My grandfather, Victor Hugo Presco, moved from Connecticut to San Francisco, and married Melba Broderick. Victor was a professional gambler who gambled in the Barbary Coast and Crockett where he lived on a houseboat. When he died, five thousand people came to Hugo’s funeral, including the mayor of San Francisco. He was well liked, even loved, he famous for his sense of humor. In 1986, I talked to the old curator of the Crockett museum who knew Hugo. He told me my grandfather was a great man a “Man’s man!”
My father, Victor William Presco, was born in San Francisco. Hugo was a house painter in that great city, but, soon tired of being a family man. When Vic was three, he abandoned his family and made a living gambling in the Barbary Coast. His wife, Melba, moved in with her parents who owned a orchard farm in Oakland. She would take the trolley to San Francisco to visit her husband carrying my infant father. The Poet of the Sierras, Joaquin Miller, would accompany Melba holding Vic in his lap.
Victor’s father, Wensel Anton Prescowitz, came from Bohemia Germany. My father’s lineage is true Bohemian that took root in the city by the bay that would become world famous for its Bohemian flavor. The name Victor Hugo suggests Wensel was an intellectual.