The things I remember about Palo Alto while growing up: | Town Square

Things I remember from growing up in Palo Alto (College Terrace): When the entire length of California Avenue was fields, playing and running around and ogling the construction sites as TAB et al. went up The Kite Flying Hill (Frenchman’s Hill) before the Stanford condos went up Patterson’s (5 and Dime), Monette’s Pet Store and the tiny bike store on California Avenue, where we used to ride our bikes and check out what was new. JJ&F before it expanded into the space next door, but still with John, Joe and Frank at the helm. The experimental Carousel program at Escondido, mixed grade with a heavy emphasis on emotional intelligence. Eating jawbreakers at the pool on hot summer days, bought at the snack bar at Rinconada. Anyone else?
Did you know that the area where Greer Park is currently located used to house the Palo Alto Drive-In Movie Theater from 1947 to 1969?
When Cubberly High School was still Cubberly High School and we were the Cubberly Cougers. When JLS was Wilbur Junior High. When Officer Frank Mashinski was still the PA Police Department’s Safety Patrol liason, and we all wore red sweaters and yellow hats. We carried stop signs that were bigger than we were, and we all marched in the May Day Parade. Mitchell Park was a huge empty field, and East Meadow was Diss Road. Oregon Expessway was two-laned Oregon Avenue, and none of the cross streets were blocked. The Century Liquor store strip was a roller rink. Rafe Serebreny Hoover Wilbur Cubberly Previous owner 2730 South Court West Long Branch, NJ
Hi Rafe, Officer Mashinski. Yes I do remember him. When I attended Herbert Hoover, he was in charge of the “traffic patrol” squad. I don’t recall the Century place being a roller rink. Someone had told me that it used to be Freeman’s Market, I think. I do recall in 1962 (I was 7) my parents arguing over the initiative that would turn Oregon Road into an expressway and would require relocating 92 families whose homes would have to be taken out. The initiative passed by just under 400 votes I think. Ahh yes, the good ol’ drive-in movie theaters – Greer and Moffet Field. As kids, we’d hop the fence in the back and watch movies for free. Andy
Wow … this is such a wonderful thread ! I hope lot more people post their memories … we are very very new residents as compared to all of you ( 2002 … ) The now closed ARCO site near the Winterlodge — what was this place prior to ARCO ? Was it always a gas station ?
Hi New Resident, Right in front of the Winter Lodge, we had a Shell Gas Station. Also, on the corners of Middlefield and Colorado were 2 more gas stations. That’s 3 gas stations in 1 block. We also had 2 pharmacies. Unlike the now Walgreens and Longs, the Fremont Pharmacy (where the realtor is on Middlefield and Colorado) and Midtown Pharmacy (where the coffee place is at Midtown Shopping Center) – they were both mom and pop’s-type stores. As kids, we’d buy tons and tons of CANDY at each one. I know this is going to sound real old-fogeyish, but, dang, for 25 cents, you could get 3 candy bars, gum and a couple other items. (I sure wish I had a better dental plan, now). We also had 4 (four) grocery stores in 1 block. Duca Hanley, Supermarket Basket, Safeway and the Co-Op (formerly the Purity Store). During this Baby Boom era, all four stories did pretty well. Andy
Bowling at the Indian Bowl on Emerson Bowl across from where Whole Foods is now. The Indian head is still on the sidewalk. Looking at dirty magazines at Fran’s market on the corner of Lytton and Cowper. A large picture of Fran still hangs on the upper wall to your left as you walk in. He was a nice man and never busted me.
I moved to Palo Alto in 1973 when I was 11 years old. Unfortunately I was born after the fields and orchards had been developed – I would like to have seen that. Still, much has changed in the 30+ years I have lived here. My memories: Candy store on University Ave. near Waverley that sold delicious caramel corn and candied apples. Crescent Park Elementary school (now a housing tract) My fantastic house on Crescent Drive. It’s still there but I miss it – my parents sold it when they divorced in the 70′s. Peninsula Creamery milk delivery. Liddicoat’s Grocery Store (now Z Gallery) The original Mrs. Fields cookie shop at the Liddicoat’s restaurant mall on University Ave. where Z Gallery now is. Mrs. Fields herself worked there and cookies were only 25 cents each. Rapp’s Shoe store with the electric train and talking myna bird. The day it snowed enough to build a snowman in Feb. 1976. I was in the 8th grade at Jordan. Arastradero road lined with eucalyptus trees. The trees burned down in a grass/house fire in the late 80′s. No homeless people on University Ave. Whiskey Gulch Norney’s, I. Magnin, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Blums at Stanford Shopping Center Fun games of hide-and-seek at night on Crescent Drive. Do kids even play outside anymore? Lots of frogs (toads?) in my Crescent Drive back yard. Buying flowers from Mrs. Stapleton at Stapleton’s Florist. Participating in a peace walk down University Ave. in the 70′s. Rationing water in the 70′s during the drought years.
On one of your trips down memory lane, can you tell me what was in the location that currently houses Hobee’s on El Camino just south of E. Charleston (across from the old Rickey’s). It looks like there used to be a bar in there, and I’m really curious about it.
I asked my teenagers for help on this one Feeding ducks at the duck pond and watching the big birds land (planes) and the smell Going to Stanford and visiting Sesame Street, Disney, Gymboree, the Imaginarium Store Bergmans, particularly its closing down sale. The wading pool at Mitchell Park The day there was no school because of floods buying gas in midtown Dressing up for school to celebrate Palo Alto being 100 years old and using slates and chalk in the classroom Going to the Museum and Zoo, the playground for a picnic then the children’s library all in one outing Visiting Christmas Tree Lane when there were no other houses decorated with fancy Christmas lights crawling under the turtle in Seale Park Running down the boardwalk pier in the baylands
I lived on Duncan Place from 1961-1965, when my family moved to Boston. I went to Ohlones (yes, with an ‘S’) Elementary School, where Hoover is currently situated. I also remember riding bikes down the dry creek beds. “Don’t you dare tell the kids!” my husband admonished when we moved here eight years ago. I remember being on the Safety Patrol that Rafe refers to. I was all of 4 1/2 feet tall, and I’d go out there with my red sweater and sign and stop traffic on Charleston so children could cross the street going to and from school. And I actually lived to tell about it. I remember several of our neighbors building bomb shelters. I can still point out those homes now and wonder if the shelters are still there and what they are being used for. I remember drills in school where we were told to get under our desks and cover our necks with our hands in case of an air raid. What were they thinking? I remember taking violin classes and Spanish from first grade on. I think it’s a travesty that formal music and language instruction is delayed until late elementary and middle school now. I still play the violin and remember a little Spanish. I attribute that to my early exposure right here in Palo Alto.
Ooh, yes! Blums (dressing up when my grandmother visited and going there as a special treat), I Magnin, definitely Rapp’s (went to school with Kelly and Shannon Rapp — nicest girls you ever met), Edy’s (where Jamba Juice is now) Monte Cristo sundaes, the sniow day of ’76 (we still have a picture of us with our little snowman), milk delivery, to Co-Op where Mollie Stones is now, Lake Lagunita, which used to be full in the summer too. It still is a pretty great place to grow up.
Remember: Mayfield school (for non-teacher pets) on El Camino, on the lot next to the new soccer fields. Snow in ’62 Thousands of frogs in every creek. JC Penneys at Mayfield Mall In Midtown: Chuck Thompson’s swim club next to the winter lodge Goodwill in a tiny old building with sloping floors where the Wa-Mutual Bank is. At Bergmans: paying $.99 for 45s, and $2 for St. Cristophers; and burgers, fries and cherry cokes for lunch Slot car racing Palo Alto Sportship where Baskin Robbins currently resides. Palo Alto Co-Op where Walgreens currently is Duca and Hanley Meats where Longs currently is. At Charleston Center, the Shell gas station on the corner of middlefield and charleston The All-American Grocery store where Blockbuster (?) is on the west side of El Camino. The German band at Rick’s Swiss Chalet where the Goodwill currently is. (a bad trade) The drive-up Root Beer (A&W?) place on El camino and East Meadow (on the island) In sports: When Stanford won the Rose Bowl with Ralston, Plunkett, Moore, and Vitaha. Watching Gene Washington catch Plunkett’s passes. Watching Paly vs. Sequoia at Stanford Stadium. Very windy, dusty and hard Little League fields by the Veterans hospital. A really old gym at Paly (oh ya, that is still there)
Rick’s Rather Rich when Rick worked behind the counter and offered to give a free scoop if you could name the castle in a painting he had on his wall. Climbing the (Adobe) creek walls and catching crayfish and some of the millions of tadpoles and frogs. Watching people raft down the creek when it was full and running real fast. Ortega Elementary School where Ortega Court is now. Hoover School, which was a “back to basics” school where the Southwood Apts are now. The gas station at Charleston Plaza (now cleaners) handed out gifts when you bought gas there; things like steak knives and mugs.
Hi Carlos, The slot car racing the Bob Gardiner referred to was, I think, a 2or 3-story building where the closed-up Arco station now is. I had to tap my memory when I was about 6 years old. The tables where they raced the toy cars were to high for me to see – but I could hear the action. Hey Bob – long time no see. Looks like we haven’t been “priced-out” of our city. I still keep in touch with some of our elementary school teachers Take care, Andy
Andy, Not to give away your age but approximately what year(s) would that have been? The closest thing to that we have had around here was a slot car track in Mountain View until about 5-7 years ago. It was located in the shopping center at Grant and El Camino where there is a Walgreens and a Burger King now.
collecting tadpoles in the creek. Riding my banana seat bike all around the neighborhood. yes, afterschool rec center. walking down the street at 9 pm at night, with no cars out and the lights out in all the houses (people used to go to bed early around here!) 101 commute hour with 5 cars on the road (that was considered a lot). Sneaking out of the house to go to the Varsity Theater to watch Eraserhead. Woolworth’s, Edie’s Ice Cream, Bergman’s. Downtown closing down at 6 pm. Less than 16 kids in my 5th grade class. Girl Scouts, the Girl Scout house at Rinconoda, the Railroad Club…and of course Monettes!
Garland Elementary Mr. H. By far the best teacher ever! Oh, and Jack Phillips at Paly :-) Chuck Thompsons swim club Varsity movie theater (now borders) on Friday and Saturday nights. Walking everywhere with my friends in high school! Cho’s on California Ave (the best) Taking the 86 bus to Stanford Shopping Center for 10 cents … then it was raised to a quarter! Playing until the street lights came on … the best
Elizabeth Van Auken elementary school Varsity Theater Palo Alto Yacht club Palo Alto Yacht Harbor Palo Alto Drive-In Sitting on a huge pile of hay bales watching movies at the PA Drive-In The 600′ radio tower on the east side of the freeway Crawling under Bayshore while under costruction through drainage pipes to catch gopher snakes around the radio tower Skateboards made out of metal wheeled skates Woodburners and X-Acto knives Wilbur Junior High (Go Warriors!!) The Jordan Germs When soccor was a game instead of a sport Biking all over town and not having your parents worrying about you Eddie’s Cafe in Midtown The original Midtown Pharmacy where you could buy cinnamon oil to soak tooth picks in The variety store at Midtown where penny candy was HUGE Toy World where my bother got busted for shoplifting but ran out the backdoor when the manager went to call the cops Riding the train to San Francisco during the summer to visit my Dad’s office in the Woolworth building Woolworth’s Western Auto Going to Peninsula Creamery and having my friend’s mom make us gimungous shakes
We moved to Palo Alto in 1957. When we walked to Garland School, we had to walk through a field, because Garland Dr. did not go all the way to Louis Rd. The houses being moved from Oregon Ave. to their now, final resting places on Garland, Louis, etc. Jordan Dophins, and the pass through from Garland Dr. Climbing over the pool fence at night, when they built the pool at Jordan, and having great swims. Climbing to the roof of the Jordan Gym to get tennis balls. Feeling safe, and free around town, whatever the time of day. Having church services in the Varsity Theater, while the new Methodist church was being built. My very dear friend Betty. Now I live in Southern Calif., my husband works at Disneyland.
El Carmelo, De Anza, Wilbur, and Cubberley (then Paly). Going to Piers Dairy at lunch recess to get a snow cone. Wax lips upstairs at Bergman’s. Climbing the fence at the Wilbur swimming pool for midnight swimming. Also swimming at Felt Lake or the quarry behind Foothills Park. Rick’s Rather Rich after baseball practice with the State Farm Boys. Riding motorcycles and bicycles in the fields along 101 where Connectics is now located. Riding my stingray with my brother and Joe M. to Stanford for the first time – an all day event. Midtown Bike Shop, Midtown Pharmacy, Midtown Market – Midtown! Playing tennis ball baseball and pretending to be the Giants – running down the entire lineup (remember Tito Fuentes, Al Gallagher, Dick Dietz, Gaylord Perry?). Playing two hand touch football in the street until the street lights came on. My first job as a paperboy with the Palo Alto Time – I porched it! Lew’s Shell on Middlefield. My first teaching job at the first elementary school I ever attended. What a long, strange trip it’s been!
I am from the other side of town… All American Market (where Blockbuster is) Barron Park Pharmacy 7-up slurpees at Driftwood Market A&W Rootbeer Iron Works Chez Luis Fred’s Deli The Gap WInter CLUB (not Lodge) The “neighborhood” school: Barron Park became Creekside then Hoover then back to Barron Park (thank you!)
Thanks all for bringing back a lot of memories…. The Wright Nursery School in Barron Park Hoover Elementary & Principal Clark Wilbur Junior High Swim lessons during the summer at Terman Air raid siren checks Lunch at the coffee shop at Bergmann’s, followed up a trip to the toy section on the 2nd floor My first savings account at Northern California Savings on Middlefield Midtown Market / Co-Op / Lucky’s / All-American Fruit trees in the yard and all around the neighborhood – cherries, plums, apricots Seeing snow for the first time that morning in ’76 Mayfield Mall (I know, it’s in MV, not PA) – but I can’t forget the great pet store and Grandma’s Cookies …The world has changed a lot – and Palo Alto has certainly changed with it. It’s still a great place to live & grow up – at least that’s why we’re back here!
Swimming at Cubberly’s pool in the summer, which had a fun high diving board Sammy K’s junkyard next to JJ&F, where I got the first training wheels for my bike when I was three. His store was a jumble of junk and treasures, perfect for a little kid’s wandering Riding on the back of my mom’s bike all over Stanford campus, especially to the student-run vegetable garden next to Escondido school Antique store Polly & Jake’s at the corner of Page Mill and El Camino, which had beautiful colored lamps displayed in the window at night Sitting on the balcony at Swensen’s Ice Cream on University Ave with high school friends eating ice cream and people watching Catching frogs at Lake Lagunita Riding bikes all over town without parents knowing where we were–no problem, and no SUVs clogging the streets Buying a pet desert tortoise at Monette’s Pet Shop on California Ave in the ’60s (now illegal to own them I hear) All the great old movie theatres such as the Fine Arts, Bijoux, Varsity (especially double feature foreign films at the Varsity) Swain’s House of Music on University Talking myna bird at Rapps Shoes
Hi, John and I have come up with some other things we remember. We have really enjoyed everyone’s memories. Most of which we remember too. At the the variety store in Midtown, you could go upstairs and read comic books, all the ones your own parents wouldn’t let you read. Ming’s, when it was on El Camino, where we all learned to use chopsticks. Irma Schauble’s. Mr. Center, Mr. Thorpe, Mrs. Dingman (does anyone learn latin any more?) The Comedia Theater The Tangent on University The great Halloween party at Garland. The 6th graders got to do the haunted room. And The cake walk. The great Halloween party at Jordan, where you coul dunk the teachers. And, I left the l out of the Jordan Dolphins. Thanks to all of you. Ann and John [email protected]
Rainy days at Stanford shopping center, when it had the Emporium, Norney’s, a grocery store, The Nature Company (where I worked during high school), Something to Crow About, B. Dalton Books, a great game store I can’t remember the name of, and The Great Hot Dog Experience (which wasn’t). Town and Country shopping center when it had Edy’s Ice Cream (Alaskan Root Beer!), a grocery store with a sandwich counter and The Ultimate Cookie in front, the pharmacy with a post office substation, the Cook Book restaurant, Stickney’s. Bear Claws at Bergman’s. Getting Whacky Packs at Fran’s Market. Burgers at Kirk’s, when it was on California ave. The vacant lot across from Addison, where we’d have dirt clod fights, before it became housing. Taking the bus to Mayfield Mall, then sneaking into the utility corridors at The Old Mill shopping center. The San Antonio shopping center, when they had a Lotus parked in the middle as part of a contest tied into “The Spy that Loved Me.” The smell of the Sears hot nut counter. The street lights used to be white, not pink, and most of the roads were cross-crossed with tar lines where the tarmac had cracked. Guitar lessons at Draper’s Music. Getting kicked out of Swain’s music. Rinconada park, when it had painted cement cylinders in the play area and always had the snack stand open by the pool in the summer. The haunted house they always put on at the Lucy Stern center. Halloween in general used to be WAY bigger and more fun. Blowing my plastic models up in the street with firecrackers, and no one thinking it was a big deal. Setting off Red Devil fireworks in the street on the 4th, and no one thinking it was a big deal. Taking off alone or with friends, on foot, on the bus, or on bikes, and it being safe and normal. No homeless downtown, except for one guy on California Ave., generally referred to as “the sheep man”, because he wore a ragged sheep skin, and not much else. Plowshare books, Minerva books, Comix and Comics, the original Chimera Books house. The funny looking box structure across from the Fish Market, which was originally a Banana Records, where I bought my Kiss albums. Playing racket ball at The Supreme Court, and having orange whips while playing Galaxian afterwards. The Bijou, Biograph, Varsity, and Fine Arts movie theaters. The classic double bill at the Varsity was “The King of Hearts” and “Harold and Maude”. I also remember seeing Michael Hedges playing in the courtyard/restaurant area. The original Ramona’s, between University and Hamilton on Ramona. Went there on my first date, freshman year; we road our bikes there and back. Didn’t know that ten years later I would marry her. Paly High, before they put a chain link fence around it, and when they still had those ugly math portables. A big bump in the road on Melville at Webster, which I used to launch the family station wagon off of. Late night coffee at Denny’s, Ken’s pancakes, or the University Creamery (which, as I remember, got closed for health violations). Henry’s Bar. 42nd Street. The original Rudy’s pub.
Hi Carlos, Thank you for your note. If I am referring to what slot car racing is, as I recall, there was a 2 or 3-story building right where the abandon Arco Station is on Middlefield Road (not to get confused with Carpenter’s Hall). I believe the building was taken down around 1961 when. From what I recall, they had about 3 big tables with car tracks on them for those small, model cars. As mentioned, I wasn’t tall enough to see what was going on unless I stood on a chair. Andy
Sorry – just one more thing: I have to mention some of my “juvenile delinquent” activities: Sneaking out at night with friends and swimming at Chuck Thompsons or alternatively ice-skating at the Winter CLUB. Buying cigarettes at the vending machines for 45 cents a pack. Stealing cigarettes and (Tiny Tot brand) sardines at the Safeway store. Being led out of Bergmann’s toy section (on the 2nd floor) by the clerks before we had a chance to shoplift. “Ghost-riding” an abandon bicycle off the roof of the original Hoover School Being “busted” with 6 others by “Narcs on Bikes” at Hoover Park when I was 13 for smoking a joint Palo Alto Times ran a story in 1969 called “Narcs on Bikes.” The officers in that unit were allowed to grow their hair and beards to look like “hippies” at a time when the police had strict rules on head and facial hair. Andy
Does any one else remember the donkeys in a pasture where Palo Alto Square is now? How about the House of Pies? i remember taking Fremont to Los Altos, because Foothill Expressway was still train tracks. I remember swimming (and drinking beer) at Felt lake many times. Apricot orchards between Gunn and Alta Mesa. Blowing smoke down into the grass over Pig Pen’s grave. Riding a horse down into the Gunn Quad after school Sneaking in and switching the announcements for “Hippy Day” at Gunn The disco at the Old Mill Riding at Cooks, (ok I think that is LAH, but it is just over the border. Crawling into the tower on Old Page Mill, (actually really boring inside) Maxi Mart, where Fry’s is now. California Avenue Pharmacy, with the pretty bottles of colored liquid behind the counter. When there was a Woolworths at Stanford Mall.
Anyone remember the bus driver, Marshall, from all the field trips that we used to take from Mayfield School ( on El Camino Real in South Palo Alto where the soccer fields are now)………. How about “John” the custodian that had his office in the basement area, accessable only by a ladder? Who remembers where the time capsule is buried at Terman Jr.High in 1959????? My very first job was as a counter person at Woolworth’s lunch counter on University Ave and I got the biggest tip ever there for serving the Butcher man his coffee..a whopping $1.50…haha… My sister and I joined the Stanford University’s Jr.Rooters Club and hooted and hollered, shaked our red and white pom~poms and almost went deaf ringing the cow bells we brought……..(I’m old now, never thought of that memory in quite awhile..was only about 6 then).. Sleeping on the wooden floor at the Girl Scout house at the Community Center… Getting the roundish scar on my left upper arm from an injection that was given to me in a line at the local library ~with several other screaming children in the 40′s…..dosed again for polio later (this time on the sugar cube) among the masses at school sure was easier… Besides feeding the ducks at the duck pond, remember the old yatch harbor we HAD? And that great looking Sea Scout building..I loved the inside paneling and the feel of the intimacy it HAD…..what’s going on with that property, anyway? It SHOULD be saved……. Walking about on the home made stilts my father made for us…Also delighted with the orange crate scooter he made (with the old roller skates on the bottom plank that hauled us full tilt boogie)..we even took that into the May Day Parade one year, all decorated with streamers…still have the ribbon from that event (somewhere!)…. Remember the round hamburger restaurant (Pards)that was on El Camino by Arastradero? They had the square metal play for pay (for 25 cents) music boxes on each table….great stop off place, they had a round fireplace in the middle of all the tables and it was usually lit. Kirks. They were across the street and down a block from Pards on El Camino then.. they were serving hamburgers there and you had to stand up to eat them at a table as they had no stools to sit on! Unless you went outside to the bbq area…they moved to Calif. Ave, then to Town and Country Village.. There was the sewing house downtown in an old victorian house called Irma could get such great information on how to sew ANYTHING from her, she was amazing! Irish cottage on El Camino at Page Mill..was there for years, moved up to Boulder Creek area I heard..they were located across from Polly and Jakes…did you know Hewlett and Packard used Polly and Jakes back area in the early days? Ask Steve Stagner, Palo Alto Historian…that guy knows EVERYTHING and seemly, EVERYBODY!!! The horses that were at the corner of El Camino and Page Mill where the tall buildings now stand.. How about the old funeral parlor home that was turned into the GATEHOUSE restaurant on Lytton? Sorry, but I could never go in there after my mother told me that one…..! S Burger across the street from Mayfield School that had the Indian head neon light, the Juke box and 19 cent hamburgers? Dick’s hamburgers a few blocks south of that had great burgers and a huge barrel on the counter that held Rootbeer..and they served it to you in a frozen glass mug..the fireplace there was usually lit..cozy… Movie Theatre on California Ave. 25 cents to get in….Varsity Theater on University Ave. gave away BIKES to the kids on Saturdays only ( if you were the lucky one to get your number drawn!)…had fun throwning popcorn around anyway…! And they had USHERS there and at Stanford Theater down the street who showed you your seats with a flashlight….. They also had ushers of sort at the old Palo Alto Drive Inn out by the frontage road at Amarillo St. If the windows got a little steemy, you would have some guy there who would knock on your window and shine a flashlight on you…(teehee)….Also they started checking the trunks of cars that seemed to be sagging in the rear when it came time to pay at the entrance gate….ah, the pizza was like cardboard, but you got so you kinda acquired a taste for it after awhile…was it really true that they had subliminal messages put inbetween the commercials telling you to go and buy popcorn????!! California Ave Pharmacy, who actually delivered your medications..Midtown Pharmacy did too..did Kenyons on University? The old Purity Grocery Store where the old Keystone Night Club was.. Co-Op Market right down a few more the Co-Op in Midtown…I think All American was the last market in town to give Blue Chip/ Green Stamps………. The A&W on El Camino Real that actually had the girls on roller skates that delivered to your car~ you placed your order with a remote box that was by your window in each parking stall…..They had the one in Midtown, too but I don’t remember that one having the roller skaters…….. How about Bonanders Drive In on El Camino? That is where the Olive Garden is today…That was a stopping place (1950′s)when kids used to drive and drag their cars all the way from San Jose to San Francisco..They had car hops there also..I remember the girl spilling a chocolate milkshake down the side of my brother’s car…YUUCH! I remember a store on El Camino (on the corner of Cambridge) that was called (I think) Jake’ was so packed with “stuff”, had “stuff” hanging off the ceiling..Think it was a second hand store.. The front door opened out faceing the corner instead of one street or another..looked spooky to me as a youngster….. Piers Dairy was located out on Louis Road…I once sat in the milk truck while the owner drove me up to Herbert Hoover’s house to deliver…I sat in the truck and ate an ice cream while he talked to him…(I was pretty young and thought he was a “nice old man”..) Frank and Millie’s grocery store on El Camino at Wilton Street..and the Chew’s smaller grocery store on the corner of El Camino and Fernando… Collecting Monarch butterflies and cocoons on the rag weed bushes by the train tracks on THIRD STREET (now Park Blvd.) where the old telephone poles were kept (by where the Court house is now)…. Remember when there were stop lights on Bayshore Highway?! How about the train set up in Rapp’s shoe store..the talking bird there, the free ballons they gave you… The old GREYHOUND BUS station on Alma Street that had a lunch counter! Loved to go downtown to the train station…what a wonderful building, full of people with anticipating and anxious wonderments, waiting to go on an adventure~ North or South……… The Daylight and the Starlight trains…..The circus trains, trains full of working people, trains that carried Presidential parties.. What a busy and wonderful world it all seemed like to a youngster growing up here in Palo Alto… other place like place like place like home…no place..
Free Donuts and coffee at Bergmann’s after Thanksgiving Receiving tootsie rolls from the cashiers at Midtown Market Buying fresh meat at the meat counter at Midtown Market. Shopping at Maximart which is now Fry’s Electronics Attending Jordan when they had the dolphin as their mascot and their school colors were red and blue Being able to catch a city bus a couple blocks from my house to go to downtown Palo Alto, Stanford Shopping Center or to Mayfield Mall Riding a yellow school bus to Paly when it rained
Riding my bike deep into east palo alto as a pre teen suburban white boy in the murder capital 80′s. Riding my bike all over cow hill, into felt lake even sneeking rides into the land around SLAC. Grateful Dead every May at Frost. Crazy Paly beer/coke/LSD/shroom/weed parties. Smoking weed after school at JLS. Surf trips to Santa Cruz and the coast. Using a skateboard to get everywhere. Skateboarding from San Antonio shopping center (banks) to downtown and then home. Something like 15 miles of skateboarding. Usually trashed and maybe hitting a party or two in between.
Playing in the apricot orchards next to Gunn High School (the western end of Georgia Avenue). Woolworths in the San Antonio Shopping Center Mayfield Mall Frying eggs on the street during the summer time Snow day when I was in 5th grade at Loma Vista (now Juana Briones) A&W Playing in apricot fields at the eastern end of Georgia Avenue (now Pena Court and condominiums) Riding my bicycle to Terman Jr. High to swim in the pool all day during the summers. Last class to attend Terman Jr. High – I had to go to Wilbur for 8th grade.
Mr Center @ Jordan Kling’s @ Town & Country Patterson’s on California Avenue Fireworks @ the baylands Paly Rules!!!
Riding our bikes to the ‘drive-up’ window at Berkeley Farms for snow-cones. Planting trees at the baylands and feeding the ducks at the dump with my Dad. The unique smell and soporific sounds at Eichler, where after swimming I would fall asleep in one of my parents’ arms wrapped up in an orange beach towel. The ‘gang’ playing ‘chase’ after dinner at El Carmelo during the summers. Snowball fight on the grass at Palo Verde in ’76. SinGing with Mrs. Fukikawa at Wilbur. (always pronounce the ‘g’) Jasmine everywhere. Thankfully some things never change.
And Beaudoins’ School of Dance, for tap, ballet, or ballroom… the girls wearing white gloves and the boys and girls – thankfully – not really having to touch!
Ohhhhhhhhhhh……… I misss those days! Riding my horse to Gunn after school. Sometimes, even riding as far as the Driftwood Market, at the corner of Matadero and El Camino, and getting slurpees or burritos at Taco Tio next door. Tying my horse up to the hitching post my Dad built in front of our Barron Park home. Maximart and Norney’s and the monkeys at the shoe store at Stanford shopping center. Riding bikes to San Antonio Shopping Center, and having lunch at The Menu Tree and watching the papier mache birds come out every hour. The duck pond, and the Palo Alto dump, where treasures old and not-so-old could be snatched up from the piles of trash before being buried. The night Kenny Marjoram left his Ford Pinto in the middle of the El Camino and Embarcadero intersection before leaving to play for the Bears… I towed it away for PAPD. Polly & Jake Antiques on the corner of El Camino and Page Mill–Polly would hand wrap the fragile items purchased as gifts while you waited. The Poor Farm. Webb Ranch–the fruit stand and the ranch–when it was just a little stand and we picked our pumpkins there along the road side in the pumpkin patch. Cook’s Quarter Horse Ranch and Rancho Ramos. Riding my horse from Ramos’s place to Duvenick in the early morning hours for a horse show, and then back again in the evenings. Michi the donkey in the little pasture behind the Veteran’s Hospital. Mrs. Bol owned him, and I kept my horse with Michi for several years. Mrs. Bol’s grand daughter came out to California in the summers and we rode together along the old railroad right of way. Swimming in the Bol’s pool after our rides. Even then I knew the pool was a style of older times. The old farm house and all its antiques, and its smell of apples. The fields where Palo Alto Square is now. The Stanford Theater. The Varsity. The Bijou. Quality Mart! Does anybody remember them? I thought I could get the coolest second hand stuff EVER at Quality Mart.
Is that Andy F from 88? This is so cool! Cho’s for lunch King Chuan’s greasy but good Cheesehouse Bergmans Liddicoats food court Edy’s Ice cream..that was a fun place to hang out Movies at the Old Mill..getting candy after Mayfield Mall at Xmas with the little moving people scenes GEMCO Summers at Rinc Pool spending all day there getting food from the chinese guy who worked in that little hole in the wall making burgers and all sorts of great stuff Duck Pond Cow tipping Sliding down cow hill on cardboard Actually being able to watch fireworks from cow hill or the baylands Pattersons and Monettes Kirk Burgers Rainbow Records near T & C the pizza place before Pizza my Heart…old location Rapps & Coopelands downtown Lake Laug with water (and the alligator legend) actually being able to ride your bike and walk around without your parents all day Woolworths at Stanford Mall lunch time visits from Paly to Burger King downtown pizza parlors with cool video games Halloween antics riding around on a moped (yeah remember those!)doing bad stuff! Soooo many things….I’ll stop for now!
Hi Andrea, No, I’m not the Andy F from ’88, I’m Andy F (the ol’ geezer) from ’74 Gunn (Wilbur and Cubb alum, too). Andy
Okay- this is awesome! I tried to skim these so not to repeat them. Someone asked what Hobees was prior – I beieve it was Edies Ice Cream. Thank god the Cheese House is still there! Andy F… so this is funny- my husband is Andy F. and graduated in 88. His name is Andy Freeman nor Freedman- so it’s a different guy (unless Freedman graduated in 88, than my apologies). It totally sounds like something my husband would post though ;-) ….here goes… I too went to the “old” Hoover and miss Bergmans and Rapps and the Mynah Bird! Taking the bus with friends in 3rd grade- no parents Riding my bike until the street lights came on in 4-6th grade Donkey Basketball at Jordan Senior Frolics at Paly & spending the night on “The Wall” Ms. Meaders & Mr. Carey 6th grade combo class at Walter Hays Ramonas pizza (now the Old Pro, was Mackies, was Pearls Oyster Bar) English Tea Room (Blue Chalk) Watching them make Bagels at the old Bagel works on Lytton. Bagel Works come back!! My Mom wouldn’t let me ride my bike past University- too dangerous Hearing gun shots down the San Francisquito creek at night– spooky. Every flavor of candy canes at Edies for 10 cents Eating hostess mini donuts at World Savings while my dad made Saturday deposits (now the piano store at T & C…right?) The best red potato salad at John’s Market at T & C The Varsity Swensens now gelato place on University Liddecoats – the first food court I think I ever saw Rudolfos Italian Food in the little white trailer across the way from the blockbuster on El Camino in South PA Copelands Sports- now the cheesecake factory (formerly Rapps?) The California Ave. bum that used to bathe in the fountain & the crazy guy that used to ride his 10 speed up and down University Ave with a campignolo hat standing and leaning on his handle bars with his hips. Schools without a zillion portables and fun really dangerous play equipment- i.e. the old wood bridge at Walter Hays! My husband missed the pirate ship at Green Gables (Duvenick) Okay- everything else has been mentioned I think… LOVE the comment from Andrea about the mopeds! I guess I can add riding double on our bikes! Love the delinquent list- lets’ add… Eleanor Party (Pardee) Park Sloshball at Gunn (my identity should be revealed by now!) Sloshball at Mitchell 11 cop cars coming to break up a high school party! Buying booze in Whiskey Gulch at Barrones
The year we moved to Palo Alto, they were tearing down the old Harker Academy in our neighborhood. On Saturdays there were un-supervised kids running around the abandon open buildings tearing it apart and have a grand time before the bulldozers moved in and built Eichler-like homes. Riding mini-bikes and motorcycles out behind Carlson VW on a beaten-down dirt track complete with jumps that would rival today’s supercross. Watching small sailboats in a regatta out by the Sea Scout base and yacht harbor. Playing the first linked video space game (like Asteroids but with 4 players) game out Stanford Tressidor Union. The alligator scare in Lake Lagunita.
What an awesome thread! Pop Warner games and practices at Paly… The Vets 1 and 2 fields at the hospital…. Foothill Park The ’89 earth quake during football practice at Paly… The first Togo’s in Palo Alto with the holes in the walls…. Palo Alto Childrens Theatre Mr. Center at Jordan….Mrs. McGlashan English at Paly…. The old movie theatres..what was the one with the sofas and the bean bag chairs? Hanging out at the Tressider Student Union and playing Asteroids before it was really out….. Drinking beer with John Elway at the Stanford Street parties. Stanford Football and Baseball Camps….. Delivering for the Pharmacies on summer nights….Cal Ave, Midtown, Charleston and the Clinic…… The pizza place on Stanford and El Camino…. The Village Cheese House and the hoties they had working there at lunch everyday…… Smith’s Sportshop on the Circle…… Coaching at Paly…..and having lunch with many of my old teachers on my first day working there….. Wednesday night divorce dinners with my dad, brother and sister at Kirk’s….. Wiffle ball in the street…… Rinconada Park…….especially the “salty” burgers. Palo Alto was the best place to grow up…I think about it always, and always will……
One more thing…okay 2 Selling parking in my driveway for the Superbowl at Stanford Stadium Watching the opening ceremonies and 1st soccer game of the 1984 Olympics at Stanford Stadium
Malathion spraying at night. Driving home late one night in a convertable MG trying to stay ahead of the helicopter dropping the stuff right behind me on Alma Avenue. Then going out to my newly-washed car in the morning and having little brown spots on it. Watching my friend’s father’s comedy group, The Illegitimate Theater, perform on Saturday nights at the Nataraja on University circle and later at Ricky’s.
I’m the other Andy F. Paly class of 1988. Duveneck/St Francis neighborhood? That would be the Green Gables/St Francis hood! No, not Green Garbage, for all of you Crescent Park kids. An old school rivalry that the GG kids got the last laugh in when they closed Crescent Park to make way for more multi-million dollar homes. Some of the things I remember about old PA…. The neighborhood “candy lady”. A kind lady that lived on the corner of Rhodes and Hamilton that would always give us candy if we knocked on the door and asked politely. Thanks for the cavities! The enormous dirt jump at Eleanor Pardee Park that we would jump our bmx bikes off of for hours, then go to the 7-Eleven over the Newell bridge to get Slurpees. Decorating our bikes and riding in the May Day Parade every year. Taking the bus to Mayfield Mall and the Old Mill with our friends when we were 11-12. Oh, the good ol’ days. I know it’s been said, but Patterson’s RULED! Pixie sticks, cap guns and cheap novelty toys. Bergmann’s too! Edie’s Ice Cream and Candy Store at Town & Country, even though my beloved DB silver streak bmx bike was stolen there! It was a sad day…. AYSO soccer every season with our Dad’s coaching and Moms cheering. Riding our bmx bikes to Stanford campus during the hot Summer days and swimming in the fountains to cool off. The one in front of the main bookstore is the best. Times Tribune and SF Chronicle paper routes. Mud football at Green Gables every chance we got! 42nd Street long island teas! Sitting up on the Swenson’s balcony eating ice cream and watching the people walking below on University Ave. Sneaking into Castilleja dances and dancing with the girls because the bussed-in Bellarmine boys were shy and just sat and watched. Rinconada snack bar..salt & pepper burgers, slushies and red ropes. The Rinconada high dive and diving platforms! Henry’s Bar on University Ave Pudley’s The Original (small) Miyake The Stanford Pub!!!!!!!!!!
I forgot a few… Going to Stanford Basketball Games with John Elway, Darren Nelson and Vincent White as part of the Stanford/PA youth sports outreach program. Bowling at Tressider Union at Stanford Swimming in Lake Lagunita at Stanford every Spring until the water got too low and too nasty to handle! Liberating beers from visiting RVs when the Super Bowl was at Stanford…and yes, the Niners won that one too! Sorry Marino! Season tickets to Stanford Games with my family. Mrs Checker’s preschool class at the Lucy Stern Community Center, circa 1974.
I thought of a few more… was it Mountain Mikes pizza corner of ECR/Stanford? that big tine wherehouse at the end of Cal Ave along the train tracks When Mollie Stones was CO OP Cal Ave Pharmacy T & C Pharmacy (did that place make a killing off us or what!?) Johns Market @ T&C ….the lunch hangout JJF & sandwiches that you just had to have on a field trip The days before the nifty road blocks in Evergreen Park That auto body place across from Paly on the corner by the train trax Skating at Winter Lodge…hot chocolate and almonds from the vending machine while sitting next to the fire Two best places to go when cutting class..Stickney’s and Cookbook Hobees coffee cake Pizza A Go Go Yes, Swansons Feeling safe going downtown, it was more small town then Going to see Rocky Horror at the Varsity Seeing movies at the theatre on Cal Ave. Bud’s Ice Cream parlors Yes, a million cops at any Paly party Yes, Sr. take over night on the wall Mr. Center…never had him but it sounds like he had quite a rep. Stanford Shopping center when it was small and a low key place to hang Riding the school bus or riding your bikes..all alone..concept Snack food at Jordan/Paly..that french bread dripping in warm grease, french fries, Its Its, those Carnation Ice cream cup things..oh yeah we ate real healthy! Cambridge Hardware store Old Country Deli. on Cambridge Ave The Keystone and the EDGE 42nd St, yeah that was a fun place! Printers Inc no KFC that market where Blockbuster is now Old Barrel liquor store where PA Commons is now The gas station that is now the soccer field on ECR/Page Mill Rd many things that come flooding back.. PA was so mellow and simple then..not so pretentious The lumber yard where PAMF now is and where the PAMF clinic once was Mrs Zimmerman from Jordan… The old, fun playground at Escondido school. Yeah, that weird guy on the bike who would go around praying or whatever! I think there was maybe one homeless guy that we saw around back then Foster Freeze on ECR The place on the corner of Park Blvd and ECR that use to be a gym oh…so many memories..wish my daughter could of seen it then! now she gets taken and picked up from school every day. she is never out of sight. schools weren’t fenced in and worried about attacks or weirdos. they weren’t just went to your neighborhood school…it aint like that now..its a fight to get in. I think I liked it better the other way! We see things in a whole other light from what it is now
I recall great teachers at Paly, such as Norton Thornton and Coach Wes Fisher. I recall wonderful people like Mary and Melissa Hubbell in the hallways! I recall a craft shop in Midtown where the Baskin Robbins store is (or was as of 1980 – when I was last there). I recall getting free dog bones at Midtown market and walking my dog at Hoover Park. I recall the “cones” from the Liquidambar trees on Webster Street and the sycamore leaves on Cowper. I recall buying cokes from the Midtown Shell station for fifteen cents. And I recall the fact that even though the 60′s were a turbulent time that Palo Alto was a wonderful place to live!
Greendale Elementary Wilbur JHS Cubbreley HS Rainy day recesses help inside our elementary school classrooms Summertime Charleston Garden slushes that preceded the slurpee Building model cars Riding bikes around Stanford Looking up at El Palo Alto (the high tree) Hopping the fence at Frost Float week An undefeated football season And on, and on, and on…
The movie theatre on Hamilton Ave that showed the old movie (black and white) double features and served bagels with cream cheese and had the bean bags was the Festival Theatre. Great place. Yes, the pizza place at the corner of Stanford Ave. was Mountain Mikes. The pizza place on El Camino down by Barron Park was Shakeys. Anchovies on the Pizzas at Roundtable.
Speaking of old movie theaters, here’s a brief article that lists them all.Web Link The one on Hamilton and Cowper with the bean bags chairs was The Festival. I remember in sixth grade a friend and I talked them into letting us use their bathroom during the middle of a show, and you had to walk right down in front and cross in front of the screen (almost tripping over the folks in the bean bag chairs) to get to the can.
A couple more things. Black Licorice ice-cream and Bubble gum ice-cream (with real bubblegum balls inside)at Edy’s. The Bubbleyum craze when it first came out and kids at Escondido were selling it to other kids at inflated prices. Eating jello dry from the packs with your fingers or tongue depressors. Riding no handed down the middle of the street cuz there weren’t that many cars. Frozen yogart places all over. The fountain down on California avenue getting filled with soap pretty often. Noone walking up in the hills by Foothill Expwy.
the Little Pedal Cars at Mitchell park Channing Market Fireworks at the PA Baylands ( and boats of course) Portable rec shacks set up for summer ( with wooden carrom games) Rinconada snack bar , high dive, Monday night family swim, with kids trying to make the little pool a giant swirl. Jordan, Gunn, Cub, Wilbur, Terman pools open in summer… Victorian at Elenor Park Little leagers missing their place at bat, watching the beginning of movies at the PA drive in… The smell of the incinerator at St. Alberts on Channing Tuesday afternoon movies at the Stanford Theatre, with kids from all over town playing together waitng to be picked up from the nearby park…. Halloween at the Fire circle… and more.
OK, I didn’t think I’m that old, but am I the only one who remembers the Flying A gas station at Arastradero and El Camino? I think the coke machine cost about a nickle back then and a gallon of gas about a quarter. It was a nice hike to either there or half a block further to A & W from where lived out by the railroad tracks (remember those?) that are now Foothill Expressway. Back then you could walk down the tracks to Los Altos (the Sprouse Ritz store and Clint’s Ice Cream come to mind) or bike down the tracks the other way to attend Stanford football games.
O.K. so now we’re in professorville, but I grew up on Cowper court down by Fairmeadow School, and went to Hoover through the eight grade back when they still had one. How about Shakies pizza? They showed movies on the wall and it was really noisy but fun, and the pizza guys wore chef’s hats and you could watch them make the pizza. I’m younger than some of you but I remember a great vacant lot on cowper street near matadero creek, I caught butterflies there, there were tons of bugs of all kinds, and I think they were toads not frogs at least in that part of matadero and barron creek. I loved the recreation program in the summer at ohlone(s) and the Besse Bolton nursery school was over there, they had a donkey and all these rabbits that used to get out into mitchell park. We used to catch them and put them back and block the holes they had escaped from, then ‘pay’ ourselves with rides on the donkey…I think his name might have been Mickey. I got some real good scrapes from those rabbits, too. Also swimming at Wilbur pool and actually I would give good money to get the snack bar at Rinconada back. My daughter loved it when she was little. I have a twelve year old at Jordan and now we have a one year old, I am going to miss that snack bar bigtime. Rick’s ice cream was there, I’ve been going for over thirty years now(!) How about Travino’s Super Subs? It was right next door. I saw Mr. Travino a couple of years ago, he’s still around. I miss Bergman’s, especially the toy and candy county upstairs, and the lunch counter, and how about Mayfield Mall? They had Cost Plus in the basement, I can still smell it, and a pet store with a talking Myna bird (“is it stripes or solids?” it would always say) and a Woolworths with a counter, the best grilled cheese and chocolate shakes with the worst soggy limp dill pickle in the world. Plus, remember how every store had a snack counter? J.C. Pennys at Mayfield and Sears had one too, you could smell the popcorn as soon as you walked in (ok thats not palo alto but we could get there on our own by bus). Also the pharmacy at Midtown was called the ‘five and dime’ and had a hot nuts case where the nuts went around and smelled amazing. How about the Old Mill? They had that amazing water wheel and six theatres (I think I saw Star Wars at least twenty times there) and Cecils ice cream store and all those weird exits from the second floor. You’d see an exit sign and follow it through weird mechanical support areas and tunnels and behind stores before going down stairs to the bottom, it was like Get Smart or something. Each one was completely different, we spent what seems like hours in them, they were sooo cool. Anybody else remember any of that? Also at Recreation at Ohlone they had a watermelon eating contest where you had to eat LOTS, not fast, they doled it out in quarters and you took as long as you liked. My sister ate half of q watermelon, I ate one and a half. I won the contest, and the prize was…A watermelon! You are not going to believe this, but we sat down and ate it, right then. I have really enjoyed reading people’s memories and writing all of this. Last Halloween we were discussing making tombstones for our favorite dead places and made a list, (Bijou Theater, Old Uncle Gaylord’s Kosher Ice Cream Parlour with the velvet theatre seats, Piers Dairy, Peninsula Scientific, Zak’s Electronics…) But then we started a list of places that are still here, and it actually wasn’t as pathetic as we had feared… Katie
First jobs: at 14: holiday gift-wrapping at Bergman’s (a free service!), then working the snack bar at Eichler Swim & Tennis Club all summer making burgers & milkshakes (& eating heath bars). High school & summers in college: working at Midtown Pharmacy for Carl Gould with his son, Jay (RIP) – collapsing my first day of work, because there was no a/c; having a squirt gun fight with Jay in the aisles (on a hot day), periodically, I got to clean out the hot nuts case & take the old nuts hom – and life-guarding at Eichler S&TC Ordering a .25 pack of aspirin for free delivery from Midtown Pharmacy, because my girlfriend had a crush on the delivery boy! ;-) Being the youngest member of the first swim team at Eichler Swim & Tennis Club. Biking to the Variety store for candy – remember Fire Stix (by Jolly Rancher?), then our parents dropped us at Stanford Stadium, all by ourselves, to watch Football – we were Jr. Rooters! (50 cents for the whole season?) Building forts & having rock fights in the fields behind our houses on Louis Rd, (before the corp builidings were there) and bringing home tadpoles (that populated my parent’s yard for about 20 years) & snakes, playing “flash flood” in the creek. Ortega, Wilbur, Cubberly Snow – in the early 60’s…. Sleep-in at Cubberley to protest – Vietnam War or Ron Jones? Someone else said Erma Schwabel – we all used to sew…. Fabric stores everywhere – in dept. stores, House of Fabrics, etc. Going to Mayfield Mall in junior high, when we had nothing better to do… Donut shop on the corner of Loma Verde & Middlefield Of course, the drive-in – sneaking in hidden under the seat of my girlfriend’s VW bus – we were such rebels! LOL! Making out with the boy next door, who I thought was sweet & harmless, because he took me to a Disney flick… J C Penny’s on University Avenue – part of the store was downstairs in the basement – dark & scary – am I making this up? Grateful Dead at the Fillmore. Our Lady of the Rosary – meeting Governor Pat Brown at some kind of fair; playing/singing at folk mass; teen club – CYO dances with the Youngbloods playing; driving to Santa Cruz or Pinecrest Lake for the day Junior Achievement – in a building near Charleston & San Antonio (on Indusrial?) – making Christmas wreathes from computer punch cards.
I was born and raised in Palo Alto (Barron Park) so I’ve got a few memories. Here’s just a few: Barron Park was part of the county, not PA until the early 70′s. Walking through the streets of Barron Park with BB gun in hand towards the foothills. Target practice in our garage. Before they built Gunn, it was a cow pasture and a great place to play. Playing little league at Middlefield park and out at the fields at Veterens hospital. There were 2 stars painted on the left field fense at the Middlefield park and if a ball was hit over the fense between the stars, they’d get their picture in the PA times. When the interpretive center at foothills park was still a barn and jumping from the loft onto a pile of hay. The place used to be a cattle or sheep ranch. My Dad worked for the city and was friends with the head of the parks and our families had a picnic there before it opened. The roads were still dirt. When the Stanford barn was still a barn with a mean looking bull in it. Frost ampetheater before there was a fense. The first fense was 3 feet high. It didn’t last long. When Stanford was still like a farm. Lots of horses. Sunday night flicks at Stanford Memorial auditorium in the early 70s for 25 cents. We would always sneak in for the fun of it. The Boat house at lake lagunita. swimming in lake lagunita. The yaght harbor. (just an absolute shame it’s gone). Working at Shakeys while I was a senior at Gunn. Before it was Hobbies on El Camino across from Rickeys, it was the Tar and Feathers Saloon. That bar was owned and operated by a couple ex 49ers. Visiting teams used to stay at Rickeys and practice at Stanford. One week, the Cleveland Browns were in town and Stanford needed their field so the Browns used the field and locker room at Gunn for a week. The A & W next to Shakeys with the roller skating car hops. Mings restuarant across El Camino from Shakeys, The Cameo Club. I was a paper boy for the PA times and I would drop a paper in the back door every day. Once a month I would get to go in the back door to collect. I would walk between the crouded the tables with my paper bags on to get to the cashiers window. He would alway tip me 50 cents. It was my favorite place to collect every month. The Old Barrel liquor store with a walk-in freezer shaped like a huge barrel and a wine celler in the basement. The Swiss Chalet where Goodwill is now. The All American Market on the corner of Los Robles and El Camino. When someone escaped from Veterens hospital, they would blow a loud whistle. My second grade teacher at baarron park elementary told us it was a steam shovel in the hills. The Barron Park volunteer fire department next to the flower shop (which is still there) across from the Beacon gas staion which was across from the Old Barrel. If there was a fire in Barron Park, a siren would go off to notify the volunteers to get to the staion ASAP.
Al’s gas house Pizza (the best) Cook’s Ranch Purity Market The rail road (no Foothill express way) Edies Mayfield Mall Old Stanford Barn Jr Rooters Horse Pasture Where Sytex was Polly and Jakes Flying A gas (axelrod) Regal Gas (regal Beagle) Old Mill Riding My Bike from Los Altos To Stanford Old Stanford Hospital
I grew up here and most of what I remember has already been mentioned. This is a great thread though, although it makes me a bit sad to remember the small town feel that PA used to have. I remember my (much older) sister used to shop at a small, fancy lingerie boutique in the Stanford Shopping Center (this probably would have been in the 80s). I’m pretty sure it was what later became THE Victoria’s Secret — does anyone know for sure? A couple of other fond memories — cheese popcorn at Klings in T&C, hay rides at T&C, also Stickneys at T&C, aquafollies at Lake Lagunita.
Studio D on Alma Those stupid one piece gym suits (blue) that we had to wear at Jordan, we always took the elastic off the waist. When we were kids, we were told that during the ’06 eartquake, some of the real gold tiles fell off the church at Stanford, and got washed down the creek. We spent hours looking for them. Never did find any, but it was fun.
Moved to palo alto in 1970,during high school.Fond memories of finding “treasures” while digging through the dump out at the baylands.P.A’s own park up in the foothills,you needed a PA address on your license to get in.Watching the hippies riot on university ave. downtown,frost theater, lake laug,AnW onECR,Yacht harbor,drinking beer at the baylands and watching planes land and take off.Joy riding and partying with buds from cubberly and paly high.Easy going police,never came down too hard us.Early 1970′s ROCKED in Palo Alto!!
Taking the bus down Middlefield to Baji’s when it was at Bergmans for fries and a shake. Swim lessons at Jordan in the 70′s. Chowmein and HUGE eggrolls at the Chinese rest. at the food court at Mayfield Mall. Green Gables! Horseback Riding at Web Ranch Getting an Icee. popcorn and hot sesmae sticks at the snack area at Sears. Going for donuts after AYSO soccer games at the donut shop at Alma Plaza. City Rec. diving and swim meet at the end of the summer at Rinconada Pool. Crashing frat parties at Stanford my senior year at Paly. Volunteering at the zoo at the Junior Museum in the early 80′s….remember the racoon Mr Bill???
Flash Light tag late into the night on Webster,Byron,Tasso,Seale,Santa Rita…..with the Vermeils,Hellmans,Kalkbrenners,Neihammers,Tabors,Ariaglias.
Monet Pet store on California Ave. Riding my bike under the underpass to Cho’s for porkbuns. Comics and Comix Printers INC for Italian soda Blatz ice cream shop(right below Stephanie Gaddis’ condo) Senior cut day at Paly Softball practice with coach Kathi at Stanford Stanford basketball games to see John Pay play Girl Scout sleepovers at the big, brown, ugly Girl Scout House in Rinconada Park Riding my bike to Round Table on N. California to play PacMan. Sneaking out at night to meet my friends at Lyons on El Camino
Remember in the late 70′s when you could always see Andy Freeman with Doug Landis….hanging out with the neighborhood bad boys Stuart Halloway and Joey Perry???? All the girls(Carolyn Beckford, Jen kalkbrenner, Jackie Dudley, Annie Penskey, Maryann Cotter, etc) of the neighborhood hung out, riding bikes by all the boys!!!??? Green Gables….those were the days!
We first lived in a tiny Eichler on Redwood Circle that my dad has always bragged to anyone who would listen that he bought for $21,500 in 1959. He was then a young engineer at Stanford. I remember many a weekend where we’d drive our red VW bus up to the big dish so that he could work on it while the kids played in the hills. On the way up we’d stop at “Zott’s”–formerly Rosotti’s on Alpine Rd., now the Alpine Inn–load up on burgers, fries, and cokes, and picnic up in those hills under an oak tree. Had many dinners at Stickney’s. My dad always requested the dining room with walls covered in cowhide. Watched plenty of fireworks in the dried up Lake Lagunitas from the hills just west. More than a few parental shopping trips to Ernie’s Liquors. Also had a few memorable dress-up lunches with my gramma at Blum’s… then equally memorable shopping trips to Joseph and I. Magnin afterwards. This was the 60s, and I will never forget my tan ultrasuede jumper with fringes at the bottom. Proudly worn throughout fifth grade with a white tailored blouse, white knee socks, and kilted loafers. Flying was my father’s passion, so we spent a lot of time at Paly Airport, where his plane lived for decades at tiedown #1. That airport looks much the same today as it did four decades ago. Palo Alto is the magic we all share.
Enjoying all your memories folks, makes me nostalgic for where I grew up. Anyway, I must ask – what and where was Lake Lagunitas that everyone seems to be mentioning and what happened to it?
Summer nights on Ramona for kick-the-can Wilbur’s 9th grade swim party at Searsville Lake The year Palo Alto’s fireworks all blew up at once When El Carmelo’s kindergarten wing blew up from the gas leak When girls had to wear dresses or skirts – not pants – to school Always calling Barron Creek “Dry Creek” and when none of the creeks were concrete Being frightened by those dirt creeks during the floods of the mid-50′s Riding our bikes everywhere – until junior high school when being caught on a bike was beyond humiliating Buying $1.00 or 50 cents worth of gas at the Alma gas station
Lake Lagunita is located just north of the intersection of Page Mill Road and Foothill Expressway. Here is a link: Web Link
A bit newer school Palo Alto… -Co-op midtown, like someone already mentioned -ROSS on University where Magnolia Hi-Fi is now -Burger King on University where Pizza My Heart is now -Pizza-a-go-go on University, like someone already mentioned -Drapers music store on California -Swain’s music store on University -The old Rinconada wading pool -Tanbark in playgrounds… haha i always got splinters! -The old Palo Alto Medical Foundation where the original used to be -The old random science wing at PALY that didn’t fit in with anything else on campus -The old Paly music room with step down pit -The old Paly amphitheater -The fire at Gunn’s art building -The old Stanford Stadium -Paly’s marching band -Elementary school classrooms with lofts -Lucky’s at Edgewood Plaza and on Alma -The video rental store at the corner of Colorado and Middlefield -Bergman’s – now I remember haha yes. -The bicycle store, Midtown video, and the autopart store at midtown -The Pizza Hut where the Nextel store is now and the other one on San Antonio where World Food’s Market is -Exxon with the tiger mascot, what is now Valero -The old University Avenue exit off of 101 – I don’t think we miss that one… -Bread and dip at Farmer John’s Market at Town and Country -Foster’s Freeze that became Palo Alto Freeze that is now dead -Playing basketball with Brevin Knight at Jordan’s gym (who?)
Brentwood Market where Piazza’s is now Rick at Rick’s Ice Cream Four gas stations at the corner of Middlefield Road and San Antonio Road Banana Records on El Camino Old Mill Stacey’s Bookstore Bergman’s Mitchell Park library with a card catalog and a lot less furniture, shelves, carts, etc. A camping/outdoor gear store next to Palo Alto Sport and Toy
Bad boys, Erin? Were we? Don’t forget Fred Schweer and Derek Williams! What’s your last name, Erin? Where did you live?
Someone asked where Lake Lagunita is… it’s just south of the Stanford driving range on Junipero Serra along the Stanford foothills. Another memory I have is Casa Real. An AWESOME little mexican food restaurant that my Dad used to take us to when Mom was out, so he wouldn’t have to cook. The rustic, clay tiled roof, adobe building was where the PA Medical Center is now, on El Camino right next to what used to be Hubbard & Johnsons. PA’s very own mini Home Depot before there was a Home Depot. Damn…PA was a great place to grow up.
The Challenger school campus – what was there prior to the school ? I think the school is a pretty recent change ( 2000 ? )
Hi folks, Andy Freedman here (not to get confused with Andy Freeman – (the PA Weekly wrote a small piece on this thread and left out the “d”). The Longs (or Wallgreens) at Midtown, as most of you know, used to be the Co-Op Market. Did you know that before that, it used to be the Purity Store – They had another Purity Store on California Avenue were the Mollie stone now is. It was kind of a Quanset hut-type building. Remember when the summertime “recreation department” at all the elementary schools (played Karems) used to get together one time a year at the Lucile Stern Center for a day of play, night of roasting marshmellows and then sleeping in sleeping bags overnight in the courtyard? Me, my brother Dean and one of the Stuckey kids were talking when we were suppose to be sleeping. One of the counselors had us stand up, outstretching our arms against the side of the building as a punishment. In 1962, I was Jack in the play Jack and the Beanstalk at the once a year evening Penny Carnival at the original Herber Hoover Elmentary school. I was a start – ahh the good ol’ days! Also, we burried a time capsul near where the flag pole was. I bet when they tore down the school and built the condos, they never thought to look around for it. Anyone remember the gas explosion at El Carmelo elementary school in, I think, 1966? Andy Freedman (with a d) [email protected]
Wow…great memeories!! Remember when Van Auken became Los Ninos for a year, and then it became Ohlone? Having the same teachers as my mom, dad, aunt, uncle and older brother (teachers quickly retired after that revelation). Being one of the first classes to “graduate” from JLS. Remember Wilbur, the cat that lived on the Wilbur/JLS campus? He was ancient when I was there, but he was cute! He used to come sit on my lap as I took English tests from Mrs. Zimmerman. I totally remember her black beehive, and her bright turquoise eyeshadow. I remember telling my friends/family from out of town that the train would run through my graduation from Paly about 5 times, and then watching them laugh as it happened. Anyone else get slightly freaked out about how Mrs. Paugh knew so much about you when she subbed for your class? I was always amazed at how she would meet me once, and then know who my parents and siblings were…etc. Don’t get me wrong…it was cool, but a bit disconcerting at times. Learning to ice skate at the Ice Chalet. Story time at the Children’s Library. Summer days spent completely at the Riconada pool. Those were good times!
Aymie you mentioned Mrs. Zimmerman at JLS! I had her at Jordan in 1982 and my son also had her at Jordan in 2004. She has the same hair, same eye shadow, and the same Mustang (car). I swear she is the female version of Dick Clark. Now that i’m a teacher, I can really appreciate her commitment to education!
Lincoln Ave., before it got renamed California Ave. At least we got to keep most of our Civil War hero names for our streets! It was a BIG mistake to let Mrs. Stanford and her gang take our town away from us. She was a prude, pure and simple. We had a rip-roarin’, hard drinkin’ opium denin’ smackaroo going on! Mrs. Stanford just couldn’t keep her kids away from our attractions! Look at it now. Cain’t even get a get a good cigar for 5 cents and smoke it out front the local whorehouse. And you all call this progress?!!!
Lake Lag – borders Junipero Serra Blvd near Stanford Driving Range. The lake is now drained every year – but back in the day it was used for swimming, boating. Remember: The Boathouse. I remember as a kid going to the Big Game bonfire constructed on the dry lakebed in November. Mitchell Park – car rides Rapp’s Shoes Woolworth’s soda fountain at Stanford Shopping Ctr The Baylands – driving along The Bayshore to SF And to add a few other local places since we all grew up with…. Linda’s Drive-In Los Altos Monte Vista Drive-In on Grant Rd MV – saw movies in the summer wearing our PJ’s and yes did try the old trick of putting kids in the trunk to pay less per person Babe’s Muffler – ECR Los Altos – the signage was priceless Snowfall in 1962 & 1976 – going sledding near Foothills Park on that day 1976 Senior Year. Riding my 3 speed bike on Hwy 280 from La Barranca to Magdelena LAH before 280 opened. Oh, and not getting caught!
Lincoln Ave., before it got renamed California Ave. At least we got to keep most of our Civil War hero names for our streets! It was a BIG mistake to let Mrs. Stanford and her gang take our town away from us. She was a prude, pure and simple. We had a rip-roarin’, hard drinkin’ opium denin’ smackaroo going on! Mrs. Stanford just couldn’t keep her kids away from our attractions! Look at it now. Cain’t even get a get a good cigar for 5 cents and smoke it out front the local whorehouse. Ain’t even no damn spittoons out in public. Try ridin’ your horse down Lincoln, and you get arrested by some do-gooder sherrif. And you all call this progress?!!!
what a great trip down memory lane…moved to p. a. in 1950, as my father and joe eichler started the craze. remember kirks on el camino. slushes at charleston center. little league games at middlefield. hunting for treasures with my step brother, chris keene. spending the night at the benzers. spying on my stepsister, dusty street. p.a. rec. dept. softball games at el camino ballpark. summer of 65 with barbie feller…..what a great place to grow up.
Hi Mayfield Jack, Hey you’re my kind of party animal – where d’ya say them dens were? And I thought that WE were bigtime partiers in the late ’60′s. You probably recall, if it wasn’t for “Pete” McCloskey, we’d have to go elsewhere for our beer and other alcohol beverages. Mrs. Stanford sure made it hard on the folks back then. Andy
Sonny Boy Andy, I sure gotta think you might had done a good job with Emmy-Lou. She was a great poke. She still talks ’bout those days. She’s blind as a bat, but I still like ta spend a little time with her (we just talk, and spit tebacci, at this point). We talk ’bout the old days, and jest hold hands. Them opium dens were the real deal. Us crazy ass white guys, came into town every Saturday night. Them chinamen was right where we headed, before hittin’ the saloons. A lot of them Stanford boys could hardly wait to get outta that jail that Mrs. Stanford created. They could sniff freedom, when it wuz close to ‘em. Some of ‘em were good on a pony, but they wanted another kinda ride, if ya follow me , Sonny. Them boys could explode! That is why Mrs. Stanford went on the attack, cuz she couldn’t stand a little fun. She put up a big high fence, but it wuz just a little more fun for them horny boys. They figured out ’bout eatin’ clubs over where the working guys were. Go to class in the mornin’, go for a poke in the evenin’. Problem was those boys had rich fathers who would, on occashin, join their sons in the fun. THAT was the end of Mayfield, once Mrs. Stanford figgerred it out. She rigged the election. Her guys even bought drinks for us guys, to make shur we didn’t vote. Don’t forgetta ’bout the free opium. It was the end of an honest day of drinkin’ and whorin’ and snortin’. Not to menchun horsin’ and that grand pleasure of spittin’. She even got ridda the hooch. She hated the chinamen, but they held on by pretendin’ to serve grub. The great grankids of them Stanford boys and their old men are slowly takin’ back the place. But I ain’t seen a real horse or a real whore since about ’20. Cain’t we at lest have a couple of by-god spittons? Andy boy, you wanted the past, so I just gave it to you, for real.
There’s no way I can afford to live in PA as an average person now, but every once in a while I ride my bike down Bryant street. I always see Mrs. Zimmerman’s mustangs in front of her house. Good on her for being a normal person in a neighborhood of multi million dollar houses and ultra super wealthy(Steve Jobs). Mrs. Zimmerman is Palo Alto.
I remember working at Edie’s Icecream (sp?) at Town & Country when I was all of 12 years old, and getting paid $2.25/hr which was below minimum wage. Still, it was worth it for all the free ice cream and candy. Also remember sitting on the bench at Winter Lodge, eating green apple sour balls and scraping together snowballs to throw at the girls. Going into the midtown creeks after Little League games to fetch frogs so my mom’s garden could produce more corn, tomatoes, etc without bugs doing damage. Riding our bikes up to Foothill Club and University Club during the summer. It seemed like a Tour de France mountain stage at the time, but in reality it’s just a small hill. Going to Foothill Park and finding snakes, banana slugs, deer antlers and salamanders. Going to the Laster house at Webster & Lowell for high school parties. When the Jim & Betsy were away you could count on a party. Cruising around on the roof at Jordan, and finding all sorts of things you wouldn’t expect on a jr high roof…
My sister and I are sitting here reading everyone’s old memories and are loving it! We grew up on Emerson St, lived there from about 1973-1987. We would love to have pictures of some of these old Palo Alto icons for a computer slideshow we are compiling. We would be happy to share the end product with you. If anyone has pictures of the following they’d like to share, could you please let us know? email Wendy at [email protected] -Edy’s (Edie’s?) ice cream parlor -Sally’s ice cream (was on California Ave, remember the old screen door that used to slam shut?) -Bergmann’s -Patterson’s (was on California Ave) -Monette’s Pet Store -old Candy store on University Ave. -Norney’s -Rapp’s shoe store -The Menu Tree (in Mountain View) -Maxi Mart -Inside Mayfield Mall -The All-American Grocery store -”the candy lady” and her house on Washington Ave near Cowper -Varsity Theater -Polly and Jake’s -Sears (Mountain View) candy/nut counter -The bagel shop on Lytton (bagel works?) -Gemco -Shakey’s Pizza on El Camino Way near East Meadow -Shaw’s ice cream parlor & candy shop in Menlo Park -Continental Market (Mountain View)
Thank you Mayfield Jack for that piece of history – damn interesting! I wonder if it was the death of her son that made Mrs. Stanford a little partyless. Hi Barton Sisters. I actually have a few pictures of places that have since gone by the recking ball (e.g., Rudolpho’s and Dinah’s Shack). I wonder if the Weekly could create an area here where folks could post the pictures for everyone to see? Hey Bill Johnson, what do you think, could this be done? It would be pretty cool. I know that the PA Historic Assc has a website of pictures, too. Andy Freedman[email protected]
Great idea. We are working on a capability to upload photos. (Photos can currently only be posted with the original post, but not with comments on the original post.) Thanks for starting this thread; it’s produced some wonderful memories.
What a fun thread! Above all, it’s always fun to meet some fellow “Old Palo Altans,” to be reminded that there are still a few natives or semi-natives here to keep the spirit alive. And on that note, non-natives often ask me to describe the spirit of the Palo Alto I grew up in — which as we all know is very different to today’s PA. Seems like it changed while I was away at college in the late 80s, and I’ve never been able to put my finger on what changed, other than that the real estate started going through the roof and the average household income added a zero or two. Anyone care to take a stab at that answer? Was it more liberal? More artsy? More of a small-town feel? Here’s what I’ve been trying to remember along the lines of places that have gone away. Around 1980, when I was at the tail end of my high school years, there was an old, house-lie building in downtown Palo Alto, corner of Lytton and… maybe Florence? Tasso? Kind of a white adobe building, and on Friday nights, my friends Hershel Yadovitz and David Walker — along with a few others — would get a band together and play there. It was just a big open space, a great spot for a party (though ours were very tame, now that I think about it). What *was* that place? Not Chimera Books, though that was a great spot, too… Joanna (Former Gunn girl/Barron Park resident)
Anyone remember the name of the grocery store on Middlefield across the street from Midtown Market, where Scherba’s auto store was. Timeframe would be around 62 – 65.
Thank you Bill Johnson. I really enjoy this Town Square Forum. This has certainly jogged my memory – I can’t believe all the other folks out there who, like me and my friends, snuck out at night to go swimming at Chuck Thompson’s. An interesting aside – I was a little suprised at the opposition by neighbors of an additional tennis court in that area some years ago. Mainly, it was a noise issue (in fact, the opponents stated that the sound test by Palo Alto was invalid – the “squeak of the tennis shoes” were not recorded) – But my point, back in the 60s, at the height of the baby boon era, on any given early Saturday or Sunday morning, there were no fewer than 50 kids taking swim lessons – now talk about noise . . . Hi Steve – the grocery store you referred to was called Market Basket. My older brother and his friends used that store to show mw how to “shop” when I was 4 years old. They told me to grab a bunch of candy and meet them outside. Fortunately, when I was stopped by the employees at the door, they relized that I didn’t really have a concept of shoplifting. Andy
In googling Palo Alto History for a project, I came across this site, with some fun pictures and information about Palo Alto’s earlier days along with biographies of prominent citizens. I thought readers of this thread might be interested:Web Link
A few more memories that have jogged free, in no particular order: Riding my bike with the crazy handle bars and banana seat down the 101 pedestrian overpass (next to the Oregon exit) without using the brakes, and completely wiping out at the bottom. Ouch. Going to Marriott’s Great America and riding the Turn of the Century (which got turned into The Demon) and Willard’s Whizzer. The old Printer’s Ink on California when it had the coffee bar inside. The old Victorian house on the corner of Cowper and Forest: as a kid I remember it was just a burned out hulk and it stayed that way for quite a while. You could look up at one of the upper windows and see straight through to the sky because the roof had caved in. Almost all the houses on my street used to be single story, and the sidewalk made a big curve around the trunk of an oak tree. The oak tree is now gone and all the houses are two stories. Making quesadillas on my Coleman stove for the neighbors after the 89′ earthquake. How strange it was that night when the whole town was blacked out. Lake Don Paly. The odd industrial area where the PA Clinic is now. I remember a funky records store/recording studio/hangout called the “House of Faith”, which I think was run by Eugene Robinson (of the band Whipping Boy). The China First restaurant where the Westin Hotel is now. The odd Tiki-something-or-other hotel that was behind Mountain Mike’s Pizza (where the Stanford Terrace Hotel is now). Those stupid reversible shirts they made you buy for PE at Jordan (red on one side, blue on the other). I guess the idea was you could quickly change for “red team vs. blue team” sports, but since the girls had to go to the locker room to change anyway, I couldn’t see the point. I don’t remember ever using it. The Keystone Palo Alto. Seeing Metallica there in ’85, and talking briefly with Cliff Burton in the parking lot.
I remember living on Forest being in 4th grade the last year of Lytton Elementary school. I had to go to Crescent Park for 5th, but then we moved to Cowper and was at Herbert Hoover for 6th grade. 3 for 3! I remember Tony and his bike shop off ECR Way, he was a great guy, and riding my bike to Fran’s to buy candy and read comics on the sidewalk by the tree. My friend and I caught part of the field on fire next to Ming’s when it was on ECR from fireworks…we put it out. Cycle City next to All American Market and when I was at Terman and Gunn…and the hours I would pray at night for a Triumph Bonne’ or a Yamaha rd350. Many more memories but most of all Leslie Clopton my first girlfriend to whom I gave a St. Christopher, so we could go steady, and from whom I received my first kiss.
I’m late to this thread, darn it. But I remember some controversial stuff, too. Remember the Zodiac killer threatening to follow the school buses in Palo Alto? The cops had to accompany the buses, at least to Garland Elementary. We had to stay in at recess. I remember bomb threats at Jordan. We never really believed there were bombs; it was just a chance to get out of class and chat on the lawn. There were war protestors downtown in the 1960s. I seem to recall them in Lytton Square and at the corner of Emerson and University. If the Mrs. Zimmerman that people are remembering is the same Shirley Zimmerman who taught at Garland in the 1960s then she really IS Dick Clark.
I was raised in Palo Alto and a few years ago meved to midle of nowhere Kansas, I remember when we moved to Palo Alto in the lat 60′s all was orchard around us, it had long been developed by the time I left, Do you remember Terman Junior High, that was my school. and in the 70′s come on admit it who went to the disco at My O My?? I watched Palo Alto grow and I miss the area.
As suggested in an earlier comment, we have created a “historic photos” category in Town Square and you can now post photos. You will need to first register as a user (very easy…use the link at the top of any page).
Someone mentioned Tony’s Bike Shop on El Camino Way. Tony’s Bike Shop used to be on El Camino in a broken down, green shack-like building next to that old white stucco building now being used as a tailor shop. It was a real old place that smelled like new bicycle tires. His sons helped him out, too. He was always real nice to my mom and she would have to “force” him to take a fair payment for the work he did. I also got a little juvenile delinquent confession: We used to hike Barron Creek from Middlefield Road “all the way up to” El Camino. It was quite an adventure and, accordingly, we’d get pretty hungry. A couple times, we went into the Al American Market and stole either chicken or spare ribs. Mmmmm, spare ribs. Andy
This has been a GREAT read. This brought back so many memories of places long gone. I grew up in Midtown and Meadow park in the 60′s & 70′s. Remember during the spring many backyards were literally alive with tiny, tiny toads that would move in from the creeks? Monette’s Pet Shop Maximart (to buy those Breyer collectable horses) Everything in Mayfield Mall (didn’t we all get our ears pierced at Earring House?) Cubberley Cougars The small skating rink in Don Jesus Park Feng Yuan The open field near Colorado Ave. Playing 2 and 4 square in the circle streets (Moffett, Metro and Van Auken) Actually having REAL neighbors and kids to play with Growing up during those years couldn’t have been better. We were truly lucky people!!
Does anyone remember the name of the shoe store at Stanford Shopping Center that had the monkeys in the display window back in the late 50s, early 60s (referenced in Nicolas posting, 10/31)? I remember them well but no one belives me.
Does anyone remember what the name of the store was that had live monkeys in the window at Stanford Shopping Center back in the 1960′s????
Here are some of my memories in no particular order: Milk deliveries to your home. The insulated silver box sat outside our front door. Pier’s Dairy — buying popsicles there during the summer. Walking to Stanford Stadium every Easter with my sister. We would stop at the Harker residence (Harker Academy) because he had a small “farm” in his yard. We would play with the chickens and other animals. Kling’s candies at T&C. We made a special trip to his house on Channing every Halloween because his wife would hand out popcorn balls and he would unload his excess store inventory to the kids. The Carmelcorn store and See’s candies on University. The automat in Menlo Park on El Camino. It is now Brix burgers. Playing hide and seek at night and being able to ride your bike all around town and feel safe. Watching the fire works from our 2nd story roof on the 4th of July. Grilled cheese sandwiches and hot chocolate at Bergmann’s with my Mom. Testing fuses at Maximart with my Dad. Riding on the open tailgate of our station wagon to the city dump, my feet dangling a foot or so off of the ground while the car was moving. Subsidizing my snack habit at Rinconada by crawling under the wood tanning platforms and diving to the bottom of the deep end for all the spare change that fell out of people’s suits. Living next door to Mr. Center (what a great neighbor!) and taking his typing class in 7th grade at Jordan. My parents still live in that house. Being the last 9th grade class to go through Jordan. The 8th graders moved with us to Paly that Fall. Setting up a makeshift fort underground in the street the summer they were replacing the 8 ft. diameter storm drains at the corner of Greer and Edgewood. Formico’s pizza in Edgewood Plaza. It started as a deli, they added a pizza oven and eventually changed to a pizza place. Puddle jumping in my parent’s car when it rained. The best puddle was on the curvy driveway that used to connect the Middlefield parking lot to the California Ave. parking lot at Jordan. It has since been removed. I wonder why? Hanging out at Stickney’s with my friends. The police used to eat dinner there and we would buy them milk and have it delivered to their tables. Coffe crunch cake, yummmm. Saving the best for last: Stanford Football. Huge part of my life. I have been going to the games for 40 years now. Going there and sitting in the end zone with my family. Listening to the sound of the soda cans as they rolled down the metal ramps under the seats so they could be collected at the bottom. Going to 2 Rose Bowls. Later on, we moved to the 50 yard line with the students. I cried off and on for weeks when the old stadium was torn down, I miss her. The new stadium is well built but it has no soul.
Things that haven’t been mentioned, or not mentioned enough: Not only Stickney’s at Town and Country shopping, but also Stickney’s Golden Chicken Restaurant Hobby House on Forest Avenue and its lady proprietress The years when Palo Alto police wore blazers instead of traditional uniforms The city-run (green and white, with the Palo Alto seal) bus system The pedal cars at Mitchell Park, complete with a model Chevron gas station The fact that Maximart was not only a pioneering discount store, but actually a collection of separately run businesses under one roof Saturday kids’ matinees at the dark, spooky, unrenovated Stanford theatre (which we all walked to from our homes, quarters in hand); watching films with parents at the Fine Arts, and, if bored, learning from the illuminated clock on the wall how much more of the movie we had to endure. Lutz Ford where the Palo Alto Weekly is today Emil Molinari, who peddled vegetables door-to-door The old Walter Hays Elementary School Mark Christine of Jordan, the kindest, most-humane coach ever, who moonlighted as a clown The Palo Alto Times and The Palo Altan Town and Country Music Center, and buying all the Beatle albums on the first day they came out The circus coming to Town and Country KDFC (classical) radio on both AM and FM, identified on the air as being both in San Francisco and “pollow Alto” … Palo Alto cops and teachers being able to live here Lytton Savings (the first tenant of the Ross/Magnolia building); I can’t remember why I liked to go there with my mom but there must have been candy at least Rapp’s had a model train, too Norney’s original toy store at Stanford Shopping. Other sources of toys, in addition to Bergmann’s, Pattersons, Hobby House, Maximart and the two Toy World stores: toy department at California Avenue Co-op; toys at J.C. Penney downtown (but only at Christmas time), smaller variety store on California Avenue (was it where Draper’s Music Center more recently was?). The Toy Box at Town and Country and, nearby, the never-to-be-forgotten Heavener’s Variety. Midtown Pharmacy and the Market Basket also stocked some toys. Lee Brothers grocery store at Town and Country, and, specifically, buying Outer Limits trading cards from a machine there
I was just alerted to this list by my sister, the last poster. I’ll try not to repeat, but this is a great memory list. We moved to Palo Alto in 1958 when I was 6 weeks old, onto Oregon Avenue when it was one block wide. Our house is still there, although our parents have been on Edgewood for 43 years. Some more memories. The tropical fish store that used to be next to the Cheese House, where Sushi House is now. Does anyone remember the “Gingerbread house” that was on Oregon Avenue. Some old lady had put huge river rocks outside of her house and had painted the fence and the rocks to look like the witch’s house in Hansel and Gretal. We swore she was a witch. Mr. Center and donkey basketball at Jordan, and the Gilroy food drives at Christmas. The Chinese take out place across Page Mill from Polly and Jakes, that is now a parking lot. Biking to Whiskey Gulch at 5 am to buy donuts so that we could stand in line to be first to sign up for swim classes at Rinconada. Couldn’t do that now. Tin Roof sundaes at Edys’ Field day at Green Gables The meatballs at the Deli at Edgewood Plaza, that later became Formicos. Bourbon Street Stanford football for the last 40 years. Tearing down wooden goal posts, getting handed roses when we clinched the 1970 Rose Bowl bid, the band parading around a horse skeleton with Tommy Trojan on top during an SC game, Prince Lightfoot. And lots of things I still won’t put in print…
Eddie’s Coffee Shop at Midtown (milkshakes with the glass AND mixing container) The day 31 Flavors opened at Midtown (1968 or 69) The Be-In at El Camino Park with Joan Baez to protest Viet Nam war The small train that ran around Town and Country Village (until a child was injured or killed) My first walking excursion from the Midtown area to San Fransiquito Creek at Newell Road and the smell of the Eucalyptus trees (walking the creek all the way to El Camino) when I was 8 years old Sitting on Santa’s Lap in Front of Duca Hanley 1959 (I was 4) see this Website’s Historic Photos) I just posted of that (notice too, Santa certainly did not look like a Santa). Senior Bora (who taught Spanish at all of the PAUSD elementary schools) Mr. Grod (music teacher) (Maybe I shouldn’t – ahh, I will): Hanging out in the picnic area before school began (at Wilbur junior high) smoking cigs while Mr. Leon, Asst Principal, rode his bike to work
I was alerted about this thread by Nancy, with whom I would ride my bike at 5 AM to Whiskey Gulch to buy donuts so we could sit in front of Rinconada Pool to sign up for swimming lessons. At a time when it was safe for 10 year olds to do this. I grew up on E. Crescent; the shell of my old house is still there, but it was turned into a monster house which destroyed the wonderful huge back yard we enjoyed as kids. Crescent Park School K-6, Jordan Jr. High 7-9, Paly 10-12 grades The day in Feb. 1976 when my sister woke me up screaming “IT’S SNOWING!” Riding my bike downtown in 5th grade in defiance of my mom who didn’t think I was old enough. And riding my bike to Gunn for three weeks one summer because there was no opportunity to take Driver’s Ed at Paly Brownie day camp at Searsville Lake Testing fuses as well as shopping at the Lucky store at Edgewood Plaza, and buying candy at the pharmacy there Frequent trips to various stores in Whiskey Gulch Mrs. Wermuth, English teacher at Jordan, and Mrs. Morris, the graphic arts teacher at Paly. You both helped me through some very tough times. Bergmanns, Norneys, Liddicoats (and the first Mrs. Fields cookie store), Woolworth’s at Stanford and downtown, Maximart, Swain’s music store, Edy’s ice cream, Shaw’s (in MP), Rapps, and the shoe store on University that I can’t recall the name Visiting Mayfield Mall while it was being built as a shopping center Parking underneath the Alec store, currently the Safeway in Menlo Park. That parking garage seemed to be so much bigger when I was young! Afternoon movies at the Stanford Theater, then graduating to the midnight movies at the Varsity every weekend Having milk delievered by Peninsula Creamery to the cubby in our old kitchen that had a door to the outside for this purpose. The mint fudge ice cream I’d request, and trying to convince my mom to get butter instead of margarine because it tasted better. Plus going to Piers to get popsicles in the summer. Buying the last ticket for the Elton John concert at Bullocks (now Nordstrom), among many other tickets purchased there Working at Baskin-Robbins on University Ave, even though I preferred Swensens Reading the Palo Alto Times Spending lots of time at Foothills Park, which I miss Rinconada Pool, when it had the high and low diving boards and the high and low diving platforms. We spent the entire summer there, spending part of our time looking for (and finding plenty of) spare change at the bottom of the pool. Brownie troop meetings at the multi-purpose room at Crescent Park, and Girl Scout meetings at the Girl Scout House next to the Children’s Library Fireworks at the Baylands, and going up to the top of Mayfield Mall so you could see the fireworks from all the local cities Lots more things that I don’t talk about ;-) I live in Ladera now, but still remember the cool place that Palo Alto was all those years ago. Thanks for the trip down memory lane!
Dick’s a hamburger place near Polly and Jake’s. Taco Tio, also on El Camino, when we could drive, and leave campus (Paly), that’s where we would go for lunch.
I lived in Palo Alto from age 15 in 1976 ’till 1992, Wilbur, Cubberley, Paly, Foothill College. Some places I worked… Edey’s Ice cream Ingraham’s Deli on University Ave. Keystone Palo Alto Shakeys Pizza on El Camino The Men’s Wearhouse in San Antonio Shopping Center I was the editorial cartoonist for the Cubberley newspaper and for Foothill College and an International law magazine and the Grapevine local newspaper. Still with The Men’s Wearhouse after 23 years now in Portland, OR. I could write a book about my memories from those years, and my wife could also, we dated while at Cubberley and got married in 2000. She was a cheerleader and I was on the soccor team, tennis team, swim team, baseball team and wrestling team. I was the first student to transfer to Paly before Cubberley was closed and worked as a janitor at Town & Country shopping center across the street before and after classes, graduated early and attended Foothill Coledge when I was 17. I went to every school dance (with live rock bands!)and almost all the major rock concerts of the time, especcially DAY ON THE GREEN!!! Still have the ticket stubs, one of them is Van Halen at Oakland Colluseum for $10.00!! Brad Maddix from Cubberly went on to be a sound manager for major rock tours including RUSH all over the world! I was the lead singer for the band SNOWBLIND when I was 17, and now have a home recording studio, still rockin’ after all these years. Palo Alto is a shell of what it used to be, I was so sad the last time I walked down University Ave. The Varsity Theater used to be the center of my universe. I was friends with Michael Hedges, (guitarist extrordanair!)he used to perform at the varsity for free! I put together a rock band and helped them to the point they opend for Y&T at the keystone. Thanks for this opportuniy to share. And thanks to all my friends of that time, many of which we have kept in touch with over the years; Wendy Cuccia (now Rodgers) who gave us this link, Bill Oaks now in Las Vegas, Rich Chaney now in Colorado, Alice Hanko (now Rush) in Sacramento, Todd Pate now in Los Angeles, on and on.:)
Correction; Wendy GRIFFIN gave us this link, and my wife is Joanie Hekkert, My last name changed to Fenton (inherited) so we are Peter & Joanie Fenton.
I came back to see who else had posted and because I remembered a couple of things. Bonfires at Stanford! Those were great. And also Wiedeman’s Mens store downtown. Patrick James at T&C is the only thing close to Wiedemans, and not by much. PS – Why are Portola Valley and Atherton listed on the pulldown menu, but not Woodside?
The chocolate cake at the Jordan cafeteria. I’m a baker and wish I could reproduce whatever it was that made that cake so good and memorable.
Palo Alto. What a great place to grow up in. I could relate to so many of the comments. I ran across this thread while searching information about Ramos Ranch. For many horse crazed teenagers, it was a great place to grow up. Lots of freedom. Open space. Good friends. We are trying to have a reunion with those of us who spent time there in the 70′s. We have tracked down a number of people, but since most have different last names, or have moved, I could use some help. If you used to ride at Ramos Ranch, or knew somebody who did, please have them email me at [email protected] Thanks!!! Time to make more Palo Alto memories!
Yes,the bonfires at Stanford. When the Stanford barn was a food court. The first one I remember. The Chuckwangon, all you could eat. My brother could eat a lot. Afternoon sock hops at Jordan.
I am having flashbacks — the good kind! —- HI RAFE! Long time no see!! —– I grew up in PA but relocated to Wisconsin in 1995 to be with my husband. My parents’ Eichler on Dake Ave. near Cubberley cost $28,000 in 1962. From Mackay to Alma it was all fields with mustard flowers in the spring. Dad still lives there. I’m flying out for a visit in two weeks. Ah yes, the crossing guard sweater and the little yellow cadet beanie. Officer Mashinsky. The daytime traffic at Middlefield and Montrose seemed treacherous at the time. And that was when people actually drove the speed limit of 25. As a teenager I would ride my bike downtown along Waverley or Cowper, to buy incense at East-West Trading Company. I could whip through the Circles (Roosevelt and Carlson) with my eyes closed and not get lost… Yes. The shoe store monkeys were real. I thought they were kind of nasty. My sister’s boyfriend worked at what is now Rick’s Rather Rich Ice cream at Charleston Center, and he would give us free cones. As rebellious teens, we used to hang out at Mitchell Park at night. We owned that park. We were always the only ones there. Not too long ago, I took a walk there after dark, and the police shined a spotlight on me… So many memories, lying fallow! … the wooden floors at Woolworth’s on University… the ear-piercingly high-pitched tone that assaulted my ears whenever I entered the Maximart store… the Liberace-style pink sweetness of Blum’s… Emerald Isle ice cream at Edy’s… the Venus statues around the fountain in front of the Cabaña Hotel… Gemelo’s Winery (technically in Mountain View off El Camino across from where the Sakura Gardens Japanese restauraunt was)… Town & Country Village with the hay rides and the Nipon Fish store… the Cheese House and their gigantic sandwiches… long-beloved Stickney’s pie… Trudy, the waitress there… The diner counter inside Bergman’s, which many many years later turned into Bajis’, with fantastic omelets… Bajis is still in business on Old Middlefield, isn’t it? The opening of Mayfield Mall, where I lived almost daily at the age of 14… J. Magnin’s op art themes… the big cloth banners hanging from the ceiling… the leotard store… the big skylights… The first train in the morning along Alma, its horn always waking me before dawn. Two words: Searsville Lake! Frost Amphitheatre, with Santana and Jefferson Airplane and the Dead… I, too, attended the Human Be-In at Emarcadero park across from Stanford Shopping Center… I would catch the train to SF at California Ave. and go up to the Haight some Saturdays… The Baylands’ catwalks… the pool at Rinconada… Polly & Jake’s ivy-covered hut… delicious A & W hamburgers and root beer in the car on a window tray… My locker at Wilbur… Kirk’s burgers… the hole in the chain link fence behind the Unitarian Church, providing a very useful shortcut to Mitchell Park… The bike bridge near Greenmeadow, linking Creekside to Duncan Place… … someone put a dead shark under it once, the smell was horrific for weeks. To this day, the stench of rotting fish reminds me of going to school. In a good way…. I can’t go on, my eyes are misty. So glad I found this blog!
Did I mention Big Al’s Pizza, with the Model T out front, where they played B&W old movies on the wall?
Did I mention Big Al’s Pizza, with the Model T out front, where they played B&W old movies on the wall? And when they installed the first Pong machine at the Stanford Coffee House? Coffee Mit Schlag! The bullet-proof windows at the counter at the Whiskey Gulch KFC… The Menu Tree with the pretend parrots upstairs… 5 cent cylinder-shaped ice cream cones at — what the heck was it called, that dime store at San Antonio Shopping Center near where BevMo is now… Seems like most of my memories involve ice cream, hamburgers, pizza… maybe the brain links old childhood memories to food items? I had to laugh when I read Don Ganschow’s post about driving fast down Alma to stay ahead of the malathion choppers. (We didn’t have a garage, so our cars lost all their shine.)
Wow, reading these posts has brought back memories of things I hadn’t thought of in years. I grew up in PA from 1951-57 when we moved to Menlo Park. We lived at the tip of the pie formed by Embarcadero and California. My father was a grad student at Stanford and later worked at HP when it was only the one building, which looked like an elementary school. I remember when they built the second building, shaped like a sawtooth. I only went to Garland for kindergarten before we moved. I remember the monkeys at the shoe store; you could see them from both inside and outside the store. I’ll ask my mother if she remembers the name of the store. A few things I remember; there was an old Shell station at the corner of Embarcadero and 101 before the overpass was built (~ 1956). It was the old style gas station, stucco with the shell painted right on the building. There was a pile of old kerosene burners in the back that the CHP used to mark accidents, before they used flares. I thought there was only a stop sign to cross 101, but it may have been a light. The circus used to come once a year and set up tents in the empty lots just on the other side of 101. There was an old farmer’s yard on California that ran from Oregon Ave. to California behind the houses on Santa Ana. They built Eichlers on it around 1956. We used to feed the horses on Oregon Ave. I remember the Drive-in movies next to 101. I thought it was in Mountain View. My mom took me there to play sometimes during the day; they had a merry-go-round and slides right under the screen. Enough for now.
This is fun stuff. I think most memories have been covered so I am trying to think of something original… Macy’s White Flower Days every month Orthodontists Hatasaka or Hew. Midtown Pharmacy Tracy Kristofferson,(Cubberley/Gunn ’80), Kris’ daughter, who would never write her last name while signing yearbooks and tricked everyone by showing up at school on Halloween wearing a brown wig and a kiddie costume (no one recognized her). Bagels dripping with melted butter at Wilbur Jr. High. Learning to type on a manual typewriter in jr. high. Typing pictures for fun…3 X’s, 2 E’s….. XXXEEOOOOOUUUUU…. Navy (with thin, white, vertical stripes) polyester one-piece jumpers with snaps at the shoulders that the girls had to wear as PE uniforms at Wilbur (last year of uniforms was ’78). Sneakers being sold at Safeway in ’77. Nikes being introduced in ’78. People didn’t know whether to pronounce them Nikes or Nikees. Bubble Yum being the rage in ’77. Pop Rocks Sweating profusely in PE and then having to change back into clothing and run to next class. No time to shower, nor did anyone want to shower in front of others. Senora Sally Mearns, Mrs. Oscarson, Mrs. Andrea Erzberger (whom recently passed away), perplexed at what Mr. Starkey was explaining and trying to stay awake, Doug, the coach/narc (was he really?), the Paly attendance lady hanging out with students. Senor Hill (whom I don’t want to remember). Mr. Anderson in Family Life class teaching about subliminal advertising. Churchill being busy with bicylists because everyone was riding bicycles to school (ithout helmets).
10 cent bus rides in ’76 (I even thought it was cheap back then) 20 cent all-day passes in which we would ride to several malls to get our money’s worth. Riding to Mayfield Mall with friends at age 11 to buy birthday gifts. Mopeds Century Liquor Store (Loma Verde & Middlefield) selling a huge variety of candy as you walk in the front door (like gas station stores today). Skateboarding all over town and returning home as the sun was setting. Rec afterschool at the school. In 1978 at Wilbur, flying with my zoology class on Southwest Airlines to the San Diego Zoo for a day at the round-trip price of thirty-seven dollars (it was even a low cost at that time). The gift shop called The Company at Stanford Shopping Center. Bicycle parking cage at Wilbur where there is now a parking lot. Being a traffic guard at my elementary school. Ortega, DeAnza, Crescent Park elementary schools. Green Gables is now Duveneck. Arby’s Roast Beef located on San Antonio Road where there is now a nail shop, dry cleaners, etc. Changing the name of Palo Verde to Sequoiah so that the Ortega students would feel more welcome to Palo Verde (we kids didn’t understand what the big deal was and why they insisted on changing the name). Tower Records (San Antonio and El Camino) was the place to shop for music. The employees were rude but they sure knew about music (hum any song and they would know the name) Leed’s Shoes at Mayfield Mall KOME, KSJO, KFRC radio stations. “I like to KOME when I drive” license plate frames Dittos, Luv-its pants for girls Dr. Scholl’s sandals
The X-rated store on El Camino way. The Exotic auto dealership at El Camino way and El Camino Real The gas station at Hamilton and Alma. The dairy on Greer Rd. The Drive-in movie screens on West Bayshore.
How could you not like Senor Hill? He went on to continue to coach the PALY badminton team until ’02. Always a badminton player’s favorite!
The store at San Antonio w/the 5 cent cones was Thrifty! These are great memories, I share and relate to them all!
Hi folks, Someone brought up Thrifty (and the 5-cent ice-cream cones). Remember TV’s having tubes. Thrifty had a machine that, well, if you didn’t know what tube in your TV was out, you’d take ‘em all and test them on the machine. The one that was dead could be replaced with what they had in stock (usually $2.00) And someone mentioned Linda’s – Mmmmmmmmmmmmm Parisian Burgers! Me and another Cub Alum put on an any year Cubberley reunion at Mitchell Park about 4 years ago. About 300 people showed up representing the early 50s through the late 70s. We just asked folks to bring a side dish. It was FREE, too. And you didn’t have to go to Rickey’s in a suit, telling your former classmates that you left the Mercedes at the shop (some told the truth – after being laid off, your job-hunt is turning into a living nightmare, Ma, Daddy . . . uh, could I . . .). And a group of us even went for a walk on the other side of the bridge at Mitchell, while someone else said, “Hey, I know what you guys are doing.” It was almost like the good old days. If anyone is interested, maybe we could have another reunion at Mitchell Park regardless of school or year. Just something to think about. Andy
Things I remember about Growing up in Menlo Park -Onetta Harris was called Kelley Park, we had after school programs such as cheeleading, cooking class, dance class, Dance Parties (without violence), talent shows, and Swimming. -The Boys and Girls club on Market Place before they reconstructed it into 90% of office space and the employees take up the residence parking – You would have basketball, cooking class, the arts and crafts room, the computer room, playing pool, cheating the ms. pac man game, siting in the large front room watching TV, or just hanging out in Oscar or Winkies Office watch the older guys playing basket ball until 9 pm – those were the good old days…..oh yeah and there was no such thing as “East Menlo Park”
I remember the Whiskey Gulch area with the Style Setter store that sold Ben Davis jeans, haha, remember them! Slowly all of that faded away, now there’s the hotel. My sisters and brothers attended Ravenswood High back in the day! Me, growing up in the back of Menlo Park remember the neighborhood football games and cheerleading at Kelly Park with the sleepovers. My how time flies.
To Scott Preston who made this comment on Nov 2: The Hot French Bread with Butter at Lunch and Brunch at Jordan. Posted by Scott Preston, a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, on Nov 2, 2006 at 4:03 am That was my mom who made that French bread. She was the PAUSD baker for 33 years. She passed away on July 20, of 2005 (and retired in 93). Her name was Elli Motooka. The (sometimes noted as the only) very nice “blond kitchen lady” who many times wore a chef’s hat and a uniform. She was often mistaken for the school nurse! I thought what you said was a nice tribute to her! Thanks.
The 25 cents icee house on Hamilton The Boston Baked Beans and Lemon heads at Heads Market on Willow Road George’s Speedy Market (the chews candy) The candy apples the Timmons Family sold on Ivy Drive Mrs. Holland – The Candy Lady on Ivy Drive Ms. Curphy at Belle Haven (the teacher everyone thogh was mean) The water balloon fighs that started on Madera and ended at the boys club…….. Saturday Basketball games at Kelley Park Mr. Lee’s French Fries and Tarter Sauce Ron’s Burgers……the good old days are long gone
I remember when we did have Wells Fargo in whiskey gulch. Glenndale Savings on the corner of Bell and University accross from shell gas station. Niarobi shopping center accross from the McDonalds had littlemans Market, Cleaners, Shoe repair liquor store, I believe there was a hardware store too. There was also Mickeys blue room night club. Heads Market was where the chevron gas station is now in menlo park on willow road he was the only store there. The rest of that corner was dirt and the church was on the corner of carlton. The Carnivals @ Ravenswood Middle School????
East Palo Alto had a BANK OF AMERICA where McDonalds is now Popeyes Chicken Kentucky Fried Chicken Valu Maxx Super Market Arco Gas Station Mirror-Mirror Hair Salon A-1 Liquors Shake Down Burgers The Car Wash The Smoke Shop Jay’s Fish
I remember The Collins Club – The Garden Club In East Palo Alto I remember the Old Mill in Mt. View I remember Fright Night @ Great America GEMCO JC PENNEY @ MAYFIELD MALL JOSEPH MAGNIM @ MAYFIELD MALL WOOLWORTH AT STANFORD AND ON UNIVERSITY EMPORIUM @ STANFORD Nabato Yero Football Players and Cheerleaders Wonder Bread Bakery Where Jack in the Box is on Willow Road in Menlo Park………….. Belle Haven was the Best Elementry School in the 70′s Samtrans 50V bus route from Kelley Park to Stanford Shopping Center The Pool Hall on University
Someone asked about what lived at Challenger School on Middlefield before they came to town. For a while it went unused but before that it was Spangler School which was for kids with physical special needs.
Wow what a suprise to find this site. I lved on Emerson St. by Alice Hanko untill I was 13 and then we moved to Los Altos… Day on the greens Live bands at cubberly Greatful Dead at frost A&W rootbeer Rapps shoes-Bagel works-Worked at Keystone Palo Alto- Lucky store on Alma-soon to be a sub-division Wilbur J.R. high when they first started bussing kids from E.P.A. El Carmello-Mr. Ward-Mr. Spinelli-Mrs Cottle-Miss Ellison..Etc. The Fire at El Carmello Polly and Jakes-Bergmans and penny candy and wax teeth for holloween REMEMBER:when children could play un attended outside! Toilet papering with tracy.k and Brad maddix…. My old flames Lisa Kiser and Caitlin Burgess I could go on for hours My e-mail address [email protected] Keep on posting-Hi Peter A. Later…James
We moved to Palo Alto from Menlo Park when I was 12 (1972). I went to Jordan and graduated Paly in 1979. We lived down the block from Rinconada Park in a little one bedroom house (and me and my brother lived above the detached garage while my Dad remodeled.) I remember helping my Dad build a house on the vacant lot in the center of the block behind our house – LOL… now there is house located dead-center in the middle of the block with no major street access – just the ally! I remember the quiet dark mornings delivering the Chronicle to the high rises on Forest and Channing house. Walking the deserted halls at 5:00 AM sliding papers under doors and slinging them into yards. (Remember when 11-16 year olds delivered the newspapers?) I remember when there was a high-dive at Rinconada park and jumping off the high platform into the deep end! Watch out for the people! Building scenery and tracks at the model train club in the basement of the community center near the main library. I remember riding my bike all over Palo Alto and up into the hills. Being 12, gone all day unsupervised, and nobody thinking it was unusual or worrying about me. I remember catching giant polywogs and little catfish out at Lake Loginita when they were draining it one year and there was just a big muddy puddle left before it was bone-dry. I especially remember riding my bike along the “swamp” part of the lake next to the golf driving range and hoping I wouldn’t fall down into the toolies when the trail petered out. I remember riding my bike up to Foothill park and out to Searsville Lake a couple of times to fish. There was a white sand swimming beach and snackbar at Searsville Lake. You couldn’t fish in the swimming area – but you could put in a raft and fish the rest of the lake. I remember sneaking into the lake above Stanford (drawing a blank on the name now now) to go fishing – while keeping my eyes peeled for police (so I could skedadle) and the occasional college skinnydippers (so I could indulge my curiosity!) The Dump in the baylands was always a great place to play. I remember going out there and collecting bottles which we would throw into slough and shoot with our wrist-rocket slingshots. Digging a fort out in the grass with my friend Steve Shenkle and my brother Don. Crazy rafting down San Francisquito creek after a storm (it’s a wonder we didn’t drown!) Collecting crawdads from the creek and later eating them with my best friends family (and the time we were down in the creek collecting golfballs near the SandHill Road bridge and one hit my friends head!) The Seascout PT boat out at the Yacht Harbor. Building a Heathkit IMSI 8080 out at the NASA Ames research center Explorer Post – and having no input/output devices other than the front panel switches and diodes. Driving the MG midget at night in the summer thru Stanford with the cool night air (just before the clutch broke (Again!)) Greg Hayward, Don and me franticly out-of-breath pushing our green Pinto into the parking lot at Paly (from the Churchill street side) when the stick shift broke off and we couldn’t get it back into gear. Don’s Smoke shop – the magazines! I remember we had a “Chariot Race” at Jordan – build your own chariot at home to bring it to school to race. I don’t remember the occasion, but I do remember running with Don, Greg and Steve. It’s funny, I don’t recall if we won, but I do recall the concern that the wheel would fall off!
I stumbled across this site purely by accident and am amazed by the memories it brings back. I lived in the Greenmeadow area between 1964 and 1970. Cubberley class of 1970. I returned to work in Palo Alto between 1980-84 at Hamilton & Cowper and then from 1984-89 on Cambridge Ave. My random memories include Uncle John’s Pancake House(now the Fish Market)next to a horse pasture (now Palo Alto Square); All the new car dealers downtown that are long gone (Dan Day Pontiac; Paddleford Olds; Lutz Ford; Autohaus Brugger; H & E Motors); Delmar Israel Typewriter Repair and Tennis Racket restringing(!)on University; Celia’s Mexican Restaurant on University; the Gatehouse Restaurant on Lytton; when Cubberley had a swimming pool and Parks and Rec operated the pools during the summer; being a Stanford Football Junior Rooter; working at the Phillips 66 gas station (now Midas Muffler)on El Camino and Arastadero, sailing a Sunfish on Lake Boronda in Foothill Park; camping in the campground at Foothill Park; the bike shack at Wilbur (a large covered structure where everyone parked their bikes before it was demolished and the science wing was constructed); minimum wage was $1.65 and a gallon of gas was 32 cents!!
the memories come flowing back like a tidal wave after reading some of these. midtown boy born and raised…ross road elementry school…wilbur…cubberly worked at duca…the Pennel chevron on the corner of colorado and middlefield…service master on loma verde. I still live in PA…one of the few left from my old gang riding mini bikes and motorcycles at the baylands getting chased by the police slot cars, peers dairy on louis(orange two tone popsicles yum), century liquers (RC cola and mini donuts for lunch…don’t tell mom), jacksons sandwich shop the texico gas station where the bakery was…the bakery where the juice place was almost getting hit by a car going from the basket to duca’s, lazy summers hanging out, no worries…life was great growing up here in this quite suburbia…boy has it changed
Whoo man what a flash back, almost reached for my bong. this is a fabulaous site. Ok elenor park, Rincanada park, Crescent park, Go Panthers. 6 P.M. bells at Saint Alberts. time for dinner. Frans market on Lytton. Channing market for wax lips. Jordan, then Paly, Class of 80. Could that be true.? Add Janes swim school. Riding bikes everywere. E.P.A. for beer. Fransico creek. Cheese house, frost concerts. sneeking in to Stanford games. And of course the creamery for breakfast. Pop Warner football. Coach peterson I will never forget you. you taught me so much and were so kind to me. ” RIP ” So much more but i feel the need to look for my bong…
A correction. Coach preston…. not pederson. …. also a note. after 25 years i have found a Crescent Park girl here in Idaho. and she’s the love of my life……..
Day camp at Foothill Park with a sleep over on the last day. Living at Eichler Swim and Tennis Club all summer long Swimming on the swim team at the Eichler Swim and Tennis Club Earning my “E” at the Eichler Swim and Tennis Club when I was 6 yrs old. Roller skating to the liquor store to buy donuts. YES, I remember those monkeys at that Stanford Shopping Center shoe store! Riding bikes down Louis Rd to get fudge bars at Piers Dairy. Mayfield Mall–so many memories there! Waiting for the bus on the corner of Greer Rd. and Louis Rd. with my grandma for a shopping day at Stanford Shopping Center Mitchell Park and the cars, and the garages for the cars Palo Alto Children’s Library Being in a play at the Palo Alto Children’s Theatre Taking creative dance Picnics and parties at Foothill Park (capture the flag) Hide n Go Seek in our cul-de-sac late into the summer evenings SIGH
Does anyone remember the summer there was a trampoline “park” in Midtown? The bottom of the trampolines were sunk into the ground so the part to jump on was level with the sidewalk. I think there were too many accidents so it didn’t last long. It was about 1962. I went there every day with my friend Judy. High school at Paly — following Joan Baez to her very early concerts (she graduated from Paly a few years before me) — one at Stanford and at least one at Peninsula School.
