Flashback: Easter in Holly Park, 1959


Just in time for this Sunday’s Rogue Easter Egg Hunt in Holly Park, Neighbor Allison shares a lovely slice of family history that took place in the very same spot:

My husband and I just recently bought a home in Bernal (Elsie St.) after living 11 years in the Haight. We absolutely love it here… the people, the sense of community, the weather, and the great restaurants are just some of the things that make us happy to now call Bernal Heights our home.

While my husband and I are new to the hood, the hood isn’t new to me. In fact, some of my life’s happiest memories were made right here in Bernal. My grandparents owned their home on Holly Park Circle for nearly 60 years. My grandmother (Mercedes) was from El Salvador and my grandfather (Donald) was a San Francisco native who served in the Navy and worked as a house painter, a taxi driver and finally a longshoreman. My great aunt (Rosita), also from El Salvador, lived on Coleridge for nearly as many years.

My mom (Sylvia) and her siblings grew up here, and in many respects so did I, along with my brothers and cousins. Grandma’s house was where we made our Christmas tamales. It was where we spent our summer, winter and Easter breaks… where we celebrated holidays, birthdays, and other important milestones. It was where we all came to truly understand the importance of family. When we sold my grandparents’ house in 2009, I never imagined that I would ever be back in the neighborhood that meant so much to me.

With Easter coming up, I thought I would share a photo of my mom (center) and her siblings on Easter Sunday 1959. The photo was taken on the steps of Holly Park at Highland across the street from their house. Another Easter friendly fact: Each of these smiley-faced kids received their first holy communion at St. Kevin’s on Cortland.


7 thoughts on “Flashback: Easter in Holly Park, 1959

  1. Wonderful!! thank you so much for thinking to do that. My husband and I plan to be at Holly Park
    sunday with some eggs to hide (even though we don’t have children)

  2. Love this story and love neighbor Allison. You are an incredible neighborhood resource – more photos please! (I would grovel for more tamales but I still owe you wine…) 😉

  3. Awwww… this is so wonderfully sweet, thanks for sharing. I know those steps and walk up them 3-4x daily. Next time (probably tomorrow during the egg hunt) I will pause and smile knowing the history that happened right there. Hope to meet you sometime!

  4. Late reply–been out of the area–loved the picture. I guess I’m around your Mother’s age and have lots of memories at the other end of Highland Ave–near the bridge over San Jose Ave. My Dad (born in 1925) grew up there with his older brother and sister. Later on his sister and her husband bought the bldg from my grandfather while my grandmother/grandfather lived in flats they built on Highland/Mission in 1940. Now I have to go look for some pictures!

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