"Lost Fresno" My Top 10 List

~
Add a favorite hang-out or special memory of a time long since gone, but not forgotten. This is our catch all forum for topics not listed elsewhere. The moderator may move your topic to a specific forum category later, to assist other members in finding fun information. If you are in doubt, post here!
~
Post Reply
Lost Fresno
Site Admin
Posts: 322
Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 7:08 am
Contact:

Re: "Lost Fresno" My Top 10 List - Add Your Memory

Post by Lost Fresno » Mon Jan 18, 2010 9:00 am

Fresno in the 60s

Channel 30 was once Channel 12. My dad worked there in the earl;y 60s when the station went to UHF, then was General Mgr from 1968 to 1971. I hung out with Al Radka, Gus Zernial and Flippo Jr. Dad hired Angelo Stalis and Roger Rocka, also former mayor Karen Humphrey. Remember the Me and Eds commercials showing the folks enjoying the pizza at the restaurant with the jingle in the background? My dad's idea. Channel 30 was the first station in the US to do the "do you know where your children are, it's 10 o clock" and this was also Dad's idea.

Cedar and Shaw SW corner was a golf driving range, next to the original Channel 47 (late 60s). NW corner was Penny Candy in a little strip mall. Lesterburger was right across from Fresno State College. My fave Fresno bands of the 60s were the Roadrunners, Folly's Pool, A Cast of Thousands with Phil Wimer (later of Wild Blur Yonder), the Conte brothers hard rock band at McLane High pre steroids, Natty Bumpo, Kenny Hall's folk band and Ray Camacho and the Teardrops. Mr Blake Jones, you are one talented sum bich. Keep on rockin! Ben of The Jeff and Ben Show from Fresno, Fresno, that's my home town! I know that song too my friend!

Reprinted with permission from Fresno Famous
http://www.fresnofamous.com

Lost Fresno
Site Admin
Posts: 322
Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 7:08 am
Contact:

Re: "Lost Fresno" My Top 10 List - Add Your Memory

Post by Lost Fresno » Mon Jan 18, 2010 9:03 am

Remembering Triple JJJ's. I used to walk to Triple JJJ's and have a hot fudge Sunday every weekend. The waitress always gave me an extra packet of hot fudge. Had the worst haircut of my life at the beauty parlor around the corner, don't recall the name. I remember the maple bars at Maple Plunge and always thought THAT was where the name was derived. I finally met the guy who owned it and he reminded me that it was ON Maple! I remember catching the measles there too. We lived closed to Harpains but I cannot recall what their logo was. I used to have to return the bottles there. Remember when they delivered the milk and put it those "insulated" containers on the front porch? Boy, you'd have to retrieve them in the early during summer. I also recall when they put the presidents on the lids and you could try to collect them all. PRO-DUC-ERS spells Producers. KYNO. Einstien Park. Blackstone Bowl coffee shop. The prime rib dinner at Pardinis. The barbecue at Chris N Pits on Blackstone? The hot fudge sundaes at the Water Tree. Chicken Delight.

We used to go to the old movies somewhere in town, maybe back in the early 70's and they had the cutest popcorn machine that spit out a teeny tiny bag of popcorn. You sat in folding chairs and they would have Laurel and Hardy festivals and the like. It was not a theater. Does anyone know where that was? I remember Bruce Van Dyke hosting the midnight movies. Saw "O Lucky Man" there. Was he on KFIG? Who was the other DJ, Ray something? We had to look for frogs for zoology class at the ditch near Barstow. Loved catching tadpoles at the ditch near Ashlan and Cedar. Walking across the catwalk there.

Little Anthony's sandwich shop was big when I was in Jr. High and High School. So was Sunshine records? Sun something. Fosters Freeze for a slush was the BEST in the summer. So was the ice cream man who brought along the swatches of carpet for us to stand on so we wouldn't burn our feet. We used to do the "ice cream truck hop" while we waited to order! The fair was big when I was young. We loved the Rotor. Apparently we liked to barf afterwards. Sunset Drive In was much cheaper than 3.00 a carload when I went. We saw "The Corpse Grinders" and "Night of the Living Dead" there along with many other fine features. I used to collect Popsicle sticks for Flippo Jr. but I don't recall what the guy did with them.

