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SFO Memories

This is such a beautiful view of SFO, photographed from a private aircraft, that I couldn't resist linking to it.

SFO at Night
As I looked at the high-resolution version (click the photo, then click on the "ALL SIZES" button), I thought of how much time I've spent in that airport over the years, and it wasn't gray and monotonous as one might expect of airport memories. Some of my memories of SFO are good ones.

In December 1980, I was stuck there for a few hours, on holiday leave from Russian studies at the Defense Language Institute, waiting for a flight to Spokane to visit my father. I had bought one of the first Sony Walkman cassette players, the TPS-L2, and spent my layover time in a large seating area in the middle of a junction between two wings (now the food court in the United departure area). At that time, most people hadn't listened to a Walkman, or even heard of one, and it's hard to remember now, but back then, we associated portable headphones with transistor radios. No one thought much of them -- we assumed anyone with them was listening to a tinny AM station.

Every so often, someone would walk up to me and ask, "Are those earphones? Are you listening to the radio?" The first few times, I'd explain what I was listening to, but after a while, I would just hand them the headphones and say, "Listen for yourself." They'd put them on, their eyes would go just a bit wide, and then they'd smile and say, "That's amazing!" And for an extroverted gadget geek like myself, that wasn't a bad way to spend five or six hours.

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