The San Franciscans: Fannie Barnes
On January 14, 1998, Fannie Barnes became the first woman ever to qualify as a cable car grip operator. How did she do it and why? Fannie explains, "I heard so many people telling me a woman couldn't be a grip because they don't have the upper body strength. I was working as a conductor for four years at the time so I studied what the grip was doing every day. Then I worked out extensively, extensively, for nine months. And when I qualified, I beat these guys who said I couldn't do it! They were puffing and sweating!" Not only did Fannie become the first female grip in the history of the cable car, she did so at the age of 52. What's the strangest question she's asked by tourists on the car? Fannie says, "It's when they ask me how, how do they ride the cable car? I tell them, 'Step up and we'll ride!'"

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