James Wayne Bronson was born in Oakland, California on the 24th of April, 1940. His mother was a secretary at a trucking company down on the docks in Alameda, which is on the San Francisco Bay. His father was a trucker and owned 18 wheel trucks hauling produce east to New York and freight back to California. His mom had come out to San Francisco from Oklahoma with the excitement of World War II in the air. His dad had come down from Alberta, Canada, having been a cowboy growing up on a ranch.
Jim was a mechanical young boy, meaning he built go carts, played and created with Erector sets, hammering nails in his tree house, and financing any neighborhood projects by mowing yards and later selling magazines door to door. Jimís dad left when he was three years old and he was the man of the house for the rest of his life. His mother moved them back to Oklahoma to be close to family. They also lived in Kansas, Texas and Missouri. Jim came back to California at 18, to find his dad in Los Angeles, he worked for his dad for one year and purchased a Harley Davidson Sportster XLH from one of is dadís friends who went into the Army.
Jim was ready to make a move and headed north, he was captured by the California coast on Highway 1 and the Big Sur country, his mechanical prowess was mesmerized by the beautiful bridges which connected Highway 1 across the many creeks along the 200 miles of coast line road.
In 1960 Jim found himself in San Francisco and took a job at the San Francisco Chronicle driving delivery trucks for the distribution section. Having always been interested in the theatre and literature, he was ambitious to become a reporter. After three years of paying his dues in delivery, he had earned the chance to work upstairs at the city desk. Now able to afford the rent for a floating houseboat in the China Basin area of San Francisco, he lived a quiet life of books and philosophy.
Jim was taking literature classes at the San Francisco City College in 1967 and met Nick Oresko who was taking a math class. Nick worked as a handyman at a machine shop and wanted to someday become a machinist. However Nick was having a lot of trouble with understanding numbers and was very frustrated because he knew this would keep him from getting a promotion.
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. Nick really liked Jimís bike and offered Jim twice what he had paid for it, so Jim sold it to Nick and they both worked on it to make it a real show piece. Nick married Gloria and she was always upset that Nick had a $2000 motorcycle, but she did not even have a rug for her living room.
Having worked with the paper now for many years, Jim received a call from Police Inspector Otis, a friend of his, Jim is told a man at Fort Point is threatening to jump and is asking for him. When Jim arrives he sees Nickís bike, the date was March 24, 1969. The next day Jim wrote Nickís obituary and his copy editor belittles him to the point where he quits the paper.
The next day Jim visited Gloria and bought Nickís bike from her. Boots the mechanic for The Stompers motorcycle gang gives the bike a tune up and Punchy gave him a Navy watch cap. Jim then left San Francisco, on his way out of town he was confronted by a suburbanite at a stop light on Lombard Street at Van Ness Avenue about taking a trip. He continued out Point Lobos Avenue, and around the bend at Cliff House and then south along the Great Highway blending into Skyline Boulevard, on past Daly City to Highway 1 at Pacifica, to eventually cross the Bixby Creek Bridge from whence he came almost a decade ago.
Read on in Chapter Two
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