Photography by Michelle KIlfeather
Del Seymour got interested in politics early in his life, in the 1960s in Chicago.
In Part 1, Del walks us through the early years of his life. He attended a Catholic school in Chicago and went to seminary to be a priest. But that didn't last long, and he soon became a medic in the military.
After that, he moved to Los Angeles to get away from the snow and cold weather. Within his first year, he became a firefighter/paramedic with LAFD, one of the first several dozen in a program that was new at the time.
When he became a single parent, his sister in Oakland helped with his kids, and Del soon moved up to the Bay Area to be with them.
Del ends Part 1 with a strange twist, at least for this podcast.
Del's arrival in San Francisco was one wild ride.
In Part 2, Del describes his literal first hours in The City. He touches on nearly two decades of drug addiction and sets the scene at a park in the Tenderloin where he was inspired to sober up a little more than a decade ago.
Around that time, he started Tenderloin Walking Tours, inspired in part by Del's time driving cabs in San Francisco. During the COVID-19 pandemic, they've shifted their focus to developing a virtual version of the tour, which they hope to have ready for folks soon. Please see the clip below.
Del also talks about launching Code Tenderloin, and lets us know ways to get involved.
He ends Part 2 with his love letter, not to San Francisco, but to the Tenderloin.
This podcast was produced in partnership with an exciting new project that launches today. It's called Represent Collaborative, and it's a storytelling platform that covers issues of racial and social justice.
We recorded this podcast on Zoom during quarantine in San Francisco in August 2020.