the good publicity. Some comments that might be of interest: in 1910, the San Francisco Health Department declared that the upstairs men’s dormitory was large enough for 56 people — there were 200 bunk beds in the room. Occasionally, there were more than 600 people detained in the barracks building at a time. While there were several suicide attempts and many rumors of suicide at the station between 1919 and 1940, there is no record of a successful attempt. I barely recognize enough Chinese characters to play mahjong, so I read the poems aloud in English. – Joe Chan, U.S. Immigration Station Docent


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