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The things I remember about Palo Alto while growing up:

Original post made by Andrew L. Freedman, College Terrace, on Oct 19, 2006

A&W Root Beer stand on Middlefield Road – where the Safeway is now

The original Herbert Hoover on Middlefield Road across from Safeway

The Variety Store – where 7-11 now is

Bergmann’s and their Coffee Shop

Eddie’s Coffee Shop and their Milkshakes with the Mixing Container

Poppycock on Cower and old Victorian house that used to sell candles, incense, “black light” posters. Eventually, it became, of all things, an attorney’s office

$4.00 tickets at Frost Ampletheatre to see Santana, Grateful Dead and Tower of Power

The Recreation Department’s summertime event where all the kids would camp overnight at the Lucile Stern Center after playing all day and having a marshmallow cookout

The Recreation Department’s Penny Carnival (Each elementary school – about 24 back then – ran a recreation department during the summer. You could play Karems or check out a red rubber ball and also put on plays) The Penny Carnival helped finance this.

Riding our Stingray bicycles down Matadero Creek

Riding our Mini Bikes in all the empty fields on Middlefield Road

My beloved house on Wellsbury Way that was build new for my parents for $28,000.

Okay, there’re my memories.

Andy Freedman

Comments (1207)

Posted by natasha
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 19, 2006 at 1:58 pm

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?

Posted by Carlos
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 19, 2006 at 9:40 pm

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?

Posted by Rafe
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 20, 2006 at 5:50 am

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

Posted by Andrew L. Freedman
a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 20, 2006 at 7:07 am

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.


Posted by NewResident
a resident of Palo Verde
on Oct 20, 2006 at 12:45 pm

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 ?

Posted by Andrew L. Freedman
a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 20, 2006 at 1:01 pm

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.


Posted by guest
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 20, 2006 at 4:01 pm

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.

Posted by nostalgic
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Oct 20, 2006 at 4:28 pm

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.

Posted by Craig
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 21, 2006 at 2:41 pm

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.

Posted by Carol
a resident of Palo Verde
on Oct 21, 2006 at 9:31 pm

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

Posted by Lynn
a resident of Palo Verde
on Oct 21, 2006 at 9:31 pm

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.

Posted by natasha
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 25, 2006 at 9:34 am

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.

Posted by RS
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 25, 2006 at 2:03 pm

A more recent memory.

The snow that was trucked to downtown palo alto for a one night of play.

Posted by Bob Gardiner
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 25, 2006 at 8:26 pm


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)

Posted by Carlos
a resident of Palo Verde
on Oct 25, 2006 at 9:34 pm

"Slot car racing"

Where was this at? Please elaborate.

Posted by Lisa
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 26, 2006 at 2:11 pm

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.

Posted by Andrew L. Freedman
a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 27, 2006 at 12:58 pm

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,


Posted by Carlos
a resident of Palo Verde
on Oct 27, 2006 at 3:07 pm


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.

Posted by Penny
a resident of Professorville
on Oct 27, 2006 at 3:57 pm

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!

Posted by Mary L.
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 27, 2006 at 5:00 pm

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

Posted by Hulkamania
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 28, 2006 at 10:34 am

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


Western Auto

Going to Peninsula Creamery and having my friend's mom make us gimungous shakes

Posted by Ann McClintock
a resident of another community
on Oct 28, 2006 at 2:03 pm

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.

Posted by Eric V
a resident of Palo Verde
on Oct 28, 2006 at 9:21 pm

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!

Posted by Leigh
a resident of Barron Park
on Oct 29, 2006 at 7:29 am

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!)

Posted by Al
a resident of Green Acres
on Oct 30, 2006 at 8:43 am

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!

Posted by Sondra
a resident of Palo Verde
on Oct 30, 2006 at 10:10 am

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

Posted by Ann and John McClintock
a resident of another community
on Oct 30, 2006 at 11:25 am


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

Posted by Brian
a resident of Professorville
on Oct 30, 2006 at 12:09 pm

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.

Posted by Andrew L. Freedman
a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 30, 2006 at 12:27 pm

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.


Posted by Andrew L. Freedman
a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 30, 2006 at 1:17 pm

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.


Posted by Kirsten
a resident of Ventura
on Oct 30, 2006 at 3:53 pm

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.

Posted by Mayfield Child
a resident of Gunn High School
on Oct 30, 2006 at 11:13 pm

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 other place like place like place like place..

Posted by Emily
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 31, 2006 at 11:00 am

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

Posted by Geoff
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 31, 2006 at 11:17 am

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.

Posted by Pam Dawson
a resident of Barron Park
on Oct 31, 2006 at 11:31 am

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)


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.

Posted by Paul
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 31, 2006 at 1:12 pm

Mr Center @ Jordan

Kling's @ Town & Country

Patterson's on California Avenue

Fireworks @ the baylands

Paly Rules!!!

Posted by Margaret
a resident of Palo Verde
on Oct 31, 2006 at 1:59 pm

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.

Posted by Linda
a resident of South of Midtown
on Oct 31, 2006 at 2:30 pm

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!

Posted by Nicola Holmes
a resident of another community
on Oct 31, 2006 at 10:15 pm

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.

Posted by Andrea W
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Nov 1, 2006 at 2:44 pm

Is that Andy F from 88? This is so cool!
Cho's for lunch
King Chuan's greasy but good
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
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!

Posted by Andrew L. Freedman
a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 1, 2006 at 3:37 pm

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).


Posted by Paly Grad
a resident of Menlo Park
on Nov 1, 2006 at 3:46 pm

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 ;-) 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

Posted by Don Ganschow
a resident of Community Center
on Nov 1, 2006 at 4:00 pm

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.

Posted by Scott Preston
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 1, 2006 at 4:00 pm

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......

Posted by Jordana aka Paly Grad
a resident of Menlo Park
on Nov 1, 2006 at 4:06 pm

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

Posted by Don Ganschow
a resident of Community Center
on Nov 1, 2006 at 5:05 pm

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.

Posted by Andrew Freeman
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 1, 2006 at 6:57 pm

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
The Original (small) Miyake
The Stanford Pub!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Andrew Freeman
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 1, 2006 at 7:07 pm

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.

Posted by Andrea W
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Nov 2, 2006 at 1:38 am

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 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
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 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 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

Posted by Scott Preston
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 2, 2006 at 4:03 am

The Hot French Bread with Butter at Lunch and Brunch at Jordan.

Posted by Mark
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 2, 2006 at 4:38 am

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!

Posted by Dave Terzian
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Nov 2, 2006 at 8:34 am

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...

Posted by susie
a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 2, 2006 at 9:20 am

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.

Posted by John
a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 2, 2006 at 9:28 am

Mt. Mikes was previously the Amber Lantern, I believe. I don't know what it was prior to that point.

Posted by Brian
a resident of Professorville
on Nov 2, 2006 at 10:36 am

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.

Posted by susie
a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 2, 2006 at 2:12 pm

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.

Posted by s mayne
a resident of Community Center
on Nov 2, 2006 at 2:54 pm

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.

Posted by Tom
a resident of Greater Miranda
on Nov 2, 2006 at 5:43 pm

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.

Posted by Katie Long Christman
a resident of Professorville
on Nov 3, 2006 at 12:54 am

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...


Posted by Liz
a resident of another community
on Nov 3, 2006 at 4:07 pm

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.

Posted by Reg
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 3, 2006 at 4:42 pm

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.

Posted by Jill
a resident of Los Altos
on Nov 4, 2006 at 5:58 am

Al's gas house Pizza (the best)
Cook's Ranch
Purity Market
The rail road (no Foothill express way)
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

Posted by Elizabeth
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 5, 2006 at 6:10 pm

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.

Posted by Ann
a resident of another community
on Nov 5, 2006 at 6:25 pm

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.

