New blog: Terry on the Ferry

New blog: Terry on the Ferry

Terry Winckler

Terry Winckler commutes to San Francisco from either the Main Street or Bay Farm Island ferry terminal. Each column is written during the 20-minute ride.

On the ferry going home, two women are discussing a traffic jam they both got caught in the day before.

Says one, “Do you know what caused that jam?”

Says two, “Yeah, it was someone who stepped out into traffic.”

Says one, angrily, “What nerve! If you’re going to kill yourself, don’t make me late. Show some consideration.”

Now I don't know if those two women really meant it as it sounded. They might have been blowing off steam like journalists I know who return from battlefields of life with a need to swagger off the harsh things observed. I used to cover those battlefields as a news photographer and as a reporter, scavenging the facts for an audience eager to feed and to react out loud at the dinner table or at work or even on the ferry.

Multiple murders, grandma-killer fires, fishermen drownings, crushing multiple car accidents. And so much more. You race to the scene, observe like hell, try to get emotions captured on camera or in your notebook, and race back to sling the content into some form that can be edited and published.

Then, if you're smart, you wander off to vent. Maybe you cry in a dark corner by yourself, or sit over a string of beers in a bar, or just talk out loud on a ferry.

That's it. Ferry is docking. Ride over.


Submitted by Frances (not verified) on Mon, May 5, 2014

Ooh, I love this! I don't take the ferry as often as I used to, but there is certainly a lot to observe on any one-way ride. Certain runs see more activity than others (afternoon more than morning for obvious reasons--yawn!), while certain areas of the boat have their regulars that sit at the same place (Try sitting in their space; you may get funny looks as if you're infringing on their space.). Looking forward to your blog, Terry!

Submitted by Shirley Cruz (not verified) on Mon, May 5, 2014

Yes! Good idea, especially with ridership having increased over the last year.

Submitted by Terry's friend (not verified) on Tue, May 6, 2014

I know Terry. A real "character" to say the least. This should be a fun feature and I look forward to reading it regularly.