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Things Which Aren't Here Anymore ...

These ceased to exist during my lifetime.

The very large Loara High School Saxon Band (from Anaheim) marches in the 1967 All-Western Band Review on Ocean Boulevard in Long Beach.  Notice the barracades on the street.  I always thought the street was under construction when my high school band marched in this review 5-8 years later!  (This was the only picture I could find on the internet which showed what I wanted you to see on this site.  It could have been any band!)  The school opened in 1964 and the band was immediately in operation.  Another thing to take a look at is the headgear we wore.  I wore a busby/shako (take your pick, they're both correct terms) just like these with a very unforgiving sousaphone bell!  (But for you sissies in places where tuba players either go hatless or wear berets, I wore that fuzzy shako proudly!  I figure we tuba players are weird enough, why force us to dress differently?  These tubists in the Loara band wore the same headgear as everyone else!)

The All-Western Band Review  For those of you who do not live in California, we have a form of high school band competition that other states dropped over thirty years ago.  It is the band review, a parade of nothing but bands.  Bands play a standard military march in a standard military formation.  There is a simple dignified elegance to the whole thing.  And besides, the kids in the band get to march in a parade where they don't have to worry about the horses in front of them!  (Click on this link for a schedule of band reviews in Southern California!)  The biggest of the band reviews was the All-Western Band Review on Ocean Boulevard in Long Beach.  When it began in the late 1930s (I'm not sure which years were skipped during World War Two), not only high school bands were judged but there were professional civilian, military, and college divisions.  (In one year the Aggie Band from the University of California at Davis beat both U.S.C. and U.C.L.A.!)  Since World War Two only high school bands competed.  It was a big thing for bands from all over the state to compete against each other.  As my memory recalls the All-Western from my time in high school the shimmering letters from Tranquillity, Wasco, Patrick Henry (San Diego), Selma, Watsonville, Armijo (Fairfield), La Puente, Chowchilla, Glendora, Helix (La Mesa), Cupertino, Villa Park, Sunnyvale, Mount Miguel (Spring Valley), Woodlake, Thousand Oaks, Tracy, Loara (Anaheim), Washington (Fresno), Castle Park (Chula Vista), Dublin, John North (Riverside), East Bakersfield, Arcadia, Reedley, Garden Grove, John Swett (Crockett), Orosi, Katella (Anaheim), Porterville, Vista, Fairfield, Anaheim, Merced, Upland, Atwater, Los Alamitos, Manteca, Montebello, Tulare, and, my alma mater, Colton High School bands sparkle into view.  The last All-Western Band Review was in 1984.  Approximately 75 bands from all over California were there.  There are still other band reviews but none offer the attraction of so many bands from so many diferent places as the great All-Western Band Review.  There is now almost nothing happening the Saturday after Thanksgiving, the day All-Western was held.  Many other great band reviews have also since vanished: the El Primero Band Review (Santa Monica); the Autumn Band Review (San Diego), which was to select the San Diego County representative for the Tournament of Roses Parade; the Colton Invitational Band Review (when was the last time we saw my old high school in ANY band review?); the Hawthorne Band Review; the only band competition which actively involved bands from other states in concert, gridiron, and street competion, the La Mesa Tournament of Bands (La Mesa and San Diego); and the one which was supposed to take the place of the All-Western, the California Band Review (Santa Ana).  In the last three years, we lost the Maytime Band Review in National City, near the Mexican border.   Today the oldest is the Arcadia Tournament of Bands in Arcadia.

Where are the yellow shopping carts?



Alpha Beta Markets  I remember Alpha Beta. When I was little they had yellow shopping carts. Alpha Beta was sold to the Yucaipa Company a short time after this, which owned such chains as Boys' Markets, Food-4-Less, and Viva Markets. (If you remember in the movie E.T., the creature ate some potato salad purchased at the Boys' Market just before he got drunk!)  Through the power of this chain, they were able to buy the trade marks of such defunct brands as Carnation Fresh Milk (not the canned stuff, which is made by Nestle) and Van de Kamp's Bakery (not frozen fish, which is made by Aurora Foods). Yucaipa bought the Ralphs Grocery Company. Alpha Beta, Boys', and Viva shortly became either Ralphs or Food-4-Less. Ralphs was bought by the Kroger Company (see Market Basket in this list.)

Angels Building Supply  I think their problem was that they kept all of their stock outdoors. Not a good place to keep plywood. Oh, they had good prices and good quality. It was just a lousy place to go shopping in winter!

This is the El Capitan.  It was this train that I rode with my family to Los Angeles from San Bernardino when I was a preteen.  I think the 55 mile trip took about an hour and a half.  Each way.

Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe RailwayMy dad retired from Santa Fe some fifteen years ago.  While there is still a Santa Fe Railroad, it is now Burlington Northern-Santa Fe.  This happened in 1996 when the Burlington Northern, which itself was also an amalgamation of the Burlington Route (Chicago, Burlington, & Quincy), Northern Pacific (NP's logo was a circle with Yin and Yang in the middle of it), and Great Northern (GN's logo was either a goat or a Rocky Mountain sheep, remember?) railroads, merged with Santa Fe.  Pretty soon, when kids hear the song from The Harvey Girls, "On the Atchison, Topeka, and the Santa Fe," no one will know what the song is about, unless they bear down and watch the movie!  Click on this link to purchase a metal sign like the Super Chief above!

Barbara Ann Bakeries Their main bakery was in San Bernardino. I loved their Honey V Bread (though I never knew whether it was "Honey Vee" or "Honey 'Five'"), which was a multigrain bread with sesame seeds on top.  Barbara Ann Bakeries was owned by Langendorf.

Who ever thought of selling a bag of chips for 73 cents for the manufacturer's suggested price?  I guess it's just as logical as 69 or 79 cents!

Bell Brand Potato Chips  Made famous by a scene in The Seven Year Itch in which Marilyn Monroe came home from the store and immediately started eating a bag of chips.  The company has always been a division of Granny Goose Foods in the San Francisco Bay area; for a few years, you could buy both brands and most people thought they were getting something different.  Oh, well...  Bell Brand products were sold mostly to Southern Californians only.  "If it's Bell, it's swell!"

Look at the family on the cover of the stamp book.  What a way to spend the day!

Blue Chip Stamps  Children today are missing something I relished in my childhood: Saving trading stamps! Trading stamps were given by discount department stores (except dime stores and really cheap discount stores), drug stores, supermarkets, gas stations. If I remember right, you were supposed to get one trading stamp for every dime spent. There were 1,100 trading stamps in a book. A book of stamps would purchase about twelve bucks worth of goods. I remember what it said on every stamp: "Cash Value, One Mill," meaning that I could supposedly take my book of trading stamps to the Blue Chip Stamp Redemption Center and get $1.10. Stamps cost money. Stores began eliminating stamps when the price to give the stamps went up and so, like Double Stamp Tuesdays at the Signal Gas Stations, Blue Chip Stamps faded away. They were chiefly in California.  For those of you who have been asking if I remember S&H Green Stamps: Yes, I do.  My family didn't have that much to do with them?  We could get Blue Chip Stamps at Stater Brothers, which is where my family did most of its shopping.  S&H Green Stamps still exist.  I was at a supermarket in the Deep South not too long ago and noticed that they still give Green Stamps.  You can also click onto this link and, by buying through certain internet shopping sites, you can get S&H Green Points, which work similar to the stamps.

