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call for stories

Recently, I've started to think about the role that Muni plays in many lives. Thousands of interesting situations and human dramas are played out on or around Muni buses as San Franciscans go about their business.

THE BIG STUFF: DO YOU HAVE A STORY OR AN ACCOUNT that may be humorous, inspiring, kind, positive, stupid, colorful, bizzare, silly. Has something important happened to you on Muni - maybe you met a special person, had a brainstorm that changed your life, got an inspiration for a creative project, etc. Has anyone ever been married on Muni?! Is there a "Muni Baby" out there?

THE LITTLE STUFF: Observations of people, incidents, something you saw while riding, a thought you had, an interaction with another rider, an embarrassing moment, etc. I'm looking for good ol' human interest snippets? Could be a few words... a few sentences, a paragraph. maybe a poem?. Short and sweet.

EXAMPLES ....

  • "VIEWS FROM THE 45"
    As the 45 slowed down I looked up from my book to the street. A young woman takes an appraising look at herself in a store window. Well dressed couples wander into Maiden Lane - it's such a "natty" well groomed area - much like Carmel. A wonderfully dressed elderly couple plods carefully acrossed the street, arm in arm in front of I Magnum. He wears a brown 1940's style had and scarf around his neck, his cane over his arm. They more slowly and gracefully, obviously aware of their fragility. Two out of four pssers by are talking on cell phones which appear to be stuck to the side of their head.

    -John Kuzich. ( artist )
  • "SPEED READING"
    "I never buy a newspaper to read. But when I started commuting, I would invariably see all sorts of interesting articles in the paper which was being read by the person seated in front of me. I learned to read fast, as they would often turn the page before I could finish, so I was often frustrated. I tried not to be conspicuous as I looked over their shoulder."

    - Ted M. ( computer programmer ) Noe Valley
  • "JACK"
    "As we rolled through the Church and Market intersection on the Milan car ( I love those old orange cars!) I thought of Jack (my black "Halloween Cat") and smiled to think of how thick his winter coat has become. It makes him look bigger than he really is. Summertime he's pretty slim."

    -Sandy ( student ) Page Street & riding the #15
  • "PROM DATE?"
    "Seven years and 3,000 miles away from high school I ran into my senior prom date on the 30 Stockton. I was on my way home from my new job in the dot-com heyday when this guy got on who I swore looked just like my senior prom date. "Nah" I thought. "That was in Connecticut. I would have heard of someone if he moved here." Regardless as he walked down the aisle closer I couldn't escape the thought that it must be him. So meekly and fast I said "John?" He didn't seem to notice so I thought maybe I was wrong. Then I turned around to see him sitting near the back and gave him the biggest smile. "Wendy ??? What are you doing here?" We both immediately got up and sharred a big hug in the isle. We've been close friends every since."

    -Wendy - Bush Street & riding the #15
  • "CAREER CHANGE"
    ( a note attached to a collection of donated Fast Passes )
    "The story of these passes is my life - living in SF and going to school at UCB, and of deciding - while riding on all this transit ( Muni, Bart " AC Transit ) that instead of getting a doctorate in classical history, that I ought to become a transportation planner. And so I have."

    -John R. ( transportation planner ) 25th St.
  • "THE DOLLAR"
    "For about 14 years I commuted daily on the underground from Castro station to the financial district. In that period, of course many people became familiar, those who commute at similar times every day, especially in the morning.
    There was a man named George, whom I had met once at a French speaking social gathering. After that we would exchange hellos on the commute. We never got to know each other, but I've always been one for a pleasant hello. One morning George was at the turnstile, when I arrived, and he had forgotten his wallet. He asked me for a dollar, and without thinking twice, I gave it to him. As fate would have it, we stopped crossing paths on the commute. I never gave it a second thought. There were lots of people to see often and to never see again. About two years later, there was George on the train platform, his hand outstretched, approaching me with a dollar. I was really surpised. A forgotten loan to a near stranger, but it was on his conscience and the moment he saw me he wanted to close the books on that debt!"
    - Ron Hirsch ( commuting from Castro station to the financial district )
  • "LUCKY 21"
    "I have a couple of memories from my school days (late 60's). It was a big thing to collect "21" transfers. That's when the serial number on the transfer adds up to 21. They were considered lucky. Interesting thing is that I still have a pile of them. "

    -Rich - ( computer programer ) Outer Mission District
  • "SHOPPING ON THE F-LINE"
    "I was on one of the old F-Line cars. The woman accrosed from me was talking on her cell phone with her husband who was grocery shopping at Foods Co. She became increasingly upset as the conversation progressed - her voice increasing in volume. At one point she became very agitated and being oblivious to all around she yelled "where are you standing" ( pause ), "no, not in front, not those, no not the hotlinks - the sausages! No, no God dam it - the sausages!"

    -Tom S. - ( Retail shop owner ) Diamond Heights
  • "URBAN SONG"
    "Just wondered if you can somehow use this little urban song, a bit of insistent call and response, that happens almost every day on the 24 Divisaderdo and makes me smile...sometimes I participate, sometimes I just listen:"

    "Back Door!?... Back Door!?"
    "Step Down! ...Step Down!"

    -Kerry Parker ( Administrative Assistant ) - Noe Valley

MORE STORY SAMPLES HERE


If you have an interesting story, email it to me - (in plain text ONLY - NO WORD DOCUMENTS) or mail it. Indicate how you want your credit to read, - whole name or initials, occupation, street or area of SF where you, and the buss line you most often ride. That adds human interest.

HOW WOULD I USE THEM?

1: On this website as examples.
2. On promotional materials for the project & show.
3. At the exhibiting of Fast Pass I plan to do a whole wall or panel, covered with "rider accounts"/stories or what I will call "Muni Moments." I envision a panel the same size as the art - 5' high by 28' wide, with each entry on an 8.5x11 sheet of paper in different colors. Ideally the 5x28 panels will mirror each other.

BY SUBMITTING YOU ARE GIVING ME PERMISSION TO USE THE MATERIAL IN THE ABOVE MENTIONED FORMATS. Please also include your contact information for a thank you and an invitation.

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