Your Postcard from
One San Francisco tradition that has been around since 1955, and is still celebrated each year, is the crowning the champion of the Cable Car Bell Ringing Contest. Last Thursday, The City hosted the 49th annual event in Union Square. Defending champion Leonard Oats competed against six challengers. The winner for 2012 was 12-year MUNI operator Trini Whittaker.
On YouTube from 2008, here is Leonard Oats, former champion –
In 1968, there was also a contest for Miss Cable Car. Jennifer Foreman DeGrassi won. And her attire for the contest was a bikini. Joe Thompson, “The Cable Car Guy,” maintains a Web site about the history of the contest, has connected with the former Miss Cable Car and says: “Until some time in the 1970s, there was also a Miss Cable Car contest. Miss Cable Car’s primary duty was to appear at the Cable Car Bell Ringing Contest. Why did they stop? Probably because of some combination of increasing awareness of women’s rights and the contestants suffering from hypothermia.”
For a view of a selection of Misses Cable Car, check out:
And finally, two important points. Miss Cable Car 1968 was from Oakland. And this year’s contest was held in Union Square, using one of the motorized cars that were ready for the junk pile until they were saved and recycled.