Posted by Brad
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 5, 2006 at 10:03 pm

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!!

Posted by Jen
a resident of Greene Middle School
on Nov 5, 2006 at 10:24 pm

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???

Posted by Heidi
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 5, 2006 at 10:27 pm

Flash Light tag late into the night on Webster,Byron,Tasso,Seale,Santa Rita.....with the Vermeils,Hellmans,Kalkbrenners,Neihammers,Tabors,Ariaglias.

Posted by TC
a resident of another community
on Nov 5, 2006 at 10:35 pm

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

Posted by Erin
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 5, 2006 at 10:43 pm

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!

Posted by Leslie H.
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Nov 6, 2006 at 6:05 pm

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.

Posted by Carol
a resident of Palo Verde
on Nov 6, 2006 at 6:33 pm

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?

Posted by Linda
a resident of South of Midtown
on Nov 6, 2006 at 7:28 pm

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

Posted by Carlos
a resident of Palo Verde
on Nov 6, 2006 at 8:28 pm

Lake Lagunita is located just north of the intersection of Page Mill Road and Foothill Expressway. Here is a link: Web Link

Posted by Corea
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 6, 2006 at 11:55 pm

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?)

Posted by Lynn
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 7, 2006 at 11:59 pm

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


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

Posted by Andy Freeman
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 9, 2006 at 12:14 am

Bad boys, Erin? Were we? Don't forget Fred Schweer and Derek Williams! What's your last name, Erin? Where did you live?

Posted by Andy Freeman
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 9, 2006 at 12:25 am

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.

Posted by NewResident
a resident of Professorville
on Nov 9, 2006 at 7:07 am

The Challenger school campus - what was there prior to the school ? I think the school is a pretty recent change ( 2000 ? )

Posted by Andrew L. Freedman
a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 9, 2006 at 9:22 am

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)

Posted by Aymie
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 9, 2006 at 10:56 am

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 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!

Posted by Mary L.
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 9, 2006 at 12:31 pm

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!

Posted by Mayfield Jack
a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 9, 2006 at 12:55 pm

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?!!!

Posted by Murphy
a resident of Los Altos
on Nov 9, 2006 at 12:59 pm

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!

Posted by Mayfield Jack
a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 9, 2006 at 1:00 pm

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?!!!

Posted by steve san jule
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Nov 9, 2006 at 3:49 pm

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.

Posted by Andrew L. Freedman
a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 9, 2006 at 4:03 pm

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.


Posted by Mayfield Jack
a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 9, 2006 at 6:56 pm

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.

Posted by chuck
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 9, 2006 at 9:47 pm

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.

Posted by Chris Zaharias
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Nov 10, 2006 at 9:54 am

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...

Posted by The Barton Sisters
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 10, 2006 at 10:23 am

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
-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?)
-Patterson's (was on California Ave)
-Monette's Pet Store
-old Candy store on University Ave.
-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?)
-Shakey's Pizza on El Camino Way near East Meadow
-Shaw's ice cream parlor & candy shop in Menlo Park
-Continental Market (Mountain View)

Posted by Andrew L. Freedman
a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 12, 2006 at 10:48 am

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

Posted by Bill Johnson
publisher of the Palo Alto Weekly
on Nov 13, 2006 at 10:24 am

Bill Johnson is a registered user.

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.

Posted by Joanna Holmes
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 13, 2006 at 11:01 am

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...

(Former Gunn girl/Barron Park resident)

Posted by Steve
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 13, 2006 at 11:56 am

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.

Posted by Andrew L. Freedman
a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 13, 2006 at 12:31 pm

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.


Posted by Lynn
a resident of Palo Verde
on Nov 13, 2006 at 1:35 pm

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

Posted by Brian
a resident of Professorville
on Nov 13, 2006 at 5:05 pm

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.

Posted by Jeff T.
a resident of another community
on Nov 17, 2006 at 12:27 pm

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.

Posted by Ellen
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Nov 19, 2006 at 1:22 pm

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.

Posted by Bec
a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 20, 2006 at 3:35 pm

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.

Posted by Bill Johnson
publisher of the Palo Alto Weekly
on Nov 22, 2006 at 1:21 pm

Bill Johnson is a registered user.

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).

Posted by Andrew L. Freedman
a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 28, 2006 at 3:20 pm

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.


Posted by Robyn S.
a resident of Meadow Park
on Dec 6, 2006 at 1:28 pm

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!!

Posted by JD Bernier
a resident of Barron Park
on Dec 21, 2006 at 5:42 pm

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.

Posted by augie
a resident of Barron Park
on Dec 23, 2006 at 3:54 pm

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????

Posted by Pat Markevitch (Starner)
a resident of Downtown North
on Dec 27, 2006 at 9:46 am

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.

Posted by Johnny
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 27, 2006 at 12:57 pm

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

Posted by Nancy Starner Jamison
a resident of another community
on Dec 27, 2006 at 1:32 pm

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...

Posted by Andrew L. Freedman
a resident of College Terrace
on Dec 27, 2006 at 2:21 pm

Andrew L. Freedman is a registered user.

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

Posted by Diane Cuccia Peterson
a resident of Portola Valley
on Dec 27, 2006 at 3:15 pm

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!

Posted by Diane Cuccia Peterson
a resident of Portola Valley
on Dec 27, 2006 at 3:16 pm

That's bizarre - when I wrote my post it had plenty of line breaks.....

Posted by Ann Cooley McClintock Paly '67 John '66
a resident of another community
on Dec 28, 2006 at 10:56 am

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.

Posted by peter appleby
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Dec 29, 2006 at 6:18 pm

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.:)

Posted by Peter Appleby
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Dec 29, 2006 at 6:31 pm

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.

Posted by Nancy Starner Jamison
a resident of another community
on Dec 30, 2006 at 3:06 pm

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?

Posted by Diane Cuccia Peterson
a resident of Portola Valley
on Jan 1, 2007 at 3:00 pm

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.

Posted by Alanna Light (AKA Silver)
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jan 6, 2007 at 8:33 pm

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

Thanks!!! Time to make more Palo Alto memories!

Posted by AG
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Jan 10, 2007 at 2:22 pm

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.

Posted by Mary (Shyne) Seals
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Jan 15, 2007 at 12:37 pm

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!

Posted by Mary (Shyne) Seals
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Jan 15, 2007 at 12:50 pm

Did I mention Big Al's Pizza, with the Model T out front, where they played B&W old movies on the wall?

Posted by Mary (Shyne) Seals
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Jan 15, 2007 at 1:08 pm

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.)

Posted by steve gallagher
a resident of another community
on Jan 17, 2007 at 3:54 pm

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.

Posted by steve gallagher
a resident of another community
on Jan 20, 2007 at 10:34 pm

Was Thom McCann's the shoe store with the monkeys?
That's the only name that pops into my head.

Posted by Paly Alum \'82
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 25, 2007 at 1:03 am

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).

Posted by Paly Alum \'82
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 25, 2007 at 3:46 pm

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.


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

Posted by bob
a resident of Barron Park
on Jan 28, 2007 at 9:04 pm

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.

Posted by "not as old" school
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jan 29, 2007 at 8:50 am

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!

Posted by Cubberley/Gunn Class of \'80
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 29, 2007 at 12:29 pm

The store at San Antonio w/the 5 cent cones was Thrifty! These are great memories, I share and relate to them all!

Posted by Andrew L. Freedman
a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 29, 2007 at 2:52 pm

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.


Posted by Fooled
a resident of Los Altos
on Jan 29, 2007 at 11:14 pm

The first and only April Fool's issue of the Palo Alto Weekly.

Posted by Stephanie Johnson
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jan 30, 2007 at 12:01 pm

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"

Posted by Miss Gina Hall
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jan 30, 2007 at 12:40 pm

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.

Posted by Lisa
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jan 30, 2007 at 4:58 pm

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.

