Katherine Boschetto:  Navigating Life’s Curves

Long live Katherine Boschetto | photo by Julie Durbin | post by Christina Leimer

“I should have been born at the beginning of the forties,” Katherine Boschetto says, smiling, when I ask about the black and white photos of dancers on her living room wall at 9 Issaquah. “Everything in my house is vintage, from the 30s, 40s and 50s.”

In her bedroom, she pulls a black 1930s swing-style coat from her closet. “This was my mother’s. I have her high heels too.” On the walls, more period photos—street scenes and children—from London, Paris and Polk Street in San Francisco. Spangly art deco jewelry sits on her wooden chestnut-colored art deco dresser, its rounded corners inlaid with darker wood triangles. So does a copy of Vogue magazine dated the day she was born—in 1950. “I love old movies and Glenn Miller and dancing the jitterbug,” she says, her voice rising with excitement. “My mom, my brother and me were like the three musketeers,” after her parents divorced when Katherine was young. “She taught us to dance the jitterbug when we were 5 and 6 years old.”

Katherine grew up in Rock Springs, WY, a small town off I-80, “where cold wind blows the snow sideways.” When she was 21, she moved to Boulder, CO. Her brother was attending college there. Three years later, San Jose, CA was her next stop. There, she worked for a property management company. When the company transferred her to Daly City, she bought a condo. “I could watch the planes come and go from my living room window.” After a decade, mortgage rates skyrocketed and selling apartments which had been converted to condos got tough. Just before Thanksgiving, the company fired 98 employees, including Katherine.

She’s familiar with sudden job whacks. Once she arrived to find moving vans closing down the office where she worked. Another time, she found a new person sitting at her desk. Katherine once ran her own business selling high-end shopping bags to IT companies, wineries and retail stores. But with the dot-com bust, 80% of her revenue evaporated. Eventually, she decided to try something different. She enjoyed fixing up the houses she lived in, so interior design seemed reasonable. To get into the business, she offered herself as a Girl Friday, running errands, doing accounting, answering the phone—whatever was needed. It worked. Currently, she works with two designers handling the business side of the firms.

During an annual tour Katherine became enchanted by the floating homes community and set her sights on living here. It took 7 years though. Living in San Francisco’s Marina District, she drove here every Sunday morning to walk the bike path, went to open houses, and began helping with the annual tour. In 2003, her dream came true. Since then, she’s helped with the annual tour, held multiple positions on the FHA Board (most recently as President), and is now a Board Director-at-Large and helps arrange private tours.

Besides vintage clothes, jewelry, photos, movies and dancing, sports is her thing. “Mom was a Duke fan. We watched college basketball,” she says. “And football, Joe Montana, we were 49ers fans.” Though some might arm-wrestle her for the title, Katherine claims “I’m the Warriors’ biggest fan.” Every Saturday morning, she plays tennis, round robin in Sausalito with a pro who oversees and gives tips. She put together a Sausalito tennis team so they can play country club teams.

“I love to ski. I’m not a good skier, and I don’t do bumps as I’ve had both hips replaced. But I love the feeling, the back and forth down the slope, sun shining, everything’s so white, the sun reflecting off the snow. It’s just fun.” She waves her arms in the air, her body swaying, mimicking the curves as she imagines herself on skis meandering downhill. “I’m going to be that 80-year-old woman who’s skiing,” Katherine asserts. “I’m going to live to be 100.”