Photography by Michelle Kilfeather
Ida McCray has left San Francisco.
In Part 1, Ida, who was born and raised in The City, takes us back to around the time of her birth. Her dad was in and out of trouble and her mom put Ida in Catholic school. An only child, she loved books but school never excited her. She got into her own trouble as a teenager, and found herself in and out of Juvenile Hall.
After graduating high school at 16, Ida got involved in the movement of those days and converted to Islam. This came after roughly a year and a half of her life locked up on a petty theft charge.
We saved Part 2 of Ida McCray's podcast with us for a good reason. We didn't want her incredible story to get lost in the chaos and uncertainty that marked last week. And we suspect that you, like us, feel a little better heading into this week, so ...
Ida shares the story of her release from prison when she was a teenager. She shares the story of when she helped hijacked a plane from San Francisco to Los Angeles and ended up in Cuba.
Fast-forward to 16 years later, when a member of her family turned her in. She served a little more than a decade in federal prison, and when she got out, she started working at the San Francisco Sheriff's Department, where she stayed for more than 20 years, as a rehabilitation coordinator. She also started teaching wellness for the formerly incarcerated at City College.
Ida ends Part 2 talking about needing a break from The City she loves but doesn't recognize lately.
We recorded this podcast outside of Ida's home in the Excelsior in October 2020.