Posted by Johnson
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jan 30, 2007 at 6:59 pm

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

Posted by East Palo Alto
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jan 30, 2007 at 7:10 pm

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????

Posted by East Palo Alto
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jan 30, 2007 at 7:16 pm

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

Posted by Redwood City
a resident of another community
on Jan 30, 2007 at 7:20 pm


Posted by Local Girl
a resident of another community
on Jan 30, 2007 at 7:49 pm

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
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

Posted by Sarah
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 31, 2007 at 12:27 am

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.

Posted by jim connery
a resident of El Carmelo School
on Feb 1, 2007 at 11:48 pm

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
Keep on posting-Hi Peter A.

Posted by Scott Preston
a resident of another community
on Feb 2, 2007 at 11:06 am

Janine Turner !!!!

Posted by Leigh Ganschow
a resident of Community Center
on Feb 11, 2007 at 11:56 pm

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!

Posted by JT
a resident of another community
on Feb 20, 2007 at 6:40 pm

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!!

Posted by d franke
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 21, 2007 at 9:27 am

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 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 was great growing up here in this quite suburbia...boy has it changed

Posted by Keith R
a resident of Crescent Park
on Feb 22, 2007 at 3:59 pm

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...

Posted by Keith R
a resident of Crescent Park
on Feb 22, 2007 at 6:32 pm

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........

Posted by Karen K
a resident of Palo Verde
on Feb 24, 2007 at 11:52 am

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

Posted by Stephanie
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Feb 25, 2007 at 11:00 pm

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.

Posted by Diane Huber
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 1, 2007 at 10:16 pm

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.

Posted by paly class of 1986
a resident of Community Center
on Mar 15, 2007 at 7:21 am

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.

Posted by pamela williams
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Mar 27, 2007 at 8:26 am

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!

Posted by Bill P
a resident of another community
on Apr 6, 2007 at 4:51 pm

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.

Posted by Kimberly I. Paly \'86
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 7, 2007 at 12:54 pm

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.

Posted by BruceL
a resident of South of Midtown
on Apr 11, 2007 at 7:53 pm

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.

Posted by eric
a resident of Mountain View
on Apr 12, 2007 at 9:08 am

Trevinos Sandwiches!!

Posted by suzanne starkey
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 17, 2007 at 8:38 am

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.

Posted by Ann
a resident of another community
on Apr 17, 2007 at 10:15 am

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.

Posted by Ann
a resident of another community
on Apr 17, 2007 at 4:08 pm

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.


Posted by John
a resident of another community
on Apr 18, 2007 at 4:41 pm

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?

Posted by John
a resident of another community
on Apr 18, 2007 at 5:08 pm

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.....

Posted by Ken
a resident of St. Claire Gardens
on Apr 19, 2007 at 4:39 pm

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!

Posted by Lisa, Sister of Ken, above
a resident of St. Claire Gardens
on Apr 20, 2007 at 1:30 pm

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

Posted by Katie
a resident of College Terrace
on Apr 22, 2007 at 7:48 pm

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

Posted by Candi (Davison) Alexandre
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 23, 2007 at 2:05 pm

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

Posted by Kay Bass
a resident of Palo Verde School
on Apr 23, 2007 at 2:16 pm

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?

Posted by Andrew L. Freedman
a resident of College Terrace
on Apr 23, 2007 at 3:21 pm

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?


Posted by Chris R.
a resident of another community
on Apr 23, 2007 at 4:21 pm

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

Posted by Candi (Davison ) Alexandre
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 23, 2007 at 5:16 pm

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.~

Posted by Carole
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Apr 23, 2007 at 6:45 pm

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

Posted by Carol
a resident of Palo Verde School
on Apr 23, 2007 at 6:53 pm

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.

Posted by Mayfield Child
a resident of Green Acres
on Apr 24, 2007 at 1:40 am

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 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 had the tinest toilets in the kindergarten area reserved for just the kinders...

Posted by Alisa
a resident of South of Midtown
on Apr 24, 2007 at 7:20 am

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.

Posted by Diane
a resident of College Terrace
on Apr 24, 2007 at 9:15 am

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...

Posted by Juan Cerveza
a resident of another community
on Apr 24, 2007 at 1:29 pm

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...

Posted by Andrew L. Freedman
a resident of College Terrace
on Apr 25, 2007 at 8:20 am

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.


Posted by Candi
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 25, 2007 at 9:35 am

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?

Posted by Andrew L. Freedman
a resident of College Terrace
on Apr 25, 2007 at 10:56 am

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.


Posted by Pagan
a resident of Palo Verde School
on Apr 25, 2007 at 1:48 pm

Andy Freedman what a blast from the past..........So do you remember a girl named Pagan?? With a brother named Sean?

Posted by Andrew L. Freedman
a resident of College Terrace
on Apr 25, 2007 at 3:46 pm

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

Look forward to hearing from you!


Posted by John Herrera
a resident of Hoover School
on Apr 25, 2007 at 5:22 pm

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

Posted by Andrew L. Freedman
a resident of College Terrace
on Apr 26, 2007 at 7:57 am

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?


Posted by John Herrera
a resident of Hoover School
on Apr 26, 2007 at 11:21 am

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

Posted by Christine "Hitt"
a resident of Southgate
on Apr 26, 2007 at 4:05 pm

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

Posted by Leathan
a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 26, 2007 at 4:10 pm

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.

Posted by John
a resident of another community
on Apr 26, 2007 at 4:31 pm

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.

Posted by candi
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 26, 2007 at 5:24 pm

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?

Posted by Candi
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 27, 2007 at 6:06 pm

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

Posted by Amy
a resident of another community
on Apr 28, 2007 at 3:01 pm

Miss Klien was the choir teacher at Paly. She was great

Posted by joan
a resident of another community
on May 3, 2007 at 4:29 pm

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.

Posted by Donna on Louis Road
a resident of Palo Verde
on May 9, 2007 at 4:49 pm

I remember chasing kit foxes in the open field on Louis Road. I also remember the cows in the field around Piers Dairy.

Posted by Russell
a resident of another community
on May 9, 2007 at 8:28 pm

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 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..

Posted by jim connery
a resident of El Carmelo School
on May 10, 2007 at 7:00 pm

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: cambridgequality@comcast."BTW-Peter, sorry I missed you at Alice's house warming.

Posted by Russ Dawson
a resident of Menlo Park
on May 15, 2007 at 11:12 am

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.

Posted by BruceL
a resident of South of Midtown
on May 18, 2007 at 7:13 pm

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.

Posted by BruceL
a resident of South of Midtown
on May 19, 2007 at 10:15 am

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.

Posted by Pat Burt
a resident of Community Center
on May 19, 2007 at 10:17 pm

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.

Posted by anonymous
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 27, 2007 at 2:13 pm

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

Posted by BL
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 27, 2007 at 2:40 pm

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



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,

Posted by Andrew L. Freedman
a resident of College Terrace
on May 29, 2007 at 3:14 pm

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

Posted by Candi
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 1, 2007 at 10:03 am

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

Posted by Janine T
a resident of Barron Park
on Jun 12, 2007 at 12:29 pm

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 !

Posted by Jordana
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jun 15, 2007 at 12:24 pm

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!

Posted by Larry Bridge
a resident of Mountain View
on Jun 15, 2007 at 12:54 pm

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....

Posted by Candi
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 15, 2007 at 2:01 pm

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

Posted by Jon
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jun 15, 2007 at 9:15 pm

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!!!!!

Posted by Jon
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jun 15, 2007 at 9:22 pm

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.

Posted by Celeste
a resident of another community
on Jun 16, 2007 at 2:32 am

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.

Posted by jon
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jun 16, 2007 at 1:21 pm

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.

Posted by jon
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jun 16, 2007 at 3:32 pm

The Guy in the sheep skin vest that was mentioned on california ave was "Crazy Jim" from the Baron Park area.

