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Storied: San Francisco

Jan 25, 2022

Both of Alex Maxa's parents are journalists.

In this episode, we hear the life story of the founder of Gillibus, who "specialize in not only Bay Area day trips, nighttime cruises, and mobile performances but also stationary events and overnight camping." Alex's granddad on his dad's side was in the Army, and so his dad moved around a lot, but ended up in Washington, DC, for high school. He was the editor of his school paper in those days and ended up in journalism school at Ohio University.

His mom grew up in Toledo and also went to OU, where she met Alex's dad. The young couple skipped graduation, got married, and went to DC. His dad got a job at The Washington Post pretty quickly. Political gossip and scandal was his beat. It was the early 1970s. Nothing to see here, folks.

There was an opening on a DC radio station and they asked Alex's dad to step in and fill it. This was well before the internet, and so, when celebrities rolled into town, they'd call into programs like this to promote whatever it was they were doing in the nation's capital.

Alex's mom wanted to write feature stories. She was assigned and reluctantly ended up covering sports, something she knew little to nothing about. His parents split up earlier in his life, and his step-dad came into the picture around the time Alex was 6.

But his dad remained close. Alex split time between his parents' houses. He credits his sister, seven years older than him, with being the "glue that kept things together" between and among the two families.

Along with many friends, he played soccer from a young age. He shares the story of going to a rather unusual preschool in DC. But when he was out on the field, he could forget everything and just have fun.

We end Part 1 with stories of Alex hanging out with his dad in the early 1990s, when his dad had shifted out of political journalism and into travel writing and the adventures they had together. Check back Thursday for Part 2 and the conclusion of Alex Maxa's story.

​We recorded this podcast on Zoom in January 2022.