Segarini: Stockton California

From Wikipedia: Stockton, California, the seat of San Joaquin County, is the fourth-largest city in the Central Valley of the U.S. state of California. With a population of 291,707 at the 2010 census, Stockton ranks as the state’s 13th largest city. The city is located in Northern California, south of the state capital Sacramento and north of Modesto.

Stockton is along Interstate 5State Route 99 and State Route 4 amid the farmland of the California Central Valley. It is connected westward with San Francisco Bay by the San Joaquin River‘s 78-mile (126 km) channel, and is, with Sacramento, one of the state’s two inland sea ports. In and around Stockton are thousands of miles of waterways and rivers that make up the California Delta.

It was a wonderful place to grow up…and it was a wonderful time to grow up. You read those hoary old Whitman Sampler homilies on Facebook all the time, the ones about your curfew being when the streetlights came on and no one locked their doors at night. The ‘Good Old Days’ crowd are constantly going on and on about how we survived riding our bikes without helmets and got along just fine without cell phones, and how our parents trusted us and didn’t interfere in our quest to experience life, let us make our own mistakes, and kept us in line without resorting to violence or calling the police. For me, growing up in Stockton, all of that was true.

When the weather was good (and in Stockton it was ALWAYS good) we were out the door when we got up and didn’t come home until the sun went down. We knew our neighborhoods like the back of our hands. We knew how to cut through everyone’s backyards to get where we were going, and every family in a 4 or 5 block radius knew every kid and we knew all of them. The family who had the first TV on Ellis street used to let us kids come over and watch Superman, made us popcorn and Kool-Aid, and didn’t even have kids of their own.

We haunted every construction site, hole in the ground, junk yard and lumber yard. We traveled in packs, on bicycles, and would sometimes ride downtown to look at the bums and buy cigarettes. By the time we were teenagers, we knew the names of the policemen in our part of town, and they knew ours. It was a small town, and we were small town kids, and life could not have been better anywhere else on the planet.

Even after I started to play music and found myself in San Francisco and Los Angeles, Stockton was always a comfort to come home to. You were made to feel like a returning hero, and old friends stayed friends, happy for you, excited for you. Family was everywhere all the time. I think I miss that most of all. Family…and the food.

Stockton is a farm town. It produces a vast amount of produce and is the Asparagus Capitol of the World. Stockton grown asparagus (and cherries, and peppers, and tomatoes, and walnuts) are the best in the world. The land is some of the most fertile in the world, and Stockton sits on thousands of miles of inland waterways unmatched anywhere else in North America.

I have not been back to Stockton since my mother passed away in 1997, and, having watched its steady decline over the last 4 decades, have come to realize that it is not the same place I grew up in all those years ago. Still…I miss so much of what it was, even now. Have a look around Stockton

I read the local newspaper, The Stockton Record, online 2 or 3 times a week. I was saddened by the recent news that Stockton, once a thriving farm community and the produce hub of Northern/Central California, was going bankrupt. How could this be? Absolutely EVERYTHING there is to know about Stockton

The saddest aspect of this bankruptcy is the fact that it was caused by the same missteps that threaten to turn the U.S into a third world country; mismanagement, greed, and unchecked ego.

This article from the Sacramento Bee’s Dan Walters sums up what happened.

Dan Walters of the Sacramento Bee: “Elected leaders and appointed managers succumbed to hubris and political pressure, particularly from their employee unions.

They committed their cities to spending on employee salaries and fringe benefits, especially pensions and health care, and civic improvements that could not be sustained when the housing bubble burst and revenue declined.

As their gaps between income and outgo widened, officials covered them with questionable transfers, bookkeeping gimmicks, loans and lies — hoping against hope that the downturn would be brief and revenue would once again surge and bail them out.”

My favourite columnist from the Stockton Record names names.

Michael Fitzgerald: Who’s responsible for Stockton’s likely bankruptcy? I reviewed thousands of pages of city fiscal documents back to 1990, seeking answers.

Let’s start with Dwane Milnes, city manager from 1991-2001.

Milnes did not return phone calls for this column.

As for the platinum retiree medical, no money was put down on it. The “Milnestone” around the city’s neck swelled to a leviathan $540 million to $560 million by fiscal 2011-12 (it has since been reduced to a still-outsized $417 million).

Meanwhile, employee compensation grew so large the city had to shoulder a $125 million bond to pay for it.

In March, Milnes admitted he grossly underestimated medical inflation. He was not alone. Most contemporary projections erred.

