Willie Brown…Herb Caen’s Successor

Willie Brown, what can I say. He is a career politician who was once our mayor that some people said of him, “You’re a crook, but you’re OUR crook.” He just laughed that off with a smile. A politician being called a crook and not getting outraged? Willie has cohones as big as his wardrobe of clothes from Wilks Bashford.

Now that he’s getting up there in years a bit, he’s not slowing down, but he’s moving away from politics and just talking about them. That’s why his “Willie’s World” in the SF Chronicle is one of the first things I go for in the Sunday paper. Willie has been around the block a few times and knows how things work. I get a kick when he says things like, “So I was having lunch with the Governator at the Palace hotel when Micky Rourke walked over and said hi.”

How many people could have the guts to make a statement like that? He is like the glitterati of politics which crosses over to the hollywood world of weirdness. His column on Sundays is true 3 dot journalism just like Herb Caen used to write. He starts off with the state of affairs in San Francisco and ends up with movie and restaurant reviews. I would love to be able to claim myself as the successor to Herb Caen, but I’m more of a bastard child. Willie has it down. This is probably because I spend most of my days living in the boring Sunset District which I love and Willie’s getting a table without a reservation at Tyler Florence’s new place because, well, he’s Willie Brown.

Willie has seen San Francisco’s soft white underbelly and he can still smile about the city. He was asked if he’d fill in as interim Mayor of SF and he proudly said no. He’s been there and done that so I can see that. He needs some sort of honorary title though like City Historian or Ambassador to San Francisco. I think Cyril Magnin had that latter title many years ago. Nevertheless, Willie is a cool guy who I would like to meet one day. I’m envisioning our meet up would be at the Tadich Grill for San Francisco sentiments sake. The Washington Street Bar and Grill or “Washbag” as Herb Caen used to call it was his place, so I think the Tadich would be a better choice.