Meals On Wheels of San Francisco

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Meet a Real San Francisco Star

Posted November 8, 2012

MOWSF Blog | Senior Stories

The story of MOWSF is the story of the people of San Francisco. Clients like Larry, whose story I want to share with you, illustrate the impact that our work has each and every day all across the city. Sharing food and our stories as neighbors is what this community is all about.

Larry grew up in the Mission, with an aunt who was a prominent ballet dancer with the San Francisco Opera. As a kid, he loved the Dorsey Brothers and other big band music, and made daily visits to the radio station after school. For a time, he was the youngest DJ in the state, and although he left radio (for a stint as a body builder!), Larry told me it was a true calling. I had a good laugh with him when he said, “I’ve got a big mouth — I like to talk.”

Larry had plenty of brushes with stardom in his younger days, and his apartment has lots of memorabilia from those times, including Louis Armstrong’s typed suggestions for losing weight, a hand-written note from Lena Horne, and a photo of Larry flexing his muscles with Jack LaLane! Today, though, Larry’s means have become much more humble. He’s lucky to live as a manager in the apartment building left to him by his uncle, but with a very limited income he’s had trouble making ends meet. Fortunately, Larry’s neighbor, Rick, stepped in and helped Larry get signed up with MOWSF.

For most MOWSF clients, we deliver prepared meals to their homes, but Larry gets a weekly grocery bag. Larry is more independent than most of our clients and is able to prepare many of his own meals, but he doesn’t have the money to buy groceries or the ability to get to the store to buy them. He showed me his latest delivery – grains and beans, fresh vegetables, whole wheat bread. He enjoys cooking the food (a good soup, he counsels, can make a hearty meal for days on end), and true to his personality, he also really likes the visits from the MOWSF folks who bring it. He told me, “When those guys come, they come with two bags — and I mean, they are heavy. And nice people bring it — they’re awful nice.”

While Larry’s life may not be as glamorous as it once was, he’s still got star power. Telling stories, he sounds like a narrator in an old Frank Capra movie, so it fits that one of the things Larry loves most these days is watching movies, alone or with neighbors who drop by. Larry’s story is the story of MOWSF, and we’re grateful to him for sharing it with us.