Randall Justaman – The guy at the stoplight (Character)

Randy, as everyone called him, was and insurance claims processor for the Transamerica Corporation in downtown San Francisco. He was looking forward to moving into the new Transamerica Pyramid which was breaking ground at 600 Montgomery Street that summer of 1969. He would move in during the summer of 1972 and be located on the 17th floor.

Randy was 32 when he confronted Jim Bronson at the east end of Lombard Street at Van Ness Ave on March 24th, 1969. Randy was and only child and was very protected by his mother and father. His father had been the apartment manager where he grew up in San Bruno a few miles south of The City. Completing high school and one year of junior college, Randy felt he was not really cut out for further education and figured he should start working, in order to prepare himself for the norms of marriage and children someday.

Like so many others in the work-a-day world, Randy was very depressed and had been for months, 32 years old and not married, he was troubled that he was wasting his time with life and possibly he would end it. His father was gone, and his mother would not leave him alone, and had spoiled several chances for him at marriage. Having read recently of a suicide out at Fort Point, he felt this was possibly the answer. However, since that day on Lombard Street, Randy, would continue to remember that day when that young man on a motorcycle and a sleeping bag, gave him a nickels worth of a dream and the encouragement he needed that day to hang in there and to realize that he himself and everyone is important to the environment of life.

Randy continued to work for Transamerica Corporation and retired in 2001 with a 40 year pin and a nice retirement. His lady friend Joyce, for the last 14 years and he embarked on a world cruise and were married in Rome. They have since adopted and 11 year old girl. Randy’s life turned out ok, much like what he had envisioned in the mid-sixties, and thanks to a guy named Jim.


Fred Carson - Assistant Editor City Desk (Character)

Fredrick Carson had been on the San Francisco Chronicle since his return from the Korean War. In that war he was “in the rear with the gear” as a journalist Spec Sergeant. Carson had the distinction of the only Army member of that war to have been shot in the Buttocks. It is unclear the circumstances which delivered that “blessed bullet to the mark” however, Carson managed to receive a Purple Heart for his pain, and bragged about his “war wound” the rest of his life. How naive can you get! We can only give a patriotic salute to the brave soldier who dared to give the devil his due.

Carson retired from the paper in 1983 and died several years later from lung cancer. He is interred at the Presidio Army Cemetery in San Francisco.


Nick Oresko (Character)

Nick Oresko joined the Navy in 1962, but was medically discharged after three years because of a heart condition. He had been born in Richmond, a city north of Oakland. He was an apprentice machinist in the Navy, and was working in a large tool and die plant located outside the Hunters Point Navy Yard. He wanted to be a fulltime machinist but his lack of skill with numbers was holding him back.

Nick met Jim Bronson at the San Francisco City College in 1967, they soon became best friends. Jim spent many an evening over at Nick's and Gloria's apartment playing with their kids and working on the motorcycle that Jim had sold to Nick. At the time, Jim had not realized that Nick bought the bike with every cent he had.

Nick reported to work and found out he had been laid off. With a wife and two children, no money in the bank, Nick felt he was headed for the "high side". That night he had a fight with Gloria and left the apartment, and rode his bike across the Oakland Bay Bridge and then north to Richmond. He visited his boyhood home, thinking of his mother who had died when he was 12, leaving him to fend off the beatings from his dad. He continued north and across the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge passing by San Quentin on to Highway 101 south and across the Golden Gate Bridge. By dawns light he was at Fort Point. When Jim and Nick first met, they use to hang out at Fort Point and sit on top of the fort under the Golden Gate Bridge and watch the waves pound the rocks below and talk about their past lives and do their college homework.

The night watchman discovered Nick inside the fort and that he had climb over the fence, he called the police. When they arrived, Nick said he was going to jump, but first he wanted to talk to a newspaper guy named Jim Bronson. Inspector Otis knew Jim, and made the call.


Temple Brooks (Character)

Temple was born in Hillsborough, California, this is a town just south of the San Francisco Airport. She was born on Halloween in 1946. Her father owned a construction company and became very rich in the building of new runways and land fill projects for the airport.

Temple was engaged to a young civil engineer who worked for her father. She had been dating Wendel for several years, but she somehow felt pressured into the marriage. This situation was not going to work out. She left abruptly during the wedding ceremony, and proceeded out of town. She met Jim Bronson in a flap, but enjoyed a fun filled two weeks sharing his motorcycle and his quite philosophy, and sarcastic wit.

When temple returned home, she packed her bags and moved to Big Sur, California. She had always loved art and opened a shop in Carmel Highlands for interior decorating. Over the years the shop has become an icon in Carmel for the beautiful decorations which Temple has created in the homes of her clients. She met and married a golf-pro and the manager of the Pebble Beach Links Country Club. They have since raised two children, a boy named Jim and a girl named Jamie.


Papa Bear (Character)

Papa Bear whose real name is Antonio Garcia Lopez. Papa bear had been a truck driver for Jim's dad back in Alameda. When Jim's dad left and moved to Los Angeles, Papa Bear become a roll model for Jim. Papa's first love was art and welding, he had learned to weld and work with metal in the Navy during the Korean War. He also held the title of 7th Fleet boxing champion in the light heavy weight division, and like to spar and keep in shape.

Retiring from trucking in the mid 1960s, he moved to the high desert country of southern California, the Mojave Desert. His two daughters had run off and left him with their children. Papa Bear had always encouraged Jim in his love for literature, music and theatre. Jim and he would often recite poems out loud alternating the lines back and forth. Papa Bear passed away in 1972. Jim was heart-broken with his passing.


Boots Kowalski (Character)

Kevin Kowalski was drafted out of high school in 1963 (Balboa High School in San Francisco). In the service he picked up the name “Boots” because of his size 12 foot. His feet really looked big in his paratrooper dress uniform. When he was discharged he bought a Sportster and over time became the Chief motorcycle mechanic for the Stompers, a MC club in San Francisco. A good friend of his Dad was a guy named Birney, he was a Hells Angel in the early 1950’s and a charter member of the San Francisco chapter. Birney gave Boots and introduction to the Stompers.

Boots had two best friends, Nick Oresko who he knew from Balboa High and Jim Bronson, a newspaper reporter and a good friend of Nicks. Nick and Jim had a really cool looking Sporty the guys at the Stompers garage called it a Bronson Bike, that was 1969. His buddy Nick killed himself and it was a sad time for Boots and Jim. Boots felt like the world was caving in on him, his wife wanted him to leave the Stompers and get a job in Oakland so they could be close to her parents.

The day Jim left the garage and rolled down the alley near 2nd and Townsend Street in South Beach San Francisco, Boots lived out his dreams thinking of Jim on the long lonesome highway. When Jim did return to Pacific Grove on the coast he contacted Boots for a reunion at the Bixby Creek Bridge with other Stompers, Billy and Don, a great time was had by all as they crossed and re-crossed the bridge in the light of the blue Pacific Ocean at Big Sur.





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