The stories of Bonnie and Shirley, two young women who grew up in the Portola District 60 years apart are the themes of this pair of graphic novels.
Bonnie: Up in the Park
Bonnie grew up in the 1940s in the Portola, when it was called “out the road,” to indicate its distance from downtown San Francisco. The neighborhood was filled with greenhouses, small farms, scattered houses, dairies and horses. Bonnie discovered horseback riding in McLaren Park and spent most of her free time there with her friend Rae, whose family cared for the stables in the Park. Bonnie still lives in the Portola and spends lots of time in McLaren Park.
Shirley: Down on the Avenue
Shirley was born in Hawaii and grew up in the Portola. Her Mother owns a business on San Bruno Avenue and Shirley has grown up spending lots of time on that street. Her youth has been busy and urban in comparison to Bonnie’s semi-rural youth. Shirley’s childhood on the Avenue led her to choose a career in community activism as a young adult.