I remember writing to the funny weather man. I'll have to look up the note I was sent in return to get his name. He was a crack up. We used to watch the stupid news just so we could see him spray whipped cream on the map to indicate cloudiness. I have a video of the bee saying Goodnight. Love it! Taking the bus downtown to "hang out" at the new mall. Barkley's was the cool store. Sneaking onto roof of the Hotel California to drop pennies on the hookers below. Kalidescope was a cool store too, on Van Ness? I recall my older sister going to Mag to dance. Was that at the Rainbow Ballroom? OK, I've racked my brain for these memories, I look forward to reading more.

Reprinted with permission from Fresno Famous
http://www.fresnofamous.com

Lost Fresno
Site Admin
Posts: 322
Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 7:08 am
Contact:

Re: "Lost Fresno" My Top 10 List - Add Your Memory

Post by Lost Fresno » Mon Jan 18, 2010 9:05 am

I was just thinking about Maple Plunge when I came upon all your memories! To this day, that seems like it was the biggest pool I ever saw. Ah yes, the Mag dances at the Rainbow Ballroom. Those were the days. We used to take the city bus there when we had no other means of transportation. Loved it when the Roadrunners played there! And I remember the Conte brothers band. I went to McLane with Phil Conte.

And the DJ Ray. I cannot recall his last name now, but I think that was the same Ray I had a crush on in high school. What was that soda fountain just down from Triple JJJ's where we used to get cherry phosphates? Loved those. I used to buy my albums at Triple JJJ. They came to $3.11 with tax. Harpains Dairy always stunk up the neighborhood. Didn't like living so close to the cows. Wasn't it the Oak and Hickory Pit BBQ on Shaw?

What was the name of the donut shop across from the Tower theater? They had those huge glazed donuts that we sometimes took in to the theater along with one of those giant dill pickles that you pulled out of a barrel at some little grocery store nearby. I loved that weather guy who was so funny, was that channel 47? Tim Conway has always reminded me of him for some reason. We lived next door to Gus Zernial when he was a "star." I was on the 49er show when I was in 2nd grade. Foster Freeze on Cedar was where all the fights took place after school at Sierra Junior High. Loved their dipped cones. These brought back a lot of memories.

Reprinted with permission from Fresno Famous
http://www.fresnofamous.com

Lost Fresno
Site Admin
Posts: 322
Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 7:08 am
Contact:

Re: "Lost Fresno" My Top 10 List - Add Your Memory

Post by Lost Fresno » Mon Jan 18, 2010 9:08 am

Any body remember Munchies? They had 10 cent burgers and the first all you can drink self serve soda machine that I could remember. How about the KYNO Hot Dog that would be at high school football games late 70's? a mascot shaped like a hot dog. Ollenberger's clothing store. I know one was across from Roosevelt in the late 70's. I know there were other locations as well. How about the Lesterburger's Sign? Looked like a man with crew cut hair and glasses. Was he a burger as well? There uses to be one on Cedar and Kings Canyon where the Sunnyside Car wash is now. Mr. Lester was a patient of my dad's. Was there an Arthur's Toy Store downtown as well? Or am I remembering that wrong? I had forgotten about the Chicken Delight.

Reprinted with permission from Fresno Famous
http://www.fresnofamous.com

Lost Fresno
Site Admin
Posts: 322
Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 7:08 am
Contact:

Re: "Lost Fresno" My Top 10 List - Add Your Memory

Post by Lost Fresno » Mon Jan 18, 2010 9:10 am

Remembering the Country Squire: The theater building is still there. It is the South/East corner. It is on Ashland more than on First. I am trying to remember what it is now. A church perhaps. The theater must have bee in the early 70's. Wasn't those aisles really long? If you were in the middle you had to cross like twenty people. Did you ever go to the midnight movies at the Tower? I can remember seeing a Three Stooges marathon there among other themed nights.