I remember stopping occasionally after school at the A&W, for a chilled glass mug of Root Beer, foam flowing over the top. Did a twirly thing in an ice show at the Winter Club once, and landed on my keester in front of too many of our friends and neighbors. A promising career in the Ice Follies was forever sidelined. Watched in awe, as the ditch-deep, silty water, logs, etc. flowed under the bridges in ’55. Summer often included new 50-cent flip-flops from the Variety Store on Colorado Ave., camping at Portola State Park, and TANNING at Rinconada. Bought lots of gum at Freeman Market, and, finally, a hats-off to those chocolate shakes at the Peninsula Creamery Fountain. Diane Huber P.S. Currently, we live way too far from the Cheese House. Friends and relatives will wait, as it is the first stop on any trip to the area.
So glad that someone mentioned the Festival Cinema — my dad used to take me to Gunga Din and other scratchy old B&W movies there. And fun to see people remembering the mall at San Antonio — but does anyone remember TIME ZONE? Now that was an arcade! Walking into the dim, electronic noise there and getting a big chunk of tokens and playing pinball and a million video games. Video Games — I remember that one early video game that’s now considered an old ahead-of-its-time pioneer, Space War, could be played at some little comic shop not far from Time Zone and Sears at San Antonio. And yep, those funky 5 cent ice cream cones — they were cylindical because of the scooper they’d use. We thought we were getting such a deal! And then playing pinball at Tressider Union. It was just one long line of pinball machines against the wall, and some pool tables. I remember one day “What the heck is that thing over there??” and it was the space invaders machine… within 5-6 years of course it was all video games with 3 pinball machines huddled in the corner. Soap suds in the fountian at California Avenue. the old SP trains would go over the overpass, and at the bowdoin park there were monkey bars shaped like two chinese guys made of metal, with chinese hats. Going into Patterson’s 5 and dime and I think I had an insanely huge 5 dollar bill for some reason (probably stole it from my mom’s purse!) and I realized I had no idea what I wanted to get (with all those racks of stuff to buy!) and all I wanted to do was go back to the counter and ask to change in for another silver dollar. hanging out with my friend at lunch and when Paly’s alternating-periods Weds and thurs schedules meant that we had a giant ‘prep period’ right next to lunch we would go for long, long walks and stop off at the frosty’s on el camino (was that its name?) and get crappy soft serve ice cream. I remember other kids in the parking lot would have those white shirts with black sleeves that were sold at concerts… probably like day on the green — you know how they standardized those concert shirts into those baggy black-sleeve things? man you could get cash from some kid in japan if you still had one now. someone mentioned Walter Hays and the combo teaching of Mrs Meaders and Mr Carey. I remember that Mrs Meaders was supposedly “Mean!” … she was a tough cookie and maybe once a year when some kid was talking and didn’t realize that he was holding up the entire class she would throw a beanbag monkey at him. Of course this morphed into the rumor that she “Threw staplers at the kids.” Someone remembered Formico’s Pizza way back at that little Lucky/minimall back if I got in our VW with my mom and we drove back on channing… that pizza was AWESOME… the Lucky’s was grungy as hell. Why do I keep thinking the formico’s was named Fiorello’s? where was that? I lived across the street from the very large mormon church on Guinda near Channing. I even climbed the steeple. Now it has been demolished and it’s 5-6 houses now. I hung out with EDDIE, the caretaker with the big grey beard and the big Honda Motorcycle, who used to have funky week-long garage sales and was in the local paper (The Palo Alto Times, of course) for being so eccentric to grow plants in old used toilets. The wooden, beige, crowded Channing Market, with the iranian (?) guy running it, and the whole neighborhood petitioned to save it when it lost its lease.What did I buy there when I was a kid? WACKY PACKAGES. stickers with fake products on them. funny. covered my closet door with them. the humble little petting zoo in the community center next to my school, walter hays. buying jolly ranchers at the rinconada park, lying by the pool and reading Young Adult Fiction that I checked out from the children’s library. jolly ranchers being the basic unit of currency at Jordan during the reign of Mr Center, mentioned earlier. everyone thought he was the greatest, and sure he did a ton of community stuff. He was always pretty curt with me though. the Vertical Team at Jordan. On one of their communtiy programs, going and playing lawn bowling with senior citizens at the lawn bowling place. fun. enough for now, I could go on. I’d have to say the best is the Festival Cinema though. tiny.
First, hey there Rafe, if you read this. Email me! 1956-7: We lived first on Louis Road, which ended at Piers Dairy. I used to take the bus downtown P.A. with my babysitting money & get $2.99 pastel “shell” shoes at GallenKamps, look at “full-fashioned” sweater sets & matching socks at Elwoods, check out the old Lerner’s & Mode O’Day’s, then go check out the Fire Sale on the Circle for bargains. Lay awake at night listening to Red Blanchard on the radio. J. Magnins, the old Woolworth’s & Penney’s (and that building across from Rickey’s was, I think a restaurant & bar called Rodolfo’s, where you could get a steak dinner for $2.95). Jeez, I didn’t know there were so many of us![email protected]
What a wonderful collection of memories! I came across this thread while “googling” some of the business names from my old Cubberley Catamounts (the student newspaper from Cubberley High School). I was a staff photographer for the Catamount, and I was scanning my old papers for a digital archive. So searches on some of that material led me here. What a fun find! I spent my first night or two in Palo Alto (1960) at Rickey’s, back when it was covered with yellow neon. I attended Ohlones, Wilbur, and Cubberley. I was on the Ohlones safety patrol and remember Sergeant Meshinski as well. When I first attended Ohlones, there was no traffic light at Carlson and Charleston, and the safety patrol was using the semaphores to stop traffic. By the time I was in 6th grade, the signal was in, and we had a key to the control box so we could make the light stay green long enough for little kids to get across. (Mr. Bud Jamison ran the patrol at Ohlones the year I was on it). The semaphores were still in the closet with the uniforms though, “just in case”. We used to go to Charleston Center a lot. “The Doughnut Affair” occupied the space where “Feng Yuan” later came. It had another name with “Doughnut” in it also after the “affair”, but prior to “Feng Yuan”, but I don’t remember what it was. In 1960, “The Doughnut Affair” had a speaker that piped in music “courtesy of the Disc Den”, the record store down the row. The ice cream store at Charleston (Bird’s) used to buy ads in the Catamount a lot. The market in the 60s was “Mayfair”. The drug store was great – they filled prescriptions and delivered. I remember one of my aunts from back east was visiting, and she ran out of “birth control” pills, and the pharmacist in there counted out and gave her enough pills to get her home. (He said it was “easier to have a miscount” than to do the paperwork). Tony, the barber at Charleston, was my dad’s barber, and sometimes mine. We first went to him at one of the Midtown barber shops (the one next to Round Table, I think), and moved into Charleston Center around 1967. One of my Catamounts from 1968 has an ad that reads “Styling and Razor Cutting by Tony”, so I guess he had it by then. Tony helped me set up a photo once for the Catamount – three of the teachers (Miles Putnam, Michael Dale, and Jim Warford) came back from summer vacation with beards. We put Mr. Putnam in the chair with the cloth over him, and made it look like Mr. Dale and Mr. Warford were about to shave him with a straight razor. Mr. Putnam had a priceless worried expression. Rudolfo’s had two dining rooms, run almost separately. The one in the front was “Continental Dining”, and fancy, but in the back was the less formal pizza concession. There was also a bar in between (more or less). My dad used to say that the host would take a look at you as you came in and guide you to one place or the other based on how you were dressed… we always went for pizza. The pizza part closed sometime in the mid 60s. One of my Cubberley Teachers (I think Duane Hinders) told us that the had talked to the owner and that they intended to get the ovens repaired and restart the pizza business, but I don’t think it ever happened. Anyone remember “Taco Tio”… on El Camino… which changed names later to something else (but not “bell”). My mom did most of her shopping at Midtown. She said she used to see Bill Hewlett in there sometimes. My math teacher from Wilbur (Phil Schneider) used to sell me shoes when he worked his second job at “Children’s Bootery” at Midtown. (We used to hit “Eddie’s” for a soda or a float when we got shoes). When I “graduated” to adult shoes, he told me to “go see Gene or Jerry at Rapps”, where I met the famous mynah bird. The electric train was still there, but was nonfunctional. The shoe store at Stanford Shopping Center with the monkeys in the windows was (I think) “Sommer and Kaufman”… not sure about the spelling. Over in that area, I remember eating many times at Sandy’s Jr., and the Stanford Barn. We used to take the football players from Cubberley down to “TC Christy” downtown (later Wiedeman’s) and take pictures of them trying on and wearing different things for Catamount and Yearbook ads. I think it was the night Mayfield Mall opened (but it might have been later), there was a steel drum band – first time I’d ever heard one. Great sound! When I was in college, I fell asleep on a water bed in one of the stores there. Later when I worked for HP, I taught and attended classes in that complex a few times. Calif. Avenue… Cinnamon bread was great at Harlan’s Bakery on California. Peninsula Scientific was one of my favorite haunts, first on El Camino, then they moved into the old DMV building on Park. Red Johnsons (Electronics) and Maximart were also places I went. Red Johnson had lots of old surplus – Zacks downtown sold only new stuff. Maximart had the best prices on photo supplies. Gotta list a few musical notes – nobody mentioned Dana Morgan, where Jerry Garcia used to hang out. At Cubberley, we hosted a concert with Buffalo Springfield and Sopwith Camel in April, 1967. More obscure than that, Stevie Nicks sang at Cubberley’s 1967 Christmas Dance, as the vocalist in the Fritz Raybine Memorial Band. There is a photo of her at the microphone in the 1967/68 Totem (p. 66) with the drum from the “Fritz” right next to her. I’ve been working on a website ( to preserve the old Catamounts I’ve got, but it’s not very pretty, and it’s going slowly… but perhaps that’s why I have so many thoughts on those great years. Cheers to all, Bill P.
I’m homesick from all these comments! I’ll add only one thing– Cubing at the Stanford Golf Course. I’ve tried to explain it to many people over the years– they just can’t seem to get their heads around buying a giant block of ice and “sledding” in the summertime. Their loss. –Mr. Carey and Mrs. Meaders class at Walter Hays was great 6th grade experience.
Hey everyone, great to see all these memories. Found this site while trying to look up something about the old PA Yacht Club. We moved to PA in 1964 when I was 6, lived on Middlefield, I went to the old Hoover (across from Safeway) until we were redistricted to Fairmeadow, then Wilbur, Cubberley 1975. My parents moved to Professorville while I was in college, then 2 years ago moved to Hyatt Classic Residences. Though I’ve lived out of California for 30+ years now, my son is a junior at Stanford, so there must be something in the blood! A couple of additions, thoughts: Maximart? Remember, it’s the “Maxwell Smart Store”! I was glad to see someone remembered the year all the fireworks blew up. We were watching from the roof of our house on Middlefield. Anyone else go to the Alternative School at Cubberley? The slot car place next to the creek in Midtown — it was still there when we moved to town in 1964, because I remember getting in trouble for going in there. But it came down pretty soon after that. At the corner of Loma Verde & Middlefield was a donut shop — I used to stop there at 5 in the morning after delivering the SF Chron, to get REALLY fresh donuts. And finally…about that 1976 snow. Maybe it happened — I was gone by then. But I know there was snow in 1974 or 1975, while I was still at Cubberley. There were pictures in the yearbook. Thanks for the memories.
what a wonderful site it! so many great memories how about doughnut day at bergmans.foothill park in the afternoon when we all should have been in class.I graduated from cubberley in 79 we all would go to frankie johnny and luigi’s before it became a “chain” and order stromboli pizza.the winter club was a huge hang out durring our middle school years.I remember stopping by the creamey for ice cream bars in the big freezer out front on my way home from De Anza.creek walking and looking for tadpoles and frogs was always big fun .Andy I would be totally interested in a reunion is there a web site or way to find more info? I live in orange county so i am not local.
I am happy that people are still finding this blog, and are adding to it. (Even though it’s harder to find now). At Paly in the mid 60s girls were not allowed to wear pants to school. And, our skirts could only be so short. Of course, we all rolled our skirts up at the waist. If the dean of women thought our skirts looked too short, she would make us kneel down, and she would measure how far our skirts were from the floor. Then we would have to roll our skirts down. At least until she was gone, then we rolled them back up again. It was unfair to the taller girls. I was not one of them.
I would love to hear what the Kids love about living in Palo Alto now. So, if one of the “old ones” has a young adult now, get him/her to start a new blog. We could learn a lot, and get a chance to see their past now, as it happens now. Thanks.
WOW! What a small world. I bumped into a new client who just told me he was one of the owners of Banana Records in Palo Alto where I grew up. So I googled Banana Records and came across here. I got chills reading these posts…. I remember the bump in the road just off of Middlefield, next to Addison. If you blew the stop sign in the car you could easily launch all 4 wheels off the ground. I remember taking the bus to Mayfield Mall to play in the only arcade around. I remember hanging out at Stanford Mall and eating 25 cent hamburgers at McDonald’s before going into the Toy Store next door. Bergmann’s!!! I hated the close my Mom bought me for school there. My first R Rated movie (when I was 14) I got into without an I.D. was Mad Max at the movie theater on University? Can’t think of it’s name. The night club on California Street. Earthquakes in school. I can still pick out the 4th grade room at Green Gables I was sitting in…. Stuart Holloway fell off his chair since he was leaning back when it hit. I refuse to call it Duveneck. Mrs. Uchida!!! I didn’t have her but I could hear her yelling at the 4th grade students next door. Stepping on the tinfoil containers that held the lunch and throwing them like ninja stars. Man…back to work, wife and kids…. WHAT HAPPENED?
Too many memories reading more above. I remember Senor Center at Jordan… the only reason to take Spanish was for the jolly ranchers. Who was that awful English teacher at Paly that everyone dreaded because he yelled at you? Who was the teacher that had bull horns on the front of his car? I remember getting my first bicylce ticket riding to Jordan and blowing that stop sign that wasn’t a four-way. Everyone did it, but they mananged to stop that day. I remember driving down Embarcadero in my car leaving Paly and hitting the puddles just right to soak the poor Freshmen riding their bikes home. I remember the Asian guy who owned the snack shack next to Riconada pool. I remember smoking something besides cigarettes in the tube holes that used to be in the little kid’s play area at Rinconada. I remember riding my bike to the East Palo Alto 7-Eleven when I was 10 or 11….what were my parents thinking? I remember buying beer in whiskey gulch and pimping for beer in front of Century Liquors in the Ravenswood shopping Center. I remember putting down the Apple cushion seats for the Super Bowl at Stanford and everyone was trying to steal one as a collector’s item by throwing them over the fence. I remember the 24 hour band marathon. I remember eating sunflower seeds during my breaks on “the wall” at Paly. I still miss my first car… and orange Datsun truck with cool white rims that I bought for $1500 on El Camino. I remember duplicating my Dad’s car keys and driving his Jag to Paly on Monday’s when my parents commuted. I remember not deciding to go with my friends and break into the Palo Alto Co-op Market to steal beer at 2 am on a Saturday. They all got arrested. I DO remember throwing water balloons at pedestrians in downtown Palo Alto. I’m coming back with more tomorrow…..
Fun thread. A few of my memories, some of which have been mentioned already: Playing little league at Middlefield and both fields at Hoover. Babe Ruth baseball at Baylands and at Paly. Mexican restaurant on El Camino near Stanford (owned by Sergio Raddavero’s dad…can’t remember the name of the place). Swim lessons at Wilbur. Pounding tennis balls against the wall at Mitchell Park. Thinking I had died and gone to heaven when Togo’s opened. Salt and pepper pants at O.L.R. Banana Records Liaison restaurant (near Shakey’s…fancy!) Getting some free basketball coaching from Hans D. at Cubberley in the summer. Some just-outside-of-Palo Alto memories: drive-ins at Moffett, pizza at Old Mill (Fargo’s?), my first job at Asgard Liquors in San Antonio Shopping Center. P.S. I never knew I grew up in “St. Claire Gardens” until I saw this website today…learn something new every day!
This is cool! Here are my memories in completely random order… I, too, remember the 1976 snow day – making snowballs in front of school and throwing them at cars passing by – until one stopped and backed up… Blowing allowance on glass animals at Bergmanns Catching frogs in Barron Creek and bringing them home to live in our front patio pond as “pets” The aqua-colored VW bus that would pick us up from home and take us to Wright’s Nursery School on Barron Ave The huge tire swing at Wright’s Busing it to Mayfield Mall with friends for an afternoon of shopping and club sandwiches at Woolworths Sparkly sidewalks at Stanford Shopping Center Tuesday afternoon movies all summer long at Stanford Theater Climbing all over the cement bears at Mitchell Park 50 cent malts at Stanford football games Jumping off the high-dive for the very first time at my 10th birthday party at the Rinconada pool Thinking I actually saw Cinderella at the Glass Slipper Motel on El Camino (turned out to be a maid carrying a basket of laundry) Being afraid to go to the bathroom at the Colorado Round Table, because my mom told us “the boogie man” was out there Buying BlackJack gum at Century Liquors Going to the candy lady’s house at the corner of Cowper and Loma Verde
Our Memories: Bowling alley and video arcade at Tressider Union on campus. Water weenie fights: Escondido vs. Nixon Drive-Up A&W Restaurant on El Camino Real (Root beer floats) Spaghetti All Ready (?) on El Camino and Page Mill Add Jane or Aunt James Swim School in Menlo Park (Can’t recall name) Fireworks viewing at the Dish Co-op Market where Mollie Stones is now Short lived “Generic Store” by Cal Ave train station Maxi-Mart where Fry’s is now Mayfield Mall Haircuts at I Magnin Back to school shopping at Saks Fifth Avenue Original Traffic barriers (calming) in College Terrace
WOW.. this is so cool.. My mom sent me this site because there was a car accident on the bridge and she wanted to let me know so I could call my husband and tell him he would need to find another way home tonight,~I moved to Cowper st adn went to Hoover ( across fomr Safeway) in 1967. I then went to Jordan Jr high and Paly~ I graduated in 1974. in 1987 my husband and I bought our first home in Union City. I hated leaving Palo Alto but we could not afford to buy a home there.~ I have two sons Joseph 23 and Matthew 17, I remember Bergmans.. they made the best french fries..and where else coudl you get your gift wrapped for free… wow that was customer service and Baskin Robins.. Candi
I loved my old neighborhood growing up. I went to De Anza elementry which I don’t think is even there anymore! Piers Dariy and the popcicles. Can anyone tell me more about all the changes that have taken place?
Hi Candi, Andy here – We must have known each other, but I can’t remember right now. I had Mrs. Turner, Mr. Barns, Miss Wyrough, Miss Sprague, Miss Chamberlin, Mr. Pike (remember, a finger missing) and others. I graduated from Hoover in 1968. You know, if I recall, they burried a time capsule in 1967or8 in front of the admin building. Maybe I’ll do some midnight digging. Anyway, I STILL live here in Palo Alto, refusing to get priced-out of my own city. Since I pay a lot in rent, I live like a vagabond. When did you go to Hoover and did we have some of the same teachers? Andy
The slot car tracks I remeber were on San Antonio Rd. Just as you came down from the overpass at Alma before Tri City Rentals on the north side. This was in the mid sixties. I remember when driving down El Camino at PAge Mill and there wer cows running around in the fields. I remember Rick’s Rather Rich and the Old guy who had the shop before him. We used to stop there for an ice cream after spending the afternoon swimming in Cubberley pool during the summer. Cubberley Class 0f ’71
Yes I remeber Mr Barnes. my sister Pam had him do you remember Todd Asplund? I lived next door to her on Cowper.. she had a younger sister Nacy the same age as my baby sister Brenda. I had Miss Nanfelt. or Miss Nannygoat as we called her I played basketball at recess with Steve Kerney~ and John Walton I think was his last name,~ Do you remeber Chris Rossiter or John Herrera? John works at the motorcyle shop on Middlefield in Mt View I went and saw him over the summer.~ Todd lives out in Discoervy Bay now. her daughter Danielle is getting married next year she is my god daughter.~
Maxi-Mart Bubblegum ice-cream at what is now Rick’s Mayfair Market-now Piazza’s The drugstore next to Mayfair Market where we bought candy Placing pennies on the railroad tracks-don’t tell your children Playing in the mustard fields on the corner of Charleston and Middlefield The milkman who came to our house and deliverd milk in bottles (I’m really not that old) Mayfield Mall-Cost Plus & J.C. Penny’s Snow in 1962 & 1976 Anti-war demonstrations in the 70′s Foothill Park Cubberley High School Wilbur Jr. High School Ohlones Elementary School-grades K-6 The black mamba snake scare Riding stingray bicycles, playing with frisbees, and hula hoops with rubber bands in the middle so that we could “lauch” things Playing Kick the Can at night with Carlson Circle kids Phillipine Mahogany walls in our Eichler Being trampeled at Frost Ampitheatre when the gates were opened Cruising downtown San Jose Live bands at Cubberley-Papa Do- Run Run The donut truck that would come to our street and sell fresh donuts and pastries
The black mamba scare My daughter, now a freshman in college, was in kindergarten at Palo Verde at the time. We got a phone call telling us about it and it was up to us whether to keep her home from school. They put caution tape round the trees near the tyre swing for a couple of days and kept the children out. The whole scare fizzled out and eventually everything went back to normal without anyone knowing what happened next.
I learned to drive in the parking lot by the old Emporium store (now Bloomingdales at Stanford Shopping Center) when the stores there used to be CLOSED on Sundays……………..whoops, now THAT dates me!!!!!!! Talk about dating someone, I used to neck in the parking lot of a church (but can’t say which one as it is still there and don’t want to give anyone ideas…!) Remember going to a place called Bonanders on El Camino to eat in our cars, just like the A&W further down the street, where you could get carhop service…..That is where the Olive Garden eatery is now by California Ave. Speaking of Calif. Ave, I used to love to walk there and go to BISHOPS Creamery for their Root Beer Floats and also the great Sundays they used to make..they had the stools to sit at the counter or the tables. Your choice. That is where the Subway Sandwich shop is now… And I loved to go to the movies there also next door, which now is a rug shop…….with attached eatery. Then there was Calif. Ave Pharmacy across the street, which now is an art store… There was a Bank of America on the corner of El Camino and Calif…it had the old time etched frosted glass windows that the tellers seperated when they opened for a line…then the bank became a steakhouse eatery, then a few more businesses after that.. There was also Montgomerys a few doors down, which was a dress shop..and of course, Harriman’s Dept. clothing store where the Country Sun is today………And Gabes Shoe Shop..The huge grocery store on the corner run by the Arjos…which is the store across the street from the Keeble’s Camera shop…There actually was a gas station there also at that corner~ across the street from Keebles. Kinko’s was a huge appliance store.. WOW. My thinker is working overtime..I will pass this thread on for now……! Gee, there sure has been many changes in the Calif. Ave area..even the name…does anyone remember it was called MAYFIELD? There even was a HUGE elementry school a few blocks south of Calif. Ave called Mayfield….it had the tinest toilets in the kindergarten area reserved for just the kinders…
I remember, The old togo’s subshop that had the best roast beef and avacado sandwich. I went to the new Togo’s when I was in palo Alto this past summer…. not the same! The ice cream man. A black man on a bicycle with a bell and a freezer box who sold popsicles in the summer time. Girl Scout meetings at fairmeadow. El Carmello Elementary Hangin out on the “hill” at Gunn High School Bickles Lumber with my Dad where they would give me all of the sawdust I wanted for my rabbit cage Swim meets at Rinconada pool Wilbur Pool in the summer Catching tadpoles in the creek at Hoover Park Riding bikes through Tresider Union and swimming in lake Lagunita. Collecting golf balls there when the water was low. The donut shop at midtown The Baskin Robbins at midtown. We’d walk our dog there and get her an orange sherbert in a cup because it was her favorite. The Head Shop in Tower Records Shakeys Pizza The Old Goodwill Store Bergmans, Roller skating on the ramp at Maximart Superbowl XVI Getting shot at with salt pellets at felt lake Crack the whip and “pot of gold” and hot chocolate from the machine at the winter club. The cheezy sauna and “gym” at Chuck Thompsons My first bank account at Crocker Bank by Bergmans Toasted tuna sandwiches at bergmans counter Riding bikes all the way up to Foothill park. And then riding them all the way down………. Eating upstairs at the menu tree Sliding down between the escalators and the old Cost Plus store at the mall. Riding bikes and skateboards all over town all summer and no one worried. Knowing every short cut and pass through in town.
This is great. A few additional memories: The Winery restaurant on the corner of California and El Camino where Radio Shak is now. The paper mache bells mounted on the telephone poles around Midtown for Christmas decorations. Once the lines were buried the decorations disappeared too. Curling endless yards of gift wrap ribbon while working at Bergmann’s in the late ’70′s – what a great place for high school students to work. The balloons they gave out at Children’s Bootery – mounted on little cardboard stands shaped like feet. The Hasty House in the 60′s where Mountain Mikes later was and Starbucks is now (corner of Stanford and ElCamino). The only place my dad would take us for hamburgers. I can still taste them. The Antique restaurant in the old portable bank building where the soccer fields are now at Page Mill and El Camino. They used the bank vault for their food freezer. Wasn’t there a Midtown Bike Shop? We bought our first “backpacks” there – really just canvas book bags. Also bought bike lights which strapped on our legs for when Daylights Savings started early during the energy shortage in the early 70′s and we had to ride to Wilbur in the pitch black. The blue canvas binders we bought at Bergmann’s. Also the UGLY dark blue/white pinstripe gym suits we wore at Wilbur and Cubberley. Not only the hot chocolate at Winter Club, but the powdered chicken soup from the machines at Chuck Thompsons. Tasted pretty good after a swim! I’ll probably think of more later…
PA was an ideal place to grow up when I lived there (3rd thru 8th grade). I remember : -moving into Tan Apt’s after Dad’s relo & playing catch with a young 49′er QB named Steve Spurrier who also lived there. -playing hide & seek, kick the can, and “army” ’til all hours with the neighbor kids after we moved to Thomas Dr. -riding all over town to “collect” all my buds & then going to play whatever sport was in season over at Palo Verde. Afterwards off to Century Liquors for candy & cokes (remember Von/Vaughn? – used to hand out Tootsie Rolls to us kids) -of course Piers Dairy for two-tones, missile pops & fudgesicles -frozen Reeses pb cups at Eichler S&T club while laying on warm pooldeck during adult swim -city LL champs 1972 for “Parmacies” at Middlefield ballpark (as youngest I played very little)Ray E.(RIP), Hughey W., Charlie C., & more that elude me… -Ray E. hitting an HR during the season onto the library roof past left field (what a bomb!!) -awesome shakes at Peninsula Creamery, the “old” Kirk’s burgers (new place, not so much) -Ms. Chang @ Palo Verde / Mr. Cooper(“stay cool”) & Mr. Schultz (RIP) @ Wilbur -btw, Ricks Rather Rich was listed as one of the top ten ice cream places in the USA on As everyone else has said, easy going, casual, wonderful place to grow up…
I had Miss Nanfelt, too. In fact, it was me who gave her the nick-name, Miss Nannygoat. I know that PAUSD is one of the best in the nation, but I have to admit, we had some, kind of, sadistical teachers and Miss Nannygoat was one of them. Eddy’s Coffee Shop Blowing straw wrappers off the second floor of the Menu Tree Stopping the elevator between floors at Bergmann’s Dept Store During a half-day at Wilbur, going to Hoover Park and then pulling the fire alarm at Hoover School (sorry, the grass was soaked from the rains and everyone single filed out to the field). Mr. Barns, acting principal that day, was so furious, he got in his car and drove around the path to the skating rink where we were sitting and asked us about it. The snow in 1962 – it lasted until about 2:00pm. Playing in the fields along Middlefield Road The Beatles driving down Middlefield Road heading to the Cabana, where they stayed. Andy
Sorry I forgot that in the 6th grade (1987)(which is when I first moved to PA) I changed my name to Sue, so many of you remember me by Sue rather then Candi(I was tired of being teased with that name so I thought new school- new name) WOW.. the balloons at Bergmans shoe store shaped like feet I had forgotten all about them… And my 1st bank account was also at Crocker.. I remember I could put money in but had to have mom’s signiture to get money out..~ And the pass thur from Cowper to Bryson.. it was so secret.. ( sure don’t know how so many people found out about it?) but if you didn’t live in PA you didn’t know so guess it was still a secret in some circles. My good friend Mary Emard still lives on Bryson. her mom Marvel Rose ran the variety store.~ wow the good ole days~ Andy do you remember Todd.. not many girls named Todd?
Hi Candi, No, I don’t recall Todd. On Cowper, I knew the Jalone’s (Robin, a guy not a girl), and the Shield’s, who lived on the corner of Cowper and El Darado. I too had a bank account at Crocker. (The only time I didn’t make overdrafts.) I just recalled how Mr. Barns and Mr. Cushing would walk down the blacktop after the bell rang. It was quite a contras – Mr. Cushion walk straight, erect, ex Marine-like, and Mr. Barns kind of limped along beside him. You know, Rick Schloss and I put on an any year / all students from Cubberly reunion at Mitchell Park about 4 years ago. About 300 people showed up. I’m thinking about the same thing for all schools at all high schools, again, at Mitchell Park. I’m just in the kicking the idea around stage right now. Being a P.A. resident, I can secure the permit. Did you have Miss Wyrough? I still keep in touch with Mrs. Turner and used to keep in touch with Miss Wyrough. Andy
Andy Freedman what a blast from the past……….So do you remember a girl named Pagan?? With a brother named Sean?
Hi Pagan, But of course I remember you – and Sean. I remember all the adventures, the Frost Ampletheater cocerts, the rec center with pool tables at Mitchell Park, Chuck Thompson’s, and unauthorized late-night swimming or ice skating at the Winter Club. As you can see, I wasn’t priced out of P.A. – but, I have to live like a vagabond, which is okay. The last time I saw your mother was at the now-closed All American Market. I asked, “Are you Mrs. – - -?” She was flattered that I recognized her after all those years. How are you doing? Do you still live around here? You can also reach me at [email protected] Look forward to hearing from you! Andy
Boy I rember the huge water bubbles in the field at Herbert Hoover when ever the sprinkler pipes broke, and watching them move two of the houses from Organ ave. onto lots on Kipling St.And of course the dreaded Dagmar Nanfelt who was a teacher at Hoover, Andy you should rember her and Robs house across from Hoover on Cowper which was the hang out for all of us for many many years
Hi John, What a surprise. It’s good to hear from you! Dang, I hope Miss Nannygoat – oops Miss Nanfelt isn’t reading this. I’m still a little scared of her after all these years. But I’m sure she’s mellowed. Miss Wyrough and I became pen pals for a while. I think she’s now living in FL. Remember, she conducted the choir and if you had her as a teacher, you will be in the choir. She was a little picky about English usage – going as far as changing the lyrics to a tune in The Sound of Music (instead of “In a most delightful way,” she had us sing it “In the most delightful way.”). She would tell me that it’s okay for Julie Andrews to open her mouth, because when she did, she not only sang well, but made a lot of money. Me on the other hand, well, she told me to keep mine closed, for the most part – ha ha. I saw your brother John, and as a drummer myself (hobby) it was fantastic to hear him play to Santana music. Does his band still play locally? How are you doing? Are you still in Palo Alto? Have you seen or heard from Paul? Andy
Hi Andy Rob and all of us lost site of Paul right after high school, the last I heard about him was from Candi who said he was some where in Sacramento, I see Rob all the time he lives in San jose and I am up in Boulder creek, we are going to ride our motorcycles to death valley this Saterday. I work at California BMW in mtn. view and yes My brother is still playing music in the Bay area
Early ‘50s, my parents bought their first new home on Emerson Street for $12,000. Charles de Gaulle toured Palo Alto in an open motorcade – early ‘60s, passing El Carmelo School. El Carmelo – cake walks, Mrs. Humasti (kindergarten) Mrs. Fink…Mr. Knoblock – everyone’s favorite 6th grade teacher… Babysitting for the Hankos “Snow Ball” game at the Winter Club Stanford Football Junior Rooters The Minasian family, whose uncle was William Saroyan, who came to classes and talked about his book “The Human Comedy” Searsville lake – Campfire camp Foothill day camp Loma Vista Terman Tigers – Miss Ballou and diagramming sentences. Sock hops The Menu Tree – the best tostadas Mr. Juhl, our neighbor, who was so concerned about his son being so involved with puppets (Jerry Juhl who became head writer for the Muppets). Concerts at Frost Ampitheater –Joan Baez, The Chambers Brothers singing Time Has Come Today… The Beatles stayed at the Cabana after their concert at Candlestick Park (I still have the ticket – $7.50, “non-refundable”. Gunn summer concerts with Santana, Country Joe and the Fish, It’s a Beautiful Day…light shows Be-ins/Love-ins hosted by the Hells Angels in the park across from Stanford Shopping Center The last movie shown at the Varsity – The Endless Summer
Somebody asked about the teacher with bull horns on the front of his old blue car. His name was Hugh Center and he taught at Jordan Jr. High.
Mr. Center….. that’s it. Channing House… how many worked there? That was a good 2 years of fun when I went to Paly. Summer jobs working the dorm cafeterias at Stanford.
Yes I remember the music teacher now I couldn’t remember her name. I did sing in the choir for a while . I lived about 6 house from the Jaones adn Tood next to me at the creek, we used to go into the creek and catch polly wogs.. I would love to go to a reuinon like that . I ahd tried to put one together last summer but it didnt work out.~ Paul’s dad lives behind my parents. they still live on Cowper. We practicly lived at the winter lodge.. Todd dated teh guy that drove the zamalni.. Pete was his name. Does anyone remember Randy he went to Cubberly?
I remember Mr Center. every year he did a BIG thing for the families in Gilroy. we brought in food and clothes and piled into his convertible and drove to Gilroy we even took christmas trees… That was before the new seat belt laws.. those were good times.~I still to this day do something for a fmaily in need at christmas time this year I even did a family a family at Easter.. We learned great values in his class. something many kids these days no nothing about.~ I have passed this on to my own two boys. Both are very giving in that way~ I truly belive children learn what they live.~ Candi
Moved to Palo alto in 1964….It was a dear little city…neighborly. the gas station by Winter Lodge was a Gulf station. Midtown was a busy place…Midtown Market was a great market..everyone bought meat there. There was a dress shop called The Jellybean and a great toy store. You could find anything at Bergmann’s. Most grade school children walked to school and there were great activities in the summer…Palo Alto Recreation Dept..wonderful fun for children. Palo Alto was very, very different then.
I remember chasing kit foxes in the open field on Louis Road. I also remember the cows in the field around Piers Dairy.
Reading this has been a blast. I am sure that I know/knew several of you. Peter, thanks for the update on you…and the others. I graduated from Paly in 1980, being part of the last junior class at Cubberley. Let’s see…memories…it doesn’t matter how old you are, some of them are the same. Jerry the show guy at Rapps. He always knew what size Mom was, and was so good about getting shoes for us kids. Rick’s Rather Rich and Rick himself…all the places change. My folks still live there, and each time I visit, it apears that something else is gone. Ahh, the Palo Alto school district. The Ortega teachers, espeically Mr. Pitts. Wilbur Jr. High…someone mentioned Cal Shultz. I wondered if he was still with us. He was a great guy. Cubberley…Ms. Hurst. Tracy K…what ever happened to her? There are a couple of mentions of Brad here. I saw Brad a few years back when he was touring with Def Leppard. I had run into Pam at our 20th, and she told me he was on the road with them. They came to the State Fair hear in Sacramento that year. A few e-mails later, and I was able to hang out with him prior to the show…what a blast. I keep track of a few people from those days. I’m glad that I’m not in Palo Alto now. We all have so many memories of growing up there, that nothing could match it. In the 60′s thru 80′s, it was a magical town and a magical time. Sadly, it will never be that way again. That’s why this is SOOO cool, to be able to go back in time with you all..
O.k. gang..Heres the scoop on Tracey Kristofferson… Is or was married to actor Richard Tyson! You can google his Bio. Tracey ilisted on a who’s who site:… I remember staying out all night long and swimming in the Wiber Pool with her and Brad and others. She was a beautiful girl! My e-mail is: [email protected]“BTW-Peter, sorry I missed you at Alice’s house warming.
Punk shows at the New Varsity (Agent Orange, T.S.O.L.,…) and the back alley with several generations of graffiti lining the walls. Skating in the 7-Eleven parking lot. Hanging around the end-zone at Stanford Stadium waiting for families of three so we could get in with their “family ticket” one by one. DK’s, Agent Orange, Husker Du, The Faction at Keystone Palo Alto.
Candi, Andy might not remember Todd, but I do! I was only at Hoover for a couple of years before getting redistricted to Fairmeadow around 1966 or 1967, but my dad and her dad worked together, so we talked sometimes. And Ms. Nanfelt — boy, I’d completely forgotten about her. Paper routes: did anyone else deliver the Palo Alto Standard — a free daily or weekly (I can’t remember!) that started around 1970? Mostly I delivered the Chron, but sometimes also the Palo Alto Times and the Merc.
One other thing about tadpoles from the creeks: We brought a bunch home and dumped them in the fountain my dad had built in the atrium of our Eichler. Somehow one of them survived, and for years we had bullfrog living by the pond.
The opening of Mitchell Park, seeing Charles DeGaule coming to visit the Stanford Hopital, the Union 76 Olympians at the new Stanford Shoppimg Center, reptiles at the Children’s Museum, sneaking into Searville Lake in the trunk of a car, selling peanuts at Stanford football games.
I remember…. – going up to the second floor in Bergman’s to look at glass animals – Pete and Lil’s coffee lane with the low calorie hamburger, cottage cheese and peach plate! …and the hot buttered danish. – catching frogs in the creek behind Hoover Elementary (across the street from Safeway. – my favorite teacher at Hoover, Mr. Knoblock, the very tanned librarian…Mr. Clark the principal – Mayfield Mall – Old Mill Six – buying a cheeseburger at the Riconada snack bar in the summer – Christmas tree lane – malathion spraying for fruit flies – snow in ’76 – banana records and banana seat on my bike – no bike helmets – bike registration at the palo alto fire dept – the big slide at Riconada – the junior museum, the smell of the zoo, taking Japanese brush painting and enameling lessons in the summer – chocolate covered frozen bananas at Kling’s candies -Edy’s chocolate ice cream – getting sandwiches with extra spread at the cheese house in town and country – fourth of july block parites – lots of rain and flooding one year in the seventies – the candy lady who gave out free candy at her house – menu tree at san antonio shopping center – keplers in its original location, getting a free book from Ira sandperl – the Palo Alto Times – Downtown Palo Alto, quaint, and with shops one really could shop in – Seeing the Rocky Horror picture show at the Varsity – riding my bike to midtown to spend my allowance on candy…getting tangy taffee, jolly ranchers and such at Bergman’s -slurpees at seven eleven – coop – midtown pharmacy – tp-ing people’s houses
This brings back a ton of memories…teachers, food Buying glass animals and candy at Bergman’s Pete and Lil’s coffee lane at Bergman’s…the low calorie plate with the cottage cheese, hamburger patty and peach slice! Winter club, chuck thompson’s, add janes sneaking out of Hoover at lunch time to get a burrito at seven eleven catching tadpoles in the creek behind Hoover Miss wyrough, the very tan librarian Mr. Knoblock, beloved fourth grade teacher Mr. Clark, the principal greasy pizza at menu tree taking the bus to mayfield mall to get gummy bears Mr. Center, the typing teacher who gave out j.r. candies and drove a blue car with horns on the hood keplers in the old location, getting a free book from Ira sandperl malathion spraying in the 80′s frozen chocolate covered bananas at Kling’s candies Stickney’s edy’s the 23 bus to Stanford shopping center….Saks, emporium,..contempo casuals.. Rocky Horror picture show at the varsity a quaint downtown…with real stores like Woolworths…the little stores with old fashioned cash registers…Irma schwabels buttons… the burned out teachers at Jordan middle school taking latin from Mrs. McNamara earning dolphin points Christmas tree lane Rinconada slide, classes at the junior museum (japanese brush painting, enameling)…the smell of the zoo the Antique restaurant, banana records, the first mrs. fields, old mill six nachos,
Hi BL, You mentioned Miss. (Bernadette) Wyrough as (the original) Herbert Hoover’s librarian. Back in the 60s, she was not only the 4th grade teacher, she was also the choir director. And if you had her as a teacher, choir wasn’t an option – you were in it and you would sing (whether you could carry a tune or not). We became pen pals back in the 80s. Unfortunately, I’ve lost track of her. There are only 2 Bernadette Wyroughs in the US. One was born around 1890 something and I thought that maybe it was her mother. Miss. Wyrough moved from Los Altos to Florida in the 90s but I can’t find a listed telephone number. By the way, she always had that tan. Andy Freedman
Wow, I had forgotten about the music teacher.. for years she would come to Hoover Park in the summer almost daily and sit in the sun and read a book in the park~ My mom always said she was going to have skin cancer very badly I don’t rememer sun screen being a big part of our lives like it is these days. I alos remember the glass animals for the 2nd floor at bergmans~ I remeber buying a dog one for one of Todd’s Bd’s she loved dogs . Candi
Ok… add this… town and country village, the sandwich shop was it Sandy’s? Cost plus~ friends cutting class at Paly to get ice creams…(not me of course :) .. A&W on el camino, channing house as a waitress. The Elks club (my dad’s getaway).. ceramics at Candi’s moms shop, that was fun! Having my third son born at Stanford hospital. summer nights skate boarding and holding on the back of my best friend lisa’s stingray while she rode the bike like a mad woman! Hide n seek with the brown family kids and others. Paly high, Jordan, and the never ending battles between Sequoia High and Paly. (the BIG game). wow its nice to see I am not the only sentimental one !
Okay- just skimmed these back to my original posting from last year… some more to add… – Rinconada Snack Bar owner was Mr. G (salt & pepper were the secret ingredients to the yummy burgers). – I miss BAGEL WORKS! First the one on Lytton, than on Ramona – Bullocks where Nordies is now at Stanford? – Mrs. McWilliams (Hoover 4th grade) stories about her gigantic Irish Wolfhounds – Senior Cut Day @ Paly – no media attention for senior pranks except the Campanile! – Running my dog at the Dish – Cottonworks (where Jennifer Convertables is now) – Making the clay tiles that still hang in the front of the parking lot at Walter Hays today! Courtesy of Walter Hays class of ’84 Glad to see this is thread is still going!
Wow, what a gush of memories this all brings back…Linda’s Parisian Burgers with the great chewy bun (on the El Camino), and the rumor that they were once closed down for having horsemeat in the burgers (we never believed it), yep, the 5 cent Thrify’s ice creams, trying to decide which place to eat at inside Menu Tree, Co-op Market in the San Antonio Center (where I worked for a little over 10 years)….I think it’s Payless now. Yes, 31 years in the Bay Area and you can collect a lot of memories… great roast beef sandwiches at the deli kitty corner to the San Antonio Center….what was that place called….
Oh the German Deli God I can’t think of the name of is either my brother in law king worked there for a while.. and yes the 5 cent ice creams at thriftys.. black walnut.. and pecan pralines.. my mouth is watering… YUM~ Candi
I remember the A&W on middlefield 1962 Slot car track on middlefield in front of the ice skating rink and chuck thompsins. The burger stand in midtown on middlefield road, where minors could play the pinball machines. Sneeking over the fence with sleeping bags at The Palo Alto Drive In to watch the movie for free. When you could go up on 280 and drive your car when it was first being built in 1965 ??? Stanleys Chinese Kitchen in Baron Park. Riding plywood down the creeks in winter. Going to Freemans Market (Middlefield & Loma Verde) Playing Army as kids in the Bamboo Field by the YMCA on Ross Rd. and climbing that water tower in the same field. Riding our bikes to Piers Dairy on Louis Rd. for a free 50/50 bar. Riding our Bikes to the Coca Cola distributer, I think that was on el Camino in Baron Park area, can’t remember, too old. Struted my stuff at the “Y” dances. Trying to stay out of trouble when hanging with Phil Scoma!!!!!
OH YES, How can anyone forget when the Beatles stayed at The Cabana Hotel on El Camino, and all the kids that were climbing the front of the building to get a view.
I remember all those great things. My dad used to take me to feed the ducks.We would go to Eddie’s Coffee Shop and I would go down to Midtown Pharmacy say hi to Mr. Gould the owner and get a comic book. Usually Little Lulu or Betty and Veronica. I loved the Midtown burgers Mrs. Christiansen used to make.My family lived on Bryson for 43 years and my dad’s office was right across the street from Indian Bowl. He would take me there and that is where I learned the fine art of keeping the ball in my own lane,sometimessssssss. We used to go out to the Palo Alto Muni Golf Course and hit a bucket of balls. My mom and I used to shop at I. Magnin’s and that’s where I learned what a charge card was tsk tsk.Bill Larson who started Round Table Pizza was telling my dad about it at the Midtown Cleaners and saying he really thought it might be successful!My dad took me by the old garage where HP started and told me about his friends Bill and Dave who had started this co. Then telling me now they had progressed and grown to a new office right where the Oregon Expressway overpass is.I treasure those memories. A time when we were young and innocent. Never fearing anything and always feeling safe and secure riding are bikes and playing on a warm summer evening. Thanks for the memories! I almost want to print this Town Square out and save it.
Man, I stayed up most of the night thinking about memories of Palo Alto, I still think that the Midtown Variety Store had the best candy assorment and was the only store you could buy those “bird whistles” the little pieces of halfmoon shaped leather with some guide of plastic in the middle that you put in your mouth to make a bird noise, and the teacher at Jordan that actually could make real sounding bird whistles, can’t remember his name. Remember all the so called unsafe toys that we had growing up that were so much fun, that would never fly today, I guess kids these days would eat just about anything. I also think that the Round table Pizza in Midtown was the first one, I don’t remember them anywhere else. Hate to say it, but you could buy cigerettes out of the machine for 25 cents and the cheapest price for gas that I found was close to Moffett Field on the 101 for 24 cents a gallon in 1966, you could fill your tank for less than 5 bucks, man those were the days, I wish I wasn’t so old, only the body not the mind.
The Guy in the sheep skin vest that was mentioned on california ave was “Crazy Jim” from the Baron Park area.
I lived in the Crescent Park Area from 1970 – 1988 My memories: -Crescent Park – Go Panthers (It was Panther’s right??) -The awesome wooden play structure at Cresent Park built shortly before the school was torn down -Riding my bike to Fran’s on Lytton and getting 25 cent snow cones and trying to sneak a peek in the magazine section -Hopping the fence at the Winter Club to ice skate -Winter Club nearly closing for good! -Co-op market -Jordan Dolphins – anyone remember Mr. Gidley the math teacher? -All the petstores that used to be on University Avenue -Hamster races at one of those pet shops -Taking the bus to Stanford shopping center for a dime -In high school sneaking to EPA to “shoulder tap” for some beer (oh naughty!!) -Starlight Supermarket downtown -Catching frogs in the creek along Palo Alto Avenue -Buying eggrolls and pork buns at Menalto Market (just beyond Palo Alto Avenue near Chaucer) -Going to the Old Mill for movies (and Cee Cee’s after) -Studio D downtown -Christmas tree lane on Seale Ave -Mama’s restaurant at Stanford -Woolworth’s on University -Varsity theater – so cool in the 80′s -Swimming at Rinconada and the awesome snack bar -Palo Alto Swim Club -Violin lessons from Mrs. Ross -Palo Alto All City Honor Orchestra -May Day Parade -Jim’s coffee shop on University -The Gatehouse on Lytton -What was that coffee shop type restaurant on University that had a phone at each booth, and some video games in the back???? Made awesome fries…. -At Stanford Shopping center: Rainbow Records, Thinker Toys and that two story bookstore -Gymnastics West on Hawthorne -The Round Table pizza on University when they did have round tables -The Goodwill downtown that was below ground near Miyakes – I used to go play there with friends -Roxy’s on University and the 24 hour dance contest -A&W restaurant oh I could go on and on…..
Let’s see…. 1. The Varsity theater and the Rocky Horror pictuer show. We used to hang out in the alley behind and smoke lots of cigarettes and make graffiti. Border’s Books took it over. 2. Liddocoats and all the cheap but tasty international delicacies. None of the little restaurants were really sanitary, but none of us cared either. Now Z Gallery (does anybody really shop there? What a waste of good space) 3. Cosmic Comix 4. Eddies Ice Cream with all the candy, fancy sundaes, and floats. Some one remind me why the owners hated kids so much? 5. King Chuan. The owner’s daughter was my friend and they taught me how to use chopsticks. Still crave their beef with broccoli and the potstickers. 6. Grateful dead shows at the amphitheater. 7. Kirks for hamburgers. The best evah! 8. The ribbon candy store that made beautiful hand crafted colorful candy that looked like glass and tasted like heaven at Town and Country. 9. Forth of July block parties with sqaure dancing and fireworks. 10. Mayday parades with crate papered bicycles 11. Stickneys with their funky pleather booths. Used to love the spareribs that were slathered with sauce and roasted for hours (maybe days, who knew?). If I was really good, my mom would uy me a cupcake that was piled high with buttercream icing. Their oatmeal lace cookies were extraordinary. 12. The 24 hour diner on University (forget the name) that was so bad that sometimes you’d catch cockroaches crawling across the tables. But it was open all the time and the french fries were pretty good. 13. Cowtipping. 14. The Good Earth. God that restaurant was horrible. But the tea was good. 15. Christmas tree lane. It’s lost it’s magic, but it used to be winter fantasy land with all those houses lit up. 16. The circus that would come once a year and set up with huge tents in the parking lot of Town and Country. That was at least thirty years ago. I rode a camel with my Grandma. I remember there was the Pickle Family circus too, but that came later and it was on Stanford campus.
Nostalgic Gal’s BFF here… and I will fess up to what she won’t I did move away in 1983, and lived on the 1200 Block of Hamilton – what fun, running around with the other kids on our block. – Menalto Creek – collecting tad poles – Ohlone (without the S) elementary school – Sneaking out at night to TP – Sneaking to the Varsity to see anything – Jordan Jr. High – The Childrens Theater – Riding bikes everywhere- from our house to Ohlone for school, to the Winter Club daily – Skating at the Winter Club – Swimming at Rinconada and the 10 cent Jolly Ranchers we loved – London Tea House and their great salmon and cucumber sandwiches – Ricks Ice Cream – Peninsula Creamy – Mrs. Fields – Frans where my parents always bought their NY Times and we also bought Candy – The Bagel store near there – A&W – Kirks (Hamburger place?) – The ice cream/candy shop where everyone had birthday parties (Not Edy’s, this was closer to Menlo I think, or in Menlo, neat the Tree) – Oasis (ok my parents liked food, so I did too! Pastrami on onion roll…) – Bravo Fomo – Gelato – The Bijou – The Gap when they ONLY sold Levi’s and Sweats – TheYogurt Place next door to the Gap – Thinker Toys – Bing Nursery School – Computer Tutor Camp at Stanford the first year ever – Fire Works in the Summer at Lake Lagunita – Riding the Shuttles (open sided) around Stanford and Fountain Hopping – Something to Crow About was at Town and Country and Marge was my Mothers best friend – The Candy Store in Town and Country – Cheese Shop/House? for Lunch on Saturdays during Childrens Theater rehersals – 10 cent bus rides all over town, and we rode and rode. – Door bell ditching! We were naughty… – Cobbs Bookstore – Eleanor Pardee Park! – Learning to Ride my bike at Crescent Park Elementary – AYSO – Go Red Hots! – May Day Parades – Tresider (sp?) for Bowling and Video games – It wasn’t safe to go into EPA, but we went to 7-11 off 101 a LOT – Formico’s Pizza when we had a babysitter – The 1976 Snow!! – Good Earth Ice Tea and Frozen Yogurt – The Kartozians, the Sutherlands, the Owens, the Mayes’s, and so many more families my Brother and I played with. Lots of good friends and fun! No place like Palo Alto anymore… I don’t even let my kids play in the front yard of my house. I live in Delaware now, and I can’t imagine how anyone can afford to live in PA anymore!! Good for all of you who do!! Cherish it, its the best place on earth to grow up! And no one gets it unless they have lived there. Reading the list, no wonder I was a fat kid! LOL
I completely agree with the person who said they missed Bagel Works! I also miss Suzanne’s Muffins and Cafe Verona.
I was born in 1962 and grew up on Ross Rd. Some of my favorites: -Lazy days at Foothill Park -Feeding the ducks at the duck pond -Jolly Ranchers after swimming all afternoon at Rinconada Park -Learning how to swim in the wading pool at Mitchell Park. They also had peddle cars -Summer movies at the Stanford Movie Theatre -Friday nights at the Time Zone -Cutting school to catch the bus to Mayfield Mall -Richmaid Donuts. -Bergmann’s coffee shop (Lill and Pete were the owners) -7-11 opening on Colorado Ave and finally being old enough to walk down there with friends to get slurpees -Skate parties at the Ice Rink on Middlefield Rd -Stopping at Piers Dairy for popcicles after school -flying my blue dragon kite in the middle of the street because no cars ever came by -catching frogs every spring from Matadero Creek -Lake Lagunita -Woody’s, Eddie’s Coffee Shop, A & W (What more did you need?) LIFE WAS GOOD!
Does anyone remember the old Hilendahl (sp?) place with the pointed cupola over the front door? It was at 3296 Cowper and faced the end of St. Claire. And if you looked waaaaay down St. Claire, you could see Middlefield. We rented that house 1959 through 1963 (I’m HooverWilburCubberly), and I’m wondering if anyone remembers the house in the early 50s or even the 40s? It used to be a ranch, and must have been the only place in the area for a long time. I always remember the kids from the Catholic School across the street walking through the driveway and out the back, because you could walk all the way through to Kipling that way, until they built a house back there in 1961. One day, my auntie Dorothy was sunbathing and had nothing on but her “bottoms.” The school kids never came back. HA! Left Palo Alto for S.F. in 1968, never to return. But I remember all that stuff people have been talking about, and I feel so lucky to have spent a good chunk of my childhood there. Cubberley’s 40th reunion is in August 2008. See some of you there! C
Arriving a little late as always, but here’s my two cents worth… – The housing being built at the Crescent Park loop, after the school was torn down. We “borrowed” some of the construction materials to build a skateboard ramp. That was a blast. – Everyone seems to remember Rapp’s shoestore, but I especially remember the Roy-Al barber shop in the back. They moved across the street and became President’s. And they’re still there. – That strange antique store which always seemed to be closed (for years) at Page Mill & El Camino. What was up with that? In recent years, it’s changed hands numerous times, and is now a cellular phone store. – The duck pond. I remember going late at night with a girlfriend and watching the ducks gliding around in concert, without a sound. They installed a gate which they keep closed at night now, though. – Someone asked about the cheap cylinder-shaped ice cream at San Antonio Shopping Center. It was at Thrifty’s. – Lawn Bowling Green. Back in my school days, it was unlocked one day and I went inside. They still had an old style soda machine which used glass bottles, so I bought one. They must have replaced that machine by now.
Caroline, I remember that house on Cowper. I attended the Catholic School across the Street (OLR) during the 70s. I used to know the name of the family that lived there then, but I’m blanking on it. (Maxwell?)
Lived in South Palo Alto mid to late 50′s. -The vehicle you rented for birthday parties. It looked like a train, with rows of seats. Drove you around the neighborhood tooting it’s horn. No booster seats, air bags or seat belts! Best birthday parties in town. -Riding up and down the glass elevator at Rickeys. -Excitement when the shoe store monkeys had a baby. Thanks for the memories. -The amusement park at T&C. About half a dozen rides. Fun!
I found this site while looking for information on old grocery stores in downtown. My sister and I grew up in Menlo Park in the 1950′s but spent a lot of time in Palo Alto. My dad worked at a gas station across from the old Elbow Room bar. I and my grandmother walked from Creek Drive in Menlo over to downtown PA, had lunch in Woolworths counter or that grocery store (thinking it was Liddicoats) close by. She went to the India Arts import shop all the time to buy incense and weird things (pre-60′s). The Bigou theater had a reputation for racy films…I know now they were just art films but to our family they were slightly risque. I can remember a night coming out of the University theater in the early 60′s and seeing real live beatniks going into the coffee house (Small Circle of Friends?)..the one with the arched doorway. I was thrilled. Keplers was also thrilling..the beatniks hung out in the back and smoked and played guitar. I think I saw Joan Baez there least I like to think so. In the middle sixies, I worked at East Farthing Trading Company owned by Steve and Betty ??? forgot last name. My sister designed and made clothing…beautiful Renaissance inspired stuff and read Tarot cards up in the tower room at 420 Cowper street. Wish I knew all those posters for concerts would sell for so much on Ebay. Guys from Family Dog used to come there. Anyway…I loved reading all these posts and remembering a town I grew up in. My years…1951 to 1969.
I had to fix a couple of things…Varsity theater and not University..How could I forget that. I saw some other references to Stanford Barn. I took lessons there from an old (ithought) German woman named Mrs. Byrd or Bird. She scared me to no end. I remember the fancy horses kept locked up all the time with feet like dinner plates. Probably Tennessee walkers or something. The barn was magic…pigeons and the smell of hay and horses…quiet with dust motes floating in the air. My sister had a job at Channing House too so she could save enough to buy a horse…she boarded it at Stanford stables. Whiskey Gulch was shady and to be avoided..bad girls went there and what I guess my mother thought were prostitutes though the term was never used. Does anyone know if Jerry Garcia ever worked at the guitar store in Menlo Park on El Camino Real? I swear I had a couple of lessons from him back in 1965 or so. Sure looked like him. Thanks…this was fun
Jerry Garcia worked at Melody Lane music store in Palo Alto. I believe the guitar store you are speaking of was owned by Bill Courtial (sp)? A firnd of mine was married to Bill. I sang at a coffee house called THE UNDERGROUND on El Camino in Menlo Park anf Jerry Garcia used to come in and play the peddle steel on Sunday nights. There he met Johnny Dawson and Neww Riders of The Purple Sage was formed. I think that was in about 1968 or 1969.I loved those days in Palo Alto and Menlo Park,going to Kepler’s and the Stanford Ampitheater to hear Joan Baez sing. I grew up in Palo Alto but went to school in Atherton.
Dieter – the “strange antique store” was called “Polly & Jake”. My grandmother used to like to go in there in the mid 60s. My mom told me Polly and Jake were pretty elderly even then, and I think one died, and the other had Alzheimers. I’m guessing the place just got sort of ignored for a long time until it got settled out of an estate when the last one finally passed on… I heard that the building behind was the “tinkerbell shop” which was one of the early buildings that Hewlett and Packard used. There was electronic junk stored in there as late as the 70s. If someone has the whole story on “Polly and Jake”, it might be interesting. Another funny antique store was in Menlo, and I think was called “Sammy K Bargain Center”. It was more bric-a-brac and junk than real antiques. That store was the source of the toilet that ended up on the top of the totem pole at Cubberley in 1968 or so.
Things growing up in Barron Park Pete @ Driftwood market and the ICEE machine. Maxi-Mart store Angie’s Matadero Shell. Barron Park volunteer fire department. The train that ran past Varian, Veteran’s hospital and Gunn, which is now the bike path. Driving non-motorized go-karts down Matadero hill and stopping in the fields, no brakes. Biking all around town without a worry in the world. Junior rooters at the Stanford football games. Kick the can and Ogre games in our cul-de-sac. Halloween night at Barron Park school. All the great teachers at Barron Park school. The night Barron Park school was on fire! Terman Junior High Tigers. The rope swing in the creek. Exploring through the creek. 9-hole golf course at Vet’s hospital. The donkey pasture, now Bol Park. Taco Tio All- American market
What a joy to remember so many of these places! Living next to Matadero Creek, I remember every spring when stepping into your yard caused a sea of frogs to hop everywhere. Greer Road was a sad landscape of 1/16-inch froggy bodies. I still miss Eddie’s Coffee Shop, Co-op, the Rexall Pharmacy, Gardner’s Bike Shop, the bakery, even Scherba’s. By the way, the Midtown Residents Association is compiling a History of Midtown (see and would love to include your memories. Does anyone mind if we do so? As most of you are posting either anonymously or with first name only, we wouldn’t attribute quotes to you (unless, of course, you want to be “famous”). And, yes, Bill J and Jay T, I know this content belongs to the Weekly, so I’ll be looking to get your okay.
“going” to boy scouts for a year until the scoutmaster called and said ‘we have not seen your son for 6 months’ The harvey’s sugarless gum factory east of bayshore Climbing the water tower on Alma Going under the train trestle at San Francisquito creek when a train went over The old Canestoga wagon at T&C market Wearing a Tux borrowed from the Children’s Theater to Paly Graduation The hippies at the Presbyterian church on Kingsley The old downtown library on Forest Ave The Discovery Shop on Ramona 35 ¢ cigarettes at the Cardinal Gas Station The Paris Theater on University at Alma showing adult movies The old greenhouse in the vacant lot across Embarcadero from the Lawn Bowling green Going to Mayfield School while they tore down the old Addison School Rioting when they were tearing down the houses North of Addison school “good-a-boy” at Channing Market Congdon and Chromes on University The Card room next to the Greyhound station near Alma at Lytton Uncle John’s Pancake house (now the Fish Market) The old Kodak plant on California Ave (now Genencor) The old City Hall on Newell and Embarcadero Don Bunce MISSING the bonfire with a torch The Schultz brothers at Paly Kevin O’riley The Secret garden between the Children’s theater and the Children’s library there’s more where this came from…..
This is so cool. My family moved to PA in 1966 and all 6 of us kids went to Crescent Park, then moved to Waverly street and went to Addison, Jordan, Paly (and Stanford). Anyone remember the old Lytton School? We never went there as they tore it down around 1966. Then they tore down Addison school to rebuild it and bussed us to Mayfield for 2 years? I thought that’s what bussing was about ha ha. Then they rebuilt Walter Hays too. The old buildings looked real cool, but had clay tile walls which were really unsafe. We used to climb all over the roofs and broke all kinds of tiles. I can only imagine that’s off limits now. I remember going to a Be-In at El Camino Park and the Grateful Dead played. I guess they were still the Warlocks then, but I was like 7 and don’t remember that well. My Dad took film of it and it’s still around somewhere. I remember wondering why the people were so into the chalk drawings on the pavement. It took me years to realize they had been tripping. I remember the horses where Palo Alto Square is now. And the Stanford Indian. I “lost” my lunch one day at Mayfield and Mrs. Kineshea (1st grade teacher) took me across the street for a burger and shake. How about the sit-in’s at Lytton Plaza? That whole building used to be a Chinese restaurant before it was a burger king. Wasn’t it a bank before that? We “rioted” to save the big palm tree in the field across the street from Addison when they were tearing down the cool old houses to make room for the public housing. We were imitating the grown-ups who rioted to save everything. Heck! Those were such simple times that I’ll bet Joan Baez was even there. Paddleford Olds? It’s Whole Foods now. The Little Big game was a big deal. We switched to SCVAL when I was at Jordan and I remember thinking that it was stupid. I’d never heard of any of the schools in the league and was bummed that we stopped competing with Sequoia and MA. Children’s theater? May Fetes at the corner of Melville and Middlefield after the May day parade. Our 8th grade drama class from Jordan put on Our Town and David C. and I crossed the courtyard during final dress rehearsal and drank Champagne from some wedding reception before we got busted. I got sick and didn’t drink again for years. Jordan was pretty cool. Patty Brown had a sort of drop in hang out for us troubled kids. I guess the school thought I was troubled because my parents got divorced. Remember when that seemed like such a big deal? Summer School at Terman and Gunn. They had a class in Field Biology that went to Yosemite or something, but stopped it by the time I was old enough. I guess too many kids got drunk, stoned or pregnant. Then Paly. People don’t believe me now when I tell them about all the freedoms we had. Smoking areas? Unsecured locker areas? An Open Campus?? Interchange was cool, but I can’t remember if I went for one year or two. hmmm… Riding bikes up to then down (ouch) from Foothills Park. There was no such thing as Los Altos Hills then. And “Old” Page Mill would have been meaningless as it was just Page Mill. There used to be a Purity market on, what? Ramona? Across from the old Police station. And the Keystone on California Ave. was also a Purity before being a nightclub. Liddicoats? Used to be a market with a real meat counter before it was a food court. Likewise there used to be a cool market on Waverly where the Chinese restaurant is now. How about the old main library kitty corner from where city hall is now. It was an old Birge Clark building like the post office and was torn down long ago. And the MJB Ranch room? Before Ramona’s or any of that. Or the Market of the Flea? sigh. I’d love to hear from folks who remember old Palo Alto and Addison. Hosetta? Katina? Sky?[email protected]
I’ve been here awhile myself (since 65) and just an observation on the posts. We’re all sentimental about the past, but has anything in Palo Alto been replaced by something superior? No one here seems to think so, nor do I. Can anyone chime in on this? Is anything now better than in the past?
There are many gems here in Palo Alto. Midtown. It nearly died a death, but it has risen back into a vibrant area. The outside eating area at Loma Verde and Middlefield – very mediterranean and the deli and coffee shop there are good too. The Little League Ball Park. It always looks neat and tidy. It is a great safe place for kids. The snack bar is great. And, no advertising!!! Foothills Park. Now I know it is disputed as to why it is for residents only, but with or without others, it is still a wonderful asset. Mayfield Soccer Park. It is new, but it is the envy of many other communities here, so much so that they want to use it as much as us. The Palo Alto Bowl, this is probably the last summer, but the free summer passes for kids in recent years has been a great idea. We are going to miss the PA Bowl. Bryant Bike Blvd. It is a great way to get Paly kids to school. The Duck Pond. The fountains at Mitchell Park, (although I loved the old wading pool. Junior Museum and Zoo. Childrens Library. I am sure there are more, but that is all I can come up with at present.
anything better? good question. In many ways it is not. No live music at El Camino Park, The Keystone, or Frost Amphitheatre. Many movie theatres downtown. People who were not so stressed out due to the high cost/pace of living. Children of all ages riding their bikes/walking to school, playing in the streets. These days are gone. what’s better? all I can think of is the two farmers markets. Perhaps more open space in the santa cruz mountains.
I loved growing up in Palo Alto. I moved back to WA 10 years ago after living in Palo Alto for 43 years. My Dad chose Palo Alto because it was a small college town.And when he had to move his business it was his first choice. I remember being able to ride my bike anywhere and I also was a Stanford Jr. rooter. It just got too busy for me with all the traffic and the tearing down of all the old homes. I come back often as I have many friends there. I guess it takes a blog like this to remind me how lucky I was to have such great parents and grow up in such a idealic setting.
The old main library on Hamilton with its wooden floors. When Mitchell Park and the Main Library were new. The Cultural Center was the old City Hall. The intersection of California Avenue and Alma Street when it had a traffic light and there wasn’t any underpass. Going home from St. Aloysius school by crossing Dry Creek at Cowper. (No overpass then. We tried balancing and walking across a large pipe that crossed the creek.) Going to see the palm trees being planted at the new Sears on San Antonio. Driving south on El Camino in Mountain View when there were orchards and stopping to buy fresh fruit Having giant hot fudge sundaes at Spiveys Drive-In restaurant, the waitress bringing your order to you in your car on a tray and attaching in to your door. The old Woolworth’s on University with the lunch counter. Piers Dairy on Louis Road – so convenient and great for us kids on summer days. Watching the City of Palo Alto’s fireworks that were put on every year at the baylands. When Mitchell Park was first built and how innovative it was with its life-size chess board and skating rink. Officer Meshinski. Taking ballet and ballroom lessons at Beaudoin’s. Having frequent power outages – especially in the winter about 6 pm when everyone was cooking dinner. And I think I remember when Bayshore Freeway wasn’t a freeway and had traffic lights. Is this right? When Charles DeGaulle visited Palo Alto and drove through the city with President Eisenhower in a convertible. (Not a bullet-proofed car.) And when President Eisenhower and Mamie were traveling by train from the Bay Area to Southern California (they were on vacation I believe and people lined up along Alma Street to watch them pass and they were standing outside waving as the train moved slowly by.
Great thread! I’ve spent most of the past 30 years within walking distance of downtown Palo Alto, so remember when downtown had three grocery stores (the Starlight, Food Mart, and Luttickens) as well as the venerable Channing market. Downtown also had twice as many theaters, among them the Festival (I invariably fell asleep on those beanbags), the porno Paris, and a theater whose name I’ve forgotten-a twin to the Aquarius, but on the other side of University. Restaurants that have come and gone: Cafe Maroc (where you ate without utensils), Jan’s Manhattan West, Machismo Mouse, a fantastic crepe restaurant where the portions were huge and you sat outdoors (can’t think of the name), the Good Earth, and many others. I still miss Bagelworks–nothing else compares. University used to have a yarn store and a store that sold pianos. Stanford Shopping Center was far less upscale back in the day, though the I Magnin sales people would look right through poor students as though we didn’t exist. I remember J Magnins as well (and their big going-out-of-business sale in the mid-80s). In addition to the Woolworth’s that everyone seems to remember, there was a real thrift store just across from Macy’s–no clothes, just amazing junk. For old clothes, I’d go to Quality Mart on California Ave. I bought an incredible wedding gown there for $4 (my sister wore it to a costume party and then she threw it out! I still haven’t forgiven her.) The sliver of land that’s now mostly occupied by the Palo Alto Medical Foundation was a treasure trove of funky shops owned by artists and antique buffs. Great to read all the memories!
I must say I have never blogged so much in my life! Reading and participating in this blog has brought back so many memories. Things,events and places I have not thought about in years and now they have come rushing back. For me it was a time of tradition,ritual and always feeling safe and loved. Secure in the knowledge that it all would be there forever. In reading this blog it has transported me back to Lake Lagunita,walks down Waverley in the Summer. Warm nights and my parents taking me out for a sundae at Edy’s. Of Friday night at Cooks for seafood and always a movie. The Stanford and Varsity Theatres were regular haunts for me. In the Summer we would go to the Stanford Theatre and there were special matinee’s with cartoons! And oh how I loved that air conditioning! Rudolfo’s when all the brothers worked there in the 50′s and 60′s and Rickey’s for dinner with mom and dad. Watching the trout and lobsters swimming around in the tank waiting for their ultimate fate on my dads dinner plate. Studying every painting and sculpture with great interest.And always wanting to sit in the room where my moms favorite painting hung. John Rickey was a true Renaissance man. The days when you had to go to the library to do that school report and check out several books using the card file. I hope that in some way with all the changes that have transpired the children of Palo Alto today will be able to reflect on their childhoods with the same relish I have.
pier’s dairy-my older sisters taking me down to get a popsicle or ice cream learning to swim and dive at rinconada pool and jordan jr high pool the varsity, which then became the NEW varsity chimera books and records going to the ming’s parking lot to watch 4th of july fireworks over the dump going to los altos to pick apricots out of the orchards going to the movie theatre on emerson st in downtown to watch movies (the building later became gordon biersch) pattersons, bergmans, the co-ops, the childrens bootery, baskin and robbins, swensens, midtown pharmacy… 7th grade ice skating party at the winter CLUB i could go on and on… from a former palo altan, now in norwich, vt
Was Candi’s mom’s shop “Bam Ceramics”? I spent many a day happily glazing away in that shop!! TP-ing people’s houses (sometimes by request) as “EZ Clean”. (Any more of that old gang on here??) Monette’s – when there was only one – on California Avenue. Quality Mart – where else could you get a genuine fox stole for 6 bucks? Maximart – the jewelry shop particularly. Streaking our neighborhood when all the kids were about 6 or 7. And the parents watching us, thinking how cute it all was. A more innocent age! Riding around my inflatable kayak on Lake Lag, and having our dog running the “beach” free and swimming with us in the Lake. Carnival day at Elizabeth Van Auken – the cakewalk, bake sale, and of course, the lady with all the pockets on her skirt. For a dime (I think), you could select a pocket and get whatever was in it. Maypole dancing on May 1st at Van Auken. Piers Dairy milk delivery. We drank so much milk when we were kids my mother finally gave up and got delivery service. Fireworks and “snakes” on the street for 4th of July. (But no Chili Cookoff yet!) Mrs. Turner talking about “those darned squirrels” in her backyard. And the typing/business teacher with the wigs that were never on straight. She had the longest fingernails, and typed with her nails, not her fingers. Clickety-clak! But a good teacher. Mr. Turner, the math teacher at Paly who read all the notes sent from the school office to the students in his class. One of my friends got him good with one of those notes!! He was terrific! Any question about an upcoming test got the same response, “that type of question may be from material which I might have selected for this test”, or something to that effect. Yet kids would continue to ask the questions over and over… The hamburgers at Paly or Jordan that weren’t really beef, but some kind of texturized vegetable protein, that you kind of got used to and actually eventually enjoyed. Menu Tree!! What a great treat that was for us kids. Hanging out at the Rexall (Midtown) Pharmacy reading comic books. Buying my first bike at Midtown Bike Shop, owned by the Heckinger’s. Jordan Dolphins – Yes!! Jordon school uniforms – all cotton with big cotton bloomers you could stick a bunch of tennis balls in during lessons! Then Paly uniforms – tight fitting green and white polyester – made me wish for the Jordan uniforms back! Winter Club (Still have my original Winter Club skate bag) Buying the cops milks at Stickneys with Pat while forging our journal activities for the last two weeks in one evening. Rocky Horror at the Old Mill 6. My sister met her future husband at Fargos there. Spending the whole summer going to Tresidder for bowling, going to that miniature golf course in Menlo Park (long gone) for some putt putt, and swimming in friend’s pools. Protest marches down University Avenue, ending up at Mem Chu (where we went up to the higher benches and fell asleep during the service). Listening to the Lovin’ Spoonful at Stanford. My friend’s sister, Ruthie, sang on the top of one of the buildings that day too. The year the James Bond Lotus was on display at what was Carlson’s on El Camino (was it Carlson’s then?) Live music at Frost. Comedy at Frost supporting the Neonatal Support Unit at Stanford. (Meeting Robin Williams at one concert and J. Whitney Brown at another). Dance lessons at Beaudoin’s. The Olympics at Stanford. The Queen at Stanford. Playing tea party at the deep end at Rinconada – and yes, the two levels of high diving! Hearing about “those girls” at Castillejo when we were at Paly. They probably said the same things about us!
I agree, we need to keep this blog alive. It’s great! I grew up in P.A. in the 60′s and 70′s. It was a great place to live: Running up and down the steps at Frost when no one was there. (We didn’t need video games to be happy back then). Releasing helium ballons with a postcard attached, that we hoped would be mail back to us, at the penny carnival. Ordering a Shirly Temple at Rick’s Swiss Chalet – I felt so grownup! Playing all evening outside without our parents every evening- our moms would call our names when it was time to come in, and we would hear them, whereever we were. Playing “statues” on the front lawn. One person would spin everyone around, and they would land in a pose, and the person doing the spinning would have to guess what we were posed as – for example, a ballerina. Anyone remember that?
We used to go to Dinah’s Shack and in the bar they had tables with telephones where you could call other tables. I would take my “Shirley Temple” (made of Seven-Up and Grenadine with a Marachino cherry)go to another table and call my parents on the phone!They would always smile but I must have drien them nuts.
No Bam ceramics was Ethel Chedkel (not sure I spelled that right) my mom had a ceramic shop in the Alma Plaza called Dixie’s ceramics..(Alma Plaza is nearly dead now) to bad). There was a great shoe repair there also and Lucky’s. My mom started at BAM and then opened her own place and remained friend with Ethel and Art for years. Art played the organ and he played at my wedding.~ Candi
Hi folks, From what I read above, I was reminded of: Blowing straw wrappers off the second floor of Menu Tree while my dad was downstairs ordering dinner Riding my Stingray bike down the steps of Frost Ampletheatre (going bump, bump, bump, bump, bump, bump,bump, bump, bump, all the way down) Also the $3 tickets to see Santana, Tower or Power, Cold Blood, etc. at Frost The opening day (1968?) of Baskin Robbins at Midtown Standing out by the flagpole at the original Herbert Hoover Elementary school for a memorial of JFK (1963) when I was second grade (Miss Nannygoat – sorry – Miss Nanfelt) The big field of apricot trees around the corner from my house on Wellsbury Way that eventually turned into Towel Street The summer recreation departments (at all the elementary schools) putting on the Penny Carnival and the Watermelon feast every summer (in 1962, at age 7, I played Jack in the Penny Carnival’s production of Jack and the Beanstalk. My older brother, appropriately, played the giant) Reading comic books at both Midtown and Fremont Pharmacy Climbing around the houses and apartments being built around the Midtown area The tadpoles that turned into tiny frogs at Matadero Creek (taking them home to our fishpond in the backyard) The big explosion and fire at El Carmello Elementary school (1969?) Dr. Lou (Dr. Louis Zamvil) making house calls with that scary black bag. To this day, I still call him Dr. Lou. Andy
Someone mentioned Harvey’s Gum out off Embarcadero near the baylands. We used to break into their dumpster and take home boxes of gum that was defective or had packaging errors. The model railroad club in the basement of the cultural center (now the Arts Center) on weekend nights building our layouts. Finding a derelict boat out in the baylands in a slough, patching it with duct tape and then using it as our private boat to explore the wetlands hiding it each night in the weeds. Taking flying lessons at the airport when I was 15 in a plane the instructor started by HAND! (I’m not that old BTW). The spook alley behind the children’s theater at Lucy Stern.
Milk shakes at Peninsula Creamery for 50 cents…and the grandmotherly waitressess all calling you “hon”. Junior Rooters at Stanford football games. We had the worst seats but it was still a ton of fun. The Colonial Bread Man delivering bread to our house…and donuts on special occasions. The circus coming to Palo Alto. They set up in a vacant field at the corner of Embarcadero and Wildwood Lane. They actually shot a man out of a cannon! We lived just down the street and I still remember laying in bed and hearing that cannon go off during the evening performance. The flood a the middle of the night few days before Christmas in ’55. Our car bogged down a couple of blocks from our house and we had to be “rescued” by National Guardsmen in a large army truck. Being arrested and taken down to the police station for throwing eggs & tommatos on Halloween. My father had to pick me up and when we were driving home someone hit our car squarely with an egg. That’s about the maddest I ever saw my dad. Mr. Center at Jordan. He use to drive all the kids to away games in his old yellow convertable. Somehow he’d pack in six or eight kids…these were the days before seat belts. The Stanford Bonfire at a dry Lake Lauganita the night before the Big Game. Floating down a rain swollen San Francisquito Creek on a home made raft with two friends. We “put in” at the Stanford Golf Course and made it all the way to where the creek passes under 101.
A pre-Grateful Dead Jerry Garcia teaching guitar at Dana Morgan Music on Romona St. He was pointed out to me as “the best guitar player around”. Little did I know! Free concerts by The Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane during the ’67 “Summer of Love” at El Camino Park across from Stanford Shopping Center. Live music at the Poppycock….located at University Ave & High St It’s now the downtown Stanford Bookstore. Jumping the fence at Stanford football games. One time we were able to sneak into the press box and spent the game eating the free hot dogs, peanuts, ice cream, etc. provided for the press. Having lunch at Foster Freeze on El Camino while at Paly. The great Paly football teams of the mid-sixties. The Beatles staying at the Cabana Hotel (it’s now the Crowne Plaza Palo Alto) after their ’65 Candlestick Park concert. At least two or three thousand kids waited for them to arrive after the concert. There was a near riot when a decoy limo was sent though the front entrance, while the Beatles sneaked in back via a disguised van. Glass milk bottles on our porch waiting for the milk man. My mother would put small labels into the top of the bottle idicating what items…milk, eggs, butter, etc…the milk man should leave. The Paly vs Sequoia “Little Big Game” on Thanksgiving Day at Stanford Stadium. Our Green Gables (now Duveneck) 6th grade flag-football team going undefeated until we ran up again the feared Palo Alto Military Academy. They seemed twice our size. Rumor had it that all the boys were there because they had flunked at least several grades and were 13 or 14 years old. Santana, The Chambers Brothers, and Creedence Clearwater Revival playing Frost Amphitheater in ’67. Santana and The Chambers Bros were the headliners that day…Creedence was an unknown band from El Cerrito without a record. However, they stole the show. Little did we realize that in a few years they would be the number one selling band in the world.
Here’s some more. The Round Table in Midtown (it’s still there!). You could buy a small pizza for 75 cents. Exploring San Francisquito Creek…we usually found some sort of discarded “treasure”. Always hundreds of polywogs. We had to be careful to watch out for the bums that suppossedly lived down there. Once in a great while we’d see one and take off running as fast as we could. Beating Sequoia & QB Gary Beban in the ’63 Little Big Game. He would later win the Heisman Trophy playing football at UCLA. Mr. Hillburn’s woodshop class at Jordan. He always carried a tennis ball that he’d sling at boys talking or not paying attention. And he was deadly accurate. PE teacher Mr. Christine at Jordan. Apparently, he had a side job as a professional whistler. He was always trying to impress the boys with some sort of fancy bird worble/whistle…not that we really cared. And he’d proudly show us that he was missing two fingers on his left hand. Mr Center’s typing class at Jordan. Did anyone ever learn to type? Stopping for candy at Channing Market. It was so small…about half the size of a 7-11. Harry’s Hamburgers in Whiskey Gulch. The grand opening of the Lucky supermarket at Edgewood Plaze. I remember that there was a 20 member bagpipe “band” and that the Oscar Meyer Wienermobile showed up (it was shaped like a huge hot dog). A midget in an Oscar Meyer cook’s outfit passed out wiener whistles to us kids. Mud football at Eleanor Park. My mother would yell at me not to dare come in the house with those muddy clothes. I’d have to strip to my underwear and then she’d hose me off on the back patio. Going to the library in the evening to “study”. It was the only way to get out of the house on a school night. The comic book table at the Edgewood Plaza pharamacy…it was a picnic bench type table that accommodated up to eight kids. Sometimes we’d read comics for hours. I don’t think anyone ever bought a comic…although we did buy lots of candy and ice cream.
Was anyone a student at Cubberley when that social studies teacher decided to create a large-scale social experiment by dividing the students by whether they were blue-eyed or brown-eyed. Then he gave the brown-eyed students privledges, and treated the blue-eyed students like they were inferior. Or something like that. Just to see how they would react. If so, would you like to tell us about it?
Remember at Terman Jr. High, when we had dances, back in the early 70′s, the parents and teachers would act as “chaperones”. They would check each couple who was slow dancing, and if they were dancing closer than ten inches apart, they would tap them on the shoulder and say “Don’t dance so close!” Also, remember at Gunn, the teachers had a tricycle race once a year, with children’s tricycles. I wonder why they did that? Also, there was a talent contest, and three girls dressed up like the Supremes and sang “Stop, In the Name of Love”. Do they still have talent contests at Palo Alto schools?
A few more: Father Duryea at St. Ann’s Chapel on Melville. Paris Theater…where they showed “art” films. Ice cream sodas at Woolworth’s counter Paly teacher Nort Thornton always talking about his son, Norn Thornton Jr, the Stanford Men’s swim coach. As I was leaving school seeing my mother’s wrecked car at Viking Autobody Shop on Churchill. Music teacher Mr. Skeffington at Jordan with his “wooden” leg…the result of a German hand gernade in WW II. Mechanical drawing with Mr. Downs at Jordan. Crashing my motorcycle in the Paly parking lot while hot dogging. Someone stealing the life-sized Col. Sanders statue from in front of the KFC on El Camino. The original St. Micheal’s Alley on Univ Ave(where Plutos is today). A young Joan Baez use to sing there. Roller skates with metal wheels. The type you clamped onto your shoes. JC Penney and Montgomery Wards downtown. Werry Electric…if you needed to have your toaster or any other small appliance fixed you took it to Werry’s. Setting off a pack of firecrackers inside the Varsity Theater. Paly Spanish teacher Senor Murphy. He’d have the cute girls sit on his lap (don’t think he could get away with that today). The day President Kennedy was shot. Someone came into my sophomore history class and said the President had been shot and killed. I remember the teacher, Mr. Johnson, sobbing and the class not know what to do or how to react…mostly just stunned. The Safeway on Bryant St, across from the old police station. It’s now a parking garage.
I remeber Mr. Ochoa my French teacher. And my favorite Mr. Stoelzel my Art teacher. I remember Miss Klein my Glee Club teacher and how she loved those Sopranos. And I don’t mean the ones on TV. We altos didn’t have much hope to ever be in her good graces. I always looked forward to the Little-Big Game at Stanford on Thanksgiving day. Paly had a great football team in those days. Paly also had The Jinx ( a girl’s talent show )which was great fun whether you were in it or not. And I could never forget gym class with Mrs. Stillwell at 7:30 or 8:00 AM. Standing in the wet grass on the field aiming an arrow at a target so far away I could barely see it! Geez they were brave to let us loose with bows and arrows that early in the morning!! I remember marching down University Ave. with Joan Baez in a Peace March. B-ins at the park across from Stanford Shopping Center. They were so much fun until I would look out and see my Dad (in a suit)trying to spot me and make sure I didn’t get myself in trouble. That was so humiliating. Of course not quite as bad as when he showed up at The Underground where I was singing,walked up to the stage, showed me his watch,just to let me know it was 11:00 PM and I had school the next day, (yet again in a suit!! ) telling me he would wait for me so he could follow me home. At that point there went any hopes of a singing career. One think I always looked forward to was the Elks Club Picnic every June. There games and swimming and great food all cooked by the Elks themselves. Fun Times-Family Times.Somehow now it all just makes me smile and feel grateful. Grateful for my parents,Palo Alto and its safe old fashioned environment, but most of all for the opportunity I had to grow up with lots fun and laughter in such a beautiful city.
does anyone know Jay Freeman, brother to Andy and Bryce, son of Julie and Paul? trying to get ahold of him, long time resident of Palo Alto, graduate of Paly around 1990? Thanks
It has been such a de ja vue experience for me reading all of these! I moved to Palo Alto in 1957 and went to the Old Lytton school….I grew up in that neighborhood and spent many wonderful years enjoying every aspect of Palo Alto! Someone mentioned the “Monkeys at the shoe store”!That was my fathers shoe store and one of the very first stores to open at the Stanford shopping ctr.!Fran’s smoke shop on Lytton? I was very close to him. A daily customer, and was hit by a car right in front of Fran’s, where he took care of me, till the ambulance came!I could go on and on……I raised my children to go to the same schools as I did (eccept for Lytton school ofcourse)Addison,Jordan and Paly……..They even had some of the same teachers as I did! I spent years working for Vernon Gates at St. Michael’s Alley on high street.What an amazing place and amazing people! There could never be a more awesome city to grow up in and spend your life in than Palo Alto!
does anyone know Jay Freeman, brother to Andy and Bryce, son of Julie and Paul? trying to get ahold of him, long time resident of Palo Alto, graduate of Paly around 1990? Thanks
Thoughts form 1970s Tierney’s a men’s clothing store in Town and Country Village where my dad bought all his clothes. Town and country record shop were I got my first stereo which later became a toy store I believe How about Don’s Hobby Shop downtown I believe on Forest it was so dirty and dusty and with the disagreeable woman owner Round Table Pizza Watching the movie “A Bridge too Far” at Palo Alto Square and in the middle of the movie a totally different movie comes on. Everyone walks out and demands their money back. Playing in Pardee park which was usually deserted. Playing tennis in the evenings at Rinconda where you would turn the lights on yourself and they would sometimes go off automatically in the middle of a point. Riding to school on bike in the dark when they changed daylight savings time. School administrators and parents were worried about their kids riding bikes to school in the dark. We had to get these lights which you strapped on around your bicep or calf. Every one had them. Round Table Pizza whereever, University Ave, California Ave…. Town and Country Record store where I got my very first “real” stereo. San Antonio Hobby shop in the old location. Radio Shack store on University where you could buy all those neat electronic kits you could put together. Aint nothing like it is. Driving out to the Baylands at night. Bay was amazing to see at night. Seeing little snow on the mountains across the bay one winter. Day it snowed at Paly. hard to get to the students to go to class. Cool job at Paly to be a bike guard at the fenced in bike enclosure next to the Pool on the way to the Womans gym. Going to a nearby fire house to register your bike with those big ugly bike registration stickers. Had to be in plain on the bike frame. Trying to remove it usually took a good chunk of paint.
This is soooo fun. Bob Hoskins taught math at Jordan. Miss Phoph (sp?) taught gym, and was the swim coach at Jordan. And Mr. Thorp who taught Biology. He was the nicest guy.
I am a relative newcomer and it has been fascinating to read these recollections of Palo Alto and learn about the truly good old days. I wish so many of the shops, movie theatres, restaurants, et cetera, were still around! Was it possible to actually drive down University Ave. without a traffic jam, and park your car?! Whenever I’m in Borders I try to envision what it was like as The Varsity. Was there great public outcry when it was taken over by Borders? Was it then showing films daily, or only on weekends? Approximately how many did it seat? Oh, how I wish I could have seen it then! What was the Stanford Shopping Center like years ago? Did the department stores have restaurants on the top floor? Were the shops more interesting and affordable than the merchants there today? Thank you Andy for starting this brilliant thread. I feel like I’ve had the best imaginable course on the history of Palo Alto!
I grew up in Palo Alto. My parents bought a house on Guinda St. in 1950 for $18,000. My sister and I sold it in 2000 for $2 million dollars (yeah, that’s right, 2 million). Now there’s a monster home on the lot. At one point in the mid-to-late 1950s, there were over 20 kids on that one block alone under the age of 15. At one time, every house on the block had a big camphor tree out front. Many of them died from “oak root fungus”. There were several oak trees on the street. Now I think there’s only one in the “triangle” where Guinda meets Embarcadero. There used to be 2 or 3 oaks in that spot. Went to Walter Hays in the late 1950s with teachers Topham, Bromley, Crozier, and Rust. I was a member of the “traffic patrol”. Kids who dressed in uniforms and marched out to the corner of Embarcadero and Middlefield to walk other kids across the street after school. Sounds kinda goofy now. I remember marching like a soldier out to the intersection wearing a red sweater and yellow cap (I think). Loved spending time on the playgrounds at Walter Hays and Rinconada Park. There was no fence separating the school and park, and lots more open space at Walter Hays than there is now. Walter Hays had a baseball diamond where we had “kickball” games all the time. Also, all the kids spent recess time and lunch time playing “Four square” and Teatherball on the playground. I spent lots of time in Midtown. I used to ride my bike there, crossing Oregon Ave., a two-lane road before they turned it into a four lane expressway. All the houses on one side of Oregon Ave. were taken by the city, and torn down to make room for the expressway. I remember the two drug stores, Duca and Hanley Market, and that great A&W root beer place – for 5 cents, you got a big root beer in a frosted glass mug – what a deal! We used to buy comic books, root beer, and candy bars, and sit around reading, drinking soda, and eating candy on Saturday afternoons. I remember when they were building the First Congregational Church at Embarcadero and Louis Road, and the main library building on Newell. We used run through the trenches and climb the mounds of dirt in the evenings when no one was around. Kids were really into model building when I was in elementary school. There was a great store downtown, somewhere near the old downtown library called the “Hobby Shop”, I think. Everyone went there to buy model ships, airplanes, etc. We did bad things on Halloween night when I was at Jordan in the early 1960s. Where were all the adults when I was out-and-about with my pockets full of eggs, tomatoes, and shaving cream? I belatedly apologize for any houses I may have “egged” on Halloween night back around 1960-1961.
This is such a great post!! I’m a youngin’ – grew up in Greenmeadow. I remember when there was ONE middle school in Palo Alto. Gasp! And they wanted to close Gunn…. I also remember being in the quad when the smoke bomb/fire ball explosion happened our Senior year. Nightmares for a week. Most of my memories have been posted but I’ve enjoyed reading these.
Somone asked about the Stanford Shopping Center. It was an open-air center, much like today, but no fancy awnings. There was a grocery store where you took a plastic ticket with a number and they loaded your bags into your trunk at a drive-up loading zone. The sidewalk which ran through the center was made of large gray and brownish-red colored swirls of sparkly cement and there were huge round planters of flowers in the middle that you could sit on the edges of. If you stamped your feet just right there was a weird echo off the department stores. One store, Saks?, had a huge Powder Room with fish tanks in the wall and a big round high-backed leather seat. No restaurants upstairs, but there were beauty parlors that stank of permanents and hair spray. Yellow and gray linoleum squares with black flecks made up the floors in one of the department stores. Monkeys at the shoe store see-through window, and yes, they had a baby . . . did they dress the monkeys sometimes? They had a big branch to swing from and fresh wood shavings. You could go to a fancy lunch at Blum’s, all pink and white stripes. There was I. and J. Magnin’s, Emporium, Lerner’s, Norney’s, Macy’s (which came later and may have replaced Woolworth’s), Sandy’s Kitchen, a pet store and a couple of shoe stores. Later there was a Casual Corner and The Gap (for jeans). Parking was always a nightmare at Christmas, no parking garages just large lots. Prices were reasonable, not outlandish.
I’m astonished that anyone remembers Mrs. Topham and Mrs. Bromley. My dad had tennis-ball-slinging Mr. Downs for shop in the ’40s and I in the ’60s. He also had the crotchety old science teacher Henry Martin at Paly in the ’40 and I in the ’70s. Oooh, I HATED Mr. Martin!My aunt knew Jordan Latin teacher Mrs. Dingman, a very nice lady. Learned a lot of science from Dr. Werner Goldner, a German Jew who fled Nazi Germany and a fine science teacher. Yearly physicals with Dr. Joseph Davis — yuck! Hated those booster shots and Dr. Davis was so gruff, but he was really active in getting young people (the Boy Scouts particularly) interested in the medical field. He was also interested in adopted children and did a lot of work for charitable causes — a real do-gooder. Waiting for the train to S.F. in that ugly green open-air depot at California Avenue. Never actually saw anyone in the ticket office there. There was a railroad spur that sometimes had a lonely box car on it. It was next to what appeared to be a vacant lot, but actually belonged to Allied Van Lines. Yeah, soap suds in the California Avenue fountain, always very festive. And the sound of the metal thingamabobs clanking against the flagpoles in the breeze. And the lumber yard there in the quonset hut — Merner’s? There used to be two gas stations at California Avenue and Birch. Littleman’s Market was in the space now occupied by Kinko’s, directly opposite the old Purity grocery store. Mackall’s Appliance used to occupy the space that used to be Printer’s Ink bookstore, then Mackall’s moved into the former Littleman’s. There was some kind of furniture store next to Littleman’s. Before becoming the Keystone nightclub, the old Purity market became one of the very first “organic” food stores. KRON-TV reporter Art Brown, who lived in Palo Alto, even did a story about it. After Mackall’s appliance moved out, the Printer’s Ink space became a second-hand store. Patterson’s Variety used to be on the same side of the street as California Avenue Pharmacy, and the space they moved into was a chain five-and-dime — Sprouse-Reitz, I think. Nice folks, Mr. and Mrs. Patterson. Used to buy malt balls there, and Mountain Bars from Calif. Ave. pharmacy. There was a cloting store, Harriman’s IIRC. The bank has always been a bank. It seems like the Fine Arts Theater ran “La Cage Aux Folles” throughout the entire 1980s. “Polly and Jake” was the antique store and I think they were still in business into the ’70s. You dealt with Polly, who was way up in years but very nice, when you entered the store, and my mother was always delighted with anything we bought her from Polly and Jake’s for Xmas or her birthday. Over at Midtown, the space that became Baskin-Robbins used to be Toy World. My Jordan gym suite came from there. Watching the filming of scenes from Harold and Maude in front of St. Thomas Aquinas in 1971. Palo Alto has an AM radio station at 1220 on the dial. It used to be KIBE and broadcast from Town and Country Village. It didn’t hold a candle to the big city stations KYA, KFRC or KSFO. Sneaking out to Stanford GPU meetings on Wednesday nights :-) I no longer live in Palo Alto (visit regularly) but my roots are still firmly planted there.
Laurel, many thanks for your fascinating info on the Stanford Shopping Center. How wonderful it sounded then! Fish tanks and monkeys, oh my! I loved Woolworth’s and wish they were still around (I assume they are kaput). Such memories… Thanks again.
After moving away from Palo Alto, I came back to visit recently and realized just how much I miss the old Varsity theatre — now a (gulp!) Border’s bookstore. The old theater was a great throwback place to see a film, and to this day I’ve found nothing like it.
Wonderful Memories! I am a relative newcomer to Palo Alto, but am working on a site devoted to its history at I would like to invite anyone interested in many of the places, events and people above to come and check out the site. Thanks! Matt
Thank you for this thread; it’s just what a middle-aged person needs. I haven’t been to PA since 1989, lived there from 1959-1976, so here’s what I remember: – Walking home from Greendell Elementary and seeing high school boys having fist fights in the Cubberley parking lot. – Watching my brother and friends perform “Oklahoma” and “The Music Man” in the Cubberley cafeteria (before the Little Theatre was built). – Crawling through the “hole mazes” (don’t know what else to call them) at Mitchell Park – Learning Mexican and Israeli folk dances (Myam Myam) at Greendell – Having my brother tramp down the tall wild grass next to the Mitchell Park Library (before the Rec Center was built) so I could lie down on it. – Do the sanitation workers still go into your backyards and get your trash from your one garbage can (the limit) and then return the can? As a child, I was appalled when I saw other communities where people actually put their garbage in boxes on the curb! That was why we went to the dump and the duck pond so often, because of the one can limit. – A choral singing and recitation program put on by Greendell students before 1970 about the history of the PAUSD for the school board and/or city council. (“A junior high, who ever heard of junior high?”) – Standing on my front lawn (on Middlefield across from Cubberley) when fierecely determined students marched down the street protesting Ron Jones’ firing (or non-renewal of his teaching contract). – Bluebird camp at Searsville Lake (and some songs that seem horribly racist now) – Not being able to stay in class on the day it snowed in 1976 – when it started snowing again in the afternoon everyone went outside – At Wilbur, when a student government officer, Mark O., played a tape of a returning POW over the school intercom, when the school had banned it because someone had complained. Mark was expelled or suspended for a short time, as I recall. – A report from the Greendell Student Council, about 1967, that girls could wear shorts on Fridays, under their dresses. – Thinking Eichlers were nice inside but the most unindividualized houses on the outside. My cousin visiting from out of state got lost in an Eichler maze near Ortega. – “Hooray for Wilbur, hooray for Wilbur, someone’s in the crowd shouting hooray for Wilbur, one two three four, who we gonna yell for, Wilbur, that’s who” (Rah rah rah) – Mr. Ed Billwacks (sp?) the Greendell custodian, who had been there forever. – The Greendell principal bawling us 4th graders out for some class rebellion, when as he said, “we’re probably going to go to war with Korea” (the Pueblo incident) – Fellow 3rd graders wanting the U.S. to get involved in the 1967 6-day war so we could get out of Vietnam. – All the Greendell 6th grade boys getting “benched” at the same time and singing “When Johnny Comes Marching Home” – Bell’s Book Store, Kepler’s (Menlo Park), Books, Inc., Shirley Cobb Books, MacFarlane’s Ice Cream (Menlo Park), Swenson’s, Clint’s Ice Cream (Los Altos), Wherehouse Records – When Mayfield Mall was being built, our elementary class went over for a tour (I think we had to wear hard hats) and the guide told us “this is the shopping center of the future” – Kidnapping Donna S. for her birthday and taking her to breakfast in her pajamas at the Donut Shop on Loma Verde and Middlefield – Thinking “Junipero Serra” was “Yuniper Sierra” – Jello with whipped cream at The Menu Tree – Wanting to stay at the Glass Slipper Motel More later
Correction of Nora Charles’ post: It was Jordan shop teacher Harley Hillburn that would sling tennis balls at disruptive boys, NOT Mr Downs. Mr Hillburn taught woodshop, Mr. Downs…mechanical drawing, and Mr. Costello…metal shop.
The smell of rubbing alcohol and Dr. Clark, the famous pediatrician, banging my knee with that rubber thing during check-ups at the Palo Alto Clinic. No homeless people in Palo Alto! But there were “bums” (see John K.’s post above 12 July…can’t believe that made it past the PC Police.) Stealing golf balls from the Stanford driving range- Being part of a cruel educational social experiment at Ventura Elementary (“Schools without Failure”) that left me woefully unprepared for Terman JHS…(e.g., homework and grades)
John K.: First, the correct spelling of Harley’s last name was Hilborn, not Hillburn. Second, Mr. Downs did indeed fling tennis balls, chalkboard erasers or whatever else was within reach. On this point my memories are vivid. It may have been different when you were there, but when I was there Mr. Downs taught metal shop and mechanical drawing. Mr. Costarella taught electrical shop. There were also rumors that Mr. Costarella used to be a prison warden. I also remember listening to dreadful recordings of Shakespearian plays in Mrs. Stuber’s 8th grade English class. The actors were strictly fourth-rate and it turned me off to Shakespeare for good.
Chris: Thanks for correcting the spelling of our last name. Being the daughter of Harley Hilborn was not easy. Yes, he and Dave Downs did throw tennis balls. Bob Hoskins also taught Shop and Math. I was born in Palo Alto in 1953 in what is now Hoover Pavilion. I remember: The City decided to fill in the ditch behind our house on Bruce Drive and my parents bought the land for $50.00 When Bergmanns opened the second floor The Sunday it snowed in 1962 My dad taking whoever wanted to go from Jordan to an away game in the back of his truck (no seat belts required) The bread man who came down the street in his pink panel truck with bread and the best fresh glazed donuts. Peninsula Creamery milk delivered fresh and put away in our frige by the milk man and later put in the silver box by the back door.
Moved to Palo Alto in 1957, living between California and Oregon Ave just off of Greer Rd on Blair Ct. Memories, my god, too many to list. Dirt clod fights with the Salisbary’s The almond orchard next to Garland Elementary, sometimes the ole guy there would let us pick a few. Playing baseball and football out on the streets with every kid on Blair Ct. Realizing on the day my 3rd grade teacher, who I had a monumental grade school crush on, got married 1/2 way through the school year and that I’d never tie the knot with her. MR CAREY, my 5th grade teacher at Garland Elementary who was probably the biggest influence in my life. (He taught English in China I believe around the 1930′s in Shanghai. Told us of his experiences with stories and slides, then told me I could “never” visit China because it was a closed country. 36 years later I am now teaching English in China, not because of Mr Carey, but because he taught me to believe in myself and of course losing my job at the Chronicle.) If anyone has a photo of MR CAREY, please forward it to me via email [email protected] Mapping out a tour of Palo Alto on a map, then completing it on my Bianca(SP?) 10 speed when I was about 12. Ricanada(sp) pool and the high dive on Embarcadaro Rd. Ushering the midnight shows at the Varsity Theater. What an adventure that was! Harold and Maud, King of Hearts and many others. I now use Harold and Maud in my English class in China. Lytton Plaza and almost getting busted during a anti war roundup about 1970 where about 200 people were arrested. Venceramos, Molly and Bill who were two radicals that had a minor, yet eye opening influence on my life. Besides, I had a crush on Molly, just don’t tell Bill :>) The Plowshare book store on University Ave. that let me sleep in the back room for a week when I was almost homeless. Working for the Palo Alto Free Press that was really a slip shod small menagerie of disenfranchised radicals who discovered capitalism and tried to make it work and failed miserably. Getting plastered for the first time at Roble Hall at Stanford University during my Paly Years and then swearing off alcohol because of my 3 day hangover. The Standford Coffee shop. Zap House at Stanford where they turned an old gardeners shed into a bar and served huge cups of beer for a quarter and introduced me to Tommy, by the Who. Santana playing at our High School graduation in 1969, just prior to coming out with their first album. The Rusty Nails lost in voting by the slimmest of margins by the graduating class, I voting for them — Santana who??? Meeting my first hippy when he came to my door to pick his brother up, scared me to death, never seen an animal like that. It was “Pigpen” McKernan of the Greatful Dead. Like I said, too many to list. That picture of Mr Carey for Garland Elementary School, circa 1960, I could really use it if you have it. Don’t care what size, just want to hang it on my wall. [email protected] Peace Jim .
Ah, Mr. Hoskins the shop teacher. I’d all but forgotten him. Does anyone remember Miss Frances Mettler, the elementary math teacher? I think she might have been a teacher at Walter Hays once. There was definitely something different about Miss Mettler. Her deportment wasn’t exactly what you’d call “feminine”, if you get my drift. I have a feeling Harley Hilborn was a different guy outside the classroom. He was all piss and vinegar when addressing the class, but one-on-one he was actually quite helpful to me once. I still have the book rack I built in his wood shop class. In his metal shop, Mr. Downs had a metal bending machine with a frame made of metal tubing. He advised his students in no uncertain terms not to stick their fingers in the metal tubing or it would “peel your finger like a banana”. I was always leery of Jordan teachers who were missing fingers. Jim: Was your buddy Kevin McKernan? I had classes with him.
Oh my god!! I grew up in Palo Alto/Menlo Park during the late 60′s 70′s and 80′s. First of all, thanks all of you for bringing back so many fond and lost memories. I recall Palo Alto to be such a organic, artistic and creative little community during those periods. I can go on and on about all the little things, but here are just a few; riding in the back seat of my mother’s red 1970 Pinto w/ the am radio blasting Carol King, Sly Stone and Carly Simon on our way to Rapps for a new pair of Hush Puppy’s when they came with a little gift (mini Frisbee) with each purchase and of course Pennisula Creamery for milkshakes. Let’s see there was that funky alley with graffeti behind 42nd street bar, Roxy’s clothes store (before their time) the Varsity Theatre was a virtual who’s who of Palo Alto’s finest and funkiest was so ecclectic and pre-coffeeshop slacker culture at that time. I saw so many great bands their and also had my first sexual experience in the theatre while watching Quadrophenia and Erasurehead (thanks Dawn)! I also remember all those bumbs hanging out on University Ave with tall tales and crazy stories on Friday nights, Jing Jings for Szechuan, Cruising down California in my BMW 2002, Suzannes muffins, Keystone, The Edge (80′s), Basketaball 3 on 3 at Lytonn Park, driving through EPA circa 1885 to buy weed on Bayshore, A1 Liquors at Wisky Gulch, crashing Stanford parties even though I attended Foothill College, drinking beeres on Lake Lagunita with my best friends Randy Reeves and his brother Ronnie untilo the sun went down, hearing Pablo Cruise singing love will find away a million times on the radio in 1978. I don’t know, it seemed like the summer days lasted forever and kids played in the streets and park a whole lot more. When I drive through the area now, I only see wealthy yuppie, boring , priveledged individuals with no sense of funkiness. It is so sad that all those little quirky elements have long since faded. And yes, what was up with the funky antique store on the corner at El Camino and Embarcaderro across from Page was never EVER open. That place spooke the hell out of me everytime we drove past it. Thanks Palo Alto, E.P.A/ Menlo PArk for some of the best days of my life and childhood. 1969-1989!!!
