Larry the Cable Guy

by Joe Thompson

Bozo, a children's party clown who is a closet pedophile; Claudia, a stage actress who is paralyzed with feelings of insignificance Photo by Mal Rowe. The ensemble cast of comedians included Jeff Foxworthy and Bill Engvall. Assault on a Gripman - Sep The gripman on an outbound California Street car reprimanded a man who had jumped onto the car while it was in motion near Montgomery. There was a good crowd.

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Unfortunately, there was a problem with the cable on December Muni judged that it wasn't worth fixing the cable for a short time, so service ended early. Muni has not announced a date for work on Powell Street. Conductor Stabbed on Mason Street - November News reports say that a cable car conductor from a car that was out of service was stabbed in an apparent random act of violence. There were no passengers aboard the car. The conductor was sent to the hospital in critical condition.

The police followed a trail of blood to a nearby apartment, where they arrested a suspect. The piece started with a trip down Market street in electric streetcar The story discusses Dave Kiehn's work which proved that the movie was shot in , rather than as had been commonly believed, and may have been shot in April, close to the 18th.

I would not second guess the men and women of the Cable Car Division, but I think it might have been better publicity to go and use the assembled cameras and microphones to make a statement about the current state of labor relations. It was reported to be very popular. Powell Street car went in Smart Cards on Cable Cars - July Clipper, formerly known as FastTrack, is a smart card that allows users to store passes or money for various regional transit agencies. When the San Francisco Municipal Railway introduced Clipper, training or warning appears to have been minimal.

The problem was particularly critical on the cable cars, where conductors have to use a hand-held scanner to read the cards. Many riders have reported problems. A fire destroyed the original line. They believe a new funicular will be good for business. Second Gripwoman - April Congratulations to Willa Johnson, who became only the second woman to make it through the training program and become a gripwoman.

The first gripwoman, Fannie Mae Barnes , retired a few years ago. New Upgrade and Refurbishment Plan - March Muni announced plans to upgrade and refurbish the cable car lines for the first time since the reconstruction.

The California Street line will be down from January to June The line has been redesigned to add safety features that were omitted when the line was restored in Not sleepers, just rail cars built by Pullman. It is an impressive work, more than pages listing Pullman passenger and freight car orders from the s until the end of He gives as much detail as he could find for each order, including the lot number, the company that placed the order, the numbers of the cars, the order quantity, the capacity in pounds of the cars, the type, the weight, the capactity in cubic feet , the inside length, the plant, the date built, the floor plan Pullman had standard numbered plans , and the unit cost.

This book will be a valuable resource for anyone who is interested in any of the hundreds of railroads that ordered cars and trucks from Pullman. Order the book using Eric's website follow the Eric's Books link: The current system is in two sections and passengers transfer in the middle.

The upgraded system will run directly from the top to the bottom. The work is scheduled to be complete by September, but people regard that date with skepticism. I enjoyed learning more about San Francisco's Carville neighborhood. He gives a well-documented history of the growth of Carville from a single shack to a neighborhood with water, electric power, a school, and a firehouse. He frames the story with his dream of buying a house in San Francisco. I also appreciated the way the author included Gelett Burgess and his writings about Carville.

Order the book using the supporting website: Part of the line became a counterbalance. John Diers, a local rail historian had warned them that they might find artifacts. I'm happy they listened to him. The yoke may be preserved and included in a historic display at Union Depot. City to Buy Cable Car Museum Collection - October The Examiner reports that the City and the Cable Car Museum have reached a deal for the city to purchase the historic cable cars and other artifacts in the museum's collection.

There was a dispute over the value of the priceless items. The videos are aimed at home schooled kids, but they are suitable for everyone. They just rolled out a video about cable cars. A seventh grader interviewed me and did a really good job. You can see the video here: Meet Me at the Corner There are lots of other videos on interesting topics check out the one on falconry at the US Air Force Academy , and guidelines for kids who want to make their own and submit them.

Leonard Oats, winner of the last three contests, 5-time champion Bryon Cobb and 3-time champion Ken Lunardi describe the contest, talk about their own individual styles and offer a glimpse of what it is like to prepare for and compete in the annual event at Union Square.