Reprinted with permission from Fresno Famous
http://www.fresnofamous.com

Lost Fresno
Site Admin
Posts: 322
Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 7:08 am
Contact:

Re: "Lost Fresno" My Top 10 List - Add Your Memory

Post by Lost Fresno » Mon Jan 18, 2010 9:19 am

My lost Fresno (50's and 60's version).

We moved here in the mid-fifties from New Orleans and we used to go to Euless Park to see the Fresno Cardinals (before the Giants and the Fresno Sunsox). The Cards had a great team and cool uniforms. If you caught foul balls they gave you a free pass but since we played baseball all day we tried to keep the balls. The seats were wooden then as was the whole ballpark. If we didn't play ball we walked or rode our bikes down to Swimpark, an enormous swimming pool at Blackstone and Clinton. It took up the whole square block where Albertson's now stands. It had a concrete platform with a 50ft. high dive in the middle. Across the street was Yosemite Pharmacy (the recently derelict Sparky's) where we bought thousands upon thousands of baseball cards (we also bought them at Rudy's Variety (recently DAV) on Clinton near Fresno St. and Rudy's at Mayfair).

Down on Fresno St. just south of Clinton about 100 ft. was Starrs, the first free standing ice cream parlor in town (fabulous stuff). There's a dentists office there now. Back then Chinatown was absolutely jumpin' and a extremely vibrant place. The very coolest place in Chinatown (indeed probably the hippest in town) was Lightnin' Records which was owned by two Asian brothers(Bob and Jim) it sat on a corner and the doors opened on each side and had a little tile foyer. They had the best record selection in the valley and they knew their stuff. Almost everything then was 45's, virtually no lps and very few people bought lps. R&B(this was pre-soul) and rock and roll blasted out of those doors and it was the only place you could buy blues music (they eventually moved to Ventura St. just east of First). Chinatown also had Dick's Men's Store which just recently went out of business. Until the day he went out of business Dick was still trying to sell you a hat that was "sure to get you laid". Back then there was only the Westside, Chinatown and Downtown.

On the Westside you could get great ice cream at Mello Ice Cream on Fresno St. and deli at Piemonte's. Chinatown also had Wong's Dept. Store (a much smaller version of Komodo's) over by the Buddhist Temple (they were family friends and my mother worked at Wong's for a short while). On Friday nights we went to Kearney Bowl and watched racing greats Al Pombo and Marshall Sargent fight it out in the "hardtops". You sat in the rickety wooden grandstands at Kearney and the whole place shook as they roared around the track. You could walk thru the pits after the races and talk to the drivers. If you liked hot rods then you were sure to check out Eddies Hot Rod on Blackstone right across from Ratcliff Stadium. Even if you never bought anything this old wooden building was like some sort of museum with all the cool hot rod parts on the wall and the hot rods and dragsters out front.

Downtown, the theaters were in full bloom and we used to frequent them all. The Hardy's, The Crest, The Wilson (with the great hobby shop next door) The 10 cent White with it's reruns, The Warnors and the Sequoia (now the parking lot next to the Subway on Fresno St.). It was at the Sequoia where we saw the premiere of the Beatles "hard Days Night" (shorly after our century had been torn in two) and I remember walking up the steps thinking something different was really happening here. With our folks we went sometimes to Hart's Restaurant on Tulare near Fulton with the huge clock out front (I think there's an Army Recruiter there now). Some Saturdays we ventured down to Arthur's toys over where I think the bus station is now (to check out the slot cars)and then walked over and bought hot dogs at Coney Island. We were the last generation to cruise Fulton St. after that it was up and down Belmont to the Mars drive-in. Later when the mall came in we would buy clothes at Roos-Atkins (my mother worked there too) but Coffee's was superior and so was Hodge and Son which was next door to Hockett-Cowan at the corner of Fulton and Merced. Hockett-Cowan was a musical instrument store that also had records and they had these great glass enclosed listening booths where you could take a record in and listen to it before you decided whether or not to buy it.

