Monday, September 18, 2017

Take a 4½-hour tour of the Stanford area with The Gray Line

Here's a ticket stub (technically a "Souvenir Ticket and Identification Check") from, I'm guessing, the early 1960s for The Gray Line's 4½-hour bus tour of Stanford University and "suburban fine residences" in that area. The ticket measures 2¾ inches wide.

This had been pasted into one of the family scrapbooks. My guess is that it's my great-grandmother, Greta, who took the tour.

The Gray Line had both its depot and main office on Fourth Street in San Francisco, California. The office number was YUkon 6-4000.

The Gray Line has been around since 1910, according to its website, which now has a much broader and international focus. The history page states: "Gray Line is the largest provider of sightseeing tours on the planet. For more than 100 years, Gray Line has been at the center of creating and operating the best traveler experiences in the world’s most sought after sightseeing destinations. With thousands of tours and experiences in more than 700 locations, spanning six continents, Gray Line is also the largest direct supplier of destination services to online travel sellers, wholesalers and travel agents."

A 2008 post on The Infomercantile1 features a 1953 Gray Line bus tour map of the San Francisco area. Available tours then included the Golden Gate Bride, the Muir Woods (very popular and included in several different tours), Berkeley, the Yosemite Valley, Stanford University and "Chinatown After Dark."

In April 1967, Gray Line offered a "Hippie Tour" bus in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood. The San Francisco Chronicle assigned a photographer to sit inside the bus during that first tour of exotic, long-haired Americans, and a May 2015 article by Peter Hartlaub headlined "'Hippie Tour' photos give striking window into Summer of Love" takes a look back at that assignment and those photos.

I can say, pretty safely, that my great-grandmother never took The Hippie Tour.

1. The long-lived website's slogan is: "Supplying Information, Our World's Greatest Commodity."

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