Readers brought to our attention an Oct. 20 Carl Nolte article in the Chronicle concerning the loss of North Beach waitress Lina Toracca at the age of 88. She had worked at U.S. Restaurant at Columbus and Stockton for 35 years, and she was a beloved figure for many locals.
As Dana Eastland wrote over at Tablehopper.com, Toracca “had a reputation for being tough and stern with her customers, but loving too. If you couldn’t decide what to order, she’d go ahead and choose for you. Or maybe you were fooling around — she’d grab you by the ear and put you in your place.”
Nolte noted that “Lina Toracca was one of those people everyone in the neighborhood knew. She was not famous; she never got her name in the paper.” She’s now gotten her name in the papers, but it’s what she did all those years when she wasn’t recognized in print that make her noteworthy. And missed.