Some memories: Dana Morgan’s music shop Stickney’s Flamingo (and Helen, the offbeat waitress) Friar’s (prime rib, nightclub) L’Omelette (later L’Ommie’s) The Winery Oom Pah Pah (California Ave.) Tarr and Feathers Bourbon Street, Fargo’s, La Posada, Jumping Frog (later Giggles) in the Old Mill Bob’s Big Boy in Mountain View Iron Works (restaurant/bar) Big Al’s Gashouse Jim’s Coffee Shop (University Ave.) Celia’s on University House of Pies Rudolpho’s Formico’s (Edgewood Plaza) – world’s best lasagna Uncle John’s Pancake House Lytton Plaza riots Homer’s Warehouse (BAD nightclub) Lyon’s and Denny’s Peninsula Scientific
I remember Lytton Elementary school that extended from Lytton Ave to University Ave along Middlefield Road. And catty corner from the portion of Lytton Elementary on middlefield and University was a vacant lot. I remember J.C. Penney’s was where the Walgreens is that recenlty burned on University Ave. The Longs Drug store on University was a Woolworth’s. The corner of San Antonio and El Camino Real that has the Longs Drug store used to have a really awesome Army Surplus store. The El Posada Mexican Restaurant at the Old Mill was the best Mexican restaurant around.
We grew up on Coastland Drive in the 50s and 60s. Attended Van Auken Elementary, Jordan, and Paly. Eddie’s coffee shop also had Cherry Cokes. The Variety store was run by 2 brothers – Bob and Ernie – which is how we knew it “Bobbinernies”. One summer (probably in the early 60s) they opened a trampoline park behind Eddie’s coffee shop. You paid by the half-hour. I remember “Happy” Harley Hillborn, Dave Downs and Joe Costarella in shop. Yes they fired tennis balls at you. There was a typing teacher who was the king of Jordan named Hugh Center. He had a big convertible and was the center of all the “Spirit” activities. There was a candy store downtown that sold the best caramel popcorn. It had a big “K” out front and you could smell it a block away. There was a fire station near Mitchell Park that sold candy out the back door. There was a burger stand on El Camino near Rickey’s that served “Parisian Burgers” on sour dough rolls and “tater tots” for fries. Maximart, one of the first department stores ( I think Fry’s is there now). Fishing for smelt at the yacht harbor (and the duck pond). The Junior Gold Club at the golf course. You paid $8 for the whole summer and cold play all day. Jimmy Saita’s coffee shop at the course. When we won the city Little League baseball championship, we got dinner at Ming’s (the original one) courtesy of the owner, Mr. Dofoo. It seemed like the swankiest place in the world. The battle over Oregon Avenue becoming Oregon Expressway. Stanford football games and the junior rooters. Later they had family plans that would cover 2 adults and 3 kids, so we would hang around the gate and look for 2 adults with 2 kids and ask if we could go in with them…everyone said yes. Swimming at Rinconada pool followed by a lime slushie. Someone mentioned the panel truck from the bakery that drove around the neighborhoods…that was the Colonial Bread truck. Warm donuts off of big wooden trays in the back. Someone else mentioned donkeys where Palo Alto Square is. There was a cow there for a while and an old barn too.
I grew up in the Midtown area of PA in the 50′s and 60′s. Rode my bike everywhere–school, Little League, the Midtown Variety, etc. I remember fishing for bass in a tiny pond next to Sandhill Road (or was it Page Mill?) before the Stanford Linear Accelerator was built and the pond was drained to widen the nearby road. Also remember fishing in Felt Lake before all the high tech equipment went up on the surrounding hills. Someone mentioned the Lagunita alligator myth. I was about 10 years old when I caught a live baby alligator in the lake–story made the front page of the Times and the alligator was given to the Junior Museum. Some students from San Jose State apparently released a 5 footer into the lake that same year as a prank. Used to fish in the yacht harbor for smelt, sculpin and saw the occasional ray or small shark. The Sea Scouts had quite a large trainig boat based in the yacht harbor at the time. Went to the Hobby House on Forest with my Dad to buy model railroad supplies. The place always reeked from cigarette and cigar smoke. I remember several teachers at Jordan and Paly–Jack Brumbaugh, “Thunder” Thornton who taught a very enthusiastic history class. Also Keith Clark who coached me in tennis and devoted endless after-school hours to the tennis team. And John Parker (Math)–one of the best teachers I ever had. I remember Little League baseball when there were only a handfull of teams–the Knights, the Lions, Rotary, JayCees, Sertoma. All the games were played at the Middlefield diamond. I couldn’t agree more with those who wrote that it was a wonderful place to grow up. And a more personal note to John McClintock: Maybe you recall when you, Doug Day, Jeff Phillips and I used to play poker at your house on Friday nights and laugh our heads off. Hope you are all well.
I remember playing hide and seek in the neighborhood until it was too dark to see. Roller skating on the sidewalks — I always had a skate key around my neck. The display of red and white pistachios at the Midtown Pharmacy. Big white butcher paper signs advertising the specials at Midtown Market. Chili dogs at the A & W. Buying a gift at Toy World and having it wrapped in red and white striped paper with a red curly ribbon. Hollywood & Vine at Paly. Beating Sequoia High School 69-0 in the big game. The May Day Festival – I was a princess!
Hi Linda, I grew up in Midtown too, on Wellsbury Way – where at the height of the baby boom era there were at least 60 kids playing on the streets. Remember when Roller Skates were replaced with Super Skates (the “keyless” roller skates)? I think I still have marks around my ankle from that keyless, rolling product liability. Walking to through the field, then crawling under the fence at Mattaderro Creek (when it was dry) to get to Herbert Hoover school Playing “war” games in the fields that were being trenched, drilled and developed – also dirt clod fights that ended when someone got hit hard A memorial in front of Herbert Hoover the week following JFK assast. That poster, incense and candle shop on Cowper near downtown Mr. Barnes, Mr. Pike, Nr. Cushing, Ms. Wyrough, Mrs. Turner The explosion and fire at El Carmello School in the early morning (’69?) The candy section of Fremont and Midtown Pharmacies where for 15 cents, you could buy a whole day supply of candy (back then there wasn’t that sugar concern) The hordes of kids walking and riding their bikes to school down Cowper and Middlefield Road (parents didn’t take their kids to school then, unless they played the tuba in the band) Officer (sp?) Machninsky – the head of all the elementary school traffic patrol. That slide at Chuck Thompson’s Swim School The fireplace at the “Winter Club” Wilbur Junior High production of The Music Man (“68?) Andy[email protected]
Hey Andy…. I have so many fond memories of the 50′s in East Palo Alto…Our house on Beech Street was country back then. I now live outside Dallas, Texas but came back to visit 2 years ago and the house is still there. How sad I was not able to recognize much of the area. I could see that parts are now being revitalzied and am happy for that. Please check my book of life on Beech Street….It is posted under books on this site. It is called Beech Street…The Summer of 59′…I think you would enjoy the memories of S&H Green Stamps, Sky King, Hula Hoop contests, the Rec center, climbing trees, making forts, Cooley Avenue Market, the Chinese market on Clarke and University, Brentwood Elementary, St. Franscis of Assis, and so much more….Let me know what you think…you can also visit my website at Happy Memories, Paula :)
I was born and raised in Palo Alto, from 1957 to 1992 I remember, the skate rink at Hoover Park, that filled up with wate in the winter. The water falls, and creek that they built in Hoover park, that stayed on one year, cause then the drought happend and it never was turned back on. The frogs that were to numerous to count. Riding in my Dads (wood Paneled)stationwagon, with no seat belts Riding double(everywhere) on my friends stingray. Having my own Puple (3-speed) stingray. All about the colors. The Barrels at Hoover Park, that were warmed from the sun and you could get warm when you were on top. Being little and not being able to get up on top. Making Ice, painting and polishing the skates, and getting ready for the new season at the Winter Club. Swim Lessons at Chuck Thompsons. Riding our bikes to Felt Lake. Being a Crossing Guard for Hoover, wearing the hat and sweater, and if you had Cowper duty, you might have well been in lonely town, there were only about 4 kids that crossed there. When the Girls wore pants to school 1969, for a protest of not being able to wear pants. Hiding them under our dress’s untill we were ready to actually change. And my dad coming across the field at lunch knowing exatly what i was up to. (being grounded for that) wow. Mrs. Miller, (?) Typing in Jordan or Paly, and she had been around a long time when i was there. Mrs. Henderson at Hoover, my favorite teacher, Mrs. Richardson, also a favorite, Ms Wilson, not so much a favorite. My dog Cholita, who would come to school, just before it was out to hang out with us. No leash Laws Hanging out in Matadero Creek, and building dams to block the water, before winter, when it would rush by and a couple of times hit the bridge, before they widened the creek. Eating Pomagranets that hung in the creek. Never being home in the summer. Mayfield mall’s pet shop that sold exotic animals, like Racoons etc… Never being along, always being with lots of friends all the time. Palo Alto, thanks for the good times…..
A good “story” on Polly and Jakes (antique store at Page Mill and El Camino) including the legands surrounding the place is at Web Link. The story is 10 years old, so a lot has happened at that corner since then, but it might be of interest to those who grew up with it.
I lived on “the Circles” on Carlson, off Charleston in South Palo Alto, 1953-1968. I remeber owning a chopped Harley (I was 16)in ’66 and the PA police would pull me over, often cuff me just because I “…looked like a Hells Angel…” Problem with that was I was a freckled faced, barely 5 foot, glasses wearing skinny kid who could get children’s prices at Stanford theater downtown cuzz I looked so young. But I also remember staying out until midnight in the early 60s each Halloween, the Ben Franklin 5 and dime lunch counter and the 2 A&Ws with all the hot rods on El Camino and Middlefield. Our childhood in Palo Alto was more fun than we deserved. It was a safe place to grow up. In the 60s every house had a multiple of children around our ages, new elementary schools popped up in every neighborhood to accomodate our numbers yearly. As we aged it was junior high then new high schools. Palo Alto was the real life Disneyland of the baby boomer generation. It produced the Dead, Greg Rollie (Santana keyboard and song writer and Journey founder). and a ton of good doctors, lawyers and I’m sure an Indian chief or two. But then Palo Alto also had SRI and its legal drug, LSD. Palo Alto also produced the SDS and some of their fringe groups that morphed into terrorists. Palo Alto couldn’t protect us from the ugliness of the rest of the world either. In 1969 we had the lottery draft system that said if your birthday is pulled out of the hat, off to war you go. Palo Alto was not only the center of some early protests of the Viet Nam war but like so many other towns, gave many of its brave young men. We often remember the indignation and are quick to recall how we spoke our minds, but forget the people who sacrificed much greater pain. However, with that all said, my only regret is that my sons and now theirs, can’t live the life we did in the late 50s and 60s in Palo Alto. That life, along with “E” tickets, seems to be gone forever. Bob Warford
Oh my gosh, Todd, I had Mrs. Richardson and Mrs. Wilson too. Loved them both. I still remember how much work Mrs. Wilson put into the classroom- building a teepee, a Japanese house, and Mexican adobe, all on her off time. I also remember the principal, Mr. Clam – quite a character. When Hoover closed and we were bussed to Fairmeadow he went up to Fremont Hills and we would visit him there.
Anyone know if Keith Clark (Palo Alto High tennis coach) is still alive? Here are some of my memories: Kirk’s hamburgers on California (double with cheese and pineapple). Playing basketball at the small hoops. Rick’s Rather Rich Ice Cream (I remember when he had computer chip ice cream when computers were a novelty) I remember having a bank account with a pass book that got stamped every time you made a deposit (I think it was Glendale Federal Savings near Bergmans and some others on the site have called it Crocker Bank perhaps there was a name change?) Trying to steal a tape at Tower Records and getting caught then having a guy blow smoke in my face for a half hour. The Old Mill: the Dug Out baseball card store, the candy place with big glass displays of gummi coke bottles plus big jawbreakers. Getting Dave Righetti’s autograph at the Old Mill. Jamie (James) Bartel class of ’91 Palo Alto High School
Someone asked about the mean English teacher at Palo Alto HS. It was probably Mr. Bergstrom. He wouldn’t give kids a kleenex as he said that you had to harvest in the spring to reap in the winter. He also wore old bowling shoes. I remember someone putting an egg over his clasz door and so he walked through it in the morning at got doused with the egg! Good times!
Many, many moons ago I went to 3rd grade at Oholone School with a boy named Bobby Warford who lived on Mumford Circle. He was very nice to me and usually walked me home after school to 242 Charleston Rd., where I lived. One day I got tired of being his “girl friend” and, like a foolish young thing, threw blocks at him to make him go away and not come back. I’ve regretted that to this day. Bobby Warford, please accept my apologies. I hope you’re doing well and are happy. As to the good memories, bicycling all over Greenmeadow was a blast. Also my geometry teacher at Cubberly High, Mr. Farmer, was awesome. That’s it for now. Stephanie
Jamie’s comment about an autograph reminds me – I got Bill Cosby’s autograph along about 1966 at the big discount store in Menlo (was it White Front? Gemco? – on the West side of El Camino – had an underground garage???). He was publicizing the TV show he was working on – “I Spy”, and was signing autographs. Also, I didn’t know Mr. Farmer ever taught Geometry – when I was there, he was best known for physics. Some people really liked his class, but it was pretty unconventional, and some people didn’t like it. He was also known for trying to convince everyone to invest in the stock market.
billp, Were you so unconventional (non materialistic) that you ignored Mr. Farmer’s advice? It sounds like he gave wise advice. The stock market has been a huge source of wealth and betterment of mankind, since 1966. We are currently enjoying one benefit of it – the Internet (of course, the DOD was also a big contributor). Don’t forget Al Gore! From a different direction, I had a geometry teacher that was very smart, and he decided that he could just make money off the stock market. Well…ah he lost his shirt, and brought down some others with him. He did some jail time for it. The moral of this story? Heck if I know!
Now that it has been a year since this topic was started, let us all give Andrew L. Freedman, the person who started this topic, a round of applause. I have enjoyed reading it so much, and I’m sure many others have also. I hope that the posts can be preserved in a permanent archive. Andy, I hope you post again sometime. (I’m the person who posted on July 8th ).
Good to see some one remembers Eddie’s Coffee shop and the great shakes and burgers my mother used to make. She worked there from the late 50′s into the late 60′s. Everyone knew her as Lee. But nothing was better than a dog, fries and a large A&W root beer from the old mid town A&W! Palo Alto was the hub for many of the bay area’s great garage bands, like William Penn and his pals (with the great Greg Rolie, Cubberly Grad and founding memeber of Santana and Journey) , 2 plus 2, Canterberry Blues Band, Impax and many more. Saturday night cruising down El Camino to the San Mateo A&W and concerts at the Brave Bull! It was the best! Gary Galea aka Jay Coffey Afternoons at KFRC graduate of DeAnza Elementary, Wilbur and Cubberley! Good to be back in the Bay Area after 28 years in L.A.!
I loved Midtown burgers!! I remember Mrs. Christiansen and Eddie himself. I blogged about this aways back here. I loved the comic book section at the Midtown Pharmacy too:0)
Hi A Gunn Alumus (and all), Thank you. I happy that you’ve enjoyed this. I think that all who responded here or have read these, are fairly positive, happy folks who, like many, remember the good and pretty much forget the not-so-good. I am very thankful that I grew up here in a time a place where from kindergarten, I was free to walk or bike in my neighborhood or even beyond. We had summer recreation programs at all the elementary schools. We could go to Bergmann’s, Winter Club, Chuck Thompson’s, Midtown and Fremont Pharmacy and as we got older, go to Lake Laganitta or Frost Ampletheatre or the Hippy House (they sold black light posters, candles and incense), the Bin-Ins and Sit-Ins. And some of our juvenile “delinquent” things (pulling the fire alarm at Herbert Hoover during the rain, sneaking out late at night with friends to go skinning dipping at Chuck Thompson’s – hey, if so many of us did that, how come we never saw each other??!!) And it’s really nice to know that some of us are still living here, that we haven’t been “priced out” of our own community. I even read posts from “kids” I went to elementary school with! A few years ago, me and a Cub alum through an any year Cub reunion at Mitchell Park. About 300 people showed up. Maybe we can do an any school, any year “reunion” at Mitchell Park again? Andy
Okay, I have one for everyone to think about. I remember going to the back of Toy World to buy inner tubes at Palo Alto Bicyle shop! Yes, PA bike used to be in the back of Toy World. There was a time the Palo Alto police would hand out warnings for riding your bike on the sidewalks (downtown). Remember the sad day when the old Addison two story building met the wrecking ball! Remember growing up on Byron between Melvill, and Kellogg with no other kids on the block! Remember the huge hole in the ground the city hall parking lot is. Have more to write, but not enough time.
Has anyone been past the old Hoover park lately? they have a cyclone fence around the whole area, my mom and dad still live arcoss the street when i visited them last week I noticed it and asked what was going on? My mom said the city is doing another renovation! they jsut redid that park and added restrooms not that long ago~ She thinks they are taking out the old skating rink(not sure if that is what it was), but that is what we used it for roller skating.. I wonder if they are going to make it a big baseball field for little league? just wondering if anyone knew for sure? Candi
Hi Candi, Andy here. Yes, Good ol’ Hoover Park is undergoing renovations. We may be in for a little future shock, as I believe they’ll be taking out the barrels in the sandbox area. If you do a search within this paper, you’ll find the article. Remember the (4?) houses that were taken out to make way for the tennis courts and other reconfigurations? I think we must have known each other as kids. Was it your house that had the wrought iron-type gate (the house next to the creek)? Also, do you know whether the wild parrots are still living at St Mark’s church? I recall how the parrots became annoyed when the former St Mark’s parking lot was sold off and was converted to a small neighborhood. I wonder if the parrots found new homes in the new homes. Andy Freedman[email protected]
Andy I am interested in that you said that St. Mark’s sold off part of their former parking lot for a neighborhood development. I always thought that it was part of the Hoover school complex that was not made into Hoover Park and another one of our school district’s faux pas. Andy, can you or anyone mention how the old Hoover school was configured. Where were the buildings, where were the entrances, how many classrooms, that sort of thing? Thanks.
The shoe store at Stanford Shopping Center with the monkeys in the window was Sommers & Kauffman (sp?), if memory serves me correctly. My first pair of Mary Janes came from there. Blums with Grandma was a treat. The sales personnel at I. Magnin used to size you up as you walked in to see if you were worthy of their clientele. Saks was classier, in my opinion, and the staff treated you better. Christmas decorations didn’t go up until AFTER Thanksgiving, and there was a definite shopping ‘season’. One could actually find a parking place, shopping was a joy, and the stores closed for Christmas day. The day after Christmas was the day to hit Norney’s for cards, wrapping paper and supplies for the next year. Too crowded to even try to shop during ANY time of the year there now. People just walk or stand around, taking up space, not even shopping. Sad. To the poor guy victimized by Ventura’s “School Without Failure”-I was a volunteer there at the time, and agree wholeheartedly. It was horrible! Palo Alto School District has had many doomed school experiments. For my generation, it was “SMSG” (some Stanford Math Department garbage) and “School Within A School” at Gunn. For the latter, the students were encouraged to “write their own curriculum” for Social Studies and English. It was another program “without failure”. It’s amazing any of us know how to read, write or do basic arithmetic. (who does math in “base 8″???) Is Patrick Suppes still alive, and can we sue him for messing with our heads?!? I still have his damn yellow book around here somewhere. Our neighbors also had a bomb shelter. It’s a great wine cellar now. Most of my memories were fun. Palo Alto was once a wonderful place.
Hi Parent, Well, you came to the right person. I know it like the back of my hand (hey what’s this). That was St Mark’s that sold some of their property. It used to be their parking lot (I can’t recall if some of their old Sundy School classrooms were part of the deal). Mainly, though, it was their parking lot. The parrots lived in the Redwood trees that grew in the parking lot. The original Herbert Hoover Elementary School was the usual L-shaped structure. It was built around their original old wooden building that served as, well, the original Herbert Hoover. And originally, there was an A&W Rootbeer stand where the Safeway market it now AND there was an old Goodwill Store next to Herbert Hoover (it’s now a bank). Anyway, I have very, very fond memories of the school, teachers and fellow classmates. I attended from 1960 – 1968 I believe. Andy
Hi All, So glad to see this thread is still going strong. What memories! I lived on Emerson St, and went to El Carmelo, Wilbur, then Cubberly, and graduated at ILS on Ross Road. I was just thinking about Tony’s Bike shop on El camino. I remember he would fix my bike and barely accept any money! Anyone remember the “lawn mover shop” tucked of the street on Page Mill a few doors down from Polly and Jakes? remember Woz and Jobs? Wozniak made great progress while working in the back of Jeff Kamrats dads (call computer) on old middlefield rd. Anyone remember the the kegg parties in a big field in Mt. View where Jim Finnlay would Jame on guitar all night? I remember sneaking into frost the night before the dead shows. We would climb the trees and wait until the show started and drop down!(LOL) I found Tracy K. she was married to a big Hollywood Star and was a bit of a super model herself, go figure! Anyone know where Bard maddix is? Yes, Winter Club, Bergmans, Eddies, Bannana Records, Monets pet shop, Rapp’s shoes (my 1st job) and I got booted for smoking pot with Roxy’s preppie daughter! I could go on for hours!
r-p-c My mom worked at Saks from its opening in 1963 to its closing in 1994.She loved working there and was a great sales associate. I remember meeting all the famous designers of the day. Josie Natori was just starting out and she and my mom became great friends. I also remember Thayer and McNeil shoe store at Stanford where we would buy our Capizios in every color. And going to Chandlers shoes to pick out shoes for a special dance and having them dyed to match my dress. A very fun and innocent time:0)
A lot of recollections of the Midtown area, which is very cool. How about some from the old Palo Alto area!?! A lot of us who were fortunate to grow in PA had some good times walking to Channing Market after school let out at Addison. The big thing to get at the time was the 3 foot long red licorice ropes for a dime (circa 1969)! Many of summer days hanging out at P. Anderson’s huge house, and munching on ham and cheese sandwiches from SOS market. Charles Schultz (Charlie Brown) hanging with us kids at Addison in the spring of 1970. 49er’s Gene Washington stopping by Addison (circa fall 1970)to toss a few footballs! Pack 48 Cub Scout meetings at the Lutheran Church on Homer and Webster. Collecting, and dragging Xmas trees to the corner. Hanging out at Dana Morgan’s music store, while mom was getting some Levi’s over at Dick Felts clothing store on Bryant St. The haunted house at the community center. I can go on, but I am out of time.
Do any of you Hoover alumni remember Mrs. Jane Olsen (nee Mackenzie)? She was a red-headed kindergarten teacher who was really nice to me during my one year of kindergarten at Hoover during the 1960 – 1961 school year. I remember Mrs. Wyrough, I think. Wasn’t she a choir teacher with an unnatural caramel color? I don’t count in base 8 but I did learn (and still remember and use) binary arithmetic at Walter Hays where we had special interest groups for 5th and 6th graders. I was in the SIG for computers (how prescient) headed by Mr. Jim Newland. At Paly, the head of the English department, Jack Phillips, instiuted electives. I took a course in humor by Mrs. Lucille Sasuly in which we were exposed to such authors as Robert Benchley, Mark Twain, Ring Lardner, Dorothy Parker and more. One of the best classes I ever took at any school. She really got me interested in humorous literature – a feat in itself! Don’t ask me anything about the Civil War, though! Some of the things I learned at Walter Hays/Jordan/Paly/PAUSD are still with me today. It’s good that they taught things besides the basic three R’s (and Latin – ugh!).
yes i remember the Poppycock and old Victorian house that used to sell candles.frans market and the all the other little markets.bayshore with traffic lights.playing pinballs at the a&w on middlefield.varity store. slotcars at d&s hobbie.snow in 62 big… deal.schools every 8 blocks just about.and all the things in others post.but remembering these things is about growing up and a city growing up.good and bad that we are grown the city has grown into a mass of two storie homes all house no land.chain busness every where.everyone in a rush to nowhere.alarms on cars and homes.iam wondering what the memories will be in 40 years for the kids living there now.palo alto use to be a good place to growup in not anymore.
I have really enjoyed this thread. It’s been great to read about things I had completely forgotten (e.g., getting bike licenses at the fire station). But it’s also been fun to hear from people who grew up in Palo Alto before I did (I was born in 1964) and experienced a Palo Alto that was very different from the one I knew. Kudos to Andy F. for starting this thread…it’s been a blast. Af few other things I remember: The day the Mr. Pibb hot air balloon “accidentally” landed in the field at O.L.R…as fate would have it, it was being followed by a truck with free samples of this then-brand new soda for all the students to try. What luck! Going to McCovey’s last game at Candlestick with the P.A. Boys Club. “Mom…I’m going to the park.” “Okay, be home by dinner.” It’s not quite like that these days, is it? The “par course” at Cubberley. Some of the really good athletes in little league and Babe Ruth who just seemed larger than life to this very average player (Paul Kraft, Jorge Macareno, Tony(?) Mouton, John Erlich, Clarence Hamel, the Brewer brothers, just to name a few).
For Chris (Paly’76) I do remember Miss McKenzie as she was my Kindergarten teacher for school year ’59/60 at Hoover. I just flashed on the principal back then, John Papagni. Don’t remember any other teachers except that scary ‘Three-Fingers’ Pike. Did anyone else ever do the mile-long trek through the concrete tunnel that started up on the west side of El Camino near the old Jacobs Cattery and ended all the way up close to Gunn HS? Pretty spooky!
Celeste, What department did your Mom work in at Saks? We went there for special outfits – back when there were special occasions requiring such clothing. It *was* a fun and innocent time. Do young ladies ever have cause to wear what we called ‘formals’ back then? to Not4lng – not ALL the way through the tunnel – just enough to know we didn’t belong in there!!! Wonder what urban legend lives there now? ;> thanks to all, rpc
I have been notified Patrick Suppes is still alive, and even has an email address at Stanford. I’d ask for advice about “Sets and Numbers”, provided there was any practical use for it. I don’t mean to diss Mr. Suppes professional work, it was just extremely unfair to subject elementary school aged children to his volumes of (essentially) useless knowledge. Theory is wonderful. Leave it to the math ‘wizards’ at Stanford. Give kids something they can actually USE in life. ‘Nuff said! rpc
rpc- My Mom worked in the Lingerie Department for 31 years. She loved her job and remained close to many of her personal customers long after retirement. Where did you go to high school? I really loved growing up in Palo Alto and have very fond memories of a beautiful and safe environment. How lucky we were and I am so glad this blog remains as a tribute to those wonderful times.
Can you believe this thread has been going on for over a year now? Question for Andy Freedman if you’re still following this thread. In an early post you said that at one time there were four grocery stores in Midtown within one block. In order for this to be true, Super Market Basket (which later became Scherba’s, right?) had to be open at the same time Safeway was open. The question is, did Super Market Basket close before Safeway opened, or did the two ever exist concurrently?
Hi Chris/Paly ’73, Yes, Super Market Basket (I’m pretty sure that was the name) did exist concurrently with Safeway. Just a guess – since I still have memories of going to the A&W as a toddler (where Safeway is now), Safeway probably opened around 1960 or 1961). The reason I recall Super Market Basket so well is that my older brother and his friends told me to grab a bunch or candy (I was about 5) and walk out with it. I began loading up my pockets until one of the clerks asked if I had the money to pay for it. So you had the Purity Store (also a Purity Store on California Ave),which became the Co-Op, Duca Hanley (called Midtown Market), Super Market Basket and Safeway – all operating at the same time. Super Market Basket was the first to close. Someone mentioned Mrs. Olson. I too had her for kindergarten. We’d have “sharing time” every morning. I remember that one of my neighbors would say something like, “I had a dream that a bunch of bees attacked Andy.” I’d counter by saying, “I had a dream that Jim was walking to school and fell in the creek.” Also, sometime during the day, we’d take out blankets for a nap time and someone would get picked to be the one to wake each one up by tapping them. Andy
1960 – 1961 sounds a little early for Safeway. That was my one year (kindergarten) at Hoover and to be perfectly candid I’m blocking on the A&W being there, but at the time it was definitely something other than the Safeway. This is a project for future research! What year and which period did you have Mrs. Olsen? I was in her morning class in 1960 – 1961 (graduated Paly in 1973). Prior to the fall of 1960 she was Miss Mckenzie. Think now, were you in kindergarten in ’60 – ’61 and was it morning or afternoon? Were you in my class? BTW, Duca and Hanley Meats was the meat department/butcher shop at the grocery store called Midtown Market. I remember one morning when my friend and I decided to take the “scenic” route home from Hoover. Instead of cutting across the park to Cowper and home, we decided to take Middlefield to Loma Verde (past Freeman’s market — there’s one we forgot to mention) and home. The next day, hoo boy, did we get a talkin’-to from an angry Mrs. Olsen! I didn’t see the harm in what we did, and to this day I don’t know how she found out, but she told us in no uncertain terms never to do it again. In 1961 we moved near the railroad tracks and California Avenue. The Purity store became some kind of organic food store when Purity closed. When the organic food store closed the space became a succession of nightclubs and ultimately the Keystone. Co-op has always been closer to the train tracks and the Fountain of Suds, where Mollie Stone’s is now. There was a pharmacy fronting California Avenue and the grocery store was in the rear, like now. I bought my share of SweeTarts at the Co-op pharmacy, and Flicks, the giant choclolate chips that came in a cardboard toilet paper roll covered with colored paper/foil (they still make Flicks). Though I don’t remember the Middlefield A&W, I do remember the one on the island on El Camino. I had the best hamburger of my life there — an A&W bacon burger.
Well, it looks like, Chris/Paly ’73, we attended the same kindergarten class in ’60 or 61. While I graduated in ’74, I had “stayed back” in 2nd grade (making this admission in such a public place – I should feel a small sense of humiliation – but I don’t). Anyway, there were so many kids that we had both morning and afternoon classes (it was an either/or thing). That A& W was there where the Safeway is now. I recall picking wild artichokes and appricots in the fields on Middlefield Road (across the street from where the Winter Club is) and we toted them in a red wagon selling them to our neighbors on Wellsbury Way. We then used the proceeds to buy Root Beer Floats at that A&W. While you recall their burgers at the El Camino A&W – - WHAT ABOUT THOSE FANTASTIC LINDA’S PERISAN BURGERS (excuse the all caps – I just got a little excited thinking about how great they tasted). The biggest change I see is that, as kids back then, we were free to walk or bike just about as far as we were physically able. Kids played out in the streets of the neighborhood until dark without any supervision. You could even talk with people you didn’t know. At Halloween, some of my neighbors even cooked items (like caramel apples and those Rice Krispie things) and certainly if you were at least 7 years old, you did not require your parents supervising your trick or treating – you just went in large “packs” of kids. Also, as mentioned before, parents did not drive kids to school – unless you played the tuba in the band (ha ha). Andy
Andy, i too was in kindergarten at Hoover in 60 or 61, but i had Mrs. Ratner, and i was an afternoon kid, so naps were the agenda for the day.I then skipped 1st and went directly (do not pass go) to Mrs. Nanfelts class, and i believe when looking back on the lovely blk/wht photo, that i was in your class. I was friends with J. Herrera, R.Jalone all the cleveland boys, and the Piffero’s. Then of course since we were babys from nap world to 2nd grade, had to do that whole class over a second time. I lived the house next to the creek with the wrought iron gates.
Hey Todd, Despite some of those brain cells that were eliminated via too much partying in my teens and 20s, I think I do recall you. Certainly your name rings a bell. We hung out with the same bunch and yes, we had Miss Nanfelt (I made up Miss Nannygoat and that name held for a long time – outside of the class that is). I STILL haven’t been priced out of my city – although I’m chronically broke. But no complaints. Are you still living on Cowper? Terry Faxon’s sister, Robin, my 2-year-older brother’s age, used to put on Herbert Hoover 6th grade class reunions at Hoover Park and I’d sit in for my brother. One time Mrs Turner and Mrs Wilson came. I also used to be Miss Wyrough’s pen pal. It’s funny, she’d write her letters using red ink – the same way she’d grade papers. Andy
Anyone know why they changed the name from Van Auken to Ohlone? My brother and I graduated Van Auken 1972
Hey Andy, Do you think there would be any interest in the PA histories of specifici home addresses? I sometimes wonder about the stories of previous owners of my home. Every now and then I read a story about some individual who lived at a home near me, but none of us current folks have a clue. A public forum like this might be an interesting way to develop such specific histories. Of course, they would tie in with the wider stories that your thread has developed. Just a thought.
I grew up in Los Altos in the 40s and 50s so I can’t relate to everything noted here but I do have great memories of our area of the peninsula. 1. The big Rickeys Studio Inn sign at the corner of Charleston and San Antonio where the KFC is (actually was, it was torn down in early October 2007). 2. The Shockley Semiconductor Company on San Antonia across from Sears. I actually delivered the old PA Times to his home near the LA GCC. 3. Peninsula Laboratories in the same block. I used to bike over there to swap a paper for throwaway test tubes for… 4….for my Gilbert Deluxe Chemistry Set – remember when everyone knew how to make bombs with sulfur, potassium nitrate and charcoal? 5. The Old Plantation across El Camino on San Antonio Rd. 6. The sign behind The Old Plantation for the Pink Horse Ranch (a real dude ranch up Moody Rd near where Foothill is today). 7. Adobe Creek Lodge, where for a dime you could ride your bike in and go swimming. 8. When San Antonio was just two lanes and a stop sign at the SPRR crossing. 9. Slot car racing in some large room in what was then the Carlotto Center, next to Bruce Bauer Lumber 10. The Star and Bar gas station on San Antonio between the tracks and Calif Av near the current Safeway. 11. The ancient Elks Lodge, a white men’s hangout (oops, it’s still there with older white guys still hanging out there) 12. Picking cots as a summer job 13. The old steam commuter trains that went from the main line at California Av up along what is now Foothill Expressway toward Prospect Av in San Jose/Saratoga. 14. JW Backus, Kanney’s, the Russo Nursery & Motel all near the intersection of Hansen and ECR. ==== My best memory has to be when a bunch of us piled in four cars and took over a section of the PA Drive-in and waited for the “make-out patrol” to start making their rounds. these were kids dressed in white lab coats and armed with 4-battery flashlights that they’d shine into cars where there was suspected make out activity. We didn’t do anything more than strip them of their batteries and pass along a few threats. I don’t recall seeing these guys patrolling after that! Tod Wicks resident of south PA for over 30 years.
Hi Craig, I was lucky – our family’s house was the last one built on Wellsbury Way. We moved in when I was 3 and I still remember visiting the house while it was being built. Wellsbury Way, by the way, used to be owned by Mr. Blackman. It used to be a big farm/ranch he told me. He named it after his wife’s maiden name. I recall back in the early ‘60s Mr. Blackman – who also lived on Wellsbury – would take his daily walks. He was well into his 90s and walked with a cane, stopping at each fire hydrant to rest. And you’re correct; there are some interesting stories about the houses, neighborhoods, streets, etc. And as far as the history and associated stories with you home, check with the city on the names and Google them. Too bad the Palo Alto Times isn’t “Googleable.” During various periods of unemployment in my life, I’ve sat at the microfiche machine and read the Palo Alto Times in all kinds of years, early 20th century, ‘40s, 50s – I’ve seen how land use issues constantly present issues with residence. In fact I recall reading a proposal to build a jail and courthouse in the area near where Charleston Center is now (back in the ‘50s, I think). Dang, the neighbors had fits and certainly let their city leaders know that they did not want a jail there. So it ended up on Grant Road in Palo Alto. But, that’s just one of the many tidbits you’ll find reading those old Palo Alto Times. You can see how neighborhood opinion has influenced development (a current example might be how it backfired, i.e., Rickey’s Hyatt) One of my dreams is that I’ll somehow be able to buy “my” house back from its current owner (or, alternatively, ask if I could pet and plant sit when he and his family vacation). Andy
I’m relatively new to this forum, so forgive me if this book has been discussed in other threads…a good read for those of you nostalgic for Palo Alto of the old days (particularly if you grew up there in the 1960s) is “Blue Sky Dream” by David Beers. It came about about ten years ago. His recollections of Palo Alto are not all fond ones, but it’s still a good dose of nostalgia.
Question for all you old-timers: (not that that’s a bad thing) What is up with the intersection of Ferne and Dake in South Palo Alto? Was in blocked off or not passable in an earlier time? The way the intersection is bowed out tends to suggest that it was a dead end or cul-de-sac at one time. There’s also an old thick metal pole there that looks like it used to have a city sign on it at one time.
Hey Roger, Funny thing…I just asked my mom about the name changes of the schools at the Van Auken site the other day. I actually started Kindergarten at Van Auken, then attended Los Ninos for 1st grade, and Ohlone for 2nd – 6th…and never left the site! She said that due to the drop of enrollment at that time, they were reorganizing/combining the elementary schools. They combined two (she couldn’t remember which ones) at the Van Auken site, and changed the name to Los Ninos. But then, Ohlone moved from over on Charleston to Amarillo, and they moved or did away with Los Ninos. I was only six at the time, so I don’t remember much about the whys, just that I had to call my school a new name every year for the first three years.
I just returned from a visit to Palo Alto. WOW. It is much bigger than when we grew up. It still feels like it did when you drive the neighborhoods. There is a new mansion every 2-3 small houses. But is is still Palo Alto. The memories are thick around every corner. Thanks for keeping this thread alive for so long. It was cool to go around and see something discussed on this blog, and to imagine the things people mentioned that pre-dated me in Palo Alto. Congrats to Paly on the CCS championsip. Earl Hansen has done an unbelievable job with the entire athletic program at Paly. Thanks Earl. What an exciting game. I will always love Palo Alto. I am proud to be from there.
My folks moved into an Eichler around 1971 (I think), and I went to Parents’ Nursery School (PNS), Garland, Green Gables, Jordan, and Paly. My notes here are not partcularly chronological… PNS had a fundraising bazaar — half craft sale, half garage sale — where I bought an old Springbok puzzle when I started earning an allowance. I think my folks also got our much-loved felt Advent calendar (a tree with pin-on ornaments in a series of pockets) there. My father contributed wooden trains, and candle-holders in the shapes of animals, and little hardwood angels with gilt edges and wire halos. Or else he saw those there and started making them himself… I don’t remember now… he did a lot of woodworking, building musical instruments and Spingerle boards and lovely toys… PNS also had a chicken coop which inspired me to keep chickens in my backyard in East Oakland (where I still live now). I remember having a summer job where I took care of the chickens and watered the grass and the garden. And then later — long after my watch — the poor chickens were slaughtered by raccoons. That was tragic. I had a big crush on a Japanese-American girl at PNS and even more so on her mother — I almost remember her name after all this time, I think it started with an H — who came to make us sushi rice. Then at home I became addicted to our version of it which involved cooked rice, vinegar, sugar (my passion), and frozen peas. Every year we went to the Obon festival at the Buddhist temple on Greer Road. I wanted to dance in the Cherry Blossom Dance for the festival, so my mother found me a fan and a bright blue polyester kimono from Japantown in SF, and every week she dropped me off at the temple to practice (I was probably five at the time). I loved all the coin toss games, though I was terrible at them, and lived for the teriyaki chicken, but I wasn’t ready for sashimi until I moved to San Francisco as a young adult. The kids on my street played all sorts of games on one anothers’ lawns, like Jaws and Freeze Tag and Out To See The Ghost Tonight. We also created our own small town by drawing different shops and traffic directions onto the squares of the sidewalk and then rollerskating around. Fat sticks of chalk were a big item. The mosquitoes at dusk in the rainy season were terrible! We watched the larvae grow in standing water and compared them to sea monkeys (which were very much on our minds). And we were fascinated by the worms that covered the wet sidewalk. We also held block parties for 4th of July and Easter. I became the organizer at some officious age. We decided to get more ecumenical and changed the Easter Egg Hunt (where we hid eggs all over the neighborhood) to the Spring Roll (where people rolled eggs in a contest). My best friend’s neighbors were nudists and we would try to spy on them through a hole in the fence, and also tried to hit them strategically with loquats from the garden. I turned out to be gay, and I remember even as a child being fascinated by mens’ bodies in the changing room at Rinconada pool. Since I was really nearsighted that whole experience was simulaneously sexy, mysterious, and stressful. I remember that you checked your clothes into these mesh plastic bags on hangers that travelled on some kind of cable. Did we have to wear bathing caps? Was there a sign that said a nude shower was required for proper hygiene? Of course we kids were all serious customers of the snack bar where Fire Stix and long rolls of SweetTarts were the hot item. The Children’s Theater was a haven for weird kids like me, though it had its own brutal pecking order. I loved the Secret Garden, especially after I read “The Secret Garden”. I would check out huge stacks of books from the Children’s Library. My mom made me start making lists after I ended up owing lots of $ in overdue fees. They would have a summer reading program where you had to read something like 5 or 10 books, and you got a sticker or a jewel for each book. I remember checking out 15 books at a time, and bringing them back in a week, and checking out 15 more, week after week. They stopped giving me the jewels pretty quickly. But they had a lot of good books! My dad was a chemist and brought home articifial flavoring oils and we tried to make homemade Fire Stix. Not a success. We liked the lemonade that we made with artificial lemon oil, citric acid, sugar, and water — which was crazy because we had a prolific Meyer lemon tree in the yard! We also gathered carob pods from a tree on Greer and tried to make brownies with them. Also not so good. Our nextdoor neighbor had a waterbed which was of course the most amazing thing. She and her sister babysat us sometimes. They were big on sand candles, macrame, and stained glass. They would give us homemade brownies with chocolate milk that tasted so much better when we drank it through their treasured Crazy Straw. One winter it snowed and we tried to scrape together enough to make a snowman, though the gender was somewhat dubious. That reminds me of a Halloween when I dressed in a mixture of stereotypically men’s and women’s clothing (hiking boots, a tutu, a Mounties hat, not sure what else) and went from house to house with my father. Each neighbor asked, “And what are you?” and I proudly replied, “I’m a boygirl!” Other years I moved on to characters like Daniel Stripey Tiger, a Tyannosaurus Rex, and a skeleton with glow-in-the-dark bones. Everyone in my family took guitar lessons from Carol McComb at Gryphon who was a cultural icon for my family. And my parents got together with a bunch of friends for guitar-and-yoga potlucks while all us kids ran around the yard. We would drive to the orchards in the south peninsula and pick up the windfall apricots for free, then take them home and dry them on our roof. We made apricot leather by drying apricot puree on pieces of plastic wrap. It was so difficult to peel off — but it had a great crystallized sugary texture. National Velvet was a major book and movie in our neighborhood. My sister and I got so excited when one summer we signed up for horseback riding lessons up in the Stanford hills. But the majority of the time we spent picking up trash in the hot August sun, finally we got to brush the horses, and then one day, finally, we rode them for about 10 minutes inside some circular corral, and it was amazing. At Garland Elementary we had a fundraising carnival. I baked a yellow cake for the cakewalk — which was sort of like musical chairs — and then I won someone else’s: bigger, with chocolate frosting — and became a cakewalk convert right there. They also had a machine for making cotton candy which seemed to me like the one thing you needed for true happiness in life. There was also a dunking tank and Go Fish and maybe we had a parade? One year at Garland they held mini-courses where parents came in and taught something special, like how to bake cookies, or tasty foods from Scandinavia, or cooking with a solar oven (I remember everything that involved food). Oh! We took a field trip to Duveneck Ranch where a counselor sang the classic song “Evaporation, Condensation, Precipitation” over and over and over… which we turned into a song about masturbation and ejaculation (I forget the third word we used). And the classes at the Junior Museum: Japanese brush-painting, and ceramics, and copper enamel! We went to some day camp at Foothill park where we made beads from unbaked clay and painted them with acrylic paint that I can still smell. I LOVED the Art Thing Wing Ding at the Cultural Center too. I was very proud of a presentation I did for it on phonetic alphabets. Yes. That was me back then. And someone came up and started telling me why Esperanto was a utopian dream. And we made jigsaw puzzles from styrofoam cut with a hot wire… A bunch of us went backpacking with the Lindbergs — a husband and wife, both school teachers (I think) — who made yearly trips into the Desolation Wilderness. I remember that a hypnotist came and gave a demonstration in Shirley Zimmerman’s 8th grade English class, and that I immediately picked up the principles of hypnotism from his presentation, and started hypnotizing the kids I was babysitting, and the people in my tent in the Desolation Wilderness, and myself at the dentist’s office. That was pretty exciting. I remember Mrs. Zimmerman saying to me, “I think it’s so easy for you because you already know how to move though many states of awareness.” I don’t know if she did this every year and it was a piece of theater, or if it only happened once… it’s really hard to know: she would introduce us to new words, such as “lurid” (a clear favorite for her), or “extrovert”, or “irony”. When she taught us “irony”, she had a hugely emotional moment when she revealed that irony was “when your husband the promising cardiac doctor suddenly dropped dead of a heart attack!” She was FURIOUSLY ANGRY. And then the moment was over and we moved on to the next word… She and I played ragtime together for some fundraising event for Jordan middle school — some kind of casino night for the parents. She was a brilliant pianist and loved to play ragtime like it was a racing event. She got there first. I almost tore pages out of my well-worn Dover book of Classic Rags trying to keep up with her. Actually, I just played from that book for a big party given for homeless families in San Francisco, and came across several pages with a chunk torn out of the top. I’m sure the damage dates back to Mrs. Zimmerman. Speaking of amazing pianists, then there is Kathy Fujikawa whom I first encountered at Green Gables when she was teaching “Chorale” with Ms. Vogel (who was a rather butch lesbian fond of the song “Spurs That Jingle Jangle Jingle”, in retrospect she reminds me a little of Meg Christian). We sang so many awful songs — I don’t know how Mrs Fujikawa survived it… Then she moved on to Jordan, and I studied with her there too, and finally she established her great legacy at Paly with the chorus, Madrigals, Spectrum, music theory classes, Honor Choirs, musicals, and so much more. What an amazing woman… there is so much I could say about her that I won’t even try — I’ll just say that she had a profound influence on my life. I can’t stop! Now I’m thinking of Miss Macnamara the Latin teacher who with her sidekick Mrs. Evans had one goal in life: to teach middle-school students how to outline. She took us to some all-state Latin Festival somewhere in Southern California where I had to give a presentation on a passage from Ovid that I didn’t really understand. Then there was an “orgy” (titter titter) where half the attendees where slaves and the others lay about in togas being fed grapes and asking the slaves to pass notes. And there was Mrs. Mitchell (?)… I’m forgetting her name… she was in charge of collecting the attendance sheets at Jordan. She adopted particularly troubled students and had them help collect the sheets from all the classes. I had some kind of breakdown in 8th grade where the shop teacher and I went head-to-head. Hooray! I got to skip shop class and instead spent one period with her reading old plays and other school textbooks that she also kept organized. She was such a lovely, kind, and thoughful person. That time with her was so accepting and quiet and low-pressure… I will always be grateful for the care she gave to me. I remember the intense social anxiety at Jordan and Paly. So painful! Especially since I was a gay nerd… though I found a group of wonderful friends. I remember as part of my coming-out process I joined the No on 64 campaign (against LaRouche’s proposal to quarantine HIV+ people), and did a report on it for social studies in 10th grade. And three of us got the administration to let us make AIDS-education presentations where we talked about sex and condoms. On Tuesday nights, I started riding my bike to the Firehouse at Stanford, where they had the Gay & Lesbian Alliance, pretend to be a Stanford student, and go to their public events. I was so scared that I could hardly talk to anyone there, but I kept going. I took ballet and tap classes as the only boy in a dance studio run by a friend of the family named Ronna Kelly. Ronna was great. I’m sure she knew I was gay long before I did. She introduced me to all sorts of classical music, got me interested in studying the piano, and lent me hilarious recordings by Anna Russell. She had polio as a child and had recovered her mobility by studying dance. Unfortunately her studio had a cement floor, so we all probably damaged our knees and hips for life. Probably it’s just as well that I never learned to dance on toe, though it was my dream to do this and join the Ballets Trockadero whom I’d heard about but not actually seen. When I hit adolescence Ronna made it clear that it was time for me to study dance somewhere else. I went down the street to Zohar and lasted maybe six months before I quit. Probably I was too scared to be in a dance studio where there were other guys and we were all changing our clothes. There was one guy, probably in his early 20′s, who started walking part of the way home with me and getting to know me until he found out that I was 15. I was a very early bloomer, but totally scared of my changing desires and very short on social skills. I remember studying piano with Ardis Wodehouse, who also taught at Stanford and specialized in transcribing piano rolls of Gershwin and other early century greats. Then I studied with a wonderful character who played rehearsal piano for the Children’s Theater… was her name Jane Smith? Her daughter was a cabaret singer named Julie Valentine, whom I liked because she sang songs by people like Kate Bush. And finally I worked with a Trotskyite and ex-carpenter concert pianist named Sara Doniach who lived in a beautiful old Victorian house downtown. At some point she let me house-sit for her — I think it was when she went off to work for the revolution in Nicaragua — and I invited all these friends from out of state to come and stay with me, and we took over her house with the exception of the part occupied by her Stanford-film-student tenant. I don’t know what I was thinking, but Sara didn’t give me a hard time for it at all. My main job was to water and deadhead her beloved flower garden, which I did frantically in one afternoon just before she returned. I remember that I left Palo Alto pretty angry though it’s hard to say exactly why now. My time at Paly was really hard, and I made up for that in my mind by thinking of myself as a specially gifted person: I was one of the best & brightest at special high school in a special town… When I started encountering a larger world where maybe I wasn’t so special after all, maybe I wanted to blame Palo Alto for its part in encouraging this attitude. It’s taken me a while to appreciate the place again, though my folks still live there in the same Eichler (with very few structural improvements). I love it when I turn the corner from Greer onto Elsinore and feel like I’m suddenly underwater with the branches of the elm trees moving like seaweed in the ocean. It’s got to be one of the loveliest streets in town. My folks’ street is nice too and has many of the original Eichlers, still inhabited by some of the people I grew up with. I’d say that most of them are unpretentious folks, and I hope that there still are lots more like them in the rest of the town.
Aha! I don’t remember her last name, but the woman who looked after me at Jordan was named Jeannette… Amazing how all this comes back, especially if you’re bored at work on the day after Christmas and regretting that you didn’t take the day off…
My goodness… I saw a note in this blog written by the first girl I ever fell for, and learning that she had a crush on another guy who was one of my friends. This was in 1956-57, Miss McKenzie’s first grade class at Ohlones Elementary School. She and I were the class student council representatives. I remember student council meetings in the office of the principal, Mr. Tankersley. I remember Greenmeadow, where my family moved to as orignal residents. I know also that my parents paid $23,500 for a four bedroom, two bath Eichler there. I remember Adobe Creek overflowing during a huge rain in about 1956. A small plain cheese pizza for 50 cents at the delicatessen in Charleston Center. Lover’s Lane messages chalked on the fences in the bridge passageway from Creekside Drive to Ely Place on the way to Ohlones. I remember the first 4th of July parade at Greenmeadow Park, as well as the Greenmeadow swimming pool. There was a hamburger and milkshake place, Hal’s’ that was on the corner of Middlefield and San Antonio, where the Toyota dealer is. Both these roads were two lane streets. What a place to grow up!
Ditto to everything “nostalgic” wrote on 10/20/06!! I lived across the street from you on Crescent Drive & despite the distance in miles now, we’re still BFF! BTW, you’re from Crescent Park, not Charleston Meadows area. I moved from Menlo Park to PA in 4th grade, 1970, & lived in the area until 1989 but visit frequently. Memories… Anyway, CRESCENT PARK!!! Does anyone remember Mr. “T” (Takamoto) our Math teacher & coach? (That’s “Mr. T” before the “A-Team” was on tv). Also, Mr. Campbell for 6th grade? He permanently killed any interest I may have had in sci-fi with his weird book readings & Star Trek shirts. Seems everyone remembers the Rapp’s Shoe Store myna bird. I loved it imitating the buses taking off in front of the store. Vroom! Riding my bike everywhere. Riding my bike in 5th grade to Stanford Shopping Center to blow my allowance at Norney’s or get lunch at La Fromage (I felt tres chic). It was a different world then! Peninsula Creamery milk in glass containers, delivered to a metal & styrofoam container on our side porch. Being a bit disenchanted with the cottage cheese the milkman left us instead of the chocolate milk I KNEW I’d ordered. The Caramel Corn Store on University where I got a huge caramel apple right after my braces came off! I also got a warning from a policeman not to ride my bike on the sidewalk. Bike lanes were new. The dark room in my basement. Developing film with my dad & later a good friend. Swenson’s Ice Cream store & its balcony hang out. Paly’s Wall. Great place to hang, nerve-racking to walk past. Oh, the insecurities of youth! Liddicott’s Grocery Store opened on University. It was a food court & a very novel idea at the time. I had my first Lumpia, a Philippine version of a spring-roll. I thought it was such a novelty & that I was very cosmopolitan. The fabulous snow day of 1976 and I was in 8th grade at Castilleja–yah, from 7th-9th grade–then Paly! Having to wear the Castilleja uniform midi & skirt while riding my bike to & from school in the winter. Trying to stay warm & not have the pleated skirt fly up when riding my bike. Wishing I were at Paly & could wear normal clothes. Ladera Oaks Swim & Tennis Club. Learning to swim while watching Mark Spitz work out. Blums for lunch & sundaes with my grandmother. Dressing up for Mings Chinese restaurant when my grandparents visited. My grandfather making everyone eat with chopsticks, except for my grandmother & mom. An old boyfriend wanting to dine-&-ditch at Mings. I didn’t. I. Magnin’s pre-teen department & trying on furs in the women’s department—before PETA. The yummy Eddies at T&C and their famous black licorice ice cream and their lollipops in a jar on the counter that looked like stained-glass flowers. Sitting on Santa’s lap at the old Emporium & getting my favorite taffy candy afterward. One year, wondering why Santa had acne. Seeing all the special Christmas displays with moving figurines at the mall was magical. Oh!!! The pony rides at T&C!! No one mentioned them. I’d always go with a friend to ride them when they were there. In summers, T&C also had a mini-circus in a tent in their parking lot. I think it was the late 60′s to early 70′s. Except when the VA Hospital released the crazies on weekends…No homeless people on University Ave., lots in Whiskey Gulch. Whiskey Gulch–wow did that ever clean up–who knew?! Skinny dipping at Felt Lake & hoping no one stole your clothes. Swimming in the summers at Lake Laguanita. Bonfires there in the fall. Playing outside all day in the summer until we straggled in around 10-11pm. Happy we didn’t need “play-dates” then. No one knew where we were, but assumed we were safe. How carefree (for moms too)! Crescent Drive hide-and-go-seek games played even when we were beginning college!!! A friend & I hid in the bushes & saw a man hiding in the same bushes–yikes–he robbed our neighbor that night! TPing & door-bell ditch. Turning off the main power switch on a neighbor’s house. They had lots of cute guys in that family. What was with having their switch on the outside of their house? I’m sure that wasn’t up to any code. Basketball in the driveway under the lights until 10pm lights out! Halloween haunted houses including sliding down basement steps on mattresses. Landing in a pile in the basement & getting scared by people in masks jumping out at you. Someone broke their arm—no one was sued! Creek-walking in the San Francisquito Creek behind our house. Toads (they weren’t frogs everyone) hopping every inch over our back lawn. Picking blackberries from the creek sides until my hands both bled & were stained purple. Blackberry homemade icecream or pie. One Easter Sunday during our family BBQ, my cousins & I found a dead guy in the creek just behind our house. Made my Dad’s movies! Stapleton’s Florist. Flowers, corsages & boutineers–do people do that anymore? Sailing lessons at the Palo Alto Yacht Harbor. Getting my El Toro got stuck in the bay mud. Sinking, forever sinking, in the stinky muck. The smells. Going to the dump on Saturdays and checking out the ring-neck pheasants living there. Watching fireworks from towns all over the Bay while on a hill at the dump/baylands area. Learning about salt marshes at the Baylands. Watching the old local tv shows: The Friendly Giant, Captain Satellite (who looked like the Dialing-for-Dollars guy), and Creature Features monster flicks on Saturday mornings. Fake IDs that fooled no one, but you never got busted. Different times, indeed! The stupid droughts in the 70′s. Military showers, the new evils of low-flow, and various unpleasantries & annoyances. Buying 25# blocks of ice from 7-11 & ice-sliding down the hills of Palo Alto Hills Golf Course–at night or when no one will yell at you. Hey, we kept to the fairways–never on the greens. Playing “goker” also on Palo Alto Hills Golf Course but during the pouring rain. It was a mix of soccer played with a golf ball with serious mud always ending in the pond. Great fun! The University Club. I met my future husband there when I was 15! We’ve been married 23 years! Rosatti’s (no one called it the Alpine Inn). Stanford stadium. Stanford football game season tickets–family end zone–from age 4 through 18 & all the tailgate parties. Running track for Paly there. Paly’s Key Club & volunteering to work the student gate at the Stanford football games. Checking out the college guys who wouldn’t give a high school girl the time of day! Braids, war paint, red feathers in the hair…when Stanford was The Indians, not a color. OK, after Stanfurd changed from the Indians to a color, I went Blue & Gold–Go Bears!! Remembering when the Old Mill was new. Roller skates with metal wheels that would vibrate your feet to sleep. Skateboarding while running the dog to Eleanor Park. Maybe a few wipeouts if my dog encountered cats or squirrels. Picking mistletoe from the oak trees in the hills and selling it at Christmas time. OK, we were desperate & we had no $ for Christmas gifts. Could have been a great idea, but we didn’t offer freebies or free-trials, so we lost some business in a key market–though not the market we were anticipating. High school girls, mistletoe=guys…no, make that naive high school girls & horney old men… ‘nuf said. We gave up & sold it all to a local pharmacy! The weird antique store on the corner of El Camino & Embarcadero/Page Mill was Polly & Jake’s. My mom took me there when I was really young. “Don’t touch anything!” It was like an old lady’s garage sale–a whole lot of nothing except very dusty chipped breakables. For years, & years, & years we bet when they’d actually paint the place. We all lost–no one bet 20+ years! We were all too optimistic. It always looked creepy. Dick Gould tennis clinics at Rinconada Park & Stanford. I wish now I took them seriously. Cutting spring classes & going to the beach. Now, that was great. Beach parties. The mean Paly English teacher in the late 70′s/early 80′s was Mr. Bergstrom & he was snarly. He had some old “cool” car he liked to drag race so he’d let guys check out the car during break. Otherwise, he was mean. My favorite teacher was Mr. Neff, the jolly English teacher. We kept in touch until he died a few years back. Not everyone liked him, but he was the most influential teacher in my life and really made me work toward my best. Putting on my Pjs with the feet, piling into our station wagon, & going to A&W for dinner. The real roller-skating car-hop service was such a treat when I was 5–then off to bed! Same PJ routine at the Moffit Drive-In. Years later at the Moffit Drive-In, and not with my parents, seeing how many people and how much beer we could fit into the trunk without being caught—an alternative was steaming up a few windows. Hubbard & Johnson Lumberyard gumball machines. Chewing gum & hiding while my dad seeks after he’s done shopping. Hiding in cabinets and jumping out at the unsuspecting shoppers. Riding my bike from the Baylands, to the Stanford Shopping Center, up Sandhill Road, along Portola & flying down Alpine. “The loop.” Sunset Magazine. Wow.
Thanks for those memories – lived on Greer Road from 1957 – 1963 then into Los Altos Hills. What was the name of the shoe store at Stanford that had a cage of monkeys? Maybe it was Rapps before they got the mynah. Does anybody else remember studying Muqiyayo in 5th or 6th grade social studies? And does anybody know what became of Miss Sprague who taught first and second at Palo Verde in the mid-fifties but seems to have moved to another school later?
Fantastic memories. Born and raised in Palo Alto, 1977-1994. Foothill College daycare, Friend’s Nursery School, Palo Verde Elementary, JLS, Paly. *Bergmann’s (buying toys and presents, love free gift wrap) *Co-Op Market (inside during the 1989 earthquake) *Baskin Robbins in Midtown (free cone on bday) *Midtown Pharmacy (all $ to candy) *California Avenue Pharmacy (w/ hair salon inside) *Printer’s Ink and coffee shop *Snack bar at Rinconada Pool *Riding bikes over Oregon Expwy overpass *The wooden paths/bridges at the Baylands *Winter Lodge ice skating *Paly lunches at T&C *Getting teary when I drive past the house I grew up in which my dad sold after I left for college. Live in Southern California now but Palo Altan forever.
In no particular chronological order… Ice cream sandwiches and popsicles from Pier’s Dairy on Louis Rd in the 70′s. I can still smell the inside of their little storefront…smelled like cardboard and milk. New jeans (stiffer than cardboard) from Bergmann’s, followed by lunch at the the cafe. Perusing the 2nd floor toy section at Bergmann’s for HOURS at a time, with not a penny to my name. And always wondering who the hell those old ladies getting their hair done in the back were. Getting a free stuffed “Crocker Spaniel” dog when opening my first savings account at Crocker Bank. My Mercury News paper route and the poor guy on Moreno Ave. whose fence post would fall over if I hit it with the paper. I “accidentally” hit it every day. “Working” at the Palo Alto Square Theater in high school, which consisted of eating popcorn, smoking on the roof, playing broom baseball in the lobby, and hurling full cups of soda at each other (“Coke Wars”) while cleaning the theaters in between showings. Getting benched by Ms. Winn at Los Ninos Elementary School, before it got booted to make room for progressive, new agey school, Ohlone. Chatting up the janitor, Joe Odom, also at Los Ninos, and never understanding a single word he said. Vaughn, who worked at Century Liquors for years, who used to give me free Tootsie Rolls whenever I came in with my Dad (always buying a sixer of those old torpedo shaped Buds). Working at Rainbow Records and watching the LP section grow smaller and smaller, until all we had were CDs and tapes. Getting dropped off at the Old Mill to see movies, lurk in the t-shirt shop, and buy fist-sized jawbreakers at the candy store. Getting verbally abused by Lee, owner of Lee’s Comics over in the Alma Plaza. Am convinced to this day that the Comic Book Guy in the Simpsons is based on him. Crossing the bridge on University and trying to get bums in East Palo Alto to buy us beer and getting ripped off by 95% of them. Paying 50 cents to use the pool at Jordan during the summer. Lusting after the blonde Cheryl Tiegs lookalike lifeguard at Riconada Pool…hanging from the wall right in front of her stand for HOURS at a time. Hoping to get invited to parties at the Eichler Swim & Tennis club. My parents always claimed we weren’t members because of the “waiting list”. Um, not. It was actually called the “cheap list”. Never ever hitting one out of the Little League field on Middlefield. Seeing the midnight Rocky Horror Picture show at the Varsity Theater and being completely weirded out by the entire experience. Being a hasher at Wilbur Hall at Stanford one summer and smelling like a cafeteria for 3 straight months. Noticing that every Dad in Palo Alto had a beard until the mid-80′s, years after they’d gone out of fashion. The Marion Ave. 4th of July block party and lusting after Kathleen Hanley and her dolphin shorts. Amassing probably 20 bike citations for riding my bike at night without a light. (Sorry, Dad, but that generator light you installed was just plain cruel. See “cheap list” above.) And even as a kid thinking, “Wow, Palo Alto must be the only city in America dorky and boring enough to give tickets to bicyclists without lights.” Mr. Christine, the shop teacher at JLS, horrifying all of us on the last day of school with his Vegas lounge style whistling performance. Being freaked out by the teenagers standing on the sidewalk, smoking, in front of MidPen, the scary continuation school. Bravely calling Mr. Bergstrom “Mr. Hand” during class one day, only to have him laugh and agree that yes, he loved Mr. Hand from Fast Times At Ridgemont High, and would I mind if he called me Spicoli? Always wondering why the Midtown Pharmacy had this big glass container of candied nuts, and who the hell actually bought them. The early 80′s, when video games were so huge, that every store in town had to get one, including the Arco station on Middlefield which had a cashier room so small, I’m still not sure how they got that machine in there…and who actually played it. And, of course, always thinking that Bill Giordano was a creep even when I was in 7th grade, and then having to find out 20+ years later that he was indeed the statutory rapist we all knew he was.
Miss Sprague came to Walter Hays around 1963 – 1964. It was the end of an era when we lost Printer’s Inc., Stacey’s and Calfornia Avenue Pharmacy. I still have bookmarks from the two book stores. California Avenue just isn’t the same without the pharmacy.
Heidleberg beerbar on El Camino Louis Meier’s Flying A gas station at El Camino and Arastradero Andre’s L’Omelette (“L’Ommie’s) Cabana Hotel statues Dinah’s Shack,where Goodwill now is East Bayshore frontage road NOT being a through road betwween San Antonio and Embarcadero San Antonio Rd crossing the Espee tracks at grade (no overpass) Being in the PA Airport tower after it closed for the night and watching a movie of Bob Hoover putting an Aero Commander through an eight-point roll. Being next tothe tracks at the California Avenue RR station about 10 pm when the Lark came through at speed on its way from San Francisco to LA. The Dumbarton Bridge approaches being flooded by winter storms. Town and Gown Bookstore in downtown. Zack’s Electronic store selling Heathkits. Dinners at St. Michael’s Alley on University Avenie. Picking up catalog items Montgomery Wards’ store by Litton Plaza. S. Christian of Copenhagen at Town and Country. Peninsula Scientific at California and El Camino, later over by the RR tracks near the other end of California. Norge Cleaning Village laundromat and cleaners on California Avenue. Living on El Dorado Avenue and using the Maximart sign as a nighttime landmark to know where to turn off Alma — and missing my turn one night when the sign was turned off. Bob Coombes Mobil Station at the SW corner of Page Mill and El Camino. Horses in the field at the SE corner of Page Mill and El Camino, where Palo Alto Square now is. Polly and Jake’s at the NE corner of PageMill and El Camino. The RR track to Los Altos and beyond crossing El Camino at grade between McDonald’s and Fish Market. Staying in the Cal Hotel while my car was being repaired. Western Audio Imports The underground crossing in front of Mayfield School on El Camino. Shockley Transistor at Foothill and Page Mill. Lee DeForest’s house in downtown.
I worked at the Palo Alto Drive-in when I was in high school. remember the huge bulky screen? The manager lived in it. There was actually a house in it. As a kid I remember going to the drive-in in my pj’s playing in the playground and then falling asleep watching the movie.
Wow, this is amazing. I’m so glad I found this! I was in Palo Alto from the time I was 5 (1966) until 1972. What do I remember…? Peninsula Creamery and watching them make my milkshake. Swimming at Rinconada and letting my Nestle’s crunch melt in the sun. The drive-thru Feed & Fuel store… and the wonderful smell of hay and bunny food. Swenson’s Ice Cream and eating cones on the balcony! Tuesday movies at Stanford (?) theater on University in the summer time. Riding bikes to Stanford shopping center. Exploring the university campus (and eating at the cafeteria). The carmel corn store next door to See’s Candy. How about this…My-O-My disco!
Growing up on Stelling Drive (by Piers Dairy) and playing baseball all summer long with my pals Roger W, Greg K, and Tripp S in the 1950s. We played on the street and used the trees the city put in as “bases”. Later on August 13th, 1993 after the 4 of us all went our separate ways getting together at Candlestick to watch the Giants and Reds (the photos of the four of us at the game has a prominent place in my office). Speaking of Piers, my mom sold her first car (a black 48 Ford) to a guy at Piers in trade for $50 of milk! Swimming at Rinconada all day long for 15 cents…and playing “Marco Polo” in the pool. (My wife grew up in New Jersey and never heard of Marco Polo!) Somebody mentioned the PA “dump” yes it did have great “treasures”. I bonded with my dad on those Saturday trips to the dump! Getting the Greyhound bus downtown and riding it to Candlestick for nite games and sitting in the old 90 cent bleachers with all it splinters. Those under 50 have a tough time imagining 90 cent bleachers at Candlestick! The Variety Store on Colorado was heaven on earth…some many neat “model” airplanes and cars to build…so little money back then! De Anza school and Mr. Tasso’s great 6th grade project in April 1961 when we created our own TV “set” with lights and sound and scripts…what a project…I know our parents were impressed the nite they were invited and it was “lights, action, cameras”! Mr. Tasso “awarded” four of us who got 100% on Friday spelling tests EVERY week for the school year (6th grade?) with a Saturday riding horses at his “ranch” in Los Altos. My first ride on a horse.. Hitting baseballs (actually tennis balls)with Roger and Greg and Tripp over the classrooms at DeAnza and avoiding hitting the windows! We built a mural about 1958 at De Anza of the explorer and each student got to place a piece in it…what a shame the school is gone and condos are there now. Even though I live in Phoenix now, it’s great to come “home” to Palo Alto, the greatest place anywhere to get a secondary education–at least in the 50s and 60s! See you at the Cubberley ’67 reunuion
The old Victorian house that sold candles and such was East Farthing Trading Company at 616 Cowper. It was the first head shop on the Peninsula (paraphernalia, etc.) It became a commune after the owner killed himself, and the fire chief, Dewey Jacques (?!?) had it condemned and torn down (I have pictures) to get rid of the “hippies”. It is now the exit from the Wells Fargo Bank parking lot.
The old Victorian house that sold candles and such was East Farthing Trading Company at 616 Cowper. It was the first head shop on the Peninsula (paraphernalia, etc.) It became a commune after the owner killed himself, and the fire chief, Dewey Jacques (?!?) had it condemned and torn down (I have pictures) to get rid of the “hippies”. It is now the exit from the Wells Fargo Bank parking lot.
The old Victorian house that sold candles and such was East Farthing Trading Company at 616 Cowper. It was the first head shop on the Peninsula (paraphernalia, etc.) It became a commune after the owner killed himself, and the fire chief, Dewey Jacques (?!?) had it condemned and torn down (I have pictures) to get rid of the “hippies”. It is now the exit from the Wells Fargo Bank parking lot.
The old Victorian house that sold candles and such was East Farthing Trading Company at 616 Cowper. It was the first head shop on the Peninsula (paraphernalia, etc.) It became a commune after the owner killed himself, and the fire chief, Dewey Jacques (?!?) had it condemned and torn down (I have pictures) to get rid of the “hippies”. It is now the exit from the Wells Fargo Bank parking lot.
Who knew that each time I hit “submit”, it would blink and post?!? I thought it just had some sort of tic! Actually, I lived on Amarillo, the first Eichler finished there in 1951, near the old drive-in. I went to Elizabeth Van Auken for kindergarten, and there were fields everywhere. We could see to San Antonio. Later I lived downtown, at East Farthing on Cowper, at 334 High St., 725 Homer, 3050 Southcourt 2125 Byron, and 985 Oregon Ave. Remember when Joe Greer used to drive his hay wagon around Town & Country Village to take kids for rides while their parents shopped? Getting into the Stanford Theater on Saturdays with Coca Cola (or was it Seven-Up?) bottle caps and a quarter.
Ming’s was on El Camino, at Los Robles in the 50′s, then I believe Rudolfo’s took over. How about the Channing Market, near Cowper? Mama’s on University for music in the 70′s. Homer’s Warehouse to see Stoneground or Sons of Champlin. Joan Baez living on “The Land” up in the hills. Seeing the improvisational theater at The Tangent (later to become the Free University). Getting dressed up to go to Frost Amphitheater and sit on chairs to see The Limelighters. Wearing white gloves to lunch at Blum’s. India Imports at Town & Country Village (and good old Stckney’s) The blue-haired (older) waitresses at the Palo Alto Creamery. Eating as a treat at one of the many choices at the Stanford Barn, attending the opening of the North Face there and seeing the Steve Miller Band perform (1967?). Marquard’s drive-in. Cokes and fries at Woodland’s, in front of the Emporium. The real monkeys in the window cage outside a shoe store at Stanford Shopping Center, with a bench for the kiddies. Those were the days when a mother could leave her kids while she shopped, and 1) they would generally behave, and 2) no one would steal them.
NATIVE BORN! P.A. Old hosp. on el camino. You all know that, on end shoe box with the pointed redish roof. Its still there! Grew up on waverly st. Tel.# Davenport, DA324XXXX Went to Herbert Hoover, Wilber,Paley 65,66 Grad from cubberly 67 (67 reunion,thats how i found this link) Im still 2 miles from cubberly! All that good read, its all true, I saw it all! some things left out, It snowed in 63 boy scout troop 48, The May pole in the park, the night El carmlo school blew up! Working at the penn. creamery foutain, Makeing ice cream and milk. Hi Diane Huber! Wheres Fred+Pat ?
Ed, Homer’s Warehouse was at 79 Homer Ave, which is where the PA Clinic is now. Remember all those warehouses on the west side of the tracks, just south of the Holiday Inn (now the Sheraton), which just happened to be the site of the old City yard? These are the bands from the two posters I have left from Homer’s: Nick Gravenitis and Luther Tucker, Sons of Champlin and Charos Chorus, Quickfield, Stoneground, Rowan Bros. and Bob Banks and the Gas Tanks. If I saw Blue Mountain, for some reason, I can’t remember!
Tidy Town Laundry on High St. – a meeting place for the neighborhood. I want to thank everyone for not blasting my over-use of the submit button.
Does anyone remember the small train that ran around the Town and Country Village parking lot? My dad told me that they discontinued it when someone was accidentally killed by it. Also, yes, those 15 cent cheeseburgers at Rincanada, what a deal! My favorite was the brunch at Wilbur Junior High. Sliced sourdough French bread – with tons of butter – only a dime. Andy
Jessica, The shoe store at Stanford with the monkeys was Sommer & Kaufman (sp?). I think Rapp’s was always on University. Where is Roxy Rapp when you need him?
Wow- Blast from the past- i worked for Roxy as a kid and he was great to me, UNTIL I got his youngest daughter STONED! LOL
Wow- “”Some of the really good athletes in little league and Babe Ruth who just seemed larger than life to this very average player (Paul Kraft, Jorge Macareno, Tony(?) Mouton, John Erlich, Clarence Hamel, the Brewer brothers, just to name a few).”" You brought back some memories here… Paul Kraft and I go WAY back!! I remember when Jorge Macareno cam from Cuba not knowing a word of English to my class at El Carmello!! What ever happened to mark Rodriguez?
I’m back for a few days….man how things have changed! Not unexpected, but strange to see in person. Since when did they block off the creeks? I spent half my childhood afternoons walking along the banks of Matadero and the other creeks, or right in the creekbeds. Not all of them had concrete lining, either. We used to scare each other by talking about flash floods and how we’d have to run up the concrete sides of the creek to save our lives. We also collected tadpoles, a few of whom lived to become frogs no thanks to us. Now it’s all blocked off with wire gates and No Trespassing signs. – Jessica
Jim, Any idea what Paul K. is up to these days? If you’re still in touch with him, tell him his good-field, no-hit first baseman from Rogge’s Auto Wrecking (circa 1976) said hi. It wasn’t a lot of fun to step into the batter’s box when Jorge M. was on the mound (only 45 feet away in Little League), but I remember him as a good guy from our time at Our Lady of the Rosary. Ken
This is great. OK… Tony’s Bike Shop… Back there behind the Island Food and Grog near the old A&W. I think condos now. Yeah, it was my first job. The resi at Gunn… I think Tuffy Wheels where in style. Yep, I had the Tiger and my bud had the Panda frame. Riding bikes down the tunnel that runs under Los Robles to El Camino from Laguna. Feeding that first damn Mickey donkey carrots and apples. Finger Thump Sperry (Gunn Bio) and that wench Mrs. Glass… Oh she didn’t like kids. Hey, who else still has the nightmares of forgetting to go to class and wondering around the cement water fountains near ‘center-quad.’
I grew up in Palo Alto (moved there in 1958) but have lived elsewhere for my entire adult life. When I go back I feel sad because it’s changed so much; there’s “no there there” for me in so many ways. But the memories remain. The posts by others have reminded me of much that I now realize I had forgotten. Things that are particularly vivid at this moment: Green Gables School, which had no gables and eventually was renamed Duveneck. My most memorable teacher was a Dr. Roland Jones (sixth grade), who read us poetry by Vachel Lindsay (“The Congo”) and occasionally told off-color jokes that would land a teacher in very hot water today. Jordan Junior High, where early in the seventh grade I realized to my horror that I never would be a part of the “popular crowd.” Still, I have fond memories of teachers like the late Mrs. MacMitchell (science), Mr. Thorup (biology), Miss Kintz (math), Mr. Moore (U.S. history), and Diane Mallory (Spanish). Of course I also remember those scary shop teachers. Surely they were good men, but to an eighth grader with no aptitude for industrial arts those classes were the most traumatic and difficult of my entire scholastic career. The vice-principal Dan Stone was a real character. Other memories, some of which have been mentioned by others: Reading comic books while ingesting mass quantities of candy at the Edgewood Pharmacy. That wonderful picnic table! The comics were indeed just a come-on to encourage kids to spend their allowances on sugary snacks. The Varsity Theater, where my most memorable experience was an ill-fated 1959 double bill featuring Disney’s “Darby O’Gill and the Little People” inappropriately coupled with a low-budget sci-fi horror flick called “First Man Into Space.” I had nightmares for weeks afterward. Trampoline centers, yo-yo’s, and hula-hoops. Fads! Playing Indian ball or “over the line” on the many expansive, grassy fields at Palo Alto schools. We actually called one another on the phone, rode our bikes to the field, chose up teams and played ball for hours with NO parental supervision at all. Today, this would be absolutely unheard of. Buying huge bags of “air-popt” popcorn for a dime at Woolworth’s. By sixth grade making regular pilgrimages to the Town and Country Music Center, where I purchased my first 45 rpm. records (I wish I still had them!) I also would pick up the KEWB “top forty” pamphlet every week. Longhorn handle bars on bikes, and the advent of the ten-speed. Those frosty mugs at the A & W Drive-In on Middlefield. Also taking my allowance money (what was left after the candy fest at Edgewood) to the Midtown Toy World. Surfers vs. Greasers. That’s enough for now. Probably more some other time!
I love this site! I’m not even done reading it all, but have to jump in right now ‘cuz I just read the tid-bit from Patricia Harrold on 6/22/07. I, too, worked at East Farthing Trading Company when Steve and Patty (can’t remember last name, either) owned it…I remember your sister up in the tower room! I sold tickets to all the SF concerts and made beaded items. Jerry Garcia worked at Dana Morgan’s music Store in the mid-60′s…I took lesson’s from him, at first…then baby-sat for his daughter, Heather, while the band (the Warlock’s) practiced…then started hanging out on Sundays at Dana Morgan’s to watch the Warlock’s practice…this was when Dana was the bass player. They’d send me for lemonade and donut’s to (I want to call it-) Brewer’s— Does anyone remember Brewers? Or am I getting the name wrong? I have a huge list of old Palo Alto stuff which I will get on here soon, but have to finish reading it all the way to the end, first. THANKS to the person who started this!
First off- I put my neighborhood as Old PA ‘cuz I lived all over PA through the years: born in the Old Stanford Hospital while our family lived on Palo Alto Ave. by “the creek”; then lived for awhile on Arastadero (sp?) Rd.; moved to Wash. State for a couple years- then back to PA and a brand NEW Eichler on Scripps Ave. in Greenmeadow for a few years; then back to Wash. State; again- moved BACK to PA and lived on Seneca St. right off Forest…in ’69 I moved back to Wash. State and have been here ever since. I think of Palo Alto so often- I remember growing up there as the classic child-hood…so safe and free and happy. I also lucked-out in that I was at “the right place at the right time”, so got to experience the Bay Area music scene from its inception, as well as the very beginning of the HaightAshbury when it was just blooming. I will write more later…I hope to connect with a few old timers who may remember me~ altho, I may not remember them right off the bat!!! And I have a long list of Palo Alto places and things to post as well…but can’t sit any longer…sunshine beckons and when that happens in February (in Wash. State), one goes OUTSIDE!
Let’s start with the Candy n comics thing at Edgewood Pharmacy that my brother mentioned. That was so cool. He also mentioned the record store at Town and Country; he forgot to note that they had listening booths so you could hear an LP before you bought it. I remember riding bikes down Alma to the San Antonio Shopping Center and getting the cylindrical icream cones at Thrifty’s for 5 cents a scoop. Jeanette remembers 10 cent lemon cream pie at the woolworth’s lunch counter. I recall Henry’s Hamburgers on University (whiskey gulch part) 10 burgers for a dollar. Then we heard of this new place up in San Mateo with good french fries. Just go up El Camino til you see the Golden Arch “M.” I remember in 6th Grade (Mr. Takamoto’s class) we’d play flag football with the boys from the Palo Alto Military Academy. Trouble was those guys all flunked a grade or two and they were big and mean and they killed us. I remember catching polliwogs in San Fransisquito creek and chasing pheasants and rabbits in the empty fields along the west side of Bayshore. Jeanette recalls exploring the old Senator Sharon’s mansion before it was demolished. We used to be able to run around and play capture the flag at Frost Ampitheater (it was not fenced off back then). There was the Delmer Israel store on University that sold typerwriters and tennis equipment. What a combination! Before they put in traffic calming things guys used to drag race along Channing Avenue.
Here we go: University Ave. with St. Micheal’s Alley (and Vern Gates!) the University Theater, Varsity Theater, and Paris theater…and the Tangent/Poppycock- which came first? The old Woolworth’s with the lunch counter. And Liddicoats- the first place I ever tasted marzipan. Remember the place that sold Indian sari’s and jewelry? The eucalyptus groves at Stanford- across from Paly- where we used to go when we cut school. The old Egyptian Museum at Stanford. Stanford! Embarcadero Park- all the Be-ins and concerts…making fun of Timothy Leary behind his back (we were on acid, I’m sure) while he spoke at one of them…the Dead played that day, too. Searsville Lk., Page Mill rd. (old), La Honda, the Linear Accelerator. Kepler’s, Christmas Tree Lane, Elanor Park, Rincanada Park- the pool with the high-dive and eating popsicle after popsicle at the snack hut. The Children’s Museum and the Children’s Library (I loved the Secret Garden!). The See’s Candy Store on University Ave…hot caramel corn! Running up and down the grass steps at Frost Amp.- and all the incredible music through so many eras…I saw Duke Ellington and the likes with my folks- and went and saw the Dead, etc when I was older. Driving on 280 when it wasn’t open yet- but you could move the barriers. East PA and Whiskey Gultch…and waaaay back in the 50′s when my aunt and uncle lived on O’Conner St.- I think our family might have lived there for awhile, as well…fields forever, it seemed. Bloody Bayshore. My dad letting up stand up in his convertable while on Bayshore and him telling us about the kid who was doing that and a piece of straw went all the way through his head..Thanks, Dad! Going to the dump with my Dad. Feeding the ducks. So much more…later.
Palo Alto Memories: Being born in Palo Alto in 1957 at Stanford Hospital. Going to the Palo Alto Unified School District’s dental office. Dr. Orwitz, DDS: lots of bloody good memories. Dr. ronald Gordon, DDS: Great person and friend. Forever rest in peace. Jeruselem Baptist Church on Sheridan Ave. AME Zion Church on Middlefield Road. The Christian Science Church on Cowper. The old Goodwill Store near Safeway on Middlefield Road. Mayfield Elementary School(El Camino Real/ new playing fields). Ventura Elementary School: penny carnival, all day basketball, football games on Saturdays. Terman Jr High and the little market across the creek that sold candy. Gunn High School. Cubberley High School: Probably the best and most friendly school in the country. Coming of age at this school. Henry Page, Vice Principal. Mrs Bee, cooking teacher, mother figure, no nonscence. Tony’s Bike Shop on El Camino Way. Old Barrel Market on elcomino Way. A & W Rootbeer/ Drive In on el Camino Way; baby burger, teen burger, moma burger, popa burger. Maxi Mart on park Blvd: A sort of indoor flea market where I used to buy model cars. Palo Alto Square when it was a near mythically beautiful horse pasture. Banana Records on El Camino Real in the weird box shaped building on El Camino near Vavian and the old Kenney Shoe Store. The Old JC Penney store on University Ave. Henry’s dye shop, across the street from the PAPD. My uncle owned this place. He dyed shoes, purses, etc. The old Hobby Shop near Henry’s above. Fran’s Market: Owned by my uncle, his sister and their father/ my grandfather by marriage. Mayfield Mall. Togo’s Sandwich’s on El Camino Way: This was one of the first or the first Togo’s anywhere. Jack in the Box; getting free fries on the opening day when I attended Ventura Elementary! Foothill Park. Girls, girls, gurles, gals, teen girls, girl high school swim teacher.
I was born and raised in Palo Alto, a very different city back then, but full of treasured memories such as The cows and horses in the field that now occupy the Main Library. My brothers and friends used to play army in that field. Walking through “The Magic Forest” on our way to Walter Hays. The neighborhood kids gave it that name which stuck and now there’s a plaque with that name in that grove of redwoods. Never wearing shoes in the summer and many stubbed toes. The May Day parade downtown with our bikes decked out in crepe paper and playing cards in our spokes held on with clothes pins. Dancing around the May Pole in 6th grade. Swimming at Rinconada for 15 cents and getting a snow cone from “The Stand” when done. The firehouse selling taffy. Playing hide and go seek on hot summer nights. Playing catch and other games in the street on Parkinson when there wasn’t any traffic. Making Chinese jump ropes from gum wrappers Playing Hoppy Taw at school. (Does anyone remember Hoppy Taw?) Building our own skateboards from old skates and a board. The haunted house at Channing Park. Ringing the doorbell and running. The church bells from Channing street ringing at 5:00 which told us it was time to go home. The Junior Museum and Girl Scout House at Rinconada. Weekend lunches up in the very old oak trees at Rinconada. Learning to drive at the old Stanford shopping center when it was closed on weekends. Roller skating to Town & Country for nickel candy. Walking (new concept) to elementary, junior high and high school. Palo Alto was a great place to grow up; a carefree and safe childhood with abundant good memories.
Well people, that was my name back then, now it is Samantha Bedsworth. Do not know how this web site showed up on “making purses” web site, but it did. How nostalgic is that? I remenber “Toy World” and ofcourse Eddies. The coke floats and hamburgers were delicious to me back then. Bergmann’s is where I use to go shopping on Saturday’s with my neighborhood friend’s and we would go Bergmann’s and have lunch and ofcourse, Cherry cola, which was the “incrowd” drink to have back then. How I felt so special! Peers Park and Jordan Junior high school are the schools I attended. Jordan guys were known for “going steady” and giving saint Christophers to their girlfriend’s. Yes I got one, and I did the breaking up and giving the guy back his Saint Christopher. Peer’s park was right around the corner from me on Mariposa. I had a huge crush on a guy that went to Jordan and also lived down the street from me on Mariposa, in Palo Alto. He moved to Nevada during last year or so of Junior High School. Town and Country on Embarcadero Rd, across the street from “Paly” Ediee’s ice cream store, and Peppermint and Champagne icecream sugar cones. Now that was living high on the hog, “status”, Ha! Breakfast at the coffee shop where all the “Paly” student’s hung out and for lunch also, some of them. The “Mom and Pop” store on El Camino where everyone would shop when the stores closed for the Holidays. Store was owned by an Oriental family. I met their daughter. UNfortunately, I did not ever get a discount,Ha! Peer’s Park, where everyone went to hang out after school and on the weekends, that lived close by. This was out of sheer boredom as I see it now. I did like their carnivals held in the summer time with Mary Boyette, who’s brother, Ted, was a friend of my brother’s during years of 1964 to 1967 there abouts. My years 1966 to 1969. During these years 66 to 69 were difficult. It was a difficult era for many. Relationships were fickle, here today and gone tomorrow, with self discovery, moves, tradgedies, uncertainties, fast changes in time and Beatlemania. Happy and sad times definately, and birth control was “hush hush” and who would have dreamed more than several high school students would end up being pregnant during their last year of High School? We definately were not grounded, choice wise, but where were our parents? Running for the shelter of our “Mother’s Little Helper”.
Buying yard long licorice at The Barn,next to Stanford Shopping Center. The “Magic Alley.” Mr. Reese loved to do lapidary. He would throw throw polished rocks over his fence for the neighbor kids to find. Sometimes when he heard us he would throw a handful of rocks over that would shower down on us. Dennis, Doug and I would spend hours collecting rocks in 3-6th grade. Sloppy Joe’s and Apple Crisps tasting great at Jordon. My folks, and the neighbors fought, and won, City Hall when the city wanted to put a new jail next to Rinconada Park. Stanford Students fighting to get SRI out of being part of Stanford. Mr. Makim, a neighbor, raised pheasants and flowers. (He was grandfathered in regarding the pheasants.) When I was a teenager our friends did a progressive dinner as a way to get out on Halloween. The first Earth Day celebration. I was allowed to leave Paly for Gunn or Cubberly for the 2 or 3 days they celebrated it. Being involved with the first Ecology Class in Palo Alto. It was so controversial we had to meet on Wednesday nights instead of a daytime class. (1968 or 69) Excellent class. One semester our history teacher told us something like… “History is happening here, be part of it, there will be no class held this semester, I will b on the lawn if you want to talk.” We simply did not have class for a semester. It was 1969 0r 70, there were Love ins, riots, and peace marches to participate in. 6a.m. dates to pick flowers from Mrs. Gambles gorgeous gardens. (We made an effort to pick them judiciously so the garden still looked beautiful.) We would take the flowers and make bouquets and deliver them to friend’s homes before they left for school. I understand the gardens are now open to the public. Starting a Community Garden on Louis Rd. in 1970 with 3 friends. I left for college then but the Parks department began a community garden the next year at a new location. Paly’s tower had just been reroofed a week before a storm. It was struck by lightening, ruining the new roof and they closed school for the day. Jordon’s cafeteria or gym burning, can’t remember which. My parents complaining about dresses being to short so I bought the first Granny Dress when they hit the Stanford mall and my parents complained it was to long. The underpass near Paly that had 3 lanes. The middle lane sometimes was for traffic one way, sometimes for the other way. One had to look to see the green light to know if you could use the middle lane. Getting mail delivered twice a day during Christmas rush. Our wonderful mailman, Mr. Hopkins. (He also painted many peoples houses) My one and only bike ride all the way to Foothill Park only to be turned away at the entrance because members of the SLA were supposedly there with weapons. I volunteered one day at the Junior Museum in order to get out of science class. I was hired the next day to teach after school science programs, then worked as a Bayland Interpreter, then 2 summers as a camp counselor at Foothill. Great memories of making bread with children in the Indian oven, songs, doing natural dying of cloth. One day the temperature reached 114 and there were 14 bloody noses. On one hike of Los Trancos Trail we interrupted a mountain lion stalking a buck. It vocalized its disapproval of our appearance. It was the fastest easiest hike with kids after that. They hiked fast and stuck together. Thanks for all the memories of places and events. It was great growing up in PA and I still like to bike through the whole area though I do not live in the bay area anymore…to much traffic.
I grew up on Louis Road right by the Piers Dairy, Seale park and the creek next to the rollerskating rink with the “hill” Was there from about 1962 till 1974. De Anza Elementary school and that’s where the Gas explosion was (Arson) Wilbur Jr. high School, the parking lot at Cubberely High school where you could buy a “lid’ for 10 bucks get stoned in the bushes and then go to the ice cream store and munch out! Purple micro dot and Santa Marta gold….. The good old days………
Hi Andy, Q-34 here…… How about the cave on old page mill rd below Lois Hogle’s place, above the quarry, only access was to lower oneself down a rope from above. Grateful Dead playing for free at El Camino Park. Alpine road paved all the way up to Skyline+Page Mill rds. Midnight movies at the Varsity. Rock Bands at stanford theatre. Monkey’s (orangotangs?) behind a glass display at Stanford shopping center. Buckthorn wy hangout x the tracks(w menlo crowd) Lytton house(555) Thanx for the thread Andy
Some other things: I was Class of 72 Paly, When “monster home” meant something fun to go through on Halloween, The cactus garden by Stanford’s tomb Boat house on Lake Lagunitas Lupine Rd old bottle dump Exploring the air ventilation tunnels under Stanford church Tressider Union coffee house Bonfire for the Big Game Eleanor Park mob scene on Halloween eve, yes, Mugg’s Bell, your brother Mark’s handy work with a torch to transform a hard top into a convertible for max egg-pomegranite, cumquat, tossing. Frisball at Foothills Park lower meadow, Jeff Hacker’s 57 Chev Memorable Teachers at Jordan: Mabel Ablard Oscar Pederson Mr Neely Some nauseating memories too, Seeing a bunch of slightly older classmates running through Rinconada park after Nancy Christianson OD’d at a house party…..RIP Nancy John Kudlacik, Jerry Wilbour(SP?) fatal auto wreck on Foothill expwy , both done in by a drunk 8o(
Hi, Jim! More memories: Trying to stay AWAY from whatever fun trouble my brother Mark was getting into! Turning Scott on for the first time. Riding bikes everywhere and at any time of day/night and not feeling scared. Walking everywhere, anytime of day/night and not feeling scared. Playing outside til late. Walking to school…taking a different route each day- I loved all the old houses! Climbing the old oaks at Rincanada…and the ones around Frost Amp. The smell of the acacia when it was in bloom along the creeks. The little corner markets/smoke shops that seemed to be everywhere…they’d let you sit on the floor and read comics for hours. I have to ask: Everyone seems to refer to Safeway stores on this thread— does ANYONE remember Lucky’s??? All I ever remember going to was Lucky’s…they had fresh hot sourdough french-bread brought in every morning- my Mom would buy 2 because we would immediately eat one loaf right up! When we lived in Greenmeadow (very early 50′s), somehow a big white owl got into the Lucky’s there- I remember looking for it (and seeing it) whenever we went there…don’t know how long it was there til they finally captured it, but they had to cover all the produce at night ‘cuz the owl would poop all over it!
We grew up on Byron St. between California Ave and Oregon. When our house was built you could see all the way to Bayshore and the Baylands, Bayshore Highway took you up to Mills Field (SFO). I remember the Cowper St. store, a variety store at about Marion & Cowper. We had great, dedicated teachers at Walter Hays, Mrs Topham, Jordan, Mrs Dingman and PAHS, Florence Turner, Miss Schmidt, Ingrid Upmann and Craig Vittitoe.(sp?) The PC Creamery was a local intitution-my Mother went there in the 1920′s. Rapps. T.C Christy’s Roos Brothers. Liddicoats and Bergmans were local stores. Al Rohner was the butcher about where Whole Foods is now and Ralph Feightmier was everyones’ barber just off University on High St. The dump was a popular destination on weekends to scavenge and meet your neighbors and Channing House was actually a firetrap of a school which we attended in 5th grade. Peter Erlin, South Portland Maine.
Hi Sully (Q34), Q-28 here. It’s good to hear from you bro! Hey, we’re both still here – haven’t been priced out of our hometown. I remember the concerts, too. Like, $4.50 tickets to see Santana, Tower of Power and Cold Blood (all three in one concert) at Frost Ampletheatre. I just started a thread about Wilbur Junior High and hope others will share their memories. You were a Jordon Dolphin if I recall (before our membership in the “James Gang”). Ha ha, hee hee. The good ol’ days. Good to hear from you Jim! Andy
Yes, we still have our family home in PA, I, however,now live in Pacifica, after 25+yrs in the Seattle area-I like the cool coastal breeze come August. I still have a few posters from the music shows that happened, It’s a Beautiful Day (@Gunn high school) Youngbloods-Cold Blood- Chambers Brothers at Frost, which , by the way, ended up as the Chambers Bros “Shout!” live album, The back cover of that album has a pic of Frost crowd, with Richard Comstock’s(RIP) profile and other familiars from the PA scene, Ralph Salas(RIP) I think…. Gay Bonnalle and her boyfriend Don. I pedaled my bicycle up page Mill rd today, and couldn’t help but look over at “Cadillac Hill”, so named due to ruffians ghosting junker caddy’s off the top peak. This hill is now known as Foothills open space preserve, which is under the jurisdiction of Midpeninsula Region Open Space District(MROSD) which was the brainchild of some very fwd thinking residents of the PA and other local areas. Anywho, I’m sure the current governing body was none too glad having to haul those massive junkers out of the brush. Interesting discovery a couple months ago, a 69 Rambler wagon was discovered way over the side on the super steep section of Ramona Rd(Los Trancos Woods) It had license tabs that expired in 72, and inside the rusted cab was a complete skeleton of the probable driver…. talk about thought provoking, I went through my internal log of missing persons…. never read a thing in the paper, although i didn’t look too hard. Regards To all, Jim Sullivan
I have thoroughly enjoyed this trip down Palo Alto’s Memory Lane. Thanks to all who have contributed recollections and a special thanks to Andy Freedman for starting this forum. Palo Alto in the post-World-War-II era was a wonderful place to grow up. The schools and the parks and recreation department provided good support to parents who wisely chose to rear their children here. I recently learned that the Greek origin of the word nostalgia is “homesickness” – a longing to return to an irrecoverable time or condition. So true. My family moved to Palo Alto in 1950 and stayed until 1957. We lived in a new, three-bedroom ranch just off Oregon Avenue on Greer Road. I went to Walter Hays, Van Auken, Garland and Jordan. The other side of Greer was a vacant field where they baled hay in the fall. We used the bales like bricks to build “hay-bale forts.” A couple years later, it was filled with Eichlers (El Sinore, Blair Court, El Cajon). About 1953, I got a San Francisco Call Bulletin route from Richard Roach. Then a year or two later I got a Palo Alto Times route from Tom Hurley. My first imprinted T-shirt said “Palo Alto Times Star Carrier-Dealer.” Wow! Thanks to the earlier poster who wrote “I porched it!” I hadn’t thought of that in decades. That triggered a flood of memories. Here are two 49er-related memories: The Mid-Town Sport Shop was started by Leo Nomellini, the great 49er tackle. I think it was originally called Leo Nomellini’s Sports Center. One day (it must have been in June), my Dad said, “Why don’t you go out and pass the football?” We said, “But Dad, it’s baseball season.” “Y.A. Tittle is coming over.” Wow! In the off-season, he sold insurance and wanted to sign up my Dad. He threw us a pass down Greer that seemed to go all the way to California Avenue. Wonderful! As previously noted by others, we rode our bikes everywhere. I recall going to the Stanford campus and riding in the Amphitheatre. I would accelerate down the side aisle, hit the ramp up to the stage and launch my bike into the air. One Saturday, I crashed it and bent the front wheel. I had to walk the bike all the way home and then borrow my brother’s to do my Times route. A couple times we pedaled up to La Honda and then came flying down the road through the hairpins. I don’t have nerves like that anymore. I remember Mr. Hilborn and Mr. Center from Jordan. I was in the band and orchestra and wish to thank Barbara Welch, the music teacher. She taught me a lot. So did Gary Wideman who sat next to me in the trumpet section. (My parents bought me that trumpet at Swain’s House of Music). I used to get on my bike and ride to the A&W on Middlefield for lunch – “two dogs and a nickel beer” for 45 cents. What a deal! I remember seeing “Bwana Devil” at the Varsity (1953?) – one of the first 3-D movies. We had to wear red and green glasses. I involuntarily ducked when the spear came at the audience. There was a grocery store at the end of Oregon near Bayshore called the Pay ‘n Take It. This was in the days when there were deposits on pop bottles and they rather foolishly stored the empties outside in back of the store. I remember a few times when I had no money, I’d take bottles from in back of the store and redeem them for two cents each to buy penny candy. No telling how many times they redeemed the same empty bottles. My Dad used to buy his gasoline at the Stars and Bars station in town (Ramona Street?) because they charged less than the major brands and they gave coupons with each purchase. When I was about 12, I bought a pack of Pall Malls for a quarter from their vending machine which was outside the station. There was an indoor roller-skating rink on Middlefield Road where we used to go; maybe at Loma Verde or San Antonio? Used to love to go to the Palo Alto Sport Shop. I bought a lot of Hardy Boys mysteries there. Also, in the back, where they repaired bicycles, they had an old vending machine that dispensed bottles of Coke for only a nickel. I don’t know if it’s the same person, but a Dana Morgan used to live down Oregon toward Bayshore from us. He had a couple horses which we used to ride. His Dad’s company made rides for Disneyland and later roller coasters. Cool! The worst time was the flood just before Christmas in 1955. We were lucky we did not have water except in the garage and the crawl space. It came within a couple inches of crossing the threshold of the front door. If Steve Tripp or John Jewett is out there reading this, thanks for the great times, and send me an e-mail. All the best and I’d love to hear from you. Posted by Bill Wicker [email protected]
Jordan teachers: Mabel Ablard was memorable all right, but for the wrong reasons. She was NOT a nice person, let’s just leave it at that. Mrs. Dingman was great (though I don’t use my Latin every day) and took an interest in her students. She was friends with my aunt Lillian Overton. Mr. Neely was great too — took an interest in his students (especially the guys), was always of good cheer and spent a lot of time outside of class putting on musicals, glee club performances, etc. Mr. Huskey was great. He was supposed to be teaching us English and Western Civilization, and he made us take vocabulary and spelling tests to the consternation of the class, but spent the rest of the time talking about economics and overpopulation (he was a devotee of Paul Ehrlich).
Along with many good memories growing up in Palo Alto, having been born there in 1950 and graduating from Cubberley High in 1968, I particulary remember several teachers who made a difference in my life — and probably never knew how important they were: Jane MacKenzie Olsen and Flora Viezzoli at Ohlones Elementary; Vivian Moyer and Carol(?) Stickrod (Nash) who taught math, and Jeanne Mills who taught Social Studies at Terman Junior High. Also at Terman, the toughest, no-nonsense teacher ever, Barbara Ballou, who was sometimes difficult to like, but was certainly respected. At Cubberley High, Larry Hull and Carole Burger in science, and Joanne Barnes in French. Those teachers were outstanding, and made a lasting impression in my life. I think we were fortunate to grow up with Palo Alto schools — along with so much else in the community.
Since I grew up in South Palo Alto during the 50′s I bet alot of you “oldtimers” should remember the amazing hamburgers made at Linda’s Drive In. They used to be on the corner of El Camino and Rengstorf Ave. in Mountain View. Those tater tots were so yummy and the special sauce they put on their signature Parisian Burgers were out of this world. I also remember their chili and would order 2 to go. It was a place that young and old loved to eat at. Gosh I wish I had asked the owners of Linda’s for their special sauce receipe! Those were finger licking days gone bye…….
Talk about remembering. How about the little bakery shop on Middlefield Rd. near Duca and Handley. They had the best pastries around. There was a small laundry mat in that area as well. If memory serves me here, there used to be a diner type restaurant on the corner of Loma Verde and Middlefield Rd. called Breuers. As you stepped in the front door you were greeted by a glass window display of cinnamon rolls. They were large and tasted out of this world. Those were the days……
McAuley and Richards grocery store on Waverly The House of Pies SOS groceries — still there — near whole foods Mayfield High School Live rock bands at Lytton Corners on Friday nights Mings (the old Mings) Palo Alto Yacht Harbor Spagetti dinners at the Palo Alto Yacht Club The drop-in place at the Presbyterian Church on Cowper (what was it called??) Gas for 25 cents a gallon and putting a buck in the Caddy $3.00 to get into the Fillmore
McAuley and Richards grocery store on Waverly The House of Pies SOS groceries — still there — near whole foods Mayfield High School Live rock bands at Lytton Corners on Friday nights Mings (the old Mings) Palo Alto Yacht Harbor Spagetti dinners at the Palo Alto Yacht Club The drop-in place at the Presbyterian Church on Cowper (what was it called??) Gas for 25 cents a gallon and putting a buck in the Caddy $3.00 to get into the Fillmore
Random, obscure memories: Fishing at the yacht harbor drainage pipe. Dirt bike riding in the baylands just on the other side of the Oregon Ave. pedestrian bridge. Walking to elementary school (Blair Ct. to Garland). Sports at all levels: Football at Jordan with Coach Harris and Young, Football at Paly with Coach Pederson, Fisher, Donahue, Vierra, Wesner, Yeaman. Track at Paly with Coach Forrest Jamison and Chuck Smart. Watching Carl Florant and Gordon MacMitchell beat everyone in the State, 1973! Summer at Lake Laganita. Be-Ins at El Camino Park and Concerts at Frost Amphitheater. Being at Kevin McKernans house when all of the original Grateful Dead were there playing music with PigPen (Ron McKernan). Elvin Bishop playing Paly Grad Night 1973. 50 cent summer matinee’s at the Stanford movie theater on University Ave.(Always either a horror movie or Disney adventure). Track and Field clinics at Foothill College. The great Stanford Bonfires before the Indians became “The Trees)! Sneaking into Stanford frat parties when we were HS seniors. Playing for the Palo Alto Knights Pop Warner Team under Coach Bill Hauger, Bob Mantia, Mario George, Leo Nomelini, and Gordie Soltau. All my great friends: Carl Florant, Greg Munks, Jack Fulton, Mike Woodward, John Buurma, Gordon MacMitchell, Greg Deaton, Scott Wells, Wes Raffel, Jim Hamilton, Mike Huntsberger, David Bergen, Steve Lennox, Marc Fisher, Tom Ready, Marc Langs, Jim Kranzthor, John Banks, Ellis Blank and Nancy Jones!
This thread is creepy in a good way, let’s see: K-2 at De Anza and everything that went with it – Seale Park (sp?), Piers Dairy (try telling your kids you pulled through a drive-thru to order milk, ice cream, etc.), an actual milk man delivering milk and picking up the empty bottles, and the awesome creek that was full of frogs, tadpoles and all kinds of critters…remember when the little frogs would be hopping out of Matadero Creek at Greer and Lewis by the thousands…right across the road…I would tell my folks to be careful but it was no use…and there were more coming after that. 3-6 at Hoover which is now Condos. Winterland was the happenin’ place, all the girls had Dorothy Hamil (I think) bob cuts and I still can’t hear Boston without flashing back…oh, and the vending machine for hot chocolate and the big tootsie rolls that came in pairs. Mr. Knoblock was an awesome teacher at Hoover. So was Mr. Burns who probably rode his bike around S Palo Alto until his last days, a.m. radio rubber banded to the bars and playing the ball game. I saw him doing this for many, many years. Stickball Kickball After school and summer rec programs (damn you prop 13) BBGun fights at the PA drive in (remember the tumbleweed) and baylands Bergmans rocked, kudos to those who reminded me of campign out to read the “bad” comic books…remember when they had to start asking for written permission to sell spray paint for models? One last one for you as it seems as though we’ve come full-circle – do you remember the oil embargo in the mid-70′s? I remember the lines for the Shell station in front of Winterland going South down Middlefield past Century Liquors (was it called that then?) on the corner of Loma Verde/Middlefield and into the next block. There were people buying donuts from the shop next door, and drinks, and walking up and down the line of cars selling them. I don’t remember exactly how long we had to wait but at the time it seemed like hours. Good times. Now I feel old!
