Bernal Stories

by Jerry Schimmel

Jerry Schimmel is a professional social worker who moved to Bernal Heights in 1965, living first on Winfield Street and settling finally at the top of Prentiss Street. He was the director of the small community center at Precita and Alabama streets for 4 years from 1967 to 1971, and then remained active in neighborhood politics through the 1980s from whence he is now more or less retired. He has lived on Prentiss Street since December 1966.

Jerry's Bernal Hill Memoir (2007) can be found at the Bernal Heights Branch Library and in the Bernal Archive.

Moving into Prentiss Street

Life at the top of the hill in the late 1960s.

The Story of the Ribeltad Vorden

An extract from Jerry's memoirs about the Folsom and Precita bar with the unusual name.

The History of Bernal Heights Boulevard

From unpaved dirt road to WPA project and quarry.

The Lighter Side of Living on the Boulevard

Car wrecks, brawling neighbors, painted rocks, and a phantom post office.

A Bernal Heights Open Space

A walk along Mayflower Street, taking in the hills, stairways, and native plants.


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