Sunday, April 9, 2017

We ain’t afraid of no ghosts!

The Levy Family Motoring Trip of 1940 next headed to San Francisco.  Once again, the family stayed at The Clift Hotel, their favorite spot.  I have memories as a child of traveling the one hour or so from our house to San Francisco to visit our grandparents who always, ALWAYS, stayed at The Clift.

Clift Hotel

And, of course, they kept the hotel bill.

Clift Hotel bill

Whoa!  Six days in one spot?  Good to see they had their laundry done for a whopping $3.56.  And parking was just 75 cents!  It’s probably closer to $75 these days.  And a long distance call – who was there to call?  Oh wait, maybe they were checking in with their family who they were going to visit while they were there.

This was titled Sherwin’s lunch.  My grandmother’s cousin, Irene Gunzendorfer, married Albert Sherwin so this would have been their family.  Irene’s father, Jacob Gunzendorfer, was the younger brother of Loraine’s father (and my great grandfather), Abraham Gunzendorfer.

Sherwins Lunch

Finding this photo brought me back in touch with my cousins, Irene’s grandchildren, as I turned to them for help identifying the folks seated around the table.

As best we can tell, Inez (Jacob’s wife) is the woman standing and Jacob is the gent in the straw hat.  Next to Jacob is Irene (aka Lolly) and to her left is either her husband, Albert (aka Bump), or son, Mervyn.  Irene and Al had twins, Carol and Lois, one of which is seated on the left with the sunglasses and the other looks to be in the right hand corner.  Okay, we think that’s it. 

But wait!  There are two other people in the photo which my cousin couldn’t identify and as I looked closer, I realized that the back of the head is Sig’s and the young man on the right taking a drink is my dad’s brother, Rob Levy.  Looks like they all had a really nice meal and I’ll bet they had a good time visiting.

And a few more of the family.

Loey & Carol

These are the twins, daughters of Irene (Guzendorfer) and Al Sherwin.  Carol and Lois?  Or Lois and Carol? 

I remember all these names – in fact, we actually visited with them in San Francisco several times and, I’m told, saw each other on vacation in Washington D.C. and/or New York in the early 1960’s.  But with all of that, it wasn’t until recently that I figured out that we were actually related.

This one was titled The Board. 

The Board

There’s an empty chair – was that where my dad was sitting?

After 6 days in San Francisco, that’s all the photos they took.  Or at least the only ones they included in the scrapbook.

And then they were off……


Say what?  Someone was trying to get creative with the word RODEO.  I had to laugh that they started to write it in a straight line and then erased it in order to get more creative.  Another entry on the page tells me that they were at the Salinas Rodeo.

And look at this – Fresno was represented!  That must have been fun to see your home town in the rodeo.  So, of course, they took a photo!  You can barely see that the Fresno Sheriff Posse was in the 2nd row.

Fresno Sheriff Posse

And more photos of the rodeo.

Rodeo Crowd

Hi Yo Silver

Rodeo More Horses

Again, boring photos.  These wouldn’t even make the cut in our photography of today.

And then it was on to other hotels.

Forest Hill Hotel bill

Pacific Grove makes sense – I’m sure they spent time with Loraine’s parents, Abraham and Birdie (Schwartz) Gunzendorfer.  6 days’ charges in the cafe – a grand total of $12.45!

The Forest Hill Hotel was built in 1926 and was the only hotel in Pacific Grove at that time.  It was a five story, 100 room hotel which was an immediate success.  In 1954 the hotel was purchased by the Methodist Church and converted into a retirement home, now called Forest Hill Manor.

Forest Hill Hotel
And then farther south to Hollywood.
Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel bill

Another 6 days and not a single photo?  I’m guessing someone got bored with the scrapbook.

Look at that – the Hollywood Roosevelt is still there today and has quite a history.

Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel

Some notable guests of the hotel, which opened in 1927.
  • Marilyn Monroe lived at the hotel for 2 years early in her career.  It is said that she and Arthur Miller, her third husband, met in the nightclub.
  • Shirley Temple learned to do her famed stairstep dance routine on the hotel steps.
  • Montgomery Clift stayed here for 3 months (room 928) while he filmed From Here to Eternity.
  • Errol Flynn is said to have developed his recipe for bootlegged gin in a tub in the hotel’s barber shop.
  • Charlie Chaplin, Clark Gable (swoon!), Carole Lombard, Mary Martin, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Prince, Brad Pitt, and Angelina Jolie have all been guests in the hotel.
But the most interesting fact, and one that my daughter might need to research further, is that the hotel is rumored to be haunted and has welcomed ghosts as visitors.  Some involve celebrities who have stayed at the hotel while some involve a little girl in a blue dress named Caroline.  There have been reports of cold spots, photographic “orbs”, and mysterious calls to the hotel operator.



  1. Replies
    1. It's so interesting to see what things cost in 1940 - like 75 cents for parking in downtown San Francisco.

  2. "Hi YO Silver"? I've always said "Hi HO." Maybe I'm confusing it with the 7 Dwarfs. Anyway, as creative as "RODEO" was I think the funniest caption is "The Board." That cracked me up. A lovely al fresco lunch looked like a serious board meeting, I suppose.

    1. I laugh at most of the captions which makes me think the scrapbooker was my uncle because he could sure be corny.

  3. No photos of San Francisco? How strange---it's such an interesting city. I love the Lone Ranger reference in there---a real sign of the times. Great photos.

    1. I know - you'd think San Francisco would have been the most likely place to take photos. However, since they were almost locals and had lots of family there, it could have been old hat for them. Either that or they took photos and I'll find them in a box somewhere. :-)