I lived in Midtown on Colorado Ave and knew everyone on the block as a kid. All the great old houses are getting torn down for new ones. That is a shame. I went to Kindergarten on Middlefied Road and cant remember the name of the school but it was across the street from Safeway. Then DeAnza, Wilbur and Cubberly for their closing year. Cubberly is the greatest school!! I remember staying out until midnight with all the kids and having water balloon fights and hide n seek. Walking to Bergman’s for candy and running up the carpeted stairs to check out the toy selection. They had Tootsie Pops and if you found an Indian on the wrapper, they would give you a free one. I remember shopping for school clothes there in 1st grade. They featured Buffy dress from the show ” Family Affair” and then afterwards sitting at the counter at the coffee shop for french fries and 7up from Lois the waitress. There are so many great things. Duca and Hanley, practically living at the Winterland, The pastry shop next to Bergmans(best pastries ever),Piers dairy and the way it smelled like ice cream when you walked up to it. Eddies coffee shop where my mom worked and Midtown Pharmacy for the candy selection and comic books. Mad Magazine. The bootery where i bought my shoes was next to Eddies. Being a crossing guard at DeAnza and wearing the vest, hat and marching down the path singing “left, left, left, right, left” like we were in the military. I cant believe they let us do that alone. Ms Durrum in 5th grade and Mr Carrol in 6th grade. My best friend Susie and making forts under the trees at DeAnza. Trevinos super subs, Mayfield Mall and the Old Mill. Time Zone and sitting upstairs at the Menu Tree. The line at Franki, Johnny and Luigis. Foothill park. There was a great fish place on El Camino, I think it was called Londons Fish and Chips. Good Times!
Lori the school was Herbert Hoover .. the park is still there and is also hoover park they just remodeled it this past month, MY parents still live across the street from it. I have the slide from Hoover school in my back yard and at one time had it in my back yard when I lived in Palo Alto but like many others high prices forced us to move across the bay. and my current back yard is not big enough for that slide it’s huge. Candi (Davison) Alexandre Paly graduate 1974
Speaking of Frost Amphitheater…..I remember going there to see the Limelighters, getting dressed up and sitting in chairs! I also still have the poster from when the Chambers Brothers played there. I heard from a friend in Eugene, OR that Dana Morgan (whose dad owned the music store on Bryant and who played for a while with the Dead) had died here in Oregon. I’m so glad that others recall the monkeys in Sommer & Kaufman’s window at Stanford. When I tell people, they look at me like I’ve lost my mind. Was anybody else involved in the riots downtown, caused when the City shut off the music in Lytton Plaza and fueled by Bruce Franklin, the Communist teacher from Stanford? 175 people arrested and harassmant by the Red Squad…. My husband took a class at the Free U on how to make a commune, and then he did – at the Spreckles mansion (owned by the Platts and called Fenwood) in Atherton, in 1968. There were communes all over Palo Alto in the 60′s, some tied to each other. I used to take pictures of the old houses before they got torn down when I worked for the City, like the big brown/orange one at the Corner of Bryant and Forest, but, after a while, I couldn’t keep up. Very sad.
Was over in La Honda this past wknd, We used to head over to the Boots & Saddle , which either burned or was torn down quite awhile ago, Osiris was a band I remember playing there in 74-75 ish. One memory is especially vivid from those shows, seeing Neil Young walking onstage and playing a few tunes when Osiris was on a break. Quite a treat 8o)
Some things I remember from growing up in Palo Alto in the 70s and 80s (in no particular order): Mrs. Sidaris, my first grade teacher who was so sweet. Woolworth with the ice cream counter. Litticoat’s with the first ever Mrs. Fields. The New Varsity movie theater (now Borders) Native American Pow Wow Festivals at Stanford. Spirit week. Walking and riding my bike to elementary school. Having huge crush on Fred Schweer like most girls did (that kid must have had a big head). Getting bullied by a girl named Kit but being only nominally impacted by it. Walking around Stanford and the vendors when the Grateful Dead were playing at Frost Amphitheater. Hating Jordan. The drama/trauma surrounding the death of Dan Popovich Rushing to Miyake (the little old location) for sushi during our Paly lunch break. Co-Op market The Keystone and later “The Edge” Oh Mighty Isis (band) Swensen’s Tetherball Big Wheels The high school swarms at “T&C” during lunch time Thinking I was hired at Hobee’s and then reporting in and they didn’t recall that they had hired me. Working at the Plantation Cafe. The wrath of Ms. Uchida and later Ms. Turner Mr Thompson pointing his finger and calling me a Libertarian which compelled me to look it up and consider/define/defend/ my political views (which was his point) “Folded ice-cream” trend. The Old Mill Pizza A Go-Go Stickneys and the Cookbook “Mother Karen” jacket trend “Dittos” (girl’s pants) trend deep V-neck stretched out sweaters from The Limited trend Guess jeans with zippers at the ankles trend leggings and big shirts trend. braces and bad hair in jr. high that is all for now :-) I know many more will come to me.
Mr. Grod – I do remember him. I went to Herbert Hoover and he was the band instructor. Mild manner, shirt and tie. He taught me to play the trumpet. There must be thousands of people who have learned to play a musical instrument on account of Mr. Grod. The riot in downtown – Palo Alto – A Centennial History – had a chapter devoted just to the Police and wrote an accurate account of that evening. Lytton Plaza used to be the site for live music every Friday night. I believe that all hell broke loose when on one of those nights, the police were determined to enforce a 10:00pm stop on the music. They came out in force and stood by ready to shut things down at 10. When the band kept playing, an officer pulled the plug and that’s what started up the “riot.” Andy
Also, Goofy activities at and around Frenchmans Tower on Old Page Mill (OPM) rd Seemed a lot bigger back then, was by it the other day, still has the crawl hole access around the back. As far as Lytton Plaza antics, what I remember was seeing the plain clothed undercover officers, the term”stick out like a sore thumb” causes me to chuckle. Also, folks watching the goings on while perched on the 2nd floof window ledges in the “abandoned” bldng directly across the street from Lytton Plaza.
The black cat cafe on the Alma circle May day opening of the Rinconada pool, parade, may pole Boy scout fire pit at Rinconada Park The smell of the freshly varnished floors every year at Lytton Picking up the times for my times route in the press/dock of the paper then walking the route downtown The train and hay ride at Town and Country Village Getting ice from the back of the Peninsula Dairy on Alma Working as a Recreation Leader at Michell Park Refeesee’s at Town and Country Fran’s and Fran sister Mary who let me read comics The hobby house, forest avenue downtown The Obon festival at the Buddist temple on Louis road Day and Nite BBQ in East Palo Alto Rolly Grogans Be Ins at the Episcopal Chruch downtown Rexall Drugs on University Ave before the 7up bottle cap shows at the Stanford theater and so much more from the rain forest of Panama
Jim, I drove by there the other day and wondered what was the original purpose of that unusual brick chimney-like tower? Do you recall or even why is it called: “Frenchmans Tower on Old Page Mill Road”?
If you use “Keywords” for checking the Palo Alto Weekly archives, you’ll find a few references on this. Here’s one for Frenchman’s Tower:Web Link As teenagers, we’d use it, as many kids did, as a party place. We’d also make a small pit fire in the center of it to stay warm if we partied into the night. Andy
Linda’s had great burgers and other drive-in stuff, but Kirk’s was the best burger place by a long shot. Over on California avenue, burgers done to order on the grill but you could watch. I think the building is gone now.
Now from El Valle de Anton in the rainforest of Panama, Panama Born Hoover Pavilion 1947 Lytton, Jordan, Paly 65 640 Ramona, over the laundry When the new city hall high rise was being built i would position my stereo speakers out the window facing the project on the weekends in retaliation for the noise foisted on me during the week. I also pledged, perhaps uselessly, to watch the building come down and so when the portico that surrounded the square was removed I did feel a little smug. The block had been earlier occupied by a city parking lot, Cardinal dry cleaners, Mary Lyons dress shop, Frank Talents Chevron station and an old wooded complex that house a butcher shop and pool hall. On the weekends stories would be read by the librarian in the topiary garden of the main library. The adjacent two block area was the laundry district with the Stanford, University French and Canton Chinese laundries. In addition the Cardinal, City of Paris and I believe Excelsior French dry cleaner where also located there. Bettencourt’s market and the Worthington’s Adanac Bulk laundry, that’s Canada spelt backwards, where also in the same area. More to come
The 700 block or Ramona had a Japanese rooming house where Johnny Fukumoto and his mother lived. The long hallways had shoes placed in front of the doors and there was no hallway smell meaning impeccably clean. Its here next to Stevie Satos house that I experienced my first sushi although it took me about 15 years before I realized it. Across from Lytton on Middlefield was a small Afro-America enclave where Fran, Della White and Peter Graves (who still lives there) made their homes with numerous other senior long term residents. Another Black neighbor hood occupied the 800 block or Ramona that sported its own church where i would sit Sunday mornings on my. Schwinn and listen to the gospel choir. Thinking of Fran he went to school with the Hoffacker boys who continued to operate the Palo Alto sport shop and their children Sue, Neil and Bud often worked there. At Christmas my mother would set the $ limit on gifts for the year and I spend hours, days picking stuff out. There were two Glenn’s growing up during the period downtown and Fran called Glenn Bennett “Big Glenn”, he was the elder and I “Little Glenn”. Actually Glenn Dooley also was around but the family had little money for frivolous candy and comic books. I also had the only newspaper corner, Waverly and University, that offered the Sunday Chronicle curbside and I used to bring home $5 a week for my efforts. The auto district would come alight when the new models were debuted my the tuxedoed car salesmen and the requisite skylights. I and my friends would collect the glossy sale brochures from the Cadillac, Ford, Pontiac, Oldsmobile and Chevy showrooms the automotive pron of the time. The “Aussie” who owned the Hobby House on Forest was the first Palo Aldan to own a Datsun pick up and could often be seen out side his shop defending the red piece of Japanese Crap to passer bys. There was a huge fire at Lutz Ford one year and I remember hoe jealous I was of the fifth grader who had picked up a fire hose, fought the blaze and got his picture in the Times! Davenport 4-1420 More to come
Been a few months since I last checked this site — delighted to see it’s still going! A few more memories: * Henry Gunn’s granddaughter was a student at Gunn. In the mid-1970s, she went to the senior prom with another girl. That was really daring, racy, OUT there (pun intended) at the time. Not sure whether she was gay or just making a point. * One of my teachers (maybe the principal?) at Hoover or Fairmeadow was Mr. Bracken — brother to the famous “I Hate to Cook” cookbook writer Peg Bracken, if I recall right. * Phil something, the drug counselor at Cubberley in the early 1970s. * Wilbur Jr. High around 1970, when a new principal was hired — Bill something. At first he seemed cool — long hair, 6′ 6″ tall and drove an MG. But then part way through the year, he “suspended” student government. As it happened, my cousin was the education reporter for the Palo Alto Times — somehow (!) they heard about the situation and wrote about it :-) . He was gone by the next year. * Bill Goggins, the journalism teacher at Wilbur. — BruceL (born in the old hospital (now Hoover Pavilion) in ’57, lived in Palo Alto 64-75, Cubberley ’75, now on the East Coast but come back several times a year to visit my parents who still live in town)
The Busy Bee corners of Hamilton and Cowper where I used to get lunch while attending Lytton. The original YMCA Cowper and Forest across from the Winter Palace where Jim Fetler of Foothill lived in that tiny ‘writers cottage” in the back. Renee, who had a Louisiana Creole accent a gator couldn’t bite through, was a consummate scrounger and he always had something to sell when I lived across the street in the mole hole basement of the Heineken’s old huge shingled house. Buying produce at Liddicoats where it was held up for your inspection and approval then wrapped in paper and tied with string by one of the many green grocers. The butcher shop where you could get something cut just the way you like it with the sawdust covered floors. You then take home your purchases going out the back door and taking the alley home. The alleys of down town were great with most businesses having back doors for the locals like the Palo Alto Sport Shop where Chuck the mechanic would fix your bike. The newer Palo Alto Bike Shop on University (if it’s still there) was today run my the Hoffacker’s who’s grandfather started it all. In through the back door of Woolworth’s for a 5 cent ice cream sandwich or 20 cents worth of hot cashews, maybe a sample or two from See’s. I often go to the post office to buy candy from the visually impaired (blind) war veteran who had a stand in the lobby and always wondered how he made the correct change. More to come like Mayor Art in KTVU
Love it all! Gonna give a couple of local unique characters’ names: Mike Angelo (before we knew Tourette’s Syndrome by name), Hap Miller, Tom Piffero, Mark Ziolkowski, Phil Scoma… And some local bands: 3 Gems & a Jewell, The Intrakits, The Debonaires, Canterbury, The Moonlighters, London Taxi Cab, The Images, Arthur… A Few Teachers: Grouped by the Good, the Bad & the Ugly (won’t say which came first): Mr. Ernst, Larry Bross, Shroyer, Clem Wiser, Jojo Costerella, Joe Ochoa, Mr. Takemoto (Mr. T before the other Mr. T), Shreeve, McCann. Local Haunts: Midtown Variety, Toy World (at Midtown, too, where Baskin Robbins is now), Straw Hat Pizza, Red Barn Burger (Mt. View, where Country Goumet is now). Town & Country Records.
before the slot car track on middlefield road the building was a slingerland drum school.I played drums in the local bands canterbury and madness.Bought first drums from Dana Morgan . First drum teacher was Bill Krutzman. Still playing on the southern Oregon coast.
The store on Cowper Street that sold incense, etc., for a short time in 1968/69, was East Farthing Trading Company – see Betty McNamara for details. How ’bout New Age Natural Foods on California Avenue – which was a Purity Market befor that and Keystone Palo Alto in the 1980s.
Its sad to hear of all the fun things adults used to do when, and this is just my opinion any suggestions would be phenomenal, now there are very few organized events or places for older kids to go. Highschool kids resort to drinking and smoking for entertainment and thats sad. Palo Alto Bowl is the one place that kids can really hang out and do something, unlike causing chaos at starbucks or at the parks. And that place is already condemed.
Although I was born in Palo Alto, and have worked here for the past 23 years, I was raised just across the San Antonio border in Mtn View. I have to correct a few people on a couple of things. Mayfield Mall and Linda’s were in Mtn View. Andy, didn’t you go to school at Los Altos High?
mayfield mall christmas display old barrell old mill movie theater the candy store at Alma Plaza the market where blockbuster is now wilbur middle school shakeys pizza (now chicago pizza) ahhh, the good ole days :)
oops…forgot Gemco. I loved that store when I was a kid. I remember it having a grocery store in half the building and a store like Target in the other half.
*De Anza elementary school (I was in kindergarten during its last year before it became a housing tract) *Peers Dairy — watching the cartons come down the assembly line, pop into shape and get filled and sealed — how cool was that? *Buying Cabbage Patch Kids cards at Bergmann’s upstairs toy department *”The Carousel” at Escondido, where the teachers had afros and the students never had to sit in desks or learn long division… *Catching crawdads and tadpoles in the creeks *Roller skating (with those cool blue and white “sneaker” style skates) in people’s driveways on my Midtown street *Buying loads of candy and watching movies at the Old Mill Shopping Center *Riding our banana bikes to Rinconada pool (back when the baby pool was round and inexplicably deep in the center, so that if you lost your balance you’d tip in over your head and a friend would have to pull you back to safety) *Mmm, the hamburgers and Jolly Ranchers at the Rinconada snack stand! *The Varsity, Bijou, Fine Arts, Festival and Palo Alto Drive In movie theaters — gone, but not forgotten. Thank God the Aquarius is still hanging on — where else could you see movies like Das Boot, Blue Velvet or Liquid Sky in Palo Alto these days? *Swimming out to the floating platform in Lake Lagunita on Stanford Campus *Mr. Hugh Senter, wearing his cowboy hat and walking through the halls of Jordan Jr. High (go dolphins!), throwing JRs to every kid he saw… *The “sheepskin guy” who lived and wandered around California Ave. (who said homelessness is new to Palo Alto???) *KOME and Live105 *Late-night French fry runs at the Peninsula Creamery and Lyon’s *The Midtown Co-op: You gave them your family’s code number at every ring-up and at the end of the month they sent you a share of the store’s profits. *Hanging out at T&C at lunch (and during prep periods at Paly): Edie’s ice cream parlor, that Chinese place where Peets is now, Douce France when it was a tiny hole-in-the wall, Stickneys, buying “New Coke,” Pepsi Clear and Jolt soda, and pirogkes at John’s market. *Roxy’s — the teen clothing wing of Roxy Rapp’s downtown empire
It Is Better To Have Pick Up Their Dirty Laundry And Met Them Then To Not Have Not Met Them At All! While in Paly I delivered laundry M-F to many residents of Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Atherton and Stanford. During that year and a half period I met, had small or large talk and shook the hands of: John Brodie Leo Nomalinni (Spelling) Gordy Saltau (Spelling) Wille Mays Shirley Temple DONALINA CAMERON: a pioneer advocate of Chinese Women’s rights and the abuses they suffered from the Tongs of San Francisco from 1895 to the 1950 working through the prostitution outreach center of the Presbyterian Mission Home for Women. This home eventually became Cameron house and still exist in the City today. See lived in college terrace and was a little munchkin of a women about 4’11″ and weather it be hot or cold she would always tip be a dollar saying “Oh it’s so cold/hot buy your self something cold/warm to drink. She invite be in and I was astounded by the photos artifacts of her life see had hanging about the room. Here she was this little women surrounded by groups of hatchet carrying tong soldiers many who sported ques and red ribbons on their hatchets AMAZING!!! She was called either the white angel or devil of Chinatown depending on which “Tong” you belonged to. Another Only in Palo Alto encounter was ALEXANDER KERINSKY a real heavy! The Prime Ministry of Russia in 1917 and remained there until the Bolsheviks booted him out. He was a fellow at The Hoover Research Center, Stanford and also lived in College Terrace. How bout those plastic fire helmets handed out bu fireman whoever after his class presentation in elementary school or sliding down the brass pole at the downtown fire station on field trips? The site of El Palo Alto, the trestle, the creek, the great train station and putting coins on the tracks for the steam powered engine to flatten hoping you didn’t derail the train, Don’t Use A Dime! The Daylight, Starlight and the Lark or taking the train into the City during the summer. There were many Palo Alto families that had vested interest in California going back for generation. Perhaps my favorite were the Loo’s who lived in a large home with tennis court very close to one of the second generation Hoffacker’s of Palo Alto Sport Shop fame next to Palo Alto Corsets on Waverly. Anyway David Loo’s Great Grand Father, Kum Shu Loo, opened the Chinese Phone Exchange in San Francisco in 1909, of which his son took over, Kern Loo, and ran until 1948. David’s father was then employed by Pacific Telephone and Telegraph talk about a little corporate gratitude! Anyway their house was just full of Chinese stuff and it was quite and experience when his mom hosted our cub scout pack meetings. Hell with the crafts just let me wander and look! Going to Rickey’s, Dinah’s or the Swiss Chalet for a meal all of whom were owned by John Rickey. David Swank, who’s father was a Christan Science Practitioner and wouldn’t allow David to wear band aids and the like, live on Forest and when we where digging a underground fort in his back yard we found remnants of the old trolley line that used to service Palo Alto and Stanford including a spike, rail and a conductor badge wow! Soon a bit more
Hi Palo Alto native, Yes, I did go to Los Altos High for 2 years when my parents divorced. It didn’t last long and after another divorse, we moved back to Palo Alto. If you knew me from Los Altos, you may recall that I always use to say, “But back in Palo Alto . . .” My friends would say, “Then go back to Palo Alto!” Rincanada’s snack bar – 25 cent cheeseburgers (while inexpensive, not too many hambugers compaired to Linda’s Perisian Burgers). The Purity Stores – Co Op at Midtown was one and as Member mentioned, there was one where the Keystone was. And what about Captain Satellite? Him and Mayor Art entertained us (along with the Three Stooges) after school. Anyone remember the first Tony’s Bike Shop (not on El Camino Way), the one next to where that small adobe Palo Alto Tailor shop is in the Barron Park area? And steam drifting up from Chuck Thompson’s Swim school at 8:00am on Saturday morning where they held swim classes. As kids, we used to play in a big apricot orchard around the corner from my street, Wellsbury Way. The orchard was turned into Towel Street with single family houses and an apartment complex. Before that, there used to be one very small house there. An old couple lived there and one day when I went to visit with them, they were gone and soon the house was gone and then the apricot trees. Andy
I lived on Tennyson ’53-’68. Walter Hays: Miskell, Topham, Crozier, Mettler, Berry, May Day, Meschinski (right-right-right-left-right), air raid drills, SMSG. Jordan: Boortz, Dingman, Center (cheerleaders in his convertible on game day), Becker. Mr. Takamoto, tears in his eyes, telling gym class that JFK was dead. Sneaking into the ventilation ducts through trap door in math class floor. Upside down milkshake races. Marching band with Dr. Gray. Getting nailed across the shop by one of Harley Hilborn’s tennis balls. Bermuda days. Paly: Miss Schmidt’s latin class and spitballing the busts of Cicero and Caesar. Ochoa’s Binaca habit. Phillips — good grief. Norton Thornton and his 20-year-old lecture notes. Town: Circus at Bayshore & Embarcadero, before the Lucky. Ancient Italian produce man who sold from ancient display truck on streets around town. Hearing the Barron Park volunteer fire dept siren. The “5 o’clock whistle” (no idea where it came from). The Daylight train. No stop signs. Shooting the Calif. Ave. underpass before barriers were added, and later setting off cherry bombs in same on Hallowe’en. Water fun: Searsville Lake, Felt Lake, Lagunita, San Francisquito Ck. Patterson’s 5 & 10; Bonander’s; Trampolina; KYA KFRC KEWB; water tower by Calif. Ave. train station; 50-cent Stanford season tix from YMCA (Jr. Rooters) got you into Sec AA, from which we’d spend the whole time trying to sneak into better seats; hayride at T&C; Stanford Farm; Pen Dairy guy delivering milk into our fridge 3 days a week; old man Werry; the original Kepler’s; buses with a Pepsi cap on the front; sneaking a peek at Mac’s. Rinconada all summer long; being in Hallowe’en crowd herded by the cops near Eleanor Park (’68). Pool and bowling at Tressider. Digging for indian artifacts where Mayfield Mall was later built. Oak trees in the middle of many streets. Trying out 280 before it was open. Stanford dorm keggers. Skateboards made from a board, nails, and old key skates. Flexies. Hoppy-taw. Having to go to the library to get information. Hanging out at the library weeknights, because parents would always say ok. Ah, the good old days.
Moe New house owned Stanford Used clothiers on Emerson where you could get great uniforms, hats, steamship trunks and all kids of other truck! The same block has Acme glass, Western Auto, Slonaker Print Shop, Miracle Paint and a great Army surplus store across the street from Penn Creamery. Rapp’s shoes was started by “whistling” Lou Rapp, Roxie’s father who used to drive a white Rolls Royce. Soupy Sales and Fang Miss Bell’s Ding Dong School (sounds like a rap title) The King Norman Hour, King Norman money @ King Norman Land, Concord Flash Gordon Tiny little promotional loaves of Wonder Bread at Starlight Market Seeing The Oscar Meyer Weenie Wagon at Starlight Seeing and hearing Johnny Reoventini, the munchkin bellhop, scream out “Call for Philip Morris” at the Starlight Market The stocked, Koi I think, fishpond across the street at the Palo Alto Mortuary later to become Stars and then? The traffic light control box on the north corner of Ramona and University that if you give a good thump will pop open. Still worked last time I was in town to visit Howard Anderson’s mom Marguerite The T.V. repairman, tubes and tester Hugh black and yellow California Newts Watermelon feeds sponsored by PARD from the revenues of the many yearly “Penny Carnivals” The yearly bike rodeo at Paly, still have some certificates Duncan Yo-Yo contests and the awarded badges for walking the down, over the fall, and the satellite. The New Mac’s smoke shop, that his father had started, and the girly mags by the barber shop in the rear. A real good reason to get your hair cut or buy a coke from the machine “Hey you boys, get out of there!) Jordan when we all got out of school to see and wave at Charles De Gaulle in that great green Mercedes rag top. Roman Days, Sock Hops, Twist contests and the havoc of Halloween on Ross Avenue and the unbelievable prizes.. Carl Young’s algebra class and being Mr. Costerellos pet in woodshop and math. The radio in Hugh, baby Hughie, Center typing class. Going to Mr. Stoner’s office. The Stanford View Bar-B-Que The year the Chinese Kitchen on El Camino lost our delivery order on Xmas and we had baloney sandwiches with out carols and presents. Duck and cover and the atomic bomb attach drills The “Philosopher” of downtown you NEVER wore long pants, rain or shine and who made Herb Caen’s column along with Peter Graves mom when to catered the morticians conference in the City. a man ahead of his time I guess. My first snow of 58? and the Great Flood of the fifties. Buying candy at the Rinconada fire station while the firemen were hitting on my mom. Bells Books on Emerson and all the well read intellectuals who were made up of a lot of “beats” from Saint Michael’s Alley. Enoght for now but I’ve got a few more
Being the Rec leader at Ventura You Can Beat The A Bomb, Duck and Cover conerad civil defense films Film strips on hygiene, popularity, crossing the street The every popular Journey to Banana Land & Wheat the Wealth of America The reading programs where you ordered books for $ 5 cent milk, chalk boards and erasers Freshly made, wet and smelly mimeograph copies The frescoes at the Palo Alto Medical Clinic Thursday night the stores were open till 9pm Ford, Stoner, Heinbeck and Busnell of Lytton Playing records on the private booths at T&C Music or the Emporium before you bought them. The riot after the sole brother car show held in the library parking lot. 1962, first man in space, a black DJ from KDIA named Rosko used a tag line on his show “The Jig is Up” alluding to a black man in space. When he uttered the phrase at the show it set the crowd off. The sole brother were a car club form the peninsula whose loco featured a black and a white man in a t roadster hot rod on the back of their club jackets, If you were white the driver would also be if black then so displayed. Used auto dealers Al Plough and Ike Nelson on El Camino in Midtown would paint every available rubber surface with tire black to detail their $100 vehicles. Dashboard, door panels, trunks. floor boards and so on. The Superfund odor of the junkyards in East Palo Alto. Being chased by a bunch of Stanford “Big Guys” when we fashioned signs out of the provided bumper stickers at a Nixon for President rally, held at the ball park, to say ‘NIX ON NIXON” The trampoline center or University Avenue where several kids broke their arms! Not so may lawyers then. Lytton Park was also known as plastic park a reference to it’s appearance. Virgin Pins Donna Wertz’s petty coats and skirts in Paly English class when see try to inspire me to write by whispering in my ear. Doctor Mason, Rodman’s Biology class, Jack Kendall’s Graphic Arts The Flood Mansion in Sharon Heights Micheal Pollard tea parties, smokes-cokes and gas at his fathers beacon station the corner of Forest & Emerson Hollywood and Vine Paly, “Who did that?” Open House Market on El Camino the ONLY open store on the holidays Madras shirts and powder blue Levis Bus to the city and gawking around Lyle Tuttle’s Tattoo shop Kathy Lawrence who went to Paly and later returned to teach English Frankie Lane and Johnnie Mathis at the Fairmont Venetian, Room SF Spring Formal at The Tonga Room, talk about smaltz and drink umbrellas
A few more… Grateful Dead played a show on the “roof” on top of Tressider Bowling alley. Stanford big game bonfire has been mentioned, but Paly also had a good one at the dump before Little Big Game Dances at St. Alberts Little League fields at Veteran’s Hospital Bakery Truck that drove thru neighborhoods (does anyone remember the bakery’s name?) Hippo Hamburgers in Menlo Park H-Double-H burgers on San Antonio Donkey Basketball at Jordan Dressing and showering for basketball games back at Paly when playing vs. Ravenswood “new math” program called SMSG (we called it Some Math Some Garbage) Distinctly remember an eye-opener for me: a matinee show at Stanford Theatre where part of the double bill was “Ski Party”. I couldn’t figure out why there were so many african american kids attending – until halfway thru the show this guy called James Brown came on and danced and sang his way through “I Feel Good”. I had never seen anything like it before in my life. When his number was over, lots of the audience left – guess they didn’t care about Lesley Gore singing “It’s My Party” Note to Gamboa (Soupy Sales was with “White Fang” and “Black Tooth”, and Pookie and Hippy. Note to Eikamp: It’s your old Canterbury buddy Eric!
We played in the creek almost every day and I allways had poison oak. Played little leage for the South Palo Alto Lions, my Dad Jack Paul was the coach and then became the president of the League for years. Went to Addison, Jordan, Paly and Mayfield High School. Played Pop warner and every sport. Loved going to Stanfrd games for allmost free in the Cheap seats, saw great games with Plunkett and co. and Elway. Partied with them when I got older. Great Stanford kegggers. Great concerts at Stanford , saw most of them and the be in’s at EL Camino ball park, loved the music and the Dead.Lived at Cowper and Oregon and our numbber was Davenpert 2-0351. Miss the old days and clean safe living.
lighting fire crackers in the de anza school drinking fountains and being caught by the fire department. flying control line airplanes and playing hardball at de anza park. bike racing with out helmets in the circle. gettin kicked out by the apartment manager for delivering the palo alto times on a noisy home made mini bike. HEY Eric S. get my number from Max so we can do some jamin.
I’ve made my deposits here with a certain level of ambivalence remembering the adage; A young man thinks of the future while and old man thinks of the past. But as I enter the childhood of my old age I also recall a popular bumper sticker that claimed the boy with the most toys win the game. Partially true but it should read MEMORIES since these are the only things you actually own outright. Your body, your gold or your offspring, your property all revert to their origins in the end while your memories leave with you. So thanks for adding to my personal wealth it’s been great! Critical mass when Jordan started or ended the school day KMPX< KSAN Dusty Streets who now on Sirus, Terry McGovern Scoop Nisker, if you don’t like the news then go make some of your own Sand Hill Road and Zotts/Alpine Beer Garden Foundations: girdles, long line bras, garter belts Melloney’s in Woodside Don Simmerly and the red squad Falling asleep in Latin class in the HOT Campanile at Paly Luke Snag for President Little Golden Books Dell Classic Comics the prepubescent cliff notes Bobby Freeman at the Redwood City Legion Hall & his Candy Apple 58 Chevy John Lee Hooker playing around town cause he lived in Los Altos The VIDEO jukebox at In Your Ear $1 a pop Stickney’s Flamingo for eggs, hash browns, coffee and toast after Paly parties 99 cents, Town and Country for strawberry pies and The Golden Chicken for? Stacy and Brenda’s Krutzmans apartment where 5 year old Stacy would participate in the herbal circle. Boy did she have lots of imaginary friends! Lime Klim Creek vernal equinox held the same weekend of the Monterey Pop festival when all the Stars came to play for the real people naked and stoned! Joan Baez’s place on Moody Road The night, working as chef at Adobe Creek Lodge, I fed the 25 reunion for the Paly class of 47 the year I was born thinking wow is that how I’ll look? Nough Said! And again thank you all! Glenn Gary Gamboa[email protected]
Joan Baez came to Paly and came to our class to talk about poetry and how it helped her in her music. She had the same teacher at Paly with Mrs. Melosh. She played for us in our class and then had a small concert for our school later in the day. Quite a day for our class. That was in 1970, we were in 10th grade.
Worked for Swensen ice cream in 69 and worked for Neil Fountain a mean old man. $1.35 PER HOUR in 69 and we made trades with all the hippiies for what ever they had lol and made trades with the roundtable pizza and the movie houses for free trades. We never payed for anything downtown and all the people did trades. Good ol days of Palo Alto.
Linda, I’m kinda hazy on those details right now, but do remember Todd King, Eric Redstrom. I think Steve Shaffer might have spent some time with them too. One of my buddies would know better (that would be Steve Sevilla, who I still see now and then). I played in a couple of bands way back when, and followed all the local bands.
Eric, Thanks for the quick reply. I was Todd’s girlfriend at the time and he hasn’t come to the last few reunions. Both he and Eric came to the 10 year, but that was a LONG time ago!!
Who remembers the 1959 Babe Ruth All Star team? As a 12 year old fan, this was the greatest baseball team I had ever seen! They went to the world series and ended up third in the country! this was the styarting line up: Buddy Mitchell (catcher), Bill Pletsch (first base), Kerry Otterby (second base), Ray Gayle (shortstop), Kent Webber (third base), Jon Cretarolo (left field), Otis Hamilton (center field), right field might have been a guy named Riley McWilliams(I’m not sure though. The pitchers that almost took them to the title were Bruce bellandi and Wayne Miller. My dad took extra vacation time so the whole family could follow the the team up to Bend, Oregon for the western regional and then to Stockton of all places for the world series. Too cool!
Also, a kid named Bill White was on that team and it was managed by Tom Dunton who just recently retired after many years as the pitching coach at Stanford.
Wow Andrew! I do remember Tony’s on El Camino and Tony would barely accept any money for repairs, so my dad would always pay him well. I remember working for Roxy Rapp at Rapp’s and he sent the not talking, “talking” bird home with me. He said he would give me a huge bonus if I could get the bird to talk! Didn’t happen!
Hey Jim – I heard that Roxy Rapp hired a lot of local youth. I was a dishwasher at Lyon’s Resturant and the Holiday Inn during my junior and senior years in high school. Vets I and Vets II – My brother was pitcher and 1st base for Dick Felts in Little League. I was awful. The few times they let me play while on Wiseman’s (sp?), I’d field the ball by letting it drop to the ground rather than take the chance on getting beaned with it. Not only do I recall the Little League games at the VA, but after my Marine Corps service, I worked for the VA in the File room. Back then (1976), there were no computers and only about 2 copy machines per building. Carbon copies were the thing. Also, in addition to no computers (no emails), very few employees had there own phone. You’d have to ask permission if you wanted to make a “personal telephone call.” There was no phone mail either. After a 10 year stint, I left the VA and worked for other Palo Alto companies. Coming back 6 years ago, I was surprised that the VA Palo Alto was rated the top hospital in the nation with regard to electronic records, charting, and other computerized functions. Back in the ‘70s, the most employees lived and worked around Palo Alto or Mountain View. Everyone knew everyone at work and many would get together after work, like on Fridays to the local watering holes (Chez Luis, Jumping Frog, or was it Leaping Lizard, I can’t remember now). You could live in a 1-bedroom apartment on California Avenue or maybe Latham Street for $300 a month (and as others have mentioned, stop by Linda’s for a Parisian Burger). There were those long, no, very, very long gas lines you’d have to wait in for a couple hours to get gas. They had even and odd days to correspond with the last digit on you license plate. One time at the Phillips Gas station on the corner of Arastradero and El Camino (where the Midis is now), someone at the station put a sign on the back of my car saying “Last Car.” I let around 10 folks get in front of me – the gas station was about 5 blocks away – that’s how long the line was. Andy
We used to play at the field on middlefield road. My team was the Knights of Columbus, I was very proud of my team! This was back in the day when there was no such thing as a participation trophy! My God, they even cut kids from the team if they weren’t up to snuff!! Imagine the damage to our self esteem! (I got cut when I was 10. Hurt big time butI got over it and made the team the next year.) My old buddy Jeff Sandborn was probably the best player back in those days.
For those who grew up in Palo Alto but no longer live there, you can view almost every part of town by using the Google Streetview map tab. It’s a blast using. Can rotate the view in any diretions… Try it!
Just remembered – the Bread truck? He’d drive down our street and we’d run in the house asking our parents for a dime. He’d stop the truck, go around the back and open it up to reveal a huge assortment of donuts (“Mmmmmmm, donuts”). A dime could get you 2 donuts. Also, there was the Milkman. If my older brother got up really early, he’d flag the empty milk bottles to be picked up with a request for Chocolate Milk. And I do remember the Little League games on Middlefield Road. The winning team got a free (drum roll . . .) soda. And I was one of the ones who ended up in the dreaded Little League “Clinic.” Andy
Yes, Linda. Colonial Bread is the one I remember. By the way, does anyone know why the site of the old Ming’s restaurant on El Camino is still vacant after all these years?
i was so proud of my neighborhood for its sports prowess. Leo Nomellini, Pete Wisman, Pete kmetovic, Jack Christianson. All nfl’ers Leo was voted to the all time nfl team. Christianson was the head coach at Stanford. I was in awe as a kid! I remember riding my bike by Leo’s house and seeing this Hall of Fame guy mowing his lawn just like any other mortal. WE didn’t really think that much of it at the time, but it was pretty special,
Mings at the corner of Vista and El Camino (some of you said Los Robles). Stinky garbage cans. Our first dog’s favorite destination. All American Market and Rudolfo’s (later the Axe House) at Los Robles and El Camino. Rudolfo’s had black lights illuminating cheap artwork on the walls. The Alfonito brothers who owned it both had greasy hair. Driftood Market (Matadero and El Camino). Ice Cube chocolates in the freezer section, cherry slushes, Sweet Tarts, wax lips and wax harmonicas in October, Pixie Stix, comic books. Pete Ringo was the owner. The best butcher shop in the area. Going to the hardware store by Old Barrel with dad to test the tubes from our television set. San Antonio Center: Menu Tree (where you could sit upstairs by the fake birds, eat limp pizza and people watch), Karmelkorn, Accent Arts, Girl Friend, Hals music store (they had a fiberglass listening “egg” in the 70′s), Norneys, Rhodes department store, Coop (mom’s could leave their kids in the “kiddie corral” while they shopped). Gemco on Showers Drive. Formerly it was Purity or White Front (I believe) and the groceries were placed on a conveyer belt so you could go outside and pull the car up for easy loading. Beacon gas station (50 cents worth of gas was good for a day). Getting glasses at gas stations in the 60′s with a fill-up, plus tire and oil check. Avis car rental. You could walk in and get a “We try Harder” aluminum pin (with bendable tab) for free, available in several languages. Dinah’s shack buffet. Bob’s Big Boy, open late. Maximart. Stale popcorn from a machine on the first floor by a ramp to the second level. Maximart Pharmacy was on the first level. In the 70′s it was the best place to buy stickers. Blue Chip Stamps (and Green Stamps). The redemption center was somewhere around California Ave. The wailing siren at the Palo Alto VA when a resident “escaped”. Scaling the fence at the Gunn pool to swim. Telling the police you thought it would be okay so they let you go home. Hoppy Taw, 7-Up when it was raining, traffic patrol (what an honor). Bayo Mints and peppermint ice cream from Edy’s Ice cream. J. Magnin and I. Magnin. Laurel and Hardey movies at Shakey’s pizza. Monte Vista Drive-In at grant Road (“5-minutes ’til show time”, “let’s all go to the snack bar”) The Beatles staying at the Cabana in ’65. The illuminated water fountains and statues in front.
…………Waiting in line at the Bayshore Drive-In for (2-3)hours to see “A Hard Days Night”, and going back and doing it again when “HELP” came out. Playing Little League for Hagemann Construction, Coca-Cola, and Kawata Bros. Gas Station.
Phil, our family lived about a block away from St. Claire Gardens, and I remember where Leo Nomellini lived on St. Claire (one or two houses up from Cowper, if I recall correctly) and also remember seeing him riding his bike around the neighborhood. I also vaguely remember Pete Wisman introducing the 49er Highlight Film when it was showed at O.L.R….I think that would have been around 1975 or 76…definitely in the pre-Walsh era.
Leo Nomellini and Gordie Soltau both helped coach the Palo Alto Knights Pop Warner team 1967-70……………..And John Brodie lived in Palo Alto as well.
The feed and supply store on Hamilton Ave. that you could drive through. Before it was/is the Palo alto Medical Center it was a Chevron Gas station and before that it was Merner lumber on El Camino next to Town and Country Village, taking a mule drawn hay ride around Town & Country Village. Coke was a dime and you got 3 cents back on the bottle.
Does anyone remember what year was the last year that the fireworks were put on by the city at the dump / baylands? I remember watching them probably through 1974 or 1975, but I can’t recall the final year. I do remember that it seemed that the baylands would catch fire nearly every year when one of the shells would land in the dry grasses. I also recall that the dump would catch fire fairly regularly before the days of methane collection systems. We used to ride our bmx bikes in the baylands right behind Gus Mozart, and then go into the dealership and buy “chicken soup” and wafer cookies from the vending machines. I also remember lots and lots of glass greenhouses of flowers in East Palo Alto. A friend lived there, and his father was a flower grower.
………..How about grabbing all the mis-labeled and mis-packaged gum out of the dumster at the Harveys Sugarless Gum plant out by the baylands? Also remember the Palo Club Hole-In-One contest every year at PA Muni, probably still have it don’t they?
Rudolfo’s! We used to go there on Sunday nights in the ’60s with my aunt, uncle and cousins. The pizza was great and they served spumoni for dessert. Maybe 10 years later we went there and if you ordered ravioli you’d get a plate of heated-up Chef Boyardee ravioli — it had gone that far downhill. Yes, they still had black lights illuminating the artwork on the walls. Maximart! We used to joke that everything in the toy department was priced at 77 cents (which it was). They had color TVs on display — a novelty at the time — and a pretty good photo department. Blue Chip Stamps! The redemption center was on Park Blvd. by the fire house. It later became Peninsula Scientific. ISTR that the DMV had an office around there as well. It was just around the corner from Co-Op pharmacy and down the street from the lumber yard. Co-Op pharmacy must have made a fortune from us kids on its candy department. Not far from Co-Op pharmacy was Dr. Ulander’s dentist office for all the damage that candy did.
anyone remember an old beer bar called the Alley? Good times there! Right off Lytton Plaza. Basically beer and foosball.
Hi folks, A few years ago, with the help of Rich Schloss (Cub. ’71?), we put on an “Any Year Cubberley Class Reunion” at Mitchell Park. It was well attended, about 300 people showed up. I’m kicking around the idea of an Any Palo Alto School Class Reunion at Mitchell Park – if there is a strong interest. The last time, we just asked folks to bring a side dish and we used the BBQ’a for hamburgers, salmon and hotdogs. It was free, you didn’t have to dress up, and you could leave the Mercedes at home. We got free advertising from this newspaper and also Classmates. Com (before they began charging for memberships). Just a thought for now – any ideas about this? Andy Freedman[email protected] PS: Phil, that bar in the alley – I thought that it was renamed Langishire sometime in the 80s. BTW, my former girlfriend was the bartendress at Palo Alto’s last whole-in-the-wall bar on Alma called Jackie’s. It was eventually torn down, “disinfected” and offices with a fake brick facade put up it its place (the fake bricks began falling off shortly after it opened).
Andy, I remember spending a few evenings at the Lancashire Tavern in 1986 or so when I returned home for a few months after graduating from college. It was a good place to get a black and tan and to throw a few darts. I heard later it was shut down b/c of drug dealing, or something like that. Recently, I was back in town and my wife and I went out to dinner. We ate at Three Seasons downtown. After looking around the restaurant for a few minutes, I’d started having a feeling of deja vu…it took awhile, but I finally figured out were were sitting in the building formerly occupied by 42nd Street.
Hi Ken, I forgot all about 42nd Street. How could anyone forget such a place? The brass railings (I wonder if anyone ever slipped from the 2nd floor), loud music, pretty waitresses. Remember Fanny & Alexander’s – used to be called, of all names, The Bunbuster (because of their hamburgers). And Pudley’s on University – what a name! Where did that come from? Andy
Andy, There was only a short period of time during which I was over 21 and living in Palo Alto, but I remember being pretty underwhelmed by the bar scene there at the time. I don’t remember the places you mentioned, but I remember 42nd Street, the Lancashire and the British Bankers’ Club on El Camino (in Menlo Park, IIRC). That was about it. Then there were a few awful places in the South Bay like Eli McFly’s. Maybe I was just too out of it to know where the good places were.
42nd street owned by the Stankovich brothers whose father was off the boat and had a tailor shop on University called “Stankovich and Sons” of course the sons never participated. The Alley was owned by a Ron Rossi at one time, he later opened the Hofbrau on University avenue, and when I went there a lot of people from the Artifactory and of course many downtown denizens would show up for 25 cent beers at happy hour. During the day many a downtown business man would go there for a burger and a beer.
OK, while we’re on the subject…How about The Stanford Pub, a pizza and beer dive on Emerson Street, just north of University, and the frozen yogurt shop right next to it, called “Cool Licks”? And of the same era, there was Macheesmo Mouse, a mexican restaurant on University Ave. I like Andy’s idea of an Any Palo Alto School Class Reunion at Mitchell Park – sounds like it could be fun.
Reunion info Paly classes of 72-74 August 23rd, 2008 at 5:30 p.m. Johnson home ( 1336 Cowper St .) Date sent: Fri, 11 Jul 2008 12:10:49 -0700 (PDT) From: Ted Herr <[email protected]> Send reply to: [email protected] Subject: Paly Class of ’73 Reunion Coming up….It’s not too Late to Plan on Attending To: [email protected] > Hi Vikings > > > We are still receiving — and welcoming – late-planners for the > reunion. (So far we have about 80 people, and hope to reach 100 > people.) If you are still thinking about coming, it’s not too late. > (you can even show up on Saturday night and we’ll let you in!)  But > of course it helps to have a final count for the caterer, so if you > are planning to attend, please send your check in ASAP! > > > > Thank you. > > > Paly Reunion Committee > > > Victoria Umphreys Curtis > Russ Johnson > Cathy Sorensen Burma > Ross Mehan > Jill Soltau > Eric Nelson > Bill Strubbe > > > > PS — If you’ve already sent in a check, please excuse this > reminder; it’s simply easier to send it everyone. > >   > VIKINGS REUNITE THIS AUGUST! > Come join us for a nostalgic Summer Evening at a beautiful home and > garden in Palo Alto >   > Saturday, August 23rd at 5:30 p.m. > Fiesta Dinner, Live Band, Powerpoint Show, and more   > Johnson home ( 1336 Cowper St .) >   > $75 Classmate/$50 Guest > (`72 & ´74 Classmates welcome) > >   > PALO ALTO HIGH SCHOOL REUNION > 181 Del Medio Ave. #116 > Mt. View, CA  94040-1004 >   > Additional events: > >   > Friday, 8/22, 5:00, Sheraton Hotel, 625 El Camino Real (No > Host)       > >   > Sunday, 8/24, 1:00 Picnic at Rinconada Park , near the       > Girl Scout Lodge (BYO Food-to-share) > >   > Need more info email [email protected] call Bill Strubbe  > 707-874-9046 >
For over a century hard liquor could not be served with a (not sure) mile radius of the campus hence Whiskey Gulch, so the bar scene downtown was not a distilled one nor was hard stuff available off sale until?
I can’t believe that nobody has mentioned Antonio’s Nut House! It’s kind of new by my standards but a very fun place! Another place that comes to mind is St. James Infirmary in Mt. View. everyone went there at least once!
Hi, Nice of you, Andy Freedman, to have started this line of reminiscence. Lots of times re-lived and old memories revived–all in the range of 40 to 50 years ago! I was especially interested to read about boys hunting for arrowheads where Mayfield Mall was built. I only recently found out that this was the site of the enormous Castro Shell Mound that was still being hauled away for fertilizer in the late 1940′s!! There is a two page photo of this shell mound in “History of Palo Alto: The Early Years.” The area around Mitchell Park is a likely Ohlone village site, with its creek, valley oaks and spring which is or was located at the line between Wilbur and Fairmeadow. The water was being held in a round silver tank. What a dream: replanting Mitchell with native trees, shrubs and flowers that the Ohlone would have used, daylighting the spring, reworking the creek so that it once again had natural banks with willows, sycamores and cottonwoods. This would encourage steelhead trout to come back. There could be an interpretive center, with help from Ohlone consultants. There was a very large population of Ohlone in what is now Palo Alto and there are still mortar rocks near San Francisquito Creek and Searsville Lake. With the several schools near Mitchell, this could be a wonderful project for the kids! Betsy
Someone here mentioned my dad’s business, The Wright Nursery School. We lost Dad April 30, 2008. How he loved running that school and still I run into people who fondly remember “Daddy Jim”. He raised us on Hale St in Crescent Park and he was raised on Hoover Street in College Terrace. I remember summer nights after dinner playing on the lawn thing in the middle of Forest Ave between Hale and Lincoln until way past dark and all the parents being okay with that. I remember sneaking across Middlefield on our bikes to buy candy and gum at Fran’s on Lytton St. I remember my little brother, Perry, and his friends Chip Wasson, Ken Lowney, and Pete Langtree constantly getting in trouble for playing in the creek. The evidence was usually poison oak rashes and/or yet another “lost” bike. Crescent Park Elementary that is now a bunch of big houses. The bamboo forest in the circle just east of Hale on Forest that is now a house built by a non-relative named Gus Wright. Being able to be out in the warm night air and not get in trouble for it. Being a kid without constant supervision. Getting to be a kid and doing so outside without bike helmets, sunscreen, water bottles, and surveillence. Getting to be a kid!
Someone here mentioned my dad’s business, The Wright Nursery School. We lost Dad April 30, 2008. How he loved running that school and still I run into people who fondly remember “Daddy Jim”. He raised us on Hale St in Crescent Park and he was raised on Hoover Street in College Terrace. I remember summer nights after dinner playing on the lawn thing in the middle of Forest Ave between Hale and Lincoln until way past dark and all the parents being okay with that. I remember sneaking across Middlefield on our bikes to buy candy and gum at Fran’s on Lytton St. I remember my little brother, Perry, and his friends Chip Wasson, Ken Lowney, and Pete Langtree constantly getting in trouble for playing in the creek. The evidence was usually poison oak rashes and/or yet another “lost” bike. Crescent Park Elementary that is now a bunch of big houses. The bamboo forest in the circle just east of Hale on Forest that is now a house built by a non-relative named Gus Wright. Being able to be out in the warm night air and not get in trouble for it. Being a kid without constant supervision. Getting to be a kid and doing so outside without bike helmets, sunscreen, water bottles, and surveillence. Getting to be a kid!
Hi Linda! The London Taxicab ! Wow, Fun times, long hair ,good music….I remember you Linda ,long blonde hair ,british Mod-style dress and make-up. Todd was crazy about you! Band inspiration material ! The Band…Todd King,lead guitar.Brian Linsley,bass guitar.Roger Allen,drums. ,and myself,Eric Redstrom,vocalist and harmonica. All Paly High Alums, me Class of “68,the rest, Class of “69, We played a lot of school dances,both high school and jr, high, and private parties around the area. We also signed on with a Stanford student/booking agent entrepenour named David Frost, who booked us as the “Psychedelic-Music” band , for tendencies towards extended instrumental jams. He booked us week-ends for almost 2 years straight,at a whopping amount of $100.00 a night!Good $$$ for a bunch of Rock n Roll/Hippie high schoolers who might have,and did on occasion, played for less or free ,to an appreciative dancing audience .The Stanford gigs could be quite an educational experience depending on where and for whom we were playing. Searsvile Lake, our 1st. booking, was a classic “Toga” party. Two inches of beer on wet cement floor, BIG football /wannabe-rock stars grabbing the mike ,realizing, along with everybody else in the room,that bare feet and electricity are not a pleasant mix ! More to follow later, if your interested ? o.k. Eric
Hi Jan. I’m sorry to hear about the loss of your father. I attended Wright’s in 1968-69. Unfortunately, I remember very little about it, other than being picked up at home every morning by the school’s VW van.
One of the best, non-famous, local bands (1967-71) was The Debonaires which evoloved into The Gold Mind. Jim Bowman and Jim Crosley and co. In 1971 Santana played the Palo Alto HS. Grad Night, 1973 was Elvin Bishop! Great music was everywhere back then! Frost Amphitheater of course had the best shows, saw Sly and the Family Stone at a night concert, Loggins & Messina, Santana with Buddy Miles on drums, Jefferson Airplane, Tower of Power, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Sons of Champlain, Cold Blood, Hot Tuna, Beautiful Day and in the summer of 1974 got to see Derek and the Domino’s there, a once in a lifetime concert for sure!! It was $6 to get in to most of the concerts and after the concert started you could get in for whatever you had on you.
First off, Santana played at the ’69 Grad Night. ERIC!! Next summer is our reunion and you should come! I don’t know where it is yet, I just got an email through Classmates, it is next Aug. 14th and 16th. I think the last time I saw you was at a reunion or at Co-op. How cool to hear from you!!
I think Linda’s correct on this one, Bob. Santana played 69 Grad night, then just a few short months later played Woodstock. I’m guessing that after Woodstock, Santana didn’t play any High School dances.
I forget the name of his band but Leo Herrera (lived on Kipling Street, 1970? Paly Grad) has a band that plays Santana music. I’ve heard them play at local venues and it’s a fantastic band. He started out like most musicians – playing in his parent’s garage in the sixties. If there is an interest in a FREE any class reunion at Mitchell Park, it would be nice to have a band such as Leo Herrera’s. (In an earlier post here I mentioned the reunion that Rick Schloss and I put on about 5 years ago at Mitchell Park). Eric, Bob and Linda – I recall one concert at Frost Amphitheater(1969 or ‘70) where The 5th Dimension played their theme song – Dawning of Aquarius – for a war protest (David Harris and Joan Baez spoke). Andy Freedman
Leo’s dad built that house on Kipling, by the way. Leo’s band (which used to, but no longer includes fellow Palo Altan and fellow Paly ’70, Steve Sevilla) is called Caravanserai. Andy, if you are interested in putting this together, I can get you in touch with Leo. The Fifth Dimension, War Protests, Age of Aquarius… that was a lifetime ago, wasn’t it?
Hi Eric and all About the possibility of a reunion of sorts at Mitchell Park (folks bringing a side dish) and using the BBQs AND the possibility of Leo Herrera’s band, The Caravanserai, any ideas of how it could be done to make it all-inclusive? If it were an any Palo Alto high school and an any year reunion, maybe colored badges, like Blue = 1950 – 55, Red = 1956 – 1961, Green = 1962 – 1966 and so on so that people attending can hang out with their respective class. You know, it would be a “really big shoe” to have an event like that – what’s really cool is that it’s free, there’d be food and entertainment AND Mitchell Park would be a great environment to hold such an event. Everyone has some connection to Mitchell Park. The Palo Alto Weekly and the other papers could maybe give us free advertising for such an event. Classmates . com could be used as an outreach to folks and parent’s still living in the area could let their not-living-in-the-area children know about the event. And of course this thread is a good resourse. Last time I did this with Rick Schloss about 9 years ago, we made it an any-year Cubberley reunion and there were folks from the first graduating class through the last Cubberley class. Throughout the day, I’d estimate that a few hundred folks came by. If it’s an any-Palo Alto high school/Any-Year reunion, I’d suspect that it would be a pretty large turnout. So . . . any thoughts about this? Andy
Andy, when are you thinking about doing this? As I posted before, the class of ’69 has a reunion in the works for next summer.
Hi Linda and all, It’s in the “kicking it around in my head stage” (ouch). This group – the folks who have written in this thread – would be the best folks to help pull something like this off. It wouldn’t require money (except for the park permit by a Palo Alto resident $20 – I would do that) – if individuals here would take on a piece of the planning (and it really doesn’t require a whole lot of time). I don’t think a feasibility study would be necessary ( – : Let’s throw this out for next summer. I’ll call the Parks and Recreation dept and find a day that could be used. The park is broken into reservable sections – depending on the size of the event, it might require multiple sections of the park. My email is [email protected] – if anyone is interested in discussing this idea further, please write me (leave subject line empty). Andy PS: If you go to Class mates . com for Cubberley, someone posted pictures of the event we did about 9 years ago. I don’t think you have to be a member to look at the pictures. If so, maybe the person who took the pictures could post them to the pictures section of this Palo Alto online Town Square.
Hi Linda, Try it again – it does work. [email protected] Also, here’s my daytime number: 650 493-5000, ext. 60001 Andy
Wow, this is an amazing blog. I have been reminiscing for hours reading this. To Jessica, a member of the Palo Verde School community – I do remember studying Muqiyayo in fifth or sixth grade. Did you go to Fairmeadow School? It seemed like we were studying Muqiyayo because our teacher, Mr. Lugie, or whatever his name was, came from there. I remember how mean the boys were to him. I felt sorry for him, but I didn’t like him very much. To BruceL, of the South of Midtown neighborhood – Phil Bliss was our “drug councelor” at Cub. I always wonder what happened to him. My friend had a crush on him. Does anyone remember the “Pet Parades” we used to have in Palo Alto? Do they still have them? The kids would haul everything from hamsters to horses and walk downtown in a long parade showing off their pets. It was hilarious! But we really looked forward to it. We also had the soapbox derbies. One year in the late 60’s/ early 70’s the police department raced using a soapbox that looked like a pig. They called themselves super pig. It was a brave thing to do at the time, and very funny. The city also put on a huge city picnic for city workers and their families. They had so much food and beer and games. They had pony rides, burlap sack races, swimming, and hundreds of people everywhere. And the cool thing is, most of us knew each other. And Monette’s Pet Shop. Was the the shop close to Crocker Bank? They were always giving away free pets. Every other Friday, or something. My brother and I would go there just to see what they were giving away. It was usually a goldfish, or something small. But one time we each picked out a free kitten, assuring the clerk that it was okay with our parents. I can’t believe that a store would let a couple little kids walk away with kittens. I am sure it would not happen today. Also, M’s Fish (or Fishery) On Middlefield Road in Mountain View. Tropical fish. I have been away for many years, but I have to say Palo Alto was the best place I ever lived. I just didn’t know it at the time. Well that’s it for now. I spent much more time on the computer then I intended to tonight. But I will definitely check back. This has been way too fun. – Fairmeadow / Wilbur / Cubberley 1974
my wife tells me there was a reunion at OLR that was held in the “crying room”. pretty cool heh? How was it? Her friends Judy and Cathy went but we haven’t heard how it went.
Hey John, How are you my friend? I saw and heard Leo’s band play at Stanford a couple years ago. His band is fantastic! As mentioned, I’m trying to gauge the interest in another Reunion – it would be an any high school/any year in Palo Alto and it would be held at Mitchell Park. If there’s is enough interest, next summer would allow enough time to plan it. And if Leo’s band could play, well, that would be the icing on the cake. Ask Leo how much lead time he’d need and ask how much it would cost. You can email me direct at [email protected] Give me a call when you have an opportunity (call me at the VA in Palo Alto). Good to hear from you John. Andy
Phil, I stopped by the OLR reunion for a bit. There was a very good turnout, I thought, considering the difficulties in reaching people to invite them to the event. (Kudos to Annette Anderson for organizing the get-together.) Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to contact many people from my era at OLR (the 70s) to let them know about the reunion, but hopefully we’ll try again someday. Ken
Wow, how on earth did I find this gold mine? Thank you for all the wonderful memories, sorry if I’m repeating a few. Rinconada Park snack bar cheesburgers. I can still smell them. Rapps, and Roxys Liddicoats – After the quake in ’89 this was the only place with power and everyone converged, sharing stories with strangers. The Varsity – balcony seats, and the alley. Stop Making Sense! University Creamery pinball machines my first job, at Recycled Books on University Ave. The Old Mill, once thriving and then a ghost mall. Bajis coffee shop skipping class to go to Stickneys Mr. H, from Garland and then Addison. My great job at Video Unlimited at T&C Village Fresco Playing outside until the church bells rang at 6pm.
LONG GONE i was born in 1948 and grew up on Cowper Street near Colorado. These are some of the earliest memories I have of things that would soon disappear from the scene — most of these were gone by 1955: Nelson’s Grocery — Bud and Ethyl Nelson ran a tiny store in a wooden building on the NE corner of Cowper and Marion. When Purity came in at Midtown, that wiped them out. Ethyl later ran the lunch counter at Bergmann’s department store. The old water tank, in large vacant lot on Cowper just south of Marion. There was also a strangely shaped small “old lady in a shoe house” where a woman lived. This must have been gone by 1954 or so, when a modern house was built and the Takaki family moved in. The old YMCA –I think it was on Cowper, downtown, in a very old building. Bungalow Market — where Starbucks is now, in Midtown. It was forced out of business by proliferation of larger markets in Midtown — Purity, Rainbow, Duca and Hanley. My mother moved to Cowper Street in 1943 and can remember looking out the back door and being able to see the bakery (where Subway is now>) That was before Bryson was built out. End of Cowper — I remember my brother taking me in the wagon to the end of Cowper, then at St. Claire. Could this have been as late as 1953?
Does anyone remember the Indian Bowl, the great fish and chips at the Poppycock along with the 25 cent pool tables? How about buying beer (Under age) at the Gardens Market in East Palo Alto? Schlitz, Olympia and Hamms were the beer of the day!
If you go by where Indian Bowl used to be located, the Indian Head Logo is still on the sidewalk (at least it was a short while ago). It’s in the 700 block of Emerson, I think. I think you could bowl for 10¢ a line in the 60s, when I went there.
I had a birthday party at the Indian Bowl! I hadn’t thought of that place in years. Thanks for jogging my memory.
I remember a birthday party at the Winter Club and also next door at Chuck Thompsons Swim School which also had a really cool summer sports program in the gym they had. The original Round Table Pizza on University Ave. as alway a good time as well!! The founder, Mr. Larsen, was always at a back table doing the books.
For Linda… I had a visit from Steve Thompson (in your class year at Paly) over the weekend. He tells me that Todd King lives in Oregon and has been working as a plumber… I’m sure there’s more to his life than that, but that was as much as I learned. By the way, Steve is a working musician and goes under the name Devo Carrillo.
Wow … so many memories … my father is in hospice … he would love to hear these stories of Old PA. Breakfast at the PA Creamery, dinner at Mings, lots and lots of trips to the dump. Picnics at Foothill Park. Walks at the Baylands. I found this website looking for news on Paly Class of 74, and wondering if I could reconnect with Stuart Center, Hugh center’s son. Serendipity to find this thread now …
Duveneck was Green Gables for me..Ms Livsay..Ms Harop..Ms. Thompson..Mr Lindsey…I am pleased and surprised to find this site..I am searching for the name of the 1960′s butcher shop on University Ave. Parking in the back…saw dust on the meats in town..better than Lucky’s or the Co-Op in mid town… Ice cream shop was nearly next I recall…and I do too remember when Oregon Ex. was two lanes…How about the the horse accross the street at Page Mill and El Camino! before Bill Hewlett and David Packard.. I read that someone remembers Dusty Street Jive 95…you may remember me.. four days during the big Shell oil spill …I was reading news updates at 211 Sutter St. (KSAN) I got in so much trouble for cutting school…(Menlo Prep) but it was worth it… Stuart Center once worked for HP back in the late 80′s no idea where he is now…I do have his biz card in an old rolodex… What a great town!
Trey, The Market on University Ave. was Liddicoats Market I believe? Duca and Hanley Market on Middlefield Rd. at the MidTown shopping center was also a classic as well. As was Bergmanns Dept. Store next door, we would buy 45 singles upstairs near the toy dept. for 50 cents. What year were you at Menlo School?
Two Bergmann’s stories: Tom Bergmann and I were friends in 2nd grade at (the original) Herbert Hoover. We were playing in the tree at his house on Colorado and I was jumping from the tree mimicking that TV show “Ripcord,” except without the parachute. Unfortunately, I came down hard and sprained my ankle really bad. Tom calmly wheeled me home in a red wagon. I remember those 45 records on the second floor of Bergmann’s. Also, by 5th grade, we’d buy sodium nitrate, charcoal and sulfur in the $1.00 chemical rack. We’d make gunpowder with those items. Nothing too destructive – we’d usually just light the stuff in our “forts.” I think every boy growing up here at some point made forts in their backyard. We’d use the leftovers from the new houses and apartments that were being built in the Midtown area. Andy Freedman[email protected]
It was nice reading all of these Palo Alto memories. Andy mentioned 42nd St, and wondered if anyone had ever slipped from the 2nd floor…I never slipped but I do recall having a “Long Island Iced tea” glass land on my head from the balcony! I also remember being introduced to my wife there. She was the prettiest girl in the room.
Hi Derek, That Long Island Iced Tea story is funny. I had a girlfriend once who would laugh anytime I tripped and fell, or otherwise hurt myself. I can’t imagine that you would have been unscathed with a LIIT glass falling on your head from the second story at 42nd Street. You’d figure after that, they’d put up nets. Just another little “bar” story. I was working for PAMF and I went with the management team to celebrate something at the Blue Chalk Cafe. I had a beer with my meal. Have you seen the size of their beer – almost like a pitcher. The waitress thought I answered affirmatively to a 2nd one. Well, you know, waste not want not; I drank the second beer and me, weighing only 130, DANG! As we were walking back to work, someone joked and said, “Didn’t know you were a lush [drunk], Andy.” I tried to very matter-of-factly reply and I said, “Look, I’m not a . . .” Even back then, the sidewalks were in a state of disrepair. Before finishing the sentence I went down toes, knees and almost nose. It was like, what were you saying? You wanted the rest of the day off? Andy .
Bob..the oil spill/collision was late January 1971…add three years.. if I was lucky to not have been booted for cause… Menlo was a great place and in my humble opinion should have never been changed to co-ed ..but was done for $$ reasons..there are proven examples and a multitude of reasons to seperate M/F high school students… What’s done is done.. and since 1981 i discontinued my yearly contribution to the Menlo Fund… I just received an up date from Mason Williams… any one remember him…and Tommy..and Dickey…and Pat?! how about the great Arbys on EC in Menlo Park?
Does anyone remember the “Open House Market” on El Camino? May still be there? At any given time half the Stanford football team would be at the back lunch counter eating hamburgers prepared with TLC by Mr. and Mrs. Lock. Jim Plunkett was a true regular back in 1970! The Stanford Bonfires were “Wild”, like a mini-Burning Man all in one night.
I remember L’ Omelette on El Camino and Old Barrel Market on El Camino Way where they would roast turkeys for Thanksgiving. You could have them smoked or not. Free University and the live theater on the University Circle were all great.
Linda – Yes the Open House Market was next to KFC!! I remember buying school clothes at Dick Felts Clothing Store downtown and school shoes at the Kinney Shoe Store on El Camino. There was also a store I think over on Litton that would buy and sell used record albums, very cool place!
I worked at that KFC! Bob, are you thinking of World’s Indoor Records? Do you remember The Record Store on El Camino, across from Uncle John’s Pancake House? It is the big wooden cube.
The original name of the big cube was Banana Records, I think? I remember going to see great Improv upstairs at The Tangent downtown PA. Phil Schultz was the leader of that theatre group. Movies in the summer for 50 cents at the Stanford Theater and the Varsity Theater.
I think Bob may be thinking of Chimaera Books (and records) as being the place on Lytton Ave. For those who are not old-timers, Uncle John’s pancakes is now The Fish Market. And Kinney’s shoes is now Foot Locker.
I think Bob may be thinking of Chimaera Books (and records) as being the place on Lytton Ave. For those who are not old-timers, Uncle John’s pancakes is now The Fish Market. And Kinney’s shoes is now Foot Locker.
Ok, I guess I just can’t resist. Many of the above memeories; Maximart best models anywhere Halloween wax candy at Driftwood market Walking through the drainage tunnel under Gunn High school field. Climbing into the empty tank thats’s now a train in Briones Park. The pepper tree in the vacant lot on Maybell and Donald. The poor house on the same corner that cars kept driving into. Playin kick the can in the street on summer nights. The smell of apricots everywhere! The sandbox at COOP on California Ave. The Bufano bears at Mitchell Park. Fire Stix at Rinconada snack bar. Old Walter Hays school.(And damn near cuttin my arm off going through one of the glass classroom doors.) Christmas caroling on the back of a stakebed truck. Creek rides! Bike riding up to Foothills park. Riding back down!!! The ‘Vertical Team’ at Jordan. Alternative education! Whoohoo! Evenings in Rinconada park sitting on the grass. Stealing donuts and cookies from the square dances at the community center. Getting pulled over for running stop signs on my bike! Working at Mrs Feilds Cookies, WITH Mrs. Feilds, dude, she’s totally hot! The insane double bill matinees at the Varsity. I mean, Mary Poppins with Vanishing Point?? The Paris Theater. The Magic/Joke shop up on San Antonio. ALEC Old Keplers bathroom-wallpapered with comupter printout softcore. Banana Records. Patterson’s dime bins. Edie’s ice cream. The downtown post office walls…in the middle of the night…if you know what I mean…. The Stanford mausoleum….in the middle of the night….etc…. The early 60′s splendor that was Stanford Shopping Center. Ketchup packets on the traintracks. The Winter Club junior high school pickup scene. Stickney’s, especially the paper placemats that you could color and make into a mobil. El Zarape.the Mt View Surplus. Helmets with the red Vietnam dirt still on em! Midnight movies at Stanford…whoah…. Donkey baseball. Plum wars. Gettin yelled at for playing flaming gas soaked tennis ball catch in the street.
“Emil Molinari, who peddled vegetables door-to-door” Was this the guy who drove around in the old, old truck at an absolute snails pace? How about leaving the glass bottles on the porch with the order tags for the Piers Dairy milkman. The bakery next to Bergman’s with the awesome bread and pastries. There was a Laundromat next door. Cy Pennel’s Chevron Station and another station across from the original Crocker Bank at Middlefield and Colorado. The barber shop next to Round Table and Exquisite Cleaners was frequented by some of those local sports legends like Brodie. Also at Midtown, shoe repair shop, Edward’s TV store both in the same building with Fremont Pharmacy. A shoe store (Buster Brown?) next to Midtown Pharmacy. I think it was “Coffee Lane” inside Bergman’s, Pete’s Lane Burger was second to none with a real Cherry Coke!
I did a lot of business at Open House Market, which I guess was in competition with JJ&F. The Locks’ son Lim was in my gym class at Jordan. I saw him at the 30th Paly reunion (he now goes by “Hap”) and his dad had closed the store and wasn’t doing too well healthwise at the time. Phil Schulz had an improv troupe at The Tangent on The Circle in the late ’60s called “The Illegitimate Theater”. Jordan art and English teacher Ray Barrett was in the troupe. It was a big deal when they went to New York to appear on national television on The David Frost Show. They also did a couple of local shows on KQED. I’m surprised anyone remembers this. Duca & Hanley was not the name of the market in Midtown. The official name was Midtown Market. Duca & Hanley was the name of the meat department. I’m flabbergasted anyone remembers “Cy Pennel”.
Phil Schultz was a professor at Menlo College as well. I remember trudging up to Foothill park on bicycles (Sometimes Stingrays) and then riding / coasting down with no helmet, absolutely crazy-dangerous!! Swimming lessons at Rinconada, or private lessons at Add-Janes Swim Club. All the good Palo Alto swim team kids swam at Ladera Oaks Swim Club (Wes Raffel, Jim Hamilton, Steve Baxter), and Chris Dale and Wayne Fazino were the great divers. Chris dove at UCLA for four years and I believe he is a medical Doctor. Do you remember the two great Track stars for Paly 72-73, Carl Florant and Gordon MacMitchell, both won the State Meet in 1973!! Forrest Jamison was the coach!
Riding bikes to Maximart to get models and 8mm film. Summer matinees at the Stanford Theater, and leaving our bikes unlocked in a pile on the sidewalk in front. The pedal cars in Mitchell Park (the track and “garages” still remain). The secret bike path around the community gardens behind the main library (path is very overgrown now). Formico’s pizza. Getting a 10-speed bike and being able to ride it up to Foothills park (couldn’t do it with less than 10 gears). Riding minibikes in the Baylands at the end of Faber Place, which had hundreds of small dirt hills. Going to the Dump, before it was a “landfill”. The Eucalyptus groves on the north side of Lagunita, which were razed to make more dorms. Patterson’s Department store; watching the filming of “Escape To Witch Mountain” in front of Patterson’s. The original Walter Hays building, with its covered, wood-floored outdoor halls. We’d take off our shoes, get a running start, slide on them for miles. Tearing down & replacing the old Walter Hays main building… we’d watch the bulldozers every day at lunch. Air Raid sirens and Duck & Cover drills. Watching the ever-deepening hole when they built the current City Hall. Skateboarding in Jordan’s pool the year they drained it for repairs, maybe 1976.
4th of July fireworks out at the yacht harbor / baylands. Summer at the Lake Lagunita “Beach”. Running the Stanford Stadium stairs in the summer for football conditioning, all (110) rows! Ushering the Stanford football games for admission, a hotdog, and a Pepsi. Playing tackle football in the rain on the Jordan Jr. High field with no helmet or pads just to get muddy! Walking almost a mile to Garland Elementary School EVERYDAY, and picking up your friends along the way.
I had classes with Wes Raffel, Jim Hamilton, Carl Florant and Chris Dale. I saw Wes at the reunion in August, and someone told me Chris is a plastic surgeon in Orange County. It seems they showed every James Bond movie ever made at the Stanford Theater during the summer and yes, we left our unlocked bikes in a heap outside. A ride to the dump was an event if you went in a pickup truck and got to ride in the back. But watch out for the seagulls! Imagine the fun having first-period P.E. at Jordan and having to play football with frost on the grass at 8 am. Not dew but FROST, as in FROZEN WATER!
>Posted by BruceL, a resident of the South of Midtown neighborhood, on May 14, 2008 at 6:05 pm Been a few months since I last checked this site — delighted to see it’s still going! A few more memories: * Henry Gunn’s granddaughter was a student at Gunn. In the mid-1970s, she went to the senior prom with another girl. That was really daring, racy, OUT there (pun intended) at the time. Not sure whether she was gay or just making a point.< You’re thinking of Mari Gunn and Muriel Sivyer, Gunn Class of ’73. They pretended to be gay (holding hands, pecks on the cheek before class) for a Family Life class project. They wanted to show Gunn students were not as liberal or enlightened as they pretended to be. If memory serves me correctly, when interviewed by the PA Times, Mari mentioned when they walked through the “Bat Cave” holding hands, “one guy’s milk came out his nose”. They went on to appear on various TV shows(Mike Douglas or Merv Griffin?), and made the national news. Neither of these ladies was/is gay, they were making the point Gunn students were NOT that tolerant! They cleared the project with their teacher, Tom Frankum, in advance. I don’t think the class project lasted until the prom, as I was there, as were students from the other two high schools.(in the grand ballroom at the Hyatt) Had Mari and Muriel come together as a couple, it would have been obvious. Hope this clears up any misconceptions about Mari and Muriel. They’re both very nice people.
Yes, I remember that social experiment too. As you mentioned, it made national news. I enjoyed Mr. Frankum’s class in 1973 in the portables. I’m sitting here thinking, my god, I haven’t strayed too far. I work for the VA Hospital. When I went to Gunn (had I not moved, I would have been a Cubberley grad), I hung out at the Hill and used to hop the fense and buy ciggarettes at the VA Hosptial for 24 cents a pack (no tax). After I served in the Marines, I began working for the VA and the first time I went to buy a pack of smokes, the woman said, “I’m sorry, but you boys can’t come here from Gunn and buy ciggaretts.” I said, but lady, I’m 22 and I work here now. Does anyone remember Mr. Priosty (sp?), who taught music and led the bands at Gunn? There were two other drummers (Mike Ruiz and John Handy) who were far better than me, but the drummers always got on Mr. Priosty’s nerves and he’d throw us out a lot – until he needed us back again. I recall that we were giving a concert at Terman Junior High. Mr. Priosty picked up the piton and was about to start when he noticed that the drum set was drummerless. He looked around and asked, “Where’s Handy?” Someone said that they saw him at the vending machines. Mr. Priosty looked at me and I gave him that look like, I can’t do that number. But finally after a few minutes John returns and takes his seat at the drums set. By then, the audience was getting a little inpatient. Mr. Priosty picks up the piton and is about to start and then asks, “Mr. Handy. Are you ready now?” John shoots back, “Whenever you is,” while he twirls the drumsticks. He still plays in the area and is still a great drummer. Andy Freedman[email protected]
Does anyone remember the very first stores to open up in the Midtown? What year was the shopping area established?
Midtown must have been developed in the late 40′s early 50′s. A&W would have been an early feature. There was a saw sharpening shop next door as well. Safeway replaced them around ’65-’66. 7-11 replaced the Variety Store a year or two later. Anyone remember the gas station kitty corner from Cy Pennel’s Chevron? Seems to me it was Texaco… Probably there before the Chevron. I’m guessing Midtown Market was an early feature judging by the building. Imagine a neighborhood hardware store like the one across the street instead of Home Depot… The Variety Store was cool too. All of those toys for 10 cents and lots of penny candy, nickel packs of gum. I remember watching flames shoot out of the roof of Bergman’s from across the street in the Variety Store one evening. The diner caught fire. That would have been around ’64-65.
Moved to South Palo Alto in 1964-5th grade. Walked to Greendell Elementary school, home for lunch everyday. The radiant heating in the floors of our Eichler. Met my dearest and oldest friend 1st day of 5th grade–still very close 44 years later. Walking to Mayfield Mall to have salads in the coffee shop and talk the afternoon away. Summer swimming at Cubberly Pool. Only girls required to wear swim caps, until boys starting growing out their hair, then no one had to wear caps. Sent to Wilbur Principal’s office for wearing pants to school on my birthday in 1968. A year later, dress code abolished Summer Hide and Seek every night in the Cul-de-sac. House sitting for neighbor’s homes that had pools–swam all day long “Ski”, the police officer who lived around the corner Demonstrations at Lytton Plaza. University Avenue was safer and cleaner Liddicoats Market Foothill Park picnics–snakes in the grass Taking garbage to the Dump out on the baylands Rick’s Ice Cream at Charleston Center and 31 flavors on Middlefield midtown Buying Beatles records at the Charleston Center Drug Store Lifeguard blowing his whistle to change from kids to adult swim at Greenmeadow Pool Ballroom dancing lessons with white gloves at Greenmeadow after school Placing 10 cents into a cup (honor system) to pay for donuts at the San Antonio Co-op Grape Boycott at the Coop during the farm worker’s strike. Shakey’s Pizza Parlor on El Camino Working in the summer at the Greenmeadow Nursery School Coach Peters trying to teach driver’s training–I drove up on someone’s lawn Merle Norman cosmetics next to the Shoe store at San Antonio Shopping Center Taking the train in 8th grade from California Avenue to San Francisco to shop in Union Square School picnics at Searsville Lake The Alternative School inside Cubberly High, formed in 1971, my senior year– all us hippy types joined Graduating 6 months early and working at the Bakery in Town and Country on Embarcadero and El Camino–leaving work admiring the clothes in the front window of Prestige. Moved on in 1972
Blast from the past indeed!! Cubberley class of 1970. I grew up in the Greendell neighborhood but have lived in Willow Glen (San Jose) for the past 27 years. I still come into Palo Alto twice a year (Middlefield & Colorado) for dental exams. I haven’t changed dental offices since 1966 and only changed dentists when mine retired a couple of years ago! Midtown has however changed quite a bit since then. I noticed that the Baskin Robbins at Midtown is still there. Back in the day it was run by the Napolitano family, I wonder if it still is? I went to elementary school with Dave Napolitano a lifetime ago back when both of our families lived in Daly City. Reading a number of posts from others, (including my sister above) reminds me of the people and places that were part of my world growing up here. Someone posted a recollection of Mrs. Keneshea, an elementary school teacher (Addison?) who bought them lunch one day. She was our next door neighbor and I remember her always having something to say….loudly!! I remember mowing lawns, washing cars and babysitting in the neighborhood for spending money. I remember when Space Systems Loral was Philco/Ford and the 3 engineer neighbors in our 7 house culdesac each drove new Fords every year; I remember there were kids in nearly every house and playing kickball with the dads on summer evenings before dinner was a regular ritual as were the hide and seek games from after dinner till after dark. The post by Bob Warford brought back memories of Cubberley. He was in the class ahead of me and though I did not know him at the time, I remember him and the other “Executors” who drove cool cars back then. I remember Mr. Smartt, the terrific auto shop teacher at Cubberley and the miserable project I got conned into helping with, a 1960 MGA coupe needing an engine overhaul; I remember the “sleep-in” protest in the Pavillion connected with the Ron Jones denial of tenure issue; I remember the senior prank where a toilet was hoisted to the top of the Totem in the Amphitheater; I remember playing soccer in the mud the first or second year Cubberley had a soccer team courtesy of Coaches Skillicorn and Dougherty; I remember the universal gym fundraiser where Coach Peters let his hair and beard grow….quite long! I remember the 10th and 20th reunions, I wonder if the class of 1970 will get it together enough to pull off a 40th reunion???
Went to Barron Park (Kindergarten), Fairmeadow ES, Wilbur JHS, Cubberley Class of ’79. I remember – the donut shop (Rich-made?)at Middlefield and Loma Verde – Rick’s Rather Rich Ice Cream – Bergmann’s, Fremont Pharmacy, and (for Slurpees) Midtown 7-11 – the Shakey’s Pizza and A&W on El Camino at West Meadow. – delivering the Palo Alto times on Mon-Sat afternoons – Maximart (where Fry’s is now) – box-shaped Banana Records on El Camino – the big open space behind Our Lady of the Rosary on Cowper – the Stanford Indians (before the change to “Cardinal”) – selling newspapers at Stanford football games (we kept 50% of the $) – sneaking into Stanford games–tall trees + short fence = EZ entrance – biking to Mayfield Mall – outrunning the Mall Cop whose name was, I swear, Richard Cox – the soda fountain at the Woolworths in the Mall and on University – biking to Baylands using the ped/bike 101 overpass – The original Mrs. Field’s cookies in Liddicoats – The 2nd Mrs. Fields at Old Mill Center – Watching the Rocky Horror Picture Show at Old Mill – Comics and Comix at it’s original location near University Ave. – P.A. Little League–including games played at the Vet complex – putting pennies on the railroad tracks – walking and riding bikes in Barron, Matedero, and Adobe creeks – exploring San Francisquito creek – hiking in Foothills Park (watch out for rattler’s) – getting my Raleigh 3-speed ripped off while a student at Wilbur JHS – Cubberley’s last graduation (and grad night): RIP
I started working in Palo Alto in October of 1983. It was once a good place. Now, it went straight down the BS storm drains. This City now does more damage then good. Period.
Does anyone remember waiting in line to get into the Dump on Saturdays? Riding bikes up to Foothill Park and coasting down with NO HELMETS, pretty stupid!! Little League games at Middlefield Park and the Vet Hospital fields, Palo Alto Knights Pop Warner games at Paly, and practices on Tuesday, Thursday nights at El Camino Park (1966-68). Paly – Cubberly rivalry games!
Hi Bob, But of course I remember coasting down from Foothills Park with no helmet down Page Mill Road – there were no bike helmets (that I knew of) “back then.” I did the same thing on Old La Honda Road. What’s that place? Hobitan? Most folks end up having a soft crash landing there. I did play for Y’s men’s in little league, but I was an awful player. I mean awful! I’d field a fly ball by letting it hit the ground first, before it would hit my face. My older brother, Dean, however, was pretty good. He played as pitcher and first base for Dick Felt’s. And I do remember the Vet’s I and Vet’s II fields. Back in the 60s, the City of Palo Alto did everything they could to get Little League fields – just like soccer fields today. Andy Freedman[email protected]
Andy, My Little League career consisted of the teams: Hageman Construction, Coca Cola, and Kawata Bros.. I beleive Kawata Bros. was a Union 76 gas station? Not sure? I remember playing in the All-Star game @ Middlefield and getting beaned in the thigh by Grant Olsen who was 6′ tall at 13 yrs. old. He was a Wilbur / Cubberley guy.
My Little League/Babe Ruth teams were Ming’s, Roggee’s Auto Wreckers and Peninsula Creamery. Once got hit by a pitch in a very uncomfortable spot (wasn’t wearing a cup), thrown by Bill Pidto. If I ever run into that guy….
I’m a former resident of the Midtown area (Moreno Ave., just east of Middlefield Rd.). I only lived there for 4 1/2 years and only went to grades 1-4 at the former Elizabeth Van Auken School, 1964-68. We were from Oklahoma and moved back after fourth grade – and I graduated from Ardmore High in Ardmore, Okla. (I live in Albuquerque, N.M., now) I’d have to come back to visit (might do so this summer) to revive a few extra memories, but a few of mine are still pretty vivid. – Baseball cards going quickly at the Midtown Pharmacy when we neighborhood kids were looking for the new sets. – Y-Indian Guides and the Gra-Y clubs at the local YMCA for grade school-age boys. – Ice cream at Edy’s, and later at the brand-new Baskin Robbins behind the old Purity store (at about 15 cents a scoop). – Little League baseball, spring of ’68. I played on a team sponsored by the Kiwanis Club, and was one of the youngest guys on the team (I was 10 and in the fourth grade) in the majors. We played a few games at the park on Middlefield, but many of the games were played out by the V-A. Saw a kid who was 12, but was about the same size I was when I was 17, hit a ball that hooked foul, that went about 330 feet (in a park whose left-field line was about 160′ from home plate). – Wondering what became of the rest of the guys on that team – coached by a nice man named Don Chambers. – Vaguely remembering a railroad that used to run from Palo Alto through Los Altos and on south, that was abandoned and removed and became the right of way for an expressway. – Seeing Paly grad Dave Schultz (RIP) wrestle in college and wondering if I’d ever crossed paths with him in grade school somehow. – Take-out food from the Cheese House over by Paly and Stanford Stadium. – Pizza at the Round Table, and Sunday morning brunch at Uncle John’s Pancake House. – Roller Derby and “National All-Star Wrestling” on KTVU-TV (2) out of San Francisco. – Giants’ baseball, at the tail end of Willie Mays’ prime, with Russ Hodges still on the air up in San Fran. – Tetherball and tanbark, on the playground at our grade school. We always seemed to have an annual festival, with cake walks and other goodies being available there. – Riding bikes everywhere in our neighborhood. – Without a nearby playground, playing “fly ball” on the back lot of the Purity Store with a tennis ball, on the landing dock area. – Picnics at Mitchell Park, and swimming lessons at Rinconada Park. – Going with the “graduating” sixth grade class of Elizabeth Van Auken on their class outing to Foothill Park in June of 1970 (my school year in Oklahoma had ended just before Memorial Day; and we were visiting on an extended vacation). Sadly, that was the last time I saw almost all of those kids. I hope that any of the other “kids” from either EVA Elementary from that era, or from that neighborhood bordered by Moreno, Coastland and Marion, will follow up on my post.
Was anyone stupid enough to float down the Palo Alto creek when it rained really hard? We would tie large inner-tubes together and throw on a life vest and ride it all the way to the baylands. Very dangerous and crazy in hindsight! Also, the precursor to paint-ball was BB Gun wars up at Foothill Park. All we wore was goggles! Really Dumb!
Hi Bob, I was more than stupid enough. When Barron Creek had only a few inches of water, my friends and I rode our Stingray bikes from Middlefield Road to El Camino Real. Everyone was slipping and falling on the slimy creekbed except for me and my friend because we were the only ones riding double. Sitting on the handlebars made for more traction. Close to my house, Matadero Creek would fill almost to the top during strong winter rains. The current was treacherous. Just looking at the current would be enough to know that a boat or raft (or air mattress) would have a very bad outcome. School was just a block away taking the shortcut when the creek was not full. Walk down Wellsbury Way, go through the field/orchard (later to become Towel Street), crawl under the fence of the creek, walk on the stepping stones in the creek, crawl under the fence, walk through Hoover Park and to school. And more on creeks, the tadpols in the creek turned to frogs and you could always hear the frogs in the summer evening. Andy Freedman[email protected]
I remember all my friend’s dads working for Lockheed or Philco/Ford and the excitement of the space program. Shopping at Dick Felts for my cub scout uniforms (and later Boy Scouts) Back-to-school clothes at Bergmann’s (and milkshakes at Coffee Lane) Riding my gold schwinn stingray all over the place (maximart, midtown Baskin Robbins) Playing in the street till after sunset.. at least until the Zodiac thing happened Snow in 1962 when I was little (my dad and I made a snowman) The Palo Alto Miltary Academy and Harker My first day of school at Ross Road Elementary, PM Kindergarten and Mrs. Black was my teacher, and we had the same birthday Firing off Estes model rockets during the summer Catching tadpoles and frogs in Barron creek and Adobe creek Rich Maid doughnuts on Middlefield and Loma Verde after church on Sunday Going out on Halloween with my buddies all by ourselves The bike shop in Midtown where I got my 5 speed Summer movies at the Stanford Theater, and riding the old PA bus to get there on my own. Loading up on candy at Woolworths The Taylor’s delivering the Paly Times to our house Getting dry ice from Piers Dairy during the summer Really a fun place to grow up, nice to be back after 25 years
Best things from the late 50s and early 60s when my siblings and I were at Garland, Jordan and Paly: Paly playing Sequoia in Stanford Stadium on Thanksgiving Summer movie deals for kids at the Stanford Theater Riding bikes down Page Mill Road from the Palo Alto Hills Country Club without a stop light and barely a building until you got to El Camino The day the Stanford Shopping Center opened…later having lunch at the Old Barn Smith’s on the Circle Boy Scouts at the Community Center (at least until the fire) Milk shakes at the Peninsula Creamery Hot donuts at the bakery next to Bergman’s at Midtown Delivering the Times on my bike after folding the paper and using a rubber band so the papers would fit in the canvas bags over my shoulders It has been nearly 40 years since I lived in Palo Alto, but I remember it well as a great place to grow up.
charley musselwhite at poppycock “hiking” up “creek” to tunnel at el camino by all american market and thru it after getting thru bars could see no light from middle knowledge computer at pizza place on university lytton plaza on friday nights free music frost for concerts for no-more-than $2 “donations” great bands PARD childrens museum giant checkers at mitchell park still there? what was name of toy store near colorado and middlefield? gret old time bakery middlefield and colorado is the house with the open land still there at louis and loma verde? the magic forest at rinconada
Posted by Caroline Taylor, a resident of another community, on Jun 20, 2007 at 7:00 pm “Does anyone remember the old Hilendahl (sp?) place with the pointed cupola over the front door? It was at 3296 Cowper and faced the end of St. Claire.” I drove down Cowper recently and it looks like this house has been demolished to build a new house. Another Palo Alto tear-down.
Not as dumb as riding a raging creek during a storm, but I remember a guy getting stuck in the railroad trestle by El Palo Alto. His pic was in the P.A. Times. All you saw was his head sticking out. The fire department arrived and got him out by dousing him with vegetable oil. Must’ve been around 1968. I went to Jordan and Paly with the guy. I remember him. I remember the incident. I remember his name but I’m not telling.
Earlier I had posted earlier about the name of the doughnut shop at Charleston. One of my classmates found an old photo of Charleston Center dated about 1967 with a sign indicating “The Doughnut *Nook*”. So “The Doughnut Affair” (c. 1960) became “The Doughnut Nook”, (c. 1967) and then later (after 1972?) “Feng Yuan”.
Phil Moore! Is that the same Phil Moore who used to drive “Mabel” and later “Lambrer” to Paly? By the way, for “Palo Verde Dave” the toy store in midtown was “Toy World” AKA Palo Alto sport shop and toy world. Same owners (Hoffacker family) as the one that still exists in downtown PA.
Hey Eric, I came to Palo Alto in Mid 60′s..a reunion of Nave friends from Hawaii. They sent me up to get ice cream behind Michael Angelo. I about had a heart attack. lol. Of course no-one knew of Tourette Syndrome then. They wanted to show me a “real” Calif party. I was from Ohio. They owned a beautiful 34 Ford Coupe and we spent a week hitting all the hangouts telling everyone of a party at the Del Charro apartments. We expected maybe 20 to 30 people. They showed up in the hundreds, A fight broke out when a guy saw me kissing his girlfriend/police were called/ we were kicked out. We ended up living in an old chicken shack behind a huge family of Porta Ricans. I had a crush an a girl named Jane Ball. I ended up living in a small house owned by Barb Bentley(who I fell in love with) that used to house some of the “Merry Pranksters.” We called the downtown PA park “Plastic Park.” There was an old speed freak named Oliver who used to hang out there. I remember the Tangent/Poppycock/St. Michaels. There was a tree that ran near a creek in a park on the edge of Palo Alto. I lived under it for months.It looked like a regular thick branched tree, but if you knew where to get in, it opened up to an area where you could almost stand…and not matter how hard it rained ,it stayed dry. I loved Palo Alto. I also lived on Waverly, and East Palo Alto. My memeory is vague but there was a place, I though in the La Honda mountains where if you knew where to turn in, it took you to the very top where you could see from San Fransisco to San Jose. I lived in a commune with a girl named Tenny, Mare, Baa, Meka. I knew a Ronway. Also a Judy Rose and a Jerry Cannon(?) I also took the worst butt whuppin of my life at the Palo Alto Bowl. They were turbulent times, but great times. I remember seeing Janice Joplin just walking down the street with some total strangers for out of state. My email is [email protected] I write now. Unfortunately, I know more people who died in the cultural war going on in America than friends who died in VietNam. I eventually became addicted to heroin, and spent many months in and out of clinics, but I survived. I now have a Terminal cancer, but reading this has brought back so many memories of when my plan was new. I knew a Rod Harrison, Bill Blankenship, a Craig Mathers. Before I fade out I would like to thank all of them for being a part of my path. I ended up happily married with 2 sons. Palo Alto will always be a big part of my life. I found my first real love there in Baa, but life got in the way and we took separate paths. Here’s to all the people who survived those times.
Hi Phil Moore, Thank you for the FYI. As kids, we speculated whether the East Farthing Trading Company (or the Hippie House, as we dubbed it) sold more than just incense, candles, black light posters and paraphernalia (back then, they sold hookahs, rolling papers, roach clips, those small rolling machines for folks who were handicapped when trying to roll one). Any relation to Mike Moore? We were friends at Wilbur. I messed up really bad. I agreed to do his morning Chronicle paper route and on the first day – Sunday – I was an hour late. Fortunately the route manager had put together all the papers and he drove me and a friend on the route and I was just guessing which houses to throw them. Ended up with about 20 complaints. The next few days went much better and by the time it was over, I had the route down pat. Anyway, Mike was a good guy and he still paid me and thanked me for subbing on his route. Andy Freedman
Cooks Quarter Horse Ranch – Berry Hill(s?) Farm next door – I lived for my weekends at Cook’s – anyone else remember those days of horse shows? I never owned a horse but I worked there so I could ride. I remember riding up to 280 while they were building it, and it was still dirt. And riding over “Open Country” to Duveneck’s. Riding to Risotti’s – now that was very exciting! Mid-Town; I can rememeber staring at the roasted nuts at the Pharmacy…Baskin & Robbins – cones were I think 15 cents when it opened – it was a toy store before that. I got busted there by my mom for crossing Oregon Expressway with my friend (we were so little then!) We lived on Oregon Avenue and watched the houses across the street moved out for the building of the Expressway. Bergmann’s – I loved that place – got my first pair of jeans there. My friend and I would pick out eachother’s presents there. Pier’s Dairy – my dad worked there for awhile. Foothill Park – my brother helped build the trails. Riding my bike to Paly every day – bikes were stolen by the hundreds and you had to be very careful… So much – Monette’s Pet shop, Town & Country (the hang-out place at lunchtime when at Paly), working at Woolworth’s at Mayfield Mall..
Living on Blair Court off of Greer Rd. near Oregon Ave. (Before it was an Expressway). (16) houses with (55) kids on one small Cul-de-sac, such a great place to grow up!! I remember the Shipleys, Salsburys, Banks, Hu’s, Raffels, Pangs, Salters, Mumfords, Barrals, and Larsens.
Living on Blair Court off of Greer Rd. near Oregon Ave. (Before it was an Expressway). (16) houses with (55) kids on one small Cul-de-sac, such a great place to grow up!! I remember the Shipleys, Salsburys, Banks, Hu’s, Raffels, Pangs, Salters, Mumfords, Barrals, and Larsens.
wow… Wilbur Jr. High, Cubberley High… go Cougars… I remember Piers Dairy, Bergemans, Crocker Bank (my first savings account) Variety Store, De Anza Elementry and Traffic Patrol.. Swimming at Riconada Park, The Varsity Theater down town Palo Alto,
Marble season at Ortega. Collecting tiny frogs from the creek into buckets and letting them loose in the back yard. The Eichler’s heated floors. Riding stingrays to get chunks of magnets from steel garbage containers from the inudustrial park over by Philco Ford. Eating candy outside of Mayfair Market with friends. My Dad taking us to the dump every sunday with the Yard clippings, then to Shakeys pizza aftwards. Shakeys showed Laurel and Hardy Movies. It was safe to walk to Ortega by ourselves in 1st grade. The duckpond and Seascouts over by the dump. Listening to Stanford football games on the radio, Jim Plunkett was the QB. Swimming at the Elks club outdoor pool and after getting out, lying facedown on the concrete, by the pool, to warm up.
Hey, I remember walking to St. Thomas Acquinas for school everyday, past the field that is now Eleanor Park. Later, they changed the school name to Saint Albert the Great. We called it Big Al’s Gas House after a faux speakeasy on El Camino just out of town. There was a field with horses at the end of Dana Avenue, a big red barn where Pitman is now, and Joe Greer had a big old yellow Victorian house and a whole mini-farm with chickens where the cul de sac was later created in the late 50′s. We used to ride our bikes to Lake Lagunita and catch tadpoles in the loamy crust before the lake filled up with wate. JC Penny’s was the big department store on University Avenue, but Rapps was there then, too, as well as the Crescent Bakery. There was also St. Michael’s Alley, a very beatnik-style coffee house that served espressos and other fancy stuff we didn’t appreciate much in those days. Harry’s Hamburgers in Whiskey Gulch had burger baskets and a birthday club, with all the kids’ photos posted up on the wall. You got a free burger basket on your birthday. Town and Country Village used to have a big old hores-pulled hay wagon and you could go on hay rides around the area when you parents were shopping. I worked at Eddie’s Ice Cream in Town and Country—and wore what amounts to a French maid outfit with a starhed bow atop my head and this tiny starched apron. Hilarious. You could eat your mistakes. Coffee Crunch was the best. I stopped eating ice cream after that. My brother was an usher at the Stanford theater and later worked at Baskin Robbins until he sprained his “scooping wrist.” Even before I went to Paly, my dad used to take us to the Thanksgiving Big Game between Paly and Sequoia, which was played at Stanford Stadium. Wow, what a great place to grow up!!
I remember Bishops Creamery on California Avenue, the Fine Arts Theatre, St. Michaels Alley, Mayfield Elementary School, Stanford Elementary School and many more.
Andy F. Leo’s old friend? I was born and raised in Palo Alto, Stanford Elememtary School, Mayfield Elem., Herbert Hoover Elem. (Middlefield Rd.) Wilbur and Cubberley Strawberry Fields? Kipling Street where I gre up. Dad built a house for us in 1947 when he came home from the war. Mom purchased the lot for $300!! I could see from my back yard all the way up Page Mill Road. Laying on a blanket in front of our house counting the stars. The freedom of riding my English racer all over town. 1957, 1959 Chevy’s. So cool along with Bucket Ts and Hot Rods. The Executors Car Club, Y-Dances, Dirty Dancing, cheek to cheek dancing and the chaperones that used to tap the boy on the back to break us apart. LOL Walking to the Main Library and the Community Center Pool and staying all day. Walking to Mayfield Market and Bergmans to run errands for my Mom. Being the only Hispanic/Mexican American in school!! Painful. Tight skirts, flats, wearing sweaters with the buttons down the back. Scarves tied around the neck. Hoop skirts, tons of crendoline petticoats, pleated skirts. Never wearing pants to school except on grub day…
Hi Delfina, I did not know that Leo or Andrew had a sister. Andrew and I were the same age and had some of the same classes at Herbert Hoover (Middlefield Road). We used to listen to Leo when his band practiced in the garage on Kippling. He plays a lot of Santana music and there band is very, very good. I’d like to get their schedule. You mentioned how you could see all the way to Page Mill in the 50s. I interviewed Birge Clark for an employee newsletter many years ago in regards to earthquakes. He said that after the 1906 earthquake, he could see from his Middlefield Road home the Memorial Church at Stanford and all the dust in the air. Also, he could see the flames and smoke from the fires in SF. A poster here remembered the cashews at Midtown Pharmacy. They were in a round glass case on a dish that rotated around under a light, to keep them warm. I forgot all about that. Funny how one can remember the little things like that. Did you have Miss Wyrough ever? We didn’t get along too well as student/teacher, but we became penpals during the 80s. She’d use a red colored pen in her correspondence. As chior director, she changed the words in the song from Mary Poppins that had the phrase, “In a most delightful way” to “In THE most delightful way.” Andy Freedman[email protected]
Leo’s band is named Caravansarii, a Santana tribute band and, you are right, they are damn good! Although I used to bust his chops for playing music in his room all day long. I am 8 years older than Leo so must of Leo & John’s friends did not know I existed. BTW, he has a very nice website announcing his gigs. Just google “Leo Herrera” and you are sure to find it.
Sorry John, Did you go by Andrew in elementary school? I don’t know where I got it, but, in any event, thanks for the correction. I visited Leo’s Website. I have to make it to one of his band’s local concerts. Any word or news on Paul C? Andy
Hey Andy Yes I went by Andy at hoover but went back to my real first name by the time I got to Jordon, The last I heard about Paul is that he may be living in Sac with an Aunt and is kind of a lost cause, On a sad note Rob J. wife passed away the Sat before Xmas, it’s been a tuff six mouths.
Hi John Please give Robin my warmest regards. Maybe the three of us can get together soon. I tried for years to connect with Paul, but never heard back from him. In fact, I was 19 in the Marine Corps when I saw him last and I believe he was about to enlist in the Navy. You’re brother’s band is playing this July 2nd for the Summer Concert in Menlo Park. I’m going to see them. For those reading this, Caravanserai – The Santana Tribute band – is one of the best local bands around and you will not be disappointed to experience them. And if you had listened to Leo playing in the garage in the ’60s, you’ll see how it paid off. Good hearing from you John. Andy Freedman[email protected]
By the way Andy, and any other folks thinking about seeing Leo Herrera’s band, they are playing on Wednesday the 1st, not Thursday the 2nd in Menlo Park.
Wow, great memories, everyone! Here’s a few off the top of my head: Cresent Park Elementary (Sadly, all million dollar homes now) Skating at Winter Club Frans market (my friend and I got yelled at by Fran for reading dirty mags. And we weren’t! he apologized) Bergmans. Don’t know why, but I loved that store. Climbing over the fence at the Paly pool in the summer. Jumping off the high dive when the water’s so still, we thought there was no water. Lucky’s Market. Can’t remember the street, but it was a long bike ride. Green Garbage Elementary. Sorry, but they were our rivals… Long, warm summers that seemed to never end. Playing baseball at the school, then lying on our backs looking at clouds for hours. Swimming at Rinconada with friends until we were so tired we could hardly stand. Then spending all our money at the snack bar. That bubble gum, Rolos or licorice sticks never tasted so good… Halloween parties at the community Center. I still have a plastic skeleton I won somewhere… Watching Roller derby on Sunday afternoons. Charlie O’Connell and the Bay Bombers. Playing safely after dark on my beloved Hamilton and Dana Avenue. Hide and seek, kick the can, etc. And trick or treating with my sister, while my dad followed from a distance. Always came home with a pillowcase full of candy. BBQs at Foothills Park.
It’s memories like these that have haunted me enough to return to the area. We’re a rare breed. Time for a reunion, I believe! Marisol
Just a reminder that Cubberley is having their 40th reunion coming up soon. Check out this webisteWeb Link What great memories from everyone. I heard that they are trying to put an office building where the gas station was in front of the Winter Club. Are there any gas stations in the midtown area. Things I remember are Doctor Joe Davis from the Palo Alto Medical Clinic and 300 Homer. Learning to skate at Winter Club, learning to swim at the Elks Club and learning to dance at Beudoin’s The wading pool at Mitchell Park The Cleaners on Colorado near Middlefield, the grandmotherly lady at the makeup counter at the drug store in the little shopping mall near Baskin Robbins She helped me purchase my first make up. I also remember the shoe shore next to the Baskin Robbins, and who can forget Leo Bergman and his wonderful store. Was glad to still see Baskin Robbins. The summer Tuesday movies downtown for fifty cents and nickel charm suckers All the tree lined streets and the feeling of a small town. I left after I graduated from high school 40 years ago. Was back for a visit a few months ago and the midtown area still has the same family feeling. Was so glad my parents decided to leave the city of San Francisco in the early 1950′s when I was little and move to the country. Yes Palo Alto. I got to get a wonderful Palo Alto education even Our Lady of the Rosary and the nuns.
Page Mill Road. Was that the road that went into the La Honda Mts? There was a place of the road(hidden) and if you drove off it, it took you to the very top to a small clearing where you could see San Francisco, Menlo Park, all the way down the strip towards San Jose. We owned an old milk truck and all of us would pile in and look at the beautiful lights at night.
I saw the comment by Jeanette Greenberg on 2/17/08 about exploring the old Sharon Heights Mansion. I also used to explore this great old house when I was in my early teens about I guess 1963ish. I was born in San Francisco in 1950 and my parents moved us to Palo Alto in 1953 to grow up in the ‘country’. I remember riding our bikes out to Sharon Heights and we explored. One time we heard someone climbing up the stairs with glass breaking because so many windows had been broken out by vandals, and when we went to see who had caught us inside the mansion ….it was a steer who was trying to climb the main staircase and had come through the open front door. It scared the ……out of us!! Also great memories of Searsville Lake swimming all day, and the Amphitheater in Stanford where we would run our dog and play before they had any fences. Later I saw Ray Charles, The Grateful Dead, Santana and many other wonderful bands there…..I have no idea why we still don’t use it like that! I love Palo Alto with all her incarnations.