Bonanza AirlinesAnyone who has been in the Riverside Municipal Airport Terminal Building can't understand why an airport that has a waiting area like this doesn't have passenger service.  About 35 years ago, though, Riverside was one of the hubs for Bonanza Airlines, which was based in Las Vegas.  They used airplanes reminiscent of a previous generation (Fairchild propjets), flying to such exotic, glamorous destinations as Bakersfield, Blythe, Borrego Springs, and Carlsbad.  Eventually, Bonanza became Air West, whose planes were too big for Riverside.  Air West became Hughes Air West (instead of Bonanza Airlines, Hughes Air West was called "Banana Airlines" because their planes were bright yellow!)  Hughes Air West was taken over by Republic Airlines and Republic was absorbed by Northwest (Orient).

Builders' Emporium  This was a pretty good building supply store. My parents bought from them all the time (when they weren't going to Angels). Builders' Emporium was sold to Wickes and the stores became Ole's, which also soon went out of business.

Burger ChefI'm not sure but I think Burger Chef had charcoal broiled hamburgers long before Burger King.  The chain was family run for a long time and then it was taken over by General Foods.  General Foods (which was later bought by Philip Morris and merged with the Kraft Cheese Company, then ceased to exist) sold the company and it eventually wound up in the hands of Hardee's (we don't have any of those in Southern California; presently, both Hardee's and Carl's Jr. have the same Happy Star trademark), which was taken over by Carl Karcher Enterprises, at which time Hardee's seemed to resemble Carl's Jr., a chain which originated in Downtown Los Angeles (as a hot dog cart) and headquartered in Anaheim and some stores have Green Burrito outlets in them.  (Aren't these corporate things fun?)  I remember that in the early seventies a new Burger Chef opened across the street from San Bernardino Valley College (a couple of blocks south of Fedco) and they filmed a TV commercial there.  It soon closed down.  I don't remember any Burger Chefs staying around after that.  Later, I attended college at Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville.  They had Burger Chef; one of my professors always had the child's meal for lunch. (This was 1976 and 1977.)  In the early 1980s, I was stationed at Fort Dix, New Jersey.  I went to the beach at Toms River and they had a Burger Chef there on U.S. Hwy. 9.  I later found out that New Jersey was the last good stronghold for Burger Chef and the Burger Chef in Cookeville was the last store to shut down in 1996.

The old Carnation Ice Cream Parlor, which also doesn't exist anymore, at Disneyland.

Carnation Dairies  Growing up in the Los Angeles area, I thought Carnation Fresh Milk originated in Los Angeles. I mean, that's where the Carnation Evaporated Milk plant was and, at the time, they were the same company. Actually, they began in Washington State. I think every school district in California got some of its milk from Carnation in the 1960s. (Do you remember the four-piece paper cartons we used then?  One piece was used for the sides; there was a top and a bottom; and there was an indented cover that was held in place with a staple.)  Also, Carnation produced every milk-based product sold at Disneyland. Carnation was sold to Nestle in 1989 and would no longer produce fresh milk. In this area, Carnation Fresh Milk went to Adohr Farms, a small dairy in Santa Ana (formerly owned by the Southland Corporation). Nestle produces Carnation Nonfat Dry Milk, Carnation Instant Breakfast, Carnation Ice Cream, and several other products. At least Adohr Farms got the contract to sell milk at Disneyland! Carnation Fresh Milk is sold in the Los Angeles and San Diego areas in Ralphs and Food-4-Less supermarkets as one of their house brands (they pay Nestle for the rights to use the name).

The price and the "no cyclamates" disclaimer say that this bottle of Chocks is from about 1970 or 1971.

Chocks Multiple Vitamins  These were the first chewable multiple vitamins.  I'm not sure when they first appeared (but keep watching this page and I might tell you) but they were succeeded by Bugs Bunny and Flintstones vitamins.  My story with Chocks goes back to when I was about two years old.  My mom bought me vitamins to make sure I'd be really healthy.  I wanted to be really healthy so I took a whole bottle of Chocks.  I spent the rest of that day in the emergency room at St. Bernardine's Hospital emergency room getting my stomach pumped.  (Never take too much of anything!)  My mom wants me to add that I climbed to the top of a large refrigerator to get to those Chocks back in 1960.  That was a pretty ambitious chore for a two year old!

Consolidated Freightways  I really didn't know that much about the company.  I just know that their trucks were everywhere.  I remember the month they went out of business.  There was a yard near my house that had hundreds of CF trucks.

Continental Trailways  There was a time when you had a choice in bus riding.  Trailways had a fleet of European buses which were supposed to be more comfortable than Greyhounds.  Anyway, Greyhound bought the company and thus ended the competition.  Do you remember when actor Claude Akins did their pitches for TV commercials?

Disneyland Miniature Golf  Am I the only person to remember this one?  It was located at the corner of Cerritos Avenue and West Street (Cerritos Avenue has been knocked out because of recent expansion and West Street has been renamed).  Anyway, the golf course was a miniature representation of Disneyland, complete with the Matterhorn.  There was also a small adult golf course and a park for people who came to Disneyland with picnic lunches (it was called Disneyland Park, not to be confused with what they call Disneyland Park today, which is the entire Magic Kingdom.)  The whole thing was gone during the early 1970s or late 1960s.  For some reason, the miniature golf course is not mentioned on the Yesterland website (but this page is still worth checking out!)

Eastern Airlines  I am a very well flown person, having been to four continents (never been to Africa, Antarctica, or Australia) and I have my favorite airlines.  In July 1983, I had to fly to Quito, Ecuador, for a couple of weeks.  The travel agent said she tried to get me onto a U.S. flag carrier because she said they would be fewer hassles.  At the time, the only American airline flying extensively to the little countries in Latin America was Eastern (they had the route which used to belong to PanAm.  Since I lived in Southern New Jersey at the time, I flew from Philadelphia.  The night before I left I received a call from the airline and they informed me that I would fly Eastern to Miami but my flight to Quito was cancelled, so they booked me on Ecuatoriana.  I felt sad (because of what the travel agent told me) but I wasn't going to cancel my trip.  I arrived at the Philiadelphia Airport a good two hours before the flight but there was so much bickering among the agents in the booth that I spent an hour and a half in line.  Once in flight I tried to get a can of soda pop or a glass of water.  It wasn't until the pilot announced we were preparing to land at Miami that I finally got the attention of a female flight attendant.  I got a bag of peanuts.  Whoopee.  When we landed in Miami, the customs personnel was wary of the portable short-wave radio I used to carry with me on international junkets.  They then asked to see my suitcase which was already getting on the airplane.  (Consequently, my suitcase arrived at the airport in Quito two days late!)  Once aboard the seemingly antique Boeing 707, I felt remarkably relaxed.  The cabin crew, who spoke only Spanish, was very friendly.  I was immediately greeted with a glass of ice water and a flight attendant asked me if I wanted anything else.  I told her I'd been waiting for something to drink since the middle of my previous flight and I'd probably ask her for more water later on.  She smiled.  I probably had 10 or 12 glasses of water (or more).  Prior to lunch, I had to make a trip to the restroom.  Returning to my window seat, I saw that lunch had already been served.  The woman sitting in the aisle said that she wouldn't get up until she was finished with her lunch.  The same flight attendant who had been giving me all those glasses of water, seeing that there could be a problem, invited me to sit next to her in one of the crew seats (they faced the rear of the plane).  The meat we had was very unusual.  I saw other people had a choice but everyone in the flight crew ate the same thing and I ate what they did.  It tasted like chicken but the bones were very tiny.  It had a very unusual shape.  I asked what it was.  I was told it was "cuycuy" (English pronunciation would be, "quee-QUEE")  [It wasn't until after I got off the plane and met some people that I found out this was roasted guinea pig, the national dish of Ecuador!]  As I got off the plane, the flight attendant gave me her number.  I met another U.S. soldier who was going to be in Quito for a couple of weeks, who gave me the thumbs up sign.  I was so thankful I got to fly Ecuatoriana!

