June 8, 2011 Jewels In The Square, Union Square, San Francisco, California
Moonalice poster by Dennis Loren
According to Moonalice legend, the statue of Columbia here in Union Square is actually based on one of the grande dames of San Francisco. A woman of humble beginnings, Alma Charlotte Corday le Normand de Bretteville had a name with royal pretensions and a crazy father to match. Fortunately, mom was an entrepreneur and opened up a Danish bakery/laundry service with a massage parlor at the back. The business was an instant success and Alma went to work there full time at 14. Her beauty led to many modeling assignments, most of them in the nude, and eventually to Robert Aitken, who made the sculpture before us. It was during those sessions that Alma met Adolph Spreckels, San Francisco’s sugar baron, and soon-to-be first sugar daddy. Eventually they married and Alma became a huge philanthropist in this city. Once again we find that greatness can come from unexpected places.
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