Influential musicians(artists) from Palo Alto in the late 60′s early 70′s – Grace Slick (Jefferson Airplane) Jerry Garcia (Grateful Dead) Greg Raleigh (Santana & Journey) Cory Lerios (Pablo Cruise) to name a few… Swain’s House of Music Dana Morgan In Your Ear The Coachman, Hydraulic Banana, Butterscotch Elephant Farm Chad Osborne – Cubberley 68 YMCA “Y” Dances Slot cars on Middlefield Road and San Antonio (both) A&W Root Beer Freeman’s Market (Now Century Liquors) The Indian Bowl and Haley’s Comet, go figure? Michaelangelo, nick jag, gotta ….. Hitchhiking down Middlefield road, all the time.. Tina Ebby, Linda Zamville, Sandy Boston, “5 0″, Adrien Baleau (sic)…;-> Our Lady of the Weed Patch? 10 dollar lids
Palo Alto High 1971-73. Foothill College 1973-75. Sandy’s Kitchen & Sandy’s Jr Burger/ice cream, worked there. Gone Palo Alto Junior Musuem, worked there. Changed but still awesome. Riding bikes to Foothill Park, road bizzy with cars and homes all around it now… Worked the fire break crew. Used to swim the quarry after work. Quarry gone a boat ramp for a Sun Micro billionaire. Park changed but still cool place. Baskin Robbins Midtown Ice Cream and the ice water fountain. BR still there, still cool place to go. Water fountain recently gone…. Eddies Midtown for burgers, Midtown Pharmacy to read comics. Gone 7/11 and Round Table still there at Midtown! Franchise stores, but there for over 35 years! Jack in the Box on El Camino/California Ave. Still there, another franchise memory.LOL!! Just torn down past two weeks, Polly & Jakes building and Kens Bonzai Tree. Office building going up. Riding my bike to Paly early mornings, no hands. Not no more too many cars, its unsafe parents speeding the streets to get their grade school kids to class on time! Although biking to school is making a comeback!! Lake Lagunita, more of a shallow puddle now. Was a huge great place to swim in the summers. Stanford trying to build on it past 25 yrs. Long story. Baylands Interpretive Center. Still almost the same. Worked there. Too dangerous to bike ride out there any more. Golf Course, Mings and several retail new car places still there. OH and 1972 learning the duck pond was not 4ft deep when a car went in it one time. Turns out was the 1940s old Palo Alto salt water 15ft deep pool. Car sank LOL. Everyone was save, sound and wet! Left Palo Alto 1975 to attend Cal, (with about another 20 paly grad guys during that time!) my folks moved out, bros, sisters moved out. I always resolved to get back and did May 1987. Got my piece of land/home Midtown 1994, married a fellow Palo Alto grad!, Named our first dog Paly (rip), helped coach wrestling at Paly from 1995-2004 seasons. Have lots more memories, places, many gone, many/most were mentioned previously. David
Hi Everyone, I sure enjoy reading all these reminiscences about Palo Alto. In the same spirit of things, I wanted to let you know that the Weekly is launching the Palo Alto Story Project, which aims to capture Palo Alto stories, reminiscences and the like on video. The videos will be posted on this website, after some light editing. We’re inviting you, and other community members, to come and tell us your stories. We’re going to be videotaping people at the Palo Alto Festival of the Arts, Aug. 22 and 23, in downtown. Our booth will be on University Avenue near Borders Books. When you swing on by, we’ll have a member of our reporting staff there with the video camera. The interviews will be informal — no experience necessary. Just bring a good story born of your life and times in Palo Alto! Everyone’s welcome, even if you no longer live in the city. The videotaping will take place from noon to 6 p.m. that Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. If you want to sign up before the Festival for a particular time slot, please contact our editorial assistant, Karla Kane, at 650-326-8210 or [email protected], and she’ll be able to put you on the schedule. Thanks! Hope to see you there!
I still live in the Palo Alto area… I was born in San Francisco and lived here most of my life. I pass places full of memories every day, so what I’d have to say I remember most from growing up around here is the people. I met some great people here over the years. Sharon Stiles comes to mind… her family owned the Grapette plant in Redwood City and we’d often go there to goof off after school. She had a large, warm family from Arkansas and I spent most of my time over there playing pickup baseball games in the cul-de-sac. My boyfriend lived a couple of houses down… he had an amazing bicycle with a super high steering wheel; his name was Nick Miller; we’d watch American Bandstand on his TV with his brother Chet and other neighbors. I also remember the dear Pacheco family…Javier and especially George (RIP). I went to M-A and the folks I remember most are Alice Nakasora, Irene Forester, Tenny Lyons, Craig Mather, Bruce Petty and his younger brothers, Jim Morrison and Jay Kowalski (RIP). I recall Lindsey Buckingham’s band practicing in their parents’ garage, Bob Weir (Grateful Dead) in my Sunday school class, my steady boyfriend sophomore year Greg Johnson (he was a senior), Clark Congdon (Congdon & Crome), Dick Roth (gold medal winner), and Rodger Williams (Cool Breeze) in his welding apron and goggles working on a sculpture out on the art building’s lawn. I remember cutting school to go to Santa Cruz junior and senior year to hang out with my surfer friends Normal Walker, Chris, Tom Kienholz and Patty. The first place I drove when I got my license was Pleasure Point where I hooked up with my soon-to-become best friend Patty Kienholz of Santa Cruz High. I moved in with her, Irene Forester, and two other girls on 5th Avenue in Santa Cruz the night I graduated M-A (jeans on!… girls weren’t allowed to wear jeans to school). As far as high school went, I remember Johnny’s Smoke Shop, hanging out at Fosters Freeze (where I heard the first Beatles’ song over car radios turned up full tilt…. everyone went CraZy!!), Michaelangelo singing “There she goes, Miss Ameri#$%&! (explitive)”, that party at the Del Charro (but I was really only a little girl), visiting Mare’s grave on Arastradero with Ray Winberg (great jazz pianist) at night scaring each other with Zodiac stories, the Arkons (stupid!!! but that’s how I met Tenny–she was 3 years ahead of me in school and one of Cool Breeze’s childhood best friends, along with Pig Pen of the Grateful Dead), swimming out to the pontoon at Searsville Lake, A&W where my sista worked–I loved those trays that sat on the window ledges. It didn’t take long for me to meet up again with Merry Prankster Cool Breeze, who was living at the Barn in Santa Cruz with Janis Joplin (Kesey dropped the Pranksters there when he faked his death). We moved into a little cottage he painted with a psychedelic rainbow entrance on Pope Street in the Willows… and Tenny made sure it became a gathering place for folks she met on University Avenue. I met Nelson Madrid through Tenny at the Albion Kendalhang commune in the Haight Ashbury and he and I divided our time between Kendalhang and my Pope Street place. Nelson and I were also at the Lime Kiln Creek vernal equinox and the Monterey Pop festival… we didn’t have any money, but I vaguely remember climbing the chain-link fence…. only vignettes of all the pretty people (like Brian Jones) remain; it rawked! The next 3 years (1967 to 70) were blurry; things went downhill after the euphoria of the early Haight Ashbury days, so I moved to Monaco and France with a French dancer for a year. I returned to Palo Alto, met my husband at Stanford, and we bought our first house in College Terrace, half a block from campus. I still can’t get enough of the Stanford campus. From that era, I remember the med fly and having to give up all my beautiful tomatoes. I also remember Tenny selling lemonade on Stanford campus not long before she died. Other people who shared the path with me over those early Palo Alto years, who still make me smile when I remember them: Happy and Spike Wotilla, Greg Johnson (Bryant Street), the Pettys, Craig Mather, my sister Carolyn and her best friends Roberta and Bali, and Dave Bennion (who started Ridge Vineyards and invited me to the first grape harvest). I remember the Palo Alto Obon Festival. I think all the guys’ parents made them ask me to dance, and I was a foot taller than them. They gave me a kimono and I danced in the ceremonies. These days, I am involved with music and musicians (my kids are professional musicians). So I would have to say some of my favorite memories of Palo Alto and the Bay Area were the Tangent (Breeze and Pig Pen), Keplers (again Breeze), St. Michaels Alley, the Poppycock, the old warehouse by Town and Country neaer the tracks where a friend’s band played, Darol Anger and the Windham Hill musicians like Michael Hedges playing at the theatre that used to have WONDERFUL music.. that’s now Borders (I REALLY MISS THAT!), the first Santa Cruz Be In, and then all the San Francisco venues where I watched the San Francisco 60s bands grow up… and even got to hang out backstage… Quicksilver, Jefferson Airplane, Grateful Dead.. I loved the Fillmore, Avalon Ballroom (where my parents met during WWII), Winterland, Kesey’s home in the mountains, Golden Gate Park happenings with Cool Breeze and Furthur, and the Palo Alto Be-In. I was also lucky enough to live across the street from Will Ackerman who started Windham Hill Records in College Terrace. I worked at SRI too from 66-67 where I got research subject jobs for my friends, like Tenny. It was so much fun walking down the halls hearing people say, ‘it’s looking more and more like Berkeley around here.” From SRI, I remember Phyllis Mansfield, Ron Lee, Dave Bennion, Hugh Crane, Dr. Cornsweet, and Kit Kitteredge. Other things I remember are Olmsted’s (OK, I admit I was a majorette when I was 12 and 13), Lake Laug bonfires, the peace march down University Avenue during the Vietnam War, bee keeping class at Common Ground when it was on El Camino, skating at Winter Lodge, KDIA!!!, driving up University Avenue from 101 with the magnolias in bloom, friends (will keep that a secret) diving off the roof of a hotel next to Mel’s Bowl into the adjacent pool, Rubber Soul when it came out and sitting in a circle to listen to it with my friends at Ronway’s, which is now a B&B on Cowper. I remember Joan Baez on her horse up in the hills when she waved to me, and visiting Bruce Petty at 1090 Page in the Haight where he lived along with all the great 60s San Francisco bands. I have so many great memories, and they often come to life as I drive around and pass special spots. I still live here. So, in closing, it’s the poeple who are now mostly gone that I remember most from Old Palo Alto. I love it here and I’m still making great memories, Barbara Haas P.S. Sorry, but I’ll be gone to a music camp in the Santa Cruz mountains when you’re filming.
I remember the floods of 1952, when I was in 2nd grade at Hoover. We lived on Ramona near Oregon Ave. but the water from the creek along Alma brough driftwood and garbage all the up to our front door. That was also the year a buddy and I snuck out of the house early one morning and rode our bikes to visit the new house my folks were building in Woodland Acres off Grant Road in Los Altos. Any one remember Parkey Sharkey? Sort of the Emperor Norton of Palo Alto. I think he drove a cab. Fun thread. Thanks Reed!
How many of you can remember when El Camino Real was two lanes in both directions with a dirt strip (no sidewalks) for parking?
Yes~ I remember El Camino being lined with orchards for miles. No side-walks, but still busy, hot, and loud (relatively speaking)…and not many stop-signs. Once, while out with my Dad, he got really steamed-up while we were stuck at a stop-sign trying to cross El Camino and he ranted about the need for stop-LIGHTS. This must have been in the very early 50′s…we were living on Arastradero Rd. then (or was it Atascadero Rd? There were both those roads and I can’t remember which one we lived on…I was only 3-4).
Right now all my thoughts are with the people of Santa of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. My first visit to Palo Alto was in June of 64. I stayed long enough to fall in love with it, and one of it’s most popular residents. I’m not sure how many know the writer above Barbara Haas, but Barbara(Baa),Tenny and Mare Mare were the first true reflections of what was about to converge on the Bay Area. Baa had hair that flowed down past her waist, and had a pure, innocent laugh that was magnetic. Seeing the three of them walking down University Ave, laughing and hugging each other was something I wasn’t used too coming from the mid-west. Between the three I think they knew just about everyone, especially the musicans. It has been so long ago, and two of the three have passed, and Baa unfortunately filled the Lauren Hutten gap between her two front teeth that gave her such character. She still has character, and her love for music was passed on to her daughters who are prodigies. I may try and make it. My dream has been to return. There’s some things I need to go over in my mind. One last thing…Baa added a beauty to that time that will always remain, and the three of them represented the kind of image Palo Alto should honor. It is sad she won’t be there. She, Tenny, and Mare Mare were a huge part of Palo Alto history in the 60′s. I think what’s being done is proof that Palo Alto was filled with unique and wonderful people who contributed to the “Best of Times.”
Born in 1952 and grew up on Santa Catalina Street. Two houses down from Ron “Pigpen” Mckernan and family. My Dad (Joe Means) was a police officer in PA from 1946 – 1966. Does anyone remember Dick’s Hamburger’s on El Camino? Right next to a piano store. They used to give us a Tootsie Roll after dinner, we kids thought it was wonderful! Went to Garland and then had to transfer to St Albert the Great School on Channing in the 4th grade, my step-mother was Catholic. Also have a memory of monkeys in a cage at a shoe store at the Stanford Shopping Center. Anyone remember that? Loved swimming at Rinconada Pool Eating at Ming’s when it was on El Camino Eating at the Red Barn out near Stanford Bread truck that came to our street, with a drawer full of donuts! Berkeley Farms milk truck that also brought fresh peach ice cream!Summer movies at the Stanford theatre, loaded up on candy next door at the Rexall Drug Store Going to the dump with my Dad, found the coolest dollhouse Went to the PA Art festival this weekend, so sad to see the old Polly and Jake building was gone! Loved seeing all the colored glass in the windows, one red, one blue. Memories…..
I just realized the filming was last week-end. God, I’m such a screw up. I have a friend at Delta who was going to fly me there, plus I had a place to stay. Also the A&W was where our 34 Ford Coupe was swamped and that’s where we invited so many to the Del Charro Apts. I also met Bob Hilliard who is in the “Song Writers Hall of Fame. He wrote “Our day will Come” by Ruby and the Romantics and “Any Day Now.” plus he wrote many jazz hits. We stayed in their house for several days. He died of a heart attack just days after his neice and I left. That area had more famous singers,Writers,and artists than anywhere. I didn’t remember Joan Baez living there,too. I can’t wait to see the video. Please hurry.
Hi Ray, No worries. We will be planning future opportunities to record Palo Alto stories and hopefully you can get in on one of those. If you’d like to provide your name and contact info to Karla Kane ([email protected]), she can get in touch with you when we schedule another session. As for this weekend’s filming, we’ll be posting several people’s stories this week, so stay tuned!
Thanks so much,Jocelyn I’ll do that. I have a terminal cancer, but I seem to be beating the odds, although my body doesn’t know it. :) My friend told me Palo Alto has really changed, but Alma is Alma, and University is University. hee hee. Stanford campus was my favorite tanning spot. lol That’s still there. I think more communities should do this…it’s such an original, exciting venture. Ray..
I’m very sorry to hear about your health, Ray. I hope that you will stay strong. Yes, the Stanford campus (the Oval in particular) is still popular with the sun-bathing crowd. And University Avenue is ever the place where people go to see and taste and hang out, although changes continue to roll on through. Lytton Plaza is due for a radical facelift this fall. (Anyone with Lytton memories to share? :) Ray, take care of yourself.
Hi Ray, (I resisted the temptation to say Hey Ray) I really enojoyed reading your’s and Barbara’s posts. I may be just a little younger but like many kids in the 60s, at 13, we figured that we were pretty much all grown up. One thing no one has mentioned – hitch-hiking. (I’ll leave out last names). I recall me, Mike, Paul, Chris, Mike’s brother, and a couple others hitch-hiking to the beach when we were about 14. We took Portola Road to (I must be losing it) that 3-mile winding road that leads up to Alice’s Resturant (Old La Handa Road?) and finally that other winding road. A pint of beer went a long way for a 14-year old then. And the smokables back then were not as strong as today’s. We had so much fun on weekends and always made adventures. Life was never boring. Just going from Midtown to what we called the hippy house (Far East Trading Co.) – that old, 2-story, Victorian house on Cowper street with blacklight poster, candles, incense – was an adventure. What an irony — it’s now a law office. Anyhoo – Ray, take care of your health and I’m sure you’re beating the odds. Write some more memories, too. Andy Freedman[email protected]
Hey Andy, We may have crossed paths!! lol. A Law Office??? Oh gawd. That’s Ironic. The path you took on Old La Honda Rd sounds like the road we used to travel. I confess that I took many a wrong path, but I was at that age where I wanted to experience it all…and Palo Alto had it all. I jumped frieght trains to get there from Ohio. I’ve written about many of my good and bad times. You definately could get anything you want at Alices restaraunt. hee hee. In 64 I was more Bohemian than Hippie. You’re so right about hitch hiking. It was so easy, and also seemed harmless back then. When I came out in 64, I could only make it as far as Montega. That’s where my friends came and got me in their 34 Ford. I was stunned. I’d never seen a car look so cool. My friends then were all car daddys. They would take a flat bed truck into the desert..then rebuild them..absolutely no rust. The Porta Rican family were so cool to let us live and store the cars behind their house. I only knew car daddys until the day I met Baa, Tenny and Mare…They introduced me to a whole different happening in Palo Alto. Didn’t we Shake Sugaree?? hee hee. Thanks for your comment about my health,Andy. That was cool. I don’t want to fade out until I see Palo Alto once more. I know it’s changed, but it would be like walking through the first home you ever owned. Dusty old memories stored, just waiting to be remembered. I come most everyday, hoping to find an old friend still around. Take care. Life is Good.
Hello all, I just wanted to let you know we’ve posted the first five videos of the Palo Alto Story Project. You’ll hear from a woman who remembers riding the bus as a child to University Avenue for 10 cents, a man whose family car was the unfortunate landing spot for a plane near the Palo Alto Airport, and more. Here’s the link:Web Link Enjoy. More to come.
During the mid 60′s is when LSD exploded onto the American Stage. I had heard of a guy named Owsley was somehow connected. I was living on Waverly at the time. I did a little research, and found out the rumors I’d heard were true. Stanley Owsley was a Berkley Chemist, and in March of 1965 made what was the first batch of LSD. He became very well known for the quality of his product. I only knew a little about Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters(basically a group of fun loving, and daring people)and I had heard there was some connection to Palo Alto. Owsley was known as “Bear.” He became famous for supplying the Pranksters, the Grateful Dead, and many other top bands with his new found drug. Thomas Wolfe wrote about Owsley, Ken Kesey, and the Merry Pranksters in his popular book “The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test.” After some research on Google ( Owsley Stanley Summary) I found out that it was in Palo Alto in November of 1965 that the “First” Acid Test” was held. Acid was not illegal until October of 1966. Owsley would always gave his product a name..”Orange Sunshine” “White Lightning”..”Flying Saucers.” These Acid Tests were to become huge affairs, where well know artists would play at them. I know the Jefferson Airplane, and the Grateful Dead, Hendrix, Country Joe and the Fish were a some. I don’t remember the first one that was held in Palo Alto, or who played there, but it’s a historical I was afraid of Acid, and remember the first time I took it was sometime in 1965 on Waverly. It was a little round pill called “Flying Saucer.” You were supposed to break into quarters, and I think the guy gave me what looked like more than a quarter. I sat in living room leaning against the wall…waiting. Pretty soon it seemed the room got enormous, like a warehouse. It really freaked me out. I felt like I was so tiny. lol. Then the room got extremely small…like I was in a phone booth. I HATED it. I remember everyone laughing, and I leaped up and bolted to get outside. Not a good idea. I saw fumes(Oxygen?)coming from the flowers. I remember walking over to a tree…touching it..and feeling it pulsating, like it was breathing!! I remember telling God if he let me come down I’d never do it again. lol. I survived. These Acid Tests(partys) became huge, as Timothy Leery used the drug scientifically. In fact, Owsley and Leery did not like each other, because Owsley believed everyone should experience it, and Leery,at that time, believed it should be taken under supervision. Owsley is mentioned in many songs, some by Jimi Hendix. The “Dancing Bear” logo of the Grateful Dead was in honor of Owsley. It may not be what many Palo Alto’s residents want to brag about, but it’s part of it’s history, and a major part of the orginal psychedelic movement in the Country. The Pranksters that became so famous were fun loving people. They were just tired of the establishment, tired of the war. LSD changed music, art, clothing, cultural thinking. It was the single biggest factor of the social change in the 60′s…and it all began in Palo Alto.
Copied from article on Stanley Owsley.. The first Acid Test was held in Palo Alto, California in November 1965. (LSD was legal in the United States until October 6, 1966.) The young psychedelic music band The Grateful Dead (known earlier as The Warlocks) supplied the music during these events; in essence, they were the house band for the mobile party. Jerry Garcia said that the Pranksters at the Acid Tests were the best audience the Grateful Dead ever had. In 1969, Furthur and the Pranksters (minus Kesey) made it to the Woodstock rock festival. The original Prankster bus now rests at Kesey’s farm in Oregon. The Smithsonian Institution sought to acquire the bus, which is no longer operable, but Kesey refused. True to form, Kesey attempted, unsuccessfully, to prank the venerable Smithsonian by passing off a phony bus. A collection by Kesey of short pieces, several about the Merry Pranksters, called “Demon Box” and released in 1986 was a critical success, although a subsequent novel, “Sailor Song” was not, with critics complaining it was too spacy for comprehension. In 1999 Kesey toured with the Pranksters performing a play he wrote about the millennium called “Twister.” There are no membership requirements to be a Merry Prankster. As Kesey put it when asked how you become a Merry Prankster, “I don’t pick ‘em, I recognize them.” People who consider themselves Pranksters in spirit are said to be “on the bus” whether or not they ever actually took a bus trip with Kesey. In other words, the bus has become a metaphor for the lifestyle of anyone who is in solidarity with the psychedelic movement and who encourages others to have mind expanding experiences, with or without drugs. While everyone is invited to consider themselves a member of the Merry Pranksters, Kesey was strict about what should constitute a proper prank. He said a successful prank must not physically hurt anyone, and the person being pranked must in some way be enlightened by the experience.
Hi Ray and everyone, You brought up a very important and interesting timeline in Palo Alto. As you and many here know, Palo Alto wasn’t always a “rich” city. My parents struggled to pay the bills like many others. In the 60s and early 70s, there was a lot of “communal living,” so much so that to counter it, the city passed an ordinance that no more than 4 (?) or 5 (?) “unrelated” people can live in the same house. There was the Palo Alto Tenant’s Union and another group called Venceremous (sp?) that helped out renters (the latter group was caught up in some controversy that maybe someone else could write about). Whereas now, events like the Palo Alto Chili Cook-off is kind of a “family” event, back in earlier times, it would have been a young people’s event (with a lot of partying). My ex girlfriend, Norice, after working at The Bagel Works (Larry and Stew? owners from New York brought Palo Alto its first New York style bagels) worked for Palo Alto’s last hole-in-the-wall dive – Jackie’s on Alma and Lytton (before it was bulldozed and replaced with a fake red brick building – the fake bricks began falling off shortly after it opened). What was left of the Pranksters would frequent Jackie’s (Pauncho and Buffalo and that big dog, or I could be confused and maybe Buffalo was the dog). Before Jackie’s sold (she had many offers over the years), she turned it in to a respectable place called Jackie’s Ribs, and then sold it. Like John Steinbeck, Ken Kesey was enrolled in Stanford writing program. He became the subject of the VA, Dept of the Army and SRI (back then it was Stanford Research Institute) and their joint project dealing with LSD and its potential uses for the Dept of Defense. He later on became a Ward Clerk at the VA working for Ward 324 (at the Menlo Park Division). He had dropped out of Stanford. His book One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s nest mirrored much of how the psych wards at the VA operated. Some years later, I too worked on that ward and there were still a few Nurse Ratchets left. I’d give a cigarette to a patient while they were in morning report and the head nurse would say, “Now Andy, we don’t do that. Only a nurse can give out cigarettes.” I was pretty much treated like an elevated patient. Thank you Ray for that post! It really captured a piece of Palo Alto. Andy Freedman[email protected]
Post script to above: I forgot to mention, and I don’t know if this would fall under the Merry Prankster’s definition but . . . Back when the Palo Alto Police station was on Bryant, although we were only 13 and 14, we’d plant pot seeds right in front of the building. We would check on them and after a few days, they actually sprouted. Andy Freedman[email protected]
I can’t believe that no one has mentioned the old Palo Alto icon, The Alley. Had burgers, frys, beer, and great foosball tourneys. I remember once, at Christmas time, it was like oldhome week in there. Saw lots of old high school buddies. The hi-lite for me was when Greg Rolle (member of William Pen and His Pals, Santana, Journey, and 1965 class at Cubberley) showed up at the alley all decked out in a full length pure white fur coat, obviously going for the rock star look. The Alley was located right off University Ave. near Lytton Plaza, but it would be easy to miss if you weren’t looking for it.
Thanks Andy, Yep, I would say you were a “Prankster” lol. That was bold, and when you think of it..ingenius. Who would think to look there? It must have been on Bryant where we lived in that old chicken shack. Girls would stop and give us sandwiches. I kind of remember the ..”no more that 4 or 5 to a house”. Lord, if I could only take my house here in Ohio and drop it on Waverly, I could put 4 houses on it and everyone would still be surrounded by 50 ft high trees. I totally forgot SRI was into experiments for the Army. I saw a Documentary recently on the History channel about it. You’re lucky to get out. lol. I only lived out there 6 years, but they were the “Wonder Years.” Tons of both good and bad memories, but a City I’ll always love. Hi Phil, God “The Ally” sounds so familiar now that you wrote about it. It’s been so long, but if it was a cool hamburger place, we had to go there. I wish I could see an old film of these places. Yesterday I looked on line at a house on Waverly where I lived, and about died. They were asking 3 million. The house we lived on was on the corner of Waverly and a street I can’t remember, but I bet you could have bought it for under $30.000. Who would have ever guessed a guy messing around in his garage would turn those houses into gold mines.
The first Acid Test was at the Big Beat or was it just “the Beat”? I can’t remember ‘cuz I was there! So was Neal Cassidy, among other soon to be infamous folks (the Dead, but they might have been the Warlocks at that point, and all the Pranksters). He and his girl-friend were having an argument at one point…very entertaining for the rest of us! Neal later became like a big bro to me…always made sure I got home in time for dinner (I was only 14-15 then) and treated me sweetly. I sure wish I had known then that all those folks were going to become so freakin’ famous…I would have kept a journal- my memory of the era is a little sketchy. Gee~ I wonder why??? Andy- sorry to have to burst your bubble, but EVERYONE planted seeds in front of the cop shop…both my brothers and their friends did, as well as all my friends…it was a fun thing to do late at night! ;)
Hi Margaret. Great post!! That was tooooo funny. You know the saying ” If you remember the 60′s, you weren’t there. lol. I don’t know how I missed the first Be in..I used to jump trains back to Ohio…could have been then. Do you remember a big old white house across the street from the Police Station? Neil definately got fame in his own right. I’d like to hear more about him. I know he is always mention in any book written about the Bohemian scene..especially at the “LightHouse” and The Cellar” in San Francisco..along with Kerouac,Ferlingetti, and Ginsberg. I remember meeting and smoking a J with Ginsburg’s boyfriend. There’s a really funny story behind that. He lived…maybe on Cowper? Unfortunately, Owsley not only made the peace and love drug LSD, he also made methedrine, which ended up changing the season of peace. I wrote some members of Palo Alto Online to see if it was alright to post PA’s connection with that era and they replied “It’s part of Palo Alto history”, and a part she wasn’t aware of. Are they, or have they destroyed the Palo Alto Bowl? Take care, Ray..
Since you’re talking about Palo Alto in the 60s, and I was there and did that… (my boyfriend was Merry Prankster Cool Breeze and he painted Further and was on the bus and blah blah)…for him it’s over and although he will reminisce with me, he won’t talk to the media or anyone else about it anymore. I want to say the good parts of the 60s (subtract the drugs and add music, learning, fun and love) are going on locally right now! I just got out of 8 days in the Santa Cruz mountains at Alasdair Fraser’s incredible Valley of the Moon Scottish Fiddling School, which offers lots more than Scottish fiddling….and reminds me so much of the good part of the 60s. There were people from around the whole world, including Palo Alto… all-night music, dancing, ceilidhs, and communing under the redwoods. VOM’s actually difficult to describe (that’s what the documentary is attempting to do)… the camp is all inclusive and the documentary is being filmed at his 4 camps and concerts (Isle of Skye, Sierras, Spain and Boulder Creek) and focuses on his life, philosophy and the joy he spreads. Anyone who was at last night’s show at the Santa Cruz Civic Center got a wee taste of it and the remarkable talent he draws to camp. I’m off to the Dance Palace in Pt. Reyes tonight with one of the instructors, Bay Area great and former Windham Hill recording artist, Darol Anger, and his Monster Quartet (my kids included)… We all leave the camp very sleep deprived, but full of inspiration and love, and hope to spread some of the great things happening there with the rest of the world. BTW, Breeze has a photo of Owlsley and him on his art table. They were both very dapper dressers.
That was funny Margaret! And I KNOW that midnight swimming at Chuck Thompson’s was confined to my group of friends (although we were probably the only ones that tossed the outdoor chairs in the pool when we finished). Was it Sgt Williams? I think he was the first black police officer in Palo Alto. Back then, at 12, having a police officer escort you to the front door of your house to speak with your parents had to be worse than anything the courts could have dolled out. Sgt Williams gave me a break one time and I certainly appreciated it. He had to be one of the nicest cops in PA. I always remember him smiling. Barbara, given your music interests, I bet you knew about Friday Night Music. A house on (can’t recall the name of the street – near Arbutus, or near the Y on Ross) – and on Friday nights, musicians would come to play. What was neat was that all the rooms were wired up with mics and headsets so, for example, being a drummer, I couldn’t see the keyboards, guitar, etc, but could hear the director. It was improv, and to tell the truth, I wasn’t that good then. Anyway, it was both a party and a jam session ending with hot tubbing at midnight. Andy Freedman[email protected]
Dear Andy, Can you tell me the year of Friday Night Music? It sure sounds like a place I would’ve loved to frequent if I were here because I’ve always loved music and musicians. Tonight I’m heading out to see the new documentary film on the New Lost City Ramblers “Always Been a Rambler”… my daughter’s Princeton music professor said he saw me dancing in the film??? Besides, it will give me a chance to see a bunch of my friends in the film. It kicks off the Berkeley Old Time Music Convention which runs over the next 5 days. I work the stringband contest Saturday as the instrument check… stop by and say hi if you are there. It ends with a dance at the Ashkenaz, which I always love to attend. Then I’m off for the Sebastopol Celtic Festival where my daughter, Alasdair, Darol and the Swedish super group Vasen are headlining around September 25. My Menlo Oaks home now serves as a B&B for young bands from Canada, Quebec, and all over the US. O, and it was Pig Pen’s birthday yesterday. I called Breeze. Pig Pen died at age 27 and Breeze was with him right before the end, since they’d been school pals as far back as Encinal School with Tenny (that’s 4th grade!).
Neal Cassidy brought Mountain Girl (Carolyn Garcia) to Ken Keseys house origianlly. They hooked up for a bit and had a child, Sunshine Kesey. later, Carolyn married Jerry Garcia. Check out via Google: Zane Kesey- Thats Ken Keseys son, Sunshine brother. he and Sunshine live inoregon and the original prnakster bus “further” is in the thickets and mud on Kens ranch, now belonging to Zane. Google: Woostock San Francisco 2009. NEXT MONTH the FREE Woodstock, featuring PLENTY of the original greats, will be held in Golden Gate Park in SF. Zane, Carolyn Garcia, Babbs and some of the original pranksters and offspring will be attending thr festival with the newer “further bus.
And the promoters link:Web Link Also they are trying to get 3000 guitaists to perform “purple Haze” and breal a world record. The musician line up ans some very cool event posters are on the page. Enjoy!
Andy! Friday Night Music! I lived with—- who’s mom’s BF was the original hippy, John Kennedy! The big metal DUCK at Paly etc. Wow! Funny you should mention that! And the weed!
My memories of Palo Alto: Walking to De Anza elementary school from Kindergarden thru Sixth grade from Clara Dr. Buying Chocolate Malts and Mudpie ice cream from Piers Dairy Being the crossing guard for De Anza at the stop sign just past the dairy, and walking down the dirt road path to get to the school grounds from the back side. Doing death drops from the uneven bars at school. My teachers Mr. McAvitt 5th grade and Ms. Potala 3rd grade. Playing Lady McBeth in the school play in 6th grade. Watching fireworks from a field across from the Baylands (back when it was all open fields). Going to the drive-in with my parents and having my dad push me on the swing set at the playground they had. Being a cheerleader for my brothers Pop Warner team. Watching my brother play baseball at Mitchell Park and Baylands. Feeding the ducks at Baylands. Taking electric piano lessons in the back of a ceramic store on Middlefield. Going to pizza parties at the Round Table by Safeway after my brothers baseball games, and then going to Baskin Robbins down the street. The Haunted House at the Palo Alto Community Center. Playing a small part in the Little Mermaid at the Palo Alto Community Center. Ice skating at the Winter Club. My first job at the McDonalds on El Camino. Hanging out at Mayfield Mall with my friends. Playing in the creek behind my house and using it as a short cut to get to the Winter Club. Getting my first bicycle license at the Fire Station near Mitchell Park. Going to Wilbur for 7th and 8th grade and then going to Cubberly for my 9th, 10th and 11th and then having the school closed, and my senior class split up between Paly and Gunn. Swimming at Rinconada Park. I remember the pins with the numbers on them so you could lock up your clothes. Attending the Policeman Picnics at Foothill park each summer, those were a blast. Going on police ride a longs with my dad. Taking swimming and diving lessons at Wilbur Jr. High. Taking the written and driving lessons at Cubberly and getting my permit. Being a Cubberly Cougars cheerleader (Jr Varsity and Varsity) and getting my block letter. Going to Bergmann’s with my mom. I could go on and on. Those were some of the best years of my life!!!
It is wonderful to see all these names of places and things I too used to do and go! Born and Raised in PA on Cowper/Oregon went to Walter Hays/Jordan & Paly… Was a Sea Scout at the PA Yacht Harbor, loved to go to the Baylands and ride dirt bikes,Slide in the creeks and catch tadpoles! Swam at Rinconada all the time and had a membership to the “Winter Club” for 10 years! Bought my first bike from Western Auto,Mom used to take me to Edie’s for that special milkshake…ahhh the beautiful somewhat innocent memories,WOW and to look at the world now! Peace my PA friends…
I didn’t know Neal Cassady, the Character Moriarty in Kerouacs “On the Road.” But, I knew him well. He died at the age of 41, lying beside a railroad track in Mexico…dead after years of hardcore meth use. The music he heard, and the path he took is somed up here: “I’ve been doing all my life after people who interest me, because the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time,but burn,burn,burn like fabulous yellow roman candles” I guess we dance and dance, until we dance no-more.. Love Ray
Woodstock 200 in SFO… ok it looks like i’ll have to be there… I already have flashbacks to the 60s when I attend Hardly STrictly in Golden Gate Park… the big free music festival Warren Hellman puts on each year with 5 stages going full-tilt over 3 days every October. And as for tonight, my friend Fionn O Lochlainn’s playing at the Palms Playhouse in Winters with Paddy Keenan. I guess I’m burnin up in a nice sort of way… with music!
Hi Barbara, Regarding Friday Night Music, I found it in 1980, but it may have been going on long before that. They eventually moved to a music recording studio in Menlo Park, I think called the [something] Annex. Hi James, Do you know how and when Friday Night Music started? Hey Meneely R – I remember Eddie’s Coffee Shop’s milkshakes. He always gave you the mixing container along with the glass. He never skimped on the shakes. Funny how things have changed so drastically – we used to go to Bergmanns’ and buy the little bottles of chemicals to make gun powder when we were 10 – 12 years old. We’d make small smoke bombs and set them off in the skating rink at Hoover Park. Or we would just pour a long line of it and light it up. At 13, my parents allowed me to buy a mini bike provided that I DON’T RIDE IT IN THE STREET. So on the first morning after buying it, I walked it down Wellsbury Way, then down Middlefield, and when I got to Loma Verde, I started it up and began riding toward the open fields near 101. A cop was conveniently parked on Lewis and Loma Verde. I got a ticket for riding in the street. My parents tied up the mini bike in the garage for a week. I was grounded too. Andy Freedman
Andy, Long before 1980.. I got my first mini bike at the gas station store at JC Penny and rode it all around town. I rode a Honda CT 70 to school by 3rd grade and parked it in the bushes. Chic magnet that lil Red Honda was! ;-} LOL
Thanks Andy… I do remember the Annex in Menlo Park, becaise I was looking for a recording studio for my daughters–maybe Darol told me about it? I’m older than you, so by 1980 I was in a different phase of life. Funny how things come around full circle though…
On the subject of the 60′s-70s in PA. Anyone remember “the land-struggle mountain” started by Joan Biez, the commune up on Skyline?
Wikipedia has extensive history in regard to the time period in PA. A good place to start is with Google: Struggle Mountain Does anyone have a link to the Palo Alto Historical Society Web site?
Hi James, This was copied from Google: Palo Alto Weekly Psychedelic Palo Alto Locals recall their long, strange trip through the ’60s by Blair Tindall Take a walk down the University Avenue of 1963. What you know as Bella Luna Restaurant was once Bennington’s Cafeteria. Walgreens was J.C. Penney, downtown’s big department store. Copeland’s Sports was Rapp’s Shoes, while Boudin Bakery was The Corset Shop. Home Chef burned this past December, but in 1963, local guitarist Jerry Garcia bought picks and strings there at Swain’s Music Store. The hair salon up by Tasso Street housed Lockheed Space and Missile Company, just down from where Terry June’s Finishing School and Modeling Agency used to be. Over on Hamilton, Osteria Restaurant was the old U.S. Army Recruiting Service. As the ’60s dawned, the community enjoyed its comfortable economy, nourished by military and aerospace technology research at companies like Lockheed, Stanford Research Institute, and Watkins-Johnson. A three-bedroom house in Crescent Park went for $26,950, while a two-bedroom College Terrace apartment rented for $150. Junior typist jobs–advertised specifically for women applicants–paid $230 a week, and a two-door BMW coupe cost $2,553. Palo Alto was also entering a decade of social change, influenced by the Vietnam War, feminism, LSD, and rock ‘n’ roll. With riots, communes, living-off-the-land, psychedelia, and love-ins, the university town drew a hip counterculture despite its mainstream population. But the revolutionary thinking of activism, free love, and sharing eventually subsided to make way for the city’s current status as the monied epicenter of the high-tech explosion, forcing out many who could no longer afford it here. Back in the mid-1950s, Palo Alto was a town in transition. The Stanford Shopping Center, built in 1955, sucked much of downtown’s business district away, leaving a ghost town. Empty storefronts abounded on University Avenue, where traffic lights flashed yellow all day. With few cars, there was no need for lights at all on Lytton and Hamilton avenues. “You could shoot a cannon down University Avenue and not hit a thing,” said Vernon Gates, who opened the first incarnation of his caf‚, St. Michael’s Alley, in 1959. But beneath this desolation rumbled tremors of a revolution that shook the nation, and was especially felt in Northern California. As the 1950s ended, McCarthyism crumbled and boomers grew, while divorce and homicide statistics fell. Prosperity reigned in the suburbs, but young people found they could not identify with the materialism and political complacency of the era. Elvis Presley gyrated for the first time on the Milton Berle show in 1956, while Pete Seeger was cited for contempt after refusing to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee. Herb Caen coined the tern, “beatnik,” in 1957. American schoolchildren crouched under desks during air raid drills, while the USSR launched Sputnik, complete with canine cargo. Suddenly, nothing seemed out of the question. In 1960, the civil rights movement entered the national consciousness with the Greensboro, N.C. lunch counter sit-ins, while women found a different freedom with Envoid, the first oral contraceptive. Psychedelics, a different family of drugs, were just catching the attention of Harvard’s Timothy Leary. The atom bomb brought about new global awareness, and in 1962 America nervously watched the first U.S. Army support companies arrive in Saigon. Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring” elevated environmental concerns, while Betty Friedan’s “The Feminine Mystique” launched the feminist movement in 1963. The Beatles came to America. A rigid era was being dismantled with great optimism and idealism. By 1965, more than 40,200 young men were being called to the draft every month, and some fled to Canada. Through television, all eyes were on the 1968 Tet Offensive, in which the Viet Cong attacked 100 South Vietnamese cities as student protests across the U.S.escalated. A coveted item in 1969 Palo Alto was a marijuana bong fashioned from a spent tear gas canister, and the town teetered on the wild abandon of Berkeley. But just as Berkeley reached the apex of its liberal orbit, high-tech derailed the counterculture here. Former Palo Altan scholar and activist Stewart Burns sees a connection the old and new in Palo Alto, as radicals shared a vision of personal computer ownership as a democratizing force in society. “All we could see when looking at Silicon Valley was defense research,” he said. “We had no idea that what was really happening when we pursued the revolution against war, another revolution was taking place in those very buildings, the emergence of the personal computer.” Many counterculture participants remain, looking remembering the era as halcyon days. They are hard to find behind the noisy hubbub of Silicon Valley, but they are here, writing, practicing psychology, creating art, and spearheading activist groups. These are people who held fast to their idealism and zest for a new way of life. These are the people who can tell their tale of the ’60s to a new generation. Because Palo Alto lacked hot spots in 1959, the crowds at St. Michael’s Alley were large when it opened April Fool’s Day. So large, in fact, that Gates locked the doors by noon. Before long, he became an impresario, presiding over a host of beat poets, intellects and local musicians like Joan Baez, The Jefferson Airplane, and the Warlocks, a band soon to call itself “The Grateful Dead.” Robert Hunter washed dishes in the back, and Jerry Garcia picked his banjo out front. Certain customers loitered with a 25-cent purchase. “Jerry used to come in, nurse one cup of coffee all day, and pick up all the chicks,” said Gates. Performances and gatherings at St. Michael’s Alley were the first stirrings of a counterculture that would roil Palo Alto in the 1960s and early 1970s. Gates quickly came under suspicion of attracting homosexuals and drug dealers, two groups largely considered scandalous at the time. “About this time, Timothy Leary was sending LSD all over the country,” said Gates. “He was getting it from the Swiss pharmaceutical firm, Sandoz, and had hit lists all over the country targeting university centers. He sent out couriers with the stuff, and a lot of them came here. The police tried to close me down, saying I was a hangout for drug dealers.” Leary’s plan to inundate campuses with then-legal LSD put Stanford high on the list. Gates, however, said he always abided by the letter of the law. The time was ripe in Palo Alto for experimentation. Psychologist and author Jim Spencer, whose work is featured in “The Best American Short Stories, 1999,” was here, too. “Drugs were there, and people were looking for a new way, of expanded consciousness and imagination,” he said. “It got people to move off in a creative direction they hadn’t thought of before.” The Central Intelligence Agency tested LSD for use as a nonlethal weapon, a truth serum, or a brainwashing agent. They paid guinea pigs $75 a trip at the Menlo Park Veterans Hospital. In 1959, it was an attractive proposition for psychology graduate student Vic Lovell, who paid $60 rent for his house adjacent to campus on Menlo Park’s Perry Avenue, called Perry Lane by its Bohemian residents because of its rustic, narrow appearance. Though adjacent to campus, the area was more rural then, and Lovell’s dinner often included crayfish and frogs’ legs caught in a nearby creek. The drug test could be an epiphany or a bore. Lovell never knew what drug, or placebo, he would receive. “Every hour they would come in and collect urine and blood samples,” he said. And under those circumstances, a trip could be frustrating. “I was all turned on, with no place to go,” said Lovell, now 65 and a retired Ph.D psychologist. Lovell took his tales back to a Bohemian enclave of graduate students, intellectuals, artists and academics clustered on the one-block-long Perry Lane. One day, he signed up Ken Kesey. Kesey, a writer and athlete from Oregon, was a new Stegner Fellow at Stanford. Newly married to Faye Kesey, he welcomed the quick cash. Kesey also worked the VA night shift. When it was late, it was quiet. While the breathing of psychiatric patients echoed down the halls, Kesey finished his best-seller, “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.” He dedicated it to Lovell, “who told me dragons did not exist, then led me to their lair.” At the same time, drugs found their way back to Kesey’s famous venison stew on Perry Lane. Suddenly, a universe of kaleidoscopic constellations entertained mind-blown graduate students, resting in the fork of an ancient oak tree. Writer Ed McClanahan, who lived on the lane for a time, described the scene. “The commonplace would become marvelous, you could take the pulse of a rock, listen to the heartbeat of a tree,” he said breathlessly. “The ecstatic, ubiquitous ‘far out!’ rang oft upon the air. “It wasn’t something we did just to get wasted,” he said. “It was a learning thing — we’d decide to take acid and prepare for it, set up games and things to do.” McClanahan’s voice grew soft. “I’ve never been sorry for a minute about doing that,” he said. “I felt like I came out of it with a greater appreciation for art, colors seemed better and different, and music sounded better and cleaner, something more ethereal than before.” Lovell said it was a unique time and place. “It was like we had a magic lamp. The experience is not repeatable,” he said. Kesey was a born leader, something of an American guru. When he bought a house in nearby La Honda, his entourage followed him. The group developed a canon of weird behavior, Day-Glo clothing, and sexual escapades that fertilized much of the psychedelic style. For a time, the Hell’s Angels became regulars at Kesey’s parties, finding fraternity in the outrage. Calling themselves “The Merry Pranksters,” Kesey’s group “tootled the multitudes” on their coast-to-coast bus trip, in costume, in character, handing out acid from a wildly decorated 1939 Harvester school bus labeled “Furthur” on the front and “Weird Load” on the back. Kesey said they used psychedelics to learn the conditioned responses of people and then, in a language all his own, “to prank them.” Journalist Tom Wolfe chronicled the group’s adventures in his “Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test.” But before the Pranksters got on their now-famous bus, they treated the Peninsula to public acid tests. Spencer, a Perry Lane resident, was at the first one, in a warehouse down by the mudflats off Bayshore Road. He said it was the Grateful Dead’s first big public performance. “Thousands came. There were punch bowls with a lot of acid in them. Some didn’t know. Not far into the evening, people started screaming, someone was freaking out. There were so many doing it, people enhanced each other’s experience by the critical mass.” Adefiant energy was unleashed in Palo Alto. In 1965, the Midpeninsula Free University opened in Menlo Park, offering a curriculum of interpretive psychedelic dancing, Ping-Pong for the proletariat, enigmatically described “nude-in costume parties,” yoga, bee-raising, bread-making bake-ins, trust-touch-and-tenderness and meditation. Roy Kepler, of Kepler’s Books, taught courses on non-violence, and Dorothy Bender, currently a Stanford data manager, taught an early computer course–in 1969. Tuition was free. The organization maintained a bail fund, a legal-defense guild, and a bad-trip intervention center–”24-hour assistance by experienced people if you run into a bummer.” “My favorite class was ‘Naked Tantric Yoga Sex on Acid,’” said Spencer. About this time, local antiwar activism started to gel. “The war expressed the hollowness of the American materialist lifestyle,” said Spencer. Students were horrified by films of Vietnamese devastation. When contrasted with the profit from weapons research in their own backyard, they felt personally responsible. “Students were aware, driven by desperation to make the older generation in denial see us,” said Lowell. “We could behave outrageously and just be ignored.” On April 3, 1969, Stanford students organized what later became known as The April 3rd Movement, culminating six days later in one of the largest building occupations ever at an American university, at Stanford’s Applied Electronics Lab. It reached a boil one month later behind troops of National Guardsmen at the Stanford Research Institute’s Hanover Street facility. More than 90 were arrested, and Ed McClanahan was there with his friend, activist Lenny Siegel. “When the cops came down on us, I was running along next to Lenny, and he was wearing a glove on one hand,” said McClanahan. “I couldn’t figure it out until he reached down, scooped up a tear gas canister, made a 360 and fired it right through the shiny plate glass window of the facility. It was an amazing moment.” Joan Baez and her mentor, Ira Sandperl, moved their Center for the Study of Non-Violence from Carmel Valley to Palo Alto. Around 1969, Baez started a commune called “Struggle Mountain” on 9.5 acres of rented property in the hills behind Stanford. Nearby, a group of draft resistors, pacifists, and other communal groups formed a 750-acre anarchical community dubbed “The Land.” Hidden dwellings made from reclaimed lumber and other simple materials popped up. Rain Burns lived both places for a time. “If Palo Alto officials ever saw aerial photos of homes built in the backlands, they’d never believe it,” said Burns. Downtown had its share of communes as well. Practitioners and enthusiasts of a therapeutic discipline called psychodrama had their own commune at 1001 Forest Avenue, living downstairs from an enclave of Venceremos, a revolutionary Marxist-Leninist group. There was a medical commune, and even a law commune, located at 347 Alma St., now a Shell Station. Lovell, who lived in the psychodrama commune, said people were outraged that a half dozen of Palo Alto’s finest mansions were being rented for communal living, when small families could not afford them. At the time, a city ordinance prohibited more than four unrelated people from living together. “The building inspector would show up with armed police in raids at night,” said Lovell. “But we were warned and moved everyone out–to this day, I don’t know how we knew–we must have had a mole.” The law commune supported six attorneys, six legal workers, four children and four spouses. In 1972, each was paid $165 per month plus car insurance, rent and utilities. One attorney, James Wolpman, told the Palo Alto Times in 1972 that he gave up a corporate salary of $16,000 to bring his family of four here. The attorneys took any kind of case, but wouldn’t represent landlords, rich businessmen, employers or corporations. In 1970, Palo Alto’s City Council was forced to deal with with riots, drugs, protests and what the mainstream population considered deviant behavior. By comparison, today’s City Council agenda is sedate. “It was like the circus just left town one day,” says Lovell. Those who remain are an introspective group, many of whom became psychologists, writers, artists, and activists, providing an enduring consonance beneath the buzz of the computer industry. Most share a sense of irretrievable loss. “I feel like an Indian now, that my cult is gone, totally gone,” said Spencer. “Living in this extremely affluent valley is a wonderful test of inner light,” Spencer added quietly. Many struggle financially in the burgeoning dot-com economy. Gates closed the original St. Michael’s Alley at 436 University Ave. in 1966 and then reopened at 806 Emerson St. in 1973. He sold it to Rob Levitsky, a younger Deadhead who kept it open with live music and then sold it to a friend. The rents spiraled, causing management to abandon live entertainment to make space for the extra tables needed to turn a profit. After retirement, Gates pursued his love of all things creative, compiling a collection of his poetry. He’s also seeking a publisher for his 1,152-page memoirs, “Confessions of a Bohemian Ontologist.” Dressed impeccably in white shirt and trousers, he seemed wise as a shaman, his own watercolor paintings on the wall behind him at today’s St. Michael’s Alley, where the young staff treated him with affection. But Gates glanced at an amorous young couple nearby. “These kids have so much money, they’ll order a glass of wine, pay for it with a twenty and walk away, not even ask for the change!” He struggles to cover his $1,425 rent on Social Security. This Gates says he cannot imagine what a young person without a Microsoft-sized income would do here to survive. “No one recognizes me–people just don’t care. I feel like I’m being left behind by a flood of greedy people.” McClanahan packed it in 26 years ago. He bought a house at 951 Bryant St.–in fact, a house that sheltered Ken Kesey from the law for a time–in 1973 for $45,000. His ex-wife sold it four years later for $125,000, and he estimates it would sell for well over $1 million today. McClanahan fled to his native Kentucky, where he lives on an inheritance and occasional teaching jobs. Vic Lovell wants to migrate far north within five years. What of the people at The Land and Struggle Mountain? The tipis on The Land were razed in 1976 to make way for the Monte Bello Open Space Preserve. Burns said she felt entitled to live on that land while residing there, but has since changed her mind. “One of the predominant reasons I liked living up there for 15 years was the hills and forests,” said Burns. “But now I’m glad the park has all that land.” Burns came down the mountain in the early 1980s for a high-tech job, later moving to a start-up. “I knew I was on the edge of the wave,” she said. “I thought Palo Alto was the center of the universe then, and I still do.” Her former husband, Stewart Burns–who authored “Social Movements of the 1960s”–moved to Mendocino, founding the Center for Social Healing and teaching at the College of the Redwoods. The residents of Struggle Mountain eventually bought their property and now live quietly as a cooperative. Among them is 72-year-old Purusha Obluda, who hosts a weekly radio show called “Purusha’s Views” on KKUP at 91.5FM Wednesdays from 9-10 a.m. He also stays active with groups like Food Not Bombs and the War Resistors’ League. Winter Dellenbach came down from Struggle Mountain years ago, continuing her work as an attorney with the Midpeninsula Citizens for Fair Housing. She’s well-versed in the cost of living in Palo Alto. “In the next census, we’ll see a mass migration off the Peninsula, the likes of which has never been seen,” she predicted. Palo Alto’s average home price is $1.2 million today, according to the San Jose Mercury News. Dellenbach heard of a house in North Palo Alto that went for $1 million more than advertised. But some of the old guard coexists with the new. Chloe Scott took a sentimental walk down Perry Lane recently, pointing out where Kesey’s house and two others were razed to build sterile 1960s-style homes. The developer paid $57,000 for all three properties in 1963. Scott lived in two houses on Perry Lane, starting in 1956. One rented for $80, the other for $50. Moving from New York City’s Upper East Side, Scott was thrilled. “Two little rooms! A little living room, a little kitchen, on this lovely street, and it was just perfect!” Her eyes lit up like a 10-year-old’s, and she nearly broke into an enthusiastic jig. The night before the houses were torn down, the neighbors and their entourage partied the final party, destroying an upright piano with an ax–a piano that would have met its fate in the jaws of the bulldozer anyway. Scott stood in the middle of the lane, describing the scene. “It twanged and banged and thwanged, it was horrible,” she said. “But the death of an old piano was somehow fitting.” Lovell added that trashing pianos was a fad of the times–perhaps the only unoriginal action on Perry Lane. Three of the postwar, saltbox-style cabins with 1930s-style rock chimneys still stand. The oak tree in whose arms zonked students nestled in 1960 is still there, its branches twisting toward the sky. The few cars that come here must go around it on either side. Scott, who moved from Perry Lane in 1961, says she still feels a sense of community here, and recognizes the old days couldn’t last forever. She’s come to terms with the area’s new wealth. “We had a good run for our money,” she said. “But now it’s time to get on with it.” She continues performing with Dymaxion Dance Company, which she founded in the 1960s. Harry Ely, 80, also said he is unaffected by Silicon Valley wealth and attitudes, living in the same house on Lois Lane bought for $43,000 in the 1940s. He’d come to Berkeley on the GI Bill, later moving to Stanford with his wife and four children. He taught high school for a while, then worked in several local libraries. One of his children took guitar lessons from Jerry Garcia. “When the ’60s came around, I was pretty interested in LSD,” said Ely. “And I finally found some. There was a lot of bad press on the subject, but when I took it, I was absolutely delighted,” he added. Ely’s wife, LaVerne LeRoy, brought in a tray with three cups of steaming tea and a ceramic bowl of dried pears. The sunlight grew reddish. Rainbows danced through the crystals in the window, playing across LeRoy’s face. “Everyone was this big wonderful soup of change and it was just part of the scene,” she said. “There were the be-ins-people sharing food, sunshine, dancing together, babies were everywhere, it was just this atmosphere of free joy. There was a great change in consciousness.” “Actually, consciousness was a later development,” said Ely wryly. Although the seat-of-your-pants living is gone forever in Palo Alto, some involved in the counterculture keep the spirit alive in subtle ways. “I have a good life now in Palo Alto,” Ely said. “I play the hammer dulcimer at the Farmers’ Market, people I see there may be big-time rich people, but they give me a dollar here and there. I see them buying organic fruits and vegetables, their children are interested in the hammer dulcimer. I spent my life here, we don’t really notice the change.” “I don’t really miss the crazy acid culture, because my wife is here, and she’s very surprising, interesting and tender, so I’m very happy.” Harry and LaVerne married in the early 1990s, after living together for 22 years. Ely picked up two dulcimer mallets, shaped like tiny wooden reapers. Beside him, bamboo flutes, ocarinas, Jews harps and various small percussion instruments spilled out of an old wooden box that once held a bottle of Bollinger’s champagne. Bony hands and scythes flew over the instrument. A couple of strings were slightly out of tune, but his improvisation spiraled faster and faster, phrases rising, falling singing, taking on a life of their own. Ely personifies the the last of Palo Alto counterculture. It takes a sharp ear to hear his music, but it is an important and moving tune woven through Silicon Valley’s high-tech revolution.
Thanks to all of you for remembering all of the things that made growing up in Palo Alto so great! I remember most everything, but I couldn’t have done it without your help. I grew up on Sutter ct. in the midtown area from the late 50′s to ’68. Being a cul-de-sac, Sutter ct. was a community unto itself, with lots of kids and very safe. There was a six ft. backyard fence that started at Dave’s house and ran all the way around the neighborhood. I would run its entire length, as fast as I could, with Dave K, Mike B, Paul K, and Bill K.. I spent every penny that came my way at the variety store. remember when we found dead sharks in Matadero creek? remember, during the flood, when Chris sailed his El Toro down the steet? I attended Palo Verde,Wilbur, and Cubberley (67) played little league on the Palo Alto Optimists (and we all were) There was a radio contest in 1966 where you were supposed to send in pieces of paper with your principal’s name on it, promoting him or her as the best. Some of us, in our zeal to have Dr. Scott Thompson win, stole thousands of IBM cards from Stanford to write his name on. You were there Lynn J. I think he won. I could go on, but I have learned that the less I say, the better. Besides, you all said it so good!
The ‘center strips’ of trees and grass on Forest St.- big enough to play tag and catch on, small enough to feel like you were on a secret island. I think all the gorgeous old trees are part of what made Palo Alto so wonderful…it was -afterall- named after a big beautiful redwood!
The early 50′s (through 1956 at least).. Palo Alto High School Mr. Vittitoe – English Mrs. Walsh – English – held in the room above the library Mrs. Cooper – English.. a FORWARD thinking educator Mrs. Kaiser – Administration Mr. Englekay (sp?) – Chemistry Mr. Bander (Drama) Mr. Palmer – Geometry
Here are some Wilbur teachers Mrs. McGilvrey – I couldn’t draw a straight line but she didn’t make me feel like an artistic failure Miss Kleinsorge – pretty, liked her, had a crush on her Mr. (Senor) Bora – He used to come to all the elementary schools to give Spanish lessons. Then we break out into that song – I can still hum it, but I can’t remember a word of it Mr. McPherson – I don’t believe a word of those rumors that he drank in the paint room (hee hee) Mrs. Hampton – My brother and his friends told me she used to be a Playboy bunny. I didn’t have her but wished I did Mr. Olinger – He called me after class and told me I was being obscene Huh?!? Then he pointed down to my crotch area where there was a little tear in my jeans (hey, I wore underwear). I know, it begs the question of “What are you looked ‘down there’ for? Mr. Wolff – Good guy – Before I started playing drums, he never told me I was awful Mr. Chapman – Just a kind of stoic, professional who never smiled or laughed, except for pretty girls Miss Heilman – What can I say? I was the teacher’s pet and I had a crush on her. EXAMPLE: Annndeeeeee [then tilt her head with a smile] when I was talking with a classmate while she lectured BUT 2) MARK!!!! Get-out-of-my-class!!! (Sorry Mark, but I didn’t use your last name) I’ll finish this up another time. Andy Freedman[email protected]
here are a couple of wilbur teachers Mrs. Forbush – she drove a little tiumph convertible very fast and once stood over a student shouting at him until he fainted and fell out of his chair Mrs. McGlashan – I had her for homeroom in the 8th grade and it didn’t go well. I got her again in the 9th grade. After calling roll on the first day, she told the class to read something, grabbed me and walked me to the office. When we got there, she explained that she liked me but she could not have me in her class. It turned out to be very good for me but I suspect that she didn’t really like me. I can’t remember my math teacher’s name in Nov. ’63 but I sure do remember sitting in class when all of a sudden the P. A. speaker sprung to life. With no explanation from the school staff, they began broadcasting a live radio feed from Dallas. President Kennedy had been shot and killed.
Sometime in the late 60′s, somewhere between Palo Alto and Santa Cruz I fell in love. She has long since forced me from her memory…I cling to the memory like the last leaf to fall free from the branch..
Tony Nicosia (aka “Tony the Barber” – see facebook) the owner (since the 60s) of the Charleston Center Barber shop is retiring. He had a serious injury earlier this year when a *tree* fell on him while he was jogging. Tony used to cut hair at the Stanford Barbershop (next to Round Table in Midtown) and then took over the Charleston Barbershop around 1967 or so. He almost always took out ads in the Cubberley Catamount during the years when I was there. He always cut my dad’s hair and sometimes mine. There is a funny photo (taken for the Catamount) from the shop on my blog at:Web Link Anyone who knows Tony might want to wish him well on facebook and/or go to his retirement party Friday, October 9th from 5:30-7:30 at the barbershop.
Wilbur teachers: Mr. McPherson once told me that when you finished with pumice that the wood should feel “as smooth as a baby’s bottom”. Mr. Olinger made you make a contribution to the “Olinger Fund for Destitute Teachers” if you lost one of those blank maps that you filled stuff in on (like city names and rivers and stuff). I think it was called a “DWW 5″. Mr. Schneider (math) had us do a “casino day” when we were studying probability. Mrs. McGillvray used to call us “fatheads” as a term of endearment, and we were told never to tell our parents what happened on Friday Afternoons. (nothing really bad, she just got pretty silly). Mr. Allen (French) did some ballet moves on a desk or table once… Mr. Ludolph did a day or two on the Chartres Cathedral – enough to where when I saw a train going there, when I was in Paris, I jumped on just to go see it. I got to be a science aide for Mr. McRae (science and electronics)… and I used to do chemistry demos for his 7th or 8th grade science class (like Potassium Chlorate + starch heated with a glass rod). I used to try to do them with a little “style” like a magic show, but I don’t think I was that good at it. It was fun though. Counselor Wally Porter (K6URO) gave a bunch of us our first Amateur Radio exams.
Ah, Senor Sal Borja! At Walter Hays he used to come to us through a TV hookup. The theme song was Cielito Lindo (the chorus starts “Ay, ay, ay, ay” — probably the song you were trying to remember). On TV Senor Borja would hold up his hand, palm facing the camera, and say something in Spanish, then he sould turn his hand around and you were supposed to repeat what he just said. After he retired, Mr. Engelke taught photography at Paly. One night after adult ed he suffered a fatal heart attack while driving home on Embarcadero Road and drove his VW bug into a tree. Miss Sanfilippo used to drive around to the elementary schools in her Thunderbird and give music lessons, conduct school orchestras, and composed a song which got published. Mr. Costarella taught electric shop at Jordan and was reputed to have once been a prison warden (yeah, right).
Ray, Thanks so much for that article. Very interesting. Although my folks were very straight, my best friends were not. I moved into a trailor in the back yard of my bussys at around age 15. One of the main stays of St. Michaels Alley was my buddy’s moms byfriend, John Kennedy. He had that “giant car” a two story metal contraption painted with clouds. He also had that huge metal duck that was parked by Pally for a while. My memories of tose times goes on forever… Don’t forgeyabout Westfest- (woodstock)2009 at Golden Gate fieldsin S.F.on the 25th. A lot ofthe artists and thieroffsping,including the paranksterswill be there.
Hey Jim, I think you opened a door. I remember some kind of bizarre vehicle painted with clouds. Unbelievable! lol. My biggest curiousity is a tree, near University Ave, and I think near some kind of park. But, it was my home for some time. It was very big and thick, but it had a very small opening. Once you fought your way through you had a large clear area where you could actually stand. I remember being homeless, but even in the hardest of rains it stayed dry. I’m sure it’s long gone, but it seems one memory leads to another. I also remember the sweet smell of fruit, and seeing these large round ugly green(fruit?) laying on the ground.(Comquats?) I don’t think they were really fruit. Anyway, I’m glad you survived those One of my high school friends works for Trent Jones Golf,in Palo Alto.. she’d love for me to visit, so who knows about Oct. Take care, Ray..
The big pickle barrel at Midtown Market Trampolina (the trampolines in the ground) Wacky Plaques and model car kits from the variety store Bergmans, A & w, Toy World, all of Midtown just blocks from home The guy on Colorado Ave. putting signs up about communists, the water flouridation conspiracy, and the wonders of the American Independent Party Free ice cream at Piers Dairy on Halloween night the neighborhood milk trucks, bread trucks, and ice cream man juice bar day at Palo Verde – the orange bars were out of this world Mr. Andrews at Palo Verde – a wonderful teacher Traffic Patrol – marching along, carrying our stop signs over our shoulders like rifles. spinning our signs out into the street with such precision. getting busted for running on the red top so often that we were called “the red top boys” racing through the color coded lesson folders of the reading lab the beautiful little league park on Middlefield rd. long horn handlebars turned upside down (like a W) on to Wilbur and SMSG math the powdered sugar on the lunch brownies. we blew it at each other Mr. Rayners science class and being taught physics by Dr. Shockley Y-clubs and washing dishes after the big YMCA dinners Idea Forum at Cubberley where you could walk into a teachers’ class and tell them what you wanted to learn. I walked in on an art teacher and told him that I would like to be able to look at something and draw it accurately. He grabbed a scetch pad and pencil and led me across the street from the Shell station at Middlefield and Charleston. He gave me a few pointers, including a true revelation. For years I had watched Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd don berets and painters smocks and hold up their thumbs and squint. He told me why. Before long, I produced a pretty good drawing of the Shell station. The teacher (I can’t remember his name and my yearbooks vanished years ago) taught me exactly what I wanted to know, and the lessons have stuck. I also discovered that when interested in something, I could learn as fast as he could teach. In the spring of ’67, there was a student (name again lost) who would roll out big speakers at lunch time, and play albums as we sat on the grass in the amphitheatre. one day, I think it was June 1st, 1967, He played Sgt. Peppers start to finish. Most of us had not heard the entire album yet. I remember a stunned silence as that final chord faded away…. wow I read the news today – O boy Quicksilver played on Grad night and we were launched out into the world…. wow
I moved from Palo Alto with my parents to Southern California in 1962. I was 15 at the time. I lived in Palo Alto from 1953 to 1962 and remember the following: Playing at the new Little League field on Middlefield. The construction of Mitchell Park. Big storms and lots of flooding in 1955. Attending the new Catholic School – Our Lady of the Rosary. Riding my bike with friends up Page Mill Road. Playing Babe Ruth League baseball. Opening day was always at Stanford Sunken Diamond. The Giants relocating from New York in 1958. Only having six televison stations. However, channels 7 and 11 were the same. Channel 7 was the ABC station from San Francisco and Channel 11 was the ABC station from San Jose. Channel 9 was an educational channel that nobody watched so there were actually only 4 stations.
Thursday, Feb 5th, 1976 according to a newspaper report that I found by googling “1976 snowfall in Palo Alto”
Do any of you 1970′s (and perhaps earlier) Jordan students remember those terrible desks that were attached to the chair with a bar, so you couldn’t move the chair without moving the desk? If you dropped your pencil on the floor and had to lean over to pick it up on the side where the bar connected the desk to the chair, you and the desk/chair crashed to the floor. Happened to me once. It was funny when it happened to someone else though. Some of the Jordan Teachers I remember 1974 – 1976: 1. Mrs. Becker (English). She gave minus points when you acted up in class. She made a clicking noise after she said “minus point.” 2. Mr. Center (Typing). I had straight A’s in his typing class but had a feeling I would bomb the final, which was 50% of the grade. Unfortunately my arm was in a cast during the final (I fell through a window). Because of my injury I was unable to complete the final but he gave me an “A” anyway. What a nice guy. He tossed candy to students during class. 3.Mrs Quesnoy, Math teacher. Best math teacher I ever had, and the only time I received straight A’s in math. At the beginning of each class period she had a “daily spaz” where she ran around the class acting silly with a trash bin on her head. She did this to appease the juvenile delinquents (Kirby, Nelson) in the class. Mrs. Zimmerman, English teacher. Every once in a while I see her driving her convertible Mustang around town. She looks the same after 40+ years. Amazing! I really hated Junior High but somehow I find myself looking back fondly on the memories…
Wow, reading this is like recapping my life. -Born in the old Stanford Hospital -Attended Van Auken, Jordan and Paly – Graduated in 69 -Living in, and have lived my entire life in Palo Alto – still here. -Remember, the Sullivans, Baneks, Ozdinskis, Bells, Sheppards and so many other families! -Remember working at Ray’s Richfield on Stanford and El Camino, and Pearson’s Shell on Embarcadero -Remember Oro Mitchell teaching auto shop at Paly. -Remember Mobil Oil at El Camino and Page Mill, Cy Pennels Chevron in Midtown, Kawata Brothers 76 Union on San Antonio, and more….. -Remember the pinball machines at the Midtown A&W and the car hops at the El Camino A&W -Remember the bonfires at Lake Lauganita -Remember the little Big Game at Stanford between Paly and Sequoia -Remember Penneys with a beasment on University Ave -Remember the carnivals in the Bullocks parking lot in Stanford -Remember Big Al’s Gashouse delivering hot food to the service stations on El Camino. -Remember S Burger -Remember when Stanford was the “Indians” and proud of it -Remember D&H Hobby slot racing on San Antonio -Rememebr Cougan’s Bluff burger resturant on El Camino in Mt. View -Rememeber the great burgers at the Stanford View in Palo Alto -Remember getting 5 cent cokes at Paddleford Olds downtown. -Remember the horse pasture on El Camino and Page Mill. -Remember the rairoad tracks crossing El Camino. -Remember Music Box Records (the big square box on El Camino) -Remember most of that everyone has written and so much moremore. Jeff H
I remember once in the 60s, seeing a passenger train crossing El Camino on the old tracks that used to be there. I think it was the Stanford Big Game (Stanford/Cal), and that some of the Cal alums had somehow chartered a train to go to the game. I only ever saw that track used that one time… and I may not have the details right.
I remember PA cops pulling my friends and me over one night for DWBB: ‘driving while black or brown’. Said the ‘center wear line’ of one of our rear tires was ‘off center’, and that was the reason for pulling us over. Nice. But really, that attitude hasn’t changed in PA. Just like old times!
I remember catching the bus just to go to “Menu Tree” to eat a good meal from around the world, even back then the mexican food was questionable,. Guess what????………”it still is” ,….I continue to enjoy the “asian”,russian,german and soulfood,..and also “Pacific Coast dishes. I trusted the cooks. Now we have a “taqueria on every corner and the food is un-inspectantley USDA approved.,…WHATCH OUT!!!!!!
Regarding Mrs. Forbush causing a young man to faint out of his chair – I was he. Turned out I had her again in 9th grade and she treated me very well, and eventually we exchanged Christmas cards until she passed away in 2003. (Could Lee B. be Lee Bickett?) I remember fondly Bell’s Bookstore downtown, with the tall ladders on rails going to the ceiling, the cats, Mr. Bell (who somehow was quite kindly to me and let me roam the store), and the wonderful smell of books.
The orignal Police Dept at 450 Bryant. Parking officers riding Harley Three Wheels Motorcycles with NO Helmets (Good times). Parking Meters. The 25 cent Milkshade at Peninsula Creamery,Now over $ 5,00. Gunn Auto Repair. 1970 Lytton Plaza Protests. I can go on and on, Good memories during the 50,60,70 era. After that all downhill.
The train tracks that used to cross El Camino were part of the Los Altos line which went behind Alta Mesa cemetery and joined what is now Foothill Expressway. Commute trains used to go on those tracks every weekday until 1964.
Hi Kelly. You have unmasked me. That is one of the most vivid memories that I have of junior high school.
- The annual Childrens Pet Parade, or May Day Parade. Some years we’d make floats out of wagons or coasters and put cages in them for our cats, or just walk our dogs, or load our bikes up with crepe paper streamers, wear costumes, and end up at the penny carnival at Lytton school. I got lost once year when I was about six and spent a tearful couple of hours at the old police staion downtown until my dad found me… – Miss Downs, the circuit music teacher who came to my elementary school (Ventura) one day every week. She gave me my first lessons on the string bass. I’m still playing it, over 50 years later… – Playing in the piles of hay bales in the old Stanford barn, before it became The Stanford Barn. – Sliding on cardboard over the dried grass down Kite Hill, above Stanford Av. – In the second grade at Ventura, sitting on the bench outside class with my teacher Miss McPherson, watching the thick column of smoke rise in the distance to the south, while she explained to me that my family’s house had burned down. It was an Eichler, $26,000 when my folks bought it in 1950, and was gone in less than 30 minutes. – Playing sponge tag in an El Toro at the old Palo Alto Yach Harbor. – Eating hush puppies with maple syrup in the kitchen at Don Johnson’s house. His was the only black family in our neighborhood, and they grew corn and vegetables over their big lot at the corner of Charleston and Francisco Way (before Francisco was renamed Park Av). Mrs Johnson was the best cook in the neighborhood. – Swimming almost every day in summer at the public pool at Wilbur Jr High, and sometimes having enough money to ride over to A&W in Midtown and getting a quart of ice cold root beer. – Riding bikes with my best friend across town on Saturday afternoon to the Peninsula Creamery lunch counter and blowing my entire week’s allowance of 50 cents on a coffee milkshake.
Nobody mentioned the trampoline park on the corner of ECR and California. Almost broke my neck there on several occasions. Throwing cracker balls at the commuter trains from Matadero creek. Woke the riders up! When “The Stone” on California was Purity Market. Seeing Jerty Garcia with his blugrass band “Old and in The Way” for $4.00 bucks at Homers Warehouse Shooting pellet guns at the rock quarry behind Frenchmans tower. Sneaking into the Stanford barn and hiding out up in the hay loft,that was very cool. Walking to Walter hays school and seeing quail,squarrels,doves and catching a garter snake once in a while.
What a great place to grow up. I was Homers Warehouse and the rock promoter at the Stanford theater during the 70′s. A book will be coming out next year that will take many by surprise.Not my real name,please respect this for now. The Old Palo Alto Times plays a role featuring Dan Roach,the rock critic for the PA Times in 71. Palo Alto has a rich history in the rock world,much unknown and rumor.I’m settling the record straight(toxic left out)with a fun,very humorous look at the whole thing. Confidentiality appreciated. AJ
OK AJ… Will you please help me out here… what was Homer Warehouse? I used to go to a warehouse for music… I think near Town and Country Shopping Center and the tracks… where my ‘boyfriend’ of the time played. Geeze, I can’t remember the time frame, but since I moved to France in 1970, it must have been in the late 60s. I also don’t remember names, except for Barbara’s Bakery when it was in the parking lot south of California Avenue… was the Purity Market the place you could have your wheat stone ground into flour by a really cute miller? I think it was where Molly Stone is now. Wasn’t it a CO-OP? Ah… I also remember my steady beau, Greg Johnson, driving me around (circa 1963) on his little Vespa. He told me he was going to become a beatnik. HA! We met up years later in Santa Cruz mountains on a commune he was living at with his wife, Ulie, and kids. He was building a sailboat that time. I wonder what happened to him. His parents lived on Bryant.
And AJ… do you still think it’s possible to climb up into the hayloft at Stanford Barn? Are you referring to the horse barn on campus.. or the eating place? I love climbing into barn haylofts and hanging out. My sis and I did that once and she fell through the rotted boards. I had the most fun in a French hayloft.
BaaBaaRaa, I’m sure AJ could give you more details about Homer’s Warehouse, but in case he doesn’t visit this thread soon, here’s what I know… Yes, the warehouse your refer to (near Town & Country) was Homer’s Warehouse. It was an old industrial warehouse, built near the Railroad, probably out of use for years before it was taken over as a music venue. It was on Homer Avenue (a continuation of Homer Ave. that runs near professorville, but on the other side of the tracks – thus the name “Homer’s Warehouse”. I remember seeing Sons of Champlin play there. I played there with a band once or twice myself. And yes, Purity Market became Co-op, and is now Molly Stone’s.
The old Stanford Barn before it was a restraunt.You could get lost in that place for days.As for the rest,wait for the book. Many,many surprises. AJ
THANK YOU Eric S!!! (I was never good applying labels to places or tunes.) I loved Homer’s Warehouse… I was so sad when it disappeared. There were so few hot places for young people and University Avenue was DEAD DEAD (except for the Tangent era).. you had to find your tribe and hang out. I know Homer real well as I live within walking distance. I have NO IDEA what the name of the band the guy I was hanging out with was. Now I wish I did. I can’t even remember his name… or what instrument he played… probably guitar. He lived over in Menlo Park somewhere around Cloud or Lemon??? I just remember it was a lot of fun. THANKS AGAIN. And yes, Purity Market became Co-op, and is now Molly Stone’s.
And thanks Eric for clarifying the name of that wonderful market… I still miss Purity Market. Some good things never last or repeat. I am starting to get excited about this book! Where will it sell? Are you mentioning REAL names, AJ?
Hi folks, I recall that both former Co-Ops were Purity Stores. It’s amazing that in the Midtown area, there were 4 (four) grocery stores: Duca Hanley (Midtown Market), across the street the Supermarket Basket (? name), Safeway and about 300 meters from Midtown Market, the Purity (later on, Co-Op). A LITTLE CONFESSION HERE (I won’t name the others although it would be interesting if one of them read this and responded): We used to walk into the Safeway and slyly steal sardines. Not just any sardines, only the Tiny Tot Brand. That’s the negative end of it, but the positive: Hey, we were kids, but we ate nutritious foods. Andy Freedman[email protected] (650) 493-5000, ext. 60001
Homers and Andrew J. Bernstein who always wanted to be an impresario. Sure would be nice if some other members from his milieu contributed to this love fest. Lots of unbelievable history in our little town…
Fantastic!…I was doing a websearch about the Keystone nightclub earlier and found this discussion. lol And wow, that’s a lot of memories I’ll have to go through. It’s fascinating though. I was also looking for comments about the Old Mill and the nightclub that was there. I had been for a long time thinking it was called Fargo’s but wasn’t sure, and I find now that, yes, it was Fargo’s Pizza. They had great bands there, and I remember real well how I would stand on the balcony railing that would be right above the band and only about 50 feet away. I could stare at the drummer all night and witness that incredible power without anyone crowding in. I remember going everywhere with Andy Freedman’s brother and especially to the Yacht Harbor. We loved to hang out at the interpretive center there. Like Andy, we were a tiny bit mischievous too and died laughing when we flooded the bathrooms there a time or two. We would ride our bikes out on the boardwalk way out in the marsh to where it ended. What a neverland that was. I see several people have talked about Edy’s ice cream parlor at Town & Country. That special and unique spot that had a counter that went way far into the back has been a fantasyland in my memories ever since. Andy remembers Duca & Hanley market at midtown I see, and that with Baskin & Robbins and Coop was just a few blocks from where I grew up. Andy said how he was ‘“Ghost-riding” an abandon bicycle off the roof of the original Hoover School.’ I went to school there until 5th grade when they closed it. One of the greatest memories in my life is how at like 6 years old I made a leap of faith and pulled myself up on the Hoover roof from a fence next to the office which was the corner of the school closest to Safeway. Man, I have often wondered what’d have happened if I couldn’t quite pull myself up, but always so gleeful that I made it fine. There was a whole new world up there!!! Does anybody remember a burger joint called Pic and Pan that I think was across from Ming’s in the early 60′s which is when it closed? I’d like to name more places but I’ve already gone too long so I’ll just say the Menu Tree. Ha ha.
Gondolin, Hmmm. Pic and Pan. The name sounds familiar, but can’t really picture it. But, Menu Tree, yes lots of times visiting that spot. For some reason I really liked the Pizza there. It was kind of different, but I remember them pouring a bit of olive oil over the cheese. UMMM.. Always wondered why the Ming’s site on El Camino is still vacant, but is the only place for miles that allows billboard to be used on El Camino.
I found a great pic of the old mall at the Old Mill, and I’m pretty sure that small door and window on the right was Fargo’s. I hope this link works. If not, never mind. lolWeb Link
Hey Eric, The Menu Tree was great I thought ’cause it was so big, especially the upstairs part. And they had that large spiral staircase up to the huge dining room upstairs, that was quaint ’cause it was so private. That’s funny, really. The pizza was what I got most of the time too. It was so extremely good and had an authentic Italian taste, I have never found then or since. But yes, I remember it was pretty oily, yet I always delved into it being so yummy. Did you go to the Time Zone arcade next to the Menu Tree? I saw someone had mentioned that place. My favorites were Missile Command and Galaga. I even was able to turn Galaga over one time, and I think it took at least 90 minutes on a single quarter. I’m terrible at video games now. I’ve live in a condo a few blocks from the San Antonio shopping center for 7 years now. I’m right on the border of Palo Alto. I was glad that Sears stayed there. It had been all planned out to have a Home Depot there. Sears had a big clearance sale, and the store was almost empty, then they canceled the plans and decided to stay. Lots of good memories at that Sears, so that was good. Thanks for responding.
Sears always had that popcorn fragrance, didn’t it? As did the old Woolworth stores. Gondolin, Great picture of the Old Mill. That brings back lots of memories. I do remember Fargo’s. My brother used to work in the candy store right near there. I can’t recall the name of the candy store, do you? The Old Mill had a great ambiance, especially when it was new. They never attracted a lot of great retailers for some reason, so I think that’s why it closed down. There was even a movie theatre there. I didn’t spend much time at the Time Zone, but do remember it. Didn’t Menu Tree have some sort of animated birds or something like that? Did they chirp on the hour, like a clock. Or am I confusing my memory with something else?
Hi QuickHitGondolin, That cracked me up about flooding the toilets and laughing. I don’t know what it is about boys and bathrooms, but while attending Herbert Hoover, my best friend and I used to do some kind of “malicious mischeif” on a daily basis in the bathroom. But then the principal called us in and asked if we’d be willing to be the “bathroom police,” well, with such a high honor, we quit trashing the bathroom. By the way QuickHitGondolin, the easiest way to get on former Herbert Hoover roof was to stack two lunch tables on top of each other right below the Multi-purpost Room and climb firt onto that roof (it’s lower than the classrooms roof) and then climb on top the the classrooms roof. I enjoyed reading your memories. Thank you, QuickHitGondolin! Andy Freedman[email protected]
The other Old Mill spot I remember is the Mexican restaurant, La Posada. Pretty good food (IIRC) and somewhat lenient on its policy of checking IDs of anyone ordering a margarita…or so I heard.
Ok Eric, at least you went into the Time Zone and can relate to what it was. It was always very noisy with the volume of all the games on maximum. I don’t remember a cuckoo clock or anything at Menu Tree. It was probably a “giant bird cage” according to Brad “Apprentice Manjuman” K.Web Link I wish I had walked around the Old Mill more often and besides the theatre and Fargo’s didn’t very often, and I don’t remember a candy store. It was an amazing journey the few times I went all around it though. I was still further crushed, when they closed down Mayfield Mall. Even though it closed, what in the early 70s, I still have a few vivid memories of it. It was so beautiful, but understandably in a bad location for getting business. Believe it or not, I still feel bad about that almost everytime I pass the building where it was, which is now HP offices. Wow, this pic of Mayfield Mall and its elevator is exactly where my strongest memory is. That’s so cool.Web Link They say it closed in 1984. I thought it was much earlier.
Hi Andy, The last time we talked some time ago, you were concerned about the Willow trees at Hoover Park. And I know from other comments elsewhere of yours that you’re very ecologically conscious. So I would like to console myself with you about all the pine trees they cut down a few months ago along San Antonio Rd. between the overpass and Middlefield Rd. They were huge and dozens of them. They’re all gone now, and I’ve been kinda upset about that. I use to just love walking under them, staying nice and cool and amused, in the summer. I can understand the danger of overhanging branches to the cars, but that was such a dramatic change and loss. Your brother never talked about that. That’s really funny. I guess we really needed a little bit extra entertainment than most for awhile. Your brother and I got caught, at Emporium in Stanford Shopping Center, pulling wicks out of candles. They let us go with a warning, which really scared us, and then were entirely respectful ever since. I saw you had talked about Mr. Pike at Hoover Elementary. I had him in 5th grade and had forgotten he was missing a finger. Now I remember kinda how he would show it to the class and thrill us. He was a very nice man and my favorite teacher.
Sorry. Actually, I remember now. Mrs. Aker was my favorite teacher and lived or still lives just a block from my mother’s house in Midtown. I just could never bring myself to go up to her door and introduce my adult self, and I kick myself for not doing it. She was wonderful. Maybe, she’s still there but I don’t think so because I’ve noticed some changes in their garden in the last few years. My mother is 91 now and still doing fine in her old house, thank God.
Hi QuickHitGondolin, Good memory. Not to sound too “sappy,” but yes, there was one particular Willow Tree at Hoover Park that actually tuaght me about life and spirit of trees. For years, I’d sit on a bench on the bike path across from the tree and commune with it. I even wrote a short story about that Willow Tree. One day, I came to the park and they had cut down the tree. First the arborist said that Willow trees at another park uprooted too easily. Then the story changed and he said that the tree was diseased. It wasn’t. I actually have a picture of me and that Willow Tree. Hey, thanks for posting the Mayfield Mall picture. I always remember how we’d bike down there and the first store we’d visit was Cost Plus Imports. Just one more memory: In Palo Alto, every Friday at noon (or maybe 11:00am), they would conduct a test of the city wide warning siren. I’m sure someone like Gary Fazzino (Palo Alto’s “Unofficial Historian”) would be able to give more detail about that system. Andy Freedman[email protected]
Hey now, we are all historians here. Kinda. The A&W in Midtown used to make a burger that we called a crumble burger. It was loose ground beef with a strange flavor that I can still remember, but cannot begin to identify. The meat fell out while you tried to eat the thing, but if you ate while holding the burger over its paper, you could round up all the fallen meat and eat it. They kept those wonderful A&W mugs cold and frosty.
Hey Andy, You were quite a firecracker! I think I would’ve liked hanging out with you and your friends. What fun! I just got a letter from my long-time friend and doc, Don Creevy, who’s retiring this March. He founded The Birth Center in Menlo Park and was considered the whack-O doc at Stanford for awhile, until they all started following his lead. He had an office on Lytton for quite a few years. Anybody remember him or have stories?
Wow, what fun reading this thread! I remember the “crazy lady” who lived on the vacant lot on Forest Avenue facing the island (I grew up on Forest Ave) I also remember kegger parties in the church parking lot during my Paly days….Of course Fran’s and also Channing Market to buy my candy….Many good memories, many great friends at Crescent Park school – I also remember the island off of Edgewood where the kids would hide out and smoke and kiss in the bushes :) I love Palo Alto! I still reside in the Crescent Park neighborhood but on a different street now.
The Keystone on California Avenue used to be the Purity market, then in the late ’60s it became a hippie-dippie natural foods store, considered a novelty at the time. Across from Purity was Littleman’s market which later became Mackall’s Appliance and is now Kinko’s. The Co-op was always where Mollie Stone’s is now. The part fronting California Avenue was the pharmacy which was separate from the grocery store toward the rear of the property. The entrance to Co-op market was in roughly the same place as the entrance to Mollie Stone’s. Before moving to the Kinko’s location, Mackall’s appliance was in the space that used to be the Printer’s Inc. bookstore and is now a stationery store or something. Littleman’s market was a favorite of me, my brother and our neighbor Mike Zupan when they would put out a barrel full of Ghirardelli milk chocolate blocks. They took a big slab of milk chocolate about 3/4″ thick and broke it into jagged pieces which were wrapped in cellophane and priced by the pound with a label showing the weight and the price like a package of ground beef. Needless to say we were all over it and those blocks of milk chocolate used to last us for days. A door or two down was a place you could have your Swiss watch repaired, roughly where Cho’s Potsticker Palace is now. Midtown Market was the grocery store. Duca & Hanley was the name of the meat department within.
The club at the Old Mill was called Bourbon Street and the allied food court the French Quarter. The club,for a while, was owned by Morey Aframi and his brother. The clock at the Menu Tree only “CucKooed” on the half and full hours when several birds would poke their heads out of the elevated bird house in the middle of the dining area and chirp. The upstairs dining area was called the Birds Covey and the bar the Birds Nest I managed the place between jobs for a few months. The Purity market on California street was also for a time called Zinzinnati Om Pa Pa a “German” restaurant with a band stand that featured polka bands. The wooded floor from the market was a perfect dance floor and they used to feature polka bands. I met my wife there and it was one of may first chefs jobs. I also remember lining up for hours to get you car tagged since everyone in the state was required to register their vehicles at the same time. The DMV was located close to the S&H Green Stamp Redemption Center and the Scientific store with test tubes and the like.
Hi Gamboa, I didn’t really know the other areas of the Old Mill too good so I had forgotten there was another regular night club. Bourbon Street sounds familiar now. Just wanted to clarify this. The other club there I was talking about was Fargo’s Pizza, and I call it a club ’cause it had a GREAT stage and accoustics with a balcony. I’ve found three other recollections that confirm the name, and here’s one of them from Miles Tone on Apr 29, 2008. “The mall where the Crossings is now was The Old Mill…There was also a pizza place called Fargo’s that had live music on weekends.”Web Link
Remembrances, memories and old times remembered here: Bishops fountain on California Avenue Dancing at Stanford View in the 70s Dancing at L’Omellete (sp) in the 60s Dancing at the Be-Ins across from where Stanford Shopping Center is now. Nelsons’ Market on Cowper (corner grocery store) near Colorado. Playing in San Francisquito Creek before it was paved. Walking or riding my bicycle anywhere I wanted before women’s lib. Having a clear view of the railroad tracks from my backyard on Kipling Street. Working at the Fine Arts Theatre when I was 16. Yes, I got my worker’s permit at 15 1/2. My family was not rich, my Dad was a carpenter. Like so many others I cannot afford to live in my hometown where I was born in 1944 at the Palo Alto Hospital now Hoover Annex or ? perhaps it has changed names again. J.C. Penney, Woolworth’s, Chandlers, Lerners on University Ave. Edy’s Ice Cream in Town & Country. Yum. Being a hippy or pseudo hippy as I always worked. Having a parachute on the ceiling and a round table with lots of pillows around where we smoked pot, hashish, opium out of a hookah. I was not a part of the Merry Pranksters but was there wherever “there” was always on the fringes. Pure pharmaceutical meth, uppers, white crosses, Christmas Trees that were prescribed by docters for weight loss and malaise. “Y” dances in the late 50′s early 60′s. Carpenters Hall dances. Street dances and great car clubs like the Executors. The marches down University Avenue when the cops trained rifles at us from the roof tops. This is all part of Palo Alto. I now live in Albany, Oregon not far from where “Further” is rotting in the forest.
Hi Delfina and all, NOW I remember – when you said parachute on ceiling, it brought back memories of me, your younger brother and other friends when we’d listen to your brother and his band practice in the garage. Since I grew up on Wellsbury Way, I was right across the street from Carpenter’s Hall and also next to the Shell Gas Station and next to that a 2 or 3-story building that had slot cars (which was eventually torn down and the Arco Station built there). Believe it or not “the narcs” as they were called, had a room they used at the Stevenson House and with binoculars, they use to watch us Wilbur Warriors at Mitchell Park during lunchtime in 1969. I know there are others here in this group that remembered (and some were part of “the big bust”) on The Hill at Mitchell Park. Dang, it’s hard to believe that us 7th, 8th and 9th graders posed such a threat to Palo Alto then (especially since the pot was nothing like it was today). It’s a little sad that the School District plays musical chairs with the names of all of our former schools. It would be equally sad if the city ends up renaming Lytton Plaza, as we used to go there to listen to music on Friday nights. There’s a good Palo Alto Weekly story about how the riot got started at Lytton Plaza. From my, albeit young, observation, the Police were dead-set on stopping the music at exactly 10:00pm – the time limit set by the city ordinance. As the last song was getting underway, one of the cops actually pulled the plug. First you heard a lot of, “Hey man. That’s not cool, man!” Then the cops began moving in riot-type fashion towards the people who were just listening. That’s when it got out of hand. People running, scared. Folks tripping over each other, people getting hurt by the cops. It would be interesting if the cops had made a “movie camera” (as it was called) of the event. Obviously, in hindsight, it was an event that could have easily been avoided. Anyway, also, I remember playing in San Francisquito Creek, too, as a kid. It was the first time I smelled Eucalyptus (at the corner of Newell Road and Woodland Avenue). Okay, take care Delfina and let me know the next time you’re in town. Andy Freedman[email protected] PS: I have pieces of the old Herbert Hoover Elementary School. Both the cement and wood. I had come home from a Christmas party one night to see my old school in a giant heap of ruins and went to the old part of the school and retrieve those items.
Andy do you remember the leaf imprint on the red top at Hoover at the double doors going into the hall below the old wooden part of Hoover
Hi John (and all), I don’t recall that. I do recall that the old wooden structure of Hoover had very short stairways on both the north and south entrances leading into the hallway of the building. Was the old wooden structure the original school? And was the conventional L-Shaped elementary school built around it? Andy Freedman
Andy and all, I’m sure the old building was the original school. The newer buildings clearly came decades later and were of the PAUSD “cookie cutter” architecture. Anyone know if architect Birge Clark was involved in the design?
Hi Chris and all, Matt Bowling / Palo Alto Weekly History Project (see below link) tells of the many projects Birge Clark was involved in. Many Palo Alto buildings he designed are named in that article. In another part of the aricle it states that he had designed schools, but it didn’t state that they were Palo Alto schools. I have a feeling that he was not involved with any of the PAUSD schools (but I’m not sure). I’m sure your correct about the old building being the original school. It would be nice if the Palo Alto Historical Association posted more or different pictures on their Website. Nothing has been added to it for a very long time. If you haven’t browsed through the pictures yet, you’re in for a real treat. I think there are 2082 pictures that can be serched in a number of ways. Excellent Website! Andy Freedman Here’s the link to the Birge Clark story:Web Link
Are there any photos available that show Mitchell Park during its first 10 years? The ckeckerboard etc.
Andy – We still haven’t determined whether you and I went to kindergarten together — Mrs. Olson’s class of 1960 – 1961, morning class. In 1961 we moved and I started first grade at Walter Hays where there was clearly an old building and a new building which had been added onto it, as well as a multipurpose room. As I think about it, Birge Clark’s architecture was generally snazzier than those PAUSD classrooms with the transom windows that had to be opened using a pole with a hook on the end. When we would go on break they used to polish the wood floors and when we got back from break the classrooms all reeked of floor wax. And I mean reeked!
An acquaintance from Garland Elementary School is trying to pinpoint when Dizzy Gillespie played for us kids (possibly at Addison rather than Garland), probably somewhere around 1970 to 1972. Anyone have any documentation that would show the date? It’s been really hard to pin down, though many of us remember Gillespie playing. He seems to have played again in the mid-70s.
Lived in Palo Alto from 1947-1970. Born in the old Hoover Pavilion. Garland..remember Mr. Hillburn. Jordan..getting up on the roof and then running from the cops…Mr. Center and his old convertible full of kids..Remember the trampoline center behind the old Purity in Mid Town? Riding our bikes to the Stanford Ampetheater and bringing home buckets of tadpoles..getting my bike stolen outside the Stanford Theater..$.05 cokes at Bergmans…$12(?) for a monthly card at Palo Alto Muni..Skiing down the 14th fairway in 1962 at Stanford Golf course when in snowed..WE hung a dummy from the lamppost on West Greenwich Place..being in the old Police Station downtown and seeing our street circled on the map…lots of other things later…
If anybody has any information on the old Albion Kendalhang Commune in the Haight Ashbury during the 60s and in particular the whereabouts of Nelson Madrid of the Long Beach Tribe, I’d sure like to know. They used to have a website up, but it disappeared. I am trying to find him as well as my old girlfriend, Patty Kienholz. Nelson lived in a Willows commune off Pope Street around 1967.
Hi Chris (and all), Yes, we did attend the same kindergarden class (Mrs. Olson, morning class). Do you recall the share time? My next door neighbor, Jim K. would say, “I had a dream that Andy got stung by a bee and cried.” Then when it was my turn, I’d say, “I had a dream that Jim fell into the creek and cried.” How brutal! (hee hee). Andy
So many memories…..I’m trying to think of something that hasn’t been mentioned yet. John Herrera, did you live on Moreno? If so, your dog bit me on the ankle. Not recently, like 40 something years ago. Has anyone mentioned Hi Neighbor night at Van Auken. The white elephant table, cake walk and I think there was a lady there that did those paper cut out profile thingys, I think I still have mine. And the pocket lady! I loved her…. I wish I could grow up all over again. Gig
Gig, I know what you mean. I remember trading bikes with a friend (I think it was Tom D.) for a ride to the Variety Store. His bike was a newfangled 3-speed with hand operated brakes. I had no experience with that type of bike. As we raced up to the store from the Middlefield side, I stepped hard on the pedals to stop, to no avail. I crashed into the front door and ended up in a pile under the bike and the gumball machines. I have had an uneasy relationship with new technologies ever since. I’d love to go back and get another shot at it tho.
Andy – Next time I’m in P.A. I’ll see if I can find our class photo. I don’t remember “share time” but I do remember napping on blankets on the floor and bringing our family dog. I still have the ceramic hand print we made and painted. You and I have both reminisced about what a fine teacher Jane Olson was, with such great patience!
Hi Chris (and all), Yes, the Hand Print Clay thing that we painted – I still have mine and, to me, it was one of the best looking ones. I used different color paints and it came out really cool – a purple, blue, red, and other blended colors. And I do remember the nap times. After a nap, a teacher would pick a “fairy” to tap each child awake. Remember, we’d store our blankets in these little cabinets under the counter which was right under the window looking outside to the Kindergarten Area facing Middlefield Road. Old elementary school report cards are an interesting piece of memorabilia – Some of the personal stuff the teachers wrote about us would get them fired these days. But hey, it told it like it was (or what the teacher though was) and it might have stung a bit, but it did help our parents move us in the right direction. There’s a photo section in this Town Square Forum so if you find an old report card or an old class photo, you can post it there. I do have with me (right now) the 1968 Herbert Hoover Class Graduation. It’s faded, but I’ll try to copy dark and will scan, PDF and post in that section this morning. Andy Freedman[email protected] 650 493-5000, ext. 60001
Andy you and I were in the same Kindergarden class with Mrs Olson in the afternoon class, and, I have the picture to prove it. and we in the same second grade class with Mrs. Miller and I have that pic too.
Hi John, That is cool! Can you post the Kindergarden picture? You have to log in (otherwise you can’t post) and go to Historic Photo, scroll down to brouse and then upload a JPEG version. You’ll have to scan that picture first and then save as a JPEG. Another interesting document is the report card. I can’t find any of mine, but I saw one that someone (Joe P) brought to a Herbert Hoover Elementary School class reunion some years ago. Very interesting comments that teachers made back then. Was Mrs. Miller Miss Chamberlin? Andy Freedman[email protected]
Herbert Hoover Elementary. Good heavens. “But then the principal called us in and asked if we’d be willing to be the “bathroom police,” well, with such a high honor, we quit trashing the bathroom.” Must have been either Mr Webb or Mr Pappagni. Spent a fair amount of time in the office myself. Nothing exciting, just messing with the “yard duty” lady at lunch and crossing Middlefield at Sutter instead of at the Colorado light. We walked to school in those days! Even when it rained. Some good teachers some not so good. Katherine Miller was certainly a dedicated elementary educator, great reading teacher. Nancy Wilson, Mr Cushing, Miss Barnet was it? Mr Borja and of course the old timer custodian “John” about all I can remember at the moment.
Hey Bob, You’re right – I think it was Mr. Papagni (if he followed Mr Webb). I only had to go there once and I was scared because I heard he had a paddle. Fortunately it was just a talk. But . . . your infraction wasn’t that bad. Here’s a little confession – an embarrassing one, too, but that’s what makes this thread fun to read. One day, I decided I wanted to be on traffic patrol duty (maybe because you got to wear those snazzy sweaters and you had a little power). There was one guy (Russel S) calling cadence to the 3 of us during our walk to the intersection of Middlefield and Colorado (where back then, there were 2 gas stations). I cough up and “lugied” (spit) on a parked car window. The guy calling cadence quickly stopped us and told me that I am on report. Rather than face the wrath of (was it) Sgt Mashinski, during an all-patrol formation, I resigned (by not showing up). Andy Freedman[email protected]
I was born in Palo Alto 1953. Palo Verde elem, Ross Rd, Wilbur and Cubberley.I remember sidewalks being built out front on Ross Rd. Across the street was a lg field with cows and goats before they built the YMCA. There were many fields around to play in. So many memories at the YMCA. Lots of hide and seek in the neighborhood all day and into the night. It was safe to play back then. The A&W 5/10/15 cent cones. I remember the race car place upstairs. I thought it was where the Safeway is now. But maybe it was the Arco spot.Yes the millions of frogs in the creeks.Roller skating with metal key skates in the cement circle at Mitchell Park and the peddle cars with the little garages. Ya chuck Thompson and then that placed with the many little in-ground trampolines behind chuck Thompson . You paid by the hr. All the candy I bought and ate from the dime store on Colorado? brownie camp outs at hidden Villa and the P.A. community center. Pogo sticks, banana seat bikes, Stingrays and the minibikes that were motorized. Ice Skating for sure. Piers Dairy and the park behind it.Hanging out at Green Meadow park. Green meadow dances with black lights and the colored oil and water light shows. Smoking and flirting and having fun all summer. The Free concerts at the park across from Standford shopping center on El Camino. The “Be-ins”. I saw It’s A Beautiful Day there and Elvin Bishop, Jefferson Starship (old name?)Santana. Joan Baez.She lived in Portola Valley. All the incense and hippie stores on University Ave. That was new and very cool.The Bijou theater with it’s odd movies. Rosemarys Baby! Patchuli oil. The Beatles in Palo Alto at the Cabana Hotel. Eating at the A&W that night hoping to see them. I saw 4 figures standing on the top floor looking out. Standford football games the year they went to the Rose Bowl! Tressidor Union as a high schooler.ALL THE PARTIES!!and I used to drive oh how scary!My first little car a VW that looked like the old Volvo. Not too many of those around.Skiing for CHEAP! Peggy drowning at Pescadero Beach. Someone getting pregnant and hiding it all hot spring in a thick leopard coat.Cubberley High School. Protesting to be able to wear “pants” to Wilbur junior High and getting that rule changed forever. Baseball games up at foothills park all summer. Sneaking into the haunted house up Alpine rd. My dads Cadillac convertible with the wings. Wish he’d kept that car longer. Being a kid in Palo Alto was good.
Marilyn – there was a slot car track in the industrial building where the Arco now stands. Andy – anyone else – remember Midtown in the days before 7-11? The place was pretty well shut down on Sundays. I don’t think there was anything open in those days except maybe the liquor store at Middlefield and Loma Verde. A little later I remember buying a Cragmont soda and Hostess product for less than a quarter at Safeway. 30 cents for a loaf of that awesome Parisian sourdough bread… Driving – wow, one of the biggest days of my life! Had the Old Man and the Wagon Queen Family Truckster at the Mt View DMV on the very day of my 16th birthday! The stuff we got away with in those days, scary to even think about now.
Hi Bob & Marilyn (and all), That was just one great post Marilyn. It resuscitated some of those partied-out memory cells. Across from the old Shell Gas Station (in front of The Winter Club (oops – Lodge) on Middlefield Road, there was a huge apricot orchard with just one, small, pink house where an older man and his wife lived. I used to visit them a lot when I was 6 and 7 and one day I came over and they were gone. In a couple months the house was razed, the apricot trees bulldozed away and the earth moving machines began entrenching into the soil to make way for sewer and gas lines. And then Towel Street was born. I guess the only thing good out of that is that I wouldn’t be sitting on the toilet all day from eating too many apricots. Bob, on driving, I got a little head start. I was about 12 and since my older brother was 13, we didn’t need a babysitter anymore. When my parents went out one night, I was searching for change in my mom’s old purses and instead found a key to the 1962 Tempest Pontiac station wagon. I put 2 telephone books on the seat and as I pulled out into the street, my next door neighbors were driving up to their driveway. They waved, thinking it was my mom. I can still recall the look of horror on Mrs. S’s face as she realized it was me (hee hee). Andy Freedman[email protected]
I saw a facebook group for Palo Alto Little League Alumni and it brought back a lot of great memories. Having trouble posting the link, but I’m sure anyone using facebook could find it easily.
Here’s that link to PA Little League. I’ve noticed that it needs plenty more members to join, and hopefully some good recollections of the old days, and maybe some photos…Web Link
just going through the last comments called to mind (how,why?)the (foreign) folk dances at stanford wed.(?) nights late 60′s. also the doughnut shop on middlefield in front of bergmans with their lemon or cherry filled white top glazed treats. why this came up i do not know but i can almost taste them again; i am a should-be-committed chocoholic, but they are delectable memories that i have never found an equal to in real life.
On this day, I remember my parents. They decided that Sutter CT. in Palo Alto was the place that I should grow up. Memorial Day was always sunny. I would help my dad wash the cars and then we would play a little catch. Sometimes a neighborhood softball game was organized and all the while, the Indy 500 played in the background. Hot dogs and hamburgers, potatoe salad and beans, soda pop that you needed a can opener to open. We were young and summer was on its way. The possibilities seemed endless. Surely the Giants would win it all.
Midtown Area 1961 It would be mind-blowing, but I wonder if there’s anyone reading this who recalls going on this “field trip” of sorts from Herbert Hoover in 1961. The starting point for me in my observance of my city development occurred in 1961 when all three 1st grade classrooms at the original Herbert Hoover went on a “field trip” of sorts. For those not familiar with Palo Alto then, Middlefield Road was vibrant with old and new – From Colorado Avenue to San Antonio Road, new houses, new apartments and offices were being built in large numbers. But there were still open fields, apricot orchards and the in between – where deep trenches were being dug around the wild cherry and peach trees before the last of them were removed and apartments and offices put up in its place. And there was still that fragile sound of wildlife. During the summer the tadpoles filled Matadero, Adobe and Barron Creek and within weeks, one could hear the sound of the frogs. Frogs were everywhere. And where there were fields, one could find blue belly and alligator lizards in old wood piles. Each 1st grade class lined up on the sidewalk similar to how we lined up in front of our classrooms when the bell rang in the morning. The two single-file lines made it easier for the young teachers to manage. As we walked in front of what would become Towel Street, I chimed out, “I live down there,” pointing down Wellsbury Way. As not to allow me to monopolize the discussion, one teacher said “And what do we call this?” No one knew what she was referring to so the answers spilled out: Trees, tractor, pipes, and workers. “This is called ‘development.’” She answered. I distinctly recall her saying that word, as she then went on to describe what “development” meant. As we passed on the other side of the street from Freeman’s Market (now Century Liquor Store), we stood in front of a field that was being developed into an apartment complex. There was a huge area that had been dug down about 16 feet deep. From the sidewalk, it sloped down but on the other three sides, it was straight 90 degrees. On weekends, the bigger kids rode their Stingray bikes down the slope. A year later, we saw that the dug-out area was one of Palo Alto’s first apartments with underground parking. While San Juan Batista field trips may be more memorable (remember the hard candy they gave us?), this field trip was one of the few walkable ones (the other was walking to the Junior Museum). PS: Dave, that was the Rich Maid Donut Shop. OSS, I was on Wiseman’s, but, admittingly, I was terrible and rarely played.
I also loved the San Juan Bautista field trip in 4th grade, in the 60′s. It was very peaceful there. The thing I remember most about it, oddly enough, was getting to peek in the window of the old Hotel built in the 1800′s, and seeing the chamber pot under the bed. I had never heard of a chamber pot before. It made me appreciate being alive in the 20th century. My favorite field trip was the one to Foothill college at night to see the Planetarium show. On the way back, the principal of our school, Mr. Beeson, bought us all an ice cream cone.