England's Ice Cream Parlour  Located on the site of a former Farrell's in the Tyler Mall parking lot, England's carried on the tradition of the property's former leaseholder. In the late 1980s it was razed to create 75 more parking spaces for the Galleria at Tyler (formerly the Tyler Mall.) By the way, Farrell's didn't go out of business. They just left markets where they weren't doing very well.  Farrell's fans: Farrell's one and only parlour is located in San Diego.  For info click here.

This famous Woolworth's in Greensboro, NC, was similar to stores in Riverside, San Bernardino, and throughout the world.

F.W. Woolworth & Co.  This was the original dime store. There are still a handful of dime stores around, just not around me in Riverside, California! The only one I can think of which still exist include Mott's (in Texas). Woolworth's also had stores in other countries. When my wife and I were newlyweds we loved to go to Woolworth's in either Tijuana or Juarez. We still have a few knickknacks in our home which bear a Mexican Woolworth's price tag.  There are some Woolworth stores in places like the island of Cyprus and in Germany, but these aren't part of the old chain and are definitely not dime stores.

Fedco  This was a membership department store. It was a lot like a military exchange.  There were stores all around Los Angeles and a couple around San Diego. I usually shopped at the stores in San Bernardino and Ontario. And I still have my lifetime membership card!

FedMart  FedMart was a smaller all-in-one department store. Most of the stores were on sites formerly occupied by either White Front or Two Guys. FedMart had stores in California, Arizona, and Texas.

This "space age cereal" didn't survive the 1950s.  I wasn't even a year old when it was taken off the market.   I loved this website!  It was a spinoff of Flake Magazine, which is all about cereal, mostly the stuff that doesn't exist anymore.  On one of my Macintosh computers I have a wallpaper made from this's home page.  It's a shelf with several different kinds of cereal.  There are other cereal websites you might like to try (such as the Cereal Box Archive).  If your computer has a lot of memory, try  If they don't sell Quaker Quisp cereal in a supermarket near you, I think you can probably buy it on the website.   See my own gallery of defunct cereal boxes!

Foothill Drive-In Theatre Located on the southeast corner of Foothill Boulevard (Route 66) and Acacia Avenue in Rialto, it wasn't the first drive-in theater to close its doors in the area during the great drive-in theater closing movement of the 1980s, it was the first one which affected me personally.  My wife and I liked to go to this drive-in when I was a student at California Baptist College because I could dump my daughter off at my parents and be close to the theater.  One week we saw a double feature and the coming attractions preview stated that a movie we were wanting to see would be shown the next week.  We dumped our daughter off again at my parents and drove to the vacant lot which used to be the Foothill Drive-In Theatre.  The only two drive-in movie theaters in the immediate area are in Riverside: Van Buren Drive In is open all year; Rubidoux Drive In is open only in months with a "U" in them (that means summer).  The Van Buren is slated for demolition soon.  There is another one, the Mission Drive In, located at the corner of Mission Boulevard and Ramona Avenue between Montclair and Pomona.  These three theaters are owned by the same outfit.

Chinese Cherry was the first of the Funny Face drinks to have its name changed.

At the Headstart Program of Collett School in the Alvord Unified School District (in Riverside, California), the children use a pitcher in the shape of Goofy Grape's head to play in the sandbox!  (How much could I sell it for on eBay?)

Funny Face Drink Mix  OK, so in 1965 we weren't quite so culturally sensitive as we are now.  Pillsbury tried to cut into the profits of Kool Aid with their own presweetened drink mix, Funny Face.  Each package of Funny Face made two quarts with cold water, but no sugar was needed.  Since Funny Face was sweetened with cyclamates, it didn't take much and so the package weighed little more than a similar package of unsweetened Kool Aid.  Kool Aid also came presweetened?I don't know which came first.  Let's see if I can remember all the original flavors… Goofy Grape, Chinese Cherry, Loud Mouth Lime,Lefty Lemon, Injun Orange, Freckle Faced Strawberry, and Rootin' Tootin' Raspberry .  There were pictures of the character on the front of the packages.  Because the characters were demeaning to their related ethnic groups, Chinese Cherry later became Choo Choo Cherry and Injun Orange became Jolly Olly Orange (who was obese) and lemon and lime were combined to make Lefty Lemon-Lime. It sounds to me like there was, except in the case of railroad worker Choo Choo Cherry, a demographical group who was being made fun of in all of the characters!  Goofy Grape (mental illness), Chinese Cherry (Asians), Loud Mouth Lime (Jews), Lefty Lemon (left-handed people), Injun Orange (American Indians), Freckle Faced Strawberry, Jolly Olly Orange (fat people), Rootin' Tootin' Raspberry (cowboys), and Lefty Lemon-Lime (the exclusion of groups formerly recognized).  The banning of cyclamates changed the Funny Face formula.  First, they made it unsweetened.  People complained that they'd rather buy Kool-Aid.  Then they added sugar.  By that time, Kool-Aid regained the marginal lost market.  All the while, Funny Face's pejorative names were changing.  (Kids, look up pejorative in the dictionary.  There'll be a test, so take notes carefully!)

Gemco  Like Fedco, this was a membership department store. But it had connections to the Lucky Stores supermarket chain (which is also on this list.) Gemco wasn't that special, just cheap. I also remember when I was stationed in the Army at Little Creek Naval Amphibious Base there was a chain there called Memco, which honored my Gemco card. Somewhere, I still have that lifetime membership card from Gemco.  Lucky's had a deal that I could turn in my old Gemco card and get a dozen eggs.  I didn't think it was worth it.  After all, the card is good for a LIFETIME!

The Giant by Ralphs  In the mid 1980s it seemed that club stores were really big. The Ralphs Grocery Company tried to capitalize on their own version of a club store (without using a club card) with their chain, The Giant. The trouble was the prices were no different than Ralphs. They were just big, fancy (as well as EXPENSIVE) stores. They soon went out of business.


Read my story on

Helms Bakeries  Their yellow delivery trucks made sure homes in the Los Angeles and San Diego areas had plenty of bread and other baked items. According to a Ralph Story documentary I saw on KCET, channel 28, the Helms company flew fresh white bread to Olympic athletes in several Olympiads (Rome was specifically mentioned).  In 1969, when the first astronauts went to the moon they took Helms Bread with them. The company soon went out of business.

Hoagy's Petting Zoo and Pet Shop  This was a pet shop which encouraged browsing! Located near the Rohr Aircraft plant (now even it belongs to a different company!) in Riverside, Hoagy's sold exotic animals and exhibited them for the price of the food patrons fed them, sold there in ball gum machines. How I wish this were around for my daughters!

I have often said, "Never trust tree huggers or ARAs (animal rights activists)."  As seen in the picture above, they were partially responsible for the closure of the Home Base chain.

Home Base  Originally known as the Home Club, this chain sold building supplies. I never did much with them. Supposedly, it was the Home Depot chain which drove them out of business.

"America's Largest"

Home Savings [of America] (Los Angeles)  Home Savings was a bank that made you feel good about your money.  They would always have sincere spokesmen for their commercials.  Harry Von Zell did their commercials when I was little and when he died George Fenneman had the honors.  Maybe when Mr. Fenneman died in the mid 1990s, the spirit died in Home Savings.  George Fenneman had been one of the best known, best loved, and most widely believed announcers of radio and television.  He was best known as Groucho Marx's announcer on his quiz show, You Bet Your Life.  He was also the one on the Dragnet radio program who said, "Ladies and gentlemen, the story you are about to hear is true.  Only the names have been changed to protect the innocent..." (the show had two announcers.)  Fenneman had a wonderful life.  Born in Beijing, China, he had seen almost everything there was to see in the world, yet he had a humble spirit about him.  The Ahmanson Theatre in the Los Angeles County Music Center is named for the founder of Home Savings.  Home Savings was bought by Washington Mutual in 1998.

