Larry Ware

Larry Ware has lived in Bayview since his family moved there in 1957. He remembers simpler times, and a community full of love and respect. Larry looks into the past to see what lessons his neighborhood has learned, and what the future holds.


Larry Ware

Lives in Bayview
60 years od
Historian, poet, business person, activist

Bayview businesses helped shape the community

Larry’s family moved from Georgia to San Francisco in 1957. “People were very cultured then,” Larry muses. “There’s nothing like southern hospitality.” But it wasn’t just the people who made his neighborhood great — businesses played a part, too.

A major employer, the shipyard provided jobs to people and helped bring prosperity to the neighborhood. Families were able to buy homes, which were modestly priced between ten and twenty thousand dollars. Shops in the neighborhood respected all their patrons, regardless of skin color. The area was rich in performing arts, including the Bayview Opera House, which still stands today.

As times changed, shops went out of business and were replaced by other companies with less empathy for the neighborhood. Larry watched the love and respect he had been surrounded by disappear, replaced by fear and mistrust. Hear what Larry has to say about businesses in Bayview then — and now.

“Everybody wants to live in a safe neighborhood. All children are entitled to a quality education.”