San Francisco remembers 1906 earthquake


Two survivors of the 1906 earthquake received the royal treatment this morning -- arriving at the annual celebration in the back of a 1931 Lincoln. This was the first time 106-year-old Winnie Hook participated in the festivities. She was two months old when the earthquake hit.

"I'm feeling wonderful," said Hook.

She was surrounded by dignitaries, rescue workers and regular people who appreciate the city's history -- some of whom even wore the fashions of 1906.

"It's an opportunity to teach my sons what happened 106 years ago," Azalia Merrell of San Francisco.

The earthquake killed more than 3,000 people and left more than a quarter million homeless. Lotta's Fountain on Market Street turned into a meeting spot for victims after the quake and is where people now meet every year to remember.

"The buildings around us, the people who love here and the spirit of this city are a direct relation to that event," said Erik Byberg of San Francisco.

The memorial then moved to the fire hydrant at 20th and Church, which is credited for saving the Mission District during the fires that burned after the quake. Hook helped give it its annual new coat of paint. Only, there was a critical error. The traditionally gold hydrant was painted silver this morning.

"They had a gold cap on the can of silver paint," said Scott Sherman of San Francisco.

Sherman went to the hardware store later in the morning and fixed the problem; the hydrant is back to being gold. Over breakfast at Lefty O'Doul's, Hook wasn't complaining about the paint. The only thing she didn't like was riding in the back of that Lincoln.

"It was cold. The top was down," said Hook.

When Hook was asked if she would come back for next year's event, she joked that she will if she doesn't have to ride in a convertible.

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