Four people were injured. You can view it here: The characters are cute. Byron Cobb pulled grip and Duane Allen was conductor. I thought it was held in June instead of July because of the 25th anniversary of the return of the cable cars in , however they never mentioned it at the contest.

A sign on the side of car 9 advertises the Bell Ringing Contest. Photo by Joe Thompson. Another Transformer Explosion - June An underground transformer near Polk and O'Farrell exploded, scaring crews and passengers at the outer end of the California Street line.

A transformer exploded on June near California and Drumm, shutting down service for a while. Damage to the cable cars, 10 and 24, was not major. The collection includes unique items such as the Clay Street Hill Railroad's grip car 8, the only surviving car from that pioneering line, and the Sutter Street Railway's grip car 46 and trailer 54, which ran on the Pacific Avenue fragment after the Earthquake and Fire and then operated in a pageant at the fair on Treasure Island.

The Friends and the city are far apart in their ideas of the value of the collection. The vendor sent representatives to see why an almost-new cable kept having loose strands and other problems. SUV runs into Cable Car - January On a drizzly afternoon, an inbound California Street car slid down from Mason to Powell and clipped an inbound Powell Street car, which was waiting to pick up the rope after crossing the California Street tracks.

No one was hurt. Val Lupiz created this invitation for the luncheon. Powell Cable Stopped - October The Powell Street cable was stopped for most of the day by an early-morning loose strand. Trainz Cable Car Simulation - September Norm Phythian, working from Australia, has created a Trainz simulation, referred to as a map, representing San Francisco's cable car lines. Sel Churchward has created representations the tracks and of cable cars to run on the lines. They both do nice work. You can learn more on the Trainz discussion forum: Car 23 by Sel Churchward.

Sel Churchward produced this version of Cal Cable Added more about the simulation on the Cable Car Models page. Pedestrian Dies - August The Chronicle reported that an elderly lady who was hit by a cable car at Mason and Broadway early in the morning on August had died in San Francisco General Hospital. California Street Collison - August The Chronicle reports that an inbound California Street cable car rear-ended another cable car car at California and Drumm this morning.

Four passengers were injured. This curve was poorly redesigned when the system was rebuilt in The crew got off of the car to push. When it started rolling down the hill on Washington, the gripman jumped on the back platform and passed through the cabin. He found that the front cabin door was jammed and he could not get through.

The car hit the curve into Powell too fast and derailed. Muni stated that the crew may have broken the rules by not keeping one person the car while it was out in the street. He was a good guy and was always generous about sharing his knowledge. Val wrote a very good article about his memories of transit in San Francisco, "San Francisco: That Was the City That Was". Explosion at California and Drumm - June Manhole covers flew through the air by the terminal of the California Street line, where I had been standing just the day before.

Pacific Gas and Electric was trying to determine the cause. Cal cable service was interrupted for a while. Rebuilt Car 25 Rolls out - May Rebuilt car 25 went into revenue service after a complete rebuilding. There are big obstacles before them, but I hope that it will work. The counter shot through the roof. The book uses large, colorful photographs and graphics, and simple, clear text, to describe cable cars and the people who work on them and ride them. I enjoyed reading it.

California Cable Unstranded - September Val Lupiz took this photo at California and Drumm after the cable unstranded and caught car 52, which rear-ended car 59, which rear-ended car Fortunately, the cars were laying over at the end of the line and no one was hurt.

Photo by Val Lupiz. Val Lupiz reports that he was laying over at California and Drumm when the cable unstranded and caught in the grip of car No one was hurt, and the crews of 59 and 54 were able to throw the cable out of the grip and stop the procession. The cars were not damaged. The cable was down for the rest of the day.

Val spotted hybrid bus on the replacment shuttle. He wished he could have ridden it to see how it handled the hill. Pedestrian Injured - June The San Francisco Chronicle reported that an elderly lady, reported to crossing against the light at Mason and Pacific, was struck by a cable car and her left foot was pinned under a wheel.

