by Allan Baird

May 19, 2007

Allan Baird, a lifelong Castro resident, is a retired President of Teamsters Local 921, San Francisco. He supported gay rights and Harvey Milk as early as 1973 and was instrumental in getting the Teamsters to support Harvey in his later campaigns. Mr. Baird deserves the respect and gratitude of the gay community for his commitment to equal civil rights for all oppressed people.
- Uncle Donald

by Allan Baird

May 22 will be Harvey Milk's 77th birthday. My wife Helen and myself met Harvey in 1973 when he moved into his home at 573 Castro and opened his camera shop at 575 Castro with his lover Scott Smith. Harvey along with many other gays are responsible for saving this great district. I have always been thankful that I was born in the Castro over 75 years ago. I also met my wife at 18th and Castro over 50 years ago. In the few years he had Harvey did so much for the Castro District. There is not enough space to list all that Harvey did to improve this district. He was a very proud gay and I never saw gay people holding hands until Harvey and his lover Scott walked down Castro Street. The rest is history.

A couple of weeks after Harvey Milk became Supervisor I went to visit him at his office in City Hall. He was receiving calls from all over the United States from gay persons asking him if it was true that gays would be safe in the Castro District. Harvey said you will be safe.

On Harvey's birthday next year, May 22, 2008, a bronze bust of him will be placed in City Hall for people from all over the United States and the world to see. Everyone who lives or works in the Castro District knows that this district is a special place. During the next year I invite you to see for yourself. Go to the Harvey Milk Library in the Castro and read Randy Shilts' book The Mayor of Castro Street: The Life & Times of Harvey Milk. Read and look at all the history about the Castro in Strange de Jim's photo history San Francisco's Castro.

When you visit the Castro District go to the Muni station at Castro and Market and walk downstairs, and you will see pictures of Harvey on the wall*. Go to 573 and look up, and you will see a mural of Harvey looking out the window. Look at Harvey's old camera shop at 575 and read the plaque on the sidewalk.

Thank you, Harvey Milk, for making the Castro District a nice place for everyone to enjoy. You will always be the Mayor of Castro Street.

Allan Baird

Allan Baird Retired President Teamsters Local 921 San Francisco

This article is copyright (c) 2007 by the author, Allan Baird. He has kindly given me permission to post it here on my website. Baird also wrote an article "Remembering Scott Smith" which appears on this site too.

* The area outside the Castro Muni Metro Station, where the Milk pictures are on display, is known as Harvey Milk Plaza. Incidentally, one of those pictures is by photographer Don Eckert, also known as Uncle Donald!

Page created May 19, 2007