Milnes also explained why he recommended first-class pay and benefits: because renegotiating contracts every year with ornery employee unions ruffled him and interfered with municipal operations.

“I told the City Council these short-term contracts had to come to an end,” Milnes recounted. “We needed six-year contracts to get some peace around here. The price of long-term contracts was we had to enhance the benefits.”

Translation: We paid the unions to go away. A remarkable admission from a man paid six figures to stand up to unions and represent the public’s interest.

Milnes was far from the sole actor. The city had CFOs, a fiscal team, mayors Joan Darrah and Gary Podesto and numerous council members.

Nor was Stockton alone. Most of these benefits were a statewide trend. Cities everywhere are struggling with them.

Still, a $560 million unfunded retiree medical liability, a $125 million bond debt – $785 million in debt – what a legacy.

There’s more. City government bloated into a culture of fat-cat privilege. Many employees lost their sense of duty to the public. They became all about the paycheck.

Gary Podesto, mayor from 1997-2004, took responsibility for his part.

“The council that I was on – and myself – after 9/11 of course, gave the big boost to public safety folks,” Podesto said. “We didn’t realize the consequences.”

Podesto and his handpicked successor to Milnes, Mark Lewis, city manager from 2001-06, added giant new debt with ambitious building projects in the 2000s.

Emboldened by the boom, they ignored warnings.

“We’ve strained everything we’ve got to get to a place where we can finance this project,” Councilman Richard Nickerson, the lone dissenter to the Events Center, said March 2, 2004. “And if it doesn’t go perfect, … heaven help us.”

On top of cash outlays in the tens of millions, the city racked up bond debt on the Hotel Stockton ($13M), arena and ballpark ($46M), parking garages ($32M) and the Essential Services building ($13.5M).

To that later was added a marina ($11M), a new City Hall ($40M) and various city improvements ($35M). And more.

Preoccupied with building, leaders ignored ever-fattening employee compensation.

“In hindsight, we should have addressed it,” Podesto said. “I’ll take full responsibility for not addressing it. Because we were trying to create revenue opportunities.”

But Lewis gave sweetheart deals to the arena sports teams and an incompetent venue management company. These ensured not revenues but a $2 million to $2.7 million annual arena operating deficit.

In fact, virtually everything Stockton built loses money. The pattern: cost overruns, bad design, wishful thinking and unfavorable contracts. In Stockton city government, losing money somehow ceased to be a bad thing.

Podesto’s successor, Edward Chavez, mayor 2004-08, and Gordon Palmer, city manager 2006-09, buried the city.

By the time of their tenure, insiders knew Stockton’s fiscal situation was critical. Had leaders exacted tough employee concessions in 2008, the whole bankruptcy debacle could have been averted.

Instead they fiddled.

Chavez’ apathy and failure to act, coupled with Palmer’s paralyzed incompetence, is an indictment of Stockton’s senior statesmen who supported them. Chavez also did not return phone calls.

There are other causes. The recession, state raids on city funds, and incompetent bookkeeping, to name a few. You could write volumes.

The real tragedy is the city’s lost chance. The chance to seize a boom and create a better economy, a higher quality of life, a special waterfront urban experience. That city is now just an alternate future, the one that got away.

If you want to read Michael’s entire column, you can find it here.

So there it is. My hometown is suffering at the hands of a few incompetent amateurs elected by a public unqualified to be trusted with the vote. A microcosm of problems now plaguing cities, states, provinces, and countries all across the globe. Remember this; Greed, Ego, and Mismanagement can and will sink anything where they are allowed to run amok. Period.

Will anyone learn anything from this?

Probably not.

They never do.

=0=

My Stockton

Before we go any further, I just want you to understand Stockton’s place in the world. Nothing says it better than this.

Okay, so it’s not the REAL world but it’s cool any way.

The People

There were so many. Here are just a few of them.

The Segarini and Figone Families

This is my dad, his brothers, and my Uncle Al Figone. These were hard working self-made men whose families and businesses came first. I was blessed with so many role models and only wish I could have lived up to their examples. They are all no longer with us.

My Cousins Eddie and Linda

Eddie could find trouble or a good time anywhere. The most fun, happiest guy there was back in the day. Now he skis, surfs, and lives the life. Good on him.

Along with Maurio, Diane, Judy, Ronnie, Georgie, and Vic, we were the second generation and the first to be born in America. Diane used to babysit me when our parents went out, but really, she taught me to smoke, drink, and mix a good Cuba Libra by the time I was 9. She passed away at an early age from a rare disease she picked up working at the Tillie Lewis Cannery.

