I recently bought a pamphlet titled "Burlingame 50 years Golden Anniversary" on eBay. It's "a short journey into history; 1908 to 1958". The opening page after the obligatory mayoral Proclamation from Mayor Andrew C. Byrd was written by Dr. Frank Stanger and provides an interesting perspective on those times and ours.
Burlingame as a young city, like a self-conscious debutante, had subtle ways of impressing people with her special charms and her own importance. There was a legend abroad to that effect that Burlingame, by comparison with other cities, was something special. Or was it more than a legend? Be it fancy or fact, the idea had wide acceptance, and the people of Burlingame, quite convinced that theirs was no ordinary town, were doing nothing to deny it.
I wonder if we still have that perspective of being special? Sometimes I doubt it as I see people and agencies trying to homogenize us to be like every other city. Stanger goes on to talk about him being 18 and interviewing for a teaching position in town. He gets the job offer then writes
As I started my return journey with a promise of a contract, I found myself also trying to remember some of the statistics that had been casually dropped into my ears-- "x" percentage of the population received incomes above "y" dollars a year, "z" proportion were home owners, etc., etc. A second more tangible impression was received when I came house-hunting and found that rents in Burlingame were ten dollars a month higher than in the East Bay. And this news was imparted without apology--rather I though there was a little bragging involved.
Res ipsa loquitur