The California Academy of Arts with the planetarium, aquarium and natural history museum was always a fixture on the field trip circuit when I went to Lytton. The alligators and the pendulum. Eating lunch under the olive trees. Closer to home was the “junior” museum at Stanford and the radio station. Oh just remembered this one … Franks tannery on the “Bayshore Highway” in Redwood City where the tanned elephant skin was always a hit.
Hi Chris, Thank you for your note. I do feel lucky to have grown up here (and am still living here). Like most of us, I have forgotten the bad (or maybe have reinterpreted it) and just have very fond memories. Even those things which at the time seemed awful (I had written in a 4th grade diary how much I couldn’t stand my teacher – Miss. Wyrough), however, later on in life, we became very good pen pals (although I thought it peculiar that she’d write back using red ink – but at least she didn’t correct my letters to her). Thank you again Chris. Andy
I graduated from PAHS in 1956.. only lived there from 1953 until 1958.. but some of the nicest memories I have are of the following: Ms. Cooper – English.. such a good rapport with students, never preachy or authoritarian.. made you THINK. L’Omelette’s and Chez Yvonne where we used to occasionally eat.. Also Dinah’s Shack and Ricky’s. I helped open The Emporium as a salesgirl when I was Junior in HS when the Stanford Shopping Center was completed. I Magnin’s, J. Magnin’s, Livingston Brothers.. all too expensive for my pocketbook, but with a 25% discount I was able to run myself (secretly) into debt at the Emporium.. there were times when after 2 weeks, I received a $7 paycheck (they automatically deducted any bills you owed from your paycheck) The Franciscan Forge in it’s original location.. it’s still on El Camino but in Atherton now. My Grandmother’s retail store on Ramona downtown Palo Alto (The Clothes Closet).. there since the early 30′s.. now totally gone, of course.. but the building remains.. a beautiful Spanish Adobe under what was termed “the beloved oak”.. It’s fun reading what others remember.
Okay, here are some of my memories: Frog invasions from the San Francisquito Creek. Made mowing the lawn…shall we say…interesting. Motocross riding in the creek off of Lytton, the baylands, Eleanor Park, and the Palo Alto Drive-In lot prior to Greer Park. Typing class with Mr. Center at Jordan and seeing him driving his big old blue Cadillac with the bull horns on the front. Go big daddy. Fran’s market. The big fire on University Avenue (I think the store was called Baby News). Green Gables before Duveneck. St Albert’s before St Elizabeth Seton. Edy’s and Stickney’s at Town and Country. And wasn’t it called Stuckey’s before it was Stickney’s? Picking up Grandpa from his job at SP in San Francisco at the California street SP train station. Winter Club, Add Janes, and Chuck Thompson’s. Snow in February 1976. Getting a Noah’s Ark from ARCO after learning to tie my shoes all by myself. Odd and even days and the lines for gas. Rocky Horror at the Varsity Theater on New Year’s Eve. The Menu Tree. The Old Mill. Mayfield Mall. Dinah’s Shack. Crab feed at the American Legion hall. The mansion on University Avenue that has a resemblance to the Haunted Mansion in Disneyland. Walking down Christmas Tree Lane with my grandfather and joining in with some carolers. Bike rides with my grandfather from Greer Road into Stanford. And many more…some which I may add at a later date. Michael Calhoun
I have enjoyed reading these postings for a very long time and decided to post my own, even though practically everything I remember about what made Palo Alto Palo Alto has been posted many times already. I moved to Palo Alto in the early 60s when I was about to turn 5 and lived right across the street from my elementary school, then known as Elizabeth Van Auken. I had Mrs. Lombard in first and fifth grade, and sang in the school chorus with her too, even did a stint in the “selective” “Vanettes”. She picked some great songs of the time, including “Lovin’” by Ian and Sylvia and “The Impossible Dream” — songs you’d probably hear someone sing on Merv Griffin or Mike Douglas (shows that were always on TV in my neighbor Nancy Mullin’s house). Other teachers: Mrs. Brandeis (or Mrs. DuBois) for 2d and 4th and Mrs. Donadei for 3d. A friend and I used to troll the low branches of the trees above the long bike rack in the back looking for silkworms to take home, put in shoe box homes we made for them, and watch them chew the edges of the few leaves we plucked from the trees. The crosswalk in the middle of the road made it possible to get to school in a matter of seconds, until it was moved to the corner of Greer and Amarillo at some point. One year it rained so hard the street flooded. A parent handed off kids to Mr. Bisio (?) after lifting us one at a time across the water. As all the others have noted, Palo Alto was a great place to grow up. I met some really nice kids and most of the parents seemed so interesting and unique. We had freedom that is unimaginable today, untethered to our parents by cell phones who allowed us to leave the house on summer mornings and not come back until dinner. On those long days we’d hang out at Bergmans, Stanford, the Baylands, Keplers, Mitchell Park, California & University Avenues,($3.50 double features at the Aquarius Theaters) Lake Laganita or the Stanford campus (I loved the fountain and the bookstore and Jim Plunkett & Randy Vataha what a thrill!)), Gordon Lightfoot at Frost Ampitheater, and especially the Eichler Swim Club where I spent practically all my summer days playing tennis, swimming, and working on that tan. I’d bike down Louis Road past Piers Dairy and the big truck that sold cold Orangeade and Lemonade and meet “Eichler friends” who went to Wilbur and then Cubberly. Sometimes my “mid-town friends” and I would take the Greyhound up to SF for the day and wander around North Beach and the Cannery. We also had a remarkable amount of other freedoms — including the freedom to express ourselves and rebel against authority, like the “square” (but remarkably open-minded administrators compared to today) adults running the school (“Speakers Corner” at Jordan) mostly without any of those adults preventing us from talking about drugs or politics and letting us figure out who we were and what we believed in, no matter how preposterous we might have sounded. I wonder where the guys are who ran the speakers and incredible music (“white bird” for example) during lunch on the blacktop at Jordan. I went to Jordan (anyone else have Linda Wermuth for English?) and Paly, (discussed Watergate in Government class taught by a teacher who vaguely resembled Henry Kissinger) but mostly I just remember summers and the bright dry days that were filled with adventure and enchantment. I live far away from Palo Alto now. I wish my kids had grown up with even a little of the magic that was Palo Alto back before Cable, Starbucks and Google. So this thread has been a real treat!
LOL I was watching a youtube vid of a live Rolling Stones performance from the 60′s probably, and I said “Darn if Mic don’t look like our gracious host here, Andy Freedman.Web Link Mic Jagger must have come from that same 50′s culture that Andy was brought up in; the styles are so striking. I had been trying for days to think of what to say here, so I thought why not start my comment with that. I also just finished reading all of the replies here finally fgs. I did come up with some great experiences of my youth in Palo Alto that haven’t been listed yet. One of the best outings I had was when I went a few times to the observation deck at the top of the lone skyscraper downtown. And of course, the only time I went to the top of Hoover Tower was a most basic joy. There were a few others, but I can’t think of them now. I’ll tell my greatest experience of all though, which I’m sure of and is from when I was around 7 years old. I had a real nice light walking stick that I had gotten camping. The massive parking lot at the former St. Mark’s Episcopal church had not been built yet. That church was right next to Hoover Elementary school just a block from my mom’s house. There was a massive vacant lot there that was mostly full of dirt clods in an all dirt field. I’d stand just a ways into it from the street and hit rocks just as far as I could, and I did not have to worry, because the area was so huge that I couldn’t possibly have hit anything. I still can instantly cherish those moments.
Hi Gordon, I loved your last post – I cracked up. In my younger days, I’d cringe when someone saw the resemblence between Mic J and I. Now I’m like, hmmm, Ok, maybe so. You too remember the vacent lots in Midtown. Wellsbury Way, where I grew up used to be a farm, according to Mr. Blackman. As a child, I recall him taking a daily walk around the block using a cane and stopping at each fire hydrant to rest. When I was older, he told me the street was named after his wife’s maden name. When we played in the open feild that became Towel Street, we’d play “war games” imitating what we saw the the television show, “Combat.” I tried to emulate Vic Morrow (so damn, how’d I get tht Mic look). We’d use dirt clads as gernades and as soon as anyone took a direct hit, combat was over and one of the parents would come out screaming and yelling. Take care everyone, Andy
The following is a combination of personal favorites and cliffs I made from responses here. Posted by Andrew L. Freedman, a resident of the College Terrace neighborhood, on Oct 20, 2006 We also had 2 pharmacies. Unlike the now Walgreens and Longs, the Fremont Pharmacy (where the realtor is on Middlefield and Colorado) and Midtown Pharmacy (where the coffee place is at Midtown Shopping Center) – they were both mom and pop’s-type stores. As kids, we’d buy tons and tons of CANDY at each one… We also had 4 (four) grocery stores in 1 block. Duca Hanley, Supermarket Basket, Safeway and the Co-Op (formerly the Purity Store). During this Baby Boom era, all four stories did pretty well. Posted by nostalgic, a resident of the Charleston Meadows neighborhood, on Oct 20, 2006 The original Mrs. Fields cookie shop at the Liddicoat’s restaurant mall on University Ave. where Z Gallery now is. Mrs. Fields herself worked there and cookies were only 25 cents each. Rapp’s Shoe store with the electric train and talking myna bird. The day it snowed enough to build a snowman in Feb. 1976. I was in the 8th grade at Jordan. Norney’s, I. Magnin, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Blums at Stanford Shopping Center. Posted by Bob Gardiner, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Oct 25, 2006 at Thousands of frogs in every creek. The All-American Grocery store where Blockbuster (?) is on the west side of El Camino. Very windy, dusty and hard Little League fields by the Veterans hospital. Posted by Ann McClintock, a resident of another community, on Oct 28, 2006 at Climbing over the pool fence at night, when they built the pool at Jordan, and having great swims. Posted by Kirsten, a resident of the Ventura neighborhood, on Oct 30, 2006 The disco at the Old Mill Maxi Mart, where Fry’s is now. When there was a Woolworth’s at Stanford Mall Posted by Mayfield Child, a member of the Gunn High School community, on Oct 30, 2006 California Ave Pharmacy, who actually delivered your medications..Midtown Pharmacy did too.. The old GREYHOUND BUS station on Alma Street that had a lunch counter! Posted by Andrea W, a resident of the Evergreen Park neighborhood, on Nov 1, 2006 [The Village] Cheesehouse Liddicoats food court GEMCO Posted by Mark, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Nov 2, 2006 I recall getting free dog bones at Midtown market and walking my dog at Hoover Park. Posted by Brian, a resident of the Professorville neighborhood, on Nov 13, 2006 Those stupid reversible shirts they made you buy for PE at Jordan (red on one side, blue on the other). I guess the idea was you could quickly change for “red team vs. blue team” sports, but since the girls had to go to the locker room to change anyway, I couldn’t see the point. I don’t remember ever using it. The Keystone Palo Alto. Seeing Metallica there in ’85, and talking briefly with Cliff Burton in the parking lot. Posted by AG, a resident of the Leland Manor/Garland Drive neighborhood, on Jan 10, 2007 When the Stanford barn [Red Barn] was a food court. The first one I remember. Posted by Paly Alum \’82, a resident of the Duveneck/St. Francis neighborhood, on Jan 25, 2007 10 cent bus rides in ’76 (I even thought it was cheap back then) 20 cent all-day passes in which we would ride to several malls to get our money’s worth. KOME, KSJO, KFRC radio stations. “I like to KOME when I drive” license plate frames. Posted by paly class of 1986, a resident of the Community Center neighborhood, on Mar 15, 2007 And fun to see people remembering the mall at San Antonio — but does anyone remember TIME ZONE? Now that was an arcade! Walking into the dim, electronic noise there and getting a big chunk of tokens and playing pinball and a million video games. And then playing pinball at Tressider Union. It was just one long line of pinball machines against the wall, and some pool tables. I remember one day “What the heck is that thing over there??” and it was the space invaders machine… within 5-6 years of course it was all video games with 3 pinball machines huddled in the corner. Posted by Ken, a resident of the St. Claire Gardens neighborhood, on Apr 19, 2007 Playing little league at Middlefield and both fields at Hoover. Some just-outside-of-Palo Alto memories: drive-ins at Moffett, pizza at Old Mill (Fargo’s?) Posted by Cynthia C, a resident of another community, on Jul 5, 2007 Rocky Horror at the Old Mill 6. My sister met her future husband at Fargos there. Spending the whole summer going to Tresidder for bowling, going to that miniature golf course in Menlo Park (long gone) for some putt putt, and swimming in friend’s pools. Posted by Andrew L. Freedman, a resident of the College Terrace neighborhood, on Jul 10, 2007 Riding my Stingray bike down the steps of Frost Ampletheatre (going bump, bump, bump, bump, bump, bump,bump, bump, bump, all the way down) Posted by John K Paly ’66, a resident of another community, on Jul 12, 2007 Mr. Hillburn’s woodshop class at Jordan. He always carried a tennis ball that he’d sling at boys talking or not paying attention. And he was deadly accurate. PE teacher Mr. Christine at Jordan. Apparently, he had a side job as a professional whistler. He was always trying to impress the boys with some sort of fancy bird worble/whistle…not that we really cared. And he’d proudly show us that he was missing two fingers on his left hand. Mr Center’s typing class at Jordan. Did anyone ever learn to type? Posted by Andrew L. Freedman, a resident of the College Terrace neighborhood, on Sep 18, 2007 Mr. Barnes, Mr. Pike, Nr. Cushing That slide at Chuck Thompson’s Swim School. Posted by TL, living elsewhere now, a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, on Jan 4, 2008 Oh!!! The pony rides at T&C!! No one mentioned them. I’d always go with a friend to ride them when they were there. In summers, T&C also had a mini-circus in a tent in their parking lot. I think it was the late 60′s to early 70′s. Posted by Becky Stillwell, a resident of another community, on Feb 6, 2008 Eating as a treat at one of the many choices at the Stanford Barn… Posted by cindee morris, a resident of the Palo Verde neighborhood, on Mar 26, 2008 Talk about remembering. How about the little bakery shop on Middlefield Rd. near Duca and Handley. They had the best pastries around. There was a small laundry mat in that area as well. Posted by krissi, a resident of the Fairmeadow neighborhood, on May 19, 2008 oops…forgot Gemco. I loved that store when I was a kid. I remember it having a grocery store in half the building and a store like Target in the other half. Posted by easternboy, a resident of another community, on May 8, 2009 at 10:31 am home movies of Crescent Park students circa 1970 on you tube plus Paly graduation of 1978 Posted by Nostalgic, a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, on Dec 9, 2009 Some of the Jordan Teachers I remember 1974 – 1976: Mrs. Becker (English). She gave minus points when you acted up in class. She made a clicking noise after she said “minus point.” Posted by Chris (Paly ’73), a resident of another community, on Dec 29, 2009 The train tracks that used to cross El Camino were part of the Los Altos line which went behind Alta Mesa cemetery and joined what is now Foothill Expressway. Commute trains used to go on those tracks every weekday until 1964. Posted by Andrew L. Freedman, a resident of the College Terrace neighborhood, on Mar 18, 2010 Bob, on driving, I got a little head start. I was about 12 and since my older brother was 13, we didn’t need a babysitter anymore. When my parents went out one night, I was searching for change in my mom’s old purses and instead found a key to the 1962 Tempest Pontiac station wagon. I put 2 telephone books on the seat and as I pulled out into the street, my next door neighbors were driving up to their driveway. They waved, thinking it was my mom. I can still recall the look of horror on Mrs. S’s face as she realized it was me (hee hee). Posted by Andrew L. Freedman, a resident of the College Terrace neighborhood, on Jun 1, 2010 Midtown Area 1961 It would be mind-blowing, but I wonder if there’s anyone reading this who recalls going on this “field trip” of sorts from Herbert Hoover in 1961. While San Juan Batista field trips may be more memorable (remember the hard candy they gave us?), this field trip was one of the few walkable ones (the other was walking to the Junior Museum). Posted by Ahh-Memories, a member of the Gunn High School community, on Jun 1, 2010 at 3:46 pm I also loved the San Juan Bautista field trip in 4th grade, in the 60′s. It was very peaceful there. The thing I remember most about it, oddly enough, was getting to peek in the window of the old Hotel built in the 1800′s, and seeing the chamber pot under the bed. I had never heard of a chamber pot before. It made me appreciate being alive in the 20th century. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Does anyone remember that the Purity Market on Ca. Ave. became The “Oom-Pah-Pah” German Music Resturaunt? Then the owner Ron, of “The Bodega” (music night-club in San Jose) bought it and turned into a successful off-spin named “Sophie’s”. Then Freddie bought it and turned it into another of his “Keystone Korner” branches. After that it was “The Vortex”…. and on into the current oblivion….
Hard to believe…but my friends and I (at age 9) scaled the ladder out back, and made our way to the small area behind the marquee of the Stanford Theatre for Charles de Gaulle’s parade down University Avenue in 1960. With the pea-shooters that we purchased at Toy World (a nickle for the shooter, and a nickle for a bag of dried peas) we did our patriotic best, shooting down onto the street, to pelt the horses and the drums ’til we ran dry. A proud day in our fine hometown’s heritage, indeed (and so much more fun than ‘camp’)!
I moved to P.A. in 1958 (I was a year old). Remember playing on the Kawata Brothers little league team 1968-69. Going to Green Gables and Jordon Junior High 1969-70…then dad was transferred to Denver where I learned about snow and brutally cold weather. Used to ride my bike to the coffee shop in the Crestwood center—get a burger, fries and a milk shake–got change back from a dollar (after tip!). Palo Alto was a wonderful place to grow up in the 1960s.
I began 2nd grade at Loma Vista in the fall of 1969. I had Mrs. Crozier that year, Mr. Carr in 3rd grade, Mrs. Coppin in 4th and Mrs. Barnes in 5th. It’s sad I couldn’t stay for 6th grade with Mr. Solakian, I heard he was a great teacher too. Sadly in 1973 we had to move away and I’ve long since misplaced all of my elementary school report cards and class pictures. I will always hold dear my memories of growing up in P.A. and attending Loma Vista Elementary… of playing every day at Juana Brionnes park and our all weather pick up football games no matter what. I remember fire station#5 where I had my bikes licensed, the high rise apartments next door, capturing pro ball player autographs at Ricky’s with my friends, Climbing trees, Pepper trees, Plums, Cherries, Walnuts, apples, apricots, Figs, pomegranates, ALL gone now. I remember Little league baseball and Peninsula European (Harriman’s) and Tony Scott. I remember the dreaded Dietz-Crane, my next door neighbor and best friend Gary Cable and 3 years of LL baseball practices at Gunn And Terman and, the 1973 P.A. LL west all star team and coach Cable! and the 1973 LL city championship game at Middlefield ballpark.. a bottom of the 9th one run 4-3 ballgame torture. I remember Loma Vista summer parks and rec… and the penny arcade, playing basketball and flag football games against the other elementary schools…go EAGLES beat Barron Park! We had Loma Vista Eagles t-shirts made! Does anyone remember that? still have one? Do you remember the big eagle tile mosaic in the handicap wing at Loma Vista? is it still there?
I remember the “Zinzinnati Oom-Pah-Pah” but do you remember what it was between being Purity and the Oom-Pah-Pah? Do you remember the name of the market across the street where Mackalls was and Kinko’s is now? No fair cheating and looking it up in this thread! Do you remember how the market across from Purity/Zinzinnati Oom-Pah-Pah used to carry broken-up slabs of Ghirardelli milk chocolate in a barrel, wrapped in cellophane, which would last you for days? BTW what was the purpose of deGaulle’s visit in 1960? Did he come to buy some Ghirardelli milk chocolate slabs out of the barrel? LOL!
The years from 67 to 70 were a blur to many. In that blur many lives changed. I toast to the blur with a thousand crossroads. Many great relationships began, and ended during that blur. Memories that shaped lives. I feel sorry for those who survived, but learned nothing. Those are the times artists strive for, a time to filter out the truth, and sculpt their future. The blur is when the Big Bang occurred. It was the beginning, and the end..
Posted by Andrew L. Freedman, a resident of the College Terrace neighborhood, on Oct 30, 2006 at 1:17 pm Sorry – just one more thing: I have to mention some of my “juvenile delinquent” activities: Buying cigarettes at the vending machines for 45 cents a pack. Stealing cigarettes and (Tiny Tot brand) sardines at the Safeway store. Being led out of Bergmann’s toy section (on the 2nd floor) by the clerks before we had a chance to shoplift. “Ghost-riding” an abandon bicycle off the roof of the original Hoover School Being “busted” with 6 others by “Narcs on Bikes” at Hoover Park when I was 13 for smoking a joint Palo Alto Times ran a story in 1969 called “Narcs on Bikes.” The officers in that unit were allowed to grow their hair and beards to look like “hippies” at a time when the police had strict rules on head and facial hair. I posted this with Andy in mind. lol Watching the parade, I drank a cup of lime-aid. I lit some firecrackers, and saw a few marchers go whackers. I thought to myself, I should have left those noise-makers on the shelf. This isn’t a Chinese parade with dragons, Yet, I still love that sound, like tons. I threw more fireworks, when the parade passed a local restaurant called Kirk’s, The smoke from them rose up, and a sudden wind and chill and the icy stare of a cop made me “froze up.”
Hi Gordon, If I had read your prose while in high school, I would have had a much more positive and motivated attitude towards poetry. Your post just cracked me up and I hope no one at works is calling the men in the white coats to take me up to the flight deck. Very good Gordon!! Andy
I grew up in Palo Alto from the early 1980s, and still have quite a few fond memories of it (BTW, can you believe this thread is 4 years old already and still going??) Anyways, here are mine: My mom worked at Bergmann’s for a couple of years for Leo A. Bergmann himself, who was a wonderful man. He gave a couple of free toys to me and my brother, and sometimes I would hang out there for an hour or so after school. Still remember their boxes of “Wacky Pack” bubble gum stickers on the displays there, the coffee shop on the first floor, and I was there on their very last day of business with my mom, helping pack up. Super Bowls: The crowds at the Old Mill bar watching Super Bowl XVI, and Stanford Stadium hosting Super Bowl XIX (where I sold some calendar programs). And speaking of the Old Mill…pizza parties at Fargo’s. The combined area of the Junior Museum, Children’s Zoo, Rinconada Park and swimming pool, Palo Alto Children’s Theater, and Palo Alto Children’s Library. I spent countless hours in that one small 2-block area where all that stuff was, and was never bored, and would often bike over from my house. I could run or swim or play or lie in the grass or go on the slides or jungle gym, or read a book, or visit the animals. Sometimes the Children’s Theater would screen free movies or let me peek in on rehearsals when I wasn’t in the show itself. I also loved the snack stand by the pool and spent much of my allowance there. The old wooden handball walls and delapidated tennis courts at Hoover Park. Midtown Video and Baskin Robbins right next to each other (it was fun to grab an ice cream cone and rent a video!) Lyon’s restaurant as one of the few late-night hangouts with friends.
Too bad we have to reminisce about the good ole days, the days where we could roam about town without being bogged down with schoolwork. The days where the streets didn’t have so many zooming cars. The days where no kids would go missing. The days where there were no extracurriculars to rush to. The more relaxed days of the past.
The great kick for me, was living everything we’re all talking about, and then showing it to my son. The really funny one that I can think of happened to us a few years ago, when Michael signed up for the Palo Alto Children’s Theater. (We’ve since moved to New Jersey, but I miss Palo Alto every day). Pat Briggs was calling roll for a new class in which my son had enrolled. When she came to our name, she stopped, looked up, saw Michael’s smiling face (and mine….I was standing in back) and said “Oh, no. Not another one!” Keep posting, friends. What is life but a series of memories? And to the poster above who was complaining that today there is nothing “organized,” in Palo Alto …. I’ll bet there is. Not the same things we did (it would be really sad if things hadn’t changed) but we (and I hope I’m speaking for all of us …. many of us well over 60) didn’t wait for things to happen to us. We got on our bikes or on the bus and made them happen. Sure, we had our share of awful things, but we also had more than our share of great and wonderful things, and they were great and wonderful at the time, not just when we look back at them. Love you all! Rafe Serebreny Formerly of 2730 South Court St. Palo Alto, California DA 6 4117 Now of 55 Locust Ave West Long Branch, New Jersey 07764[email protected]
Wow! Fantastic memories reading through all these posts. I was actually looking for a wine that Old Barrel Liquors might carry when I stumbled on this post! I grew up in Barron Park – went to Barron Park Elementary School 1957 – 1964 and then moved to Saratoga when I was 10. memories for me…. seeing TV for the 1st time – black and white, of course Driftwood Market/Deli, All American Market ( shopping with mom) Taco Tios and Penny and Jakes where I would get to buy a candy bar after Catechism at St. Aloysius Church every Thursday afternoon. Stanford amphitheatre and the smell of eucalyptus trees! The dairy on Page Mill Road and Mitchell Park. Peninsula Dairy milk bottles on the front porch and bread and coffee cake delivery every week. Planting a tree on Arbor day in 1959 in the school yard. Seeing Captain Satellite at school on a special Saturday and Miss Alainius my kindergarten teacher who later became Mrs. Black which upset me cuz I thought Miss Alainius was a very cool name. Not realizing that many of the people that lived in my neighborhood would be famous when they grew up or were already famous, i.e Judge Peckham and Chris Lebenzon. Playing outside until dark and not having to worry about, or my parents worry about me. Playing kick the can with my pals and making snail stew as we collected snails off the ivy plants. picking wild raspberries and making forts out of cardboard boxes. Driving through the old neighborhood and seeing that it hasn’t changed much… just gotten a lot smaller!
Andy where can I and our newly formed Facebook group made up of 1965 graduates of Palo Alto High submit and or post some of our photos. Many of us were more in Palo Alto and have a lot of historic images to add. Perhaps you could contact me offline at [email protected] I submitted a few images but I think they’ll just get lost in the community section and really won’t have any historical impact or relevance. Thanks
Hi Glenn and MaryB, The Palo Alto Online has a photo’s section (I’ve posted a couple myself). You have to logon and then go to the section listed at the top “Photos” and then you can upload them. I’ll also send you an email in case to don’t get this message. You know that the Palo Alto Historic Association has over 2000 pictures. Really cool! Hi MaryB, I just want to say that I share many of your recollections. When you mentioned the smell of eucaliptous trees, I’m reminded how my older brother (Dean) allowed me to bike with him and friends to 4th grade teacher at Herber Hoover (Bernadette Wyrough) apartment almost on the corner of Woodland and Newell. It was my first of many trips to San Francisquito Creek and was also my first time smelling the eucaliptous trees. On the Milk Bottles (the preferred Palo Alto method of buying local milk), we used to take those Dial-a thingies and put it at CHOCOLATE MILK. My parents allowed it, unspokenly, just by not bringing up that extra 35 cents a month. Also, on change of teachers that you experienced in Kindegarten. Being the cry-baby I was (“Oh, let the baby have his bottle” – remember that one? My older brother used it a lot), I did so to stopped the proposed splitting 3rd grade class where I’d have to leave Mrs Turner. Thank you Glenn and MaryB for keeping this thread going! Andy Freedman[email protected]
Hi Folks, This entry pertains to Christmas Lights – While in Marine Corps Boot Camp in June of 1974, the biggest and meanest looking drill instructor was getting me in the correct position while at the Rifle Firing range and said, “I never knew a Freedman that wasn’t Jewish.” I had done everything to conceal that fact on my enlistment papers and wrote under religion, no preference. The worst part about being Jewish while growing up here was that out of the 25 or so homes on Wellsbury Way, ours was the ONLY home without Christmas lights – very noticeable. Anyway, when I answered the DI that I was in fact Jewish, (he himself was a Polish Jew), he commanded me to start acting like I wasn’t ashamed of being a Jew. From 1981 to 2001, I was a renter of a small disconnected cottage on Arastradero and Cherry Oak Street, near Gunn High School (Annette La Fosse who owned a music shop next to where the Taco Bell, was my landlord). Maybe given the fact I couldn’t put up Christmas lights as a kid, when I rented Annette’s cottage, I asked and got permission to put up Christmas lights at her place. I probably overdosed on that, as I used about 50 strands of lights. They went up and down the roof and all around the many, many trees on her lot. When I’d turn them on and stepped outside to look at them, there was probably no other Jew in Palo Alto that had the Christmas Spirit more than I. Andy Freedman[email protected]
Paly grad, 1969 I posted in 2007, a bit of an upgrade. Still living in China teaching English and feel as about safe here as I did when I was a kid in Palo Alto. Where I could go out anytime at night without fear. I kind-a took that to the limit from 17 years and above. Drove my poor mother nuts, the control freak that she was, she finally gave up as she realized I was no longer paying attention. My whole life turned to rebellion during the late 60′s, getting stoned on acid, smoking more joints then I care to remember and tanking my GPA in the process, not that it was any good, but how does a one go from a 2.5 average to a 1.84 in the span of one year? By not going to school and hanging out at the railroad tracks with the most unsavory creatures that ever bestowed the 69 class. I was told in order to graduate I had to take 4 periods of PE. I was in gym clothes half the day and the coaches made me take a shower between each one of them. Punishment does come in strange ways. I remember after graduation, I moved in with Bill Palmese and his girlfriend Suzy, we called her Suzy Cream Cheese and hung out at the Poppycock till about 10pm where they always kicked me out for sneaking beers. When I turned 21 I walked into every bar that kicked me out, begging for them to show me the door. Not one place asked to see my ID – I was crushed. I remember Officer Goodyear stopping me every night as I walked home to check to see if I had my ID and run a check on me. We were always friendly towards each other, but he never told me why. I suppose it was my very lose ties with Venceramos, getting busted at a party and getting my name on the front page of the Palo Alto Times (charges were dropped) and getting a bullseye painted on my head as one of the “communist” heathens in a right wing rag at Stanford. Really, I didn’t know what I was doing, I was just in it for the fun – you know, sex, drugs and rock and roll. I remember seeing the “Warlocks” at the Full Circle, leaving because I thought their music stunk — Dead Heads should know about the Warlocks. Yes, it was Pigpens brother I used to hang out with, Kevin McKernan, wonder what happened to him. The last I saw was when Pigpen died with his obit in Rolling Stone, Kevin said was going to follow in his brothers footsteps. Post Paly I hung out at a crises center, Damien House, fielding phone calls from lonely stoned people. Throughout most of my first 2.5 years at Paly I worked at Nippon Goldfish Company at Town and Country Village. I remember vividly, a few months after I started my boss, Mr Murata told me I was getting a raise from 80 cents an hour to $1.15 telling me I was doing a fine job. I celebrated by buying a new Beatles album, then read in the times that night that minimum wage went up too — yep, you got it, $1.15 cents an hour. I loved Mr Murata. He suffered through the internment camps during WWII, told me all about it. Went from a hell hole to something that was barely livable. Mr Carey, who I mentioned in my prior post, still wanting more photo’s of him and if anyone can remember his days in China, please contact me at [email protected] I love to share stories in my college classes here in China about Mr. Carey. But my recollection is getting cloudy (probably Alzheimer) as I have to keep reminding myself of my first name. As far as Palo Alto these days. I haven’t visited in 5 years, but the last time I walked through downtown, picturing the places that were and no more, the Plowshare Bookstore, the place I rented a room for $35 a month on Cowper Street which had such a big closet I sub-let that to a friend for $20 – life was good then. I was broke, that didn’t matter, remember, it was about sex and drugs – and the Who and Rolling Stones. Damn that trendy restaurant where the House of Pies used to be. When my paycheck got ripped off, a girl at the House of Pies let me sneak out on my bill till I got back on my feet. All I saw 6 years ago was a trendy yuppie-ville full of over medicated unfriendly people scurrying around trying to make sense of their upper middle class lives. I was saddened. Sorry Palo Alto, I want to remember you for your past, not what you are now. You had class then, it was an everything town – now it’s just too damned trendy for my tastes. I felt like a fish out of water and vowed, if I ever hit the lottery I wouldn’t raise my family in a place like that. Give me a universal town, like what it used to be, where it’s not about being trendy, but rather human. You can find me on facebook or twitter, (yes I can circumvent the leaky Great Chinese Cyber Wall) under my name or drop me a line at [email protected] From China to you, Jim Mountford Paly 69
What a swell post . . . providing memories galore!! We moved first to Los Altos, then to Los Altos Hills (Fremont Hills Development), back in the late 50′s, early 60′s. I was quite the troublemaker back then, so I tended to move around quite a bit. Here are some of my fondest memories from the good old days: A history of getting kicked out of school. First Terman, then Wilbur, then Jordan, then Cubberley. Mostly for fighting (although I’m totally non-violent now). The corner of El Camino Real and Arastradero Road where there was a service station that had a bathroom where we would go to smoke after stealing a pack of cigarettes from the Old Barrel liquor store where they had been conveniently placed in cartons above the ice cream freezer. We would then ride up and down the new glass elevator that had just been installed at Rickey’s. Meeting my ‘girl gang’ behind the Palo Alto Bowling Alley, where we would brandish our pocket knifes and talk tough, but that was about it. Mitchell Park behind Wilbur, where I met my first boyfriend while cutting class, and which I remember as always being alive with interesting people. Being sent to Juvie in San Jose for being caught smoking in the bathroom and excess tardies. Going to the donut shop in the shopping center before class at Cubberley. Meeting a wonderful girl named Gwen Watkins, who became my idol. The epitome of a person who could both “talk the talk AND walk the walk.” Being chased by a crazy person who had accidentally been let out of the VA Hospital behind the dairy while walking home along Arastradero. A fountain (I think that turned colors at one time after it was first built) in the dividing strip leading up to a brand new fancy high-rise hotel on El Camino called the The Cabana. The Eks Club for swimming during the day. The Paly pool for hopping the fence and swimming at night. The original Ming’s restaurant on El Camino Real. Dinah’s Shack, and The Lamplighter (yeah, I know . . . it’s really further south, maybe Sunnyvale or Mt. View). Orchards. Lots of orchards. Alta Mesa Cemetery on Arastradero on Halloween. A&W on El Camino where the music was always blasting, the cars were always cruising, and they delivered the food right to your car. The Executors car club and their cool jackets. My friend Joanne had an older brother who went to Cubberley and he was a member. It was supposed to be the “in” thing back then. University Avenue, St. Michael’s Alley, the Varsity and Stanford theatres. Woolworth’s, and the old Palo Alto Police station on Bryant where I would always end up after being caught sneaking out at night. Riding horses everywhere. Drinking beer in the turnaround (affectionately dubbed ‘Trojan Hill’) behind my house. Quonset huts along Middlefield Road. One of which housed my friend Mary’s boyfriend. A Hell’s Angel named Big Red. Riding on the back of a motorcycle along Page Mill Road and getting leg burns from the exhaust pipe. Zott’s on Alpine Road.
Some other memories of Midtown: -Bergmann’s annual free doughnut day – Palm Sunday, I think? -The fountain at Bergmann’s inside the door where you could get cherry cokes and just about any flavor of coke that you wanted. -The Variety Store and it’s green paint job (owned by the two brothers). -The trampoline business that was set up for awhile behind Toy World (next to Children’s Bootery – remember Mr. Foley?) -The fresh smell of the tires on the new bikes at the Midtown Bike Shop.
I’ve only read a smattering of the posts here so far, and one mentioned a time capsule buried at Terman in ’57. I think there was a time capsule buried at Jordan Junior High sometime between 1950 and 1955. Did anyone ever dig it up?
On burried time capsules and True Confessions I recall our elementary school the original Herbert Hoover (across from the A&W Rootbeer Stand on Middlefield, which now is Safeway) burried one in 1963 by the flag poll in front of the Administration building. ———————— And speaking of schools. One thing I really loved. It would be the day, about a week before school started that Herbert Hoover would post on the windows of the Admin Build what teacher you would have. Back then (early 60s), there were at least 2 classrooms, sometimes 3 for each grade. —————— True Confessions —————— Since the last couple posts had true juvinile delinquent confessions, I’ll have to admit (just one of) mine: It was 1968 and both Wilbur and Jordon had half days that day. My friends and I met at Hoover Park at the skating rink where we smoked cigs and the other. It had rained the 2 preceeding days and the grass fields were flooded in about 1 to 2 feet of water. I don’t know how the idea came to me but it somehow did, maybe devinely. I got on my Stingrey bike, rode down the path to the Kindergarten area – AND PULLED THE FIRE ALARM. HONK! HONK HONK! HONK! HONK HONK! HONK! HONK HONK! Just as they are suppose to do, each class opened it’s doors and in two single file lines, each class walked out into the flooded fields. Oh god! We were laughing so hard that I’m suprised that one of us didn’t keel over. Good ol’ Mr. Barnes who was the 6th grade teacher, was acting principal that day. He was just as mad as we were were happy. Seeing us, he actually got into his car and drove on the bike path right up to all 5 of us. I had never seen him so mad(well . . .). “WHO DID IT!?” This wasn’t a time for my usual “Ah. Did what??” “I don’t know, but I saw some bigger boys on ten speeds near the Kindergarten area laughing. They just took off that-a-way.” He got into his car and drove out to Middlefield Road. We laughed for the next half hour. Dang, now I feel like a little school girl, giggling here at my desk at work and everyone wondering, “Why’s Andy acting like a little school girl, giggling and laughing?” Andy Freedman Herbert Hoover (67 or 68)
Andy you hellion! That is a typical J.D. prank and you know it! You should have gone to juvy for that and for smoking cigarettes and “the other”. Bad Andy! Ms. Wyrough would have given you a whuppin’ for that. You’re just lucky Mr. Barnes didn’t mow you down with his car. Lucky is all! On a rainy day at Paly one of the guys decided the lunch hour would be a great time to test the fire sprinklers. Well, they worked all right, and how! The hallways turned into a giant Slip ‘N Slide. One part of the halls was sloped so it became a great big water slide. The funny part was seeing the janitor walking around with a ladder trying to figure out how to shut them off.
Hi Chris (and all), I did end up in “Groovy Juvy” a couple times. In 1969, the Narcs on Bikes busted 6 of us at Hoover Park for passing around a joint (the law: being in a place willingly and knowingly where narcotics are being used or smoked). Back then, pot was a big thing for law enforcement. Ken Kessey got busted for a couple joints and after getting out of jail (I think he did almost a year, may less with good time), he sold his place in La Honda and hated San Mateo County. Some Cubberley students made big news when some of them got busted for smoking pot on “The Hill.” It was a place at Mitchell Park. The Narcs had a room at Stevenson House (at that time it had just opened as an assisted living place). They were on the top floor and we’d use binoculars to look at them looking at us with their binoculars (“Hi. We’re going to smoke a joint soon, probably when you take your lunch.”) Recall thb Brunch break at Wilbur? They’d sell slices of Sourdough French Bread slathered with butter (for a dime). I would only estimate that butter, along with sodas and candies are now contraband and/or otherwise prohibited items for kids. Andy Freedman[email protected]
The little pedal cars in the tiny tot area of Mitchell park in the late fifties and early sixties. They had individual concrete parking garages for them and we would go and hide in there. This was over by the fire station side of the park. By the church. There were stone bears too. There was a slot car place called D&S over where Franciscan Glass is now. By Bruce Bauer lumber. There was a strip mall sort of place there with a Suzuki dealer and the slot cars and something else. Lots of empty lots. I miss that. I was born near Mitchell park in 1954. Major nostalgia reading all these posts.
Oh yeah, does anyone remember the mexican restaurant on el camino near Arastradero that had the aztec dragon heads outside with huge gas flames coming out of the mouth? I think it was called “Horkeys” ? This would be in the sixties I think. Thanks everyone for all the memories.
Yes Mark, the restaurant you remember was Horky’s. It was near The Island bar where my dad used to drink (and drink and drink and drink). Now do you remember the fountain in Mitchell Park that had three heads spouting water? I’ll have to check to see if it’s still there the next time I’m up there.
Just finished reading Blair Tindall’s fascinating, and interesting look at Palo Alto in the late 50′s and 60′s. I feel compelled to speak to his observation of Rachel Carson’s environmental book “Silent Spring.” The book unquestionably focused on important issues concerning what we were doing to our planet. Her book was the motivating factor in getting DDT banned from use, because of it’s supposed link to Cancer. Her claims were “never” proven scientifically. In 1964, using DDT, there were 17 reported deaths caused by Malaria in the Philippines. After DDT was banned, the following two years there were over a million Malaria related deaths in the Philippines. and even more in other Third World Countries. The people of the 60′s created great social change, but it would be untruthful to say our honest attempts at improving life..didn’t also cost countless lives. The riots caused by our invading Cambodia helped stop the war. It also allowed Pol Pot to slaughter two million innocent Cambodians. These are truths often drowned out by the music of our time.
Does anyone remember the big cement planters that used to be placed in the middle of the first turn on Nelson Drive as you came off of Charleston? It seemed to be a deterrent from crossing the line and hitting oncoming drivers. I seem to remember them being there around 1998-ish or was I just imagining it?
And,y I remember the up high slot car racing table. I think it also had a lip which may it even harder to see. I used to hold up my little brother so he could see..We were little and walked there from Ross Rd.( Late fifties.) It was a two story building. I think it was near the safeway but maybe it was further down towards the ice rink. There was chuck Tompsons Gym in the back of the Arco spot which was a shell station when I was a kid. So maybe it was in the safe way spot. AW was deeper behind safway and possibly the two story was more up from towards the street and to the right looking at safway. Lotsa fogs in the creek. Non now..You know why? Pesticides and herbacides kill frogs. DON”T USE THOSE. Don’t use any! Ever Plus cancer causing also. I loved growing up in Palo Alto. SO different now.
Hi Marilyn and everyone, Yes, it was a 2-story building where the Arco Gas Station is (was?) and I was too little to see the cars on the slot tables, so who knows, maybe it was you who lifted me up to see the cars. Accross the street in what was to become Towel Street, with 2-story houses and an apartment, used to be a large appricot orchard. There was a very small pink house on the track of land. When I was 5 and 6, I used to go over and visit the elderly couple that lived in the house. It was a small, cozy house and they always kept the fireplace going. I recall that in the appricot orchard, there were wild artichokes growing. One day when we were about 6 or 7, we picked a bunch, then, with my little red wagaon, we went door-to-door on Wellsbury and sold about 1 dollar worth. That was enough for the 3 of us to go to the A&W Rootbeer Stand (where the Safeway Market is now) and buy rootbeer floats. Do you recall that every Friday at around noon, during the 50s and 60s, Palo Alto would test their city-wide emergency alarm? Of course I remember all the life in the creeks. It’s too bad that we’ll never see that again. There were so many frogs back then, that my parents had a fishpond made in our backyard. Not only did we have fish, in the eveing, the big toads would come and perform their “mating rites” in the pond and within a week, there’d be little tadpolls. Then within a couple more weeks, there would be hundreds of little frogs. Most folks rememember all the little frogs that would live around the creeks and all the frog noises that would begin in the early evening. Andy Freedman
Down the street from Chuck Thompson’s et al., behind Freeman’s Market (now Century Liquor), used to be Kaar Engineering. Andy, I will buy you dinner if you can truthfully tell me you remember the Kaar Engineering building with its red and white neon logo looming above Freeman’s parking lot. I can’t be the only person who remembers this! The link below will take you to an ad in The Rotarian magazine from January 1961 for Kaar’s citizen’s band radios. You can see the logo whose neon embodiment could be seen on the building at the corner of Loma Verde and Middlefield:Web Link
Hi Chris, You really should be the unofficial-unofficial-historian of Palo Alto. (Gary Fazzino is the Unofficial Historian and next in line should be you. I’m somewhere in there, too.) Other’s folks here have discussed Freeman’s Market too and even though we lived 1 block away, I can only remember it as Century Liquor store. Two things there – My older brother, Dean Freedman, would march in front of the TV and slowly peel away the wrapper of a Slim Jim (an aside: Slim Jims today are not what they were “back then.” Now, they seem to be some kind of treated rubber.). Being that they cost a dime, he knew that I knew that he took an old Mercury Head dime from my mom’s coin collection to make the purchase. It was almost a dare: Are you going to “steal” a dime and buy a Slim Jim or are you chicken? 5 minutes later (having committed the theft, riding down to Century and coming back, I’d stand in front of Dean’s view of the TV and take out, not one, but two (2) Slim Jims. As you probably guessed, it would cause a vicious cycle ending in mom and dad asking if we knew anything about the “missing” old coins. Yup. The cleaning lady must have used them for bus faire. But, from Slim Jims purchased with stolen coins to your question about Kaar Engineering – What I recall was a large building that had an even larger unfilled parking lot in back of Century Liquor. The front door of that building was on Loma Verde. I do not recall a neon sign, but this is certainly what I recall: I opened the door to that place when I was about 11 and I saw the woman I wanted to marry. She was gorgeous! She was blond, attractive and smiled at me and, well, I was in love. The ad that you linked reminded me of my mom buying 5 ½ transistor walki-talkies from Maximart. We put it to very real use when at about 4:30am, I awoke to a very loud explosion. And my mom handed off the walki-talkies to my brother and I and we followed the flames and ended up at El Carmelo Elementary School. There was an apparent gas leak which caused a huge explosion and fire and we were able to relay that info to my mom. In looking back, it could have had utterly devastating consequences had it occurred 4 hours later. But, it looks like I won’t get a free dinner from you Chris, as, while I do remember the building and the attractive secretary, I do not remember the neon sign. Dang! Andy Freedman
Well Andy, you may not remember the sign but you do remember the building and the entrance on Loma Verde and the woman of your 11-year-old dreams who made you forget all about the sign, so that’s close enough. Now all you have to do is collect your dinner. You, sir, have become the unofficial historian of Palo Alto just by starting this thread. Me, I’m just a human filing cabinet full of memories and useless information. Off the topic of Kaar Engineering and Palo Alto, do you remember Conelrad? It was a cold-war scheme to alert us that the Reds were coming with their nuclear weapons, and that it was time to head for the fallout shelter or duck and cover and try to save your a$$. The reasoning behind Conelrad (CONtrol of ELectromagnetic RADiation) was that in the attack on Pearl Harbor, Japanese bombers located it by using a local AM station as a direction-finding beacon to home in on their target. Under Conelrad, all AM stations were to either go off the air or change frequencies to 640 or 1240 AM in the hope of making those stations useless as direction-finding aids, but allowing them to broadcast messages from the President who would no doubt be hiding out in his “undisclosed location”. AM radios were equipped with the Civil Defense circle-triangle symbol at 640 and 1240 on the AM dial. Conelrad morphed into EBS and then EAS. To this day, broadcasters still run EAS tests and from time to time you hear beeps and boops and digital sputters during the tests. Many have noted that on September 11, 2001 when this country was attacked on its own soil, the emergency notification system was never activated, leading many to wonder just what, if anything, it is useful for. Every time I raise this question, people in the broadcasting industry come up with lame excuses and rationalizations. Today the system is used mainly for missing-child Amber Alerts. BTW, my 10th-grade English teacher at Paly, Mrs. Barbara Melosh, used to live in a house in Palo Alto which had a fallout shelter. I don’t remember exactly where it was located. Below is a photo of a genu-wine Conalert II Conelrad receiver made by Kaar Engineering right there on Loma Verde just off of Middlefield behind Century Liquors, complete with a great big Civil Defense sticker on the side. You can see the red and white Kaar Engineering logo affixed to the speaker grille. Just think, Andy, that radio was made in the same building where the lady of your 11-year-old dreams used to work ;-) Web Link
Well Andy, you may not remember the sign but you do remember the building and the entrance on Loma Verde and the woman of your 11-year-old dreams who made you forget all about the sign, so that’s close enough. Now all you have to do is collect your dinner. You, sir, have become the unofficial historian of Palo Alto just by starting this thread. Me, I’m just a human filing cabinet full of memories and useless information. Off the topic of Kaar Engineering and Palo Alto, do you remember Conelrad? It was a cold-war scheme to alert us that the Reds were coming with their nuclear weapons, and that it was time to head for the fallout shelter or duck and cover and try to save your a$$. The reasoning behind Conelrad (CONtrol of ELectromagnetic RADiation) was that in the attack on Pearl Harbor, Japanese bombers located it by using a local AM station as a direction-finding beacon to home in on their target. Under Conelrad, all AM stations were to either go off the air or change frequencies to 640 or 1240 AM in the hope of making those stations useless as direction-finding aids, but allowing them to broadcast messages from the President who would no doubt be hiding out in his “undisclosed location”. AM radios were equipped with the Civil Defense circle-triangle symbol at 640 and 1240 on the AM dial. Conelrad morphed into EBS and then EAS. To this day, broadcasters still run EAS tests and from time to time you hear beeps and boops and digital sputters during the tests. Many have noted that on September 11, 2001 when this country was attacked on its own soil, the emergency notification system was never activated, leading many to wonder just what, if anything, it is useful for. Every time I raise this question, people in the broadcasting industry come up with lame excuses and rationalizations. Today the system is used mainly for missing-child Amber Alerts. BTW, my 10th-grade English teacher at Paly, Mrs. Barbara Melosh, used to live in a house in Palo Alto which had a fallout shelter. I don’t remember exactly where it was located. Below is a photo of a genu-wine Conalert II Conelrad receiver made by Kaar Engineering right there on Loma Verde just off of Middlefield behind Century Liquors, complete with a great big Civil Defense sticker on the side. You can see the red and white Kaar Engineering logo affixed to the speaker grille. Just think, Andy, that radio was made in the same building where the lady of your 11-year-old dreams used to work ;-) Web Link
Hi Chris and Everyone, Thank you for your kind words and note. I don’t recall the Conelrad, but I do recall the drills. Not the fire drills, but the nuclear bomb drills, where we would quickly get under our desks and wrap one arm around our neck and the other across our face. Of course, in retrospect, I have a hunch that the precautions would have done little to save ourselves. Chris, (and everyone) you being a ’73 Paly grad, did you go to the many concerts in the late 60s and 70s at Frost Ampletheatre? You may recall that Bill Graham booked bands like Tower of Power, Cold Blood, Santana, Big Brother and the Holding Company (was that Jefferson Airplane?) and Grateful Dead. Do you or the other readers have some interesting stories about those concerts, or the ones at the Fillmore East and Fillmore West? There was another venue in SF – I cannot remember the name – wait, was it Winterland? Before it closed, Grateful Dead, having returned from the Middle East, put on a concert there. Someone gave me a small 1” x 1” paper with a teardrop imbeded of a pyramid. I asked, “What’s this?” And the guy said, “Just take!” I think that was my last acid trip. And what about the two different Day on the Green concerts at Oakland Coliseum (’76 and ’77?). I think the last one headlined Peter Frampton, but as I recall, his second Day on the Green concert wasn’t as good as his first but I thoroughly enjoyed Santana and Tower of Power that proceeded him. Andy Freedman
Andy, Yes, the other venue was the Winterland Ballroom (a/k/a Winterland), at Post and Steiner in SF. It’s where most of “Frampton Comes Alive” was recorded. It also was the venue for the Band’s last concert, which became the subject of Scorcese’s film “The Last Waltz.” Lots of history was made there, until it was demolished to put up an apartment building.
I thought this got posted, but I guess not…I’ll try again: Jefferson Airplane had nothing to do with Big brother…Big Brother was Janis Joplin’s first band. As it happened, they played the Jr/Senior prom at the Menlo Atherton Military Academy- late 60′s- don’t remember the exact year. A couple of the band members/roadies were friends, so I was there with some other friends. As I remember it, they shut it down after the first set…they had no idea what they had ordered up for those kids! It was AWESOME!!!! The sight of of those kids in their 60′s prom dresses and faux military garb…and JANIS just screeeeeeeaming (rather drunkenly) with her substantial lungs- WOW!!
I will never forget spending the night with prankster Cool Breeze with Janis in the next bunk at the Barn in Santa Cruz in l966…was Big Brother playing? Breeze had been helping out with the light show. After a few more nights in the Santa Cruz mountains, we (Breeze, Tenny and I) moved back to Menlo Park and took up residence over near Pope Street. I do miss the Barn and my best friend of the time, Patty K. And don’t forget the Avalon Ballroom in San Francisco. My friends Nelson and Stevo (from the Haight Ashburn Kendalhang Commune) had many fun times there we still like to remember together. It’s so nice to be in touch with old friends from the times. They seem to remember dates and places better than I… I mainly remember the feelings and images.
Andy, I never got into the concert scene. In my Paly days I was too busy honing my skills at KQED. At Walter Hays we did duck and cover drills, but they told us they were “earthquake” drills. Whatever.
Andy, What a great thread! I’m a Cubberley ’68 grad. I attended a couple of Frost Amphitheater concerts. They were in ’68 or ’69. The Chambers Brothers and Quick Silver were playing. Can’t remember the other bands. Saw the Youngbloods at the Poppycock on University Ave. in early ’68. Cost was $2.00! I also saw Buffalo Springfield at Cubberley in ’68. I use to get psychedelic posters at East Farthing Trading Company on Cowper St. I use to drive my ’48 Mercury “woodie” station wagon all over town from ’66 to ’71. Did a lot of time in Mr. Smarts auto shop at Cubberley during the week to try and have it running for the weekend so my then girl friend and I had some weekend wheels. I remember so many things on this thread that I haven’t thought about in years. Worked at Nippon Goldfish in Town and country from ’66 to ’71. It was just a couple doors down from Yuras Roto Chick which I loved to go and get lunch from on Saturdays when I worked all day. Also Refesses ( don’t know the spelling) was great for lunch too. Sold the News Call Bulletin at Stanford football games in ’62-’63. Palo Alto was the best!
I adored Nippon Goldfish in T&C. I was at T&C this morning… and I still miss your store; such nice folks. I remember I liked talking to whoever it was who worked there… probably U! I am a ’65 M-A grad.
Ya, Nippon Goldfish was a lot of fun. I don’t know how many of those paper multicolored daisy flowers I sold there in the late ’60s, a lot. We had a Piranha fish there named Jack The Ripper. One day I thought I would see how many “feeder” goldfish he would eat. I think he downed seven or eight. The last one was half out of his mouth and the piranha looked like he was going to explode. I was hoping Koji,(Mr. Murata) wouldn’t see what I had done and Jack would survive, which he did thankfully.
For all of you folks who mentioned the concerts at Frost, check out this article from the Stanford Alumni magazine:Web Link
Thanks, Ken. My husband’s an alum. So it was very cool to see the bright gold, shocking fuschia pink, and pale green hard copy of the Stanford Magazine in today’s mail with Gerry, Grace, and Eric Clapton on the cover in a very 60s poster-style design. I sure love living here…. then and now.
What is the current condition of Frost Amphitheater? From the article I gather that it’s not in the best of shape. I’ll have to check it out next time I’m in Palo Alto.
Well, I didn’t go inside, but leaving a Stanford drama department play a couple of years ago, I walked around the shady amphitheatre outskirts because I heard some cool music playing… music’s always like a tractor beam to me. It was some well-known band, but I’m into trad and world music now… There were tons of folks… more the ‘of a certain age’ crowd. The young people selling things outside couldn’t tell me who it was, but an older couple did… I forget who, Kenny Loggins? It was very good music.
Thank you so very, very much Margaret, Ken, Chris, Curtis P and BBR! I was at that referenced concerted in 1971 that turned a little violent. I can’t remember who the main articst was, but he actually stoped, got everyone’s attention and asked if the bikers would “please” stop the violence. The first fight broke out on the right side (oposite the left side which folks referred to as Devil’s Slide because of the steepness (5 our of 10 times, riding your Stingray bike down from the top all the way to the stage would result in a crash landing. The steepness got your bike going about 35mph and if you tried to brake it before slamming into the stage, you’d fishtail into a crash. Butt, I’ve steer off course – My friend and I were sitting on the fight side close to the path underneith one of the many trees when I notice two big dudes, long hair and wearing their colors: The Unforgivven Siiners. One began punching and kicking someone else and no one could move fast enough to get out of the way. I mean, folks were screaming and running in fear, because, like me, they never saw that kind of close-up violence. Curtis, my dad had a big ol’ yeller ’57 Mercury car, too. Like most struggling families back then (yes, Palo Alto was NOT a “rich” community back then), a family drove a 6 or 8-year old car but would save up and when the day would come, as with my dad, he proudy drove the 1967 Pontiac LeMons slowly down the street and by the time he was in the driveway, all the neighborhood kids had following and by then even some parents would join in. Andy Freedman[email protected]
I was thinking about the Greyhound bus lines that used to run through Palo Alto. I seem to recall that there was an “F” line and and “S” line. The “F” line ran up and down El Camino on the route still used by SamTrans. The “S” line ran up and down Alma street with stops at Alma and North California on either side of Alma street. The northbound stop was in front of Dr. Armistead’s dental office. It had a nice little bench you could sit on and a little orange sign to mark it. The southbound stop had an orange sign, but it let you off (or made you wait) in the bushes on the opposite side of Alma. To get there you had to cross Alma without the benefit of a crosswalk, stop signs, a traffic signal, etc., OR you could get there by taking the pedestrian underpass, doubling back over the train tracks by T&H Lumber and taking advantage of a not-so-secret gap in the fence between Alma and the tracks. You could also take advantage of this gap in the fence if you were returning from an errand on California Avenue and were too cool to use the underpass. The “S” line went up Alma to the Greyhound depot somewhere north of Lytton (I forget the exact cross streets) and would continue up Alma and across the tracks to El Camino. Both lines went up to Ralston Avenue in Redwood City where they cut across to the Bayshore Freeway and continued up to the city. I used to take the Southern Pacific trains between P.A. and S.F. until SamTrans took over the Greyhound route in 1975 or 1976. A college student at the time, I started taking SamTrans instead of S.P. because it was a whole buck cheaper than the train. In those days you had to squeeze every dollar.
Thinking back, maybe the “S” line was actually the “C” line that went up and down Alma. Heck, it’s been over 35 years. I can’t remember everything!
I went to several concerts at Frost Amphitheater in the 70s. I think I think I paid $3.50/ticket. Loved the venue: Loggins & Messina, Gordon Lightfoot, stood outside listening to Eric Clapton one time not sure when. They stopped having concerts there for a few years after one that got out of hand, maybe the one described a few postings up in this threat. Somehow I got backstage with my friend at the Gordon Lightfootconcert. He was actually sitting on the hood of a car drinking a beer. In retrospect, there appeared to be no security whatsoever. The musicians seemed kind of bored but not concerned that people were strolling backstage to check out Gordon, who really did resemble a minstrel in his white lace button down shirt and multi-colored suede leather patched jeans. What a great place/era. If it really has gone downhill, what a shame!
My brother sent me this link last week and I’ve just finished reading it all. You guys have really triggered some memories. Or maybe it’s like Mark Twain said, “As I’ve gotten older, my memory has improved so much that I now remember everything – whether it happened or not.” El Carmelo ’57, Ray Lyman Wilber ’60, Ellwood Patterson Cubberley ‘63 We moved to Palo Alto (3097 South Court – DA 44425) in ’56, just in time to get in on the floods and overflowing creeks. When things dried out, I caught a lot of butterflies in the creek that paralleled El Carmelo – I have no idea if it had a name. Obviously, this was in the pre-cyclone-fence days when kids were expected to (and usually did) exercise some common sense. El Carmelo: Mr. White 5th grade, Mr. Snyder 6th grade. Mr. Snyder didn’t return the next year – rumored suicide. Our 6th grade flag football team won the city championship by winning all our games. At a ceremony (don’t know where, City Hall?) we were presented with certificates and shook hands with Paul Wiggin, Stanford’s All-American tackle. The handshake had no lasting influence – I went to Cal. I tried out for Little League twice, both times being one of the last two guys cut. There was no “minor league” then, but PARD had league run by a grizzled veteran who gave a short clinic and gave us each a chance to bat and field. He then picked a few guys who he thought would be good leaders and they chose up the teams. He made up a schedule, got an older kid to umpire, and turned us loose. No uniforms, no cleats, no parents watching/yelling, just kids playing baseball the way God intended. This all took place at Jordan, and I always picked up a pack of baseball cards at Midtown on the way home. Every time I smell the trees like the ones on Middlefield or sun lotion, it takes me back. Wilbur: The tough guys and the wannabes calling each other out to fight at Mitchell Park. Intramural sports during lunch. In addition to the duck-and-cover drills, the jets from Moffett Field would buzz the school, bringing the class to a halt until the roar subsided. It was probably to reassure us that the skies were Safe for Democracy. Clubs (i.e. electives) during 6th period – I remember chess, tennis and cross-country. Mr. Johnson and Mr. Truscott (who later transferred to Cubberley) for math, Mrs. McGilvary for Art, Mr. Brown for Ancient History, Miss Gurinski for 9th grade English. Miss Gurinski was always accusing students of spitting in her tea. She retired at the end of the year. As training for our future need to memorize multiple userids, passwords, and PIN’s, we had to remember lock combinations for our book locker, gym locker, and bike lock. The dances always seemed to include one polka, with everyone going around faster and faster until someone slipped (or tripped somebody) and there was a big pile-up. I had a SF News route between Middlefield and Louis that had no more than two customers on any given block. On hot days I always got an ice cream cone at Midtown A&W (2 scoops for a dime) on the way home . We were always being urged to get out and get “starts,” which was anathema to me. When the News and Call-Bulletin merged, the C-B guy got the route. Cubberley: George Starkey and Adene “Bless you hearts, I’m here t’ hep yuh” Hurst were great in math. Mr. Rosenberg, business law and econ, was entertaining. He had trouble with oligopoly – it always came out “olipiggy.” Mr. Ratliff’s and Mr. Tanner’s English classes always had lively discussions. Frank “Bassett-hound” Bassett railed against “corruption and graft, poverty and squalor, the ignorant masses, and filth-disease-and-crime” in American History. Beatrice Snively (who later married to become Mrs. Mills) taught German, but was most remembered for always abbreviating “library” to “libe”. This inspired some of us to develop a large lexicon of shortened words to unleash on the unsuspecting world. George “Bud” Presley taught PE and coached basketball, emphasizing defense. We were constantly warned about back-door cuts and blind pigs. Whatever name he had trouble with, he pronounced “Bachigalupi.” He was rumored to have a credential to teach English as well as his for PE. He could definitely swear his way through an entire practice without using the same epithet twice. We just missed out on the garage band thing for school dances. It was the union combo or records. Records were better. At one time the administration, in their finite wisdom, decided we needed more traditions at Cubberley, so by adding a few sapplings and a couple of benches to the area just outside the girls’ gym, they created the Senior Court or Senior Glade or whatever it was. Only seniors were allowed in this area. The only problem was, we seniors didn’t care, it was never prime real estate, and the whole thing died quietly. One year (at least) the yell-leaders were generally considered wimps and nobody participated in the cheers they were leading. A small group of dynamic guys in the stands started leading some cheers/chants with much better success. They dubbed themselves the RF Club (for “rat f—“) and were back for the next game. The administration put the kibosh on them, not for any objectionable content, but for not going through proper channels. Interestingly enough, a similar thing happened at Cal a few years later – none of the same people though. The whole biking-all-over-town-just-be-home-for-dinner thing was common to many suburbs at that time. One of the things that made it a lot easier in Palo Alto was the city being laid out roughly as a grid. Almost all the streets went through and you could get anywhere from anywhere via any number of routes that avoided main drags such as El Camino, Alma, Middlefield, Oregon, Embarcadero, Charleston. Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be.
Dave F., The creek you caught the butterflies in by El Carmelo school was Matadero Creek. My friend Val and I would go down and catch tad poles, small frogs and mosquito fish in that creek in the fifties and early sixties. It was great fun in the mud before they cemented the whole thing. It was a short walk from my house on Emerson near Loma Verde. When I attended El Carmelo there were two Mr. Whites. I had one in third grade and one in sixth grade. I attended El Carmenlo after you, graduating in spring of ’62. I had a Mr. Snyder in eighth grade at Wilber. He was a math teacher as I remember.
Walking to Barron Park School Apricot orchards And who can forget the Fire Truck (one station) in Barron Park and hearing that siren going off at night. This is before Barron Park was annexed with Palo Alto Buying my first bike (stingray with banana seat from Tony’s Bicycle Shop on El Camino near Barron Ave. Working at US Electronics, next to Old Barrel Dinah’s Shack $9 smorgsboard Working at House of Humor corner of San Antonio and El Camino May Fete parade in Downtown PA Rapp’s shoes and the trains that ran around the track by pushing the button Patterson’s on Calif Ave where I bought by first magic tricks Riding bikes down Materodero hill Biking to Terman and Gunn Sneaking into drive in movies on Greer/Oregon Expwy near the freeway Going to the dumps in Mtn View Picking apricots and drying them near Juana Briones Park
I remember the Colorado Barber shop, can’t remember the guy’s name, but I remember meeting John Brodie there. Bergman’s Department store and the toys upstairs! Where the Mid-Town 7-11 is now, at least I think it’s still there, there used to be a dime store? My favorite place probably was Foothill Park. I remember walking to Hoover Elementary school and one day finding a $5.00 BILL, I thought I was rich!
I want to add that I remember also that our Principal was Mr. Papagni (I think I have spelling correct. I remember that hands shook and I look back and probably had Parkinsons. My parent shopped at the Co-op market exclusively and I remember Eric, with the long hair! I don’t have any photos from Hoover, does anyone have any perhaps we knew each other. I can be emailed at [email protected]
Hi Derek and all, I remember Mr. Papagni and Mr. Webb as principals at Hoover. That store you referred to was The Variety Store. Like you, I remember all the toys on the second floor of Bergman’s. Also The Variety Store had a lot of toys, too. I remember saving up $1.00 so that I could buy some sort of rubber stamp kit (I was a little disappointed when I opened it and things weren’t what I had envisioned). But what I vividly recall are the times I would get a Chemistry Set. I’d go to my room and open up everyting. The sets usually had about 12 different “chemicals” and the odor would permiate the room as I tried to do the suggested experienments. I have a feeling that those chemistry kits wouldn’t fly today, as they’d be a walking-talking product liability case. But I had fun with them anyway. Speaking of the $5.00 you found at Hoover, do you or anyone remember the man who used to regularly come to Hoover and Hoover Park on weekends with his metal detector? I think he had a dog with him too. I recall him opening the trunk of his car to show us the jars of things he found. Coins, rings, all kind of stuff. On “Popsical Day” Mon, Wed and Fri, at Hoover, the offerings were either 7 cents or a dime. A few times, I’d take the change from the dime and toss the 3 cents out on the field. Maybe I should get a metal detector? Andy Freedman
Our family moved to 2869 Bryant Street (DA 2-3405) in 1949 – a year after I was born. I attended Hoover for a couple of years and then El Carmelo from when it opened until 1960, Wilbur until 1963, and Paly until 1966. I remember people flying model airplanes where Hewlett Packard is on the hill by Page Mill road. I also well remember the A&W across from Hoover. 5 and 10 cent root beer in frosted mugs. Delightful! I remember swimming and fishing in Felt lake when it seemed in the middle of nowhere. We also got shot at with salt pellets there. Something about running the fat off the cows… Now it’s hemmed in by Hwy 280 (though still can’t be seen from it) and the stable and polo arena where my daughter works in the summer. I remember swimming in Searsville lake with the float to swim out to. We also enjoyed climbing down into what we thought was San Fransquito creek near Searsville, but apparently that area is part of Alambique Creek. My father and I used to collect cat tails for my mother in that gully off old Page Mill road that has the dug tunnel on one side (near Frenchman’s tower). Does that place have a name? It’s amazing that it’s still there. I also went into Frenchman’s tower. I remember climbing the hill behind Frenchman’s tower and shooting arrows at ground squirrels on the next hill over – across what is now the new Page Mill road. I was horrified when I pinned one by the tail. I remember the summer engineering program at HP. I enjoyed classes from Mr. Martin (twisting Henry) in electronics and Physics at Paly (I’m 50 out! I’m 50 out!). I remember beating a tough guy at wrestling and in gym and having him challenge me to a knife fight at Mitchell Park. I didn’t show up. I remember riding bicycles over Skyline to San Mateo Memorial park for camping. I remember many of the stores at Town and Country shopping center, Edys (banana splits), the Cheese House (still there, isn’t it?), coin shop, tropical fish store, and others. I remember many of the stores in Midtown, but the names escape me. What was the toy store at the northeast end? Was it really “Toy World”? My memory is only toys, no sports. I remember picking cherries along El Camino and eating hamburgers at Kirk’s (that later showed up for a time on California street). We also had friends who had an apricot orchard in Santa Clara. I remember Peninsula Scientific when it was near the corner of El Camino and California. I was also into chemistry – making bombs and rockets and stuff like nitrogen triiodide (making my own Iodine that stunk up my room). Potassium Permanganate and Glycerine is another one that I still “do”. I also remember Monnet’s pet shop. I remember the swiss cheese when Mitchel Park opened. Our dead end block of Bryant Street (north of Matadero Creek) closed off the block and had a track meet for the kids every summer that was great. One family had a high jump and pole value setup in their back yard. I remember making up a game called “tenner pong” at Wilbur so we could play something on the tennis courts during lunch without having rackets (Frenchie I miss you!). I remember playing tackle football in the mud every year before Thanksgiving until somebody broke a bone. I remember softball every (!) day in the summer at El Carmelo. We’d play work ups if we couldn’t get enough for teams. Play 500 if we couldn’t get enough for work ups. I also remember playing hoppy taw, ping pong, and four square. Also that flip thing off the horizontal bars (lead up to gymnastics in high school for me). Yo Yos were big for a time (Duncan purees). I remember the water melon feed and helium balloon launch at El Carmelo (with those postcards that you hoped to come back from far away places). I remember Mr. Knoblock throwing a kid who misbehaved during a tag football game over the fence at El Carmelo. I remember a hardball bouncing off the top of a kids head and going over the fence at El Carmelo. I remember sliding down into Matadero creek in cardboard boxes from the construction of El Carmelo before Matedero creek was filled with concrete near Bryant Street. I also remember finding a snake (a yellow bellied racer) in Matadero creek (before concrete) and many butterflies in the area. I remember getting a polyphemus moth cocoon from a tree by Matadero Creek and scaring the heck out of my mother when it emerged in my bedroom closet. I remember the huge number of toads in Lake Lauginta and often bringing home a bucket full for our garden. Great fun walking through the muck! I remember the bonfires for the Big Game rally. We still have those in Berkeley where I live now… I too fondly remember the Little Big Games. Sad to lose those. I fondly remember playing “add on” on the trampoline in the Paly gym. I well remember wrestling workouts with spin drills and Burma road. I remember stinking up Paly with “Stench” (IsoValeric Acid) inadvertently in the morning (parafilm split) and intentionally late in the day, trying to get out of last period German. However, Frau Kate was on vacation and I couldn’t bring myself to stink out a substitute, so I waited until after school and then walked down the mail hall with it. I remember where my locker was in the main hall at Paly because I remember going back to try to stop that Stench from leaking out of a 10 ml beaker. I remember the story of somebody dumping a large quantity of Jello into the Paly pool. Did that ever really happen? I remember throwing a brick of sodium metal into the reflection pool of the Pulgas Water temple. It bubbled for a while and then blew up. I enjoyed that bicycle ride to the Pulgas Water Temple. Too bad it’s all blocked off now. I remember playing hide and seek and what we called “chase” (a variation) in the Frost Amphitheater. That big oak tree on the plateau was particularly fun. That was before it was fenced off. We also had picnics there occasionally. I remember finding shark’s teeth fossils near Felton in the Santa Cruz mountains. I remember the first skate boards with shoe skates split and nailed or screwed into flat boards. I remember getting kicked off “traffic patrol” at El Carmelo because I was too excited about snow on the mountains to do my job properly (spin the sign just so…). I remember Boy Scouts at Rinconada and swimming in the pool there. I remember walking down University Avenue with a sedan chair to advertise “Der Besuch Der Alten Dame” play at Rinconada (“A bar of chocolate please Herr Shill”). I remember riding a Honda 55 to Paly. I remember lunches in the amphitheater at Play and how socially clueless I was. Fun thread bring back so many memories. Web Link
Hi Jim (and all), We have a lot in common – and we’re probably the only ones to get kicked off of Traffic Patrol (I actually didn’t show up for my public firing – too scared of Officer (was it) Mashinsky? Here’s something that I wouldn’t normally mention, but the statutes of limitations have long since past. Also, the person I refer to died very young – I think in his late teens or early twenties and my reference to him is very fondly remembered and I consider him a friend. It was 1969 and I was in 7th grade at Wilbur. Having spent too much time with friends and hardly any with homework, the day before a report was due, I realized I had squandered the two months that was given to complete it. In fact, I hadn’t even started it. I was talking with Jeff S. about it and I thought, hmmm, if my locker was broken into, I could say that I had been in my locker and would be given time to make up for it. Jeff said not to worry, he’d take care of it. The next day, I parked my bike and walked through the halls of Wilbur thinking what reaction I should put on in case there were any teachers present, and dang! My locker – and the two lockers to the left and the two to the right – torched! To Jeff – Again, thank you – while you may have overdone it a tad, you certainly kept your word. Andy Freedman[email protected]
ANDY!!! You and your juvenile delinquent hooligan friend could have burnt the whole dang school down!!! What would you have done then? It would be 2011 and you’d be the only 56-year-olds still in juvie! I remember Mr. Webb.
I’m hoping that BaaBaaRay, will forgive me, and contact me soon. I am melting away, and I “need” to say some things. I wish I could do it all over again, but I can’t. I don’t want to leave without making some things clear. Please, send me an email Baa..Please.
Hi folks Maybe, as they say, I’m just tripping, but I’m recognizing the generational changes taking place in Palo Alto. I want to look at it with an open mind, without judgment and if I can, not assign too much meaning. In 1969 (I was 13), attending Wilbur Jr High, I clearly remember on a Sept morning at 7:30 standing around the BBQ’s at Mitchell Park smoking, waving to Vice Principal Leon as he rode his bike past us – him smiling too, thinking, Wow, when I’m grown up, things will be so much better. We’ll be able to smoke pot legally, people won’t be so uptight, the cops won’t hassle us. We’ll really be free. We’ll be able to take enlightening psychedelic trips and expand our thoughts. We’ll be able to think of whole new ideas and put them to everyday use. I even thought how our kids and grandkids would think how oppressed we were. So now here I am – a forever, young baby boomer – okay, old geezer, and as I scan the PA Forum here, it seems to me that our kids and grandkids have gotten more “uptight” than the grown-ups around us in 1969. I know, I know, I can almost hear an older man we use to mooch cigarettes from, “Well. Back in my time, kids had more respect for their elders.” As a kid, we would agree – and then mooch another cigarette from him. But what I’m observing is a somewhat more “unforgiving” attitude. And jails and prisons still contain folks with pot charges. But I’m a little off track here. It seems that we were on a path of “peace and love” and folks were striving to be more connected to people and the environment. Oh well, I’m probably just tripping, but I am grateful that I still recollect those memories of smoking cigs with all my friends before the 1st period bell rang at Wilbur (and as mentioned in previous posts, the nickel French Bread, slathered with butter at the snack bar). Andy Freedman[email protected]
LOVE the song. I get it, and have no problem with it. Also know something in you checked often for my reaction. Just thought the story always seemed incomplete…like there should have a different ending. I was wrong. I’ll put the book back on the shelf, never to touch it, again. Like a writer who tries to find that perfect last line, who finally realizes no such line exists..I can finally close the book, knowing some stories can only end in bitterness. I am at peace closing it..and forgetting it forever..
Hey Andy, I had a friend tell me that the old look out off of Page Mill is no-longer there. Please, tell me it isn’t so! lol. Man, we had so many good times up there. Did they build something there?
Hi Ray, I apologize for not writing sooner. I can’t recall which look-out you’re referring to. Gypsy Camp, as it was called, is on Moody Road and until the road was blocked it was a little party place in the 60′s and 70s that afforded an awesome view. Old La Honda Road – halfway up – had a turn-out that, like Gypsy Camp, provided an-almost panoramic view from SF-SJ. I’m sure there are others along Page Mill Road. I hope everything is going well for you Ray. You’ll have to make it up here and see all the changes! Best regards, Andy
Thanks Andy, Your description sounds like where I meant. The entrance off the road was hard to see, and you followed a dirt road to the very top, where it was flat..and not a huge area. On a clear night, you could see from SF to San Jose. A bunch of us would go up there in an old “Milk Truck.” We would sniff (Snappers) Amonitrate..and have contests to see who could run the farthest before falling down. I remember a lot of laughing. lol. I actually am doing better with this Cancer than I have in many years. I’ve lost a lot of weight, and kind of look like a 7 Iron, but..I’m still dancing. Hope your life is going good. Take care, Brother..
To Chris (Paly 73) Thanks for the picture of the Horkey’s ashtray OMG where did you find that? Yes, I remember the fountain at Mitchell Park with the frog? heads. I think it’s long gone now. I wonder where those heads are? I remember seeing Clapton at Frost around ’75 with Santana. I also went to Winterland numerous times around then. Saw Johnny Winter, Frampton, Dead, Airplane, Zappa and Beefheart and more. Borrowed my dad’s Lincoln to go up there- was usually so stoned it’s a miracle I survived.
Hi Ray, Mark, Chris and all, I’m glad you’re still kicking, despite the cancer. It’s a little ironic that I choose to write of the memories I have growing up here in Palo Alto, as, it seems, well, you know, I’m losing my f-ing mind! Not that bad, but if something in life is a little negative, then embrace it and find the good! I admire your attitude. I love that William Wadsworth’s 1807 poem, Splendor in the Grass: What though the radiance which was once so bright Be now forever taken from my sight, Though nothing can bring back the hour Of splendor in the grass, of glory in the flower, We will grieve not, rather find Strength in what remains behind Mark, your post regarding Mitchell Park and the fountain reminded me something. The bears! Where are our beloved bears? Remember the tunnels in the sandbox area at Mitchell Park? If I recall, there were two large bear statues. When they made park renovations about 5 years ago, they were removed. Maybe the city has a special warehouse for things like that (remember the large, cement, colored barrels at Hoover Park?). Andy
Re the Horky’s ash tray: Google Images is your friend :-) I was Google searching on my former classmate Kevin McKernan and the following web pages turned up. I had a couple of classes with Kevin at Jordan. He never evinced any musical aptitude that I’m aware of. I don’t remember him in any music classes so I don’t know whether his musicianship was by rote or if he could even read music or play a scale. Like his famous brother he reportedly died of liver failure; I suspect the brothers McKernan drank themselves to death. One of the links debunks the fake “The Warlocks” at Paly posters. I have always wondered about that poster as it doesn’t make sense to have a rock concert at Paly so close to the beginning of the school year. I remember the Palo Alto of 1973 being the dull, idyllic and closeted college town Corry342 describes. In 1973 you were hot sh*t if you owned one of them new-fangled calculators. That year I was spending as much time in S.F. as I could. In the early ’70s Palo Alto was on the cusp of becoming the high-tech boom town it is today. I moved to S.F. in September ’73 to attend San Francisco State and moved back to P.A. after I graduated in May ’78, just as the personal computer industry was starting to take off (and home prices started zooming). Footnote: Jobs and Wozniak introduced the Apple I in April ’76 with a selling price of $666.66. There was a Byte Shop on the Paly side of El Camino, right around the corner from and north of California Avenue. The Byte Shop sold computer kits to nerds (around Stanford there was no shortage of nerds). There was also a European hi-fi boutique around there called Western Audio IIRC, and the open-late Open House market.Web LinkWeb LinkWeb LinkWeb Link The fake poster in question:Web Link
Good stuff, Chris. Probably the most suspicious portions of the ‘fake’ poster is the “featuring Jerry Garcia” part. Even though he was pretty well-known in the area, a poster would not have had that text on it – no way. By the way, my recollection is that Western Audio was farther south on El Camino (near El Camino Way).
It looks like Western Audio moved. They were definitely located a very short distance from California Avenue a long, long time ago. To my surprise, Google turns up a listing for a Western Audio at 4191 El Camino which I will check out when I’m in Palo Alto next. I’m still trying to figure out if that later became the location of the Byte Shop. ?????
More Google searching turns up two addresses for the Byte Shop. It is variously listed as 2227 or 2233 El Camino, placing it opposite the Shell station where PiP Printing is now.
I grew up in Redwood City but spent a lot of time in Palo Alto in the 60s when I was in high school and after. I have read comments here about people and places I remember well–Tenny Lyons, Glenn Dooley, the Tangent, Poppycock, St. Michael’s Alley, etc. Glenn Dooley was my boyfriend in 1965 and we hung out at the Tangent a a lot. His friends were Jerry Gist and Bob Therrien. I remember there was something called a Scopietone (sp?) at the Tangent that was like a jukebox except there was a screen that played a video of the artist performing the song. To this day, I have never found anyone who remembers that. The 60s were pretty wild, but great fun. I remember sitting in Stickney’s, I think, with Tenny and other friends in the wee hours of the morning playing the game–would you rather have a piece of spinach stuck in your teeth for the rest of you life or something hanging out of your nose? We’d come up with all types of different scenarios an we’d laugh like crazy. I remember Glenn used to hang out at the Indian Bowl and I also remember Michaelangelo who someone else mentioned. There was a tree house on the Stanford campus with an old mattress and we’d go there to “be alone”. That mattress must have been so gross, but who cared back then. We’d also park at Lake Lagunita. After parking we’d head to the A&W for a Teen Burger and I’d zoom home in my ’55 Buick trying to get home by my curfew. I remember hanging out at the Foster’s in Menlo Park in HS and in a little cottage behind a house in Palo Alto in the 60s. Got pregnant at 19 on Tasso Street. I remember Mary and Craig Mather, John Diggs, Barbara Bently, Tenny, Jerry Gist, my best friend Pam Stott who I miss so much and so many others. What a long strange tip it’s been…..
>> and a trolley ran up University Avenue. When we first moved to Palo Alto in 1969 University Ave was completely different and one odd thing was that University Ave. had a weird line of bricks down the middle of the street. I guess that must have been a remnant of the trolley. Where was the Indian Bowl? So much change, it’s sad that the city did not go around and photograph downtown every quarter or something … it’s getting hard to remember all the different changes.
Sherri!!! Thank you so much for writing… I made a Facebook page for Tenny…. I am so happy to find someone who remembers those people… Mary and Craig (I would LOVE to find Craig), John Digs, Tenny… some of the others you mention I do not remember… maybe you can help me. I am about to head to Boston tomorrow but maybe we can correspond when I get back… Please go visit the page I made for Tenny and leave a message for her… then let’s meet…. I still live around here… near M-A. I have other friends who knew Tenny really well too from Kendalhang in the Haight (Nelson and Stevo). We are all together again. I remember the mattress at Stanford and Lake Laug… and I wonder if that little cottage was mine… or maybe it was Meeka’s.
My little cottage had a rainbow painted around the door (by Cool Breeze) and the walls were full of clouds and stars and even a sun. There were lots of paint brushes and art. It had no shower, and too many people staying there… Tenny would always tell everyone she met they could stay with me! I lived in that little cottage with Cool Breeze and then Nelson.
Grew up in Charleston Meadows area, behind Ricky’s Hyatt House. Susan S wrote: Posted by Susan S., a resident of the Old Palo Alto neighborhood, on Mar 30, 2009 at 11:15 pm Cooks Quarter Horse Ranch – Berry Hill(s?) Farm next door – I lived for my weekends at Cook’s – anyone else remember those days of horse shows? I never owned a horse but I worked there so I could ride. I remember riding up to 280 while they were building it, and it was still dirt. And riding over “Open Country” to Duveneck’s. Riding to Risotti’s – now that was very exciting! Is this Sue Stienstra? I remember a Sue that was friends of the Lightfoot girls and we all rode at are the first person who has mentioned “Open Country” up off 3 Forks off Page Mill. I used to love to ride up there… Back to Charleston area…we used to run all over Ricky’s feeding Swans, taking the glass elevator on the highrise and going to the gift shop. Also played in the Elks field and caught Tadpoles in Dinah’s Shack Pond, hung out at Cabana when Beatles stayed there.
To “anon” – Indian Bowl was on Emerson Street (700 block). I’m pretty sure that the sidewalk there still has the Indian Head logo embossed into the cement.
Hi Ken, You asked how I’ll celebrate 5 years of this thread (probably with a Stella beer, a little crack and a corned beef sandwhich from Piazza with mucho mayo and light mustard) – Just kidding. I love reading this all. I was just thinking, I recal riding my mini bike up to Skylonda to Alice’s Resturant in 1969 and then trying to hang out with the real bikers. I recall going up to one and saying, “Hey man. Gotta smoke I can bum?” I was 12 trying to play it real cool. Rather than asking me how old I was, he just handed me a smoke. Stickney’s #2 (on El Camino, accross from Boston Market) – One evening, after partying with friends when I was about 17, we went to Stickney’s and I had spareribs and then decided to “Dine and Dash.” I picked the wrong night to do it, as an off-duty cop (Officer Butler, who later on comitted suicide) was sitting with his date and as I walked by his table, he said, “Hey! The cash register is the other way.” Ahhh, time to run, or dash. Either way, he caught up with me. He was pretty drunk and had his gun pointed to my head and was yelling at me that he could run faster than me. I never got in trouble with that because they thought that he had intimidated me and that’s why I had run out of the resturant. On another occassion of Dining and Dashing, after eating at IHOP, I told my friends, “C’mon, we have enough money. Let’s pay.” Randy P said, “You can, Andy, but, hey, we gotta run!” They (about 6 of them) picked up and dashed out while I’m looking at them and then looking at our waitress, who looked a little shocked. I gave her a tip and ran. Andy
My grandfather David Keeble built his first house at the corner of Seale Ave and Bryant. Later, as his family grew he built three houses at 330, 336 and 342 Seale Ave in the 20′ or early 30′s. for a total of $2500.00 for all three. He and Gramdma Addie occupied the house at 336 and my uncle Dick and aunt Helen (Keeble Cameras) were at 330. My Dad and Mom, Bert and Anna, (Keeble Picture framing in Menlo Park) were at 342. I was born in 1945. The third of our family born at the Hoover Pavilion. My older brother Tony, Sister Suzy and younger sister Karen. Boy, the times we had on Seale ave. Kick The Can and Run Sheep Run on warm summer nights. My best friends were Mike McCann who lived in the old family house on Bryant, Bob Connett who’s Dad was Sgt. Connett of the PAPD, (and yes, he got us out of many minor scrapes with the law). Swimming at the old Rinconada Pool. Skate boarding (on home made skate boards) in Rinconada Park. The rule was to be home before the street lights came on. My father died two years ago at the age of 100- 1/2. He led a bicycle parade around the block on his 100th birthday. We sold the property on Seale and all three craftsman built houses were torn down. If anyone is interested, drive by and look at the monstrosity that was put up there. I can not conceive of a planning commission that would approve plans for a house that totally goes against the atomsphere of the neighborhood. Take a look and let me know what you think. [email protected]
Other ramblings: The SOS Market had the best sour dough baguettes in a brown paper bag on the counter. The Indian Bowl still had a 25 cent cigarette machine were I bought my cigs while at Paly. (’60-’63) The Circus Train unloading behind Town and Country. The “Amusment Park” in the back corner of Town and Country. Working at Uncle Dicks “Keeble Cameras” at T&C after school. Pennies on the railroad tracks at Embarcadero. DRIVING my Go Kart on the sidewalk to T&C from Waverley and Melville and racing in the parking lot until security kicked us out. Me and Connett in SPUD GUN fights on the roof of the Varsity Theater. Smiths On The Circle. More later as I remember it. Tom
Five years how great is that… I remember the video juke box… Glen, Pat, Mike and Kevin Dooley… Lytton, Jordan and Paly 65
Tenny and I had a group, the I Hate to Eat and Run Gang…. high heels, best dresses… and then… well… I so remember it.. And then there is Stevo… who taught me Tenny’s line, ‘Another Day, Another DOA’. One of my best friends lives on Seale. Her house was once a commune. So many rooms. I can’t remember the cross street. But not far from Steve Jobs’. Cowper and Seale? The tile floor in the kitchen is in every color of the rainbow. It still remains.
If anyone remembers Rick from Ricks Ice Cream at Charleston Center, there’s a picture of him on facebook… this URL works…Web Link
I remember: *when the Varsity had a functioning fountain in the courtyard and was actually a movie theater. I first saw “The Wizard Of Oz”,as a child, there and had to sit in the front row, just a few feet from the screen. *Lerners Women’s clothing on University then it moved to the “new” Stanford Shopping Center. *Before Rudyards (Rudy’s?) Indian cuisine restaurant on University there was a coffee shop that looked like a log cabin and may have been called “The Log Cabin” but I’m not positive. Over the years I lived in many different locations in Palo Alto, as a child and adult, but I haven’t lived there or even been there in many years. I miss it.
We moved to PA in 1953, and I started 2nd grade at Elizabeth Van Auken. At the time, there was no road, so a boardwalk was built to cross the creek and the chicken farm, and connect Moreno to Greer/Amarillo. I have fond memories of the Buddhist temple, behind the school, which had a festival every year. I also remember fresh bread and the best glazed doughnuts were delivered daily by the Colonial Bread Man. The end of our street was a wheat farm, and being kids, we would make forts by trampling the poor farmers field. Across the field, at the end of Amarillo was the PA drive in, where many a fun night was spent watching movies, and playing in the play yard under the big screen. On to Ray Lyman Wilbur in 1959, and then on to Paly before my parents moved to Sunnyvale, and I went to Fremont High. Palo Alto was a very special place to grow up, in my opinion. I have so many memories of fun at the Winter Club, Mitchell Park, Being a Rooter for the Stanford Indians, Frenchman’s tower, and on and on.
Kerry Lerners was the best! I was always putting stuff on “layaway”! I can still picture the store. Stores I remember at Stanford: The big E, Sandy’s and Sandy’s Junior. The haircuttiing place with the monkeys in the window. Blum’s!!! best ice cream sundaes ever and all the beautiful old ladies that lunched there after shopping at Sax’s fifth avenue and I Magnin. I loved their pink and blue hair. Bob, I loved the Obon Festival, last time I went was about ten years ago. Do you remember how they used to bring out Elizabeth Van Auken every year at graduation? And I remember the Colonial Donut Truck with the big slide out drawers. The Midtown Bakery had really good donuts too. Such good memories. My husband gets tired of hearing about Palo Alto. He says he knows so much about Palo Alto in the good old days he feels like he grew up here too. When I get together with other Palo Alto people all we can talk about is the old stores, restaurants etc. I think I would give up a year of my life to go back to University avenue as it was in the sixties, just one slow stroll up one side and down the other. I was surprised to find out, as I was sitting in the University Cafe, that it was in the same location as the University Coffee Shop. I’m glad to find out that so many others have the same feeling about growing up in Palo Alto and it’s just not a figment of my imagination that it was such a special place to live. Keep the memories coming!
Andy F of ’88–I so remember the candy lady in our neighborhood. The Klings of Kiling’s Candy store (T&C) used to live in our neighborhood. and Mrs. Checkers’ preschool class at Lucy Stern. So many others have similar favorite memories…I won’t repeat. Did not read through all the posts, but has anyone mentioned the giant duck? It was parked in various neighborhoods for years. I’m not sure its history or even what it was made of.
4th grade at Addison with Delores Hall, 55-56. 5th and 6th at Walter Hays with Fran Mettler, 56-58. Liked Candy Bauer, Katcha Gorbonova, Punky Babson.
Bob Briggs: Did your family live on Waverley Oaks and were you related to a Virginia Briggs? I went to Walter Hays from ’61 to ’67 and do remember Fran Mettler, but never had her as a teacher.
Hey Andy, I use to hang out with a beautiful dark haired girl named Gerri in Palo Alto in the 60′s. She asked me to hitchhike with her to LA to visit her Aunt, which of course I did. When we got to Hollywood and Vine, she called her Aunt. An hour latter a brand new Rolls Royce pulled up. It was her Aunt, who also was a popular character actress in Hollywood. We ended up going up high into the Hollywood Hills, to this beautiful home overlooking all of Hollywood. Gerri’s Uncle was a Songwriter, who wrote many songs with Burt Bacharach and Marvin Hamlich. He wrote the “Banana Boat” song(Day light comes..and me wanna go home), along with “Our Day Will Come” by Ruby and the Romantics. He was inducted into the Song Writer’s Hall of Fame,” in the 80′s. We stayed there for almost a week. Her Uncle was Bob Hilliard. It was a great memory of Palo Alto, and the friends I had there.
Hi Rain, “Tisn’t a real man who hasn’t hitched-hiked from Palo Alto to Los Angeles.” Just made that quote up. I have my roots in Hollywood, as I was born there (we moved to PA when I was 1). My grandfather’s brother, William Freedman, had written some of My Favorite Martian episodes. When I was about 7 I recall seeing him. He wore “mod” clothes and smoked a pipe. He promised me that he’d let me “guest star” in an episode, but, unfortunately, the show cancelled before that. His brother, Leonard Freedman, who passed at 104, was the oldest practicing pharmacist (97). It kind of makes you think of that movie that had Mr. Gower, who accidentally mixed the wrong Rx (It’s a Wonderful Life). I play(ed) the drums to records and then CDs, and after playing to songs by Santana, Tower of Power, Chicago, and after having a few brew-ha ha’s, being just a tad sloshed, I’d put on Burt Backerach tunes with Dianne Warwick. I recall all the times we’d hitch-hiked up to Alice’s Resturant (and then continue on to the beach) when we were 12 and 13. In fact, when I was a junior, after school, I’d hitch-hike to the Holiday Inn on El Camnio where I worked the 3:30 to 11:00 shift. They didn’t have the “Line 22″ back then. Take care, Andy Freedman
Hi Andy, Wow.. Love that “quote”..and those were some great memories. You’ve been around!! “My Favorite Martian” was one of my favorite shows!! Damn, a little luck, and you might have been famous. lol. I noticed that Capri used a lot of the same actors in his movies. Mr Gower, the Taxman, Uncle Billy were all in “Mr Smith goes to Washington.” Are you in LA, or Palo Alto now? Take care, my Friend..
Hi Rain and All, Still living here, and have been a renter in almost every section of Palo Alto. On a whole other note, does anyone remember the gentleman who lived about a block from the 7-11 on Colorado Avenue? I think his last name was McGovern (not the former Senator). He used to plaster his entire front yard with political statements in the form of posters and hand-made lawn signs. The kind of display that now-a-days, code enforcement would stop in minutes. He was a nice man and his messages were probably correct, but . . . Andy Freedman
This could be the craziest-long thread I’ve ever read. Fun to find. I was born in Paly and proud. Maybe half of what I’ve read here I remember, too; the other half I don’t at all… -Chimera Books -The Varsity and Bijou -Kirk’s (and the sliver of glass in my father’s burger) -Bennington’s (for cheese soufflé) -Those heavy red crossing guard sweaters, and how “serious” it all was. -Ross Road Elementary School (before someone bulldozed it and broke my heart) -The swings at Mitchell Park -The Library next to Mitchell Park, and my first library card. -Peninsula Creamery -Milk in bottles, so rich you could barely choke it down. -The candy store (too young to remember the name) with wooden floors and bins, and the feel and smell of a U.S. nickel in my hand. -Peninsula Scientific -Zack’s Electronics -Walking to the bakery next to Bergmann’s and the smell of fresh baked bread. -Orange salamanders at Foothill Park and the smell of Bay trees. -When Hewlett-Packard (et al) was nothing but rolling open pasture land. -When I could walk or ride a bicycle nearly anywhere of real importance.
Andy, a post on Oct 8, 2009 indicates that someone does remember the guy on Colorado Ave. with signs in his yard.
Hi Andy, If I’m remembering the same person you’re referring to on Colorado was a perennial candidate for President. Speaking of McGovern, I shook his hand after an appearance in Palo Alto when I was 15 and spent the summer handing out McGovern leaflets (alternating with United Farmworker’s Union brochures) on the divider on El Camino in front of Stanford when cars were stopped at the light. Those were the days. Great thread. Have you thought of compiling these posts into a book?
Hi Karen, John, 337 and all, If I Could Save Milk in a Bottle – oops, wrong song: I haven’t thought too much about it, but maybe the editors here have thought about putting these memories, along with PICTURES (I love pictures!) together in a book form. I think it would be a wonderful idea to have something like this with many, many pictures from us showing our toys, friends, field trip pictures, etc. I think a few folks here spoke of the dastardly deed of (before their parents woke up), taking the flip-milk-menu-thingy, and adding Chocolate Milk. That’s at a time when most folks did not buy milk at the store, but used the Milk Man (as they were called). Also, your parents had to be in a paricularly good mood (and generous) when the donut truck came down the street and you wanted a dime for a donut (my dad, “What do you need a donut for!”) Elementary School / Popsicle Day – 7cents for a Popsicle and 10cents for a Nutty-Buddy* or Fudgical: How many folks remember that? Also, remember how once a year you could order books? You filled out a request form from a list of about 30 books, bring it to your parents, they give you the money or check for it, then you waited, and waited, and waited and after you totally forgot about the books you ordered, they suddenly came in months later. One book was about magnets and it actually came with a very small magnet (about 2 inches long) – Everyone ordered that, right? Elementary School / Audio – Visual person – about twice a year, you could volunteer to be that person. Funny how when you’re just 9 years old, you’re able to figure out how to wind the film through the projector and (as it always happens) halfway through the movie it suddenly starts choking up; everyone groans and, if you’re the man (boy or girl and Audio – Visual person) you get to have everyone watch you as you try to un-jam it or tape the broken film together. It’s probably similar to you as an adult hooking up the InFocus projector to the computer, monitor and screen. It never works how you want it to and when you give up, it suddenly works. Worst case scenario is you call the IS guy and they can’t get it working either. Andy Freedman *I know, I know. Someone’s saying, “I got your Nutty-Buddy right here!”
How boring were your kiddish stuffs.I remember it very well when during 70′s,at the end of culture revolution,I had a chance to catch some cruel fun in it.I remember they would tie a “leftist” just like now walter in pal alto, who was pro capitalizm,and took him into street to parade the victory,so everytime when we heard drums beating,we children just came to street to watch,and sometimes we got to kick him.They thought they were brave.When mao died, everyone cried,including kids and adults,how funny were we and fun.
Does anyone remember Jean Miller’s dog grooming salon on El Camino just north of El Palo Alto? We used to take our white toy poodle there for a shampoo and a haircut. I loved him and miss him so. Zack Electronics still exists and is located in Duarte, California. Gone are the stores on High Street and Market Street. I bought some items from them not long ago and their prices were pretty good. How about Astro Pop popsicles, which were red, white and blue? There was another creamy orange popsicle kind of thing which I never liked. Peninsula Creamery’s vanilla ice cream in those little tubs was out of this world, but it was no match for the ultimate confection of all time: chocolate Space Food Sticks.
Andy – Are you trying to remember Pete McCloskey? IIRC he had an office near the courthouse off California Avenue. There was also Alan Cranston who was a partner in the real estate firm of Ames, Brophy and Cranston. I met him once in the CNN studios years and years ago. Hope your holidays were good, buddy.
Chris 73, Good info that Zack Electronics is still going in Duarte. That’s surprising. The Astro Pops were good about the first couple of times, but got old fast for me. I think the Orange thing you didn’t like much may have been a “Push-Up” or “Push-Pop”. Otherwise it might have been an Orange Creamsicle.
Hi Chris, Funny you should mention Pete McCloskey. Many years ago, in-between jobs, I was going through the phone book and came across his law practice. Recalling that he was a Marine and so was I, I called him and he asked me to bring my resume and to immediately “C’mone Down!” His secretary had been out ill and he was behind and needed someone who could hit the road running (that’s me, hee hee). We talked; he autographed his book and gave it to me (the Taking of Hill 610), then went to his secretary’s computer, asked if I knew how to use Word Perfect (but of course) and during the next 2 weeks, he had me working (and I have to admit, he got his money’s worth). I’m eternally grateful to him that at a point where I could have ended up in the streets, he put me to work until his secretary returned, and by the time I was finished, I was offered a position at the VA Hospital. Like we say, Semper Fi (always faithful). Also, his wife, Helen, and I put the fear of either god or lawsuits into the City of Palo Alto in connection to their squirrel poisoning, and we stopped them. Andy Freedman PS: Eric S – I do remember those Astro Missles and concur, didn’t like the creammy stuff
Andy, great story about Pete McCloskey. So there was a different guy on Colorado that you were trying to remember. Also, where was McCloskey’s office located? I came across this treasure yesterday: the Palo Alto telephone directory from 1951. My folks are listed (they lived in Menlo Park at the time) but several of our neighbors aren’t.Web Link
Hi Chris and all, Davenport – or as we used to say, DA1-4576 (that was my parent’s number). My older brother and I, Dean, used to used the phone book to call friends of our parents to make prank telephone calls when they went out for their weekly bridge game. The best was “Hi, I’m —, with the phone company. We have men working on the line and please do not pick up the phone when it rings for the next hour. Otherwise, the men working could get electrocuted.” Well, after about a half hour of straight ringing, they’d pick it up (meeking asking if it’s okay to pick up the phone) and we’d fake a long, drawn out scream, like someone being electrocuted, followed up with a “call from the phone company” saying that because they picked up the phone, they just killed one of the workers. Pete had an office on San Hill Road and until a couple years ago, he was still practicing. I’ll have to check through the phone book you provided and make telephone apologies to all the folks we called (hee hee). Take care Chris, Andy
Real women also hitchhiked to LA too. The time I remember best (because I did it a few times) was around the end of 65, beginning of 66. I was staying with my boyfriend, Norman, on Rick Metzger’s houseboat in Sausalito. The tall beautiful (buff) surfer girl I met in Santa Cruz, who was my then current best friend, Leigh, was living up at Rick’s house in the hills. We spent our time between the two places and collecting bottles to turn to earn money at what is now Molly Stone’s. I remember our big scheme was to get on board the Balclutha as cooks… it was on its way to Hawaii and we met the crew in town. We went to hear Paul Butterfield in San Francisco one night at the Fillmore and he invited us to the after party and said we should follow the band to LA and he would put us on the guest list. Leigh’s mom, who was quite a bohemian herself, drove us part way in her old jalopy. And then Leigh and I headed off to LA on the coast highway through Big Sur. Things I remember from the trip, other than being out on those highway offramps in the middle of nowhere, was visiting Doris Day’s house (she wasn’t home). The biggest thrill, which I never forgot, was in the wee hours of the morning when Dennis Wilson, the Beach Boy drummer, picked us up in his little red convertible sports car. He was such a gentleman and so kind to us, wanting to know everything about what we were up to and where he could drop us to help us most. We told him we were going to see the Paul Butterfield Blues Band. Anyway, thanks for reminding me of a whole bunch of nice memories… mainly of Sausalito, Big Sur, Leigh!!! (I last met up with her at one of the Renaissance Faires in the late 70s… she was reading tarot cards), Paul Butterfield and Elvin Bishop, and driving down the empty streets of LA with Dennis Wilson at dawn in his convertible. I all comes full circle for me; I’m going to the Fillmore Feb. 3 and 4 to hear my daughter’s boyfriend. That will bring back lots of other memories…. I love Palo Alto… we are so close to so many beautiful places and there is always something interesting to do.
Sherri, God, I loved Tenny and Mare. I loved how Tenny would walk in a restaurant..get all the guys attention with her looks..then raise her skirt to her knees and show her thick, hairy, unshaven legs.. lol. We would crack up. The last time I saw Meeka, I luckily walked in right after he overdosed on Meth. His heart was beating out of his chest, but he wanted to sleep. He refused to go to the hospital, so I stayed with him, and kept him awake..which eventually worked. I remember a 16 year old runaway from New York, who wanted to be a Buddhist. He would take massive amounts of acid to get close to God. Somehow, miraculously, he found me back in my small hometown in Ohio. I mentioned it maybe once, or twice..and he remembered. It was a shock..I looked up, and saw him standing there. We talked him into going home..and drove him 10 hours to his Neighborhood. I wish I could remember his name. He was so cool. Andy..congratulations on 5 years, and people are still coming with their memories..Too cool, Brother..
Good morning Once a Flower Child and Rain and all (hey, Rain and Flower, you go well together), thank you for your nice posts. The last post reminded me too of my first trip (not the LA one). It was 1969 and I was in 7th grade at Wilbur and I took Peace Acid during a 6-friend overnight stay with friends. For some of the older and younger folks who may not know, our generation was bombarded with all kinds of drugs. As many of you recall, the government totally lost credibility in trying to control it. Movies like ——- (I can’t seem to recall the name, if someone can help me out here) is a very good example. It was an anti-pot required 7-9th grade movie. It showed a guy smoking pot and suddenly things began swirling all around him. The lights dim, he begins seeing two or three of everything and then he looks into a mirror and it gets worse – way worse. Somehow, he turns into some kind of monster. So, what does he do? You got it – he gets into his jalopy and takes a ride. (What else do you do when you’re hallucinating up a storm and have turned into the Devil himself?) Too bad there wasn’t some company named Stayfree (maybe with the business motto – Keeps the blood off the highway). Anyway, for those who recall that movies, it ends up one hell of a bloody mess. For folks who experimented with pot, seeing that movie and knowing that pot wasn’t even a hallucinogenic, they’d didn’t buy the government’s subsequent anti-drug films and it only added to the distrust of the government. What was the name of that flick? Andy Freedman Wilbur 1970
Andy, was it “Reefer Madness”? That movie was made in the 30s…not sure if it was being shown in schools in the late 60s.
Good memory, Ken, “Reefer Madness” is now a cult classic. It is so over the top, it’s hilarious. Andy, about the same time your talking about, is when a well respected Doctor from the South stated he was treating LSD patients who went blind from staring into the sun. It wasn’t until many years later, he confessed to lying about his findings..saying he just wanted to scare kids a way from the drug. I think when the “real” truth came out, kids discarded any negative rumors. Of course over indulgence was dangerous, but some of the best times I had with my friends, were when we were high. I know this..if I could go back to that day when my son’s asked me if I ever did drugs..I would lie through my teeth. DRUGS? YOUR DAD? “HELL NO!!” ” “I NEVER touched the stuff!!” LOL, But, NOOOOO..I wanted to seem cool, and confessed when I should have LIED/LIED/LIED. I can’t count the times I heard “Well, YOU did it!” Also, RainFlower would be a cool name. :)
Hi folks, You’re gonna love this: (Did you know that Antonio’s Nut House on California Avenue used to be a Safeway Market?) My younger brother sent me these links – courtesy of the Palo Alto Historical Association. Most folks here know the connection between the Cabana Hotel and Debbie Reynolds (and her characterizations of the water fountains out in front). Anyway, you may have to cut and paste these links into the bar at the top. Guaranteed you’ll love it:Web LinkWeb LinkWeb LinkWeb Link
Great photos, Andy! What’s amazing is that time has not touched some of these sites. My aunt and uncle still live in the same house they moved into in 1956. Time has not touched them, either. I never knew about the Safeway on California Avenue. I remember Littleman’s and Purity, though. I remember the Moffett Drive-In right next to the Bayshore Freeway. I remember hearing them run the wind tunnel there late, late at night. It put out a low-pitched droning sound, like a low-flying propeller aircraft.
