Mrs. Lawton and HERB CAEN

This is another clipping from Mrs. Lawton's scrapbook. It was floating loosely between two pages, not pasted down. It's a clipping from a Herb Caen San Francisco Chronicle newspaper column, not an unusual item to find if you lived in the San Francisco Bay Area. I believe there are one or two squirreled away in my mother's jewelry box.

Click on image to see it larger.

Herb Caen was a famous columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle. I'd say what he wrote was gossip, but that wasn't really what it was. He compiled brief bits and pieces of interesting and funny moments linked together by an ellipses, which he called "three-dot journalism."
Herbert Eugene Caen (April 3, 1916 – February 1, 1997) was a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist working in San Francisco. Born in Sacramento, California, Caen worked for the San Francisco Chronicle from the late 1930s until his death, with an interruption from 1950 to 1958 during which he wrote for the San Francisco Examiner. His collection of essays titled Baghdad-by-the-Bay was published in 1949 and in 1953 he published the book "Don't Call It Frisco". Caen died of lung cancer and his funeral was one of the best-attended in San Francisco history. (SOURCE: Wikipedia)
Each morning I'd hear either my mother or father howling with laughter over something in the column. It was a sad day in the Bay Area when Caen was gone. He is missed.


  1. My father used to write a column for a small newspaper in Los Banos in the 1950s. In one, he mentioned Herb Caen. The entire town must have clipped it and sent it on because my father (under his pseudonym) received a letter from Caen thanking him for the mention and all the clippings he received from his readers. I still have the letter.

  2. That's very cool and a real keeper!

  3. Anonymous7/14/2011

    I have a postcard from Herb Caen regarding some obscure word I pointed out to him ( I think it was 'doryphore'). What makes it unique is that it's originally postmarked Oct. 16 and then re-cancelled Oct 17 That was the weekend of the Loma Prieta Quake.

  4. That's a very cool item to have!