John, a who has been reading our coverage about the changes in the Mission wrote in and offered some perspective. He also sent a photo of his two aunts in front of the American Can Company and when I asked for others he might have, he sent them on.
I’m a lifelong resident of the City, into my eighth decade of life and have, not surprisingly, seen a lot of change. What brings a smile to my face is the view that somehow the Mission can’t change or hasn’t changed in the past.
My family emigrated from Italy. Both my father’s and mother’s grandparents were born in Italy and emigrated to San Francisco. My parents, born here, met at Galileo H.S. Our first family home was in North Beach, later the Marina. My dad and most of my aunts and uncles from his family worked at the American Can Company Machine Shop on 18th and Alabama, now Project Artaud.
One of my dad’s brothers, my uncle, started his family and moved to 25th Street in the Mission and told us some of his Irish neighbors, who had lived in the Mission for sometime, didn’t take kindly to Italians emigrating to their neighborhood. A few decades later, he moved to a home near Stonestown, just as the first waves of Latins were moving into the neighborhood in the 1950’s. There was some unease between his Italian/Irish neighbors and these new arrivals.
Now the Mission is undergoing another demographic change and the current residents, like the last, claim ownership of the Mission. I’m not judging who is right or wrong in this controversy but just pointing out that the Mission has always part of a changing demographic environment.
I’ve attached a picture of the women employees, with the plant manager, taken in the 40’s, at the American Can Company Machine Shop (18th and Alabama).