Well duh, it was NASA’s Ames Research Center that ran the wind tunnel, not the drive-in theater! The dad of one of my buddies at Walter Hays worked at Ames Research Center.
And I got to add on that “T’isn’t a real man – or woman – o’ Palo Alto that hasn’t hopped the fense at the Palo Alto Drive-In on Amarilo Street to watch free movies.” Andy
Well I don’t know about jumping the fence, but lots of great memories of that drive-in when I first got my car in ’66. It was $1.50 to get in then and shortly went to a staggering $1.75. It made paying for dates a little harder when I was making $1.25 minimum wage at Nippon Goldfish in Town and Country village!
Hi Curtis and all, I really lucked out, and it was totally accidental. When Jack in the Box opened on El Camino Real (across from Ernie’s and A-1 Liquor store ’72?), I applied and got the job. However, on my first night, the manager said I’d needed to get a haircut. At first I said I didn’t have the money, but when he pulled out his wallet and saw that I didn’t look motivated, he asked me to reapply when I got a haircut (I lost the job before I started). I walked down the street and ended up a Lyon’s Restaurant. I got a job as a Dishwasher and they paid Union Wages – that was about a buck and a half more than minumin wages (I think minimum wages then was $2.25/hour. The only bummer about it was that on Friday nights, my friends would come in and do the ol’ Sugar Shaker – Napkin Upside down trick (I’m sure you all know it and maybe have done it at least once). In Oakland, a friend and I were sent to pick up a new car from a dealer. We stopped at the Denny’s, had breakfast and did the sugar shaker trick. We stood outside the restaurant looking through the window and this – well, the only way I could describe him is that he looked like Frankenstein in a suit and apron. When he picked up the shaker and the contents spilled all over the table and floor we began laughing (uncontrollable laughing!). He looked at us through the window and if expressions could kill, we both would have been dead. He began running through the restaurant. This guy was crazy and out for blood. We ran to the car and he tried to open the door when I was taking off. I actually had to jump the sidewalk and curb (what a way to break in the new car). For the next half mile down Broadway Street, he was running after us in the middle of the road with a suit and a dishwasher/busboy apron still wrapped around his waist. Dang, some folks just can’t take a joke. Andy
WOW ANDY!! Incredible Links!! I laughed so hard at your story, although I have to admit..I’d be a little upset,too…especially seeing the culprits outside laughing. lol. We called the Lytton Park..”Plastic Park.” I spent many nights just hanging out there. I spent an hour looking at, and reading everything on the links. Thanks.. PS..I’m looking for Craig Mathers, married to the late, beautiful Mare..who died in 1969.[email protected](Ray)
Web Link Darol Anger, Mike Marshall, Michael Hedges and Michael Manring at The New Varsity c1980. A friend sent it today along with the message, YOU HAVE TO SEE THIS! Who remembers Windham Hill and Will Ackerman?… I lived across the street from him in College Terrace, and there was a Windham Hill house down the street from where I live today. I am still close friends with Darol (he’s a professor at Berklee College of Music now and my daughter still plays music in his bands)… I still see Mike (he’s on mandocello in this clip)… he is here for the Santa Cruz Baroque Festival with his wife Caterina. And Michael Hedges… it makes me wanna cry when I think about his loss. He looks so young, but they all do, in this video. Anyway, where are the young local millionnaires who will take back The New Varsity and restore it as a cool music venue with good, interesting and innovative music?
There was a certain time of innocence in Palo Alto that seemed to change with first, JFK’s assassination and then the Zodiac Killer. They say that folks remember for years exactly what happened during certain events. I was in 2nd grade with 3 other 2nd grade classes sitting on the floor in the administration office. Once a week, Mr. Borha (senor) would come to our elementary school and give a Spanish lesson. A secretary came out to the area and handed a note to one of the teachers. I watched as the teacher read it and suddenly had a look of dread. She in turn passed that note to another teacher, who, like the first seemed shocked. As the note was passed around, the principal whispered something to Senor Borha and then announced to everyone that we were being dismissed with our teachers back to our respective classrooms and at lunchtime, classes would be dismissed for the day. After returning to the classroom, our teacher said that President Kennedy had been killed and that the word for that was assassination. Right before 12:00noon, we were dismissed for the day. My mom was still asleep when I got home and I woke her up and said, “President Kennedy has been assassinated.” She got up and asked me again, but never having heard a word like assassination from me, she knew it was true. Back then, there were only 6 channels on our black and white RCA TV. Everything was the same: very somber news anchors reporting on what little was known. Two things stick out that I still vividly recall: when Jackie Kennedy got off the plane in her stained skirt and walked towards the Hearse. Given TV was black and white, it was the news anchors who mentioned that the stain on Jackie Kennedy was blood. And here’s something that you never read or hear about in regards to the JFK assassination. For kids, back in 1963, Saturday and Sunday mornings seemed to made for watching cartoons. Live news coverage was rare in those days, but was in full throttle during the hours and days following JFK’s assassination. There was nothing else on TV, no cartoons, no shows, only coverage of the event. I recall watching live as Lee Harvey Oswald was being led by the Dallas Texas police (especially the big man with the white hat) and suddenly a shot rang out. Oswald groaned or yelped and then slumped forward while still being held by the police, and then the announcer on TV shouting, “He’s been shot! Oh my god! Lee Harvey Oswald has been shot!” Back then, dead bodies could not be shown on TV and, in fact, the most controversial TV scene in the 60s was the shower scene in the movie Psycho. So to see Oswald being shot on TV was, besides not intended to be seen live, was shocking for a kid to watch. The following shows the great difference from “then” until now the amount of freedom and independence a kid had. My best memories of growing up in Palo Alto are the vast amounts of independence we had as children. It wasn’t until the Zodiac Killer during 1968 did things begin to change some, and with more hideous crimes occurring, the less independence children had. It was rumored and reported in the Palo Alto Times that the Zodiac was going to target school busses. As kids, we interpreted that to mean that it was Palo Alto Unified School District’s busses. I recall one afternoon going to my best friend’s house and he wasn’t home. I went to our mutual friend’s house down the street and no one answered. To me, I was suspicious that the Zodiac Killer had struck my friends. Fortunately I ran into both my friends at the neighborhood park a short time later. Palo Alto was not a rich community in the early 60s. It just seemed to be accidentally successful, and had good schools. Stanford University’s influence contributed to this. Their professors and staff demanded good public schools. During summer vacation every elementary school had what kids knew as a Recreation Department running. Kids would flock there and you could check out balls or Karam Boards and other toys and things. There would be an annual Penny Carnival where not only all kinds of booths and fun things were happening, but the multipurpose room was open so that in the early evening, when the whole thing started, the parents would come and watch a play that the kids would put on, after having practiced for weeks. I was just 7 years old and landed the role of Jack in Jack and the Beanstalk. My older brother was cast as the giant and we needed very little direction as to our conflicted relationship. But kids were pretty much allowed to ride their bike as far as they wanted to go, as long as they were back home at their specified times. When kids trick-or-treated for Halloween, they were without their parents. Parents would help them with their costumes, make sure that they were going with either their siblings or other friends in the neighborhood, and they were out the door. Or here’s something that may be unimaginable these days and certainly something that would get a student in serious trouble. I began a short-lived hobby of whittling. At school during recess, I’d whittle on a piece of wood with a pocket knife. Not being much of an artist, I gave up on it after a couple weeks. The point is that there was nothing unusual about a kid having a pocket knife and certainly it did not violate any rules or law. Home building in Palo Alto was going strong during the 50s and 60s. As kids, friends and I would collect scrap wood from the many, many new houses that were being built. I lived on Wellsbury Way, right off of Middlefield Road across from the Winter Club Ice Skating Rink. From Wellsbury going north to Matadero Creek, there was an (approx) 20 acre field with apricot tress and one small pink house. Mr. Blackman, who was well into his 90s during the 60s, lived on Wellsbury Way. In fact, he had owned the land and said that it used to be a small farm/ranch and the Wellsbury was named after his wife. It wasn’t like a Mr. Mitchell and Dennis the menace relationship, but I recall when I was about 6, I’d visit an older couple in that tiny house on Middlefield Road and Wellsbury Way. They didn’t have a TV but they did listen to the radio. The wife would sometimes bake cookies while her husband sat on a chair in the living room talking to me or listening to the radio. One day, I came to visit when I was about 10-years old only to find the front door open and the entire house emptied. Not even a piece of furniture was left. Soon after, bulldozers came, the apricot trees were taken out, and long, deep pipe trenches were dug. This was in preparation for about 20 new homes and a new street called Towel Street. Back then, there were no fences around construction areas and for kids, it was pretty fun to go into the trenches (playing war games) and then collecting scrap wood at the half-finished homes. We used the wood to make forts in our backyards. It was not unusual to see kids with wood piled on their red wagons going back home to make their forts. Now-a-days, I imagine it would seem odd – especially to law enforcement – to see a 10-year old kid toting a red wagon loaded up with scrap wood from construction sites. Especially odd was my “wooden fireplace” in my new fort. Pastor Ray Stedman, of Peninsula Bible Church, and my next door neighbor, put out a small fire after it got out of control, but rather than tell my parents, he had me promise to never to incorporate fire in my fort. San Franciscquito Creek was the farthest I had ever ventured with my older brother and his friends when I was 8-years old. Coming from the Midtown area, we biked down Middlefield, took a right at California Avenue by Jordon Junior High, then a left at Newell Road. Within a couple blocks from the creek, I smelled something I had never smelled before that time. I didn’t know what it was until years later – Eucalyptus trees. Unlike the cement perverts – oops – cement culverts, such as Adobe, Barron and Matadero Creeks, San Franciscquito Creek had no cement, aside from one portion near El Camino Real that had cement sandbags on the sides. But on that particular day, my brother and his friends were going to see his 4th grade teacher who lived in an apartment near Newell. Her name was Miss Wyrough. She had a tan all year around and until I had her as a teacher myself, I used to really like her. Many years later, we kept in touch through letters after she had moved to Florida. I recall that her letters to me were written with a red pen (used for correcting our school papers). I never mentioned to her that, as students of hers, her nickname was Miss Warewolf. She was strict but fare and as choir director, she even “corrected” a Mary Poppin’s song that had a slight grammatical error. Whether it was the reporting of, or the increased occurrences, the world around us seemed to be changing in a dreadful way. Razor blades in apples as Halloween treats, kidnaps, and unimaginable murders were being reported. Parents began to tighten the normally free reigns of their children’s outings. That didn’t affect the neighborhood activities – which, compared to today, were abundant and occurring every evening. As a typical example of Palo Alto neighborhoods, Wellsbury Way had about 35 single family homes with the street shaped in a U beginning at Middlefield Road and ending on Towel Street and Middlefield Road. Our home was situated in a cul-de-sac and was perfect for baseball, hide and seek and kick the can. After dinner, groups of about 12 kids would get together and decide on what games we’d play. If there were girls or if it was getting dark, baseball was usually out and we’d settle on hide and seek or kick the can. Every neighborhood has a mean man, not that he was necessarily mean, only that he wasn’t that nice. We also had a very nice man named Tony. Tony was rarely mentioned without mentioning his lawn, which was immaculate. What was very generous and nice about Tony was that his lawn was located near our made up “left field.” It was out of bounds when the ball landed on his lawn, but what was nice about him is that he did not mind if the ball landed there. When that occurred, we’d knock on his door and either him or his wife came out and we pointed to the ball and they happily let us retrieve it. The mean man, however, if he was outside when a stray ball landed on his lawn, he would take the ball inside his house and not answer the door when we’d ask for it back. It usually required one of our parents to supervise the retrieval. Andy Freedman[email protected]
Just became aware of this — thanks for it. So many of my memories covered already. Just wanted to add “House of Today” one of my families favorite stores.
Smiths Sporting Goods on the circle with the great fishing gear and Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star sneakers. Going to the movies in the Summer at the Stanford Theater with the tickets purchased from the PTA. Watching my Dad eat a plate full of spare ribs at Stickney’s Hickory House restaurant in the Town and Country Shopping Center. Going grocery shopping at the Purity market at Stanford Shopping Center. Picking my Dad up at the train station when he worked in downtown San Francisco. A choice of the Examiner or Chronicle to read on Sunday. Gallenkamp’s shoe store on University Ave. Shakey’s Pizza on El Camino. Liddicoat’s market. J.C. Penney on University Ave., where my Mom worked, then at the Mayfield Mall. The old Bank of America on University Ave. where my parents got their first home loan. The old Chevron service station at Stanford shopping Center where my Dad got the oil changed on his 1961 Volvo. He used to take the 1952 Oldsmobile to the Chevron station on University Ave. over the overpass in East Palo Alto. Riding our bikes to the Palo Alto Yacht Club to go fishing. Once caught a sickly looking fish and threw it back. Feeding the ducks on a Sunday afternoon with my parents was fun. Hiller Helicopters in East Palo Alto with their strange looking test models flying around. The Co-op on Middlefield Road, after Purity left, and also at San Antonio shopping Center. And so on and so on. We all have memories of the past that we cherish, don’t we?
The Richardson’s (children’s clothing) store at Town and Country Village. The hay cart the horse hauled around Town & Country, full of all us kids whose moms were shopping. And the very small “amusement” area with the hokey rides at the back of Town & Country. Joseph Magnin’s at Stanford Shopping Center Watching cows wander in/out of the old Stanford Barn. Watching Macy’s and “The Great Big E The Emporium” (I’m humming the tune) get built Harker’s school was a wonderful old building, a shame they let it go.
I SO remember the Zodiac period. I remember going with my friends to visit a friend, Mare’s grave on Arastradero at night… probably near the end of 1969. I think it was definitely Ray W and me… and someone else. We were SO scared but laughing too!!! He was a great jazz pianist, Ray…. I wonder where he is now? I also remember the College Terrace rapist period, the medfly and lots of other things. I still live here and I can’t imagine living anywhere else…. other than maybe the South of France.
Do you remember when Mr. Salvador Borja (the Spanish teacher you refer to) became a TV star? The school district had converted a school bus to a TV van and went from school to school, hooking the TV feed of Senor Borja into the school’s antenna system through which he gave his Spanish lessons via videotape. The theme song was Cielito Lindo. I was in the 3rd grade when JFK was assassinated. There was a TV set in our classroom and we flipped back and forth between the CBS and NBC coverage of the assassination. I think we went home early that day. The entire weekend was devoted to coverage of JFK. The world forever changed that day. I see you still have that tender spot for Miss Wyrough and her red-ink letters.
I am impressed with the interest, and stories with this topic! I remember coming home from the service and working as a entry level laser technician at a Stanford Research Park company, and being able to afford to live in PA on less than $20,000 a year! What a concept! Work and live in the same town that you were raised in! Alas, due to high property values, high state and city taxes I now live on the other side of the country. I do miss the old small town feeling that PA used to have.
The guy on Colorado wasn’t anyone well known, just someone with axes to grind and wanted everyone to know about it. Walked by the place every day. Midway between Middlefield and Ross. One of the old cottages on the north side of the street, appears to still be there. I believe he had a son. Can’t remember the name, doesn’t matter. There was also an old shack on the NE corner of Colorado and Ross that survived well into the 60′s, maybe even 70′s. I remember a cousin of a friend pulling the fire alarm (red boxes on the phone poles) at that corner. Not too smart…. But we did get away with a lot more back then. Imagine a kid riding to Foothill Park on his cheap old Schwinn 10 speed with no helmet in this day and age. How did we manage to make adulthood without the Nanny State politicians?
Thank you Chris, It’s kind of interesting how things change so fast. One day, during the summer, two weeks before school’s to begin, they post on the window of Herbert Hoover’s administration building the teacher you’re going to have, and I felt so lucky (also had a little crush on Mrs. Wyrough), and then 2 months later, I recall writing in a diary, “I can’t stand my teacher; Time is moving so slow that it seems like it will never end . . .” I did not know that Senor Borhah became a star. I can still sing that tune he taught us; it goes . . . We should all get together at Hoover Park with some Stella Beer and sing that song utill the cops take us to jail (hee hee) Andy
Ooops – correction: That was Miss. Wyrough (not Mrs.) Although, admittingly, and not being too harsh on myself, I was a liar, cheat and a fraud with my girlfriends, but I never went after married women – even in 5th grade. Wait . . . (oops) Andy
I was teaching a Water Safety Survival class to pilots in Hawaii when the news came over the radio that JFK was assassinated. I remember Officer’s walking around openly crying. I was watching TV when the “Zodiac” killer called in live to a San Francisco TV station. After the Manson killings everything changed for the worst. I remember having a friend in the Hell’s Angels in the mid-60′s. He had this beautiful chopped Harley. Some how I talked him into letting me take it out. I didn’t really know how to ride a motorcycle, but I recall going to this Ice Cream place that played music somewhere in Cubberly(sp). When I pulled in the lot there were a bunch of kids just hanging out. I’ll never forget the song that was blaring when I rode up..”Leader of the Pack”.. lol. I just prayed I wouldn’t stall it out, or lay it down. I thought I was so cool that night. I remember this beautiful girl(Jane Ball) who I think was a Cheer Leader, and she and her friends actually came over and talked to me. I also remember on the way a light, I lost control of it, and laid it down. Thank God, I didn’t do any damage, except to my ego. lol. Memories are made of this.. :)
Hi Rain (and all) Probably Rick’s Ice Cream (has it always been Rick’s)? at Charlston Center, where all the stores are, next to Cub. And speaking of bikes, at 13, I got a Taco 22 mini bike (with front shocks and a 3.5hp Brig and Stratton engine – whoa!!). Later, at almost 16, a biker living on University Ave had for sale a Harley Davidson 250 Sprint and it was chopped. I hadn’t really ridden a bike like that, but my friend Steve (from Los Altos High) had, so he took it for a test drive and I remember seeing the front wheel doing a small wheely when he shifted gears and I thought, dang, I would have dumped it, and was so happy that he knew what he was doing. Since Wilbur went to 9th grade, I had visions of me riding it down the path between Mitchell Park and Wilbur being totally COOL! But, there was a huge obstical – my parents – I never got to buy it. On a totally different note, Rick Schloss (sp?) and I put on an any year Cubberly reunion at Mitchell Park about 10 years ago and about 300 folks showed up all throughout the day. It was free, folks brough food (and beer), no dressing up (or dressing up one’s social postion) and folks just have a good time! Maybe it’s time for another one, except this time it would be Gunn, Paly and Cub any year reunion. It would be interesting to see how many folks would show up (on the application/permit you have to specify how many folks will be in your group). Maybe there are some folks reading this who would consider putting on such an event. This paper and the other paper help put the word out. And, because was free, then, we used that too. Anywho, just a thought. Andy
I found this 2 years ago looking up either Tom Hurley (deceased)or Norneys, can’t remember which,didn’t post wasn’t sure what to say.Born and raised in Palo Alto,graduated Paly in’74 worked at Jack in the Box and then Norneys Stanford. Decided to join the Navy. I thought my memories were tainted with age but it really was a special place and time to grow up.I tell people about it and they think I am lying, now I can point to this thread.Glad it is here.
Hey My Old Palo Alto Friends, I entered a Writing Contest on Facebook. Out of over 1500 entries, I’m #2!! I’m SO happy!! I NEED your vote. The Contest is over May 7th. You can vote today, and tomorrow. My piece is called “Buried in a Hundred Places.” I’m up against a Professional Writer, with a Masters..who had a three week head start on me. lol. Please cast your vote for me. I have always wanted to be a Writer, but Life got in the way. This is like a “Miracle for me. Winners to be announced on NPR May 27th. THANK YOU PALO ALTO!! Ray Neighbor on Facebook.Web Link
Not that it’s earth shattering News, but out of over 1500 entries..I came in #2!! My CAT, Andrew even voted for my piece. Winners to be announced on NPR’s Click and Clack Show on May 27th. Thank you, Brother..
So glad to see this thread still going strong with wonderful memories. Was searching for something uplifting as we lost a couple of 1973 fellow Paly grads past 6 mos or so. Lost couple of family matriarchs Boyett Family and Long Family (moms)passing. Those fabulous estates now up for sale, soon to be developed into several mega Mcmansions I suspect, by the dot com boomers…. Well still residing in Midtown keeping the area in line LOL…. Landscape is changing faster than I had hoped!! cheers David
Hey Andrew, This is Ray Neighbor..the one you voted for in the “Poems of the Road” Contest. Man, your “Profile” picture makes you look very young and handsome. lol. You’re the same age as my wife. I’m 10 years older, and she still looks beautiful. When did being in your 50′s become still young?? lol
Hey Andrew, It may have been Ricks. I remember this guy called Michael Angelo being there all the time. He had Torettes, but no-body knew about that disease at the time. When I first got to Calif, my friend sent me up behind him to get ice cream. I thought I was going to have a heart attack when he started blurting out his words. Today, I’m far more understanding, but it was so new to me back then. New to everyone.
Sorry to hear about the passing of Mrs. Boyett. I saw Dan at the 2008 reunion and he told me her neighbor, Steve Jobs, wanted to buy that property. Don’t know if that will happen now, but you can bet there will be a McMansion on that property some day.
Hi Ray and all, The baby-boomer generation has redefined “old” or even middle-age. Must be the weed that kept us youthful. Actually, just lots of PA water. This falls under the information-overload, but . . . get up at night, pee, drink water x 8 (and 8 hours sleep). Really. The only time it was a problem was in Marine Corps Boot Camp. My hourly head calls really pissed off whoever was on fire watch, especially when we were in those old Qunset huts with no bathroom. Get up, go out the door, walk down the path, to the latrine, then back. “FREEDMAN! What in the —- is your major malfunction?!? And where are you from, anyway?? CALIFORNIA?!?!? Sheesh, one year I’m wearing a black armband at a war protest at Frost Ampletheatre going “Hey man. F— the war, man!” A couple years later, I’m getting my butt kicked by 2 6’2″ recruits with Pugil Sticks (they’re like giant Q-Tips) because the drill instructor wants to see how a 5’7″, 125 pound reacts to a little stress. Andy
I was one of handful of PA kids that went to LA schools. This is a great thread, and it’s been going for so long! I spent years riding bikes the length of Adobe Creek, and some of the local storm drains; riding down the hills around Page Mill (both on grass and pavement). Summers spent digging tunnels in other people’s back yards, endless slot car sessions, way too much time playing with firecrackers and model rockets (and the inevitable outcome- a working bazooka… which could get you in lots of trouble these days!) The day it snowed in ’76- I was sick and had to stay home! :( Skateboarding everywhere. The orchard next to Palo Alto bowl. Dinah’s Shack- all the great old sideboards, and their great buffet. I have fond memories of my grandfather sucking pickled pig’s feet really loudly. Phylis at the Harp. Scrounging through the piles at the dump almost every weekend while my mom read magazines. The Murphys Pizza by Colorado- their pesto pizza was great. The camping section in th Co-op on San Antonio, I remember our number, even though I don’t think I ever used it. Hal’s Music- I used to go in there and drool a lot. Maximart- the last store in the area (to my knowledge) that sold the 28″ tires for my mom’s german bicycle. The Stanford Indians sign at El Camino and Page Mill- but I don’t recall what it was on. The horses at the same intersection. Taking tours of all the HP buildings in the area- back when they actually manufactured gear locally. “I AM PTAH” -our own Egyptian god. So much more…
Since I already said what I remembered (lived here 50+ years) in several posts…. and we are supposed live in the now. What will we remember about present-day Palo Alto 30 years from today? University Avenue ALWAYS alive and happening (when it was basically deadsville for years). PhilZ Coffee (what all my world musician friends want to see). Gryphon (the other thing they want to see… the guitar players anyway). The Dish for some exercise. Stanford Theatre and the Wurlitzer on the weekends for some nostalgia and really cheap popcorn. Whole Foods. Cafe Cuppa. Apple store. Everyone glued to their iPhones. What defines Palo Alto NOW?
Remember the “DON and BRIAN shows at the London House English tea room. right across from the “New’ City Hall.
For Dave of Los Altos (3rd message above) regarding the The Stanford Indians sign at El Camino and Page Mill — way up this thread there’s a reference to “S Burger across the street from Mayfield School that had the Indian head neon light, the Juke box and 19 cent hamburgers” (Oct 30, 2006). As little kids, we called it the cat place, because of all the strays around the dumpster.
Hi all, Just came back to this thread after a few years away — glad to see it’s still going. Great memories! One store I haven’t seen mentioned: a photo developing shop on Loma Verde, just east (on the Peninsula compass — actually NNE) of Middlefield. In the late 60s, early 70s, I took my B&W film there for contact sheets, then learned to make prints at home.
Yes, there used to be a cluster of small industrial businesses there where now the town homes are located. I even remember one of them being a Quonset hut type building.
Hi folks, I just read Dr. Louis Zamvil’s (or Dr. Lu, as I called him) obituary in the San Jose Mercury News. More than anyone else I can think of, Dr. Zamvil is a big part of Palo Alto’s history, as I would estimate that half of those writing here have had him as a pediatrician. He had an office on the corner of Middlefield Road and Loma Verde and from the mid-50’s on, he always kept a bulletin board of pictures of all the children he treated. And some of us were recipients of “house calls,” where he’d come with the black physician bag (enough to scare the influenza out of you). I recall waking up in the ER at Stanford when I was about 13 and asking what was happening. He said, “I’m stitching you up. You were involved in a mini-bike accident.” After the nighttime accident, he came to the scene and helped load me into the ambulance and followed it to the hospital. He is truly one of the greatest pediatricians of all time. Andy
Andy, your ER stories remind me of a RECENT stitching party I had with the head of PAMF Emergency, Dr. DesLauriers. WHAT A GREAT GUY! Everyone from the nurses to X-Ray technicians kept telling me how the department was so great because he set the tone. It turned my accident into fun! However, when I think my own long-time doc, who really was a big part of local history, I think of Dr. Creevy, who saw me through my teen years to my 60s before recently retiring. He led the local Stanford OB-GYN avant-garde. He started the Birth Place in Menlo Park in the 80s. I remember when I was his patient at age 18 folks would say to me… that Wack-O? It turned out he was ahead of his time with natural childbirth, etc. He led the way. I remember going to his offices (around Welch Rd. originally) when he was a young doc, on Lytton when he was so great sharing his practice with nurse practitioners, and then out on Alpine Road at the Country Offices. Dr. Creevy is one of the greatest Stanford OB-GYNS of all time. Thanks for helping me remember and honor him.
Andy, what a great topic and comments!! An absolute flood of memories reading all these responses. I moved to Palo Alto from San Jose in 1957 (age 4) and lived on Oregon, which wasn’t yet an Expressway, same with Foothill – they had yet to remove the railroad tracks. It was a different world: we’d walk to school, then ride our sting-rays all over town, hang at Rinconada, check out reptiles at the Junior Museum/Zoo, buy gum and bird whistles at the toy shop north of Town & Country Shopping center, check out the cool, new slot cars or go to Edy’s for some Monte Cristo sandwiches and real ice cream; listen to some new 45 records in the record store booth; watch the older musicians fool around at Dana Morgan’s then go find some frogs in Adobe Creek. When I got home, mom didn’t raise a fuss, just asked what I’d done all day – no fears, just kids having a blast being kids… I rafted down the creek in 5th grade (Garland) and got an extreme case of poison oak/ivy that kept me out of school for a week. Moved several times, all Eichler homes within the city, ending up at Creekside Apts near Greenmeadow Park. Skateboarded (crappy metal wheels) down the southern on-ramp from San Antonio to the new Central Expressway without major injury! I got to play drums at the Greenmeadow club (switched to guitar in 7th grade) and watched the battles of the bands and ate chow mein at Paly… Learned to swim at Chuck Thompsons, then joined Trident Swim Club and competed all over the state. The Beatles did their last show at Candlestick, next-door neighbor got Paul McCartney’s autograph in the City, and Ricky’s employees were selling square inch pieces of the bedsheets they slept in… My dad changed jobs a lot, so we moved a lot. I would have gone to Wilbur Middle school, but after 6th grade, we moved down to Fresno for 1-1/2 years, then back north to Los Altos and Egan Middle school, then Los Altos High. Still had a lot of friends in Palo Alto, but at that age, you become somewhat territorial. Music became the biggest part of my life and I am blessed to have seen some great acts; Mark Ford Blues Band with Robben on guitar at the Poppycock (or Tangent?) with Rich Ross opening; all the shows at Stanford’s Frost Amphitheater (Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald); the first Be-In at El Camino Park; Santana’s concert at LAHS, The Sons of Champlin at Gunn and of course, the Grateful Dead wherever, whenever I could (Avalon Ballroom, Fillmore Auditorium, then Fillmore West and Winterland. My whole life revolved around Palo Alto and Los Altos until 1971 and then Berkeley started another new chapter. But my fondest memories are those carefree days as a young kid, in a way of life long gone. Thank you again for bringing these memories back to me!
Andy, Just stumbled on this thread and after an hour of enjoyable nostalgia I can’t remember what I was searching for that led me here (thank you Google!). Ah yes, Bernadette! Or Burn-to-Death we’d publicly call her. I think we all had a crush on her but wouldn’t admit it. I may have been on that ride with your brother but time has clouded those details. I remember you from the Hoover years though, as a little brother we’d now politely refer to as a hemorrhoid. @Barney – ahh yes, the music. Son’s of Chaplin for 9th grade graduation @ Wilbur and Tower of Power for Cubberley Graduation at Fiesta Bowl in ’72 (I still have the albums but nothing to play them on). Sneaking into Frost every weekend for Tower of Power, Cold Blood, Dead, Santana, Paul Butterfield, Janis – Brian falling out of the tree onto the stage pretty much ended that (though still saw the Dead there until the late 80′s). Most of all sneaking into see Vince Guaraldi at Butterfield’s in Menlo Park before he died. My kids are going to hate me for finding this thread. They already get too much ‘Why I remember when…..”. ‘Dad, you’re boring!’
Hi BaaBaaRaa, Barney and Bill, I really, really enjoyed reading your posts. They all reactivated some dormant (or early-partied-out) memory brain cells. Do you still play the drums, Barney? (I do, as a hobby and love to put on Santana, Tower of Power, Earth Wind and Fire and do what the drummer does) The creeks, rafts, frogs, CANDY and it was also fun to go to new houses being built and jump off the balcony into the sand pile below. Ah yes, I had a crush on Miss Warewolf – until I had her as a teacher! Ah, where did the love go? I too ended up going to LAH when my parents divorced and my mom remarried. I hung out at what was called “the corner” where we could smoke tobacco and other smokable-type products. “Hey man! Is that a whistle?” When the principal (Mr. Angus) or other administrators made their rounds, you’d have to put out the smokes. It was incumbent upon the lookout to quickly whistle as soon as one was spotted coming towards the corner. The marriage didn’t last long and soon we moved back to PA and I ended up graduating at Gunn. Andy
Just a little suppliment – Maybe it was 1969 when there was a Be-In at El Camino Park with Joan Baez and David Harris speaking out against the Viet Nam War. And I do remember the $3.00 concerts at Frost and folks walking around, “Spare change, man?” They respected the 3 foot high fence but somewhere around 1970 I think, they finally put up a regular size fence. But really – how many folks here rode their Stingreys (or OTHER bikes) down the 60 or so stairs from the top of Frost down to the stage? Remember the concert where the motorcycle cop who in some wierd effort to bust someone ended up crashing his bike near the stage. “Okay, all of you smoking pot – you’re under arrest.” Yep. Andy Freedman
Lived in Palo Alto 1960 to 2010 and these posts bring up many memories…good to read. But, one person said the Cabana Hotel was owned by Debby Reynolds, which is incorrect, as it was Doris Day who was an investor when it opened in 1962. I was one of the screaming teenage girls outside the hotel when the Beatles were there in 1965.
My family moved to Tennessee Lane in 1952 and moved in 1959 to Portola Valley when you didn’t have to be rich to live there. What I remember from the early days are: The Old Barrel! The butcher would give us hot dogs and I spent my allowance on grape gumballs, Lik-M-Aid, red licorice etc. Ventura School and the best 4th grade teacher of all time Mr (William) Bond. The Purity Market in *downtown* South Palo Alto. Monette’s Pet Shop. Being dropped off with friends at the movies (Stanford and Varsity theaters) when I was eight years old. Peninsula Creamery (the original!) Pards burger joint with the Swami Says machines at every table. Mayfield Park (the original on Park Ave- it’s now Robles Park). The flower nurseries in the back of our Eichler. Mamie Eisenhower waving to us from a train during the elections.
I remember the A&W opened across from Herbert Hoover Elementary in 1949. I was in 1st grade and we were allowed to go across Middlefield Rd. and buy great hot dogs and frosted mug “rup beer”. Most of us had no idea about the value of money so we thought that when you bought the root beer, you were also buying the mug and we took the mugs back to school with us. The principal had to make use the PA to let us know that we had to return the mugs. It made me feel like a thief! Later, I believe it was the next year, Herbert Hoover himself came for a visit and we all got to stand in a line and shake his hand.
Margy and Doug, are you related to Bob Olmstead who had a drum and baton studio in a quonset hut on Middlefield Road near Charleston (IIRC)? My cousins, the Overton children, were big into that and were pupils of the school. I hadn’t thought about that studio for a long, long time. Where was the Purity market that you speak of? There was one on California Avenue and one on Middlefield. Andy, you still have a crush on Miss Wyrough and you will until the day you die. Come on, admit it :-P
I lived in south Palo Alto in an Eichler house from 1955 to 1972– my parents still live there. My most vivid memories are of tearing around on our bikes to Midtown to the Variety Store run by the Hamblin brothers where we’d buy candy and trinkets for pennies. And there was Bergmanns, and the hardware store and a little children’s clothing shop where a bunch of us bought my baby sister Tegan some booties right after she was born. And I went to the Wilbur junior high graduation with the Sons of Champlin; in fact, I painted signs with poster paint and butcher paper advertising it to my classmates. Great dance. Does anyone else remember the sock hops at Wilbur on Fridays at noon? They were really fun. And remember when the Mayfield Mall was new? Now it’s some corporate building, right? I can’t believe they closed so many schools in our neighborhood — Ortega, Wilbur, and Ross Road.
I remember when my elementary school El Carmelo had that explosion and we all had to go to Fairmeadow for I guess about a year. My Mom would go to Bergman’s to buy material and patterns for our clothes. I took dancing lessons from “Art Linkletter” and that cute pink van would pick me up and take me home. I had a crush on my art teacher at Wilbur.. Mr. Robinson. My favorite teacher at Cubberly was Mrs. Johnson (she taught english). Hated those blue P.E. uniforms and hated when we were made to swim in the rain. Loved to play on the bear statue at Mitchell park. Would ride my bike to the Lucky’s on Alma. Still love listening to my Dad tell his stories about Palo Alto back in his day (horse and buggy literally) he’s lived there since 1918.
Hi TerryN, Tom C, Chris (Paly 73), Margy Hood Olmstead, Tamis R, Doug Olmstead and pa since 1960, and all, I think that was me that got confused with Debby Reynolds and Doris Day (the latter being one of the investors – I think she referred to the waterfall statue of women in a not-so-nice way – tramps). All of us kids waited at the corner of Middlefield Road and Wellsbury Way and saw the limos going by that carried the Beetles. Was it really true that someone scaled the outside wall of the Cabana Hotel in an effort to get a closer look at the Beetles? Margy and Doug – I lived a few houses down from the former principal of Cubberly on Cherry Oak and Arastradero. I’m the one who lived in Annette LaFosse’s cottage for about 15 years and played the drums to first records and then CD’s. When you drive by her former house and notice all the big and tall trees I’d like to think that I contributed to their boldness because every Saturday, I’d spend a couple hours watering them. If anyone drives by and looks, besides the huge maple tree, there are twin Redwood trees further back that are about 3 stories tall. Also, some folks may remember her store (it was her father and mother’s store before they passed) – it was call LaFosse Music Shop. It’s now a driveway between Taco Bell (closed up) and the Green Mail Service. The palm tree is still there. When Annette and her brother sold all the property after their mom died, I helped Annette move everything from the shop to the garage on Cherry Oak and Arastradero. We took EVERYTHING (yes, the kitchen sink and long counter from the shop) – Her kids and I moved almost everything and there were just a few items that she put under the Palm tree of things she didn’t want (like only 4 things). I use to say as a kid, my name’s Andy and I like Candy. Dr. Levin, our family dentist, had a field day with me. “Back then,” a quarter would get you tons of candy (isn’t that interesting how when we were kids, “old folks” would tell us what they’d get for a quarter – tons of candy AND a movie. Doug, was the original Herbert Hoover just that old 4-room building that stood inside of the L-shaped school? Your post also reminded me of a contraption that was sold to make a Root beer float (a plastic ball-shaped thing that split in have – to put the ice cream in, then close and it had holes at each end – to put a straw through. You put that contraption in the glass filled with Root Beer. Tom, Tower of Power played at Saint Francis in Los Altos in I think 1972, when their hit song, Sparking in the Sand came out (East Bay Grease Album). We were listening to it on KLIV as we drove to the concert at Saint Francis (I think the tickets were $4.50). Sparking in the Sand was a long song, like MacArthur Park, so it had to be really good in order for DJ’s to play it. TerryN, Didn’t Mr. Robinson dress in a “mod” fashion. I recall he was pretty popular with the girls. I’ll recall his name if someone remembers it, but we’d be standing on the footprints for PE in those uniforms (red and white short pants) and that person (he was friends with Ian Frasier?) would come behind you and pull down your pants (that is, if you were smaller than him). Kind of embarrassing, especially if you weren’t wearing everything you should have underneath it. Tamis R, Yes, the Mayfield Mall – with Cost Plus, etc. Tisn’t a real man, or woman, of Palo Alto that didn’t bike to Mayfield Mall and either shoplifted or “toyed” with the thought of shoplifting. Hewlet Packard bought it and just recently, the new owners got approval from both Mountain View and Palo Alto to turn it into housing. I can’t recall if it will be mixed use with a little retail and commercial, but more housing in big chunks does alarm the neighbors, as it means more traffic and more parking issues (in addition to more aging infrastructure use). Chris, yes, you know it – still have a little crush on Miss Wyrough (hey, promise that I won’t raid the grave) Andy
Does anybody remember an outfit called Colonial Bakery which had a fleet of trucks with horns that played a musical tune? They carried a bread that was made with sugar and molasses which I thought was icky but my mother loved it. We’re talking 1950s (and probably earlier) until the early ’60s. Andy, you’re thinking of the Fizz-Nik!Web Link It was marketed by 7-Up. The Astro Float was the Coca Cola version. BTW, I think there was a reason Miss Wyrough was “Miss” presumably until the day she died. You’re a smart guy; I know you get my drift.
Andy, I think you’re right about the original Hoover school building, that dinky thing they built the rest of the school around. The new portion had the same cookie-cutter architecture as so many other PAUSD schools. Noted Palo Alto architect Birge Clark designed Wilbur so it’s conceivable that he was involved with the other schools that look like that. The classrooms had those high transom windows so the kids couldn’t escape ;-) Who remembers Southern Pacific’s Lark and Daylight trains with their sleek bullet-nose locomotives? I think they both used to stop at Palo Alto. The southbound trains originated in San Francisco and stopped in Palo Alto and San Jose on their way to that far-away land, Los Angeles.
Chris, I remember those trains, especially the Daylight because of the colors. My friend and I would climb the backyard fence when we heard the trains coming so we could catch a look. My parents house was on Emerson backing up toward Alma. After they built the apartments on Alma we could no longer see the trains.
Curtis – I was your friend and neighbor on Emerson Street back in the 50s. Remember Chuck, Vincent and Chris Hitt? I hadn’t posted on this blog for a long time and was just curious – and saw your post! I remember the delicious red velvet cake that your mom made. And how your dad loved to watch those crazy wrestlers on tv. Lots of fond memories. Craig and Rhonda Clark. Maxie. Jill Smith. Theresa Phillips. Lynne Edgar.
Christine, Of course I remember you and your family! I think the last time I saw you was when you moved to Wilmar about 45 years ago. I won’ ask you for any contact info on this forum, but if you would like to call, I’m in the book. I would enjoy catching up!
Yes Chris, when I started Herbert Hoover in 1948, the old wooden building was flanked on one side by a two room addition. The other wing was added a couple of years later. Did you go through that phase where you would place coins on the railroad track and let the trains flatten them for you? It was a thrill, as a 12 year old kid go down to the PA tree railroad bridge at the end of Alma, and lay in the crease of the iron supports and have a train go by less than a foot from your head! Wow, what fun!
Yes, we used to squish pennies and old batteries on the railroad tracks. The trains would flatten them but good. Never had a train go by less than one foot from my head, though — I wasn’t that daring. We had a classmate who got stuck in the railroad trestle once. Firefighters got him out by pouring salad oil on him. The picture of him that appeared in the Palo Alto Times as he was stuck in the trestle was a source of embarrassment, I’m sure.
I was just reading these posts and recall the times we put pennies on the tracks. Shoot, I don’t even know if I should write this, it’s a little sad but it does involve someone, who like many other Palo Altans before they were all priced out, was part of our culture and yet I didn’t know him before he went to Viet Nam. Maybe one of you reading this did. I met him when my girlfriend at the time work for what I’ve written before to be the very last of Palo Alto’s hole-in-the-wall-dives – Jackie’s (on Alma and Lytton). His name was Roy Klingman, and along with some of the Merry Pranksters, would hang out at Jackie’s (she, Jackie, was smart – developers wanted to buy her place, but before she sold, she turned the dive into a fantastic place called Jackie’s Ribs (the best take-out ribs in Palo Alto) – and then she sold. Anyway, Roy was a 100% service connected veteran and the doctors would prescribe Tawin (spelling) a strong pain med, for him to keep seeing the shrinks – it was the only way he would get treatment. He was also a junkie. But Roy had a big heart. He had long, straggly brown hair and a ruddy face and sometimes he’d be pretty out of it, but other times, he’d surprise the hell out of you because you didn’t know he was that bright. But it was the last two posts that reminded me – It was very close to El Palo Alto and underneath the railroad tracks where the down and outers lived in the 70s and early 80s. Most were left over from the 60s. In the summertime, it was like living in an outdoor house. The folks down there had discarded sofas, coffee tables, atamans, if they had electricity, it probably would have seemed like a living room with a nice lamp or two (I say, would you please pass me the evening newspaper, after I secure my spectacles) But one afternoon, I saw a picture in the Peninsula Time’s Tribune. It showed the Palo Alto Fire Department bringing up a man on a stretcher from the creek underneath El Camino Real. The details were sketchy but it mentioned Roy Klingman and that he was taken to Stanford ER. It had been a few years since I had seen him, so I drove to Stanford Hospital and was directed to the IICU (Intermediate Intensive Care Unit). There was a nurse by the bedside and I asked if I could talk to Roy. Of course, she said. I began to speak, but then I looked closer at Roy. His eyes were open and he had some kind of weird thing sticking out of his head (it reminded me of one of those old meat thermometers. It then dawned on me that he could not hear me, there was no reaction and no movement to his body. Roy was all but dead. His mom and sister came that evening and had him taken off life support. Maybe some folks reading this new of Roy and could fill in some of the details about him. But, as mentioned, he and the others at Jackie’s were certainly a part of Palo Alto. Andy
Andy – I hadn’t looked at this thread in a while, and was interested to read your comments about an interesting character about town. It was very kind of you to try to check on the fellow in ICU, and I’m sorry it ended up so traumatic. But it made me remember another individual. Another unusual character you used to see around downtown Palo Alto was a guy wearing a black beret named (I think) Joseph Sheridan – he was quite elderly in the 1960s. I never saw him drive, but you would often see him walking around downtown Palo Alto. I don’t know where he lived. But my mom knew him from somewhere, probably the West Bay Opera… Mom was active in the guild and was president at least one year. I remember Joseph was very much interested in the Opera, and helped them (The Guild, that is) one year by doing caricature sketches at one of their benefit parties, with a French theme. The party was at the Adobe Creek Lodge, probably in 1967 or 1968. I was in high school, and I played piano for some of the soloists at the party, and while I wasn’t playing, I helped Joseph manage his clients and collected donations for the pictures. I was wearing a black beret myself that night to fit in with the theme, and I had people asking me to sketch them as well, to whom I would explain that I could play the piano, but couldn’t draw a straight line! Joseph did a picture of me that night which I think I still have around somewhere.
Hi Bill P, After reading your post, I did a quick Google search of Joseph Sheridan and found a website of artists and it had a bibliography of this gentleman. It even has a pretty good picture of him, too. But to read more of his bibliography, one has to have a paid subscription. He sounds like a very interesting person. Although it states that he was broke, folks helped him out and in return, he painted portraits of their family. I wish I could read the whole story. I’m going to see if I can post his picture in this paloaltoonline website in the pictures area. Anyway here’s the link:Web Link BIOGRAPHY for Joseph Sheridan Facts/Data Birth 1897 (Quincy, Illinois) Death 1971 (Fresno, California) Lived/Active Pennsylvania/California Subject to Copyright Often Known For abstraction, graphics, sculptor Discussion Board Would you like to discuss this artist? AskART Discussion Boards (6 Active) The following, submitted January 2005, is from Joyce Tostenson. Joseph M. Sheridan was a friend of my mother, Pearl S. Howatt, now deceased. He walked into her restaurant one day in 1962 and ask for a cup of coffee. He had no money for food. She not only fed him but she allowed him to live in her home for quite a while. My closest recollection was that it was only in 1962. During that time I commissioned Joseph to paint a picture of each of my three children and one for myself. Of co (showing 500 of 7661 characters).
Was so bummed to see what WASN’T there anymore…just in the 7 years since I was last in Palo Alto….seeing no more Sears almost made me physically ill….
After reading this entire thread I can only say that has been therapeutic. It’s as if I had been in a trance for 40 years and just woken up. I found it while searching to see if I could find out who my 5th grade Greendell teacher was, back in 1967. It’s hard to put into words just what happened after leaving Cubberley, and now. But it is really refreshing to remember things long forgotten. Monkeys in store windows was one of them. And I thought I was the only one scavenging Harvey’s gum. And I couldn’t for the life of me over these years remember what the name of that company was. After reading the stories here, I have to admit that a change has come over me. Instead of lamenting a loss, I now realize the good fortune of having had such fantastic experiences. I spent a lot of time riding the hills above Palo Alto. Page Mill to Skyline. Old La Honda to Skyline, and down Kings Mountain Road. These are classics by anyone’s standards. I’m currently living in Mendocino. I moved here for the phenomenal mountain biking. Does anyone remember the old “blind” gardener who wore what looked like welding glasses? He had a small three wheeled vehicle, and worked around the Garland and Middlefield area around 1961. I saw him stuck under the Oregon Expressway underpass in the 70′s, and helped to push his cart up the hill never to be seen again. Harry’s hardware. Or what about Brad Light and his ten foot high bicycle. He rode it around town wearing a lab coat. Carlos Santana tuning up his Harley. He lived next door to a friend, in an Eichler behind Cubberley. I remember having a year of Sr. Borja at Wilbur. More than once he got up on the tables with his castinettes, and danced around. Mr. Rayner blasting the girls in the front row of his science class with the CO2 extinguisher. That happened quite often. Phew. One of my favorites was Mr. Hornbeck directing the marching band through the parking lot, to the green light, and then out onto Middlefield and through some back streets near Cubberley. That’s how quiet the town was back in 1973-4. I remember riding bikes up to the Stanford Intelligence Center. They had great games. We got to play the original prototype of Asteroids. What about the huge white footprints on the streets all over town. The wildest group I knew was the Camenzind boys who got a hold of gelamite. They blew whole rows of lockers off the walls at Cubberley. Or the time they sent up the oxy/acetylene balloons at the football games. Probably the single most dangerous thing I’ve ever witnessed. They rocked the whole bay area. I’m really glad I found this webpage. But I still don’t know who my fifth grade teacher was. Cheers.
Andy – thanks for looking up Joseph – I had looked around and found it also, but I wasn’t sure it was the same guy. That picture would certainly have been when he was much younger than when I met him in the 60s, but I can see similarities even from my fairly dim memories of him. Our paths only crossed that once to really speak, but it was interesting to have the opportunity to meet him. Gregg K – was the game you played at Stanford AI lab actually spacewar or asteroids? I played spacewar up there in the 68/69 timeframe, but they may have had some additional ones in the 70s. Large round DEC display. You controlled the ships with little button boxes with 4 buttons – rotate left, rotate right, thrusters, and shoot.
Bill, It was Asteroids. They had a few monster crt’s. The part that was cool was that you had the option of having more than one sun. It made the game far more interesting.
Anyone know what happened to the wonderful photographer, Lee Reeves, who had his studio just around a corner off University Avenue, upstairs? He was responsible for some of the photographs in the Midpeninsula Free University’s paper, The Free You, among lots of other stuff. I wish I had some of the photos he took back in the 60s. I saw some of his incredible artwork recently at a friend’s cabin in Tahoe.
I, too, have been wondering for years what happened to Lee Reeves! I actually still have a photo of Jerry G. and a friend that he took- its not in the best shape- but its one of my favorite photos taken back then. It was taken at one of those first be-ins at little El Camino Park in Palo Alto. I’m pretty sure it was one of the times Timothy Leary was doing his thing for the crowd…the Dead had played and we were all standing around behind him- snickering, actually! Leary was waaaaay too serious for that particular day- we were pretty much having too much fun…if ya get my drift. Well- I’ve tried googeling Lee but can’t figure out if the names that come up are him or not. Hopefully someone reading this will have some info. He was a great photographer.
Hi Margaret, I was at those first be-ins at the little triangular park. I only remember the colorfulness of it all… and the fun, the dancing. I think I went to the Be-Ins with Tenny Lyons. I tried to find Lee too because he has some photos of me that I told him I didn’t really have a place to keep them back then. There are so few photos of my friends and me from that era since we were more into experiencing things than photographing them…. I found Lee when I googled him a year or two ago, only the links led nowhere. Yes, hopefully someone will have some info, or maybe Lee himself will find this. He WAS a great photographer and a very sweet guy.
Googling Palo Alto to show my 12 year old something and came across this. Too funny! Taking drum lessons in a strange metal building near the Mormon Church. I don’t remember the teachers name but he used the Beatle’s Revolver album for introductory lessons. Playing German vs American with the cool model tiger tanks we bought at the hobby shop at San Antonio and not having a clue why our Jewish friend’s parents were upset. Coach Shultz teaching us to square dance. Pimping Old English 800 from 2 derelicts who used to hang out near the Lucky’s. For each six pack they bought us 8th graders they’d take 1 for themselves. An incredible bargain! Eric Ford’s Halloween setup
Hi Ely Place, Your post got my imagination churning: If you could imagine the opening day of the new Stanford Hospital (1962?) and could imagine someone pulling some string to lift up the curtain from the entire hospital, then, imagine the look of horror on all the attendees when they saw what looked like a whole bunch of swastikas surrounding the facade of the new building. That’s just the imaginative scenario. I’m pretty sure that wasn’t how it went down. But really: in paying homage to the native Indians that lived right in Palo Alto, they used one of their symbols that represented peace, but, unfortunately, it resembled more of a swastika. Anyway, I’m not quite sure (but someone cans Google the story), they added an extra brick to each figure to take the Nazi out of it. Also, I do remember that corregated Quansit-style building on Middlefield Road. I didn’t know that they also taught drums there. I took lessons from Rick Herns and recall saying that when I can do this paricular song by Chicago (Goodby), I’ll really be a drummer. The timing was far from 4/4; it was 7/8. Rick did everything he could, including him either riding the symble or playing the snare, but I just could do it. After he left, I went on for another 3 hours trying to get it, AND FINALLY DID!! I think I called him at 2:00am and yelled out, “Hey Rick! I got it. I got it!! (click) Take care, Just me – Andy
We were all proud of ourselves if we could pound out the drum parts in “Wipeout” on the desktop in class.
I’m looking for information on a place called “The Full Circle”. It was a bar/lounge, possibly on El Camino Real. Anyone remember it?
Hello Mr. Angus (and Lee B below) – I couldn’t find any reference (on Google) to this in our area. What years do you recall that it operated and could it have been in Mountain View or Los Altos? Also, when I went to Los Altos High for a couple years, our principal was Dude Angus. I recall speaking with him many years later when I had worked at Lytton Gardens when he was visiting someone, and it was a great experieince speaking with him as an adult (as opposed to one of hard knocks student at LAH). Any relation? Also, could The Full Circle have operated in a hotel (like Cabana) or was it a stand alone place? Let me know. Andy Freedman PS: Lee B – Why is it that our teachers could not appreciate the tallent behind our desktop drumming to In da Godda da Vida (or Whipeout)?
Hey Andy. I’m sure it was a mystery to me at the time. Ok, I knew I was making life difficult for them. I greatly depended on the kindness of teachers, as I imagine that you may have too.
Hi Lee, Your post reminded me of Miss Wyrough when she’d “ask” me to “be quiet!!” Without too much kindness, she’d remind the class that, if you’re Juli Andrews (the Sound of Music), you could open you mouth all you want because each time that happens, she’s making millions of dollars (whereas each time we’d either be talking of using our desks as a Roger’s with memory lock drum set). Which reminds me of a travel reminder I heard – Is it going to be busy with the Homeland Security at the Airport this weekend? Well, put it this way, “If your first name is Mohammed, but your last name isn’t Ali, well, there’ll be a long wait.” Andy
Yes! I remember the Purity Market in the OLD days–my parents were members of the Co-op Store too. That was back in the days when Mitchell Park had those awesome pedal cars that you could drive on a cement roadway and through tunnels–great fantasy for kids! Do you remember the KiddieLand mini-amusement park next to Town & Country? I totally miss the nightclubs, Sophie’s / Keystone Palo Alto. How exciting to see mega-stars like Blondie and Tom Petty and 23-year-old George Thorogood getting their start!
Not directly related to Palo Alto, this treasure is worth watching:Web Link This is an early episode from 1960, taped one day in advance of air, before they had a “City Council” of approximately 20 bay-area kids.
Hi Chris (and all), If you remember Mayor Art, you probably remember Captain Satilite. Both had slight mean streaks in them that came out from time to time when the kid(s) didn’t say or do what they expected. JonaDenzHamilton – I do recall the Town and Country Hay Rides AND the train that circled the entire property (if I recall correctly, after a death on the tracks, they closed it up). Who knows how someone could have gotton fatally injured, or maybe it was a very small toddler that somehow walked in front of the train. ——– Bunbuster – that was the 2nd or 3rd name to (was it?) Emerson Street Bar and Grill: Anyway, my drum teacher, Terry Carlton, was a star and in addition to studio work and multiple bands, I recall that they had him featured in the front window and it would cause long lines of folks trying to get in. ——- Holiday Inn and the Garden something (?). While working full time at the VA, I tried working f/t at their resturaunt. I did the room service. After a few months, I had enough money but never any time to spend it and was chronically tired. Using some “props” from work, I came in the day before Thanksgiving with a “prop” doctor note, prop cast and crutches. I wanted off for a week. I made a miraculous recovery but Karma did me in: Two weeks later, I showed up to work with a real cast, crutches and note, I was really hit by a car. Anyway, when I came back to work for them they said I had been fired. Why? Too accident prone. Andy Freedman
Hi Eric (and all), I do recall the Pudleys on University Ave. I had a special nick name for that place, but, being that I don’t want to get censored, I’ll leave it to the imagination of the reader here. They served beer in really tall glasses, as I recall. Does anyone here recall Jackie’s (where my girlfriend at the time worked)? As mentioned before, it was situated on the corner of Lytton and Alma. Recall, there was a big field (undeveloped parcel) around there, too. Like Zot’s (Alpine Inn?), it had a “backyard” so to speak. Butt back to Bunbuster’s (formally Emerson Street Bar and Grill). Whoever named it must have been very innocent and was merely thinking, “Hmmmm. We have the biggest and best hamburgers so I’ll name it ‘Bunbusters’” Andy
My memories: Sitting in El Camino Park (across form Stanford Shop. Ctr.) listening to a free Grateful Dead concert (before there were Deadheads) and Timothy Leary (he actually said, “Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out”). He was probably in his 40′s at the time but told us all not to trust anyone over 29 as they were virtually “prehistoric”. Going to the Tangent and seeing amazing folk giants and people destined to become famous one day (Jerry Garcia taught guitar at Dana Morgan downtown then!). Riding that hay wagon with the huge draft mules and having Joe Greer (yes of the Greer family who were historic Palo Altans) driving it. He was a cool and very gnarly looking guy. Ketchum’s Pizza at T and C………..probably my first pizza ever. Playing in the fields around San Francisquito Creek and befriending hobos or bums that lived in the creek (they weren’t so dangerous in those days or at least we didn’t think of them as dangerous!). Riding my bicycle to Whisky Gulch for a Harry’s hamburger (this was before McDonalds). We thought that Harry’s was amazing! Great french fries and chili there too. Seeing a Cadillac nose down in the creek and one of my brother’s friends Mom standing next to it in her fur coat…….apparently smashed but uninjured! Watermelon day at the school playgrounds during the summers. See spitting contests and all you could eat watermelon. Invitations from the Rinconada Station firemen to have some spaghetti with them in the firehouse when we didn’t have a dime to call our moms and we would ask to use their phone. They were always so kind to us kids! Swimming every afternoon during the summer at Rinconada Park. Having my Dad push me so high on the swings that I thought I was going to go over the top! The “Corset Shop” on the corner of Waverley and University where we all got our first bras. We hated the old ladies who insisted on coming in to see if our AAA bras (they called them “training bras” and I don’t know what our breasts were being trained to do but I would guess it was to grow!) were proper fit! We were so embarassed. This was the 50′s and I remember that girls wore girdles (can you believe?) at Jordan Jr. High. What a trip! Girdles! So many more things to remember but I’ll have to save those memories for a different time.
So many great memories of the past. My family arrived in Palo Alto late 1969 so that is as far back as I go. Some things have gotten worse, some things have gotten better. One thing I was lucky enough to remember and know was the last year the old Paly buildings were standing. It was over my high-schools years that the “new” buildings became active and they started to decommission and tear down the old stuff. Now, those old buildings were pretty nice. They did get hot in the summer and cold in the winter, and the occasional bird or bee would fly in through the window, but in my opinion the old buildings were much better than the new ones, and I bet they last longer too. Palo Alto Online ought to make a permanent place for people to write down their memories of Palo Alto before it all disappears. For example, the question above about Hobee’s did not get answered … the questioner was not asking the about the Town & Country Hobee’s but about the one on El Camino that had the old bar in it. I should remember this, but I have no idea. So many things disappear and you don’t even realize they are gone or that your forgot them or that you ever cared about them.
Does anyone remember the bar 42nd Street … with the stained glass dome and the pulley system driving the fans? I think it’s a restaurant now. There was the University Creamery that was open 24 hours on University … not sure where it was now. There was Macheesmo Mouse, a kind of buffet style put it together yourself Mexican style health food restaurant. Then the one I really miss a lot, Pizza-A-Go-Go, that had the best pizza around in a kind of “mod” surfing setting. Sad that the Liddicoats building is gone to be replaced by the huge glass sound cage of the Apple store.
When I was all growed up and working in the TV bidness in San Francisco, I got to know both Captain Satellite (Bob March) and Jack Hanson, both really nice guys in person. Never got to meet Marshal J, Mayor Art, Sir Sedley or Pat McCormick, though. Oh well.
I still have an autographed photo of Captain Satellite from meeting him at Santa’s Village summer of ’59. That Fall I began kindergarten with Miss Mackenzie. Doesn’t seem very long ago, just as it didn’t seem very long ago to my grandparents when telling me about life before automobiles, home telephones, or indoor plumbing. What will kids growing up today be telling their grandchildren later this century about everyday life in 2013?
Hi Musical and Chris (and all), One thing we had here in Palo Alto while growing were tons of home (and offices) building sites. In fact (probably repeating myself), right adjacent to my street off Middlefield Road between Loma Verde and Colorado, Wellsbury Way, they built an entire block of both single family homes and one apartment. “Back then” (said in a raspy “old man” voice), there were no fences put around the sites, so for kids, it made for fun and excitement when after hours or on weekends, we’d “tour” through the half built homes or jump from the incomplete 2nd stories onto sand piles below (Towel Street). Also, back then, popular were pump air rifles (they didn’t shoot anything, but made noise), TV shows like “Combat!” with Vic Morrow, combined with the trenches for water and sewer lines made for almost authentic “war.” Of course, in war, if it didn’t end with an unconditional surrender, it certainly ended when we pulled out the grenades (aka, dirt clods) and someone took a direct hit, causing them to cry. That was the que for all of us to disperse to the winds before the commanding officer, mother of the child, came out to put those kids on report. Just me, Andy (hee hee)
Lived in the house on Kingsley built in 1903 for Stanford Professor Slonaker. (415) DA6-8408 My parents bought the home for about $31K. Went to Addison (juice bars were a nickel one day a week). I used to detour home by the Channing Market for candy. Then Jordan (used to race Mr. Currier up Middlefield trying not to be late). Paly was short walk across the tracks. My great-grandfather, Paul Downing, and much of his family lived in PA many years back. He played football with his brother on Stanford’s first team….Herbert Hoover was team manager (aka the waterboy). Downing house still stands across from Forest Towers. My great aunt Martha Downing Parks lived in a small home on Homer. Apartments there now, next to a small alley, Downing Lane. But her house was on an oversized lot with another house behind it. She rented the back house to an older couple, the Bruntons. The 2 houses had that “old house” smell. When Aunt Martha passed, we cleaned out her stuff and found some really cool things…I got her cigarette lighter. We found two 5-dollar gold pieces holding up her windows in the front room. Dad confiscated them. Memories (perhaps not mentioned before): That left turn from Embarcadero onto Kingsley (it’s blocked off now). And Melville crossed Embarcadero in a 6-way intersection with Bryant. There were a few accidents there….one when a car ended upside-down on the sidewalk. After that, the PA police waited on their Harley trikes on that little piece of Kingsley off of Alma. They’d pull over speeders coming out of the underpass. Chickens in our backyard (hens only; roosters weren’t allowed). A neighbor behind us on Whitman Court had a pony for a short time. People burning their garbage. The elderly woman next door, Mrs. Miller, told us not to burn on Tuesdays (or was it Thursday?) because that was laundry day with her clothes hanging out to dry. We started going to the dump, just to look for treasures. I first had a PA Times route “Cougar-1″ in my neighborhood. Later, Larry Wong graduated Paly and gave me “Eagle 27″, the Channing House and Forest Towers. What a sweet deal….~75 customers, no rubber bands, no wax on rainy days. But collecting was tough, ’cause so many residents were lonely and wanted to talk when I came to get their payment. “Such a nice young man. Come in for some cookies.” It took hours each month, but the food and tips were great. Emil Molinari (nicknamed Baloney) in his produce truck never going over 30mph. He loved kids and always gave us something extra to snack on…… All us kids playing in the street, never worrying about safety. We rode our bicycles everywhere….yeah that ride to Foothill Park on a 3-speed Schwinn was tough going up, but what a blast coming down. We didn’t need no stinkin’ helmets. When I got my first 10-speed (a Huffy Mark 10) we’d ride out to Woodside and pretend we were in the Tour de France. Neighbors talking across the fence ALL the time. Boy Scouts (Troop 48) at the Lutheran Church on [email protected] (watched the Channing House being built and thinking, omigawd that’s huge). Spiro’s Sports Shop in Town and Country. Merner Lumber store on Embarcadero, just north of T&C. The huge cat that slept on the train layout in the window at the Hobby House on Forest. Buying my first Heathkit at Zacks, then listening to “Dreadful Mysteries” on KGO Saturday nights, hosted by Claude the Magnificent (a vampire). Turns out that voice was Jim Dunbar. Charlie M., Ken M. and I would talk about the Black Museum and Secrets of Scotland Yard and The Scarlet Pimpernel all the time. Oh, the PA guy that ran for president every 4 years was George Rivard. He had a station wagon with a megaphone on top and he would cruise streets spewing some diatribe. His son was in school with us for a while. I felt kinda sorry for him. Anyway, thanks everyone for the memories. My parents sold the house in ’77. Dad and Mom couldn’t stand to see the changes to their beloved town. They complained that no one was talking to their neighbor any more. Everyone was too busy. And they couldn’t safely ride a bike across town….too many cars and too many highly-caffeinated drivers. Sadly, they was right. But that’s progress…………….But oh my, I feel very lucky to be a part of those times.
Musical Memories in Palo Alto schools: There was All-City Band practice at Cubberley when I was in 5th and 6th grade. Jordan’s 1965-66 school orchestra was voted best in California by the California Music Educators Association (CMEA). We traveled to Santa Barbara to give a command performance. Dr. Tom Gray was the driving force behind us. He went on to be music director for the entire PAUSD. Paly’s Marching Band was the Guest-Host Band in Disneyland for their 1968 Christmas Parade down Main Street. And the entire Paly music department traveled to British Columbia to perform in Penticton and Vancouver for their Victoria Day Celebration. Paly’s Stage Band cut an album as well as hosting a “Young at Heart” dinner dance for parents and grandparents. We had the old folks were trippin’ the light fantastic that night. A bunch of good talent given some great opportunity. Part of the reason Palo Alto schools were so good.
Hi Peter K, You’re post was utterly fantastic and it was such an enjoyable reading. It also brought back memories (the still-empty lot on El Camino near Arastradero – an old man lived there and had chickens and roosters, too. One day, on a bike ride from Midtown, I went up there and asked him if I could have a chicken. He asked why and I told him I wanted a chicken as a pet) But being a sub for a couple friends who had paper routes (both PA Times and the Chronical), I recall how our own paperboy (Armstrong?) would come once a month for collection). “Start folding” – my friends older brother had a route and if we were dumb enough to go to his house at about 3:30, we’d have to fold and rubberband the papers. Hope to read more of your memories! Andy
The Palo Alto Times published a huge edition (~170 pages) every Thanksgiving….All the Christmas shopping ads. Paperboys (we were called “carrier-dealers” in those days) dreaded that edition. So I had a friend sub for me once on Thanksgiving Day when I had the C-1 route. He never offered to sub ever again. Guess I could’ve warned him……nah!
Hi Pete K I have to respond and if (first name deleted from privacy sake) Moore ever reads this, I hope that memory doesn’t upset him. He had the Chronicle and as you would know from morning routes, Sunday was a BIG day. Not only did the paperboy have to fold and rubber band very thick papers (your hands would be red from rubber bands breaking and snapping the back of your hand), you also had to put together each separate section. Sometimes the extra sections came a little later. Anyway, Sunday was my first day of substituting. I had already gone with Mike about 4 times to remember the houses. One house had a window on the second story occupied by a “noise-sensitive” old geezer (I may be an old geezer myself). Mike told me to never, ever make any noises, not even the slight noise of breaking my bicycle if I was near his house. Anyway, at 7:00am, my older brother wakes me up and asked if I was supposed to be doing the route. Sh–! DANG!! I quickly got dressed, hopped on my bike, picked up my friend, Paul, to help me and when we got to Mike’s house, the manager had already put together and banded the papers. Oh yes. He was NOT TOO HAPPY. When we came to that house with the noise-sensitive man, at the top of my lungs I began singing a band-marching tune. Until that time, I had never heard all the cuss words he offered up – until my Marine Corps boot camp. In addition to the ugly flow of cuss words coming out his window, he called in a complaint. Good thing Mike had paid me in advance. I really screwed up that day. But I did a good job the rest of the week, but that Sunday – Geeeeez. Andy
Grew up in Adobe Meadows … -Kiddy cars at Mitchell Park with their own garages -The 5 & Dime on Colorado where 7-eleven now sits -Snack bar at Rinconada Pool -PARD event where we released balloons at all the schools in town on the same night -Penny carnivals -Smoker’s hill at Wilbur -The Little League double diamond field at Veteran’s -hay rides and go carts at Town and Country -summer rec swim at Cubberly pool (now a parking lot)
Hi Eric and all, I’m reading your post and wanted to comment – It reminded me of the present 7-11. It used to be an old building with creeking wooden plank floors. It was called The Variety Store. They sold, among other things, coins (you could flip through a thick binder thing), toys and candy. It wasn’t a well-lit place, a little dark. The recreation deparment event that you wrote about – the balloon release – I recall that they also gave you an index card to write a message and request that whoever finds it sends it to the address listed on the card. And that Penny Carnival (the proceeds helped fund the summer rec dept’s summer events at all the elementary school) had all the usual things, like, that thing where someone sits on a chair above a small water pool and the chair releases if someone throws a ball at the bull’s eye of the target) and they even put on a play. But the best part of the rec dept was when they’d combine about half of all the dept’s venues to take part in an all day and all night event at the Lucile Stern Center. In the evening (after a day of sports activities and then a campfire with roasting marshmellows), we’d converge in the fenced-fenced off “backyard” area with our sleeping bags and our parents would pick us up at 7:30am. The Hill at Wilbur – in addition, all the smokers would converge at about 1/2-hour before class at the BB-Q area. On cold mornings we’d light a fire in the BB-Q to keep warm while smoking our cigs. Does anyone remember, or was part of, the “big bust” at the Hill in, I think, 1969? Just me – Andy
Hobee’s bar was the Lan-i-drac, cardinal spelled backward. I delivered the Palo Alto Times there for a year
The very first Round table Pizza on University Ave, # 3(?) on California Avenue. Apple Pie High at Paly. The Cheese House at Town and Country, I stopped in on a recent visit, the shop has changed, but the sandwhiches are still great. The Purity Market on California becoming a concert venue, Ricky Nelson played there, my parents wouldn’t let me go… The Open House Market, on ElCamino, near California Ave, it had a great lunch counter. Mayfield Elementary School, we were transferred to Escondido at Stanford for 6th grade when they closed it down. I remember the huge May Day Celebrations we had there. So much more, I will continue another time… Thanks for the memories.
> Apple Pie High at Paly. > The Cheese House at Town and Country, Me too. That seems like a thousand years ago not to mention many changes the balance of which did not change things for the better – hard to perceive even any continuity except in the names and some of the buildings or locations, not much in what made Palo Alto what it was to those who lived there at that time. Did you ever go to Channing Market? Biograph Theater? Did you ever have a copper Varsity Dollar? Or go hike out to the end of either or turns on the walkways at the Baylands before they were closed off and fell apart?
Hello Everyone, Just a little nothing about something or something about nothing. Maybe some of you have already gone through this – leaving the city that has been nothing short their 3rd parent so to speak. I’m not going to get into how things have changed, if they really have. Between being a real old timer and simply an old timer in Palo Alto, I could not have asked for a better upbringing, parents, friends, schools and all the other resources available here. Not saying that Palo Alto was a totally perfect community (I had a couple demented teachers, but I still learned from them, nevertheless). You know you’re getting old when you feel you have to say that, “when I were a kid . . .” Handmade halloween treats, Riding as far as you could when your training wheels came off your bike. Recalling I Love Lucy on the very few days you stayed home sick from school (that may seem trivial but there’s something more to it: Even though I Love Lucy was on (I’m speaking during the summer time, you only remember watching it when you stayed home sick from school – because in the summer time, you could not wait to get up, eat a bowl of cereal, and go out and play with your friends, While folks “now-a-days” are almost always connected to all those plastic devises (that is, those Eye-things and phones), even though our equivalent – for entertainment – was the television set with about 6 channels, if you were a kid and it was summer and school was over, you were outside with friends. Period. The exception was cartoons on early Saturday. But after those early hours, you were out of the house. So if you may have to leave Palo Alto, you take the memories for sure but are you leaving something behind? I recall reading a letter to the editor about 14 years ago where a fellow Wilbur Warrior – coincidentally William Warrior – wherein he wrote that he and family had been priced out and was moving. As far as I know, he still works for the city as The Best Animal Control Officer. I was sad that another counterpart had to leave. I counted my blessings that for my entire adult life, I somehow always managed to be a renter in my own city. Two years ago, I thought about writing a book entitled, “How to Raise Your Parents.” My mom who owns a house in Barron Park, had the onset of dementia and I only accidentally discovered that her behavior, which had changed (for example, she thought folks were stealing from her, anger issues and other things), were attributed to that. I wish I would have known earlier and thought that others would benefit from what I had learned. The main thing being that if your parent is being a little weird with you, it may be an illness, find out, but for sure, recall all those good times where they got you dressed for school, tightened your roller skates, took you to the Winter Club, cooked, cleaned and loved you. I finally moved in with my mom about a year ago and made sure she had all her favorite hot foods from Piazza and doing the things for her that she had done for me. I came home from work about a month and a half ago and she was on the floor in her room. She had suffered a major stroke and within a couple days, she passed at Stanford. I was with her when she passed. Yeah, I was (and am still a little) broken up – it only happens once, that is, that your mom dies, but I’ll get through it.) One thing for sure, had it not been for my mom, I certainly wouldn’t be typing these words. Anyway, I have two siblings and have to think about selling the house and moving. I certainly don’t want to leave my city, but that may be out of my control. I quoted this before and I love the score to the movie of the same name (the composer – David Amram was kind enough many years ago to send me the sheet music): Splendor in the Grass. I may have a little dementia myself so please excuse me for citing it again: What though the radiance which was once so bright Be now for ever taken from my sight, Though nothing can bring back the hour Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower, We will grieve not, rather find Strength in what remains behind; I just found 6 more lines of the poem (below) that I did not know existed: In the primal sympathy Which having been must ever be; In the soothing thoughts that spring Out of human suffering; In the faith that looks through death, In years that bring the philosophic mind. Just me – Andy
Hi Andy. I’m sorry that you lost your mother. It sounds like you were a good son and a great help to her at the end. Palo Alto was a small town in the 50′s, 60′s, and 70′s and since I grew up 2 or 3 blocks from you, I probably saw your mom around Midtown. It would be nice if you could find a way to stay in your mom’s house and still get your siblings their cut. If not, perhaps someone who follows this thread has a rental and can help you out. Thanks to you, I have been reminded of so many wonderful places and people that made growing up in Palo Alto so special. Keep on enriching our lives, you stand as proof of what a good mother your mom was, and given the stories you tell, she must have been patient and understanding beyond belief. Next time you tell a story about your childhood escapades, I would be interested in hearing how your mother handled whatever mess you got into. – Lee B -
I am so sorry for your loss, Andy. The Splendor in the Grass lines have always been a comfort to me too. Faut-il qu’il m’en souvienne La joie venait toujours après la peine Love from France….
szaberszky … LOL, I had forgotten about Starlite Market. Was that the market across the street from the park on Lytton where the old Police Station used to be. If I recall it had a big squarish construction for the sign which I think used to be Lucky’s signature signage … but I could be totally wrong it’s been so long. That and the lucky at Edgewood I cannot remember ever NOT being grubby. It would be cool if Palo Alto was peaceful enough to still have such a small police station.
Andy, Sorry to hear about your mom. I lost mine in 2010 and it still feels weird…hope you can stay in Palo Alto.
szaberszky & CrescentParkAnon…. that park still has junkies unfortunately. Neal Cassady could be found having coffee and donuts in Lindenwood with my old Prankster boyfriend’s mom (a Menlo-Atherton High PTA president) and Kesey. And she was totally unaware, just enjoying the wonderful, talkative company of her son’s friends. The old police station is now Avenidas Senior Center… the new one is still not that large, housed across the street from the downtown library upstairs in the Civic Center.
I was raised on the border of Menlo Park, and Palo Alto. Walked downtown Palo Alto to the Varsity, and Stanford Theaters Shopped at all the stores, Woolworths with the wooden floors that squeaked, Walstorms,the shoe store, with the big x-ray machine, went to the meanest, dentist in the world.(Dr. Levi), and we use to eat a wonderful hamburger place called “Harry’s Hamburger’s” on University Ave. towards E. Palo Alto. My parents went to the Reno Club, and we ate at a couple of E. Paly restaurants, “Meland’s” and “Hank’s”. I went to Willow School, Green Oaks and Menlo Oaks, and to Menlo Atherton High School. Does anyone remember the tunnel under Bayshore Highway (101) We used to ride our bikes, under the highway to the E.Palo Alto Community Center. and I went to church at St. Francis Assisi in E. Paly. I was raised and lived in our neighborhood from 1943 til I graduated in 1960. Great memories.
Thanks for all these great memories. Andy, I’m glad that you got pieces of the old Hoover School. I went there in the fifties, and had Mr. Barnes as my sixth grade teacher. We went by the house my dad built in the 2900 block of Kipling Street about five years ago, and it had been replaced by a mini mansion, or at least a much bigger house that looked nothing like the original. I got a piece of the chimney brick, which was the only thing left. I went to Bergman’s after school and had French fries and vanilla cokes with my friend Dianne MacPhee. I almost got hit by a truck on Colorado when I swerved my bike into its path without looking. We were so used to not having to look, I guess.
Hi Lee B, Chris (Paly ’73), Betsy Anderson, Greg Greening, BaaBaaRaa, judy (maher)allen, szaberszky andras, CrescentParkAnon, Steve and All, Thank you for your notes (Lee that was touching) and kindness. As I’ve heard before, you can’t stop the train, but you can slow it down. I guess by PA standards, slowing down means weeks, not months. My older brother was executor and handled things well and it took all but 1.4 days for the house to sell and because I’m taking care of what meant so much to my mom (as with other Palo Altans here), her kitties (I like to think that any Marine who can say kitties really is a Marine – ooh rah), I wanted an easy transition. My moving date is the 8th of next month and it’s to Boulder Creek. Meanwhile, the kitties and I are in a hotel in Sunnyvale where I have smuggled them in. It was hard on them at first, but they are now attached to me and very spoiled (tons of different foods and feeding times whenever they want). And the brushing down. That is a warning – once you brush down you cat, you will do it for the rest of their life, as they very much enjoy that extra grooming. And you know also that you’re losing your mind when, as you brush them you say things like, “You’re gonna be the prettiest girl on the block” and things like that. You won’t believe this, but right outside my soon to be front door are two big, old Redwood trees – just like how El Palo Alto was before its twin died. So I like to think that Palo Alto is still with me in heart. At least it makes it a little easier leaving my city that I love so much. But you carry those good memories with you – you keep the good and forget the bad. You know what we all have done here? We made a kind of history book of Palo Alto. All we need now are some pictures. Someone could easily write an essay, say a typical day of an 8 year old in 1963 in PA. I keep forgetting that there are probably readers here who couldn’t comprehend life without a cell phone or computer. Hopping on your Stingray bicycle right after a bowl of cereal and riding to the recreation department to play Kerems (sp?) or just to check out a red bouncing ball would be one such typical morning. Or if you had some cash (yes 25 cents would be having some cash – a lot of cash), you’d probably go to Fremont Pharmacy and buy tons of candy. Or as someone else here reminded us, those cashews in a glass and stainless steel thingy with a hot lamp built in it would be pretty nice too. Or you might just meet up with your friends and read comic books at one of those places. They never kicked you out if you were respectful of other patrons. Some of the best adventures were in, of all places, the creeks (Matadero, Adobe or Baron Creek). As some of us know, there used to be life in the creeks and during the summer, the polywogs would turn into little frogs and habitate in the empty fields which surrounded the creeks at different points. Anyway, I happy that this thread has been such a positive good read. Please keep up with this (I will too) as I’m sure that my 7th grade Western Civ teacher would vouch for, writing down history is very important. Just me – Andy
My 7th grade Western Civ teacher was Zelda Dawson. Yes this thread is a trove of recollections, as noted way above by Sheri Furman on July 2, 2007 when the page was still young. But the growth of Facebook since then may have eclipsed us, judging from the thousands of people in their Palo Alto history group. Too much for me to wade through. I’m very sorry to hear about your mom and selling the house. Boulder Creek will be interesting in its own way. And it’s not too far from here to come visit often. As Dorothy said, clicking her heels, “There’s no place like home.”
Hi Musical and all, You’re right about that, Musical. I had always thought I’d never be able to leave the city I grew up and lived in but this is something amazing: I’ll put a link to my place – there are two, big very, very old twin redwood trees right out my front door. I can stand between them and outstretch my arms touching both of them. It’s a spiritually symbolic thing, like I have Palo Alto right outside my door. (You all know that in the 1700′s Father Junipra Serra (spelling?) and his band of mission builders camped by two, big old redwood trees and named the spot Palo Alto, and that’s how the city got its name (one of the trees died years back). Here’s the link:Web Link As all of you know, there are some that think that PA is kind of an eletis community, some who think that PA is a victim of their own success. Us baby-boomer and older, in particular know that just like the “olden days,” there are folks that struggle to pay the bills and are just as down to earth and others. But at times, I have found myself questioning whether things like the Sit-Lie ban and now camping in car ban shows a little heart missing from Palo Alto. Anyway, back to a little history: Some might know that Dr. Louis Zamvil passed away not too long ago and his wife, Stella, who was a good friend of my mom, passed away the same week that my mom did (I didn’t know until a month later that they were at Stanford Hospital at the same time). Dr. Lou, as I called him all my life, was the greatest pediatrition to many of us during the late 50′s, 60′s, 70′s, 80′s and 90′s. It’s sad, but I have good memories of both. Dr. Lou used to make house calls with that intimidating black bag. And his office on the corner of Middlefield Road and Loma Verde looked like a doctor’s office, smelled like one and for me, when he reached for the stick, that was it. No way; no throat cultures. My mom, nurse(s), trying to hold me down and Dr. Lou getting exasperated saying, “Quit breaking my sticks!” Thank you to everyone for keeping this interactive, living history book going. It’s nice to come to a place that so positive and reminds us of the good memories we have while growing up in here. Just me – Andy
“…Andrew L. Freedman, a resident of another community…” Now THAT will take some getting used to. Glad to hear your move is working out well. Best of luck to you. I really enjoy your reminiscences and your musings about all things Palo Alto, and check this thread frequently.
I remember The Laster Home at Webster & Lowell, where the 60s & 70s were in full swing well into the 80s, and anything was possible the moment you arrived at the top of the stairs to the Laster Kids Semi-Autonomous Zone. Key memories from that hallowed ground: a) Furious Freak Brothers magazines b) The Laundry Chute, which legend has it transported young kids irrespectful of their elders down to the basement c) Blind Man’s Bluff d) The Library of Congress-level quiet when certain other magazines were found under older kids’ beds. Key learnings right there. e) Introduction to the Grateful Dead, Blue Oyster Cult, Jethro Tull and many other iconic bands from before my time. As far as I’m concerned, the Laster House was the epicenter of Palo Alto.
Heffalump Day Care, Fran checking your pockets when you left Fran’s Market, Channing Market (best place for a treat and walkable from home), Old Uncle Gaylord’s Ice Cream (the best, wish it was still there),My best memory is the Free University (the Free U) on Hamilton where you could teach or take any class, Baskin Robbins being on University, Not in Palo Alto, but most of the kids went to Peninsula School in Menlo Park in the summertime…,Kitty O’Hara’s on University (I won the decorating display for the 1976 parade), Roxy’s fashions, Machismomouse on University, Tony’s Bike Shop, Sandy’s Kitchen at Stanford Shopping Center, Captain Cosmos on Lytton, Pudleys,Greyhound Station on the corner of Lytton and Alma, Studio D on Alma, Kirk’s when it was on El Camino and Arastadero, Croutons for soup and salad, The Cotton Works, Paddleford Oldsmobile, Eyerly’s Hardware downtown, The Gatehouse on Lytton, The Palo Alto Times on Lytton, Blums at Stanford for hot fudge sundaes, Thinker Toys, Lerner’s at Stanford, Emporium at Stanford, Woolworths, Palo Alto Health Food Store on University…. Give me some time to jog my memory for more….so much fun!
I’m having trouble remembering exactly where the Greyhound depot was on Alma. Was it on the same block as the Commuter Shell station which is now closed and about to be demolished (northwest corner of the intersection), not on the opposite side of Lytton (northeast corner of the intersection)?
Macheesmo Mouse … and then there was that surfer pizza place … Pizza-A-Go-Go … that place was fantastic … I can’t recall how many pieces of great pizza I had there … and then they were gone and we got stuck with the dirty and greasy spot down by the plaza where Burger King used to be – and their pizza is horrible. I cannot find any pizza as good as Pizza A-Gogo so I rarely eat pizza anymore. I miss it too.
Two quickies: Green Gables (Duveneck) being a empty field and a pig farm. Town & Country being an empty field where they would park cars for Stanford football games. Once a year Clyde Beaty(sp) Circus would come. Oh yes I see a class mate has posted. Great Blog
Hi my good friends, A few years back, Rick Schloss (spelling?) and I put on an any-year Cubberley reunion at Mitchell Park (being a resident then, I was able to secure the permit). What was cool about the get together was it was free, in the daytime, a place which everyone has good stories about, used the BB-Qs, folks brought side dishes and you didn’t have to dress up – it was just a really good get together. PA Weekly put a little spot in the paper, as did the Daily News and I think all together throughout the day there were about 300 folks (maybe more). I can’t recall what website or venue, but some folks posted pictures of the event and if you know where it is, drop a link here. Maybe it’s time for another one but this time it would be for almost anyone, I mean, especially the folks here who have been creating this, what I would call a living history book of Palo Alto. In the spirit of “tell me how it’s gonna be, George” (I just reread 4 John Steinbeck books that were required reading from Wilbur and Cub), well, we’d certainly have the BB-Qs going and like before, folks can bring side dishes and others drinks and we’d secure the area near the cross paths of the main path where it intersects the path going to Wilbur (JLS). Whether just a small group of us show, like 20 or whether it’s larger, it’s going to be good! I bring this up now because we can take our time to kick it around a bit. It would probably be nice to have it when the weather is nice, so maybe somewhere in May? I was just thinking, it would be nice to invite some of the retired PA Police who were in the trenches during some of our “delinquent” days (who knows, maybe now, they’d be inclined for a little walk across the bridge, where at some point, some of us always go during these events). And some of our beloved teachers. I keep in contact with a few from my elementary and junior high days. Both the school district and the PA Police would be able to get those special invites out if necessary. Anyway, just something to think about for now; we got a lot of time and I’m sure many good ideas are going to be posted here. In the meantime, in the spirit of this site (couple repeats): The opening day of Baskin Robins Ice Creak at Midtown (68?) HONK – HONK HONK. HONK – HONK HONK. The fire drill in elementary school Catching poliwogs in the creeks in glass jars and taking them home Catching the little frogs that migrated out from the creeks The Variety Store (where 7-11 is now) Chuck Thompson’s slide Playing war games in the trenches where they were building new neighborhoods The excitement when they posted your classroom and teacher on the windows of the elementary schools a week before the new school year Just me – Andy
Wow! So many of these are my memories too! Especially the Variety Store, Midtown Market, Bergman’s Dept. store (remember the hearing-impaired girl, Peggy I think, who did the gift wrapping?) Mayfield Mall (the Cost Plus there was my favorite), the old movie theaters downtown, Swenson’s Ice cream downtown and Rick’s Rather Rich ice cream at Charleston Center. Mayfield Market too. Feeding the ducks at the baylands, riding our bikes EVERYWHERE from the South end near Cubberley to Stanford Shopping Center and Town & Country. Definitely swimming at Lake Lagunita and concerts at Frost Ampitheater. Remember Santa’s Village? Oh, and Frontier Village? I could go on and on. It was an awesome place to grow up. Wonderful memories….
I remember Eddies at Town & Country (rocky road ice cream), but my favorite was Refisi’s, an Italian deli. Jo sliced paper thin roast beef, and then put thick layers on a french roll. Her husband worked in the back. My mother worked part time for many years at Peninsula Books – the reason that all her children now have stacks of books in our homes. I loved to go to Treasure Island on El Camino and stare at the ancient coins. They later moved to Town & Country, and then moved back to El Camino where they still are. More stamps than coins now. At Barron Park Elementary I had just enough time at lunch to walk to Taco Tio on El Camino for a Taco Burger. I loved the “be-ins” at El Camino Park, for a few brief years.
The old Whiskey Gulch where the big fancy hotel is now at 101 and University. Harry’s Hamburgers there! And John’s liquors. And that motel on the east side of the University Ave. exit that had the woman in the one-piece suit wearing a swimming cap as she dived…miss that sign so damn much! St Albert the Great grammar school on Channing (my school!) St Ann’s catholic church which had the most amazing Fauvist art panels in it (see: Web Link — alas, this article doesn’t mention the important connection with America’s best-selling female novelist of the 1920s-1940s, the great Kathleen Norris!) I love being reminded of the Rapp’s shoes Mynah bird (and the TRAIN, too!) Liddicoats. Swain’s House of Music. Harker School and the Palo Alto Military Academy. The “Grebmeier House” – that’s the huge while mansion on University Avenue with the palm trees that was saved by the city. When I was akid in grammar school, my classmates, the Grebmeiers, lived there. They had a whole bunch of kids and we were amazed that in the late 1960s, it still had pull-chain toilets — we’d never seen them! Crescent Park school (can’t believe it’s gone!) Summer kids’ matinee series of movies at the Stanford Theatre (pre-restoration) and going to movies at the Varsity theatre. Riding my bike to the Children’s library (riding to it from University and Lincoln at age 8, alone, and no one thought a thing about it…) Going for a ride into the “country, up Page Mill Road, past Frenchman’s tower and it was just a little country lane…renting horses at Cook’s ranch ($3 per hour) which was on Page Mill, just past Arastradero and across the St. “McMansions” there now, where we used to ride our horses all the way up to the top of that hill. The University Club when the other side of Foothill Expwy was pastureland for horses and cows. POLLY & JAKE which was at Oregon Expressway and ECR for years an dyears and years. They sold antiques — lots of items of cranberry glass in the windows (and other colors ) and in all my entire childhood in PA, I NEVER saw anyone go in our out. And none of my friends ever did, either! Joan Baez coming to our house with infant son, Gabriel, in her arms…my brother bringing home a real mess of a guy and introducing him with “this is the PIG!” Ask him to play something on your piano (I was 11 and taking piano lessons on a black spinet in our formal dining room…) Had no idea who he was or who the Grateful Dead were (who did?) or that he would die young and become a rock and roll legend/saint…Y.A. Tittle speaking at an event at St. Albert’s each year and singing every autograph requested after…such a nice man!
Someone mentioned the guy with the fruit and veg truck! I remember that — it used to come to the convent at St. Albert’s school. WHAT a nice man he was. Also someone mentioned their hone number; I will never forget ours: DA 22718 (the “DA” stood for “Davenport”) Is Jordan Jr. h.s. gone now, too? Along with Crescent Park? Anyone remember the formidable Dr. Esther Clark? Went to see her a couple of times as a kid. I remember being fairly scared of her. Very tough lady and seemed incredibly old even in the late 1960s. Well, I’m sure she had to be to kick down the doors she did.
I’ve finally finished reading the entire string (my thanks to everyone), so I can add a few things that have not gotten much attention so far. Special thanks to Chris (Paly ’73) on 10/4/09 for remembering Miss Sanfilippo, and to Bruce of Meadow Park on 1/8/10 for remembering Miss Downs, both dedicated music teachers who I remember giving me my musical start at Barron Park Elementary. (And thanks also, Chris, for the Horky’s ashtray image. I recall those Aztec dragon heads breathing fire, but I had no idea of the name of the place.) Melody Lane was the go to place for all my piano music. My trips to Driftwood Market were to buy candy, and to collect the Mars Attacks series of cards. Really cool. The music teacher who deserves the most praise is Mrs. Bateman at Terman Jr. High. She helped me begin to take music seriously, and she shaped the rest of my life in performance. Under her direction, Terman put on a (pardon the rose colored glasses) very good production of the musical, “Oliver” in 1967. In the mid-60s long hair was just beginning to be allowed at Terman, and I indulged. You were required to wear a hair band in metal shop, however, which at the time I felt was harassment, but now just seems like good sense. At Gunn High I was in the orchestra for a 1970 performance of Handel’s “Messiah,” and we made a record (on red vinyl). Recordings are a lot easier now, but back then it was a rare treat. No rose glasses here – the music is actually good. A memorable teacher at Gunn was Mr. Smeltzer, auto shop. I’ve talked to a number of guys who, like me, have memories of his unusual generosity and warmth. After HS graduation I did some volunteering – teaching swimming for the YMCA at the Gunn pool, and later at the Sierra Club office (just off Calif. Ave. near the train tracks) where we raised money for the Coastal Initiative. We were outspent 10 to 1 by big oil, but we won the ballot measure. A final note of thanks to the Midtown clothing store, Harryman’s. Me and my brothers first started going there for school gym suits, but Mr. Harryman was a kind man, dedicated to teaching boys how to dress well. He later moved his shop to Los Altos, where I went to have a suit made when I needed something formal for stage performance. He was as kind and patient as ever.
Esther Clark probably treated most of the children of the area including house calls. Also the old Stanford Hospital and Palo Alto Medical Clinic Does anyone remember the large white house next to University Ave where they held the ‘psychodrama’ work shops.
I remember the now-defunct classical radio station, KIBE, which simulcast with San Francisco’s KDFC. The introductory theme to the midnight-to-dawn broadcast was the evocative Adagio from Rachmaninoff’s Symphony #2. At that time of night, the clarinet solo was unforgettably haunting.
There is still an AM station on 1220, KDOW, but it no longer simulcasts classical music. KDFC changed its format and call letters a few years ago. Today you can hear classical music on the south peninsula on 104.9 FM. You can see the 1220 antenna if you go all the way out on University Avenue. It is on the right just before you make a right turn to go onto the Dumbarton bridge. At night you can’t miss the red light on top of the tower. Jordan is still there but today it is Jordan Middle School. Miss Sanfilippo used to commute from San Jose and drove a Thunderbird with special shock absorbers because of all the sheet music she carried in her trunk. Now you’ve got me confused. Wasn’t Harriman’s on California Avenue around where the health-food store is now? Bergman’s was in midtown and you went there to buy your gym suit.
I read the beginning and end of this thread. I lived near the corner of Greer and Louis. Went to Palo Verde from 60-66. Mr. Burns, Mr. Crick. The Army Navy store on San Antonio and the slot car track next door. Tony’s Bikes a shack on East Meadow near El Camino. Piers Dairy for a popsickle right out of the truck. Maximart! Chuck Thompsons gym and pool on Middlefield just south of the Midtown markets. Summer Movies at the Stanford Theatre. Playing in the vacant fields between Barron Creek and Bayshore. The Eichler swim club.
> The Army Navy store on San Antonio Mountain View Surplus … where I got my wardrobe for PALY! ;-) They still exist but are on El Camino somewhere around Castro. It’s getting to be a dim memory that Tower Records even existed these days. And Co-op.
I may be a little younger than some of you! I was raised on Churchill Ave. near Alma in the mid-1970′s. We then moved to Stanford in 1980 as my Dad was superintendant at the golf course until he retired in 1996. I loved growing up on Stanford land! We rode our bikes everywhere. I worked at Tressidor Union serving food to Stanford students. I remember: swimming across Lake Lagunita, attending Addison elementary & Nixon Elementary, Jordan M.S. and Paly. My uncle would take us to Baskin Robbins on University Ave every Sunday and then he would buy a paper at a smoke shop a few blocks away. Loved Round Table Pizza on University Ave! We didn’t think twice about riding our bikes to school every day from Junipero Serra to Jordan Middle School. That’s all for now!
I don’t know if anyone’s mentioned it because I could probably spend as many years reading all posts as I have living my life till now (a good thing!) – but does anyone remember buying gunny sack dresses in a second story loft on university? Maybe next to mike’s bikes?
We moved to Palo Alto in 1961 because (I’m told) it was one of the top school districts in the nation. Our house cost about $30K. It snowed that year in Palo Alto. We stayed at the Flamingo Motel on El Camino while waiting to move into our house, and dined regularly next door at Dinah’s Shack. Duveneck was Green Gables Elementary, and nobody needed a ride to school. Oregon was not an Expressway. I-280 didn’t exist. We would play in the San Francisquito creek at the Newell Road bridge on our way to the brand new 7-11 to get a slurpee. Skateboards, with hard ceramic wheels, were “invented” back then…riding over a magnolia cone was a guaranteed knee bleeder. We used to buy cigarettes at Tresidder Union and had our first drinks at Stanford frat parties. When I graduated from Paly in ’69, Santana played at our graduation dance. According to, the house I grew up in is now worth $3.3 million. I’m lucky to have escaped…
I have remembered some child abuse that occurred at Wright Nursery School in Barron Park around 1961. If anyone else out there has such memories, I would really appreciate contact. You can contact me at [email protected] even if you went there and don’t have any negative memories I would love to hear from you. Thank you so much.
Too many wonderful memories to mention. When I try to grasp one others flood my mind. We moved to Palo Alto when I was 5 (1952) and I remained in the area until 1980. One memory that is a part of me is the sound of piston prop airplanes (pretty common at Moffat Naval Air Station at the time)on a sunny warm afternoon. It produced such a relaxed peaceful feeling. Even today when I hear a prop plane on a warm sunny afternoon I feel myself relax and am filled with the contentment and feeling of safety that only children seem to feel. I do remember “cruisin’ the ‘A’”. It was the thing to do after school and on weekend nights. We must’ve driven them nuts. LOL!
This article is from 2006 and this is 2013. This is more serious when older stories are published as if they are current. BUT…since so many residents enjoy reminiscing about the old days in Palo Alto, perhaps Palo Alto Online should start a regular “Memories” column instead of posting old stories as news.
“Neighbor, It is now 2014 not 2013 and this has been a running commentary of remembrances of people growing up in Palo Alto. It was never said that this is “news.” News would be elsewhere.
My grandfather used to run the produce market at Lidicotes…He built the first radio in Palo Alto and his father owned the country cafe when university street was a dirt street. I was born there in 1958. I remember frans candy, and many other things…My Granfather (George Vlahos)saved his money and would buy those Victorians along Bryant street,,,Evertt…High…Emerson…etc for 3k a piece! Apricots! Used to be sick of them we ate so many! We were invaded and its not the same…But no mater what…Zuckerburg with all his millions…Sergi and all the rest…will never know or experience the Palo Alto I knew!
I just flashed on several places I really like and wonder if anyone else remembers them? 1. Peninsula Scientic. I have not thought about that place for ages, not sure why I did today. 2. Macheesmo Mouse. California Mexican cuisine, looked a bit like Chipotle’s of today, but sadly did not survive. 3. Pizza A-Go-Go. Surfing themed pizza place with the best Veggie and Super Veggie pizza .. a bit uneven, but I still think about their pizza – no one else makes pizza like they did. 4. Foster’s Freeze’s – there was a time in my life when I was happy with just a soft chocolate ice cream cone dipped in chocolate on a hot day.
Someone mentioned the old man who used to drive around town selling fruit and vegetable from his truck; I believe his name was Mr. Maloney – and he used to give apples away sometimes. Also, does anyone remember the yellowish (?) doughnut trucks that used to drive around the residential area selling doughnut’s off of pull-out shelves from the back of their trucks? I remember they always wore change belts on their waists and wore blue uniforms!
@Matt, search this page for “colonial” and you’ll find eight hits on the Colonial Bakery doughnut truck.
Hmmm, my post from yesterday was removed . . . I wonder why? Additional memories: seeing “A Hard Day’s Night” with my sixth grade friends at the one of those drive-ins near Bayshore. Yes, when we were younger we were those same kids running around in our pj’s at the playground,then later falling asleep in the back of our parents’ station wagon. At age 14 my friend and I went to the Poppycock — once. I was too young — out of my element. I remember playing pool with some older guys, then dancing with some other ones — totally uncomfortable! My favorites from childhood had to be riding bikes over to Stanford campus and raising H. My dad worked there and always admonished us not to do anything that would embarrass him. If he only knew . . .spitting off of Hoover Tower — well, everyone did that (every kid, anyway). Lake Lag — catching frogs when we were little; skinny dipping as young adults. Everyone did it. Felt Lake — sneaking in, of course. Best swim ever. Searsville Lake before the area became Jasper Ridge Preserve. L’Omlette, then Chez Louie, then L’Ommie’s — or do I have the order wrong? Jose’s — for family dinners as teens and young adults — later for dancing. Tony Miles — where are you?
Damien House — anyone else remember? I hung out there for a bit in HS, met my first BF there too — later I volunteered on their switchboard. It was a great big old house on Kingsley next to a church; not sure what it is now. Oh, those concerts at Frost! I saw Jefferson Airplane there in the 8th grade. I had a favorite climbing tree there too — I hope it’s still standing. A couple of years back Chicago played there — it was OK, but nothing like the magic of those times in the ’60s and ’70s. Lots of cool secret places and memories . . .
1. catching a 10 pound striped bass in the duck pond and having picture in the PA Times 2. An old truck gardener who drove an old flatbed around selling fruits and vegetables from the back 3. Going to Peninsula Creamer after church for breakfast 4. Getting fresh meats from Liddecoats market 5. Listening to Jerry Garcia and Joan Baez perform at Saint Michaels Alley 6. Saturday movies at the Varsity 7. Catching bugs in the Creek behind our house 8. Smiths Sports Shop – worked there 9. Edy’s Ice Cream – worked there 10.Stanford football junior rooter
Ha … something just reminded me of the Varsity Theater and the Midnight movies. I used to go to those almost every weekend. Saw some of the weirdest movies … Palo Alto had lots of theaters and lots of odd quirky movies, foreign and experimental, even erotic occasionally. I still have one of the old copper Varsity dollars that they used to give you when you bought a $2 ticket so you could turn it in next week for half-off. Palo Alto was pretty cool back then, just a shadow of of its former self these days. Seeing the Varsity reduced to a bookstore was bad enough … but now, whatever it is, just sitting there with no good public use is sad.
A long long time ago, in a galaxy far away, I remember playing a huge video game called Space Wars in Tresiddor – vector graphics, kind of like Asteroids, but was a two player game and cost $1.00, a lot at the time for a video game.
Anyone remember the name of the drug store and the grocery store that were practically next door to each other at Town & Country Shopping Center?
Drag racing on Frontage road. Dirt Biking around baylands and up in the hills. My dad claims he had a friend who shoot rats with his .22 at the Palo Alto dumps when he was a kid. Boy I miss the freedoms we had back then.
1964-1971 Remember University Sports 540 university ave. next to the modern shop. We watched the “skyscraper” being constructed across the street. A few Paly students worked for us after school. We sold Adidas shoes before they were sold in department stores. Sit-in at AEL building in April. 1969. at Stanford. Walked to work; biked to Tressider weekends. Crocker bank and Stanford bank across street. The Y on Alma Street not far from East Meadow. It was a wonderful place for young moms to meet with babysitting provided. (1969)
Anna … far as I recall they was called Town And Country Market & Pharmacy … I think there used to be a mini Post Office in the back of the Pharmacy. The Pharmacy closed first, but the market lasted fairly long, but they never updated it. They had a great deli before they closed.
Wow, I came to this web by accident. So, here is who I remember at Bob Pearson’s Shell Gas Station: Fred, our supervisor; Bill, the mechanic and his Harley Davidson; Schultzs who on the rainy day of his wedding came to the gas station wearing a tuxedo and dove under his car to check a leak; Dale, the mechanic; John, the little guy who had the guts to call the tall customers “son”; Eric, my good old loyal friend; David, the guy whose fingers were cut off when he was greasing the chain of his motorcycle; etc. Especially, Mr. Bob Pearson, a man with a big heart that I’ll never forget: I was new from Mexico and he hired me while I went to Paly. Most of all, Mr. and Mrs. Prehn who adopted me for a year and enrolled me for the senior year at Paly–the only year I went to HS in the USA. I wish I could say hi to them one more time. Oh… I also worked at the Paul’s Chevron Station.
Just like the previous comment, I fell upon this post by accident,but enjoyed reading all of the comments…so similar to many of my memories from San Jose in the late 60′s.when orchards and open fields and streams and creeks were plentiful. My family were in Palo Alto rather frequently in those days, as my Mom and Chris and Cathy Dale’s Mom,(if anyone recalls them) were long time friends even before they moved to California. Thank you all for the great memories !
