03/10/22 - posted by S. Wolf Britain / John Brittain
Hi. I was known as John Brittain, and I lived in the Homewood Terrace homes in the Richmond District on 8th Avenue (about 3 months), 6th Avenue [about a year and a half---I remember the McGovern sisters (the actresses?) who befriended us from down the street at 6th and Lake St., and Sue Haggerty who became Frank Ostreicher's girlfriend and lived with him until he died] and 11th Avenue (until I turned 18 and moved out on my own with my best friend from there, Frank Ostreicher---who died when he was 23 as a result of surgery for ulcerative colitis and having his colon removed), from 1971 to 1974. Frank Ostreicher and I, and some other roommates from Washington High School days (I graduated from there in 1973), lived together on 9th and California in a flat we rented there from 1974 until 1976 after we moved out on our own, and then gave the place up to an acquaintance of mine when I transferred from CCSF to Humboldt State University in Arcata (by Eureka), California, and the others moved elsewhere in The City.

I have mixed memories and feelings about Homewood, but I am very grateful that they were there for me at that time, delivering me from a drunken, abusive mother. I was very sorry to hear a couple of years ago (I didn't keep in touch) that the agency stopped running and sold the house, no longer providing foster care housing to those in need of same.

There were good houseparents and kids to live with, and there were bad ones, which is to be expected. I only remember Marshall Rothman, one of the kids from 8th Avenue, and that he was a bit of a bully. From 6th Avenue I remember Richard Alexander appeared to be a decent houseparent (at least he never did anything inappropriate to me), and other kids such as Steven Eddy, Louie ? and Richard Neisenbam (sp.?). In 11th Avenue there was Frank Ostreicher of course, and I don't remember who else. The long-time older woman houseparent at 11th Avenue (I remember she was married to a Japanese man) was named Mrs. Mueller. Oh, and of course I remember Fanny Mae who did the wonderful cooking [remember her fried chicken, which was "to die for", anyone? ( if you weren't Kosher, that is! lol :) ) and cleaning once or twice a week; working among and at, as I understand it, all of the agency's houses.

All in all it was a good experience. I could tell you some wild "rebellious" stories, that's for sure. Some of the "delinquent" things we did, and got away with, were pretty crazy. Though I wasn't, to my knowledge, Jewish (though my mother's maiden name was Wolf and she's always been very secretive about our family's past, and has acted like she felt there was something to hide), I have fond memories of going to the Sader dinners every year at, I think it was, the St. Francis Hotel; and going to the Jewish Community Center to swim, flirt with the girls, etc. I also remember going to the girls house(s?) to visit, though I couldn't tell you where it was (or they were) [it seems like one of them was somewhere not far southeast of Arguello Boulevard and the Homewood Terrace office(s); Anza Vista?]. Richard Alexander also used to take us up to Novato to the rollerskating rink there.

I don't recognize any names here. Anyone from my H.T. days who remembers me, and that I might remember; and/or, can you tell me whatever happened to some of the people I named above? I still miss Frank Ostreicher very much. He was the best, and someone who was too good for this world. All of the very best to all of you!
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