The white stripes, cleaned up by Mal to make them more visible, are marble markers that signalled the gripman to drop the rope. Photo by Mal Rowe. Mal reported that "The track, the slot, and even a glimpse of the yoke and tunnel are all there to see.

The paving blocks are red-gum blocks Thanks to Mal for the use of two of his photographs. More information and photographs in my Melbourne article. Edinburgh -- Revenge of the Cable Trams - April An article in The Scotsman report that engineers preparing for Edinburgh's new tram system have been surprised to discover that many of the streets still contain the conduits from Edinburgh's cable tram system, which was electrified in Further studies will have to determine whether the conduits are strong enough to support the new trams.

The article made sure to mention that cable tram were invented by a Scot. Conductors point out that their primary task is to ensure the safety of riders and to work the rear brakes.

The cars and trackway have been renovated, and work should start soon on replacing the driving machinery and adding some safety devices that had not been included when the line was restored in The article stresses how the neighborhood has changed since the accident. Cable Cars" - November KGO Channel 7 ran an "investigative" piece saying that Department of Transporation records indicate that cable cars have the highest accident rate of any type of Muni vehicle.

I posted a rebuttal on their blog: In comparing the accident rates of cable cars and other forms of transit in San Francisco, it is important to remember that cable cars operate in some of the most congested streets in the city. Cable car crews have suggested that the accident rate would be much better if the city put more effort into enforcing traffic and parking regulations on the streets where the cable cars operate.

Dear Friends and Merchants: Our annual Luncheon has become an event eagerly looked forward to by many seniors. For some, this may be their only opportunity to celebrate the holiday season with a hot meal and warm companionship. Through the cooperation and volunteer services of many of our own Cable Car Division personnel, the Luncheon has become a rousing success, bringing a much needed boost to these sometimes forgotten people, during what can often be a difficult and lonely holiday season.

We hope to carry on this tradition with your generous help. Transportation for attendees will be provided by special shuttle buses provided by Muni and operated by Cable Car personnel. We would gratefully accept any contributions, but we do particularly request donations of foods cooked meats, vegetables, drinks, rolls and pastries, salads, etc. Any monetary donations or items that could be used as door prizes are also very much welcomed. Your donations are entirely tax deductible please see contact names below for more details.

We respectfully request that you respond, in writing or by phone at the numbers listed below, at your earliest opportunity, but no later than December 4th, It is because of your kindness and generosity that this special event has become such a success throughout the years. We ask that you please join us once again. Newspaper articles mentioned that grip shanks were getting stuck in the slots. Collision on California Street - Sep Newspaper articles reported that the five dollar fare has reduced cable car ridership.

I don't like to say I told them so Many people were upset at being charged the five dollar cable car fare for a ride from the cable car barn to the outer terminal. There was another loose strand on Jun April 18 Events - Apr My wife and I caught the 4: People were standing by Balboa Park and our car had a crush load after Glen Park. We walked down to Third and Market. The street was closed at Fourth. There was a large screen in the street before Grant, showing images of the earthquake survivors arriving for the ceremony.

There was another screen on Third. There were more people than I had ever seen for the ceremony at Lotta's Fountain. The news reports said people. Firemen raised a 60 foot ladder and a fireman climbed it and hung a flag for the singing of the National Anthem.

They had trouble getting the wreath to hang on the fountain. The moment of silence wasn't. Then church bells rang and sirens wailed. The mayor interviewed the 12 or so survivors and one lady made a pass at him.

After, we headed for Starbucks. We went down to Powell Station and caught an outbound J. All Muni service was free for the day. The single J car had a standing load out to 20th for the golden fire hydrant ceremony. There were more people there than usual. They had to wait for some old fire trucks to arrive. The chief led off the spray-painting. Then her three sons and the fire department brass and the fire commissioners. Many other people got turns.

I chatted with a retired Alameda fireman who had come over with their restored engine. Some people arrived in a Locomobile. After the ceremony, we caught a PCC heading into service on the F. We had to get off at Market and transfer to a Milano car that was ahead in line.