Posted by Nostalgic 37 year old gal
a resident of another community
on Jun 16, 2007 at 8:42 pm

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.....

Posted by Amy Glaze
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 17, 2007 at 8:48 am

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.

Posted by Maya S.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 17, 2007 at 6:53 pm

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

- 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

Posted by Cate
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 17, 2007 at 9:04 pm

I completely agree with the person who said they missed Bagel Works! I also miss Suzanne's Muffins and Cafe Verona.

Posted by Paula
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 19, 2007 at 5:32 pm

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?)

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. 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!

Posted by Dieter B.
a resident of Community Center
on Jun 20, 2007 at 8:59 pm

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.

Posted by Ken
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 21, 2007 at 2:17 pm


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?)

Posted by Carol
a resident of another community
on Jun 21, 2007 at 9:27 pm

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!

Posted by Patricia Harrold
a resident of Professorville
on Jun 22, 2007 at 2:27 pm

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.

Posted by Patricia Harrold
a resident of Atherton
on Jun 22, 2007 at 3:04 pm

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

Posted by Celeste
a resident of another community
on Jun 23, 2007 at 12:36 am

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.

Posted by BillP
a resident of another community
on Jul 1, 2007 at 1:09 am

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.

Posted by Danny
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 1, 2007 at 8:05 pm

There weren't any iPhones.

Posted by Geoff O.
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 2, 2007 at 11:08 am

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

Posted by Sheri Furman
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 2, 2007 at 11:33 am

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.

Posted by guess
a resident of Professorville
on Jul 2, 2007 at 2:21 pm

"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.....

Posted by That Dave M. Guy
a resident of Professorville
on Jul 2, 2007 at 2:33 pm

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?

Posted by logical
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 2, 2007 at 5:24 pm

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?

Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 2, 2007 at 5:35 pm

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.

Posted by anon.
a resident of Ventura
on Jul 2, 2007 at 6:02 pm

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.

Posted by Celeste
a resident of another community
on Jul 3, 2007 at 11:29 am

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.

Posted by Ann T.
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 3, 2007 at 5:41 pm

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.

Posted by old-timer
a resident of another community
on Jul 4, 2007 at 8:21 pm

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!

Posted by Celeste
a resident of another community
on Jul 4, 2007 at 11:47 pm

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.

Posted by elaine
a resident of Triple El
on Jul 5, 2007 at 7:49 am

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

Posted by Cynthia C
a resident of another community
on Jul 5, 2007 at 5:01 pm

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!

Posted by CC
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 6, 2007 at 10:01 am

Roxy's clothing store

Klings candies at T&C

Happi House - chx salad at SSC

Posted by wesley
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Jul 6, 2007 at 1:02 pm

Please keep this blog alive. It's gives a point of reference for why we love and live in palo alto.

Posted by A Gunn alumnus
a resident of another community
on Jul 8, 2007 at 5:29 pm

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?

Posted by Celeste
a resident of another community
on Jul 8, 2007 at 7:04 pm

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.

Posted by candi
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 9, 2007 at 6:45 pm

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

Posted by Andrew L. Freedman
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 10, 2007 at 10:34 am

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.


Posted by Don G.
a resident of Community Center
on Jul 10, 2007 at 4:20 pm

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.

Posted by John K Paly 66
a resident of another community
on Jul 12, 2007 at 1:36 pm

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.

Posted by John K Paly '66
a resident of another community
on Jul 12, 2007 at 3:15 pm

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.

Posted by John K Paly '66
a resident of another community
on Jul 12, 2007 at 11:25 pm

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 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.

Posted by A Gunn alumnus
a resident of another community
on Jul 13, 2007 at 4:33 pm

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?

Posted by A Gunn alumnus
a resident of another community
on Jul 13, 2007 at 4:41 pm

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?

Posted by John K Paly '66
a resident of another community
on Jul 15, 2007 at 2:43 am

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.

Posted by Celeste
a resident of another community
on Jul 15, 2007 at 11:37 am

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.

Posted by Just Be
a resident of Los Altos
on Jul 16, 2007 at 11:37 am

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

Posted by Lynda Hart-Cogliandro
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 16, 2007 at 12:24 pm

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!

Posted by Just Be
a resident of Los Altos
on Jul 16, 2007 at 12:28 pm

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

Posted by eastern boy
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 27, 2007 at 10:59 am

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.

Posted by Ann
a resident of another community
on Jul 30, 2007 at 2:54 pm

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.

Posted by Nora Charles
a resident of Stanford
on Jul 30, 2007 at 4:39 pm

Nora Charles is a registered user.

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!

Posted by H.P. (Paly '66)
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jul 30, 2007 at 5:36 pm

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.

Posted by Erin (Gunn '94)
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Jul 30, 2007 at 7:06 pm

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.

Posted by Laurel
a resident of Portola Valley
on Jul 30, 2007 at 10:17 pm

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.

Posted by Chris (Paly '73)
a resident of another community
on Jul 31, 2007 at 4:35 pm

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.

Posted by Nora Charles
a resident of Stanford
on Jul 31, 2007 at 11:23 pm

Nora Charles is a registered user.

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.

Posted by Kaleb
a resident of another community
on Aug 6, 2007 at 11:35 am

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.

Posted by Matt
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 8, 2007 at 12:40 am

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!

Posted by Louise Royer
a resident of another community
on Aug 9, 2007 at 5:04 am

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

Posted by John K (Paly '66)
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 11, 2007 at 2:56 pm

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.

Posted by Steve
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Aug 20, 2007 at 7:28 am

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)

Posted by Chris (Paly '73)
a resident of another community
on Aug 22, 2007 at 10:09 pm

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.

Posted by Helen (Paly 71)
a resident of Menlo Park
on Aug 23, 2007 at 4:05 pm

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.

Posted by Jim Mountford
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Aug 24, 2007 at 8:42 pm

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

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.




Posted by Palo Parent
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Aug 24, 2007 at 8:56 pm

I think you meant "Bianchi"?

Posted by Chris (Paly '73)
a resident of another community
on Aug 29, 2007 at 6:56 pm

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.

Posted by volonte "lonnie" williams
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Sep 10, 2007 at 9:54 pm

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!!!

Posted by Jim H
a resident of another community
on Sep 15, 2007 at 10:21 am

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
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

Posted by MG
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 15, 2007 at 3:51 pm

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.

Posted by Phil Moore
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 17, 2007 at 5:01 pm

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.

Posted by Randy Moore-Paly '66
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 17, 2007 at 6:37 pm

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.

Posted by Linda Moore Buchanan - Paly '64
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 17, 2007 at 8:42 pm

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!

Posted by Andrew L. Freedman
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 18, 2007 at 8:15 am

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?)


Posted by Paula
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Sep 18, 2007 at 10:49 am

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 can also visit my website at
Happy Memories,
Paula :)

Posted by Todd Asplund
a resident of Hoover School
on Sep 20, 2007 at 10:42 am

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.....

Posted by Bill P.
a resident of another community
on Sep 23, 2007 at 5:47 pm

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.

Posted by Bob Warford
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Sep 27, 2007 at 10:51 am

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

Posted by Diane
a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 3, 2007 at 12:35 pm

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.

Posted by Jamie
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 10, 2007 at 4:06 pm

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

Posted by Jamie
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 10, 2007 at 4:15 pm

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!

Posted by Stephanie Sears
a resident of Ohlone School
on Oct 10, 2007 at 4:46 pm

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.

Posted by billp
a resident of another community
on Oct 10, 2007 at 5:40 pm

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.

Posted by Jack
a resident of Barron Park
on Oct 10, 2007 at 8:18 pm


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!

Posted by A Gunn alumnus
a resident of another community
on Oct 12, 2007 at 5:14 pm

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 ).