We lost Linda early too, to an asthma attack while she was getting ready to meet me for dinner on a visit to Stockton in the 80s. We all grew up on Ellis Street in Stockton until the Brother’s stores became successful and everyone moved.

Mrs. Berry

Mrs. Berry was my Third Grade teacher at Woodrow Wilson Elementary School. She encouraged my love of reading. She turned me on to Robert Heinlein, Eleanor Cameron, Edgar Rice Burroughs, and L. Frank Baum. I ended up writing over 200 book reports that year. Thank you, Mrs. Berry.

My friend Gary Smalley

Gary’s the big, tall, galoot. We were friends all through grade school, Junior High, and High School. Thanks to the internet, we’re still friends to this day. An early supporter of my musical leanings, Gary is one of the sweetest, nicest, people you would ever want to meet.

Susan Berry

When we moved to Monterey Avenue from Ellis Street, Susan lived across the street from me. She was a couple of years older than me and the most beautiful girl I had ever seen. She was my first crush. She became my best friend for years, taught me how to French kiss, and would wake me up after her dates and tell me about her night, her hopes, and her dreams. I searched for her for years on the internet but could never find her. Her granddaughter found me instead. Turns out that Susan was looking for me, too.

Melanie Bray and Cherie Porter

Mel was from Stockton and Cherie was from Lodi. Early supporters of my first recording band, The Family Tree. They were so young and beautiful. Almost 50 years later and they’re STILL young and beautiful.

Glenn Gallup

Glen was originally from Galveston Texas, as was Family Tree drummer Vann Slater. Glenn encouraged my love of R&B and the blues, turned me on to Muddy Waters, Bobby Blue Bland, and others. Got me into a Car Club when I got my first car. Pepe’s Pizza and beer. He and Art Jacobs and I were best buds for years. During the Cuban Missile Crises, Glenn and Art kept me from going nuts. Glenn and I were the only white guys at a Ray Charles/James Brown dance and concert in Sacramento. We had the greatest time dancing with girls who knew all the moves and seeing Ray and James with their big bands, and all for 2 dollars at the door!

Vann Slater

A fine drummer and a wonderful singer. Became a lawyer and got rich. We spent years playing music and laughing.

The Places

Again, there were so many of them. Here are a few.

The Markets

Had I been smart, I would have listened to my dad and spent more time in the family business. I was the only Segarini  son who didn’t. I worked for my dad on and off, delivering produce, stocking shelves, and sweeping up, but I spent more time cadging smokes and mickies of whiskey. Lon Dudley and I passed out in the beer fridge one night after drinking a bunch of beer from dented beer cans. My dad found us in the morning and gave us holy hell.

We ended up with 5 stores, a liquor store, a bowling alley (where I worked as a busboy one summer) and a bunch of houses and apartments. My dad never raised anybody’s rent. After he passed away, my mother saw to it that the rents continued to stay the same.

We had our own liquor brand, “Town and Country”.

Paper bags. No plastic. We carried shopper’s groceries out to the car for them.

Pardini’s

This toy store used to be in a strip mall next to Webb’s Bakery. All my Lionel Trains came from there. When they expanded, they moved here, the former home of Segarini’s Supermarket number 5.

Stockton Jr. High

This is the main building of Stockton High School. By the time I got there it was Commodore Robert Field Stockton Junior High School, and had 3 more buildings. I would play my guitar and sing from the fire escape on the side of the Auditorium at lunch time. I was amazed no one ever beat me up.

“Chewing the Rag”? Stockton High in the late ‘40s.

This is a Sponsor Page from a Stockton High Yearbook. My mother worked at the Sterling (and The Wonder), high-end women’s clothing stores.

Amos Alonzo Stagg Senior High School

I quit school in my junior year because I got sent to the Dean of Boys office for reading ahead of the class. Blue-slipped for reading A Midsummer Night’s Dream after finishing the assigned work, Julius Caesar. It helped that I had already gotten a record deal.

Years later, Jefferson Airplane played the senior quad at Stagg. So did the Grateful Dead and other SF bands. I was busy playing the Fillmore, Avalon, and California Ballroom’s in SF and the Whisky in L.A at the time. Truth is, they never asked me.

Freitas Music

For all my Rock and Roll, R&B, and Blues records needs. Old man Freitas knew his stuff, and this little hole-in-the-wall record store was THE place to buy records.

