VIA readers share loving recollections of the Golden Gate Bridge, and why it's important for bikes and cars to share the road.
Memories of the Golden Gate Bridge
Bridge of Dreams  (May/June 2012) brought back fond memories. When the spectacular span was completed in May of 1937, I was a member of the Stanislaus County Boys Band of Modesto. The bandmaster was a remarkable gentleman named Professor Frank Mancini  who had an amazing career in Modesto, Calif., as head of the music department at Modesto High School, as well as developer of the nationally acclaimed Stanislaus County Boys Band of Modesto and Modesto Symphony Orchestra . The band was invited to lead the parade across the new Golden Gate Bridge, along with a small motorcade that included the governor of California and other dignitaries. Our band was, I believe, the first group of non-workers to walk across the bridge.
Dr. George W. Magladry
Palo Cedro, Calif.
The first time I saw the Golden Gate Bridge was in the spring of 1939. I was 16 years old, and my parents and I had fled from the Nazis. We left Hamburg, Germany, where I was born and my father was a famous architect. We boarded a boat to England, and from there, we took a Holland America boat through the Panama Canal, stopping in some Central American ports to load the ship with bananas. There were 25 German-Jewish refugees aboard, and when we got to San Francisco, everyone ran to the front of the boat to behold the bridge. It was a moment I’ll never forget!
I have been an active artist all of my adult life. For many years, I produced color etchings of the Golden Gate Bridge, and one of the pieces was reproduced as a postage stamp .
My father took my aunt, two brothers, and me to walk across the bridge on opening day. It cost 10 cents each, and my dad couldn’t afford it, so he led us back to the Waldo Tunnel on Highway 101, and my brothers and I climbed to the top. It’s one of my earliest memories.
Patricia A. Murphy
South Lake Tahoe, Calif.
My brother, Harry McCormick, Jr., tied cables during the construction of the bridge, and my father, Harry McCormick, Sr., was the secretary and treasurer of the Laborers’ Union, at 14th and Guerrero streets in San Francisco, that supplied the workers. When my brother applied to work on the bridge, he was given a test that involved walking across a plank placed on two stepladders. He didn’t fall, and he was hired. He was happy to have the job since it was during the Great Depression.
The bridge also brings back memories of when my husband was in the army and sailed out under the bridge on a troopship in 1943. He came home in 1945 after World War II ended.
The bronze statue of the Lone Sailor at Vista Point  may be a sailor, but that’s no duffel bag next to him. It doesn’t matter if it’s the same size, shape, and even the same material with the same military-supply number as an army duffel bag. If he’s a sailor, it’s a seabag!
Castro Valley, Calif.
Share the Road
I like the article about bicycles and cars sharing the road  (May/June 2012). However, I think you left out a very important issue: Whenever there is a bicycle lane, cyclists need to stay in it. Motor vehicles are not allowed to drive in a bike lane, and bicycles should keep out of the car lanes for safety reasons. I’ve noticed people riding side by side, where one is in the car lane and the other in the bike lane.
Shell Beach, Calif.
Prior to my retirement, I was a bike commuter. Now that I have time, I run as many errands as possible on my bike. I often use the American River Bike Trail . This gem in Sacramento, Calif., is not only beautiful, but also populated with friendly riders willing to stop if you need help with something like a flattened tire. If AAA likes bikes, as the President’s Page  says, how about adding coverage for bike riders? I would be able venture into new areas in town off the bike trail.