Just across Merced was Montgomery Wards and across from that was Cooper's which was the forerunner to Gottschalks. There was also a great lunch counter at Woolworths. In the spring there was one of the truly great Fresno Events and that was the West Coast Relays. We went every year to Ratcliff Stadium to see not only great valley athletes (high school and college) but the very best track and field performers in the world. The WCR was a highly respected event and was one of two big track and field events on the West Coast. The other being the AAU games in Los Angeles. We saw world records broken there. Where did it go? Later on in college we frequented the hippest SF styled coffeehouse in town (think Vesuvio's or Cafe trieste). Cafe Midi was one of the coolest spots ever with live jazz, folk and blues good food and drink. It stood at the corner of Fern and Maroa (the brick building that's boarded up now) with doors that opened up to the corner. They moved North (Maroa and Shaw) around '67 or so and never recovered. Back Downtown we discovered Dodgson's Books on Van Ness (where the Arts Council office is). Dodgson's was Fresno's first independent bookstore and it was big, roomy and filled with a fine selection of books.

Right across the street you bought your art supplies from Art Johnson's a place that carried superior and pricey art materials. I later worked on the Mall in the late 60's at a record store called Discorama (67-68) it was next to cooper's. Discorama was a hangout for lots of youth in those days. It was divided into two sections with the back half being all Mexican music (Los Tigres De Norteno) and the front being all American. Needless to say the back half did all the business. It closed in late '68 I believe. We used to frequent Penny Candy the bookstore/headshop owned by Carole Gostanian which started out on Cedar across from Fresno State. It was like a SF headshop and Carole was truly hip and a great Fresnan. She opened the Penny Candy Poster Factory downtown on Merced in an old brick building but that didn't last too long. She also had Trolley Car Caroles which was a diner in an old trolley car downtown (another great place). There was another headshop along Belmont between Blackstone and San Pablo but I can't recall the name. Around this time ('68) there were some great bands coming to town.

We saw The Dead and Country Joe and the Fish in Feb. at Selland and then in March George Hiatt (who ran Sun Records which was at the corner of Blackstone and Dakota) and some others under the name Baba Love brought Cream to the Selland (which was outstanding and huge for Fresno). In early May we saw The Mothers of Invention with The Electric Flag opening at Selland and just weeks later watched Janis Joplin bring down the house there. I think these were all Baba Love productions. A few weeks after that the Doors were at the Fairgrounds. While these were all great shows I think the best ones we ever saw were at the Rainbow Ballroom in '68 and early '69.

The Rainbow was small and intimate with a real low stage and In Feb. '68 Buffalo Springfield with Neil Young And Stephen Stills were absolutely magnificent. Months Later Creedence Clearwater Revival tore the place up (yeah the Rainbow) and after seeing Tina Turner rip it up there in that lace micro skirt well you needed to take a cold shower. But the best was the Original Fleetwood Mac who played in Jan. '69. This was the blues band with the "Great White God of Blues Guitar" Peter Green. They truly burned the place down. I'm not sure who brought those shows but plenty of the shows in the late sixties were produced seperately by Rocky Morelli (who did the Mag dances) and by Mark Chenault(who's dad owned Kyno radio) also James Pagni produced shows. Shortly after this I moved to the Bay Area and stayed away for a year or so.

Reprinted with permission from Fresno Famous
http://www.fresnofamous.com

Lost Fresno
Site Admin
Posts: 322
Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 7:08 am
Contact:

Re: "Lost Fresno" My Top 10 List - Add Your Memory

Post by Lost Fresno » Mon Jan 18, 2010 9:22 am

I spent a lot of time at Triple JJJ. My dad owned Ashlan Park Barber shop for 25 or so years and I spent many a Saturday at the shopping center. I remember they had Al Radka, Flippo Jr for promotions at the center. I followed Flippo around to see where he went to change so I could see what he looked like outside of his clown uniform. Dumb huh? I worked real briefly at Triple J coffee shop, as a dishwasher. I used to buy goldfish at Grants and they would be in a plastic bag all day until my dad closed the shop and we drove home (way out in the country). We used to go to Harpains Dairy and buy pigeons when we decided to have them once, which turned into a bazillion pigeons.

