dear david, i grew up on 47th ave in the house behind william smit and was/am friends with his grandsons robert and bill. we spent many hours listening to stories about playland, sutro's and the windmill. we also spent many weekends exploring and riding the the rides during the summer of '72, the year that it closed. i could hear laughing sal, the roller coaster shrieks, the surf and the seals on seal rocks through my bedroom windows as a child. all that remains now is the sound of the surf. (for those of you who don't know, the seals now reside at pier 39). robert, bill and i continued to explore the ruins during and after the demolition of playland, we even "salvaged" a few things that remain in my home for veiwing to this day.
i have very fond memories of mr.smit and that time in my life.
D.Barrington, Native San Franciscan