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Storied: San Francisco

Nov 30, 2021

One side of Matt Sterling's lineage is a big, Irish Catholic family.

In this podcast, the bartender and pub quiz host delves into his family's history in San Francisco. Three generations ago, great-grandparents came here from Ireland, established their roots, and had kids. Matt's maternal grandma was one of them.

She grew up in Ingleside and raised seven kids of her own, including Matt's mom. Matt says that on his mom's side, he's got 23 cousins and he knows them all pretty well. Through his mom and his aunts and uncles, Matt shares stories from the neighborhood back in the 1960s. He describes Thanksgiving dinners, first at his grandmother's house and then at his own home, where somewhere around 50 family guests showed up.

Matt's dad came to the US from the Philippines when he was 22. He got married and had three kids, but that marriage ended in divorce. Then Matt's parents met when they both worked for the SFPD. His dad was an officer and his mom worked a desk job. The couple had Matt and his sister for a total of five kids.

His dad worked many different beats around The City in the thirty-plus years he worked as a cop. As his family started to grow with the arrival of Matt and his sister, his dad found a larger home in Daly City. Matt tells us some of his earliest memories, including going to Catholic school in South San Francisco and later, Sacred Heart in SF. He ran cross country, which helped him get to know San Francisco really well.

Matt ends Part 1 talking about various excursions in The City that sealed the fate of his moving here for him. Check back Thursday for Part 2 and the continuation of Matt Sterling's life story.

We recorded this podcast at Soda Popinski's on Nob Hill in November 2021.

Photography by Michelle Kilfeather