By Helen Tinsley-Jones
On a gloriously sunny, completely fog-free San Francisco day, my husband Sheldon and I joined a South of Market walking tour sponsored by SF City Guides, which is affiliated with the SF library. Meandering through Yerba Buena Gardens and then stopping at the northwest corner of the gardens, we arrived at Oche Wat Te Ou, a memorial to the Ohlone peoples designed by Indigenous artists Jaune Quick-to-See Smith and James Luna and installed in 1993. The memorial is a circular space, bounded by flattened stones, a crescent-shaped reflection pool and a hill-shaped wooden fence of basket-weave design. Shaded by five redwood trees and a single live oak, Oche Wat Te Ou was created to be a site for poetry, storytelling and other events held in the oral tradition. A special, contemplative place, a gem, I thought. But I also wondered: should the memorial have more obvious signage so that visitors could more easily find it and understand its significance? or does the memorial call for us to take effort and undertake intentional searching to discover it? What do you think?