J.J. Newberry & Co.  Like T.,G.,&Y., this company was absorbed by McCrory in the 1980s.

"Where Bambi goes nothing grows!"

Japanese Village and Deer Park  Made famous by the comedy team of Hudson and Landry in the audio sketch, "Ajax Liquor Store," this amusement park was located across the street from the Nabisco plant in Buena Park, California.  (The Nabisco plant shut down, too.)

L.A. Airways  This was not a traditional airline but what all those books and exhibits in the past said the future was going to be like.  L.A. Airways was an airline which used passenger twin propeller helicopters.  Riverside's heliport, where you could catch one of the choppers to LAX (Los Angeles International Airport), was at the Market Street exit off the 60 freeway, just across the street from Fairmount Park.  There's a new office building there.  The San Bernardino heliport was located off of Arrowhead Avenue in the National Orange Showgrounds parking lot. "I have seen the future and the future is behind us" (my own quote).

Here is the original Bozo, Pinto Colvig, from over 55 years ago.

Locally produced children's television programming  Back in the days when we weren't so sophisticated (a house with a television in it used either rabbit ears or rooftop antlers), there was a phenomenon we all took for granted then.  It was the locally produced kids' show.  When I began school, we lived in the San Diego area.  Former Our Gang member and WWII matinee idol Johnny Downs had a program on KOGO-TV, channel 10, at 4:00 p.m., on weekdays.  There wasn't much to it: Johnny would tell which Popeye cartoons we were going to see and when it was over he would give us some sage advice about how to live our lives.  Locally, from Los Angeles, we had many hosts of local shows.  KTLA, channel 5, had Bozo's Big Top.  The actor who portrayed Bozo was Vance Colvig (Jr.), son of Pinto Colvig (Vance Colvig, Sr.), who was the original voice of Walt Disney's Goofy (some websites I've read get these two men mixed up; it was the father who had the nickname, not the son).  Channel 5 also had Skipper Frank (Frank Herman) and Tom Hatten (now heard on KNX radio as a film critic; also a movie actor in his own right), who wore a plain white t-shirt and a sailor's hat when he showed Popeye cartoons. KABC-TV, channel 7, had Soupy Sales (remember that thing on New Year's Day one year when he asked children to go through their parents' wallets, find some green pieces of paper with funny looking beared men, and mail them to him at the station?) and Pinky Lee. KHJ-TV, channel 9, had Engineer Bill (Bill Stulla), Robert W. Morgan (the KHJ-AM disk jockey), Shrimpenstein!, Jack and Phyllis Speer, and many of the others who appeared at other stations at other times.  KTTV had Paul Winchell (with his ventriloquist dummies), Baby Daphne the Witch, Hobo Kelly, Walker Edmiston, Mr. Wishbone (Jim Allen), and Sheriff John (John Rovick) [click here to hear his birthday song!REALPLAYER FORMAT].  KCOP, channel 13, had Chuck Jones (the Magic Man), the Black Baron, Beachcomber Jim, and many of the others on this list.  The last new locally produced (regularly airing) children's show I can think of was Dusty's Treehouse (starring Stu Rosen) on KNXT, channel 2, in the mid-1970s.  Actually, Sheriff John lasted into the late 1980s.  I still sing his birthday song on my own birthday.

Long Beach State Football  To satisfy my parents wish for me to be close to them in Rialto, in 1977 I transferred from Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville, Tennessee, to California State University, Long Beach.  Long Beach State had a football team, which meant, as a music major, I spent many of my Saturday nights (before I suddenly dropped out of school without telling anyone) playing with the Big Brown Music Machine, the 49er Marching Band, from Cal State Long Beach for football games, which were played during that time at Anaheim Stadium (ex-Edison International Field, now Angels Stadium).  This was before the Los Angeles Rams moved down from the Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles' Exposition Park, so, when they made the baseball diamond into a football gridiron, one side of the field had no seats, just a fence with a clear view of the Orange Freeway (SR 57).  Later Cal State Long Beach played their home games at Veterans' Stadium in Long Beach, but the student body really wasn't that interested in football and it faded away in 1991.  The same thing happened at Cal State Fullerton.

Los Angeles Herald-Examiner There was a time when Los Angeles had two great newspapers. (Some people like the Daily News, except that you can't get it here in Riverside.) The Herald-Examiner was a Hearst Newspaper. It wasn't as thick as the Los Angeles Times, but it seemed to have more comic strips. The Times was a morning paper while the Herald-Examiner was an afternoon paper. I guess more people like getting their papers in the morning, so they shut down in about 1988.  

"That's Lucky for you!"

Lucky Stores Stephanie Edwards was their spokeswoman for a long time and before her, Doug Llewelyn, of People's Court fame, did their commercials. They never doubled coupons. They only promised low prices without gimmicks. The company which originally owned Lucky Stores, Inc., went bankrupt over its losses from the Gemco/Memco chains, which went out of business in 1987. Stores Inc. sold the chain to American Stores, which also owned Alpha Beta (it also owns the Jewel chain in the midwest and the Acme chain on the other coast). Alpha Beta was then sold to the Yucaipa Company. In 1999 American Stores was bought by Albertsons. Later that year most of the former Lucky Stores became Albertsons. Their television and radio commercials explained that the two store chains were merging ("It's a wedding made in heaven"). No, one just took over the other one. There are no more Lucky Stores.

Marineland of the Pacific  Remember the old TV show, Sea Hunt with Lloyd Bridges starring as Mike Nelson?  One of the credits at the end of that program acknowledged Marineland of the Pacific for the use of their tank.  Marineland was what we had before Sea World opened in San Diego.  It was small and it was sure close to us in the Los Angeles area (off the end of the Harbor Freeway "on the beautiful Palos Verdes Peninsula.")  In the late 1970s and into the 1980s, Marineland came into hard times.  Now this was a serious site for ocean study.  It just seemed soft of ridiculous when the Hanna-Barbera cartoon company purchased the park in the late 1970s (and I love Hanna-Barbera cartoons!) when the main attractions were the people who paraded around in the Scooby-Doo and Fred Flintstone costumes.  In the late 1980s, Anheuser-Busch (the beer company, hence there is no link, who owns Sea World) purchased Marineland and, figuring 100 miles is too close to have competing ocean parks, closed Marineland shortly thereafter.  Thankfully, folks in nearby Long Beach opened the Aquarium of the Pacific a few years ago.  (No Scooby-Doo, except on the lunch box which may appear on a child's lunch box, who is visiting with his school class!)
 Marineland still exists in Florida.

Just so you know, I prefer CREAMY peanut butter!

Market Basket   Owned by the Kroger Company (whose present area link is the Ralphs chain), Market Basket was a very prominent supermarket chain in the Los Angeles area for many years. I believe they went out of business in the late 1970s/ early 1980s. They were famous for their peanut butter and Brookdale Ice Cream parlors (in-store).  There was also a Market Basket chain in the Los Angeles area in the late 1980s.  None of the stores of the new Market Basket chain made it out to this area, but if you have any info about this, e-mail it to me!

Does anyone remember the price on the tag?
  I thought my dad would like this picture.