Posted by Gary Galea
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 15, 2007 at 3:56 pm

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.!

Posted by Celeste
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 18, 2007 at 2:37 am

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)

Posted by Andrew L. Freedman
a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 18, 2007 at 1:23 pm

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?


Posted by Kris Terry
a resident of Community Center
on Oct 23, 2007 at 10:42 am

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.

Posted by Candi
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 26, 2007 at 2:37 pm

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

Posted by Andrew L. Freedman
a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 26, 2007 at 3:40 pm

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

Posted by Parent
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 26, 2007 at 3:47 pm


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.

Posted by r-p-c
a resident of Los Altos Hills
on Oct 26, 2007 at 3:58 pm

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.

Posted by Andrew L. Freedman
a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 26, 2007 at 4:04 pm

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.


Posted by Jim Connery
a resident of El Carmelo School
on Oct 26, 2007 at 10:10 pm

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!

Posted by Celeste
a resident of another community
on Oct 27, 2007 at 12:50 am


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)

Posted by k. terry
a resident of another community
on Oct 29, 2007 at 4:15 pm

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.

Posted by Chris (Paly '73)
a resident of another community
on Oct 30, 2007 at 8:49 pm

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!).

Posted by old hippie
a resident of another community
on Oct 31, 2007 at 12:29 pm

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.

Posted by Ken
a resident of South of Midtown
on Oct 31, 2007 at 1:51 pm

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's been a blast.

Af few other things I remember:

The day the Mr. Pibb hot air balloon "accidentally" landed in the field at 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).

Posted by Not4lng
a resident of South of Midtown
on Nov 3, 2007 at 2:14 pm

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!

Posted by rpc
a resident of Los Altos Hills
on Nov 4, 2007 at 6:35 pm


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,


Posted by rpc
a resident of Los Altos Hills
on Nov 4, 2007 at 6:46 pm

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!


Posted by Celeste
a resident of another community
on Nov 9, 2007 at 10:20 am


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.

Posted by Chris/Paly '73
a resident of another community
on Nov 12, 2007 at 9:30 am

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?

Posted by Andrew L. Freedman
a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 13, 2007 at 10:27 am

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.


Posted by Chris/Paly '73
a resident of another community
on Nov 15, 2007 at 1:34 am

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.

Posted by Andrew L. Freedman
a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 15, 2007 at 9:31 am

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).


Posted by Todd Asplund
a resident of Hoover School
on Nov 16, 2007 at 12:16 pm

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.

Posted by Andrew L. Freedman
a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 16, 2007 at 3:33 pm

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.


Posted by Roger Louden
a resident of another community
on Nov 16, 2007 at 11:54 pm

Anyone know why they changed the name from Van Auken to Ohlone?

My brother and I graduated Van Auken 1972

Posted by Craig Laughton
a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 17, 2007 at 2:45 pm

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.

Posted by Tod
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Nov 17, 2007 at 9:22 pm

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.

Posted by Andrew L. Freedman
a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 19, 2007 at 12:55 pm

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).


Posted by Ken
a resident of South of Midtown
on Nov 26, 2007 at 1:34 pm

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.

Posted by Palo Parent
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Nov 26, 2007 at 2:03 pm

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.

Posted by Aymie
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 3, 2007 at 1:15 pm

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.

Posted by S. Preston
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Dec 14, 2007 at 11:36 pm

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.

Posted by Mark Baum
a resident of another community
on Dec 26, 2007 at 4:35 pm

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.

Posted by Mark Baum
a resident of another community
on Dec 26, 2007 at 4:38 pm

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...

Posted by Scripps Avenue Kid
a resident of Ohlone School
on Jan 2, 2008 at 5:21 pm

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!

Posted by TL, living elsewhere now
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 4, 2008 at 9:05 am

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.


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,, 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.


Posted by Jessica
a resident of Palo Verde School
on Jan 10, 2008 at 4:11 pm

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?

Posted by Jessica
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 11, 2008 at 3:57 pm

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.

Posted by Tom Parker
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 11, 2008 at 4:38 pm

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.

Posted by Chris (Paly '73)
a resident of another community
on Jan 13, 2008 at 7:06 pm

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.

Posted by 2PSpamdB
a resident of another community
on Jan 17, 2008 at 5:19 am

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.

Posted by Sandy
a resident of South of Midtown
on Jan 29, 2008 at 8:50 pm

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.

Posted by Sarah
a resident of Addison School
on Jan 30, 2008 at 3:00 pm

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!

Posted by Bill K.
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 1, 2008 at 8:35 pm

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 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

Posted by Becky Stillwell
a resident of Downtown North
on Feb 6, 2008 at 9:54 am

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.

Posted by Becky Stillwell
a resident of Downtown North
on Feb 6, 2008 at 9:54 am

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.

Posted by Becky Stillwell
a resident of Downtown North
on Feb 6, 2008 at 9:55 am

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.

Posted by Becky Stillwell
a resident of Downtown North
on Feb 6, 2008 at 9:55 am

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.

Posted by Becky Stillwell
a resident of Downtown North
on Feb 6, 2008 at 10:04 am

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.

Posted by Becky Stillwell
a resident of another community
on Feb 6, 2008 at 11:18 am

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.

Posted by Ed
a resident of Palo Verde
on Feb 6, 2008 at 11:47 am

Where was Homer's? Did you see any of the local bands (Blue Mountain, others?)

Posted by Nick C
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 6, 2008 at 1:21 pm

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 ?

Posted by Becky Stillwell
a resident of another community
on Feb 6, 2008 at 1:56 pm


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!

Posted by Becky Stillwell
a resident of another community
on Feb 6, 2008 at 2:00 pm


Oops! - it was CHAOS Chorus. I must be getting old.....

Posted by Becky Stillwell
a resident of another community
on Feb 6, 2008 at 2:04 pm

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.

Posted by Andrew L. Freedman
a resident of College Terrace
on Feb 7, 2008 at 11:19 am

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.


Posted by Becky Stillwell
a resident of another community
on Feb 7, 2008 at 11:44 am


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?

Posted by Jim Connery
a resident of El Carmelo School
on Feb 9, 2008 at 8:28 pm

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

Posted by jim Connery
a resident of El Carmelo School
on Feb 9, 2008 at 8:42 pm

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?

Posted by Jessica
a resident of Palo Verde
on Feb 11, 2008 at 3:10 pm

I'm back for a few 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

Posted by Ken
a resident of South of Midtown
on Feb 11, 2008 at 4:14 pm


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.


Posted by Bobo
a resident of Barron Park
on Feb 13, 2008 at 9:12 pm

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.'

Posted by Doug Greenberg
a resident of Duveneck School
on Feb 16, 2008 at 6:21 pm

Doug Greenberg is a registered user.

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!

Posted by Margaret Bell
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Feb 17, 2008 at 8:59 am

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!

Posted by Margaret Bell/Paly '68
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Feb 17, 2008 at 10:51 am

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 '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 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!

Posted by David and Jeanette Greenberg
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Feb 17, 2008 at 1:29 pm

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.

Posted by Margaret Bell/Paly '68
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Feb 17, 2008 at 3:37 pm

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 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.

Posted by Kiley Kinnon
a resident of Ventura
on Feb 17, 2008 at 7:31 pm

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.

Posted by Kathy Duggan
a resident of Walter Hays School
on Feb 18, 2008 at 2:43 pm

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.

Posted by Laura Elizabeth Waits
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Feb 20, 2008 at 10:39 am

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".

Posted by Mary Morrison (Fuhs)
a resident of Walter Hays School
on Feb 22, 2008 at 11:14 am

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 much traffic.

Posted by Dan
a resident of Palo Verde
on Feb 29, 2008 at 8:49 pm

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.........

Posted by jim sullivan
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Mar 1, 2008 at 7:32 am

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

Posted by jim sullivan
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Mar 1, 2008 at 4:43 pm

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(

Posted by Margaret Bell/Paly '68
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 2, 2008 at 8:02 am

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!