Downtown

Thriving, Vital, safe. Those days are gone.

The Stockton Theatre

My local movie palace. 25 cent Saturday afternoon marathons that featured black and white serials, tons of cartoons, a Lash LaRue feature and a couple of B-grade sci-fi movies like “It Conquered the World” and “The Giant Claw”. Our folks would drop us off at noon and pick us up at 8:00. Best. Babysitter. Ever.

Even our little local theatre was beautiful.

The Fox Theatre

Recently restored to its former glory, this Palace was just as beautiful when I was growing up. Big Cinemascope screen and the most beautiful detail work I’ve ever seen. Renamed The Bob Hope Theatre, it now shows classic films with a big Gala presentation and live music/comedy concerts. We would pay for one friend who would open the alleyway door and sneak the rest of us in. Popcorn boxes could be flattened out and thrown at the screen like Frisbees if a movie sucked. We got really good at hitting giant actresses in the boobs. Beautiful.

The restored lobby

The Haggin Museum

A real Egyptian mummy and a giant Komodo Lizard in a glass case. Awesome. We stole a duck from the pond in front. He lived in the bathtub at Cold Red (Roxy’s potato field house) for months. He left when we started painting the bathroom every time we took acid.

Pixie Woods

Stockton’s kiddie park which has fallen in and out of repair over the years. Made famous by one of the funniest moments in this classic film.  Spinal Tap in Stockton

Lost Isle

You can only get there by boat. You get drunk there. You take your clothes off there. You have way too much fun there. That is all.

The Food

Newby’s

First with my folks, then with my cousins, this place had a one-two punch unequalled before or since. I’m sure all of their food was great, but what drew the crowds was the barbecue beef sandwiches (on a bun with barbecue sauce, mayo, and shredded lettuce) and an Orange drink served in an iced mug and full of ice particles. Total cost? 50 cents. I would kill for an order of that right now. Newby’s became, and still is, part of a railroad overpass.

Risso’s

One of the places, along with Murphy’s, the 276 Club, The Pump Room, Otto’s, Villa Basque, and The Shadows, my dad used to love going to for a good steak, family-style dinner, or cioppino. Classy banquettes, Dean, Frank, and Sammy playing quietly in the background, and my dad and his cronies playing Liar’s Dice at the bar until dinner was served. Even at an early age, my folks took me with them to a lot of great restaurants. Thanks to them I have a great deal of love for good food.

Genoa Bakery

Still, the best bread I have ever tasted. Still in the same residential home it started out in 100 or so years ago, and an institution in Stockton.

When I would go buy French bread for my mother I always bought two loaves. I would eat one by myself on the way home.

Dick’s Drive In

Started going here with my cousins Phid, and Diane’s friends, and later with Glenn Gallup. The burgers and shakes were pretty good, but the main attractions were the guys detailing cars in the lot, doing pin striping and flames while the rest of us looked on. There were great drive-ins in Stockton. Miracle Mile, Towers, Showers, and so many others. We lived in our cars, tooling up and down Pacific Avenue on the weekends looking for love and adventure. American Graffiti is the story of my childhood. I was the writer who ended up in Canada.

A&W

Another drive-in where we showed off our cars. Just down the street from Stagg high, I ate lunch here a lot. The subs were square and cut diagonally. They were delicious…and an A&W Root Beer float is still hard to beat.

Snow White

Big burgers, secret sauce, and shrimp in a basket with secret sauce. They also had homemade potato salad as good as mom’s.

Webb’s

Oh God, the roast beef sandwich! Thin sliced rare roast beef on a French roll with mayo, mustard, lettuce and pickles. Came wrapped in foil like a burrito is today. Always fresh, and soooo good.

On Locke Sam’s

The original location is pictured. When they moved, they had a much bigger, more modern place. The only restaurant I have ever visited with armed guards in the parking lot. Along with Dave Wong’s, the best Cantonese style food you will ever eat. Home of Chicken in Foil, pieces of chicken wrapped around a piece of Chinese sausage and barbecued in a little tri-corner folded foil. Unbelievable.

The Islander

This is where you took that special girl if you wanted to close the deal.

Teriyaki steak, Mai Tai’s in Tiki mugs, and nude island girls painted on black velvet. Located in the parking lot of Lincoln Centre. Became part of Pollardville, a fried chicken amusement attraction out on old highway 99. Since torn down.