Minnie Pearl's Fried Chicken and Minnie Pearl's Roast Beef These two short-lived fast food outlets were all over the country. The chicken was the best and the roast beef was better than Arby's! But poor management sent their profits right into the toilet. The country and western singer found other ways to invest her fortune before her death .

Here I am with my Mirafone 186-5U (CC) tuba.  This is a "4/4" upright brass bass in the key of C with five rotary valves (some people have a big hangup with the size of their tubas and give them size names; the sizes are not uniform; my 4/4 Mirafone would probably be a 3/4 Alexander or a 1/2 Cerveny!).  According to my sources, it was built sometime between 1962 and 1964.  My parents bought it for me when I was a high school junior in 1973 (in lieu of a car; it's safer!)  It is a good all purpose tuba.  I've used it for orchestra, ballet (playing, not dancing), band, chamber music, solos, circuses, rodeos, and church.  For a year in the Army, I even used it for parade and field work (the other two tubists in the band also used upright basses because there was an infantry officer who said he could not stand the sight of sousaphones!)  I thought it was funny when that Colonel said, "They sure sound better without tubas!"Learn about tubas here!

Mirafone Corporation   I am a proud owner of a Mirafone tuba. Pitched in CC, it is a large bored, five valved, medium sized tuba. It was built in Germany and reworked at a factory in Los Angeles to meet American tubists' needs. When they first started sending these tubas to the United States, the factory was located in a factory near Downtown Los Angeles. Then they moved up the road to 8484 San Fernando Road in Sun Valley, California. Then they moved to Santa Clarita, near Magic Mountain. Then they moved to San Antonio, Texas. Eventually, the Texas  outfit (a different company, a firm from the Netherlands that specializes in making percussion) began importing other instruments than Mirafones (such as Meinl-Westons and VMIs) and by 1994, no longer handled Mirafone musical instruments. They still make Miraphone tubas (note the difference in spelling) and they still make fine instruments. But today they are shipped directly by the manufacturer to music stores which stock tubas as common practice. (In most stores tubas must be special ordered. It can take up to 18 months to secure a brand-new tuba. No one in his or her right mind would buy a tuba this way, unless, say you want a custom built Hirsbrunner.)

Mr. Wiggle  This was Jell-O's first attempt to make a sugar-free gelatin desert (it was made with cyclamates).  I was in Cub Scouts when I had my encounter with it.  I guess I was about nine years old and one of the things I had to do for my Bear badge was to cook something all by myself.  I decided to make Jell-O.  So, my mom bought Mr. Wiggle.  She warned me to stir it constantly so I wouldn't end up with a leathery, rubbery bottom.  I didn't bother to read the instructions that said to let the water boil then add the mix powder.  No, I put the mix into the saucepan then added the water.  Then I put it on the stove.  I had no leathery, rubbery bottom, even though I kept wandering into the living room to see something on TV.  Mom came back to the kitchen to tell me it was about time to add the powder.  I told her I did it already.  She said, "Stir it!  You're going to get a leathery, rubbery bottom."  But I didn't stir it that much.  Afterwards, I told Mom what I did; that I put the powder in first thing.  She told me that maybe that's why there was no leathery, rubbery bottom.  So, since that time, whenever I make Jell-O, I put the powder in first, before anything else.

Morrow Field  Maybe it might seem surprising, but Colton used to have an airport.  That airport had passenger airline service, too.  Cable Commuter Airlines flew from several little airports in the Los Angeles area (such as Tri City Airport in San Bernardino and Brackett Field in La Verne) to Los Angeles.  The site was used later for the Price Club, which left that facility in the mid 1990s.  Morrow Field was located just off the Rialto intersection of Riverside Avenue and Valley Boulevard, at the northeast corner.

I searched far and wide for a glass Mother's Pride Soda Pop jug but the best I could do was these cans (which I don't remember).  Trust me.  The glass jugs existed!  E-mail my mom and ask her!

Mother's Pride Soda Pop  Before two liter plastic soda pop jugs came out around 1982, the biggest containers were the 26 or 30 ounce glass bottles.  I can still remember going to Lucky's and buying a 30 ounce bottle of Lady Lee Cola (Lady Lee was the house brand of soda at Lucky Stores) and it was to be divided equally by all five members of my family.  There was a brand which had a larger size: Mother's Pride.  Produced by National Beverages of Vernon, California, I think it probably had 36 ounces.  It was a weird shaped bottle and the deposit on it  was a nickel.  My mom would never let me buy soda when I rode my bike for errands when I was little.  It was too dangerous with glass bottles.  Mother's Pride was owned by the same company which now owns Shasta!

NFL Football in Los Angeles  I find it difficult, as someone native to the Los Angeles area and still gleaning from living here, to get excited about the San Diego Chargers.  We may have Arena Football and we had XFL Football for the one season it lasted, but we can't get a real professional team to be here.  I have been slightly disappointed since 1995.

Naugle's  This is one of the few things on this website I haven't researched. Please tell me if I am  wrong…  This chain is out of business in Southern California but they might be in business somewhere else! The first Naugle's drive-thru I remember was placed in the downtown section of my hometown, Colton, California, when I was in high school. About six years earlier, the city fathers had a wonderful idea of redeveloping the town. First all the businesses were told that a 12-square block area was going to be leveled. Panic could be sensed. Regardless of who owned the property, everything was to be razed. Larsen's Drug Store and Rexall Hub City Drugs formed a coalition to keep running their business in Colton while the construction was going on. The two stores merged and stayed in business through the construction, even though they eventually had to move. Here's the point: Everyone was told to leave and they would be invited back. Except for the ones that relocated only a short distance, no one came back. Laughton's Colton Dodge (car dealership) wound up going out of business before the demolition because Old Man Laughton died of a heart attack (he was only 56!) The New Colton Movie Theater (a Spanish language cinema whose specialty was Cantinflas films) closed, never to return. If one goes to Downtown Colton now, one sees a lot of parking lots. Now you know why! Anyway, Naugle's was one of the first businesses to locate (out of the blue) to Downtown Colton. I think there was another outlet in Fullerton, but the rest were somewhere in Illinois (and yes, Illinoisians, I know the S isn't pronounced!  But why do you pronounce both Ss in Des Plaines?) In the 1980s Naugle's and Del Taco merged. One had to give and it was Naugle's. There is neither a Del Taco nor a Naugle's on Valley Boulevard where that the first Naugle's I saw was. It's a privately run fast food place now.

The WAF Band was stationed at Norton in the early 1960s.