Posted by Peter F. Erlin
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 2, 2008 at 5:13 pm

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.

Posted by Andrew L. Freedman
a resident of College Terrace
on Mar 3, 2008 at 10:09 am

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!


Posted by jim sullivan
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Mar 5, 2008 at 5:22 pm

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

Posted by Bill Wicker
a resident of Triple El
on Mar 6, 2008 at 8:46 am

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

Posted by Chris (Paly '73)
a resident of another community
on Mar 17, 2008 at 2:57 pm

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).

Posted by Joe Salzberg
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Mar 18, 2008 at 5:00 pm

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.

Posted by cindee
a resident of Palo Verde
on Mar 25, 2008 at 4:43 pm

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.......

Posted by cindee morris
a resident of Palo Verde
on Mar 26, 2008 at 10:57 am

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......

Posted by "Red"
a resident of Professorville
on Mar 29, 2008 at 7:03 pm

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

Posted by Red
a resident of Professorville
on Mar 29, 2008 at 7:03 pm

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

Posted by Bob Rice
a resident of Greene Middle School
on Apr 1, 2008 at 11:08 am

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!

Posted by Steve Dyson
a resident of Palo Verde
on Apr 1, 2008 at 11:08 pm

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.



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!

Posted by Lori Gillenwater
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 13, 2008 at 5:23 pm

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!

Posted by Candi
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 18, 2008 at 2:34 pm

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

Posted by Becky Stillwell
a resident of another community
on Apr 23, 2008 at 3:51 pm

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.

Posted by ejc
a resident of Palo Verde
on Apr 25, 2008 at 4:16 pm

Anyone know what happened to Mr. Harry Grod, who taught music at Palo Verde and perhaps Wilbur?

Posted by jim sullivan paly 72
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 27, 2008 at 9:13 am

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)

Posted by MaryAnn
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 28, 2008 at 2:59 am

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)
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.

Posted by Andrew L. Freedman
a resident of College Terrace
on Apr 29, 2008 at 8:11 am

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."


Posted by jim sullivan
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 29, 2008 at 11:40 am

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.

Posted by Glenn Gamboa
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 5, 2008 at 12:29 pm

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

Posted by Palo Parent
a resident of Greenmeadow
on May 5, 2008 at 2:02 pm


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"?

Posted by Andrew L. Freedman
a resident of College Terrace
on May 5, 2008 at 3:09 pm

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.


Posted by Palo Parent
a resident of Greenmeadow
on May 5, 2008 at 4:40 pm

Andrew: Now that's what I call doggone informative, thanks!

Posted by Jessica
a resident of another community
on May 8, 2008 at 11:42 am

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.

Posted by Glenn G. Gamboa
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 9, 2008 at 12:43 pm

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

Posted by gamboa
a resident of Greene Middle School
on May 12, 2008 at 6:17 am

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

Posted by BruceL
a resident of South of Midtown
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.

* 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)

Posted by gamboa
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 16, 2008 at 8:26 am

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

Posted by Eric S
a resident of Southgate
on May 16, 2008 at 3:21 pm

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.

Posted by Chris (Paly '73)
a resident of another community
on May 18, 2008 at 5:52 am

Mayor Art (Art Finley) was on KRON-TV. He also did "Art's Gallery" in the Chronicle.

Posted by Roy Eikamp
a resident of Palo Verde
on May 18, 2008 at 10:50 am

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.

Posted by member
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 18, 2008 at 12:01 pm

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.

Posted by Current Kid
a resident of Gunn High School
on May 18, 2008 at 12:17 pm

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.

Posted by Palo Alto native
a resident of Mountain View
on May 18, 2008 at 9:39 pm

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?

Posted by krissi
a resident of Fairmeadow
on May 19, 2008 at 6:19 am

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 :)

Posted by krissi
a resident of Fairmeadow
on May 19, 2008 at 6:21 am

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 Tana
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on May 19, 2008 at 6:24 am

The cool twister slide at mitchell park

Posted by erika
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on May 19, 2008 at 9:13 am

*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

Posted by gamboa
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 19, 2008 at 9:58 am

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

Posted by Andrew L. Freedman
a resident of College Terrace
on May 19, 2008 at 11:07 am

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.


Posted by Mike Alexander
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 20, 2008 at 2:44 pm

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.

Posted by gamboa
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 21, 2008 at 7:10 am

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

Posted by gamboa
a resident of Ventura
on May 23, 2008 at 5:26 am

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

Posted by Eric S.
a resident of Southgate
on May 23, 2008 at 12:51 pm

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!

Posted by John Paul
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 24, 2008 at 9:29 am

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.

Posted by Roy Eikamp
a resident of Palo Verde
on May 25, 2008 at 1:52 am

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.

Posted by gamboa
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on May 25, 2008 at 8:50 am

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

Posted by John Paul
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 25, 2008 at 12:02 pm

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.

Posted by John Paul
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 25, 2008 at 12:08 pm

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.

Posted by Linda
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 26, 2008 at 7:48 pm


Tell me how/what/who you remember from London Taxi Cab PLEASE!!

Posted by Eric S.
a resident of Southgate
on May 27, 2008 at 4:51 pm

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.

Posted by Linda
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 27, 2008 at 6:57 pm

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!!

Posted by phil
a resident of St. Claire Gardens
on Jun 3, 2008 at 8:02 pm

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!

Posted by Phil
a resident of St. Claire Gardens
on Jun 3, 2008 at 8:25 pm

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.

Posted by phil
a resident of St. Claire Gardens
on Jun 12, 2008 at 7:01 pm

Where is everybody?

Posted by Jim Connery
a resident of El Carmelo School
on Jun 19, 2008 at 10:14 am

Wow Andrew!

<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>

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!

Posted by Andrew L. Freedman
a resident of College Terrace
on Jun 20, 2008 at 8:26 am

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.


Posted by phil
a resident of St. Claire Gardens
on Jun 20, 2008 at 9:40 pm

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.

Posted by eaastern boy
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 21, 2008 at 9:12 am

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!

Posted by dave
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jun 21, 2008 at 11:37 am

how bout piers dairy drive up service freshest dairy products in town

Posted by Andrew L. Freedman
a resident of College Terrace
on Jun 23, 2008 at 1:32 pm

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.”


Posted by Linda
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 23, 2008 at 9:04 pm

Wasn't it the Colonial Bread Truck??

Posted by Eric S.
a resident of Southgate
on Jun 24, 2008 at 11:01 am

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?

Posted by phil
a resident of St. Claire Gardens
on Jun 24, 2008 at 9:50 pm

toxic waste?

Posted by phil
a resident of St. Claire Gardens
on Jun 24, 2008 at 10:03 pm

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,

Posted by Joyce
a resident of Barron Park
on Jun 26, 2008 at 9:44 pm

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.

Posted by Bob
a resident of Greene Middle School
on Jun 27, 2008 at 1:54 pm

............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.

Posted by Ken
a resident of South of Midtown
on Jun 27, 2008 at 2:29 pm

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.

Posted by Bob
a resident of Greene Middle School
on Jun 27, 2008 at 3:34 pm

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.

Posted by CAROL
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 30, 2008 at 9:51 pm

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.

Posted by Jeff
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 12, 2008 at 5:02 pm

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.

Posted by Bob
a resident of Greene Middle School
on Jul 15, 2008 at 11:56 am

...........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?

Posted by Chris (Paly '73)
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 15, 2008 at 5:08 pm

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.

Posted by phil
a resident of St. Claire Gardens
on Jul 18, 2008 at 4:58 pm

anyone remember an old beer bar called the Alley? Good times there! Right off Lytton Plaza.
Basically beer and foosball.

Posted by Andrew L. Freedman
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 21, 2008 at 10:34 am

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

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).

