Neighbor Jackie Jones Grateful for Support, Hopeful for Return to Farmer’s Market


The fundraising campaign to assist Jackie Jones, our Bernal Heights neighbor and Alemany Farmer’s Market musical celebrity, was a massive success, raising $10,820 — twice the target amount — to help defray the cost of Jackie’s medical expenses and rehabilitation.

Neighbor Hannah Levinson, who spearheaded the fundraising drive, shares this update on Neighbor Jackie’s progress:

I went to Jackie’s house in Bernal this weekend; my second visit since the campaign ended.

I was hoping, of course, that she would be feeling better, recovering steadily. But I tend to forget that people in their 80’s don’t heal as quickly as people in their 20’s, and unexpected complications can arise from surgery. Jackie desperately wants to return to the market, but it seems like it may take some time for her to accept that she can’t return to the market alone, and that she will need someone to drive her and help her set up her instruments. She does plan to use some of the money from the campaign to hire someone to drive her to and from the market when she does go back. She mentioned that if anyone knows someone interested in driving her, she’d love to know!

I’d like to say that Jackie will be back at the market in one or two months, but the truth is that I really don’t know how long it will be. But I do know that she’s attending physical therapy multiple times per week, and she is doing everything in her power to gain her balance by practicing at home, with the help of home care (which she can now pay for in the long term, thanks to everyone’s generous support).

I also know that this campaign – and the support from her neighbors in Bernal, especially – meant the world to her. Some of her neighbors have offered to help — I’m visiting her next weekend and I will find out if she’d like any additional help or company.

Stay tuned for additional details. Meanwhile, along with all the Citizens of Bernalwood, we continue to keep Neighbor Jackie in our thoughts, with best wishes for a successful recovery. Likewise, we extend heavy-duty gratitude to all the donors who contributed to the fund drive, and to Neighbor Hannah for leading the charge on the fundraising campaign and outreach to Jackie. Her efforts represent Bernal at its very best.

PHOTO: Jackie Jones in 2006, by Telstar Logistics

4 thoughts on “Neighbor Jackie Jones Grateful for Support, Hopeful for Return to Farmer’s Market

  1. It may be hard for some folks here to appreciate the fact that Jackie wants to return to busking at the farmers’ market, but I can tell you as a sometime street musician myself that t here is a magic in performing before a crowd, especially on the streets. I met Jackie about 7 years ago when we were both hired to perform at a rich people’s boat party in Sausalito. It was obvious from her glow that entertaining is an important part of her life.

    Well, take it up a notch and realize how wonderful it is as a performer to be playing on the street or at a farmers’ market and have people suddenly “discover” you and smile and maybe dance if you play music. In my own experience I’ve had hundreds of people stop and have their photos taken with me (I don’t have any selfies; every photo I have is something someone took and sent me). People are so joyed to see real performers and to thrill to their discovery of street life that the magic rubs off all around.

    There’s a story making the rounds this week about the bucket drummer who has been invited to play a trade show in the Netherlands. Someone “discovered” him here (after what, 15 years of playing?) and decided he’d be “just the thing” to enhance their trade show. So, they’re paying him and covering his flight, hotel, and meals for a couple weeks. Not a bad gig!

    Unlike San Jose, people in San Francisco actually cherish their street performers. This is part of the magic that makes San Francisco the beautiful place it is.

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