Norton Air Force Base  For those of you looking at this website from other parts of the country, this may come as a shock but California seems to lose all its military installations as those folks living in San Antonio, Texas, retain theirs.  We've lost Fort Ord (Army post near Monterey, where I spent quite a bit of time while I was in the service; it is now California State University, Monterey Peninsula), the Presidio of San Francisco (another Army post, located at the south end of the Golden Gate Bridge), Camp Roberts (still another Army post, this one near San Luis Obispo), Treasure Island (a Naval base located under the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, in the middle of San Francisco Bay; it had been the site of one of two 1939-40 World's Fairs held in the United States, the other being in New York City), the San Diego Naval Recruit Depot (all initial seaman training is done at Great Lakes Naval Base, located near that internationally known seaport, Chicago, Illinois), the El Toro Marine Air Station, George Air Force Base (located west of Victorville), and many others.  For those fixing to blame one party or the other in Congress, don't.  They're both guilty.  Anyway, Norton was a strong part of my childhood in that from the time I moved to Colton in 1966, when I was in the third grade at U.S. Grant Elementary School, to the end of the war during my junior year at Colton High, we never stopped hearing the C-141s, C-130s, and C-5s taking and returning troops to Vietnam.  The Vietnam War was a big part of my growing up.  We always lived around military families.  We didn't know many who lost family members in action.  We knew those who suffered irreparable injuries, sometimes from "friendly fire" (attacks not made by the enemy).  We didn't have to go through what people went through what folks went through in World War Two with rationing, factories dedicated to making war materials, or victory gardens.  This war mainly involved young men betweeen the ages of 17 and 24.  It didn't bother me to know that I might have to serve in the Armed Forces someday; I did that proudly, though there was no chance when I went in that I would be in a controversial international conflict.  While I was against the war, I knew that whatever I would do to get myself out of the military service would probably stay on my conscience for the rest of my life.  (I guess this is what is meant by being loyal...)  I have friends who are those who got out of the draft (a lottery for mandatory military service) and those who served during the Vietam War.  You can't really say one group is better than the other.  They both did what they thought was right.  Anyway, Norton Air Force Base began at the start of World War Two as the San Bernardino Army Air Base.  Its location, away from Los Angeles, but close enough to fly there in a few minutes, made it an ideal coastal base.  It would later be named for Leland Norton, a young Army Air Force pilot who was shot down and killed flying a mission in Europe in 1942.  Besides being one of three major MAC (Military Airlift Command) bases on the West Coast (the others being Travis AFB, CA, and McChord AFB, WA), Norton was home to the part of the Air Force which made training films.  Its proximity to the motion picture industry in Los Angeles was an asset.  Several well known Hollywood directors anonymously helped in the production of these movies.  For over ten years, until 1961, Norton Air Force Base was the home of the WAF (Women's Air Force) Band.  Many of the activities formerly conducted at Norton are now done at March Air Force Base (now officially called March Air Reserve Base).

Ole's   This was a great hardware store. When my wife first arrived to this country from her homeland she bought most everything for her new apartment in L.A. from Ole's. Many Ole's outlets were former Builders' Emporiums.

The layout of the Ontario Motor Speedway (my high school band always sat at Turn 20).

Ontario Motor Speedway (OMS)  There was a time some world class Indy 500 type and NASCAR races were held in this area.  Opened in 1972, the racetrack at Ontario was a huge monstrosity with all kinds of exciting car races.  The Colton High School Band played for the California 500, held the Sunday before Labor Day.  The race track closed in the early 1980s.  If you get a chance to see the movie, Evel Knievel, starring George Hamilton, one of the jumps was done at the Ontario race track, preceded by the Fontana High School Steeler Marching Band playing the "Star-Spangled Banner."

An old picture of Oscar's, somewhere in San Diego.  Look at those cars!  Wow!

Oscar's  I'll fudge a little bit here. Most everything on here is something which someone from Riverside and San Bernardino, who is my age or older, can relate to. Oscar's was a restaurant chain in San Diego. There were a few in the Los Angeles/Orange County area. Anyway, Oscar's was owned by Foodmaker, Inc., which also owned Jack-in-the-Box drive thrus. Oscar's was like Denny's (with Jack-in-the-Box hamburgers) with CARHOP service. I think they went out of business in the 1960s. I'm sure a lot of people came from up here to visit San Diego and ate at Oscar's!  (Foodmaker, Inc., became Jack in the Box, Inc., in 1999.)  I have written to the Jack in the Box headquarters to see if they know more about Oscar's history.  The Jack-in-the-Box Company refuses to acknowledge the existence of Oscar's--they don't answer.

Pan American World Airways (PanAm)I only flew PanAm once, when I was being transferred out of Berlin, Germany, in the Army.  When Berlin was a walled city, only three airlines, one each from the three occupying nations, was allowed to operate from West Berlin's Tegel Field.  The Americans had PanAm, while the French had Air France, and the British had British Airways.  What this meant in Berlin was that people who worked for PanAm, who were stationed in West Berlin, received some privileges not received elsewhere, such as PX and Military Commissary.  It was a terrorist bomb which not only crash landed a 747 at Lockerbie, Scotland, but also the entire airline.  For the remaining five years of occupation in Berlin, American Airlines took PanAm's place.  PanAm had such a neat history.  For over 30 years they had a similar relationship with the United States Navy on the island of Guam (as they had with the United States Army in Berlin).  Even after restrictions to travel to Guam (without military permission) ended in 1962, PanAm continued to serve Guam for many more years (the former PanAm airport at Sumay was immediately transferred to the U.S. Navy as soon as Guam was released from Japanese occupation in 1944). Click on the link above to study more about PanAm!  The PanAm Airline that exists today is not the original company and you can also read about this on the website.

The airsickness bag was one of the few things included in the price of the ticket, besides your seat.

PeopleExpress  Would you like to fly from Los Angeles to Newark, New Jersey, for under $50? Of course, you would!  During the 1980s, PeopleExpress introduced a whole new way to fly. There were only two or three destinations on the entire airline (I think the others were Miami and Pittsburgh). There were no reservations, except for their flights to London from Newark, thus it was known as GREYHOUND AIRLINES and the PeopleExpress Terminal at Newark looked like a bus station! Depending on when you flew, your fare could be cheap, super cheap, or nearly free. When I was stationed at Fort Dix, I flew to Los Angeles from Newark to see my future wife and paid $49 because I left at 2:00 a.m. There was no guarantee I was going to get back. Evening flights were a little more expensive and day flights ran either $129 or $149. Fares were collected by flight attendants in the sky (theoretically eliminating some of the taxes). Food was not given, it was sold. A cup of coffee cost about $3.00. A sweet roll to go with it was about $5.00. Meals ran about $15 and were not quite as good as other airline meals. Passengers were encouraged to bring a sack lunch and a thermos. The airline went out of business about two or three years after it started and was taken over by Continental. When I lived in Indonesia and Guam I used to fly on Continental a lot, as they are the only airline between Bali and Guam (and the only U.S. airline serving Indonesia.)  On one of my trips on that route I saw the inspection plate near one of the rear lavatories of the airplane and noted that it had been originally owned by PeopleExpress!

Here is the Pike, as it appeared in an episode of Perry Mason.

The Pike (NuPike)South of the Long Beach Convention Center there used to be sort of a miniature Coney Island with the biggest ride being "The Cyclone."  The Pike was really a dumpy place, though my mom said she had a lot of fun there when she was a teenager (this was before Disneyland!)  The All-Western Band Review terminated in the middle of the midway of The Pike.  Part of the original site is occupied by the Aquarium of the Pacific.

Pillsbury Space Food Sticks  These were supposedly the snacks astronauts ate in orbit.  Who cared about that?  They were just good!  (And forget about that 44 calories a stick business: For me an individual serving had 616 calories, one whole box!)

Let's get a couple of Cokes!

Pup 'n' Taco What an interesting combination: hot dogs and tacos! Their romantic commercial of a boyfriend and a girlfriend eating a hot dog at both ends made television history. Most Pup 'n' Taco outlets became Taco Bell in the early 1980s.  I never understood why they never sold a hot dog in a hard taco shell… I mean that's what it sounded like from the name of the store!


Radio Aahs  Airing locally on KPLS, 830 on the AM dial, Radio Aahs was a commercial radio network in which all of the programming was done by children (supervised by adults).  Headquartered in Minneapolis, there was a lot of advertising from such companies as General Mills, Pillsbury, and Malt-O-Meal, all of which are based in that area.  Airing 24 hours a day, adults loved to listen to the station, too.  I was overseas when the network went blank, so I don't know exactly what happened.  It's replacement network, Radio Disney, is on different frequencies and does not have the innocense which made Radio Aahs so special.  I think it was only on the air between 1993 and 1997!

