Some backstories - Flight B (second from top)
"The tiles in the Indian Paintbrush element were crowdfunded by 47 people as a tribute to firefighters. Directly down the steps, on 16th Avenue two blocks away at Irving Street, sits Station 22 of the San Francisco Fire Department. Virtually every time they get a call, one of the fire department vehicles pulls out of the station, facing the Steps. Now the crew can look uphill and see the mosaic in the distance, and know that people cared enough to put a permanent thank-you to them for their service. Why the Indian Paintbrush? It's one of the first native California wildflowers to return after a forest fire. See the crowdfunding campaign for the Indian Paintbrush, coordinated by Sherry Boschert: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/an-artistic-thanks-to-firefighters/x/458686"
Editor's Note: Some tiles in the Indian paintbrush element have special notes, which are included below (but above the ***)
"They gave their lives / Vincent Perez 2011 / Anthony Valerio 2011 / Melinda Ohler 2003 / & 144 more 1851-1995. As part of the tribute to firefighters in the Indian Paintbrush element, we included the names of firefighters killed in the line of duty since 2000, and a tile acknowledging the 144 others who died in the same way before them. Names supplied by the San Francisco Fire Department." (B15)
"This tile is in honor of Barbara Boschert, Sean Blackledge, and Andrew Blackledge, the beloved sister and nephews of Sherry Boschert, who lives near the bottom of the Steps."
"This tile is in honor of Noam Szoke and Red Bennett, who lived near the bottom of the Steps for 5 years in the late 1990s and early 2000s as housemates of Sherry Boschert and Meg Newman." (B16)
"This tile is in honor of the late parents of Meg Newman, who lives near the bottom of the Steps."
"Long before she moved to SF, Liz McLoughlin worked at the Shriners Burn Institute in Boston. Many of the patients were treated by firefighters before they came to our pediatric burn unit, where they were treated by health-care folks. They were all care-givers, and she wanted to recognize that."
Out in the Fog
"The Diablo Fairy Lantern element (displayed over two flights: B & C) was crowdfunded by 57 people as an organized contribution acknowledging the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people who are part of the local community. "Out in the Fog" was the name of an informal social group for LGBT residents of the Inner Sunset in the early 2000s. Why the Diablo Fairy Lantern? Because it has "fairy" in the name, and we reclaim that pejorative with pride! See the crowdfunding campaign for the Diablo Fairly Lantern element, organized by Sherry Boschert:
(B16 - C23)
"A tribute to our cats, experts at finding the warmest sun spot!"
Editor's Note: See tile for kitties Josie and Boo Radley on Flight A.
And, if you are a human and want to doze in the afternoon sun, go for it!
"Cori Holland is a lifelong friend of my wife, Nicole. Even though we live in Southern California, the City is near and dear to our hearts and we visit it several times a year. It's simple really. It's a Coldplay song. When we first started dating (11 years ago) one of us bought a Coldplay CD, and whoever bought it (I can't remember now) refused to throw the packaging away. We kind of just kept pushing it to the other person to throw it away. It went on for years. So much so that the night before we got married I made sure my wife found the packaging in her hotel room. But we actually ended up walking down the isle to Coldplay's "'Til Kingdom Come" when we got married five years ago. It's a song that will always be important to us and we listen to it often. I couldn't think of a better thing to go onto our tile at the Steps. And it all worked out as the tile was my anniversary gift to her - the traditional 3-year wedding anniversary gift is leather, so I gave her a leather-bound frame with a photo of our tile in it. Even though we walk the steps only a few times a year, we see our tile everyday here at home in our living room." (B11)
"To say my husband and I have moved a lot would be an understatement. To say I love climbing San Francisco's many staircases would be another understatement. The special meaning behind our tile and the words we chose is simple: No matter where we land, we have all we need if we are together and nothing is impossible if we take it one step at a time."
Editor: Cori Holland was a member of the Steps Planning Committee and an administrator of "No More Dirt, Inc" that stored the risers before they were installed.
"M. Louie and R. Mullan purchased a tile to celebrate completing all of the walks in Adah Bakalinsky's book, 'Stairway Walks in San Francisco.'"
"Gabe and Gesshin are my two now-adult children who grew up on 10th Avenue, climbing all over this mountain. They learned to ride bikes on Lawton, had treasure hunts, tennis lessons, first friends and first loves, and teenage drinking parties up on top of GG Heights! My son now has tried living all over San Francisco, but has moved back to this, the best SF neighborhood; my daughter lives in Japan (and Gesshin is her zen ordination name). When I didn't contribute to the first set of tiled steps, I kicked myself for years, and was very excited to participate in this project. I think that "our" tiles help me feel like our family is planted here in the Inner Sunset, even as we get spread out all over the world.
"May all beings be happy" is the common Buddhist prayer, which we as a family say as a dinner table blessing." (B13)
"Vitamin Express is at the foot of 16th street, between 15th and 16th street. Now more than 32 years it is part of the family neighborhood. The tiles are beautiful and such a great community effort we wanted to be part of it."
"Our tile was created with my mother-in-law, Nola. She had been diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer, and we wanted to honor her and her positive way of embracing life: to live fully, love deeply, laugh often.
Nola never got to see the tile or the Hidden Garden Steps but we love to think how the tile will forever honor her and remind us how she enriched our lives."
"The reason I contributed to this amazing art collection of personal tiles is fairly simple. San Francisco seems to me more itinerant than when I first arrived in the early 1980's (people leaving, mostly). This tile is to congratulate my oldest daughter on her marriage, which happened to coordinate nicely with your soliciting names for the tiles. If you go to Round Three on some other steep City steps, I will add her two children's names to your next batch of tiles. And one more daughter got married recently, so she and her husband also need a tile of their own. :} More, please." (B15)
"We live in the outer Sunset and helped put the tiles together for the Moraga stairs. The day we did that was our daughter's birthday and doing the tiling was how we celebrated with a couple of friends and her grandparents. At that time we were unable to purchase a tile and each time we visit, we wish we had! When the opportunity came for the Hidden Garden Steps, we were delighted to be able to purchase a tile. We bring all of our visitors to see both sets of stairs and it always gives us great pleasure to 'own' them."
"I live in the Sunset, and often walk the many staircases in the Golden Gate Heights area for exercise. I was impressed with the tile work on the Moraga steps, and wanted to support the 16th Avenue steps tile project after I learned about it."
Klingelhoffer & Brindel Family are our family names. We've been 30 years in the neighborhood--residents of 18th Avenue. The mosaic steps are beautiful!
"Jeremy, Joseph, and Justin have known one another since they were babies and grew up across the street from each other on South 16th Street in San Jose. Now in their mid-twenties they share a flat together near 16th Avenue in San Francisco. The tile honors their move to a new home, their lifelong friendship and brotherhood, and the friendship of the Talamantes and the Strong families."