The motorperson said she could only take us to Van Ness. There were several cars on 11th street. They were getting ready to close Market at 9th for the parade. My wife had never been to the celebration. She wasn't happy with the people who pushed and those who put large children up on their shoulders, but she enjoyed it. My sister-in-law and her family came into town for the parade.

My niece didn't understand why the horses were last till she saw what the horses did on the pavement. It is a detailed history of public transit in this area of Malaysia. I particularly enjoyed the drawing which illustrated the liveries used at different times. This is on-topic for this site because of the Penang Hills Railway , a funicular.

If you are interested in reading this enjoyable book, I can provide contact information. The accident happened at Filbert and Mason. The southbound cable car was climbing the hill and reportedly hit her outside of the crosswalk. Mayor Insults Cable Car Crews - Jan Mayor Gavin Newsom that on more than one occasion he had ridden cable cars and seen conductors pocket the five dollar fare without giving receipts.

Rather than follow normal procedures and get the number of the car and report the alleged thefts to Muni, the mayor raised the issue in a news conference.

Some people feel that he did this to distract attention from other issues that had recently embarassed his administration. In the following days, the mayor met with cable car division employees, but refused to apologize for slandering them. Cal New Year's Eve - Dec California Street cable cars used the crossover at California and Kearney to turn back after 10pm because of the large crowds around the Drumm Street terminal.

This crossover is used only rarely. Through the words of employees past and present representing two generations of operators, managers, maintainers, trainers, and car builders, you will get an insider's look at what makes the cable cars the most unique transit system in the world.

The building still stands. Here is Val's description: There are two "rides" on each CD. Each Ride consists of a sequential series of photos starting from the inner terminal of the line to the outer terminal and return. Included are maps, photo indices for each line, a text article highlighting specific pictures and additional information concerning the lines, "Fake-of-the-Month Club," short "bonus" rides, memorabilia and occasional CARtoons.

A new CD is issued every other month. The crew was to call in a Code to stop the rope before there was a collision. A half-block section of the rope was damaged. No people were hurt and no cars were damaged. The car is currently located in the trolley barn at Kelley Park. Many generations of kids grew up playing on this genuine San Francisco cable car. This car was never converted from side grip to center grip when Muni took over Cal Cable. The car is in poor condition. When it was moved from the fairgrounds the frame broke.

A picture can be seen at http: You will need to transport it from the trolley barn by yourself. Take the K-Ingleside streetcar to Ocean and Victoria. Refreshments will be provided. Hairball on Hyde Street - Nov The Hyde Street cable partially unravelled, creating a bundle of strands over feet long. The "hairball" was so large that the cars on the line could not be towed in past Hyde and Green Streets because their grips could not clear it.

Shop crews slowly ran the damaged rope into the powerhouse. Because the Hyde street rope was stopped, California Street cable cars turning in for the night had to be towed by the shop truck. The car at Hyde and Vallejo was not near a grip trap, so its grip had to be cut up with a welding torch.

Grip from stranded car. Another view of the cut up grip. The Hyde Street line was down for three days. California Street had a foot strand on November He reports that former California Street Cable Railroad car 59, which had been on display in City Park, was stored safely in the Carrollton station carbarn. The range of photographs we have put together covers the Powell lines from their inception until today, thus providing an excellent photographic essay of the Powell Street cable lines, and also that of San Francisco during its various eras since We believe the text provides the most complete description of the history and operations of the Powell Street cable lines published.

Included are sections covering initial construction and operations before and after the Earthquake and Fire, the "quiet years" from until World War II, the "Cable Car Wars" which started in and ended with opening of the Powell-Hyde line as the replacement for Powell-Washington-Jackson, the reconstruction and the cable cars return to Powell Street and subsequent changes i.

Where are the crowds? As school girls cross the intersection, a Washington-Jackson cable car is being turned by a rookie gripman at the front pushing without a regulation jacket , the conductor and the Market Street starter, who will assure No. This will hurt ridership. Cable Unstranded - Aug The California Street cable came severely unstranded at California and Drumm Car 58 got caught and dragged into Car 51, which was laying over.

