McCoppin, Birds, and Living on the Edge

“What a wonderful world it will be…”

Frank McCoppin sounds like quite a cool Irish immigrant who came to SF and staked a claim in this booming coastal city in the 1860’s. He was the first Irish-born and foreign-born Mayor of SF after marrying Elizabeth Bird Van Ness–she of another famous SF family whose father was the 7th Mayor of SF. (There are some strange and interesting stories about his one-year-as-Mayor that I shall save for a future blog. But it’s so interesting that I’ll provide just a tidbit in this link.)

I live across from a park that bears McCoppin’s name that brought me to look him up. This one-city-block park calls to me every morning. The sweet little birds who nest there fly circles around the neighborhood sky each and every sunrise. I awaken to groups in flight formation, practicing…for what? The Universe must know.  Those little pea-brain birds must know something that we don’t. They soar above, watching over us, zeroing in on something, then swooping suddenly to turn both left and then quickly right, all together.

It’s beautiful living out here on the edge. How lucky am I to be on the western edge of the North American continent? This area, known as the city’s playground back then is certainly mine as well more than 150 years later. There is no better wealth in life than this.

SF Western Coast_1860s


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