San Francisco 2002
January 17-20, 2002


Waiting for the Torch


It was Mom's idea. She saw an ad in Time magazine and asked me if I would write it. I got the info off the website. Chevrolet was the sponsor.

You had to provide an "original, sincere" nomination that showed how the person you were nominating had achieved one or more of the following:

"The inspiration of others to achieve worthwhile goals, exemplary service to the community, the embodiment of the spirit of achievement through sports, friendship and/or compassion, and/or motivating others to emulation by confronting and overcoming adversity."

You had to do this in 100 words. My first pass came in at 300. Nominations were due April 30, 2001. One fun part was that when they informed Erin she'd been chosen, she didn't know who nominated her so it was a good surprise.
Erin Gets off the Bus

Our nomination went as follows:

My sister, Erin, has contributed to both the academic community, and her family community, the Karuk Indian Tribe of California.

She holds a biology degree and has taught biology and promoted students of color in the sciences. She continues her studies in ethnobotany, in particular, the cultural uses of the native plants of the Karuk tribe. She works with the forest service and tribal members, surveying Karuk aboriginal territory and conducting ongoing studies to help identify and preserve native plants. Her work promotes forest practices that protect plants that are important to the traditions and culture of the Karuk Tribe.

For once, success with my writing!


Bob and I flew down to San Francisco on the 17th. We met Mom, Dad, Janet, Barry, Grandma & Aileen. (Everybody else drove down from Orleans, except Aileen who drove from Portland to Orleans and then to San Francisco.

On Friday we decided to take a test drive to Crissy Field to make sure we could get there okay Saturday morning, when Erin was scheduled to run. Turns out this was a good idea as we (in two separate cars) got completely lost beyond lost and took the scenic route though the Presidio. Later, numerous people we talked to, many of them lifelong San Francisco residents concurred that the Presdio is confusing and not a fun place to drive. I can report that there are lots of insane bread truck drivers in the area not to mention cranky locals who unpatriotically honked at the poor lost people.

When we first left the hotel, Dad checked the time and when we finally parked at Crissy Field he checked it again and said, "Good, it only took us, 1 hour." (I'm guessing it was less than 10 miles as the crow flies.)

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PHOTOGRAPHS: Bob Hughes. Background courtesy of

Posted: 1.27.02