Manny’s

Manny’s used to be a Foster Freeze when I was in high school. In a certain parking spot you could pick up XERB and The Wolfman from Chula Vista California like they were right next door.

This was the second or third Manny’s to open. Among other things, they sold Garlic deep fried chicken. HUGE legs, thighs, and breasts. How good is Manny’s Chicken? They were next to a KFC drive through restaurant. The KFC closed.

=0=

I’m going to have to do this again, I’ve left so much out.

Love to my friends in and from Stockton. And to the people who screwed up one of the greatest places that ever was…I hope you pay for what you’ve done and learn something in the process.

But of course…you won’t.

=0=

Segarini’s column appears here every Monday

Contact us at dbawis@rogers.com

Bob “The Iceman” Segarini was in the bands The Family Tree, Roxy, The Wackers, The Dudes, and The Segarini Band and nominated for a Juno for production in 1978. He also hosted “Late Great Movies” on CITY TV, was a producer of Much Music, and an on-air personality on CHUM FM, Q107, SIRIUS Sat/Rad’s Iceberg 95, (now 85), and now publishes, edits, and writes for DBAWIS, continues to write music, make music, and record.

157 Responses to “Segarini: Stockton California”

  1. I now want to move to Stockton, 1962.

  2. Glenn Gallup Says:

    bullseye: You should live so long.

    Bob, this was a walk down memory lane second to none. Beautiful writing and so many memories. And you know what, there’s a wonderful Delta breeze tonight, We may actually have to close the windows. I tell my friends who ask what we are still here for that Stockton still has its moments. We have six weeks of hot weather and six weeks of cold and overcast. The rest of the time it’s paradise. Like tonight. Sadly all those resturants you wrote about are gone except for On Locks. They ran afoul of the handicapped access police a few years back, closed for a while and re-opened under new ownership. Still good but Dave Wong’s is just up the street from us. And there are a bunch of ethnic places that are really good. I could go on and on about the good stuff and on and on about the bad stuff but at my age it serves no purpose so I won’t. I got to have a wonderful time in school, go dancing at the Stockton Ballroom, drag racing at Kingdon Drag Strip, get a great job in a company that let me grow at my pace and paid me well at every stage. I had special friends and special co-workers and most of all my special wife of almost 50 years. We hosted exchange students and met their folks and have friends all over the world. I made some mistakes but I wouldn’t change a thing. Well maybe I’d stock the wine cellar a little better, and learn to speak French. But Stockton served me well.

    Glenn

  3. Bob, you don’t know me, my name is Gene Wright. I’ve lived in Stockton all my life. I’m the admin for a Stockton FB group called Memories of Stockton http://www.facebook.com/groups/225948760841919/

    I like the your videos and other work you’ve done. I see you like my work too as I’m impressed you used a couple of my pics on your latest blog. In the 50’s I went out with Linda, I’m sorry to hear about her. My reason for this reply is to ask you to join the Memories of Stockton group, We’re not as strict into history, more about memories people can relate to, no bickering, as we are keeping it a fun site. Photography is my hobby, mostly Stockton photos. Thanks Gene Wright

    • I love your photos, Gene! Thanks so much for letting me use them.
      I intend to do this again and will be picking your brain for photos you have of places that I can’t find.
      I’ll be happy to join your site.
      I belong to 2 other Stockton sites, and am looking forward to seeing yours.
      Be well, and thanks again.
      bob

      • Bobby, Oh my goodness. We’re all alive and well. I still love to dance, remember the fun we had and have wondered about you for years. Yes, sadly, Stockton, that great place where we grew up, is having problems due to bad decisions. Love the memories you shared, as they are deeply rooted in all of us. Hugs dear friend, Lynette

      • Lynette! My favourite dance partner ever! I’ll never forget dancing with you, we were the Fred and Ginger of Betty Hackett’s Dance Studio. I remember Betty always using us as an example to the class of ‘how it was done’. I also remember that she asked us to teach when we graduated. Sometimes I wish I would have pursued that. GREAT to hear from you…be well, and stay happy and safe.

