"...San Francisco was a true progressive and liberal city in the traditional sense with a 'can-do' attitude. The Gold Rush, the 1906 Earthquake and Fire, a broad mixture of immigrants...and a feeling of being at the end of the trail and the the beginning of the Pacific, led to a sense of self-sufficiency and pride, as well as community..."
From an interview in the San Francisco Chronicle with Christopher Herb Caen, Herb Caen's son:
Q. When you were a kid, what did you want to be?
A. When I was very young, I was at a birthday party. My mom was going around the table saying, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" Kids were saying: "An astronaut," "A fireman," "A policeman." I said, "An Italian."