Day 6: Wednesday March 20th: Last Day in San Francisco. The first task for me and Evelyn was to find someone to give half a chocolate cake and three pieces of pizza to. Although the cake was awesome and I wanted to take it home, there was no way we could fly with a half eaten cake in a flimsy plastic container. So we decided to go and set the cake and pizza somewhere outside for a homeless person to find. [We had seen homeless people all over the city]. I had even written “Free” on a piece of paper and stuck it on the outside of the cake lid. So off we headed, me holding the cake, Evelyn with the pizza, feeling rather awkward, not knowing where to go or what to do. We walked towards the water front, crossed Jefferson Street to the side that looked out on the bay, and behold coming toward us we spied our third angle of this trip, a bearded dirty man in camos and a floppy hat, pulling along a small wheeled suitcase.
I approached him and said, “Hi. Would you like this cake? We’re flying out today and can’t take it with us on the plane.” He seemed quite normal when he asked “Can’t you fly with a cake?” I said “No. I don’t think so.” Then he asked “Where are you flying to?”
“Ohio,” we answered. He said “I was in Dayton once.”
“We’re not far from there,” Evelyn said. “We’re flying into Columbus.”
And then she asked if he wanted the pizza too.
“Yes,” he answered. And then he added “I’ll share it.” He seemed pleased and told us thank you. We said, “No. We thank you for taking it. We just hated to waste it.”
As we left him, I shook his hand and said “God bless you.” He replied “We all need God’s blessing,” and then “You have a safe trip back.”
I truly felt blessed to have met this man and I’m glad he got the BD cake and pizza. What a great way to end our vacation, giving and receiving a blessing. Back in my room, I made sure I washed my hand. Guess I’m not that accepting.
Our flight to Chicago was delayed half hour. We got back to Columbus around 12:30 am and were home around two, but since we were still on California time it felt like 11 pm.
As I relive our trip to San Francisco, I realize that I have much more to say about the strange, interesting and wonderful people we met than I do about any of the places we visited. I guess if I want to recall a fact about the Golden Gate Bridge or Alcatraz I could look it up on the internet, but if I find I can’t recall the name of the trumpet blowing cab driver the only place I will find this information is here, in my recorded words, the story of our time in San Francisco. But I doubt we’ll ever forget any of the California Crazy characters we experienced. Jacky Chan Two, who made Chinatown an experience not a place; Al Pacino, our trumpet blowing angel who defied death, Darth Vader/Bill Murray and Igor the Mad Russian, two unforgettable (or maybe I should say we hope we can forget them) bus driver-slash-tour guides and last but the most important, the homeless, nameless man who accepted our leftover cake and pizza as though it were a feast to be shared. His blessing to us was his farewell wish for us to have a safe trip home. “The Least of our brothers.”
Some day I’ll probably go back to San Francisco and when I do, I hope it will be just as interesting and full of California Crazy as this trip has been.