When I arose the morning of August 27, 1958, the Leilani was outside of the Golden Gate Bridge, waiting to be towed into port. It was cold and damp in San Francisco Bay, a shock to my system after being in Hawaii for just over a year. I had breakfast and then stood on deck watching the tug boat arrive and attach itself to the Leilani. Once attached, the tug slowly pulled us into San Francisco Bay.
I loved staring at Alcatraz as we passed near the island. The island sat in the middle of the bay, appearing intimidating with the high walls veiling the mundane lives of the most feared inmates in the United States. I would stare, hoping to see an inmate climbing over one of the huge walls.
When we passed under the Golden Gate Bridge I couldn't help but think about the color. The Golden Gate is in reality a gaudy orange color, not even close to golden in color. It was the color of orange you might see on the traffic cones when going by a construction sight. Other than the color, the bridge itself is magnificent. It has a mystical look about it when the fog settles in the bay, almost like the woman a magician suspends in mid-air or a mirage floating in the middle of the bay.
Both Brenda and Archie joined me on deck and we watched the port grow closer and closer. Finally, we docked to the sound of John Phillip Sousa from the band on the docks. We were home, back in California. There was something so special about the feeling I got just knowing I was in California again. It was contentment and peace.