Champagne Days of San Francisco (1939); San Quentin prison

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Thu Jul 26 22:02:18 UTC 2001

by Evelyn Wells
(Forward by Lucius Beebe)
D. Appleton-Century Co., New York

Pg. 1 ("The City That Never Slept"):
   "The city that never slept," it was called in champagne days, "for in those days no genetleman ordered anything with the dinner save champagne."

Pg. 28:
   The Banker has only recently discarded "weepers," or long drooping sideburns, as less fashionable.

Pg. 54 ("The Cocktail Route"):
   The Cocktail Route was a tradition.  Created in the eighties, in the city where free lunch and the cocktail itself were born (Not San Francisco! New Orleans?--ed.), it was trod by San Francisco males "to the fire" of '06.

Pg. 57:
   ..."Black Velvet"--champagne with a float of stout--...

Pg. 63:
   ..."elephant's ear," elegant cut-glass vases filled with la France roses and snowballs and azaleas...

Pg. 100:
   Then at the "Midnight snack"--from which it was his duty as wine salesman to send everyone else home as inebriated as was possible, while others reveled in oysters and steaks and turkey and duck, the plump Mr. Greenway ate pickled limes and lady-fingers with his champagne.
(Edward M. Greenway, agent for Mumm's Extra Dry--ed.)

Opposite Pg. 179, Photo Caption:
"Ladies and Gents Oyster Parlor."  Home of the Oyster Cocktail.

by Leo L. Stanley, MD
Chief Surgeon, California State Prison, San Quentin
with the collaboration of Evelyn Wells
D. Appleton-Century Company, New York

Pg. 16:
   He tries to attract attention and gain pity, and he will go to almost any length to gain the comparative comfort of the "pogey," which is his nickname for the prison hospital.

Pg. 33:
   I am often "booed" or given the "raspberry" while walking through the Yard.

Pg. 46:
   I firmly believe that the protracted "last mile" walk for condemned men is the worst form of torture that can be applied to them.

Pg. 114:
   Many of the queer old Chinese remedies are sound.  For instance, the _mah huang_, long used, has been found to contain a drug similar to our adrenalin.  One of their very oldest remedies is for long life and the renewal of youth.  This was a powder made of reindeer antlers.  But the antlers must be taken while "in the velvet."

Pg. 187:
   One of our greatest problems in prison is that of keeping the "fish" from the "wolves," or the young prisoners from the influence of the hardened criminals. (...) A glimpse into the Old Men's Ward should convince the "new fish" that crime pays poor dividends.

Pg. 200:
   In every prison are many sex perverts.
(Pg. 201--ed.)
   We know them the minute they step through the front gates on their way into prison.  They are known as the "Queens," "the Fairies," the "Queeries," and by other names.  Many have decidedly feminine characteristics.  A peculiar twist to the hips, a sly smirk, and other motions and mannerisms betray them.  And when a boy of this type enters, the word passes quickly through the thousands milling about the Yard.  The "old wolves" show a furtive interest.

Pg. 212:
   We cannot always locate the "Roscoes" and "shivs," as the inamtes term guns and knives, that are constantly finding their way "inside."  Many a hated prisoner has doubled up in line with a knife between his ribs, and no one has "seen anything."  To send Keyes in "jute" meant murder.  Therefore he was given a "bonarue" job on the Porch, handling packages.

Pg. 235:
   Many of the men have nicknames. (...)  "Six Bits" is so-called because he is in for seventy-five years, and "six bits" is an old California term for seventy-five cents.

Pg. 275:
   "Most of us are delighted to see some one in the saddle that does not have the 'bull complex.'  The 'bull complex' is, 'wrong is right if it has been done often enough, but right is all wrong if it hasn't been done before.'"

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