San Francisco - Part VII
Sharon Spotbottom is just my cup of tea… Illustration: Karen Heathwood
There are many people who helped make our San Francisco vacation a special one. If I were writing this thirty years ago I would have consulted with a travel agent, queried relatives and friends who had made a similar trip, and bought a guidebook. Now, with the magic of the internet (although I suppose anyone who grew up with it wouldn’t consider the internet ‘magic’), I received several suggestions from people who I wouldn’t have known back in those dark ages. I’ve mentioned DJ Cousin Mary’s help previously and, of course, “NorCal” Shoshanah who grew up in the area. Interestingly enough, most of the commercial travel sites on the ’net weren’t very helpful—either outdated with dead links or just fronts for numerous tour offerings. We did use the Muni and Bart sites a lot however; public transportation in San Francisco is superb and having a Clipper Card made getting around a breeze. Most parts of the city are within a short walking distance from routes and the various buses, streetcars, and cable cars run often.
One very special blog-pal who contributed to our trip planning was Karen Heathwood: artist, illustrator and inventor. Her travel suggestions were all spot-on. Karen is also the creator of my favorite demented stick figure Sharon Spotbottom (who has been featured on FITK many times.) The Weaver and I arranged to meet her and her partner Elaine at the de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park. Many amusing and informative stories were exchanged between the four of us, including artistic assessments of the exhibits. We had tea and coffee in the museum café, and posed for pictures afterward:
Sharon, Batty, Karen at the de Young Museum, February 25, 2018
To top it off, Karen gifted me this original Sharon Spotbottom panel:
Without getting too gushy, I have to say that Karen is one person who has truly enriched my life. Her little single panel comics have amused, enlightened and even touched me on many occasions. More subtle than commercial comic strips, Sharon Spotbottom’s adventures were often reflections on the human condition and the situations we all face as we go through life. Of course some were just whimsy, and some went to some very strange outposts of the human psyche. Karen even encouraged me to try my hand in creating glimpses of Sharon’s world. The kid is alright.
Thanks again to everyone who helped make our trip a success.
See all the FITK San Francisco posts here.