Dear Timmy: San Francisco magazine, Sept. 4, 2015

Dear Timmy An open letter to Tim Lincecum on the occasion of his probable Giants farewell. By Dan Fost | September 4, 2015 It’s painful to think of this as a farewell letter,...

Dan Fost

Jews, Muslims and America

I had a great experience this week hearing two inspirational friends of mine read from their new books. They both dug into an area of personal interest and wound up illuminating a fascinating history that can teach us all something important.

Frances Dinkelspiel started looking into her family history, and found 50 boxes of papers at the California Historical Society. It turns out her great-great-grandfather — a Jewish immigrant — was a pivotal figure in building California’s economy, yet was so behind-the-scenes that he had been lost to history. She now has a great book out about him: “Towers of Gold: How One Jewish Immigrant Named Isaias Hellman Created California.” 
Her web site is (She also writes a great blog on the Bay Area book scene.)
She’s speaking Saturday in San Marino and Long Beach, and Dec. 2 in NY at Congregation Shearith Israel. then at numerous Bay Area events Dec. 2 and onward (including Temple Emanu-el Friday Dec. 5) and Dec. 11 and 12 at Metropolis Books and Congregation Kol Tikvah in LA. 
And Jonathan Curiel, a Chronicle reporter and former colleague, told the fascinating tale of how the Islamic world has influenced so many things in modern culture that so few people realize, from the Alamo to blues music to, ironically, the World Trade Center.

 Jonathan’s book, “Al’ America: Travels Through America’s Arab and Islamic Roots,” is a great read about an important but little-known topic. His Web site is and he has readings coming up Dec. 7 and 8 in the Washington, DC area.

Way to go, Frances and Jonathan!

About Dan Fost

Dan Fost is a freelance writer in the San Francisco Bay Area whose credits include Forbes, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, USA Today and San Francisco magazine. He specializes in technology, but branches out into baseball and other features. Dan’s books, "Giants Baseball Experience" and “Giants Past and Present,” about San Francisco's championship baseball team and its New York antecedents, were published by MVP Books in 2014 and 2010. As a staff writer at the San Francisco Chronicle for nine years, he had a front row seat at the rise and fall of the dotcoms, as well as their resurrection in the form of Web 2.0. In a lengthy career in newspapers, he has covered sports, social ventures, the environment, education, police, business, and politics. He is a native of New Jersey and a graduate of Boston University. He lives in Marin County, Calif., with his wife and son.
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