Posted by Ken
a resident of South of Midtown
on Jul 21, 2008 at 11:07 am


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 took awhile, but I finally figured out were were sitting in the building formerly occupied by 42nd Street.

Posted by Andrew L. Freedman
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 21, 2008 at 11:52 am

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?


Posted by Ken
a resident of South of Midtown
on Jul 21, 2008 at 2:27 pm


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.

Posted by gamboa
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 22, 2008 at 7:10 am

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.

Posted by Eric S.
a resident of Southgate
on Jul 22, 2008 at 8:28 am

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.

Posted by alum
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jul 22, 2008 at 1:57 pm

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 <>
Send reply to:
Subject: Paly Class of '73 Reunion Coming up....It's not too Late to Plan on Attending

> 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.
> 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)
> 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 palyclassof1973@yahoo.comor call Bill Strubbe 
> 707-874-9046

Posted by gamboa
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 22, 2008 at 1:58 pm

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?

Posted by phil
a resident of St. Claire Gardens
on Jul 22, 2008 at 9:09 pm

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!

Posted by Betsy
a resident of another community
on Jul 23, 2008 at 2:36 pm


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!


Posted by Jan Wright
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 24, 2008 at 12:33 am

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!

Posted by Jan Wright
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 24, 2008 at 12:34 am

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!

Posted by C. Eric Redstrom
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 26, 2008 at 2:13 pm

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

Posted by Ken
a resident of South of Midtown
on Jul 28, 2008 at 4:24 pm

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.

Posted by Bob
a resident of Greene Middle School
on Jul 29, 2008 at 11:28 am

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.

Posted by Linda
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 1, 2008 at 5:06 pm

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!!

Posted by Eric S.
a resident of Southgate
on Aug 4, 2008 at 8:37 am

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.

Posted by Andrew L. Freedman
a resident of College Terrace
on Aug 4, 2008 at 1:39 pm

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

Posted by Eric S.
a resident of Southgate
on Aug 5, 2008 at 8:32 am

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?

Posted by Andrew L. Freedman
a resident of College Terrace
on Aug 5, 2008 at 3:14 pm

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?


Posted by Linda
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 5, 2008 at 5:57 pm

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.

Posted by Andrew L. Freedman
a resident of College Terrace
on Aug 6, 2008 at 8:10 am

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 - if anyone is interested in discussing this idea further, please write me (leave subject line empty).


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.

Posted by Linda
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 6, 2008 at 12:58 pm

Andy, I tried to email you, but it wouldn't go through

Posted by Andrew L. Freedman
a resident of College Terrace
on Aug 6, 2008 at 1:33 pm

Hi Linda,

Try it again - it does work.

Also, here's my daytime number: 650 493-5000, ext. 60001


Posted by Lori Callaway
a resident of Fairmeadow School
on Aug 8, 2008 at 12:04 am

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

Posted by John Herrera
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 8, 2008 at 4:35 pm

Hey Andy I can get ahold of Leo

Posted by phil
a resident of St. Claire Gardens
on Aug 10, 2008 at 5:10 pm

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.

Posted by Andrew L. Freedman
a resident of College Terrace
on Aug 11, 2008 at 8:13 am

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

Give me a call when you have an opportunity (call me at the VA in Palo Alto). Good to hear from you John.


Posted by Ken
a resident of South of Midtown
on Aug 19, 2008 at 12:49 pm


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.


Posted by Beth
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 30, 2008 at 5:45 am

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


Playing outside until the church bells rang at 6pm.

Posted by lane wallace
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 11, 2008 at 3:44 pm


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?

Posted by Bob
a resident of Greene Middle School
on Sep 17, 2008 at 10:03 am

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!

Posted by Eric S.
a resident of Southgate
on Sep 18, 2008 at 2:10 pm

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.

Posted by Linda
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 18, 2008 at 9:25 pm

I had a birthday party at the Indian Bowl! I hadn't thought of that place in years. Thanks for jogging my memory.

Posted by Bob
a resident of Greene Middle School
on Sep 19, 2008 at 12:25 pm

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.

Posted by Eric S.
a resident of Southgate
on Sep 19, 2008 at 1:21 pm

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.

Posted by jani
a resident of Professorville
on Oct 9, 2008 at 9:32 am

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 ...

Posted by Trey
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 25, 2008 at 10:47 pm

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 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!

Posted by Bob
a resident of Greene Middle School
on Oct 27, 2008 at 11:26 am

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?

Posted by Andrew L. Freedman
a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 29, 2008 at 8:50 am

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

Posted by Derek G.
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Oct 29, 2008 at 12:32 pm

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.

Posted by Andrew L. Freedman
a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 29, 2008 at 3:14 pm

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?


Posted by Trey
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 31, 2008 at 10:36 pm

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?

Posted by Bob
a resident of Greene Middle School
on Nov 6, 2008 at 3:04 pm

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.

Posted by GAMBOA
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 7, 2008 at 6:03 am

and when no other store in town was open they would be!
in the era before 7-11!

Posted by Linda
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 7, 2008 at 8:21 pm

Do you mean the market next to the Kentucky Fried Chicken??

Posted by phil small
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Nov 8, 2008 at 12:20 pm

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.

Posted by Bob
a resident of Greene Middle School
on Nov 10, 2008 at 12:10 pm

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!

Posted by Linda
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 10, 2008 at 3:35 pm

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.

Posted by Bob
a resident of Greene Middle School
on Nov 11, 2008 at 9:26 am

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.

Posted by Eric S.
a resident of Southgate
on Nov 11, 2008 at 1:15 pm

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.

Posted by Eric S.
a resident of Southgate
on Nov 11, 2008 at 1:15 pm

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.

Posted by Charlie
a resident of Professorville
on Nov 16, 2008 at 2:38 pm

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.
Old Keplers bathroom-wallpapered with comupter printout softcore.
Banana Records.
Patterson's dime bins.
Edie's ice cream.
The downtown post office the middle of the night...if you
know what I mean....
The Stanford 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.

Posted by Bob
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 17, 2008 at 5:49 pm

"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!

Posted by Chris (Paly '73)
a resident of another community
on Nov 18, 2008 at 3:50 pm

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".

Posted by Bob
a resident of Greene Middle School
on Nov 20, 2008 at 8:17 am

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!

Posted by Dave
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 24, 2008 at 11:02 am

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.

Posted by Bob
a resident of Greene Middle School
on Nov 24, 2008 at 11:26 am

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.

Posted by Chris (Paly '73)
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 26, 2008 at 8:44 pm

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 old hill resident
a resident of Gunn High School
on Nov 30, 2008 at 6:56 pm

>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.

Posted by Andrew L. Freedman
a resident of College Terrace
on Dec 3, 2008 at 9:08 am

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

Posted by Bob T
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 3, 2008 at 8:37 pm

Does anyone remember the very first stores to open up in the Midtown? What year was the shopping area established?

Posted by Bob G
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 3, 2008 at 10:09 pm

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.

Posted by RE Davis
a resident of Los Altos
on Dec 10, 2008 at 9:53 pm

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

Posted by Jeff Tepper
a resident of another community
on Dec 15, 2008 at 1:19 pm

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???

Posted by The Last Cougar
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 4, 2009 at 11:38 am

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

Posted by fireman
a resident of another community
on Jan 5, 2009 at 11:16 am

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.

Posted by Bob
a resident of Greene Middle School
on Jan 14, 2009 at 11:20 am

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!

Posted by Andrew L. Freedman
a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 14, 2009 at 1:48 pm

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

Posted by Bob
a resident of Greene Middle School
on Jan 15, 2009 at 7:27 am


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.

Posted by Ken
a resident of South of Midtown
on Jan 15, 2009 at 5:11 pm

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....

Posted by Penn "Boots" Rabb
a resident of another community
on Jan 25, 2009 at 9:11 pm

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.

