One of San Francisco’s finest - MR. CLYDE HOLLIE - caught the ”A” train Wednesday, October 30! He was 91. The suave, lean, tall gentleman carried his golf bag, filled with clubs, tee’d off with golfing buddies who preceded him, on the course in the sky. Remember one of our last conversation, shared life wouldn’t mean much to him if he could not play golf. KEEP SWINGING, MR. CLYDE!

Clyde’s obituary read, in part ...Clyde Everett Hollie, known to many as the tailor of FILLMORE and the golfer who consistently kept his golf score well below his age, was born April 6, 1922 in Guthrie, Oklahoma to Berry and Ada Hollie, the fifth child of six children. After high school, attended Langston University where he learned and later mastered the art of tailoring. Joined the U.S. Army in December 1942 and received his World War II Victory Ribbon before being honorably discharged in December 1945. The following year, married Maxine Roper, from that union two children Zee and Cheryl. Maxine and his eldest son, Nathaniel Christy preceded him in death. Ok, now you know his beginnings.

In 1952, Hollie and family moved to San Francisco; that same year opened HOLLIE’S TAILOR Shop on O’Farrell, between Fillmore and Webster Streets, during an era that thrived with Black businesses, good times, night clubs - Jack’s of Sutter Street, JIMBO’S BOP CITY - JUMPIN’ OFF THE HOOK! A few 49er sports players were customers. When the GIANTS came to town, the SAY HEY KID - WILLIE MAYS became friends with Clyde, enjoyed many golf outings. Clyde’s brother HERMAN HOLLIE assisted in the shop. He passed in early 2000.

GENTRIFICATION forced Hollie to close his successful business; move to Balboa Street near 22nd Avenue, where he stayed for several years, then relocated to Divisadero Street, between McAllister and Fulton, by then that area long lost it‘s famous Black business community. He retired in early 2000. BUT golf sustained him, a lifestyle he picked up in 1954, when introduced to golf and it became his favorite past time.

Met Clyde 50 years ago at Harding Park, Golf course, a time when I was married to golfer JOE METCALFE, pregnant with our son who will be 50 next month (Joe Metcalfe died August of this year in Abilene, TX)...kept up with his life through the years. In 1993, Clyde married BERTHA KING “that lady he had admired from afar for 55 years”. Covered their wedding.

Beloved sweetheart, whom he remembered since high school in Oklahoma, would’ve married her then, Army interrupted, both went separate ways. Married 20 years. BEAUTIFUL LOVE STORY. On Bertha’s birthday in June, he threw her a surprised party at their elegant San Francisco home.

When Clyde’s health started failing, within this past year, several hospital procedures, STILL played golf! Scheduled to play a regular Thursday game, died the night before in the arms of his loving wife of 20 years.

The LEGENDARY FILLMORE TAILOR was a man who loved a good time, energetic - a good DANCER to the end; soft-spoken, nonsmoker, well-liked by everyone who knew him. He lived a good life!

HOMEGOING services were held last Friday morning in the Bayview at Cornerstone Missionary Baptist Church, Rev. KENNETH REECE, officiated. Well-attended. Clyde wished for a celebration, no crying. It was a happy, joyous occasion that recalled THE MAN, affectionately called, “DADDY CLYDE,” shared by family tributes - grand kids; MILITARY HONORS; expressions by four golfing friends - CLARENCE BRYANT, represented the golfers...GARY SPEARS, spoke about Clyde’s influence on young people; RAY CLEMMONS, remembrance of Clyde through the years, and MICHAEL JONES, recalled the Golden Years.

After REPAST in the church’s dining room, many gathered for a CHAMPAGNE TOAST at SHARP PARK GOLF COURSE in Pacifica, where, for the past 25 years, Clyde and others played in RILEY JAMISON’S annual tournaments. Riley attended the service and toast.

Clyde leaves to cherish his memory, his loving wife, Bertha, son ZEE and wife Gwen; his daughter CHERYL and husband Steve, and host of grandchildren. and relatives - brother OZELL HOLLIE of Topeka, Kansas, his sister ROSA WARNER of Richmond, CA. .

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HOMEGOING SERVICE in celebration of the life of San Francisco’s famous hat lady, RUTH GARLAND DEWSON, will be held tomorrow, Thursday, at 11 a.m. at Jones Memorial Methodist Church , Post Street, between Fillmore and Steiner. Wrote about Mrs. Dewson in last week’s column @www.beyondchron.org/news/index.php?itemid=12043.html

HEY, IT’S NICE TO BE NICE AND TO ALL OF YOU OUT THERE...LOOK FOR ME...I’LL BE THERE...
E-mail Rochelle at iheard@earthlink.net