Coit Tower Olden Story and Painted Magic

Maxine ALbro California Oranges by Rochelle Carr

Coit Tower:

Visiting Coit Tower I met two women from the past in olden story and picture. One was a controversial painter and one was dressed in pants and full of vim and vigor. One painted things and one did things, and they both lived a life with big story and feel. Maxine Albro painted large frescoes with Diego Rivera and Lillie Hitchcock Coit was a Knickerbocker 5 mascot. I researched both women and wrote about the painter below.

Coit Tower carries a history of brave people fighting for causes while honoring our proud San Francisco town. Coit Tower is a memorial for Lillie Hitchcock Coit and the Fireman of San Francisco. Ride up the elevator and walk the steep stone stairs to tiny windows of wind and sky. Drop your coins from around the world. They will only stay there on that cement sill one day. The elevator guy speaking broken English told me he removes all the coins each night before bed. What a sight to see…

Coit Tower World Coins by Rochelle Carr



Beautiful walk on the way up to Coit Tower (Filbert Steps) click here.

Info to Coit Tower here.

History on Maxine Albro here.

History on Lillie Hitchcock Coit here.


MAXINE by Rochelle Carr

These days, I find myself a painter

And writer

Of beautiful story and feel.

I ponder and weigh

Lives well spent before me,

Lives just hanging there

In the distance,

Waiting for me

All sun kissed and sweet.

Waiting for you,

All juicy and meaty,

Dangling in bright cadmium red and yellow,

Like Maxine Albro and her California oranges

A life oh so ripe for the picking.


Perhaps, poetry or olden life story

Will ride in,

On an epiphany

From the heavens,

After snapping a photo.

Perhaps, we see something

To share,

To delight,

Intrigue or inspire



What might bring us joy in olden story and painted magic?

What does it mean to be her for that year in 1933 inside her colored fresco with workers faces?

What would it feel like to have our hands, on her hands, in her life, in her paint, on a blank wall?

What did she feel like up on those scaffolds with all those men and brush?

Did she enjoy wild days and fresco deep in Mexico beside Diego Rivera and Paul O’ Higgins those years before?

Why did she put calla lilies right there, on that row?

Why did she sneak those NRA birds of blue on orange boxes to combat unemployment and industrial recovery?

What did the Great Depression feel like for her?


Back in 1934

They closed Coit Tower,

Closed Telegraph Hill,

Blue coats were everywhere,

The artists painted



And social change

Except – that hammer and sickle,

And things

That mattered to the artists

That no one would know.


Story, painting and feel,

Rich in disagreement

For good or for naught,

Rich in his-story and her-story,

Just dangling there

For years,

Waiting for me,

All sun kissed and sweet.

Waiting for you,

All juicy and meaty,

Dangling in bright cadmium red and yellow,

Like Maxine Albro and her California oranges.





Definition of Urban Backpacker:

1. Of, relating to, or located in a city.

2. Backpacker redefined: Artful reviews that lead you from hidden budget gems to five-star destinations helping you find palate pleasing adventure, enjoyment, and story collection.

3. Pack bag. Travel there. See city. Eat food. Respect culture. Take picture. Share story. Be thankful. Repeat.