Railroad Express Agency (REA)  REA was the railroad version of Federal Express.  They were simply the fastest way to send anything anywhere.  I remember their green trucks with the red REAX logo.  There was always a couple of cigarette ads on the trucks.

Retired San Francisco Cable Cars at Knott's Berry Farm Back when admission to Knott's Berry Farm was free (the only rides were the big train, the mine train, the stage coach, and pack mules) old cable cars were used to transport people to their cars.  I don't remember if parking was free or not but I think it cost a quarter to ride the cable car, maybe fifty cents.

Rialto New Car Dealerships  In 1976, my parents made the big move from Colton to Rialto, about 3 miles to the northwest.  Since I had already graduated from high school and was merely inches from leaving home, it wasn't a big move for me.  (My brother and sister would end up graduating from Eisenhower High School, which meant my sister went through the first year of high school twice, as Colton was a 4 year school and Eisenhower a 3 year one.)  When we moved to the area in 1966 from Oceanside, Rialto had three new car dealerships.  There was Bill Ellis Ford, which advertised on TV, Friendly Chevrolet, and Tharp Autos.  Tharp Autos was owned by the father of dance choreographer Twyla Tharp.  He also owned the Foothill Drive-In, which neighbored the dealer along with a place that sold built-in swimming pools and the snack bar for the drive-in (which was open to the public when movies weren't showing).  Actually, Mr. Tharp owned two dealerships: Tharp Autos, a Dodge dealership in Rialto; and Tharp Motors, a Chrysler dealership in Fontana.  Tharp's place was the first to go.  The space left behind meant more office space for the swimming pool dealer.  Then Friendly Chevrolet went.  Finally, with no great fanfare, Bill Ellis Ford was gone, but he began operating a Toyota dealership in Colton, at the Pepper Avenue on-ramp of the I-10 freeway.  Bill Ellis Toyota became the new home for L.J. Snow Ford, one of the oldest car dealerships in the area.  In 2001 L.J. Snow Ford became Moss Brothers Ford, meaning nothing is ever permanent!   As far as the Rialto car dealerships, the Tharp Autos site was razed in 1987 and became the parking lot for a shopping center which includes a Stater Brothers supermarket and Pep Boys.  The site of Friendly Chevrolet is a liquor store and Italian restaurant.  The building for Bill Ellis Ford looks the same, but since the Ford dealership left it has been the site of a transmission shop.

Wow, what a difference 40 years makes!  (This picture was taken in 1961.)  This is now the site of the Moreno Valley Mall.

Riverside International Raceway (RIR)  Located just to the west of what is now the Moreno Valley Mall in what was then the unincorporated community of Sunnymead (now in the city of Moreno Valley), the Riverside Raceway was where the Riverside 500 NASCAR race was held every year until about 1979 (if I remember correctly.)  The parade for the Riverside 500 went around the Tyler Mall in Riverside, some 10-12 miles to the west.  My high school band never played for the race during the time I was in school, but we took the sweepstakes trophy (for best band; it's better than first place) in the parade every year.

Riverside's Osteopathic Hospital (that's the way it's written on my birth certificate)  I was born there early in the morning of Saturday, August 10, 1957, sometime during the 1:00 hour (I found out with my daughters' births that  hospitals doesn't always supply the correct birth time for birth certificates!)  Unlike Riverside General Hospital (the former Riverside County Hospital at the corner of Harrison Street and Magnolia Avenue, at which there is now a Lowe's Hardware Store), the building for the Osteopathic Hospital is still there.  If memory serves me well, Osteopathic closed about 1960 or 1961 and Riverside County used it for something or other.  It's been everything from a secretarial school to an office complex.  There is a counseling center on the site now.  (Located at 4295 Brockton Avenue in Downtown Riverside, near Tenth Street.)

Robert Hall  Every town had one.  It was a store that sold nothing but plain suits for men and women.  Men's suits always came with an extra pair of pants.  I think Robert Hall went out of business when people got out of the habit of wearing suits for doing everything.  They could now buy fewer suits, but required higher quality than the cheap suits from Robert Hall's!

Royal Shake-A-Pudd'n  A very shortlived product, Shake-A-Pudd'n came with a paper Dixie cup, like the ones from the hamburger drive-ins, that had all the instructions printed on it.  You filled water up to the line, put the cover on top (a plastic one, also like one from the drive-in, without the punched out hole for a straw), and shook it.  I know exactly when this product hit the market.  I was in Webelos (the last year of Cub Scouts) and the guys wanted to bring this for the end of the year camping trip at Wrightwood.  So that was about May 1968.  Click here for a commercial.

S.S. Kresge Co. This might be hard to believe but Kmart began as a spinoff of Kresge's.  Kresge's was a typical dime store.  I think they had one in every town over a certain population level.  We didn't have one in Colton but we could go to one in Riverside or San Bernardino. Anyway, Kmart proved to be such a hit that the dime stores closed down and the S.S. Kresge Company changed its name to the Kmart Corporation.  F.W. Woolworth tried the same thing with a chain called Woolco but that offshoot went out of business in the late 1970s.

Sage's Complete Shopping I can still tell you where all their stores were located: The main store was located at the corner of E Street and Base Line in San Bernardino (building is now occupied by the San Bernardino Adult School); another store was located at the corner of Highland Avenue and Sierra Way in San Bernardino (now occupied by the Grocery Outlet); a third store in San Bernardino was located at the corner of Del Rosa Avenue and Highland Avenue (I think there's an Albertsons supermarket there now); the Redlands store was located on East Redlands Boulevard (now occupied by an Albertsons supermarket); there was a store in Rialto at the corner of Foothill Boulevard (Route 66) and Acacia Avenue (building is has been vacant for some time); the Downtown Riverside store was near the corner of Main Street and Fifth Street (building razed); and there was another store in Riverside at Hardman Center on the corner of California Avenue and Arlington Avenue (now occupied by an Albertsons supermarket). Except for the smaller stores in Riverside (both stores in Riverside were small), Sage's was a place where you could buy almost anything. In Rialto and at the main store in San Bernardino they had one of the most specialized toy stores anywhere (in a separate building). Until 1968 they gave their own trading stamps. These were replaced by Blue Chip Stamps. Sage's went out of business after the death of owner Milton Sage in the early 1970s.My mom reminds me that Sage's in Rialto had a cookie lady in the bakery department and she would give me a cookie every time I went there (I must have been about 2 or 3 and I don't remember it at all, but I'm putting this here for you, Mom!)

Security Pacific National Bank  This was one of Bank of America's first major bank acquisitions in the 1980s.  I never have cared much for BofA.  Incidentally, even the Bank of America has changed.  Begun as the Bank of Italy in San Francisco at the turn of the twentieth century, the present chain's headquarters are in North Carolina.  It is not the same chain.

I e-mailed the Shasta company from its website to ask why they stopped making these wonderful beverages.  See the bottom of this article for my reply...

Shasta Flavored Colas!  They came in Shasta Vanilla Cola, Chocolate Cola, Lemon Cola, and, of course, Cherry Cola.  Everyone makes cherry cola these days, but I really do miss the other flavors. Haven't seen these since about 1971.  "It hasta be Shasta!"  I e-mailed Shasta and asked about these flavors.  They said they may be "premiered" (not reintroduced) as some fancy flavor in the near future.  That was my reply.  When the flavors came out, they were quickly taken off the shelves and were not sold.  (Doesn't the buyer always know best?)

