Alumni pen book recounting Riordan’s early years


Joseph Zuloaga ‘23

Jameson Datoc ‘23 reads “Young San Franciscan Sandboxes,” written by three Riordan alumni.

Jameson Datoc ‘23, Photo Editor

Young San Franciscan Sandboxes is a book I didn’t know I needed. Created by alumni  Terence Quinlan, Richard Canas, and Barry Sullivan, it shows their childhood all in 494 pages.

The Beginning Sandboxes throws reader’s in the author’s shoes saying goodbye to being a “little kid” and entering the life of a school student. It follows the lives of the authors through the grade school through high school years and goes through their daily experiences back in the 1940s-50s. 

One aspect I loved about the book was that Sandboxes drew heavy attention to the experiences the authors had when studying and growing up. At a time where there were no such things as digital books on technological devices, instead they carried pounds of heavy books for school everywhere they went. 

It was the time when Catholic middle and high schools were more hands on than it is today, where meals were under 50 cents, and where every day the city of San Francisco was their literal sandbox, ripe for the picking for adventure and exploration. 

However, not everything was sunshine and butterflies and the authors made sure that they left nothing out. The loss of cultural identities, rapid amounts of bullying, racial problems, adult prejudices, the loneliness of being gay, and the ruination of alcohol are some of the many experiences these authors witnessed or experienced, and are mentioned in the book. It shows the cold truth of their childhood and it showed me the mental growth and the strength  these men had during their younger years. 

It’s a moving book for all, and it can be summed up in three books: The Things They Carried, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, and The Great Gatsby. It shows the the hardships 

these men endured during their youthful lives just likeThe Things They Carried; it shows the inspirational growth these men had during those hard times, just like a singing caged bird; and it shows the adventures of the 40s and 50s in San Francisco just like the adventures Gatsby experienced in his own era.

 All in all, this is a great down to earth book for everyone, exploring the experiences of three men in the 1940s to 1950s.