Two crewmen were slightly injured. The Chronicle said "The sudden stop appears to have resulted from gripmen on the Powell and California street lines activating their cables at the same time, causing the cables to touch Catholic San Francisco quoted the mayor as saying "With all the bells you hear in Rome, I hope this bell will remind you of San Francisco.

He also won in , , , and This puts him in second place, after ten time winner Carl Payne, for the number of wins. He also finished second in and third in The non-profit organization results: Black Infant Health Improvement Project 2.

Youth with a Mission 1. Chinatown Community Development Center The professional cable car gripman or conductor results: Leonard Oates, and finalist.

Jimmy Chau, and finalist. Patrick "Doc" Ledbetter, Third place in I got stuck at work. Thanks to Bob Callwell of Muni for the results. Service was down between about 10am and noon. Mayors attending included London's "Red Ken" Livingstone. After riding Number 42, the mayors had lunch at the Washington-Mason car barn. San Francisco has Carnaval after Lent instead of before, hoping to have warmer weather.

It worked out well this year. In , the Market Street Railway began cosemetically restoring the car. In , Muni shop people began restoring the car to operating condition. On May, during a test, 42 ran on the California Street line for the first time in its life.

Initial reports are that it worked well. This cannot be right. Wildcat Strike by Cable Car Crews - Mar Cable car crews walked off the job for two hours in the afternoon, claiming that management had failed to follow agreed-upon procedures in firing two employees accused of mishandling funds. Update - Apr An arbitrator ruled that the firings were justified. Muni sued the union for violating a no strike clause in its contract.

Read Margaret Foster's story at Preservation Magazine's website: Collision at Hyde and Beach - Oct On Friday afternoon, car 5 could not stop while descending the hill towards Beach. It ran into cars 9 and 4, which were laying over. Some passengers on 5 and the crew on 9 were injured; 4 was empty.

Christopher Cantrall was on car 5. He reports that "I was ok, and nobody was seriously injured, just some minor bruises and such. We were packed in tight enough to act as human airbags He returned about 40 minutes later to find someone there investigating. Thanks to Chris for sharing his observations. I enjoyed meeting Rick Laubscher in person. Walter Rice was there. The highlight for me was a ride through the Sunset Tunnel in , the open boat car from Blackpool.

Unfortunately, when the crew went to change ends to return, there was a loud pop and a flash and the pole proved to be dead. We rode a Breda back, but not before Val Lupiz met us on his way to work. This also forced an early closure of the California Street line, which uses tracks on Hyde and Washington to return to the barn. Val is an excellent gripman and a great public relations asset for Muni and the City of San Francisco.

See photos of all the finalists. The shutdown is scheduled to last until May, and delays may continue until Jun Member of a pioneering California family and a San Francisco native, Gridley was most famous for his motorized cable cars. In the 's, when the city was selling surplus former Cal Cable cars, Gridley bought several of them and mounted them on truck chassis. Walter, who has written extensively about cable cars and San Francisco transportation, will provide material for this website, for which I am grateful.

The All Stars included every bell ringing contest champion since Ken Foster and Val Lupiz were co-chairmen. Entertainment included live music.

Thank you to the people who bought raffle tickets and made all this possible. Cable Car Senior Luncheon Raffle Tickets - Nov Every December for about ten years, the men and women of the Cable Car Division have put on a holiday luncheon and entertainment for a large group of senior citizens from San Francisco retirement homes.

They do this on their own, without financial support from Muni or the City. In order to raise funds this year, they are having an auction. Prizes are expected to include three conductor's bells signed by champion bell ringers Carl Payne, Ken Lunardi, Byron Cobb, Frank Ware, and current champ Ronald East , autographed Giants memorabilia, a charter ride on a decorated cable car, and a limousine ride chauferred by Carl Payne, with dinner for two.

Cable Car Division employees speak highly of him as a teacher who demanded the best from everyone. I had the honor to meet him briefly at the Cal Cable th birthday party. This was probably a bad splice. Newspaper accounts report that seven to nine passengers were injured, none seriously.