My sister worked briefly for channel 30 in the 60's, and I remember asking her if she ever saw Al Radka, etc. I thought he was such a star as a kid does when they are little. Remember Webster Webfoot? How about Nancy Allen's movie matinee on TV? How about the Crimson Castle? The Shangrila Chinese food place on Belmont, near Mars Drive In? Does anyone remember the Drinking and driving commercial about "Pauline & Jack"? At the end of the commercial they get in a wreck and blood splatters all across her hand and they say, Happy new year Pauline, Happy New Year Jack. Friendly Ford used to be on the northwest corner of Clinton/Blackstone where Albertsons is now. Lesterburger was across the street on the southeast corner. Last time I was in Hawaii there was still a Perry Boys there, I was shocked to see it.

I had a slot car that I used to race at the Pit Stop in back of my dads barbershop. Remember the pool hall back in there too? We used to go school shopping for clothes downtown at Walter Smiths. Remember when someone put soap in the fountains at the Fulton mall? Remember Gemco? Remember the building was almost completed at First and Shields and it burned to the ground? What ever happened to Pioneer Chicken? Well, I know I will think of a million others but this is enough for now.

Reprinted with permission from Fresno Famous
http://www.fresnofamous.com

Lost Fresno
Site Admin
Posts: 322
Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 7:08 am
Contact:

Re: "Lost Fresno" My Top 10 List - Add Your Memory

Post by Lost Fresno » Mon Jan 18, 2010 9:25 am

Al Radka - "Fun Time" I remember Al Radka having a show in the mornings back in the '70's called "Fun Time" Different schools in the valley were its hosts. The opening song I will always remember:

"ITS FUN TIME, ITS FUN TIME, ITS CHANNEL 30 FUN TIME. WE'RE HAPPY TO SEE YOU, WE HOPE YOUR FEELING FINE. WE'VER BRUSHED OUR HAIR AND BRUSHED OUR TEETH AND NOW WE'ER SMILEING WITH OUR FACE, ITS FUN TIME, CHANNEL 30 FUN TIME. WE'ER SMILING WHY DON'T YOUUUUUUU!!"

Reprinted with permission from Fresno Famous
http://www.fresnofamous.com

Lost Fresno
Site Admin
Posts: 322
Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 7:08 am
Contact:

Re: "Lost Fresno" My Top 10 List - Add Your Memory

Post by Lost Fresno » Mon Jan 18, 2010 9:29 am

My mom and dad used to drop me off at the bowling alley out on Kings Canyon to bowl and play pinball. We would also get the best BBQ beef sandwiches at nearby Greg's sandwich shop. I also remember going to that tiny place on Cedar and Shields to watch the old time movies for cheap. We used to go to Sears at Manchester to see Santa every year, back when they had a candy counter. I also remember the giant slide and Whitefront store. Anyone remember Love's Open Pit BBQ restaurant on Blackstone. "Bring your love to Love's".

As far as tv shows I loved Channel 30 Funtime with Uncle Al and Flippo Jr. (He runs a travel show on the Catholic Channel now). I also loved Miss Pat's Playroom and Romper Room ("put on your Romper Stompers!") I also remember Scoopy the Bee saying "Goodnight!". Used to scare the heck outta me because right before Scoopy came on they would show the FBI's most wanted list back when Bernadette Dorhn was still on it. Anyone remember when Channel 24 used to run a Thanksgiving recipe show sponsored by French's mustard?

