Noe Valley Voice September 2008

Letters to the Editor

The Kindness of Strangers


The morning of Aug. 7, I tripped over the uneven sidewalk at 27th and Church, falling so hard that I felt my teeth shift. As I tried to sit up, I realized I couldn't open my left eye and my nose was bleeding. Yanking a kleenex from my pocket, I tried to staunch the flow, while fumbling for my glasses on the sidewalk.

Several men approached, and gave me a wide berth. One, walking two dogs that sniffed at my feet, jerked their leashes.

My head pounding and unable to stop the bleeding, I realized I had to somehow get help on my own and, having finally found my glasses, peered around me with my open eye, and saw I was in front of Lynn Antiques. Scraping myself off the sidewalk, I staggered in--and my luck changed. The woman inside calmly introduced herself as Pam, invited me to sit or lie down while she got me a cold compress, then brought her car around, closed the store, and drove me home.

X-rays and a CAT scan at Emergency revealed an orbital blowout and fractured upper jaw--which are healing well, as is the cut on my eyelid. Although I have thanked Pam privately for her willingness to go out of her way to help a stranger in need, I appreciate this forum in which to thank her publicly. In truth, no amount of thanks can adequately express my gratitude for Pam's warm and generous spirit.

Ruthanne Lum McCunn

Castro Street

Historic Image of Love


Congratulations to Marcio Jose Sanchez on the marvelous, visually eloquent moment he captured so sensitively in his photo of Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon exchanging rings while Mayor Gavin Newsom grins broadly in the background. It is indeed a moving and historical image.

Thank you for sharing it with the Noe Valley community on the front page of your July/August 2008 issue. It moved me to tears. It's a beautiful image of true love and commitment, of history being made, and of San Francisco values. Bravo!

Avery McGinn

Missouri Street

Editor's Note: Associated Press photographer Marcio Jose Sanchez can be reached at