The bodies buried near Daly's drive
Driving over from the hotel on the other side of the peninsula, the highway exit that leads to Harding Park is at John Daly Boulevard. I kid you not, although it’s clearly not that John Daly, not the modern Everyman golfer battling all the demons. If they named a street for him, it should have a trailer park on it, not the kind of pricey real estate that creeps out toward the Pacific Ocean.
You could probably fool Boo Weekley into thinking it was the J.D. he knows, but this John Daly was a wealthy landowner in the area from more than a century ago. He ran an enormous dairy farm and after the great San Francisco Earthquake of 1906, when refugees came streaming over the mountains from the pummeled city a few miles to the north, Daly opened his land to them. Eventually, he recognized people mattered more than cows and he began selling off his land and building small houses. What formed was, and still is, Daly City.
Next to Daly City, more toward the middle of the peninsula, is the town of Colma, better known as the City of Souls. It is virtually wall-to-wall cemeteries. In the year 1900, San Francisco banned use of its very limited land for burial grounds, even emptying the ones it had and replanting the inhabitants out in the valley. More than 5 million dead now are buried in Colma. There are celebs – for instance Joe DiMaggio and the Hearsts – and a gigantic military cemetery among the dozen of marble orchards. The geometry of the seemingly endless rows of graves is staggering.
One more pointless piece of information while we’re waiting: Harding Park, being a municipal golf course, has banned smoking, as have all California public properties.
This includes Michael Jordan, who estimates he smokes three cigars each round he plays. He was out here puffing away while playing with the U.S. boys Monday and when the local bugle ran his picture on its front page, the politicians came swooping. Jordan was given the cease-and-desist order. Good thing this isn’t the Ryder Cup, with nicotine-stained Miguel Angel Jimenez in the house.