My favorite radio stations were KYNO (remember Dick Drilling? he later became an anchorman for Channel 47 (when it was still an ABC affiliate), I never thought til recently what a dirty sounding name "Dick Drilling" is). I also loved KFIG when they would play Doctor Demento on Sunday nights and of course KKDJ with Dean and Don (and also Gail Gingold and Chuy Escuela!) We saw all our movies at the Sunnyside (didn't Bobby Volare write his famous "Lock the Snackbah" song about their snackbar?)

Reprinted with permission from Fresno Famous
http://www.fresnofamous.com

Lost Fresno
Site Admin
Posts: 322
Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 7:08 am
Contact:

Re: "Lost Fresno" My Top 10 List - Add Your Memory

Post by Lost Fresno » Thu Jan 21, 2010 6:45 am

Many memories, Yes indeed! The Starlight drive-in, Original Blackstone Bowling alley, Cruising Fulton Ave, cruising Belmont Ave, Mars Drive-in on west end of Belmont Ave. @ loop & underpass to Roeding Park, West Coast Races at Radcliff Stadium, John Euless ball park, Kearney Bowl & Friday night Hard Top Races, Airways Pool, Shaws Ice cream Parlor on Clinton, Piggy Bank Grocery and Big Al's Pizza Parlor on 1st & Ashlan, The Hacienda, with the Mermaid and tank in the Lounge, Hi-Life Restaurant. The Lime Lite, The Bar & Dance Club-Still there, can't remember the name though? (on Maroa before Shields at underpass, Gongs Market, Perry Boys Smorgy, The original Basque Bar and Restaurant on Tulare across from Amtrak station.

Harpain's Dairy, C&C Market, Bobs Big Boy, Dairy Queen, Earth Shoes, Roos Atkins Dept. Store (dwntwn), Hart's Diner, Mexico Cafe (west side), American Safety (seat belt factory), Rhodes Dept. Store, Original Fresno Courthouse, White's Theater on Broadway, One of the most elegant-The Esquire Theater on Fresno St., Leilani restaurant & bar with the famous drink "the Sidewinder" (7 different Rums I believe) You were allowed only 2, and you got to keep the Tikki mug!

Rambelane Stable-horseback riding, Midnight Underground movies-Warhol-esque, Psychedelic-esque, the Marx Brother's etc., Hitchhiking, Walking across town, Dirt roads, Fig Orchards everywhere, hanging out-playing pool on the west-side, Greasers, Smoking Everywhere, High School Sports, No Track Houses beyond Herndon Ave., The Desert Inn out on Whitesbridge Rd., The Cosmopolitan on Fresno St. (still there), Head Shops, Mag dances and the Rainbow Ballroom (yep,Beach Boys, Paul Revere and the Raiders, Roadrunner etc.) Concerts in The Rainbow Ballroom, Concerts and Euless Park, Concerts at Selland, Convention Center, Ratcliff Stadium- had everyone from Sonny and Cher to the Rolling Stones- COOLSVILLE!, KFIG-Ray Appleton #1, The Fresno Barn, way out on west side of 99- the early years of country getting there start played there, Chet Atkins, Hank Williams, Buck Owens, Little Jimmy Dickens, Roy Rogers, etc.

Black & White-Thumb print Driver's license, Black & White-Profile Photo driver's license, Making fake ID's, Doctors making house calls, Milkmen deliveries (brought the dairy items to you), The INDIAN, his 12x12 wood house & his land at 1st & Dakota (did he leave his tribe, homestead, cast out of tribe?) He'd sit on his front porch everyday with his rifle and dog, watching us walk by on way to school and the town grow around him. He always appeared worn and elderly, but he too was a young person growing up in Fresno. Believe he held on to that land till he died. Anyone know more about him? And first but not least, Innocence. Revise Lost to Revisited, through all the replies. Excellent!

Reprinted with permission from Fresno Famous
http://www.fresnofamous.com
Attachments
mermaid-bar.png
mermaid-bar.png (375.85 KiB) Viewed 95005 times

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 8 guests