Posted by Bob
a resident of Greene Middle School
on Feb 25, 2009 at 11:48 am

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!

Posted by Andrew L. Freedman
a resident of College Terrace
on Feb 25, 2009 at 12:43 pm

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

Posted by Rob
a resident of Palo Verde
on Feb 26, 2009 at 3:36 pm

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

Posted by Another Bob
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Mar 5, 2009 at 11:09 am

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.

Posted by dave
a resident of Palo Verde
on Mar 8, 2009 at 10:28 am

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
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 Anon
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Mar 9, 2009 at 4:34 pm

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.

Posted by Chris (Paly '73)
a resident of another community
on Mar 10, 2009 at 4:47 pm

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.

Posted by Bill P.
a resident of another community
on Mar 13, 2009 at 7:15 pm

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".

Posted by Phil Moore
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 20, 2009 at 6:20 pm

Andy - FYI the old victorian house was "The East Farthing Trading Company".

Posted by Eric S.
a resident of Southgate
on Mar 25, 2009 at 11:16 am

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.

Posted by Ray Neighbor(StingRay)
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 28, 2009 at 3:49 pm

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 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.

Posted by Andrew L. Freedman
a resident of College Terrace
on Mar 30, 2009 at 9:11 am

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

Posted by Susan S.
a resident of Old Palo Alto
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!
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..

Posted by Robert
a resident of Greene Middle School
on Mar 31, 2009 at 11:36 am

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.

Posted by Robert
a resident of Greene Middle School
on Mar 31, 2009 at 11:36 am

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.

Posted by Alex
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 16, 2009 at 11:55 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by Carolyn Hamel
a resident of JLS Middle School
on Apr 27, 2009 at 12:39 am

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,

Posted by timewarp
a resident of South of Midtown
on May 7, 2009 at 5:04 pm

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.

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

Web Link

Posted by Susan
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 26, 2009 at 3:12 pm

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!!

Posted by Delfina Herrera Hoxie
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 18, 2009 at 9:43 am

I remember Bishops Creamery on California Avenue, the Fine Arts Theatre, St. Michaels Alley, Mayfield Elementary School, Stanford Elementary School and many more.

Posted by Delfina Herrera Hoxie
a resident of another community
on Jun 18, 2009 at 10:16 am

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...

Posted by Andrew L. Freedman
a resident of College Terrace
on Jun 18, 2009 at 10:44 am

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

Posted by Delfina Herrera Hoxie
a resident of another community
on Jun 18, 2009 at 1:15 pm

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.

Posted by big john
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 23, 2009 at 11:31 am

Hi Del it's your brother. Andy my name is John not Andrew

Posted by Andrew L. Freedman
a resident of College Terrace
on Jun 23, 2009 at 12:43 pm

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?


Posted by John Herrera
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 26, 2009 at 9:06 am

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.

Posted by Andrew L. Freedman
a resident of College Terrace
on Jun 29, 2009 at 7:37 am

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

Posted by Eric S.
a resident of Southgate
on Jun 29, 2009 at 7:48 am

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.

Posted by Kent
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 4, 2009 at 1:37 am

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.

Posted by Marisol
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jul 14, 2009 at 3:45 pm

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!


Posted by How I miss Midtown Palo Alto
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 17, 2009 at 7:53 pm

Just a reminder that Cubberley is having their 40th reunion coming up soon. Check out this webiste

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.

Posted by Stingray
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 22, 2009 at 11:36 am

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.

Posted by David Stedman
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Aug 9, 2009 at 3:03 pm

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 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.

Posted by Oldskool 69
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 13, 2009 at 12:04 pm

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

Posted by David Jones
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 15, 2009 at 9:11 pm

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.

Posted by Jocelyn Dong
editor of the Palo Alto Weekly
on Aug 16, 2009 at 7:59 pm

Jocelyn Dong is a registered user.

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, and she'll be able to put you on the schedule.

Thanks! Hope to see you there!

Posted by Barbara Haas
a resident of Menlo Park
on Aug 17, 2009 at 5:49 pm

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.

Posted by Steve Moulds
a resident of Professorville
on Aug 18, 2009 at 11:58 am

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!

Posted by Resident 45 years
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Aug 20, 2009 at 1:08 pm

How many of you can remember when El Camino Real was two lanes in both directions with a dirt strip (no sidewalks) for parking?

Posted by Margaret Bell
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 23, 2009 at 8:06 am

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).

Posted by Ray
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 24, 2009 at 11:22 am

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."

Posted by Jane
a resident of another community
on Aug 24, 2009 at 1:46 pm

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.....

Posted by Ray
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 24, 2009 at 4:04 pm

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.

Posted by Jocelyn Dong
editor of the Palo Alto Weekly
on Aug 24, 2009 at 6:01 pm

Jocelyn Dong is a registered user.

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 (, 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!

Posted by Ray
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 25, 2009 at 2:33 am

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's such an original, exciting venture. Ray..

Posted by Jocelyn Dong
editor of the Palo Alto Weekly
on Aug 25, 2009 at 8:36 pm

Jocelyn Dong is a registered user.

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.

Posted by Andrew L. Freedman
a resident of College Terrace
on Aug 26, 2009 at 7:45 am

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

Posted by Ray
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 27, 2009 at 9:46 am

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.

Posted by Jocelyn Dong
editor of the Palo Alto Weekly
on Aug 28, 2009 at 10:10 am

Jocelyn Dong is a registered user.

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.

Posted by Ray
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 30, 2009 at 2:30 pm

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 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.

Posted by Ray
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 30, 2009 at 3:52 pm

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.

Posted by Andrew L. Freedman
a resident of College Terrace
on Aug 31, 2009 at 9:12 am

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

Posted by Andrew L. Freedman
a resident of College Terrace
on Aug 31, 2009 at 2:03 pm

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

Posted by phil
a resident of St. Claire Gardens
on Aug 31, 2009 at 4:36 pm

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.

Posted by Ray
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 31, 2009 at 6:11 pm

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.

Posted by Margaret Bell
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Sep 1, 2009 at 7:40 am

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 was a fun thing to do late at night! ;)

Posted by Ray
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 1, 2009 at 10:29 am

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..

Posted by Barbara Haas
a resident of Menlo Park
on Sep 5, 2009 at 1:23 pm

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.

Posted by Andrew L. Freedman
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 8, 2009 at 8:49 am

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

Posted by Barbara Haas
a resident of Menlo Park
on Sep 9, 2009 at 5:36 pm

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!).

Posted by James C
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 9, 2009 at 9:05 pm

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.


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.

Posted by James C
a resident of another community
on Sep 9, 2009 at 9:07 pm

Here is the myspace Woodstock 2009 page:

Posted by James C
a resident of another community
on Sep 9, 2009 at 9:10 pm

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.


Posted by James C
a resident of another community
on Sep 9, 2009 at 9:12 pm

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!

Posted by Diana Carlyle-Bednar
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 9, 2009 at 9:21 pm

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!!!

Posted by Meneely R.
a resident of Walter Hays School
on Sep 9, 2009 at 11:34 pm

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...

Posted by Ray
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 10, 2009 at 3:18 am

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

Posted by Barbara Haas
a resident of Menlo Park
on Sep 10, 2009 at 5:14 am

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!

Posted by Andrew L. Freedman
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 10, 2009 at 9:34 am

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

Posted by James C
a resident of another community
on Sep 10, 2009 at 9:57 am


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

Posted by Barbara Haas
a resident of Menlo Park
on Sep 10, 2009 at 10:09 am

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...

Posted by James C
a resident of another community
on Sep 13, 2009 at 7:54 am

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?

Posted by James C
a resident of another community
on Sep 13, 2009 at 8:02 am

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?

Posted by Ray
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 13, 2009 at 12:49 pm

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 j