Signal Gas Stations  I am an old-time radio fanatic!  My favorite show was The Whistler, which was sponsored by Signal Gasoline.  I was not around when that show was on originally.  But I do remember Signal.  They were absorbed by Humble Refining (Enco gas stations on the West Coast, including here, and Esso stations back east.)  Humble became Exxon in the early 1970s (it's still called Esso outside the U.S.)  The Whistler can still be heard on KNX, 1070 on the AM dial, in Los Angeles at 9:30 p.m., Wednesday nights.  I believe this 50 kilowatt station has a pretty far reach, even in summer. CLICK HERE FOR A LINK TO LISTEN TO LAST NIGHT'S KNX DRAMA HOUR!  (Requires RealPlayer.)

Smith's Meat Company Located at the corner of "E" Street and Fairway Drive in San Bernardino, this was a full scale meat processing plant. From 1959 to 1961 I lived on the premises of the Victoria Guernsey Dairy at the corner of Ninth Street and Waterman Avenue in San Bernardino. When a cow wasn't being productive one of my dad's jobs was to take the critter to the meat packing house to sell it for dog food. Now I was only two or three years old when I saw my first cow slaughtered but I'll never forget it. No, I didn't swear off meat. I don't remember if the incident really bothered me at any time in my life. This is strange because I usually have a pretty weak stomach for gory things. (But it could be because this was an animal getting hurt and not a human being. I am also not an animal rights activist!)

Southern Pacific Railway (Espee)   It's hard for a lot of people to realize, but the most expedient way to get most things across the country is by rail.  Using "piggy back" service (trailers or containers on flat cars) saves a lot of work and the trucks can get things to where they need to go.  Anyway, I was disheartened to learn after I returned from overseas in 1999 that the Southern Pacific Railway was absorbed by Union Pacific a couple of years ago.  There were once plans for Southern Pacific and Santa Fe to merge a few years ago but there were complaints from another railroad that it would hurt competition.  That railroad was Union Pacific.  Did you know that Sunset Magazine began as an on board publication for passengers on Espee's SunsetLimited?

Standard Brands Paint Stores I think the Standard Brands Company is still in business, even though the stores are gone. They still make paint for other stores. However, nothing could compare with Standard Brands when it came to such items as paints, markers, varnishes, glue, and masking tape. I used to think it was the only store where you could buy those items. Now that it's no longer here I know where to get these things!

Sunnymead, Moreno, Edgemont, and a few other small towns to the east of Riverside  These are the communities which merged together in December 1984 to incorporate into the city of Moreno Valley.  (When I was in school, Moreno Valley was just the name of the high school in Sunnymead!)  I lived in Sunnymead sporatically (my dad did migrant farm work) as a baby (from about 1957-59, near the Riverside International Raceway) but I never lived in Moreno Valley.  The same thing happened to the communities of Alta Loma, Cucamonga, and Etiwanda, when Rancho Cucamonga was incorporated, but those communities still retain their original names.

T.,G.,&Y. This Oklahoma City-based dime store chain was probably the best. In the 1980s they were absorbed by McCrory, which also took J.J. Newberry.

Thom McAn Shoes  OK, so you can buy them now at Kmart. These aren't the same shoes I used to get at the Thom McAn shoe stores. They had nice shoes. Kmart just bought the rights to the brand and sort of brought it back. The last Thom McAn shoes I bought (when the store in Riverside was going out of business in 1994) were an expensive pair of lightweight handmade Italian shoes ($200 marked down to $75!)  The shoes you get now at Kmart are heavy, mass-produced things from a factory in China (if you split a box open, you can even read their address, phone number, and e-mail!)

This ad predates the freestanding T atop the stores I remember.

Thriftimart (not to be confused with a store chain in Texas called "Thrifty Mart") This was the retail chain of the famous Smart and Final wholesale chain. Smart and Final is open to the public and does not require a membership card. It seemed pointless to have two chains which can serve the same public, so in the early 1980s Thriftimart went out of business.

Thrifty Drug and Discount Stores You can still get Thrifty Ice Cream at Rite-Aid Drug Stores, the chain which absorbed the former Thrifty's. I don't know what happened. All of a sudden there were no more Thrifty's! When I was little I can remember the old fashioned drug store soda fountain at the Thrifty Drug Store at the corner of Chicago Avenue and Eighth Street (now University Avenue) in Riverside.  Rite-Aid bought a lot of famous chains from all over the country, such as Revco and Thrift Drug.  I wish they would take a hint from Safeway and Kroger and give the old names back to the stores they took over!

The Treasury  This was a mega-store, owned by J.C. Penney, which also included a supermarket.  I knew of two stores: in Riverside at the Tyler Street turnoff on the Riverside Freeway (SR 91), in what is now Target; and in Buena Park.  This only existed in the mid 1970s.  In the early 1980s, when I was in the 298th U.S. Army Band (Berlin Brigade), the band was on a trip in Tournai, Belgium, and I went to a store there which was almost a carbon copy of the old Treasury (and most items had a J.C. Penney house brand.)

Tri-City Airport  This was a little airport located about halfway between Colton and Loma Linda off U.S. 70-99 (I-10).  Now home to a major shopping area.

Two Guys This New Jersey-based discount department store chain came to California in the late 1960s/early 1970s to fill the void filled by the loss of White Front. They did a pretty good job for the few years they were around. The whole chain went out of business in the early 1980s.

Van de Kamp's Restaurants  The Van de Kamp family was involved in several areas of food.  There was the Van de Kamp's Bakery.  Do you remember that the woman who stocked the Van de Kamp's bakery shelves had a very elaborate Dutch costume?  There was the frozen fish, which was probably the same as what was served at Van de Kamp's Restaurants.  There was really nothing special about a Van de Kamp's Restaurant except for the big windmill on the roof.  Some of these buildings still exist in the Los Angeles area and many still retain their original windmills.

Victoria Guernsey Dairy  I lived at their farm in San Bernardino at the corner of Waterman Avenue and Ninth Street from about 1959 to 1961.  My dad drove trucks for the dairy.  He took me on a lot of trips with him.  I can remember riding to Covina to the Vita Pakt Orange Juice plant with him in a tanker truck, which Victoria Guernsey would fill in their own bottles.  There are still some Victoria Guernsey Milk Stores in San Bernardino and Rialto but none of these really have anything to do with the old company, which also had a bigger farm on Base Line in San Bernardino.

W.T. Grant Company  Does anyone remember going to Grant's. I sure do! You could buy almost anything there and, like other dime stores, you could have lunch there. The specialty: A hot dog cooked on a set of rollers onto which butter had been melting on special today for 79 cents, served with an iced Coke in a paper cone, placed into a metal holder. "There are more than a thousand Grant stores to serve you coast to coast! Save the most at the W.T. Grant store neighbor you!"

White Front   What made White Front so impressive was its entrance (at most of the stores).  It was like a glass brick version of the Hollywood Bowl!  I seem to remember that White Front went out of business in the late 1960s. It was White Front where I saw my first in-home video system. This was a complicated thing, costing something like $2,000 (in 1967!) Many of the White Front stores evolved from Two Guys to FedMart to Target.  The White Front store in Riverside (at the corner of La Sierra and Magnolia Avenues) became a Builders Square.  When that chain went out of business (or did they just leave California?) it has been nothing.  I don't know, though.  The building looks pretty good.  Maybe there's some kind of governmental underground operation going on there. I found out that part of the building is a store front school operated by the Riverside County Office of Education for at-risk children.

Zodys Department Stores  I really only remember going to this store when the store on Tyler Street in Riverside closed down in 1987, along with the rest of the chain. They had cheap stuff.  I bought some sports shirts and a shower curtain, which are long since gone and forgotten at the bottom of a landfill in either Riverside or Fort Worth.

Page last updated November 13, 2005

Did you know I collect soda pop bottles from around the world?