There’s a great group on Facebook called “You know you’re from Palo Alto when”. It’s like this thread but with photos – I believe you have to apply and be accepted, but check it out: Web Link
I grew up in Charleston Meadows. Remember •The Old Barrel (now Palo Alto Commons) •Rudolfo’s •Beacon gas station •Shakey’s Pizza (now Pizza Chicago) •The carwash (now Honeybaked Ham) •A&W (now Tofu House) •Tony’s Bike Shop (now condos) •L’Omelette •Barron Park Pharmacy (corner of El Camino/Curtner) •Taco Tio •Fiesta Lanes •All American Market •Harlan’s Bakery •Co-Op Market •Lake Lagunita •Searsville Lake •Movies at the Varsity Theater •Palo Alto Drive In •Buying Adidas from the Instep on El Camino •Buying Levi’s from the Gap on El Camino
Really enjoyed all of the recollections collected above. Read for hours, but only scratched the surface. My family moved to Palo Alto in June 1964, just after I finished first grade in New Jersey. We stayed at the Shangri-La Motel (next to the Glass Slipper a few other posters have mentioned) on El Camino across from the All-American Market for three weeks, then our family rented a house on Moreno between Louis and Greer for a year. I went to second grade at Van Auken, and have very fond memories of Midtown. The many posters above have mentioned everything I remember of Midtown in the mid 1960s. That was a great place to be a kid! Toy World, Bergman’s, Duca and Hanley (even as a small kid I loved meat), and the Midtown Market. When we first moved into the house on Moreno, my mom and I went shopping to fill up the kitchen. We bought many bags of food – filled her small Renault with bags – and I was very impressed at how much money it cost: $50. I’m still impressed by that now, but in a different way. The most fun memory I have of that year did not take place in Palo Alto, actually. I got to be on the Mayor Art Show one day, which was very exciting. I even got to ask him a riddle, and got a prize when he couldn’t answer it (I’m sure he didn’t try very hard). After a year renting on Moreno, our family bought a home on La Para Avenue in Barron Park, and I lived there from 1965 to 1975, attending Barron Park, Terman, and Gunn. Of course, technically that means I didn’t grow up in Palo Alto at all, because B.P. wasn’t annexed until 1976 or so. I was opposed to annexation, myself, as were most people I knew in Barron Park, but that was because we were worried about Palo Alto requiring us to put in sidewalks. That didn’t happen, so I guess we needn’t have worried about it. The semi-rural feel of late ’60s/early ’70s Barron Park was a great atmosphere to grow up in, and I had a lot of good teachers at all three schools. I particularly remember Miss Greiner (4th grade), who had a “thought of the day” jar on her desk, with slips of paper somebody would get to read from every day; Mr. Seibel in 9th grade (at Terman, since 9th was still a junior high grade then) for history, Miss McNamara (at both Terman and Gunn) for Latin – very tough, but great at motivating students; Mr. Butler for history at Gunn, and Mr. Heilman for English at Gunn, who taught one of the best classes at Gunn. I remember the old train tracks which crossed El Camino and ran behind Varian and Gunn, and for a long time kept one of the old spikes from the tracks as a souvenir after the tracks were torn up. Lost it somewhere along the line, sadly. I remember playing King of the Hill and other games in the construction sites for what became Timlott Lane, and games of kick the can at my friend Jon Livingston’s house on Vista Lane. We all played in Matadero Creek and the drainage pipe which ran (probably still runs) under some of the Gunn athletic fields. I remember once journeying with a couple of friend most the way up Matadero Creek from behind Barron Park school almost all the way to El Camino after some winter storms had raised the water flow to a challenging level – don’t know why we did that anymore, but it sure seemed fun at the time. There was a strange old lady named Miss Povine (sp.?) who lived alone in a big old house down the street. She would almost never come out of the house, but when she did we kids were afraid of her. Eventually I had to go to her house (paper route, P.A. Times),and she was really nice. Big excitement in the fall of 1972 when heavy storms did in the enormous oak tree in the middle of our street (cars used to have to drive around it), which came crashing down but did surprisingly little damage. We wanted to plant a new one, but the County wouldn’t allow it, and quickly paved over the spot where it had been. A shame. Loved the old Ming’s on El Camino (at Vista), and still love Kirk’s – now at Town & Country Village after California Avenue, in turn after El Camino somewhere south of Ming’s (anybody remember where exactly?) The Menu Tree was always fun – I remember loving the junky (but delicious) Chinese food there. The Double H restaurant on San Antonio near Middlefield. The Black Forest Inn in Los Altos (gone but not forgotten), and Stickney’s (remember the mirrored display cases for the pies?) and later Fresco (and now Cibo). Like every other kid I loved going to Rapp’s, even if I didn’t care much about buying shoes. Kepler’s at the Village Corner (Los Altos, again), Maximart, Shakey’s, Banana Records,and the Driftwood Market for 7-Up Icees. Opening my first savings account at Fidelity Savings at Palo Alto Square (a previous one at Crocker Citizens on El Camino was opened for me, so that doesn’t really count), and remembering the horse pasture Palo Alto Square had been years before. Monette’s pet store on California Avenue. The excitement (and some misgivings) when McDonald’s finally came to our area in the early ’70s. My dad was an electronics engineer in those days, but very few of my friends had dads who were involved in technology fields. That seems funny in retrospect, but the great boom in that industry was only just beginning back then. My parents lived in Barron Park until 2003, and then moved to Los Altos, where my wife and I have lived since 1991. Barron Park and the rest of South Palo Alto have changed a lot since my boyhood there, though not as much as downtown Palo Alto has.
Hey Ross. Lucky you, to get to be on the Mayor Art Show, but did you know…….. that late in the 60′s Art Finley (the Mayor) became an on the scene reporter for a local TV station. I began attending San Jose State in the fall of ’67, taking the train from the California Street station every morning and getting off in downtown S.J. and walking to school. As you know, the 60′s was a time of large protests at most Universities, and S.J. State was no exception. I’m not sure exactly when (’67 or ’68), but there were days of marches and protests to stop the War, ban military and war related business recruiters from operating on campus. On one of the days, while we were gathered on 7th st., shouting, dodging tear gas,and trying to decide whether or not to occupy the Administration Building, Art Finley appeared. He had been sent by his station to cover the demonstration and capture footage of police and students battling. At the peak of all the mayhem, a voice screamed from the crowd, “Hey, it’s Mayor Art”! When faced with the decision of whether to put an end to the Vietnam War, or acknowledge the presence of our childhood hero,we forgot all about the War and turned our attention to the Mayor. He was standing on a concrete wall, from which he could see over the crowd to the action. Microphone in hand, camera crew recording his tense narration, Art was caught completely off guard when the crowd began to chant “Mayor Art, Mayor Art”! Art began to address the crowd, saying (and I paraphrase) “Don’t look at me! Look at the police! I want to hear the angry voices of youth in protest I want to see….” well you get the point. His story was ruined, but he was a good sport, joking with the crowd and making the best of it. He may have been flattered too. We showed that we had our priorities straight. While passionate about ending the War, we took the time to acknowledge true greatness. He had to leave so that we could get back to the business of stopping the War. What a day!
Wish I had seen that, Lee. It would have been wonderful fun, even if the Mayor wasn’t wearing his morning coat and top hat!
All American Market they had a great candy selection for kids The Old Mill Movie Theaters Cheep movies The Old barrel liquors store. It was shaped as giant barrel (el Camino way) Palo Alto Bowl were we JLS would host new 6th graders welcome to middle school party Ricky’s Hyatt: They had an old cigarette machine in the lobby. We would try to sneak buying smokes when the front desk person wasn’t looking Blockbuster was the new thing. Renting videos was so much fun. You could even rent a VCR at blockbuster.
Karen C. I only lived in Palo Alto as a baby. We moved to Sunnyvale in the mid-1950s, but our ties with Palo Alto remained. I loved going to Stanford games, sitting in the Family Endzone. Was there when we beat USC & OJ Simpson. The frat houses had signs all over saying that Plunkett drank Orange Juice too. The scoreboard malfunctioned during one of the games & my picture (along w/ all the other fans near me) was in the San Jose Mercury. Funny how this was such a big deal to me as a teen. I went to Fremont HS in Sunnyvale & in the late 60s someone stole the alligator out of our Science Lab pond & put it into Lake Lag. It took awhile, but he was found & returned to the pond at the high school. Funny to see people talking about it like it was an urban myth. It really did happen.
Ah yes, the Starlite Market. Open 24 hours, no lines, somewhat scruffy and peculiar but not too weird compared to San Francisco or Berkeley . . . in the late ’70s there used to be a little newspaper rack on the corner, for the Los Altos Town Crier, which proclaimed on its cover, “It positively reeks of class.” Some wag changed it to “crass.” Well!! The cover was immediately replaced but then the wag crossed out all the words except “it positively reeks.” No more paper for the Starlite!
Remenbering adding portables at Walter Hays, Starks Bakery, swimming at Rinconada and going in the girls door, then depositing my items in the mesh hangar bags before entering the pool area, the raised wooden platforms at Rinconada, the girl scout building, Foster Freeze, Strawberry pie at Stickneys, Foothill Park, The cement walking/bike path in the sand at Mitchell Park.
My brother and I were on Mayor Art’s show in October 1963, about a month before the Kennedy assassination. It was great fun! He was on KCBS and KGO radio after leaving KRON-TV. He retired to Canada in 1995. For many years he had “Art’s Gallery” in the Chronicle.
In 1975, I worked with about 8 people in the basement of a split (yellow?) soldering pc boards for new pcs. Whose house would this have been….anyone know? I was a teenager and didn’t stay there long. I’m wondering if it was one of the big guns that became famous. I hear about “garage” stories, but this was definitely in the “basement”.
Class of 1974 40th Reunion August 8 – 9 – 10 2014 Fri nite 6PM Aug 8 – Crowne Plaza Sat nite 5 PM Aug 9 – Elks club Sun 11:30AM Aug 10 – Alpine Beer GardenWeb Link Sat Nite: $50 Per person Make checks out to: Doug Geiger attn Paly Reunion Send to: 1858 Hunkpapa St, South Lake Tahoe, CA, 96150. Tel: nine one six eight oh seven oh one oh eight Please post!
About the old vegetable man. His name was Emil Molinari – and he was a priceless legend. I met him one day in 1968 three years after we moved into our home. He was delivering produce to the priests and nuns at St. Albert’s Church and school so I asked him to our street also. He had an ancient truck with produce piled on fenders, back, hood. If we weren’t home, he’d leave what he thought we needed or was “good for us”. or I’d leave a list taped to the garage door. Sometimes we got spinach or broccoli many days in a row. Kept his accounting in an old notebook. He knew all the children, always had a treat – orange, apple….and knew where each ‘stray’ belonged. – brought our youngest back when she wandered a few houses too far. (in those days we really didn’t fear allowing the children outdoors,) One year he came on New Year’s Day – watched the Rose Bowl Parade and had breakfast – all dressed up in a suit and tie. He came every New Year’s morning from that time on until he could no longer drive. He’d make his New Year’s rounds and then sometimes came back again for the Rose Bowl game. His tales of the 1906 Great California earthquake were vivid and fascinating. He was a little boy with his father driving a team to Palo Alto from present day Mt. View. The horses started to buck and stumble. His father accused him of feeding the team fermented grain – and that they were drunk. When they got to Palo Alto, he saw wagons loaded with Stanford co-eds screaming and crying and still in nightgowns,. I ‘think’ he said his father was headed for Mr. Liddicoat’s fresh market and grocery store- a friendship that lasted through their lifetime. They bought their produce from the same vendor. Before he started his rounds when he was older, he would go to Liddicott’s (where Apple is now) for breakfast with his old friends as his father had done. When he was forced to retire, PA residents gave him a retirement event at the green area next to the Bowling Green along Embarcadero.The Mayor read a citation, council members were there,and then suddenly we heard a band. …the PALY band came marching down Churchill dressed in their wonderful new parade uniforms – drum major, cheer leaders, ,the works. Mr. M. cried. I cried. Even the major and everybody else had tears. A tree was planted in his honor, but alas, the tree has since died. It was a wonderful day. Every New Year’s morning I wish he’d walk through the door.
I remember Mr. Molinari although I didn’t know his name at the time, and his cool old truck. In the mid 60’s, I use to ride my bicycle down Bryant St. after school and sometimes see him on my way to work at Nippon Goldfish Co. in Town and Country Village. I loved his old truck. He and the truck were real survivors, genuine throw backs to another time.
Anyone remember the Vertical Team at Jordan Middle School in the 70′s?? I loved all the trips to the A.C.T. theatre in San Francisco to watch Shakespearian (?) plays!!
Born in Palo Alto at the “old” Stanford Hospital in 1951. I remember learning to swim at Chuck Thomspson’s and breaking my wrist ice skating at the rink. A number of people mentioned the old drive-in movie theater…I went to school with a kid named Rick Rush whose parents either owned or managed the drive-in – what many do not know is that below the screen was their house, so they lived under the movie screen. I can remember sitting on top of one of the Monterey Pine Trees in the Island on Hamilton Avenue, about 50 feet up and on top of the world. I worked at Edy’s Ice Cream at age 14, my first part time job, but quit after two weeks. I quite after working the first Saturday when Stanford had a game and scooped ice cream cones for 4 hours non stop until my hands bled. I remember Halloween near the Harker Military Academy….the way the huge dry leaves from the London Plane Trees crunched underfoot as we went from house to house. I remember getting trapped by the Major and his wife across from the school on Parkinson, made to come in for a visit and have a hot cider and a popcorn ball. Anyone else remember getting a caramel apple for trick or treat – you did not dare to put it in your pillowcase because the wax paper would fall off and it became a magnet for all your other candy and the lint in your bag. I remember looking for good junk under the Newell Bridge as a kid – the creek was our playground. We were always hoping to find an intact Playboy magazine but never did. Anyone remember the run down old ramshakle mansion that belonged to Mrs. Longenecker right next to the park she donated the land for in memory of her daughter Eleanor? It was our boogey spook house of youth, a place of great mystery and probably full of ghosties.
Does anyone remember Spaghetti Already on El Camino near Page Mill… yummy spaghetti to go by a sad man who never talked? Shopping at Just Egypt on El Camino? Uncle Gaylord’s delicious ice cream? The science store on Park Boulevard….loved that place … I miss it! The Free U on Hamilton Avenue The Diaper Washing place on Hamilton Croutons for an incredible salad bar….wish it was still here! Roxys clothes Lerner’s at Stanford Shopping Center Sandy’s Kitchen at Stanford Shopping Center Kitty O’Hara’s on University Palo Alto Health Food Store on University….great cookies! Heffalump Day Care Running around Mayfield Mall…. Macheezmo Mouse on University…YUM Shopping at the Emporium at Stanford Shopping Center Channing Market Blue Chalk on Emerson
I remember Spaghetti Already … I also remember the spaghetti was not that great and it did not last too long. I think you are referring to Peninsula Scientific. Mayfield Mall was cool. Macheezmo Mouse on University … I loved that place, and the Pizza A-Go-Go down the street Most of my clothes came from there – Emporium at Stanford Shopping Center Channing Market, I remember that place too. I remember World’s Indoor Records and Chimera Books, where I got all my new and used records for years. Not much as good as those places today. :-(
I said I was from ‘Old Palo Alto’ only because I’ve been gone so long that I have no idea what my neighborhood is called. I lived on Marshall Drive and went to Van Auken Elementary School though. Some of the things I remember are: Helping to construct the beautiful mosaic wall mural of sea life in the multi-purpose room (probably around 1959 or 1960). Hikes to Rinconada Park and Chuck Thompson’s Swim Center The two brothers who ran the Variety Store who were so kind to us children and remembered all our names (That was back when our 10-cent allowance went a long way) Purity Market where our father worked Sonic booms Bread and milk delivery to our door The freedom to roam from one side of town to the other as kids with no worries
> The freedom to roam from one side of town to the other as kids with no worries That is something I feel sorry kids today miss out on, and of course that everything is so built up or run down. We used to go to the Bay Lands before they gated off all the boardwalks out under the power towers, We could walk way out on those things. Cannot do that anymore, and the whole area is now run down and the boardwalks are dangerous. One thing I was thinking about was there was a place San Antonio Shopping Center that was full of video games. I just watched a video game documentary last night on Amazon Instant Video … and I cannot remember the name of it. Anyone? You would walk in there and immediately get overwhelmed by all the noise. I actually hated it, I just cannot remember the name of it?
“One thing I was thinking about was there was a place San Antonio Shopping Center that was full of video games. I just watched a video game documentary last night on Amazon Instant Video … and I cannot remember the name of it. Anyone?” Time Zone? Star Base?
Yes, Time Zone arcade. Mentioned a few times in a similar nostalgia thread for Mountain View. Web Link
Time Zone … that’s correct – thanks … I kept thinking something like the Outer Limits?? I did not used to go there, but there used to be an Emporium? was it, the gym, a big book store, Penny’s, the Hobby Shop, and of course the Old Mill with the theater where I saw Star Wars.
Does anyone remember Tony’s Bike Shop off of El Camino near E Meadow? Or am I older than dirt? He was so nice and would fix a lot of things on our bikes for free.
Yes, growing up in south palo Alto, I use to go there as a kid. Tony was a great guy and I liked his funky bike shop.
Darlena, I don’t remember Tony’s but the first bicycle I got in Palo Alto I got at Jocelyn’s Midtown Bike Shop. A gold Gitane 10-speed. I wonder if anyone remembers that place?
I remember Tony’s on the west side of El Camino before he moved to the El Camino Way shack. Not much recognizable 50 years later, but a few buildings and trees still stand. No more butterflies, toads or honeybees, and the birds now are mostly crows.
“Time Zone … that’s correct – thanks … I kept thinking something like the Outer Limits?? I did not used to go there, but there used to be an Emporium? was it, the gym, a big book store, Penny’s, the Hobby Shop, and of course the Old Mill with the theater where I saw Star Wars.” CrescentParkAnon, if you’re on facebook, you might enjoy this page originally dedicated to the Menu Tree but now covering all things related to San Antonio Shopping Ctr., the Old Mill and Mayfield Mall.Web Link
Ken … what was the Menu Tree, that sounded vaguely familiar. I recall a spot down at the end of the Old Mill where there were restaurants, and video games. There was a Mexican place that we used to go to quite a bit. That was a good place for a shopping center. I was always wary about all those townhouses built there right next to the train tracks. I do remember Sears. Oshmans Sporting Goods. Crowne Books Burger King And the Co-op Market. Coop was a good place. And Mayfield Mall was cool. Things change slowly day to day but over time it’s hard to remember all the things that have gone away. Over on the other side of street there was Tower Records, and across the street was Kepler’s books. Then downtown Palo Alto there was Stacy’s books.
The Menu Tree was a very large restaurant in the San Antonio Shopping Center. It had 10-20 different counters featuring different types of food…sort of a forerunner of the modern food court. We went there quite a bit when I was a kid…it was good for families because everyone could find something to eat. The Mexican restaurant in the Old Mill was La Posada. That was a good spot. There was also Fargo’s which doubled as a pizza place and nightclub.
Ha . . . returning to town I just made a reservation at the Creekside, which once was the Flamingo Motor Hotel. My Grandfather used to stay there in Decembers when he would visit from Pennsylvania. Now, 50 years later, I’m the grandpa and I’m staying in the same place but I will miss the burger and milkshake at Stickney’s!
Anyone remember if Stanford Shopping Center in the late 1970′s, early 80′s had a record store?? Name??
Anna, that’s a good question. I don’t think they did because I’m pretty sure I’d remember. I was pretty into music and record stores. Maybe you’re thinking of Mayfield Mall? I worked for a summer there in the late ’70s at Music Land. There was a candy kiosk in the mall right outside our shop and the girl who worked there used to come in and ask us to put on Van Halen; I would comply in exchange for a few pieces of my choice of chocolates. Speaking of record stores, anyone remember the Music Box, which later became Banana Records? It was across from the Fish Market. To Murphy, the motel thing cracks me up. Everything old is new again! I moved to Palo Alto with my family in 1961; we stayed in the Coronet Motel on the corner of CA ave. and El Camino until we could move into our little bungalow in College Terrace. I cannot believe that place is still there. It’s got a new sign; cannot speak for the interior. Lot’s of memories and changes — always fun and fascinating to reflect upon.
I vaguely recall that Music Box was originally a Jack in the Box. Built mid to late sixties? It’s a “We Fix Macs” now. Probably too valuable a chunk of real estate to last long as is.
Thanks Lindaloo for that information! I will run those names by my sister, who now lives in Texas. She’s the one asking. I can only remember Tower records off of San Antonio Road.
Anna, was Hear the place in Stanford Shopping Center where one could listen to tracks to see if one wanted to buy the whole CD? I remember a such a place from the mid ’90s. I am afraid the ’60s might be bit early for me, though I can tell you I bought my first LP ever at Maximart (where Fry’s now is) — it was, of course a Beatles’ record. Good luck — tell big sister hello from PA!
Speaking of record stores … does anyone recall Town & Country Records. That was where I got my first record. The new releases were $2.99 and $3.99 in the early 70′s. Back when T&C was full of beautiful large healthy oak trees. I do remember there was a place in Stanford Shopping Center that sold records. And I think later there was a CD store, or maybe I am confusing the two. The CD place was among the first that had headphone listening stations. Somewhere around but towards the El Camino side and the Sand Hill side of that plaza where they have the Santa Claus stuff during the Holiday season. That is a dim memory though. Usually I went to Macy’s and Emporium when I went to SSC. That place has really changed. For a while I seem to remember there was a machine in Tower Records that would let you create CD’s of selected popular songs, but I never tried it. As a kid I got almost all of music from World’s Indoor Records and Chimera Books, who sold new and used records in that big old Victorian … I think it is a law office now. I really loved that place.
Anyone remember a sewing store in an old house off of Hamilton Ave. or University Ave? My mom used to haul us kids there in the mid 1970′s and I loved the neighborhood. Then we would hit the fabric store off of the main street (??) in Menlo Park near the old Co-op food store.
Mayfield Grades 2nd thru 6th, years 1953 – 1957: Ok, Let’s shake a few loose cobwebs out of my brain! I started in 2nd grade in 1953 when my family moved back to California from Silversprings Maryland, and moved in to a rental house on Stanford Avenue. My brother Craig who was three years older, was in 5th grade. I remembethat their was a fence or barrier dividing the younger children (grades K – 3rd) from the older kids (grades 4th – 6th). I think it was my first day at school and I was so homesick that I went looking for my brother on the other side of the fence. The next thing I knew, some big man grabbed me by the knap of my jacket and flung me back to the other side of the fence. He told me that that area was restricted and little kids couldn’t come in to that area. Now, I’m guessing on his name, but, I think it was Mr. Kenneycott, a very large man! I adjusted to the school after a few months and really had a lot of found memories. What I liked mostly about Mayfield was that it was a melting pot of a variety of ethnic kids. The African American children lived mainly in South Palo Alto and went to Mayfield Elementary. East Palo Alto hadn’t really come in to it’s own defined community until the early 60′s. The two black children I played with mostly was Jackie Gray and Bobby Daniels. They were both great athletes. Jackie Gray and I both entered the open athletic sporting events held at Jordan Junior High School. These were sporting contests open to any elementary student based on size. I know I was put in to the Class B group, and Jackie Gray was placed in the class A group. A couple hundred kids showed up, but we already knew we had the best athletes in the city. I won the the Class B grouping and Jackie won the class A group. Two kids, one white and one black from the same elementary school, Mayfield, each won their respective class groupings. I still have the article published in the Palo Alto Times telling of our wins and the total points we scored. There was another elementary school in Palo Alto that could beat us in the 4 traditional sports. Football, basketball, baseball, track. I used to walk to school everyday from my home since it was only about a 10 minute walk. I would have to say my closest friends were Danny Johnson and Leslie Tollner. Leslie, his brothers Ray and Ted lived 2 doors down the street. Danny lived a little farther away near Paly! I remember when Office Machinski was selecting the kids for traffic patrol,Danny was named the Lieutenant, I was the Sergeant of Arms, and we had an additional 4 to 6 others. We had to cover Oregon and El Camino, California and El Camino, and we also had a pedestrian tunnel on the east side of El Camino, under El Camino, up to the school. So, I attended Mayfield all the way through 6th grade. Right towards the end of my 5th grade, there were two 6th grade teachers. Mr. Wise and Mr. Humasti. Everyone wanted Mr. Wise because he was kind, funny, and was good to the kids. Guess who I got? That’s right, Mr. Humasti. What I didn’t know was my Dad had bought a brand new house in Palo Alto on Edgewood Drive. We were about 1/2 way through the 6th grade year. It’s funny how the unexpected things work out for the good. Mr. Humasti had just bought a house too and lived right down the street from our new house. I rode with Mr. Humasti to school the remainder of the school year. It turned out that he was a great and kind person and treated me with respect. I learned to love that man and it broke my heart when a few years later he died of cancer. I’ll never forget him and what a kind soul he was. You can’t judge a book by it’s cover! I would have to say that Mayfield was a wonderful experience for me and I made a lot of friends with kids from all different ethnic backgrounds. Wilbur Jones, Minnie L. Robinson, Mimi Kelly, Paula Backus, Jackie Gray, Bobby Daniels (Bobbs was also on “You Asked For It”) doing tricks on a trampoline,Yvonne Howard, Les Tollner, Danny Johnson. The school sat empty for years and I think was used for Adult Education. Then through the wisdom of our City Council Members, was torn down. It was the very first Elementary School built in Palo Alto and you would have thought that someone on the council would have said wait stop, this is a cherished landmark for our city and should be saved? Well never mind! So my next 3 years were spent at Jordan Junior High School where I didn’t know a soul since all the kids from Mayfield either went to Ravenswood, or Wilbur. Well, that’s a story for another time!
Hi, this is Ricky Carpenter again and When I hit submit on my last post that I just finished writing, poof it vanished. That was so discouraging because it took me about 1 hour to write it trying to be as accurate as possible. Well, Ok, I’ll try and recreate a portion of it now, and finish the remainder of it later, God willing! I left two good friends off the Mayfield Elementary list after I reread the Post. Here are the two names I left off: Margo Schaepper and Jennifer Hill. Please forgive me Margo if I misspelled your last name. My brain isn’t as sharp as it used to be. To either you MArgo or you Jennifer remember Mayfield taking our IQ tests? I remember what my score was and is up until this day. I’m not really sure of the ranges and the meaning behind them was, but nine was 129. I think it’s a good score, but things do change quite a bit over 60 years. Take care everyone and I hope this post does get posted. Ricky Carpenter
Anna, the fabric store on Santa Cruz Ave. in Menlo Park was Steven’s, and my main go-to place for sewing materials. My friends and I all enjoyed making our own clothes, that is, the simpler things like sundresses, 60′s style blouses, etc. On University Ave. was Douglas’ fabric store; he (they) also sold sewing machine. Mr. Douglas himself came to our eight grade clothing construction (sewing!) class at Terman to make a pitch for his store. I think there was another good fabric store at Mayfield Mall but I’m not too sure about that. I went to Joann’s too — and it’s still there!
Hello, Circa 1987 I attended an alternative middle school/ Jr. High that had two class rooms, had children from as far as Sunny Vail (sp) and many more from Palo Alto. The school had two female teachers one lived in Santa Cruz the other lived on a houseboat. It may have been a summer school program, as class was in session late and out of session very early. I was only 13 and lived there only a few months but I have been wondering the name of that school for many years
The Notions Store on Lytton was Irma Schwabel, Browns Music was at Stanford Shopping Center in the early 60′s $3.99 for mono, $4.99 for stereo
GReat memories of many summertime activities, riding bikes everywhere, going over to Stanford and getting wet in the fountain. Lake Lauganita. Going to the midnight movies on Saturday nights at Stanford Theater on University, drive-in on Amrillo, living on Van Auken Circle and riding around and around the three circles in the area. Going to midtown and shopping at the craft store where 7-11 is now. Bergmans store. Co-op, ice skating on Middlefield at Winter Club. Summer school at Peninsula School in Menlo Park and then going to Ad Janes Swim school down the road in Menlo Park. Living in an Eicler and loving it. Going to Foothill Park for picnics. Swimming at Rinconada Pool. Going to the art center on Embarcadero and middlefield. there was an area where you could pet animals. like a mini zoo. The great hardware store on middlefield that is now a coffee shop. Going to STanford football games. Palo Alto has changed alot over the years. It was a good place to grwo up. Safe and fun.
Liz, the Midnight Movies were at the Varsity Theater, unless there were also Midnight Movies at the Stanford Theater … I just never saw or remembered any. The Stanford was closed for the longest time before it was remodeled. Sadly, the Varsity now appears to be gone for good as a theater. I saw so many offbeat great movies at the Varsity during my high-school years and after. Palo Alto is just not the same place.
Peninsula Hardware on Middlefield was still there in Midtown last I checked. Mike’s Cafe went in behind it about 20 years ago. (Might have been some other eatery awhile before that.) Read more about local kid Mike at Web Link
Anybody remember the name of the fancy gift store that was on the corner of El Camino and Churchill, across the street from the school district offices, and now there is a cosmetic surgery practice in its place? Wealthy ladies from Atherton would go there to get their wedding presents, etc. It was definitely around in the 1970′s. Maybe 1960′s too. Am wracking my brain trying to remember! Mrs. (Miss) Zimmermann was my 6th grade teacher at Garland! She was very young then and it may have been her first year teaching. Lots of great memories in this very long thread. Will have to go through it more carefully when I have time. Came to Palo Alto in 1959, left in 1969 and back again for good in 1977. 47 years total living here. Seen a lot of changes. Maybe someone should put together a book based on these memories?
That’s it! William Ober. A hoity toity place to get very nice gifts. Anybody remember the name of the sort of arts and crafts store on Hamilton in the 1960′s and ’70′s, where a variety of local artists could sell their ware, such as dried flowers and other things? Thanks so much!
I remember going to Folk Dancing on Friday nights at the Community Center. Walking through the “Secret garden during the break, where at least one girl per week was asked to “go steady”. Nothing but nothing south of Colorado Ave, but the smell of tar from roof construction still fills me with nostalgia. Listening to 78 rpm records in the booth at the record shop on University Ave. Jordan’[s full name was David Starr Jordan Junior High School, and was 7th , 8th and 9th grades. Anyone remember the trestle Tramps? Or Smith's on the Circle? Or Walster"s? Talk about older than dirt! Peasant skirts and boyfriend's rings hanging from a chain around your neck. School dances in the gym. For decorations, every couple had their name on the wall of the gym; hearts on Valentine's Day, shamrocks on St. Patrick's Day. Snow flakes at the Christmas party. I still have some of mine.
My dad grew up in 737 Bryant Street with Polly and Jake Swartz's kids. I'm sure his memories would be far wider than mine. I remember buying candy at Mr. Penny's - a tiny store one down from the intersection of Bryant and Homer. And also at the See's candy store. And I attended kindergarten at Lytton School - my two older brothers were in second and fifth. And my dad had attended the same school in the 1920s. I remember when the old library was on Byrant Street - where city hall is now. I guess my world was mostly Bryant Street, because we walked it to get to Safeway's and once when my brother got lost to the police station across from the Safeway store. And the wonderful Hobby Shop where we all got our bikes - near the corner of Hamilton and Waverly and the old Post Office. And flying kites out by Stanford, and the day my younger brother was born at Stanford. When I started college at Foothill Junior College - I remember spending afternoons with Polly Swartz tucked up in her kitchen which always smelled just like a kitchen should. Her house was always hidden by a grove of bamboo.
Yes Anna I do remember going bowling with the other girls I grew up with and went to school with Stanford Elementary which as I recall as being a really nice building with two halls one running down Mayfield and I don't recall the name of the other street. At the end of the building was an walkway with another building which was the auditorium. We had band practice and choir practice in there. There was a group of us selected to go to Hawaii to compete at the Music Educaters something. We showed movies to raise money for the trip. The one movie I remembered the most was Disney's Thomasina. It was a big deal to be able to finally get in to the so called new building which had 5th and 6th grades with Mrs. Louthien and Mr. Marion. One of the field trips I can remember was walking to Frost Amphitheaterfor one of the mant Peace Rally's held back then except what made this one different was part of the cast from the original cast of the Broadway show HAIR were being flown in to the theater in a hot air balloon and would be singing. I was so beside myself with excitement because I had already seen the production sitting front row at the Orphium in San Francisco. At the end of the show when they sang "Let The Sunshine" they bring people up on stage to dance. My parents were a little worried when the next thing they knew I was pulled out of my seat right up on to the stage where I got to dance. For years it was the best show my parents had ever taken me to. Sadly the school was demolished right after my class graduated from the sixth grade. This was.due to the building not being earthquake proof,so the Lucile M. Nixon Elementary School saw built over on the last unbuilt on hill where cows used to graze and we flew kites. When I moved to Pine Hill with our house being the last one built, all of the lane between Stanford Ave over to Page Mill Road with the top of College Terrace the bottom boarder and Arrastadero Rd the top was all open land that I could see from my bedroom window. There were even still Prairie Dogs all through out the land there. Also on ?Page Mill Road across from the Chevron gas station all of the land was open grazing land with cows. The cows were long gone by the time I went t Gunn High School however there was still a bit of undeveloped land. In the early mornings riding my bike through College Terrace, coming out on the road where I would register my new bikes at the fire station when peopke did that kind of thing which worked too. My bike was returned after being stolen. Riding past the fire station, the Chevron station, waiting for the light to change, one could see these heads popping up out of these mounds making barking noises as signals,giving the all clear signal one would pop out of the mound and run to another one diving down before getting caught, by what I don't know. But they were so cute. The land when we first moved to Palo Alto didn't have a single building all the way down to El Camino. There was no business complex with two movie theaters at the corner. However on the other side of El Camino down a side street that I can't remember was Max I Mart which had low cost everything. It was really the first Costco, or BJ's come to think of it so many years before its time. The differences were it wasn't as large although it was in an industrial area, and the sales peopke in each department knew everything about what they sold, plus they were so friendly. Over the years they knew you by name and you knew there's as well. There was clothing, shoes, a drug store which was the only place my parents filled their prescriptions plus, they even rented skis and boots. I wonder if anyone remembers that place?
when we walked home from Stanford Elementary each day, most of the children headed up Mayfield Dr and then began to split off along the way. There was a medium size group who would take a right heading up the slow uphill grade of Frenchman's Rd. Midway up the road split in to two roads with one on the left continuing as Frenchman's and the right becoming Gerona Rd. From 4th - 6th grade perhaps longer there had been a creek where we caught tadpoles, frogs and guppies. Back in the 1700 and 1800 there had been an actual creek. Towards the top of Frenchman's Rs stood a very old brick bridge where the river or creek once ran through. I can remember in class being shown a picture of the Stanford's posed on the bridge for the picture. However at the section where the road split stood what looked like whatever was left of a stone castle at least that's what we thought as children. We called it Frenchman's Ruin's We'ed climb around on the thing coming up with ideas of what it could be. Then we'd head on with the ones who had to walk up Gerona Rd on their side of the center section and the few needing to head up the to the top of Pine Hill on the other yelling conversations back and forth at each other. I have no idea if bridge or the ruin are still standing or not but it would be interesting to know just as it would be interesting to know what the ruin actually was? I was just thinking about how I would bike over to Palo Alto to visit a friend of mine and we'ed go swimming at Rinccanada Park, talk about a flash from the past.
Denise, I certainly remember Maximart. I was there opening day in I believe 1962. Over the years I spend quite a bit of time there. As a kid I took all of my film there to be developed. I also bought most of my records there including my first Beatles album. In going to Maximart from my house on Emerson, my friend and I would walk along the railroad tracks and place pennies on the rails for the trains to flatten. Sometimes we would even find them after the train passed. Great fun back then when things were simple.
WOW!! someone mentioned Sammy K's Junk yard!! I thought that was a lost memory of my own. I lived across the street from the old loon. JJ & F market still makes the bomb sandwiches…. The cracker box house I grew up in still there, but they added room & now I bet it's worth a TON-O-CASH no doubt. you could look in the front door and see all the way to the back end. and the giant tree is gone too. but still cool.
Denise, my memories are so similar to yours! Thanks for bringing those back. In fourth grade, when we still lived on College Terrace, my best friend and I took bowling lessons at that bowling alley at Tresidder. Later, when we both moved to Stanford -- and at the top of Pine Hill, we'd ride our bikes down, make "mixed drinks" at The Union (orange soda, root beer) and bowl. It was a wonderful rainy day activity. The middle area at Stanford Elementary was the Rotunda. It was the library as well as the multipurpose room, i.e., where we had all of our assemblies and various events. Memories of that school include Mr. Noerdinger's fifth grade class -- meanist teacher ever. He'd come up and kick the desks of or throw erasers at students who'd dozed off. Rumor had it that he'd thrown a student out the window the year before ours. He had a temper! When our house was built at the top of the hill there were still horses grazing in the field on the other side of Stanford Avenue. Raimundo only had a stop sign then. I also bought my first Beatle's albums at Maximart. It's weird to walk around Fry's now -- I can still mentally be transported back 50+ years to Maximart!
Let’s start with some businesses. Tony’s bike shop – Tony was the nicest guy, would fix stuff for little or no money sometimes. Maximart – got a Star Trek disk shooting phaser there, and lots of rubber band powered balsa wood planes. Oh, and a Whamo air gun, lots of superballs. Driftwood Market – Near corner of Los Robles and El Camino. I would bike over with my allowance, buy candy for a nickel, comics for 10 cents, spend the rest of the day reading my comics, getting my sugar buzz on (and later, my sugar coma). LaFosse Music – Tiny little Mom and Pop shop on El Camino, near Los Robles Ave. Dana Morgan’s Music – California Ave. Co-op Store – they had a little play area for kids (oh, progressive PA!). I remember my dad putting a little shareholder ticket stub in a slotted box. Oh, and they got an automatic door with an electric eye in the back of the store at one point. Was a big deal at the time, very futuristic. Tressider Union cafeteria, candy store, bowling alley, on Stanford campus. Polly and Jake’s antiques – look but don’t touch! Phillip’s Gas Station, Beacon Gas. All American Market – corner of Los Robles and El Camino. Shakey’s Pizza and A & W stand right next to each other. Spaghetti Already – take out pasta near Page Mill and El Camino. Late ‘70’s, didn’t last long. Fiesta Lanes. Bowling for 25 cents a game if you were in a league. The Menu Tree. Despite the variety of food offered, I always got a burger and fries. And vanilla ice cream at a nearby Baskin-Robbins. I was a simply kid with simple needs, ha-ha! And we rode our bikes EVERYWHERE!!!
To Anna of Feb 2015, I bowled quite a bit at the Tresidder Union. I remember being young enough that I wasn't much taller that the ball, had to push it to get it going. Gutter ball every time. And, to answer your 2nd query, I found this, from 2012: "In the mid '80s, the bowling alley became a LOTS (Low-Overhead Time-Sharing) Computer Cluster. The space is now the Treehouse restaurant, where practically every customer has a computer in his or her pocket." Speaking of Tressider Union, anyone else remember those tables with the funky, round canvas shade? Very modern looking at the time. Guessing they're not there any more?
Green Acres Kid - Just for the record - Dana Morgan Music was in downtown Palo Alto. I believe you are thinking of Drapers Music Store on Cal Ave.
Got my first used guitar at Drapers Music in '65 , a sunburst hollow body electric for $50.00. A friend and I were going to start a garage band. I think we made it thru Louie Louie. So much for rock and roll fame.
Eric S.: Right you are! My family and I frequented them both, so I mixed them up (I was never the one driving, and so paid less attention to where I actually ended up, ha-ha!). While I'm here, I might as post a couple other memories, namely, when Juana Briones Park was a huge orchard (I often cut across to get from Maybell to Arastradero, and, as a tie in, when Juana Briones Elementary School was called Loma Vista (where I went K-6).
70's "Oly" The janitor at Ohlones Everyone rode bikes-- rows of bike racks at Wilbur The day it snowed captured in photos in the yearbook Riding bikes in Mitchel-Adobe creek Trips to Foothill park Mitchell park, Riding to Shoup park (sp?) We ALWAYS took my bike to Tony's for repairs! Collecting auto stickers and "sticker Hunting" Stopping in at Baskin Robbins when riding downtown Tower Records and the whole San Antonio shopping scene We had kid style low power wallki talkies and the High power CBers from EPA could walk all over us even if we were fairly close to each other! Haha The Sub Seekers out of Moffett Those Green bike lanes and the "Pinto Pig" (that's what us kids called him) Who patrolled and looked for bike lane violations Going to the dump and stopping and feeding the ducks along the way Searching for your favorite song KFRC - KYA - KLIV then back to KFRC again Dr Donald D Rose Realizing in later years just how cool those Eichler and Eichler clones were!
Well, I've had a chance to look through these posts more closely, and I must say, that it's heartwarming to see not only the shared memories (such detail! Someone even shared my memory of the sparkly sidewalks at the Stanford shopping center, for goodness' sake), but the expression of gratitude for having grown up in PA. A couple of people mentioned Marian McNamara, the Latin/Greek teacher. Every once and a while, she would ask a challenging question, and would offer up to the first person with the answer a, "Magnificent prize" (a roll of Life Savers). She was a tough, strict educator, but inside, had a heart of gold, was even involved with a charity outside of school, one which aided orphans from the Vietnam war. Also, a language scholarship was eventually established in her honor. Another teacher who deserves a shout out is Mrs. Barbara Bateman, a fantastic music teacher at Terman Junior High.
Riding bikes at Frost Amphitheater; the Hobby House on Forest Latin at Paly with Miss Schmidt (sat next to Ron Wyden) Harry's Hamburgers in Whiskey Gulch. Working for City of Palo Alto at Foothill Park cutting trail with Steve Burich, Pete Honey
when did they start calling it Foothills Park instead of Foothill Park? Foothills is now the official name but we always called it Foothill Park
I have both mixed and fond memories the city of Stanford. When we first moved to California, my mother would take me shopping at the Stanford shopping center. We , we lived in Sunnyvale at the time and there was no mall there. We always made a trip at Christmas to do Christmas shopping. We ate lunch out every time we went. Some of the places I remember are Stickney's across from Stanford University where we had their famous Chicken Noodle Soup, the other place we would eat at was The Stanford Barn. At Christmas I loved looking into the little houses with the animals inside. Of course I can't forget Santa. Mom has passed away, but my fond memories of all shopping we did I remember. Stanford Shopping Center was her favorite, mine too. I miss those good ole days with mom
On another note, please consider complaining to SFO airport about the increased airplane noise due to the 3 new major routes that now pass over Palo Alto. If they don't hear from us, we will be stuck with this constant drone, which will make Palo Alto a much less pleasant place to live.
Francesca, I believe your comment on the airplane noise is better suited to another tread. If you look at the title of this thread the heading is : Things I Remember About Palo Alto While Growing Up. Nothing to do with current issues that annoy people.
Anna, last time I went up to Foothills Park they still required proof of address. If you have a PO box address on your driver's license, just take a recent utility bill with your home address as proof of residence.
Speaking of Foothills Park ... the last 3 times I have been there, the Ranger Station at the entrance has been empty, so no check of residency. With all the money that is being collected in taxes and fees, why can't we afford rangers at Foothills Park or the Baylands. Where is all our money going ... and they still ask for more?
Wondering if anyone remembers the old structure that used to be back from the sidewalk, in the open, unpaved field on the corner of Loma Verde and Middlefield, where the Eichlers are now. It looked like an original farmhouse or bunkhouse from early days. I was in it once when a family was renting temporarily and it was very rustic. I was young at the time but still appreciated the history it must have seen. Does anyone know what the small white clapboard building was for and when it was built?
Town and Country Village used to give free hay rides (with real horses) around their parking lot. My mom used to let me take the hay rides while she shopped at Town and Country. Mr. Center's typing class at Jordan. The Winter Lodge used to be called the Winter Club. Mr. Williams ran the rink. You had to buy a year long membership to ice skate there. California Avenue, at Alma, was not blocked off to traffic. You could cross the tracks in a car. The man that drove an old fashioned truck around my Old Palo Alto neighborhood, selling fruits and vegetables.
Debbie, I remember Mr. Center! Didn't he drive a big vehicle to school with some kind of ornament on the hood?? I also remembered the Vertical Team at Jordan! Part of my vertical team assignment was volunteering at the Bargain Box resale shop.
Can anyone please figure out how many miles it is from, say, Stanford Golf Course, to Jordan Middle School?? We rode our bikes everyday to school, rain or shine. We rode down Campus drive and somehow made it to California Ave. I remember riding under Alma Street through a bike tunnel. We took Calfornia ave all the way to Jordan on Middlefield Ave.
Hey Anna, both are still there so Google Maps should do the trick. It's true, isn't it, it seems we all covered so much ground back then and here we were, 10-12 years old. It was a combination of the area being more rural, less busy streets so more safe, kids having more freedom. I'd sure not take on that bike ride/route today -- not at my age!
Hey, Anna :) Mr. Center, if memory serves, drove a massively huge vintage baby blue/powder blue Cadillac with steer horns on the bonnet and...if memory serves a bit better (as it might well not, so please don't be cross with me if I'm mistaken here!)...I THINK it also had a funny horn that played a loud rousing tune...? :) He was delightful :) I would be totally unemployable had he not taught me typing :) Cheers :) PS, always loved The Bargain Box :) You all make me horribly homesick in the NICEST possible way :)
I remember, as a teen, riding my bike from the Green Acres neighborhood over to Stanford U., to see friends in Los Altos Hills and Sunnyvale, and to my family's dentist downtown, all the while, thinking nothing of it. And taking the bus up to San Francisco (the 22 line, I think? Caught the bus across from Polly and Jake's) with a friend, but no parents. Do kids in P.A. still show this kind of independence when it comes to biking?
Kids today do NOT understand how owning and riding a bike was complete independence and freedom for us. When I was 12 I ran out of a prescription and rode my bike from near Stanford golf course all the way to Sears on San Antonio Road. Thought nothing of it. Ok, well, riding back home was hard - up hill all the way!
Mr Center may have driven many different cars. In my Jordan era, it was a faded yellow 53 Buick Convertible. Anybody else remember Michael Angelo, my first exposure to someone with Tourette's Syndrome ??
radar :) One, good to know :) and two, I just had a weird epiphany: Might the blue horned Caddy have actually been Mr. Bernal's? That just popped into my of the things I like about this place, it makes me remember all KINDS of things... Cheers :)
Radar~ Mr. Center drove a convertible while I was in his class- yep, yellow. That would have been in the early 60's. Also- I remember Michael Angelo very well- he would give us kids rides home from downtown...I believe he drove a convertible, too! My Dad was a doctor and knew Michael. He explained Tourette's to us and told us not to be scared of Michael. I must say, tho- I learned some new swear words from him...ones I hadn't heard from my brothers and their friends! ;)
yes, Michael also drove a convertible. My first encounter with him was when I was at the stage of first "learning" swear words, and I believe I got the giggles and apologized. I don;t remember a powder blue Caddy - would that have been a "Jordan" car ??
Radar :) Now I need to dig out the yearbooks :) I am reasonably certain I remember a photo of that car...then again, I've been reasonably certain about a whole bunch of other things here and apparently memory, as I feared, is not serving :) argh :) Watch this space...but yes, Mr. Center, Mr. Bernal, Jordan, THAT much adds up :) Cheers :)
I remember Miss Boone's Dance School at the Women's Club. The original St. Michael's Alley. And Dick Felt's clothes store which specialized in kids school clothes. Dick was a screaming queen who would burst into the boys dressing room to check the pants fit. Can you believe his name was really Dick!
Anyone remember a beautiful german lady that worked at St Michaels Alley in the early 70's? I think her name was Linda
does anyone know why the little kiddies ferris wheel was never running at the old Palo Alto Drive In?
Dear Radar: yeah!! - I remember Michael Angelo, too - we used to go over to the Emporium at Stanford Shopping Center to watch him hiss "****you,**** you,****you!" at the little old blue-haired ladies at the foot of the escalators ca. 1966
Am remembering names from Addison Elementary School: Mrs. Walden, Mrs. Polishi (spelling), Mr. Wong. Also a Mrs. Astor from Nixon Elementary. I also remember taking a field trip Escondido elementary school to swim..
We moved here in ’61 and our daughter, Susan, was born that year and our twin sons, Jeff and Joel were born in ’64, so we share a lot of memories of all those places and events that other posters on the original article mentioned. So many changes have occurred over the years, things and places and events that are gone forever. Sadly, they won’t be coming back so we are just left with our wonderful memories. I feel lucky to have experienced those years…just a little slot in the timeline of PA history. I’ll now share some of my memories. Some will be repeats of what others have offered, but I think I have many new ones as well. So, here we go. I remember a curling rink at the corner where the future Mayfield Mall would be built. I remember going out at night and seeing searchlight beams in the sky and if you followed them to their source on the ground you’d end up at a car dealership. Of course, Kirk’s and Ming’s on El Camino, and Big Al’s with swinging saloon doors, offering pizza and beer with entertainment. Loved that tuba player. Lommies (L’Omelette) with Roger Cowdger at the piano bar. We couldn’t stump him. He knew every song we threw at him. His big jar got pretty full by the end of the evening. A good watering hole for after work also. Food courts of the day: Menu Tree, Old Barn, and also one at the Old Mill. We attended a Grateful Dead free concert at El Camino Park across from Stanford Shopping Center. I took my camera and have pics of them that day. Sakura Gardens, actually it was in Mt. View. We ate there several times and once when my sister was visiting we dined in a private room and sat cross-legged on pads. Sake was served as well as tea. I’m too old to do that anymore. ‘Rick’s Swiss Chalet’, with the Tyrolean Trio in their lederhosen. Oom Pah Pah! Good food and entertainment. The ‘Red Pepper’ Mexican restaurant. We knew the owners very well. At Charleston Center: Rick’s, of course, Travino’s Super Subs, Brentwood supermarket which later became Piazza’s, a Coast to Coast hardware store, and Canadian Bank on the corner where Peet’s is now located. Golfing at Paly, our municipal golf course: Pat Mahoney was in charge when I first started playing and I’ll never forget those wood chips in the rough. The course improved over the years and I guess I didi too because I finally broke 80 (barely, it was a 79)I in the mid-90s. Traffic wasn’t a problem then and they still had stop lights on the southern portion of Bayshore heading towards San Jose. Kids walking to Ortega Elementary alone without parental escorts. Kids going trick or treating on Halloween alone without parental escorts. They would have been embarrassed and mortified if we had insisted on going with them trick or treating. Midtown gas/service stations: I remember four. Bob Willoughby’s Texaco, Cy and Dave’s Mobil, Gulf, and Lew’s Shell. All those ‘man’ly family owned stores: Bergmanns, Wiedemans, and Harrimans; I bought lots of good quality clothes and other things in those stores. Our church’s (Wesley Methodist) Men’s Club Christmas tree lot on El Camino across from the Island. I worked there many years. Yes, I got a lot of sugar highs from raised rolls and donuts at that place on the corner of Loma Verde and Middlefield. They moved to the Alma Shopping Center next to Lucky’s and I followed them there. Good neighbors and a good neighborhood: We had block parties and had other neighbors over for drinks and dinner on many other occasions, and they reciprocated. Home delivery, street vendors and solicitors: We had our milk delivered to our door in glass bottles. There were others including a fresh produce truck vendor, a guy with a dropdown tailgate on his truck to set up his sharpening tools. He sharpened knives, scissors, and mower blades. Also a Fuller Brush man, Avon lady, Mary Kay lady with her pink Cadillac, and others. Theaters: Yes, I remember the PA Drive-In. Saw many Pink Panther and James Bond movies there, plus others. At Fine Arts I remember seeing ‘Gandhi” and ‘Ship Of Fools”. Hubbard and Johnson’s hardware store and lumberyard. Fine dining restaurants: We had so many and our favorite ones for our anniversary dinners. Gatehouse, Maddelina’s, Chantilly. So many are gone but thank goodness St. Miichael’s Alley has survived. We had a lot of dinners there and enjoyed the ‘open mike’ nights. We had a good fireman friend and neighbor (yes, they could afford to live in PA then) who worked part time at Delmar Israel’s downtown store on University. He strung tennis rackets and sold them also. The other part of the business was typewriter repair and sales. I always thought that was a strange combination but it seemed to work for many years. The Winery at the corner of El Camino and California Ave. Cheap wine and ‘so so’ food, but it was a fun place to gather with friends. A couple glasses of wine and it started tasting like a vintage fine wine. The black mamba scare of ’93: I remember driving home after a church meeting and seeing police cars on Ross Road just a short distance from our house. Policemen with big flashlights were out looking under bushes and shrubs. I got home and a few minutes later the door bell rang. An officer told me about the black mamba on the loose and handed me a flyer describing what they looked like, their fast acting deadly poison and their nasty disposition. It took several days before it was finally dispelled as a hoax. I’m sure I’ll think of other things which I’ll add in another post later.
@Gale Johnson: I remember the searchlight beams in the sky, particularly when out driving with my dad. My brothers and I, not much older than your kids, used to pretend we were being sought after, and would duck down in the car. I also remember getting bottled milk delivered in a wire basket, and peeling off the foil (or was it cardboard?) lids. Way before tightly sealed food products…
We lived on Sierra Ct. around 1957 - 1961, at the end of Palo Alto closest to Bayshore Freeway. In fact an exit ramp curved right behind the rear fence of our back yard. We had no car, and routinely walked to the Lucky's grocery store on the other side of Embarcadero. The same shopping center had a drug store where us kids would hang out and read comic books--at first you'd buy a candy bar and a pop and sit on the low window sill and read comics off the rotating rack; later, the owner put a picnic table and benches there for us. Nice guy. We all spent hundreds of dollars on candy bars and cokes while we wore out his comic books. Well, maybe $0.25, depending on how many pop bottles you found in the field across the street to cash in at Lucky's. We really couldn't afford to ingest too much sugar, back then. Plus we walked to Garland school, and to Rinconada pool, the grocery store--we were all probably pretty fit, just by accident.
@stagecoach That was one of those problematic locations; restaurants there seemed to change every five minutes! In 1980 I believe they served real Chicago style pizza. This I remember because I friend came to visit and explicitly asked us (my BF at the time) to go there with him for dinner; I remember that pizza to this day, as it was a novelty for me back then. A few years later I remember a different place there with sand volleyball out back.
Remember when Oregon Ave stopped before Bayshore, and there was an old farmhouse there. Four houses were removed from Chabot Terrace and relocated to build the expressway and overpass, and later the bike path over the freeway. There used to be three Stickney's restaurants along El Camino. Stickney's Golden Chicken, Stickney's Flamino, and Stickney's (Rod's)Hickory Pit. Cy Pennel's Chevron on the corner of Colorado and Middlefield, and the Kawata Brothers 76 Union on the corner of Charleston and San Antonio. Little League played at the Middlefield Little League field and the Vet's 1 and 2 fields. Also, the 9 hole golf course behind the Vet's hospital. Live music at the Iron Works, Lommie's, and the Keystone. Franklin 5 and Ten on California Ave, shakes at Bishop's Coffee Shop on Calif. Ave, the old B of A on the corner of El Camino and Calif Ave. Norney's Toys at Stanford. Prestige (girls clothing) at Town and Country Village. Leaking ceilings and banging radiators at Paly. The Buddhist Bizarres on Louis road. Piers dairy on Louis Road, not far from the YMCA. The Colonial Bread man driving up and down the streets with fresh bread and donuts. The stop light at Embarcadero and hiway 101. Walking across hiway 101, before there were fences, to see the Big Top Circus. Going to the dumps with my parents. PA Police Officers Don Martin, Bill Massey, Dennis Neverve, Harold Banks and a host of others. Cake walks at Van Auken School. Palo Alto Recreation Dept (PARD) taking care of kids after school and during summers. Halloween and all of it's activities' at Elsinore Park and other parks. School buses, and driver's training in 10th grade during PE class. And pretty much everything that everyone else has listed.
Attended Ventura Elementary School, Loma Vista Elementary school, and a brand new Lewis M. Terman Jr. High in the late 50s early 60's. Rode the bus down from our orchard in Los Altos Hills (no schools of its own then) with a wonderful bunch of kids, including Dave Packard's sweet and unspoiled children. Remember the Old Barrel Store, "Zotts" in the hills. Worked on the old cord-boards producing long distance phone calls in the old Pacific Bell building. The big tree by the railroad track"Palo Alt" oand the old creamery on ?Hamilton. Elementary students were given free tickets in the booster seats at Stanford's football a way to fill stadium. Riding the bus without fear when I was 7 years old...can you imagine any parent allowing THAT today? Having lunch with Mother at the Golden Dragon Restaurant. Oh, such sweet days....
Attended Ventura Elementary School, Loma Vista Elementary school, and a brand new Lewis M. Terman Jr. High in the late 50s early 60's. Rode the bus down from our orchard in Los Altos Hills (no schools of its own then) with a wonderful bunch of kids, including Dave Packard's sweet and unspoiled children. Remember the Old Barrel Store, "Zotts" in the hills. First "real" job working on the old cord-boards producing long distance phone calls in the old Pacific Bell building. The big tree by the railroad tracks, the "Palo Alto" and the old creamery on ?Hamilton. Elementary students were given free tickets in the booster seats at Stanford's football a way to fill stadium. Riding the bus without fear when I was 7 years old...can you imagine any parent allowing THAT today? Having lunch with Mother at the Golden Dragon Restaurant. Oh, such sweet days....
Haven't been back to this thread in several years. Great to see it still going! My 40th Cubberley reunion was last week -- had to miss it as I live too far away now. But the online comments among the crowd brought back memories similar to this thread. Mom still lives in PA (Dad died about 5 years ago), so I get back a few times a year. One memory to add: late 1960s/early 1970s, some of the first anti-development political stirrings, the sense that Palo Alto was losing its community focus. There was a ballot measure, item L. I don't remember the details, but the lawn signs (we had one) said "'L' no!" -- pretty racy at the time, or at least for me as a kid.
Ha, the thread that never dies ... Remember Town & Country Market, and the pharmacy with a post office at the back? Town & Country record store was where I bought my first albums ... before I found out about World's Indoor Records and Chimera Books. Kepler's Books at San Antonio. Mountain View Surplus. and now Tower Records is a fading memory ... for better or worse. House Of Pies, The Good Earth. The Bijou Theater, The Varsity Theater, The Festival Theater, the Drive in. The Teen Drop In Center in the basement of the Community Center ... I think that was short-lived. and most of all in contrast to today ... how amazingly quiet Palo Alto was at night, but how loud the train could be then at times when the air was cold and still.
In 1949, my father was a butcher in Hance Barry's "Homer Market" (on Homer across from the old Stanford Clinic). It was a very small grocery store and a smaller butcher counter. On Sundays, my brothers and I would get out of the First Baptist Church and walk over to the market which was about ten blocks away to meet my Dad. When I was seven, my parents would take my brother and I to the Pink Horse Ranch in Los Altos Hills. It was a riding school. Given my age, they kept me and my Shetland pony, Trinket, in close quarters. Didn't stop me from taking Trinket into the stream and eat my lunch in the saddle. Thought that this was one of life best adventures. Later on, I was lucky to be given an "unbroken" Palomino horse named Cheetah. I kept the horse at El Camino and Page Mill Road. I would ride my bike from Cereza Rd to the Driftwood Market, buy some Necco wafers and continue on my bike to feed my horse. I was eight years old. My mother would not see me for four to five hours. Never an issue. Because Cheetah was not "broken" I could only watch her. She was a huge horse and I just walked on the top of the fences going to open the water or give her hay. Then, I would just watch her and she would watch me. And then, I would ride my bike home. What a wonderful and safe life! I went to Barron Park. To this day, I still have among my best friends some of my classmates at Barron Park!
Spending a lot of time on Stanford campus: 1) Playing the 4 way spaceship game, next to the bowling alley + Student Union. 2) Staying out until Dark-Thirty thereby forcing me to do the next activity. 3) Stealing bikes to ride home because I was afraid to walk home in the dark. 4) Putting Cherry Bombs into the Jack-in-the-Box head on El Camino. 5) Getting stoned at a rock band night club on University and High st. and finally becoming a Police Officer.
Going to the Bold Knight in Sunnyvale Saturday nights to hear the Chocolate Watchband and the Golliwogs (Creedence Clearwater) Saturday nights at the Community Center to hear Will Penn and His Pals, and the Fugitives. Going to Poor Richards on the Great Hiway in SF for Sir Douglas Quintet, and the most eclectic double bill at the Fillmore (Carousel Ballroom) Gratefull Dead and Preservation Hall
I remember biking from my house near paly everyday all summer to Gunn for summer camp did this for three summers, the best summers.
Hi there - Really enjoying this thread. I have wondered about Disco Rex Pharmacy for the 20 years I have lived here. Any information about the name and how the heck they can still cover rent?!
I grew up in Mountain View in the 60's, but my dad worked in Palo Alto on Stanford property. He was a commercial architect, he designed the Mayfield Mall and Saga Foods, Palo Alto Square. I have fond memories of going to his office with him on Saturday mornings so he could get extra work done, and I'd get to draw with all the cool pens. Then he'd take me to lunch at the old Barn or Arby's. My Mom loved coming to Stanford shopping center. I remember a shoe store that had Monkeys in the window, Florsheim's? My Grandma worked at I.magnins and Joseph Magnins, so we'd come to visit and have lunch at Blums. Someone earlier mentioned Rapp's shoes on University, with the talking Myna Bird! I totally remember that now! My parents took me to dinner at Stickney's and Dinah's Shack (loved the woman playing the harp)...or Bob's Big Boy. Oh and my parents loved Ming's Chinese Restarant.
What ever happened to the concerts at Frost Amphitheater? I remember seeing so many great concerts there in the 70's. Such a cool place - is it still there?
Frost is used rarely these days, according to this 2011 article:Web Link From the article: From 1982 through 1987, the Dead came to Frost every year. "Always a fun and wild scene," Russ Dugoni, an East Bay resident who grew up during the late '60s near Stanford, said via email. "Some kids would climb the trees inside Frost to watch the band. The venue was packed . . . always sold out for the Dead! I do recall when Jerry sang [Bob] Dylan’s ‘It’s all Over Now, Baby Blue,’ you could hear a pin drop.” A quarter-century later, you can still hear pins drop at Frost. With the exception of a rare summertime concert, the venue sits empty and silent. Security issues led to a fence being erected several years ago, and costs to mount a show have become prohibitive, officials say. The wiring is outdated. Everything that a modern concert needs must be brought to Frost on a truck. There is talk among alumni of a certain age about raising money to revivify the old arena, maybe even creating an endowment that would generate an operating budget. The memory of dancing to live rock on a sun-kissed afternoon with nothing but blue sky above you exerts a powerful pull.
I remember my girl friend and I sneaking into Frost to see Quick Silver Messenger Service and The Chambers Brothers in ’68. Attended a few other concerts there in the late ’60′s. A good time was had by all.
I lived in Charleston Gardens (I didn’t know it was called that until just now) on Maplewood Ave. from 1963-1968. I walked to Greendell every school day third grade through sixth grade. Our neighborhood had a parade every fourth of July. We’d decorate our bikes with red, white, and blue crepe paper. I used to walk over the border to Mountain View to buy fireworks since they didn’t sell them in Palo Alto. I used to go dumpster diving in the industrial area on the other side of San Antonio. I was thrilled when I found wires, or stickers, or especially electric motors. My friend Mark (I envied him because he had Encyclopedia Brittanica, and I only had World Book) taught me how to solder and we had great fun making all kinds of things. I attached an electric motor to a flexy (a sled with wheels), and our long extension cord got very twisted from the circles we rode. I remember climbing to the top of the little booth at Cubberly football field to watch the girl that I had a crush on from a distance. I was too shy to talk to her. There was a bridge in Mitchell Park over a concrete river. There was a water pipe under the bridge, and we used to cross the river (usually dry) hand over hand holding onto the pipe. There was a storm drain there, probably 3 or 4 feet in diameter, that I used to crawl through with my friends. I also had a favorite tree in Mitchell Park that I loved to climb and hang out in. I spent a lot of time in the library at Mitchell Park. I knew it like the back of my hand, and even got books from the adult section sometimes. I used to wander by myself or with friends, collecting bottles to redeem so that I could buy candy, from when school got out until dinner time. I loved my free-range childhood. Parents can get arrested for letting their kids do that now. I went to Wilbur for seventh grade, before moving to LA. It was an exciting place compared to Greendell. You could buy lunch, and I took Latin! I remember writing graffiti: “I love Joan”, in a place where no one would ever see it. I could go on and on. I loved my childhood in Palo Alto.
@Jay, I was one year ahead of you at Wilbur. Was it Mrs Sredanovic teaching Latin? I think she’s still around as a local Raging Granny. Yes, those were the days. I hope LA wasn’t too much of a downgrade for you. Wonder how the current kids will look back on their childhoods here. Or whether they’ll have any memory at all.
This thread is very interesting, and the ideas is great … However, I wonder if Palo Alto Online can add a little code to their Town Square index page that perhaps changes the color of the text to red or blue when the date is over 6 months old, just so people don’t go clicking on it and commenting like it was just happening. Or some other flag that the article commented on is not contemporary would be useful. I mention this not for this thread because it is obvious, but many others, such as the man collapsing on that is showing up sometimes seem like they just happened if you do not read carefully. Just a thought.
@Plane, the index page does show the date of original post, and after being caught a few times myself by obsolete articles, I’ve learned to look before clicking. The moderators do a fair job of permanently closing threads which get randomly resurrected, as with that man-collapsing example you cited. Back on topic, movies at the Stanford Theatre often precipitate nostalgic memories, recently bringing to mind the old black dial-telephones, and when all of Palo Alto was on the Davenport exchange. We even had party lines. Searching this thread I found a link to a scan of the 1951 Palo Alto phone directory (posted by Chris on 1/20/2012). Predates my family by two years, but I found my childhood dentist in there. I was happy that the link still worked, and am concerned that many such links will disappear into the ether. Can’t foretell whether any of Palo Alto Online’s content will still exist fifty years from now.
> musical … “@Plane, the index page does show the date of original post” Yes, I and I think most people know that, but lots of people miss it nonetheless, so color coding it might help that. It is easy to do in code on the web server.
Selling lemonade when I was 12 with my BFF on the 7th Tee at Stanford Golf Course in the late 70′s! Anyone remember?? We made lots of $ selling lemonade and zucchini bread during the Tom Watson tournament!
I haven’t lived in P.A. since the early 70′s, but I grew up in College Terrace in the 50′s and 60′s and watched them build the first Hewlett-Packard in the fields where we would make hay-bale forts and make trails through the tall grass. We made skateboarded slalom courses from the top of California at Amherst all the way down to Dartmouth. JJ&F was our main grocery store–where families ran a tab. Just across the street was Sammy K’s junkyard where we salvaged for any kind of wheel to make any kind of vehicle that rolled-skateboards, soap boxes, doodle-bugs (short bike frame powered by lawn mower engines.) We walked to school on the stump and cable protected path that connected CT to Stanford Elementary School (long gone) that is now housed over by Pine Hill. The public schools were very good, but the economic status of the inhabitants was very mixed–lots of working families mixed in with some Stanford professors and professionals. There were actually some very poor people living there then.
I grew up in Paly and Menlo -50′ & 60′s. We lived on Harker right across from the Military School. Bugle calls every day. Best memory of Walter Hayes school was being hit over the head with Ms. Topham’s ruler or being sent to the cloak room in the rear of the classroom. She made us “trill the R’s”—a type of speech therapy I suppose but I don’t think it ever came in handy later. She drove an old 49 Chevy with a three speed shifter on the column. You could hear her coming down Middlefield for blocks. Walter Hayes had a beautiful courtyard there where we all ate lunch. Rows of covered bike racks on the tri-corner of Middlefield- Embarkadero- Chuchill. Loved it there then. Nothing but kids everywhere. Football in that town was the best. Stanford Indians Forever! Seems like every front porch flew a large Red & white block “S”
I also grew up in College Terrace (born 1952), but moved to SF in 1975. Some items I haven’t seen in the above comments (all food-related): Ellie’s Donut Shop on Cambridge Ave, about 1/2 block from El Camino. If you got there early enough, the donuts were just coming off the conveyor belt. Best jelly donut I ever had. The Moon Palace Chinese Restaurant on El Camino b/w College and Stanford or maybe between College and California. Remember seeing Joan Baez there a few times. The Stanford Drive-In burger place opposite Polly and Jakes on corner of Page Mill and El Camino. I loved the “French Burger” on a sourdough roll (or was that place The Stanford View?” My father lived in a cottage on the property which became the Village Corner on San Antonio and El Camino. It was a big estate with lots of almond and persimmon trees, and a garbage incinerator. Across from Village Corner: Estrellita’s Mexican Restaurant (may still be there!) And an Italian Restaurant on El Camino past San Antonio towards Mt View on west side of El Camino, called San Remo (I think…), had the red/white checkered table cloths, olive oil bottles with candles, christmas lights. I thought the spaghetti was fantastic (probably wasn’t….) And the Black Forest German Restaurant in Los Altos! The Foster’s Freeze on El Camino near Stanford Ave: great soft ice cream, very weird hamburgers with some kind of chili sauce…. People mentioned the “Alley” on Litton Plaza. Was that the same as the bar “Litton Corner, which was a big place with shuffleboard and pool tables. And have to put in my pitch for MaxiMart, the first discount store I remember going to. Hope this thread keeps up!
Estrellita’s is still there! I’m living in Washington State now, but go to Estrellita’s every time I visit Palo Alto…was there last October and had a fantastic meal- as always!
Our house was built in 1951; jackrabbits roamed around all the empty lots then! Enjoyed being a crossing guard in 5th or 6th grade. Horses grazing on Newell Road. Luscious burgers at Harry’s Hamburgers on Woodland Avenue (Whiskey Gulch) across the creek in EPA. Putting sandbags up and down the streets in my neighborhood when San Francisquito Creek flooded back in the 50s. Studying at the library on Newell Road. Riding bikes all over – freedom to roam around all day on weekends and in the summer. Eleanor Park. Swimming in the pool at Rinconada Park. My dad taught us to bowl at the Indian Bowl. Had our milk, cheese, butter etc. delivered by the milkman from Pier’s Dairy. Stanford and Varsity theaters on University. The Paris Theater – combo coffee shop and movie theater. St. Michael’s Alley. Block parties on our street. Paly vs. Sequoia football games at Stanford Stadium. Lunch at Foster’s Freeze on El Camino when Paly had ‘open campus’. Stanford Shopping Center – Woodlands restaurant, Sandy’s Kitchen, Emporium, Blum’s, etc. Milkshakes at Peninsula Creamery!! Rapp’s Shoes with the talking Mynah bird. Stickney’s at Town and Country, John Barnes restaurant on University Avenue, Stanford Sport Shop, JC Penney’s, Woolworth’s lunch counter. Dance lessons at Beaudoin’s. Dressed up cotillions. Being a Candy Striper at the old Stanford Hospital (Hoover at that time?) Being a telephone operator at Western Union – having to deliver singing telegrams for birthdays etc. Family dinners on Sundays at Dinah’s Shack – I still remember the cornbread with honey, and the fried chicken. Hubbard & Johnson Lumber. Palo Alto Clinic on Homer Avenue. Tons more but not enough time to do more than crack the surface! Crescent Park Elementary, Jordan Jr. High and Paly High. PA was a wonderful place to grow up!!! So many fond memories of a different time. Unfortunate that most of us could never afford to live there now!
I miss the gas station on Middlefield which is now a Yoga Studio The old Mitchell Park library and all the trees. Where now there is a “Magical Playground” wow Blockbuster became a Spa. I truly miss Borders
Well, Resident, you must be a young ‘un (relative to some of us, anyway), citing businesses (Blockbuster and Borders) that didn’t even exist when I was growing up. Of course, those are two stores that have basically come and gone at this point, so yeah, can be classified as ” Things I remember”…
Amongst the other hundred memories mentioned here, I miss the shabby 24 hour doughnut shop on the corner of Loma Verde and Colorado where you could show up half-baked at 2am to enjoy some freshly baked goods.
Richmaid Donuts next to Ernie’s Liquors. Used to go in everyday for coffee and a donut and walk to work at Lou’s Shell station in front of the Winter Club.
The pharmacy (?) at Edgewood Plaza where I bought baseball cards for $.05 Snowballs from Peninsula Creamery at Christmas Chicken Delight in Whiskey Gulch When PARD would pay college kids to host summer activities at Crescent Park Elementary Hitting home runs into the Putz’s pool
Video Games at 7-11, Safeway, and Round Table On Colorado Ave. Riding bikes at: the closed drive in on Amarillo where soccer fields are in Greer Park now when Green Park was much much smaller, the baylands when much of nobody when out there, Stanford Stadium, the trails in the Stanford hills, and pretty much all over the entire town unsupervised all night. The guy who used to ride his bike by steering his handlebars with his hips. THE homeless guy who used to hang out on North California Ave. Cap guns that looked like real guns. T & C at lunchtime at Paly. Banana Records on ECR. Mr. Center’s typing class at Jordan and his Jolly Ranchers. Mr. Gidley’s math class at Jordan and the popcorn room. Dialup internet in the ’70 where you put the phone in a cradle modem. When Palo Alto finally got cable in the late 80′s. Mimeographs at Van Auken. The original Mrs. Fields. The Barn at Stanford. One of the first TOGOs. The Stanford band at the Stanford football games.
reading these comments takes me back. hazy golden memories. lived there from late 50s for ten years. worked at piers drive-in dairy. fun job. best job was working for the rec dept. we had a great parks and playground system in the 60s and 70s. wonderful community support. remember the penny carnivals. favorite park was Mitchell. our first teen drop in center at cubberly in summer of 68, and later the teen center at Mitchell. big hit ( as I remember) thank you all for the memories; good stuff I hadn’t thought of for years.
…Those were the days……….I worked at Midtown Market from 1956 to 1970. The first 7, single. I was in 7th heaven! Those were the days when all the girls from Cubberley, Paly, and Castilleja shopped with their mothers. I bagged their groceries, took them to their car, and did my best to get a date. Lunch at Pete’s in Bergmann’s, drooling over Mary Ann and Rosemary. Breakfast sometimes at Eddies coffee shop. Bowling with Eddie C. at Indian Bowl. And…my wife of 49 years was one of those Cubberleyites who shopped with her mother.
Happy 10th Anniversary of this thread to our fearless CNO (Chief Nostalgia Officer), Andrew L. Freedman.
Love reading everyone’s memories. Started off on Louis Rd. by Oregon Expressway. Loved the Pedestrian Bridge over 101, the loquat trees along Oregon, and Elizabeth Van Auken. Frequent trips to Bergman’s and Baskin Robbins after church and the duck pond. Moved to Barron Park in 3rd grade; then Matadero and Barron Creek with lots of tadpoles, moss and poison oak. Driftwood Market, Iron Works, Ramon’s Pizza, Summer movie specials for kids at Stanford theater, after school rec. at Barron Park, being a Terman Termite (er, Tiger, swimming at Cubberley pool and the high dive, and at Rinconada Park, Junior Museum, and riding bikes everywhere, including an old 3-speed to Foothills Park. Football games at Stanford. And there is not enough time to mention all the friends and teachers.
Grew up in Crescent Park – remember Elanor Park with the old house and the eucalyptus trees, first skate park. Anybody remember the Beef and Barrel ?? Tim & Molly McGuire played there, the Cellar, saw Peter Rowan and the Free Mexican Air Force there.
I moved from Palo Alto in 1962 when I was seven. We lived on Bryant Street in Craftsmen-style house that I hear is still there.I remember the walnut trees lining the roads in our neighborhood. Our backyard was an open lot with an old abandoned artist’s studio on it. I also remember a tunnel in a park. Name anyone? I went to Walter Hayes (sp?) Elementary and there was an annual maypole dance. But I especially remember the mansions in our neighborhood with the most amazing gardens. I can still remember their fragrance.
When I think of Palo Alto I think of baseball. The little league teams: Cheerios, Ditz Crane, Babe Ruth team Congdon and Chrome, then Terman and Gunn along with Joe Dimaggio and American Legion. I think of the great coaches: Bob Hoover, Bob Morris, Bill Locke, Fred Brown, Bert Borges, Tim Farrell and of course the late great Bill Alhouse. Then on our Laguna Way street all of us boys and our mostly motocross bikes screaming up and down the street. Nelson, Darryl, Keith, Art, Jeff. I recall when Coca Cola bottling (on El Camino near Page Mill) had a 49er poster in 1963 or so. Bottle caps had the player pics on the underside. The late Carl Stondall and I went all the way up and down El Camino on our bikes fishing bottle caps from the soda machines with a magnet on a string. We each got a “free” football for getting all the players. Great times! To all my friends and former teammates, what a fine time we have had. Keep up the chatter.
Ah, the movie theatres of yesteryear! The Paris The Biograph The Bijou The Varsity The Fine Arts The Altos The Guild The Menlo
Marc … thanks for posting this … Ah, the movie theatres of yesteryear! The Paris – A nice old place turned X-rated, hard to imagine that in Palo Alto, The Biograph – Bean bag chairs The Bijou – Turned into Gordon Biersch The Varsity – Varsity dollars, great theater, used to have food too. Huge loss to the city. The Fine Arts – First theater I ever saw a movie in in CA. The Altos – never had the pleasure. The Guild – still going so far. The Menlo – Kind of like an old Quonset hut with a round ceiling? … and the Park There used to be a theater right on … Santa Cruz in Menlo Park was it … I think it was called the Park. There was the Menlo and the Park theaters. We still have the mighty Stanford Theater in Palo Alto and its wonderful old movies. It was nice to have so many theaters in Palo Alto, and we have lots of book stores too.
I started reading from the beginning and then wondered if there were at resent posts. I’ve recently retired after 39 years with NASA and raising a family of 3 kids and finally have some time to pull picture albums together. The first box I opened had my school pictures from Cresent Park 59-62 and made me wonder about my 5th and 6th grade teacher Mrs. Baggenstos. That’s how I found this site. Although we only lived there for three years, it is where my most wonderful childhood memories come from. We lived on Forest Street so I remember the island park that was mentioned previously and walking to school everyday not really needing a coat to wear. It did snow one year we were there. Highly unusual! I remember walking to town to see the movies for twenty five cents and buying lots of candy at one of the nearby stores. There was also a silent movie theater a little further down the road and an antique shop my mom loved to go visit. We lived in a really large (it seemed large to me at the time) house and would rent out spare rooms, the third floor and the cottage out back to Stanford students and visiting professors. One lady was from Sweden and liked to visit the “beatnik” bar. She would take my sister and I with her and all I can remember is a painting of a nude woman on the wall! LOL. But I’m sure that place was a landmark of sorts for music and “other” pass times. Rinconada Park and Stanford Steps were our favorite places to play other than our neighborhood. We enjoyed being in the plays at the community center too. My reason for wanting to find Mrs Baggenstos is that she was a wonderful teacher who helped me more than any other teacher in my life. She inspired my love for art, music and science. The science part leading to a wonderful career with NASA training astronauts on the scientific payloads flown on shuttle and station. She may have passed on already but she was a special lady in my book!
I went to Crescent Park from 1955 – 1961, but I don’t remember Mrs Baggenstock. My 5th – 6th grade teacher was Mrs Britton. Remember Mr Canty, Miss Peterson, Mrs Elkins, Mrs Culver. She must have come as I left. Does anyone from Mrs Britton’s class remember Helen Keller visiting us ??
Wow, radar!! I went to Crescent Park too and had Mrs. Britton for 5th and 6th as well. I remember Mr. Canty and Mrs. Elkins. Had Mrs. Werner for 1st, Mrs. Smith for 2nd, Miss Sweet for 3rd and Mr. Lehner for 4th. Do you remember Mrs. Silbaugh, the Principal?
Yes, I remember Mrs. Silbaugh, also the music teacher Mr. Stocking. Remember Mrs Britton’s choir, and having to do Christmas “concerts”. Had to do a clarinet solo at one. Remember goingto the school office before the start of the year to see what class I was in. Remember playing kickball at recess and trying to kick the ball over the bike racks into Linda Spencer’s back yard
I remember Apricot orchards and Fields on Maybell. Playing out all summer till dark. Driftwood Market on allowance day Swimminig everyday in the Summer at Terman. Parks and Rec at Loma Vista Metal roller skates on the “Red Top” Crossing the railroad tracks through the whole in the chain link fence to go to Mayfield Mall. Putting pennies on the track before the train went by. The 1 Togo’s A&W root beer with skate up servers All American Market, Co-op Market The Old Mill and the movie theaters there. My 2 favorite Elementary School Teachers-Mrs. Au and Mr. Slovakian :) Neighborhood Garage sales and Block parties. 1976 when “Marriots” Great America opened
Sounds like we grew up in the same era, same area. I remember cutting through that orchard from Amaranta to Arastradero (or “Arrestradero” as it was sometimes called, due to its 25 mph speed limit) and getting my shoes all muddy. On allowance day, I would bike over to the Driftwood market, stock up on comics and candy, go home and read/eat, was in heaven! I swam at Terman, and hung out at the Parks and Rec program at Loma Vista. One of the counselors was Yvonne Monk. She drove a VW bug, and one day, she let us paint it in a psychedelic pattern. I was disappointed when she promptly took it to the car wash, had assumed she’d keep the new paint job, ha-ha. Also skated on the redtop, loved the sharp turn through the poles at the bottom of the slop by the Admin office. Mrs. Au wasn’t there when I was young enough to have her, but I remember loving her once she got there. I was among a group of kids whom she had sing a Hawaiian sea shell song. And Mr. Solakian was terrific! I remember when he left the area to pursue a writing career in L.A. We put on a little farewell play for him. He return to PA, told us that his scripts were good enough to be stolen and used (on Marcus Welby, or some medical show, I think). We used to get orange fingers at the candy counter at The Old Mill, shopped at the Co-op, etc., etc., etc.. 
ALSO…I remember Mrs. Stocking. She was Mrs. Downs or Downings (?) before she married Mr. Stocking, another music teacher.
Wow, I still love Palo Alto, so many great childhood times..the best place to grow up in the 50s through 70s. When small Mom took us to the duck pond, the dump on Sundays with my grandfather. I went to Walter Hayes, just as my Mom did in the 40s, loved the Children’s Library, we lived across Rinconada on Newell. Spent many summers in the pools, remember how we had to be a certain age to leave the little round pool! The snack bar, the pixie sticks, the Children’s Museum, walking and biking downtown, to Stanford, all over hte place, always safe. We had crossing guards and could only cross to Walter Hays at Middlefield and Embarcadero or got into trouble! We played in every possible spot in the park, in the redwoods, the tennis courts, graduating from the Tiny Tot area to the big park! I especially remember exploring every street, remember the fragrance of the flowers, the smell of warm rain during the spring on the sidewalks, capture the flag with friends on Coleridge, Webster, In our neighborhood we played until dark in the summer, hide n go seek, basketball, never bored. I remember Mrs. Berry in 6th grade, she was strict, but the Maypole Dance, getting to babysit the 3rd graders during a rainy day, getting to be the librarian, LOVED it, I had Dingman for Latin at Jordan, Mr. Center for typing..Mr. Love for Math/Algebra…Jordan was so large compared to Walter Hays..We ate at Stickneys every Friday night with my Aunt and cousins then played hide n seek outside while they sat at our “corner booth” inside. Eddies on Wednesdays because Mom did grocery shopping across the street at Market Basket, hung out at the MidtownPharmacy..Bergmanns, I feel very fortunate to have grown up in PA until we moved to Alaska in 1968! And who can remember the traditions of Fulton Christmas Tree Lane, or the egg van that would egg kids on Halloween?? Mom was a born and bred Palo Alton, she lived in our home on Newell for over 47 years…she loved it.
We should all say birth place & year so we can get the perspective. I was born @ Stanford Hosp ’53. My mom Luella graduated Palo Alto High in 1948. Her mom was born in Mountain View before 1900 on Villa Street. There since 1851. Henderson & Strong family. SO these retail places are often since after WW 2 50′s. She lived on Hanover in College Terrace with a bunch of siblings. They are all spread out now and not 1 could afford Palo Alto 2017. Those were the human years- where a common doctor was a neighbor, or a Navy officer. And anyone with a job could get a house. A joke now. Even Pop Warner famed coach, lived in a regular house on Madrono Portola neighborhood near El Camino Foster Freeze where my mom worked. All the early Silicon valley founders were not so crazy building estates and mansions then- driving up everyone else’s chance to own. We has a place in the 50-60 era on Cambridge halfway between El Camino & Birch– Barron Park Cab HQ. That was such a Beaver Cleaver replica life to me and attending Mayfield for 1 year or so 1958-60. We then moved back to our Mountain View house at 2357 Craig Court in Monte Loma tract. The 1954 11K is now $1.6 million 150 time more- Insane my dad’s $2 hr job would never do. It would have to be $200 hr to pay it off now in same time. Back to Mayfield- the Fine Arts Theater was 220 feet from where we lived behind the Bank Parking lot. There I stood raising finds for UNICEF in ’59 with my brother Jay. The subway tunnel crossing got us to school each day avoiding the ‘Dangerous’ El Camino crosswalk at Californa. For a treat we’d maybe get a burger with mom at the Stanford ‘Indian’ logoed Drive-In on Page Mill. Or Kraemer’s further south on El Camino. Dinah’s Shack was a bit too high end to go but maybe once every few years- and always in a suit coat. Hank’s on Bayshore was more a favorite of my dad’s since he was a Sailor from Moffett Field before he met and married my mom in 1950e. As was the Old Plantation on San Antonio and El Camino. So much more to say but that’s it for today.
Okay, in response to the email above from Terry Bohme: I was born in 1958, in the Sequoia Hospital in Redwood City, although at the time, my home was on Hanover St. in College Terrace, two houses in from Stanford Ave. I was the youngest of four children. My sister, the eldest, was born in 1953, and I also have two brothers (yes, four kids in five years span – there’s a reason we are call Baby Boomers, ha-ha). She and one of my brothers were born at the Stanford Hospital, the other brother, like me, in the Sequoia Hospital. My sister went to Stanford Elementary School, then Escondido. In 1962, my family moved over to the Green Acres track (bought an Eichler), near an orchard which eventually became the Juana Briones Park. My three siblings and I all went to Loma Vista Elementary (now Juana Briones), Terman Jr. High (no “middle schools” for us back then!), and Gunn High. Two of my siblings went full circle in a way, attending Stanford U. My dad worked at the Stanford Linear Accelerator, and my mom was a school teacher in Mountain View. One of my brothers bought the Green Acres house from my parents, so it is still in the family. So I can, “Go home again”, literally (although my old room is now his wife’s dressing room, ha!). Okay, you may now go back, find my earlier posts about how great it was to grow up in Palo Alto, and enjoy reading them in context. :-)
This weekend, I purchased several vintage children’s books from the at the Alameda antique fair. They are inscribed to Loius Lenzen from his Gramme Ella. Two are dated 1948 and 1946. Several have a sticker that says Lindsay Palo Alto. One has a sticker that says Books Curtis Lindsay San Jose Stationary. The man selling these had many many more of his books and my daughter and I enjoyed reading the inscriptions and speculating on how this collection found its way to the faire. Why I didn’t ask the man selling them I don’t know. But now I can’t stop wondering about Louis Lenzen and his Gramme Ella who loved him very much and gave him so many books. Does anyone know anything about any of this? Any info is appreciated! From Rachel in Walnut Creek
My context. Born 1949 in Minnesota, moved to Palo Alto at 3. First house an Eichler near Green Gables School. Green Gables for kindegarten, Crescent Park for elementary, Jordan Jr High 1961-63. Graduated Paly in 1967, sat next to Sen Ron Wyden in Miss Schmidt’s Latin class. Worked during the summer for City of Palo Alto building trails in Foothi11 Park with a great bunch of kids from all over PA. Now, of course, not allowed to visit the park “lesser human being from “another” community” Many great memories, that Palo Alto long gone.
Similar to Radar: Crescent Park, Jordan, Paly High. My brother was in your class!! I had Mrs. Dingman for Latin. Moved to PA in 1951; our street was mostly empty lots with jackrabbits running wild. Palo Alto was a wonderful place to grow up. It is a real shame that the real estate prices are so obscenely high. I imagine that very few of us old Palyites could even come close to living there now!
Also had Mrs Dingman at Jordan. Mr Center and his Buick, Fred Taylor the science teacher and reserve PA cop. Good times then
I remember walking to Midtown after school with my best friend when I was in 4th grade. I had about 50 cents in my pocket and we would sit at Bergman’s Department store fountain and order french fries and a cherry coke as a special treat. We felt so grown up and independent and my parents didn’t worry about us because they knew we would be home later and sit around the dinner table with the whole family for dinner.
I remember all the great concerts at Frost Amphitheatre from 1967 – 1974, so many great bands at one show: Santana w/ Buddy Miles on drums, Jefferson Airplane, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Tower of Power Grateful Dead, Elvin Bishop, Cold Blood, Sons of Champlin Sly and the Family Stone (2 hours late, as usual) Loggins and Messina Derek and the Dominoes (Summer of 1974, Priceless) Also remember seeing ShaNaNa and Kreskin at the old theatre on the Stanford campus.
Stanford student union for bowling, pool, coffee house music, Stanford frat house parties while still at Paly, boozin’ at the Stanford bonfire, Lake Lagunita in the summer when it was full. Running the Stanford stadium stairs in the summer to get in shape for football.
@ Jordan, Mr. Bernal, Mr. Currier, Mrs.Bortz, Coach Harris, and Mr. Takamoto were classics! Mr. Center was certainly high on life, a very positive individual. Loved rainy days on the weekends so we could play tackle football in the mud on the Jordan field.
The dividing line between Wilbur Jr. High and Jordan Jr. High….Matadero Creek. Most of my friends went to Cubberley High School….I went to Paly. Caught by motorcycle cop for climbing on freight cars at California Avenue. Caught on the roof of El Carmelo, by motorcycle cop for getting a soccer ball down. Russia vs USA Track Meet in 1962 at Stanford Stadium…Valerie Brummel setting a world record in the High Jump at 7’4″. Over 100,000 spectators !!! Indian Burgers….Best Burgers in town at the corner of Page Mill Road, and El Camino. Chocolate dipped cones at Fosters Freeze, and lots of flies, and Hot Dogs on a stick with plenty of mustard. Pards flame cooked bergers on El Camino across from the original Kirks, where everyone had to stand and eat around the edge shelves of the building inside. Picnic tables out back…. Woolworth’s grilled cheese sandwiches, soaked in butter,…huge chocolate malts, and onion rings. Eddy’s ice cream…everything was pink inside. Mac’s smoke shop, and the cigars and pipe smoke. Railroad crossings at Page Mill and California Avenue. Helping Mom with Groceries when we went to the CO-OP grocery. Stanford Basketball Games in the old Pavilion…topped out at 2,100 people.
Stanford basketball @ the old Pavilion watching Lew Alcindor and the GREAT UCLA teams of the day. Stanford Track meets vs. the GREAT UCLA and USC sprinters, hurdlers, and throwers of the day. Shopping at Maximart with the high pitch burglar alarm that hurt your ears while shopping. The Paly gym, pool, and weight room open all summer, great hang-out! Coach Pederson, Vierra, Wesner, Hart, Donahue, Wiser, Batai, and our great track coach Forrest Jamison!
Snack bar at Rinconada Park had great hot dogs! The Poppycock on University Ave. had great fish and chips. Loved seeing the Illegitament Theater Improv group perform at The Tangeant downtown. Late night trips to Jack in the Box on El Camino was a savior! Loved watching the Jim Plunkett Heisman years at Stanford, and (2) Rose Bowl wins over Ohio State and Michigan. Don Bunce was the QB vs. Michigan.
Reading Zap and other underground comics at Ploughshares Bookstore in the early ’70′s; buying copies of the Berkeley BARB from Fran’s at the corner of Lytton and Cowper, and Saturday night free concerts at Lytton Plaza in the late ’60′s.
My mother was born and raised in Palo Alto – she lived across Newell Rd. from where the main library is from 1925 to 1943. She and her sister were PALY alums (’43 & ’42 respectively). I asked her back in the ’70′s what Palo Alto was like back then, and all she said was “it was horrible! We had to get up at 5:30 in the morning during summer and go pick string beans so we would have money to buy school clothes!”
In complete random order but Town and Country Stickneys, John’s market, Chinese restaurant, the candle shop next door to the Chinese restaurant, Korean take away, breakfast restaurant across from Douce France, the ice cream and sweet shop where books Inc is now? Midtown Bergmann’s!! The minature porcelain collectables, upstairs,and the sewing notions downstairs. The Co-op, the bakery where Subway is, the flower shop and camera/film store where Sancho’s is now. The old market where CVS is, my elementary school Herbert Hoover, where the apartment complex is across from Safeway. Bowling at Stanford University, Redwood City or in Mountain View, and of course budget movies at the Old Mill with plenty of indoor shopping. All of San Antonio shopping center, the arcade, hobby shop, tower records, and the drive thru Milk Pail dairy! Luddicots, never thought I’d miss eating upstairs there and seeing the occasional rat ! Having ice cream at Swenson’s and spending the afternoon upstairs looking out over University Ave. Watching movies downtown, I believe we had 3 places to choose from! (Varsity, Aquarius and one more near the whole foods)? The man in the sheep fur washing up in the fountain near the Cal train. Cho’s for pot stickers, Kirk’s burgers when they grilled them up outside. The button lady on Kipling street, fabric store on University Ave, the sushi restaurant where Oren’s hummus is now, oh and City feet for the best shoes, Roxy for the clothes and shoes, I’m still here in PA but barely recognize anything from my youth:-( The antique shop,then Wheelsmith bike shop, across from peninsula creamery, Bead it! Next door to the peninsula creamery, and Cafe Verona where peninsula creamery opened up the Mexican restaurant! Grateful to still have Osteria, Country Sun, Leaf and Petal. What else are we missing? Wasn’t the whole foods store an old car shop? And anyone else miss driving by Jack and Jill on El Camino Real and Page Mill?
Mr. Knoblock at El Carmelo….My brother Bob was at recesss with the rest of us kids, and Bob was raising a ruckus…..Mr. Knoblock came out of the classroom,….picked him up….carried him over to a garbage can….opened it up with his free hand, tossed Bob in, and slammed down the lid. Bob came out smiling to Mr. Knoblocks surprise. Also remember Mr. Mac, and Mr. White, and Miss Panero…..what was Jack and Jill at the corner of Page Mill and El Camino….all’s I remember there was the ‘Indian Burger’…best burgers in town until Kirk’s moved to California Avenue and served the Hawaiian Burger.
I lived in what I now know is referred to as the “Sterling Gardens”subdivision roughly between Louis on the west, between Loma Verde and Colorado Streets. Identical track houses built in the mid-1950s, each with 1004 sq. feet. We bought a home – were actually the third owners, in the late 60s for $26,000. Same house now in dire condition recently went for $2Million. I went to De Anza Elementary School (now gone). I remember buying Missle popcycles from Peer’s Dairy and touring it with my classmates. We saw how they make dairy products. Think it was sour cream but can’t recall. the trucks constantly came and went. I remember catching tadpoles in Matadero Creek right there. Taking them home to a shangrila tadpole palace I built for them. They survived, turned into frogs and split. Ice skating at the Winter Club in Midtown. There was a point where the girls lined-up on one side, boys on the other. Boys picked girls to skate with. The 7-11 opening there. Was there recently and it’s still there along with Round Table Pizza and the Safeway. At that time there was a Bergmann’s dept. store, a wonderful jewelry store, Wells Fargo Bank, Co-Op grocery store and so on. I remember Kirk’s Steakburgers on El Camino Real. Big long-time memories there especially as it’s gone, replaced first on California Street, great burgers and now at Town & Country Square – iffy burgers There were horse pastures in that area then. We’d get double cheesburgers and choclate malts. They didn’t sell fries. Those double burgers to go wrapped in foil – now I can’t see how I ate them they were so big. I have never had a better burger. Been to the current place in Town & Country Square but they just don’t seem the same. Plan to go to the Campbell location as it’s still original – opened in 1948. Hope that location will “seal the deal” that the burgers are still the same as is the ambiance, despite changing owners twice and all the decades that have passed.” I miss the original Kirk burgers like crazy. I remember “Be-ins” at what I think is now El Camino Park during the 60′s. And Lynton Plaza or the “People’s Plaza” with free music on Saturday nights. I remember when things digressed there, and while the music went on the plaza was surrounded by police along the edges. Each was wearing a red carnation or rose. I remember the “Good Earth” restaurant on University Ave. They sold vegetarian food and carrot juice. Thought that this would be the wave of the future. But organic, mainstream vegetarian restaurant chains haven’t flourished as far as I can tell and I’m not sure why. I remember Kipling Books. Going there with my boyfriend when high school aged. Parked out front. Joan Baez was getting into her silver car in front of us and winked at my boyfriend. Neil Young at the Skylonda Store giving us a watermelon, a party at Ken Kesey’s house and the graffiti bathroom. A commune not far away with a geodesic dome. I remember the stunning beauty of Old Palo Alto. Cowper, Waverly, Bryant, the area between Embarcadero and Oregon Expressway, Middlefield and Alma. And north of Embarcadero, but in the same vicinity. Lincoln and Homer Avenues. I rode my bike all over that section of Palo Alto in junior high as I had a relative who lived on Cowper near Embarcadero. That architecture has stuck with me and impacted my life in many positive ways, hence my membership in PAST(Palo Alto Stanford Heritage). I applaud their efforts to save historical residential architecture, even though the bulldozers keep rolling. Great architecture from Birge Clark, Pedro de Lemos and others. Birge’s sister Esther Clark was my pediatrian. I remember West Fargo Trading Company. I hippie shop and hang out in a huge old Victorian building downtown. And my friend running away to live with her boyfriend there. I wish I’d bought Apple stock later on when it tanked to $1. I always thought I’d live in one of those beautiful old PA homes. It’s sad that those raised there couldn’t afford to stay there. These memories are tied to those of my parents, now gone. They shaped me in many ways. And I still love to walk down the old familiar streets of Palo Alto.
The best hamburgers that I ever had in my life were the burgers from the Amber Lantern, on El Camino where Starbucks is not, and used to be Mountain Mikes. Big burgers flame broiled on a toasted French roll with cheese. I’ve never had a burger as good since. The closest but far smaller and not quite as good would be Clarke’s in Mountain View … if it is still open. Does anyone remember the Amber Lantern?
Someone above mentioned popsicles, and it reminded me that while in elementary school(in the ’60′s, at Loma Vista, now Juana Briones),they were sold every once and a while at a sort of pop-up stand. I forget what day of the week it was (maybe the last Thursday or Friday of each month?), but I remember having to remind my parents for extra money on the specific day. They kept the popsicles frozen with dry ice, and we all thought the “smoke” coming off it was pretty cool.
I haven’t read all these posts and the answer may be here somewhere! What was the name of the record/music store on University Ave. in the early 1950s?? I used to walk there from my house, a whole mile or so, on Saturdays to listen to records in the little rooms where you could go listen as long as you liked.
I was remiss in not mentioning Stickneys! We went there often for dinner. They had the best country style ribs with this awesome sauce. Great salads and a display with all kinds of irresistable cakes and pies – you saw it when you came in and were tempted every time. We usually had the same waitress – Trudy.
On University Ave, I only remember Swain’s House of Music. On Ramona (I believe) there was Melody Lane Of course, there was also Dana Morgan where Bobby and Jerry of the Grateful Dead (nee Warlocks) taught guitar until they replaced Dana Morgan Jr with Phil Lesh on bass
I think I answered my own question (a few posts ago)–about what was the name of the record/music store on University Ave in the early 1950s. It was Hagues, on University near Ramona. It had little rooms where you could go listen to the record to decide it you wanted to buy it. You could listen to all the songs on an LP. Little glass-enclosed sound-proof rooms with a record player and a little bench to sit on. Nobody bothered you or told you to hurry up. It was one of my favorite places about 1950-1952.
Just found this site, only 11 year later! Very fun to read. I grew up in Palo Alto in the 1940s and 1950s and am older than most who have posted here. An idyllic time, an idyllic childhood. I will probably be way too wordy … and many are repeats … but here goes: • Going to Miss Schwable’s notion store, in an old house, with my mom when I was little. • Learning to swim at the swimming pool at Miss Harker’s School when it was still in Palo Alto, I think on Melville. School moved to San Jose many years ago. • Summer day camp on San Francisquito Creek. Not that structured; you could wander around most of the day with your friends and catch little fish in the creek with tin cans. • The “Vegetable Man” drove around the neighborhoods and sold fresh vegetables off his truck. • The locust trees along our street dropped little white petals in late spring that we used to pretend was snow. • Attending Mayfield School, grades K-6, charming old Spanish style, torn down many decades ago. Then went to Jordan Junior High and Paly High. • Walking 1-mile each way from my house in Southgate to Mayfield, starting at age 6–nobody worried. • Going through the underpass to cross El Camino and get to school–smelled bad in there. • If I had a dime, stopping at Rasmussen’s on El Camino on the way home to buy a comic book. • Saturday matinees for 10 cents. Serial adventures. • Playing in the round pool at Rinconada and trying to talk underwater to my friend • Going to the Stanford or Varsity Theater every Friday night with my parents to see the latest movie. • Getting ice cream cones at the Indian Drive-In on El Camino. • In the summer, riding bikes everywhere, gone all day, lots of adventures. • Fantasizing about Frenchman’s Tower, trying to figure out how to get inside to find the treasure rumored to be buried in there. • Playing in the Stanford football stadium the day after a game when it was empty, looking for things (wallets!) that had slid down the steep dirt under the seats, people lost lots of stuff at the games. • The Spring Sing at Frost Amphitheater, lying down on the wide grass steps. • Going to the dump. This was actually an adventure, you could find neat stuff sometimes. • The excitement of the circus coming to town on the train. They set up in the fields where Town and Country later got built. The “freak show” was scary and fascinating. • Woolworth’s (“the Dime Store”) on University Ave, having a cherry coke at the counter, buying Big Little Books, looking at the little live turtles with flags painted on their shells. • Feeding the ducks at the duck pond near the Yacht Harbor with bags of old bread crusts that we saved. Once my cousin fell in and was covered in mud. • Watching airplanes land and take off at the Palo Alto airport. • Playing in new houses under construction. Jumping from a second-floor window into a pile of sand and somehow not geting hurt. • Buying new clothes at Walster’s at the beginning of the school year • Decorating my bike with crepe paper streamers and riding in the May parade down University Ave. • The Maypole dance, weaving all the streamers, at the Community Center. • The Children’s Theater plays. How did they make Mary Poppins fly? • Smiths-On-the-Circle. • Waiting at the downtown train depot for my grandma to come visit. • Swimming in Lake Lagunita, tradition was to go in on April 1. Cold! • Hague’s Music on University with the little glass-enclosed booths where you could listen to a whole LP before you decided if you wanted to buy it. • Learning ballroom dance steps at Boudoin’s Dancing School; waltz, tango, even “be-bop.” • Walking across the huge athletic field (now fenced off) to go to Paly High. My shoes were always wet in first period from the wet grass. • Swimming at Searsville Lake during high school days, two people hiding in the trunk to avoid paying. • Some great teachers at Paly–Miss Turner made me interested in history. Mr. Vittetoe made college English seem easy. He once read my paper out loud and I was so proud!
** Greenmeadow pool – when it was 20 yards long. Still there, though. ** Shopping Center next to Cubberley: – California Candadian Bank (where Peet’s is now) – Coast to Coast Hardware – Liquour Store – Drug Store – Mayfair Market, then Brentwood, now Piazzas – Dry Cleaner – Rick’s (with Rick behind the counter) – The Donut Nook, then Feng’s – Landry Mat, taken over by Feng’s ** Stickney’s Crunch Cake ** Manchester Auto on Middlefield Road accross from Mitchell Park libray ** IHOP on El Camino accross from Fiesta Lanes bowling alley (we used to go to IHOP as a treat some Sunday mornings after delivering our SF Chronicle paper route. I’d buy one mini NFL helmet each vist for $.25 – still have ‘em. Fun thread. Cheers TOM
So many memories….Paly High….. The Defense Drills during the Cuban Crisis…ala…get down under your desk…put your head down between your knees, and kiss your a.. goodbye. Yes…a good Nuclear Drill !!! A football game, where QB Tollner was replaced by Mike Norman with 10 seconds left, trailing Ravenswood 13-7….and Mike threw a 60 yard pass to Charles Anderson our wideout, for a TD to tie the score, and we missed the extra point…13-13…..tie. The day a dead skunk in the heating system got the school evacuated. The portable classrooms that were brought in on the East side. The day Dr. Mason was hung in effigy from the hood of a 56 chevy in the parking lot, while a small group cheered. The day Mr. Petty was slugged by an uncooperative student. Ants in the soup in the cafeteria. Only happened once thankfully…. Miss Lanz crying the day JFK was shot, along with a lot of students…and Russian Language class was cancelled. Learning from a friend at Fosters Freeze that all of the dead flies sitting in the window sills were collected each week, and ground up…then placed in the pepper shakers on the tables. Haven’t used pepper since…… Snapping wet towels in battle in the gym locker room until a friend snapped me on the dingy. I could barely walk to the next class. Ouch !!!! Jennifer Johnson, Sharon Stewart, …I thought they were Charlie’s Angels. Watching the basketball games, and Bob Lytell our magnificent guard. Coach Fairchild, and his classes at PE.
Surprised not to see any memories of kids getting pulled over by the Pino Police Bike patrol in the early 70’s. Pulled over for riding double, popping wheelies, running stop signs, etc… Juvenile court was full in those days. Racing home on bikes trying not to get dumped on by the helicopters spaying malathion! All the great shows at the Keystone- especially Journey All night bowling at Fiesta Lanes Dine and ditch at Woolworths diner in Mayfield Mall Coach Cal Shultz at Wilbur Keg parties at Foothill Park Cubberley’s Auto Shop Classes and wrenching at night and weekends Mr Riddle’s metal shop Mr Merkley wood shop All of our buddies dads who were the coolest cops!
We moved to Palo Alto in 1957. Our folks bought a house on Bryant St for $13,500. Wilbur Jr. High, class of 1963. Roy Kaku in my class. His brother (Mike) Michio Kaku 2 years ahead of us. Cubberley class of 1966. Our Senator, here in Oregon, Ron Wyden graduated from Cubberley in 1967. I remember bumping into Joan Baez at Keplers bookstore in the 60′s. ( Paly class of 1960.) I remember when my folks owned a trailer park in Mountain View at 1816 Bayshore Hwy. (A 2 lane road at the time.) The property is now the hdqtrs of Google. My mother was one of the assemblers hired by Dave Packard when their first building was on Alma, before they built the large building, “up on the hill”. I was one of the 2 first graduates from the Foothill College Aeronautics program. 1968. Went to Vietnam 1970-71. (CuChi and Phu Bai. Live in Oregon since 1983.
I spent 6 months working at the Menlo Park VA and later while at the PA Times remember seeing many of the patients on day passes downtown on University Ave. One was called known as “Sarge” who had a crewcut and wore army fatigues. He used to stand at street corners with stoplights to operate them using his mind. John McManus at Mac’s Smoke shop where everyone went for newspapers and share local gossip with anyone who sauntered in. World Indoor Records and Chimera Books in the back. Frank Buckhout, the first one in the office and the last to leave (PA Times). Julie Christie and friends at the Gatehouse during the filming of “Heaven Can Wait”. The upstairs candy and hot nuts section of JC Penneys at the MayField Mall where my mother sold chocolates and Cashews. Meeting Mrs. Fields at her office in Portola Valley thinking she would look like Mary See instead of a glamour gal. Too many others for the period 1960′s through 1970′s. Great article and too many memories to remember.
Wow, what a great thread! Pity I discovered it so late. Reading some of these brought a lot back to the surface. Where did the time go? Sad to think of the days gone that will only remain as memories… Moved to Palo Alto in ’75 as a very young boy, grew up in Midtown area near Alma St. Moved to Mtn View/Los Altos in ’85, and left the Bay Area in ’90 for college. The frequent Southern Pacific trains became a beloved part of my childhood soundscape, and I was facinated by the automated crossing gates and flashing lights. I only have fragmented memories of snow…but didn’t know it was in ’76 until reading this thread! Guess I was too small at the time. I would’ve guessed early ’80s, but memory is an unreliable thing. Or maybe it snowed again in the 80s? Mr. Wright’s preschool, riding tricycles in that great back yard, his funny piano performances, and the candy canes on his desk — we all wondered why he never ate them. Had a crush on one of the preschool teachers there :) Wonder where she is now? Walking home from Ina (sp?) and Joe’s child care on Loma Verde, only a few kids there so likely unfamiliar to any here. Bicycling for miles along PA’s streets dappled with light and shadow from the trees, tarred cracks forming interesting patterns. Bergmann’s burgers in back, Was always dragged there for kids clothes. Loved the former, hated the latter. Attended Keys on Middlefield — was a great school, many good memories. I see that it is still around, but only the original church building and classrooms are recognizable to me. Keys school had a mascot, a sweet tabby named “Llaves” (keys in Spanish), and she loved to be petted. Sad to think of her being long gone. Nice to see