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Storied: San Francisco

Aug 26, 2021

In this episode, Midgett picks up where she left off in Part 1. She had just escaped an abusive relationship out east and decided to make her way to San Francisco.

One of her brothers was in the Navy and already in the Bay Area. Another had just moved out here, and so Midgett had people already in place. Her mom had left an apartment on Jones Street in The City that she was able to move into with her two kids. It was 1974 and the women's movement was well under way.

She met Roma Guy and got involved with opening the Women's Building, among other things LGBTQ and women's rights activists were engaged in at the time. It was there that Midgett started doing her workshops.

We rewind a little to discuss how Midgett got started teaching. It began with her agreeing to serve on a school board, then she got her daughter into that school, and others recognized how good she was with kids and suggested she teach. Her first job in San Francisco was at the Booker T. Washington Community Service Center. She also taught fifth graders in after-school programs.

She retired at 70 in the face of petitions that she stay on. She went back as a substitute regardless. She's currently working with the Kai Ming Head Start program.

These days, Midgett is launching a subscription service to publish writings based on the workshops she did at the Women's Building for years. The topics include: parenting, friendships, relationships, sensuality, sexuality, and aging. Please go to her site, Midgett's Reading Room, and consider subscribing.

We end the episode with Midgett talking about what it means for an 85-year-old to still be here.

We recorded this podcast at Midgett's home in Bernal Heights in August 2021.

Photography by Michelle Kilfeather