  4. Melanie Pickrell Says:

    aww Bawb you put my picture in here… thanks. You did play at Stagg, Roxy played at my senior prom it was june 1969. I did not go to that prom, but there is a picture of you playing the cowbell in the 1969 Archon. Our big hang out was The End Zone at UOP. Carla, Cee Cee, Cherie, Lisa, me, Debbie Most, Chris Nellman we all were there all the time and if we were not there we were at Music World. You had left town by then, but my kitty did crawl in your shirt and pee at Dad’s Point. Ah those were the days. My favorite thing to eat in Stockton now is the Spicy Crunchy Asparagus Roll at Cocoroo’s on the Avenue, yum Love Melanie

  5. Sherrie Chandler Says:

    Which of the Segarini’s lived on Wisconsin Street in Stockton. Our address was 2727 Wisconsin and we lived next door to the the Burtons and their son-in-law and daughter Jack and goodness I cannot remember her name. It has been such a long time ago.

  6. Christine Nellman (Chris) Says:

    Wow…what a great entry today! So nice to hear you talk about Stockton in the same way that I like to remember it…

  7. Hi Bob….great article and it really was like that…my brothers and I did so many of the same things…I met you once or twice when you where The Family Tree around the time Gaye and I started dancing at Gary Wagners Music World…..So sorry to hear about Linda….we were in the same grade….went to school with her at Lincoln 1 year….thenshe went to St. Mary’s….but I did go to a party she had when she was living in Park Woods on Alexandria I think (fuzzy memory)…it was just down from the Housiers (Ye Old Housiers)(fuzzy on how they spelled their name)….anyway it was a dance party….great fun…..then I ended up marrying someone from St. Mary’s…Anthony Satterfield…
    and he worked for Segarini’s almost 20 years….he was friends with Eddie…I think Eddie got him the job…..wow what a trip down memory lane…..they really were “the Good Ole Days” Thoroughly enjoyed your post.

  8. Jan Klevan Says:

    WhaT major memories… Good job Bob. I remember jersey farms dairy. Real cows in town
    And the best chocolate milk ever . Forts made from bales of hay. Swimming pools and pool parties. Elvis movies at the Ritz. Never have found a better sub than the A & W….
    But the past is just that. Past. The Stockton council is righting wrongs and there could be a sign on city hall saying Under New Management. Open for business! We have a baseball park second to none. I just took my granddaughter to meet Elmo at the arena, and there’s still those summer nights!

    • Dan Happoldt Says:

      Jan, just finished this great piece from Segarini and saw your name. Dated a Lenora Klevan back in late ’59 /’60. She went by Lennie. Can’t remember, but I think she married my high school friend Bob Traverso. Any relation ?
      Dan Happoldt

      • Christine Nellman (Chris) Says:

        So, now my question is… Bob Traverso? Were those the Traverso’s who owned Senior Taco on Pacific Avenue? I worked there when I was about 16. Next to McDonald’s. I remember there was an Al Traverso too. I think he was the manager and his brother was the owner.

      • Dan Happoldt Says:

        Chris, I’m sure they were related but maybe cousins. He never talked about the taco place. He had an older brother , Jack , who also went to St. Mary’s HS. Lot of large families back in the mid ’50’s – Castles, Marracini’s, Torlai’s ,Barkett’s, Rishwain’s , Basso’s, etc.
        Dan

  9. Cris Clarke Says:

    My god, Bob! What a tribute! What an effort! I’m not even an original Stoctonian, but I have tears in my eyes. So many memories, some of them still alive. Genova bread at 330 AM to help me sober up–best bread ever warm right out of the oven! And shopping at the Segarini’s on Harding, the Fox, The Mile, Manny’s–on and on! Kudos to you man! A fellow musician–Cris Clarke

  10. tahtimbo Says:

    I grew up in West Weberstown. I remember walking down the street and swimming in the pool during the summers, riding bikes with my friends all over. Playing in the fields and on the levee. Playing around-the-block- hide and walking through the mall on the weekends on our way to the movies. I also went to Woodrow Wilson, then to Stockton Jr. High, and finally Edison. I want to thank you for such a wonderful tribute to the town I grew up in. It brought back many memories of my own. Now that I no longer live in Stockton, the thing I always crave is…Manny’s chicken!!

  11. Mike Bacon Says:

    Great post Bob.

  12. Jim Chisholm in Campbell River, BC Says:

    I love your writing Bob. One day I might at least drive through Stockton and say that I was there by dint of someones words.

  13. Vann Slatter Says:

    Hey Roberto, some great old photos and memories. I do remember the PR shoot at Griffith Park Zoo in LA for RCA. Thanks for honorable mention.
    Best, Vann Slatter
    PS. Was recently inside the hostoric Genoa Bakery. Still great french rolls.

  14. Jack Gilder Says:

    Does anyone remember when the Youngbloods played at the Civic Auditorium? It was the late 60s, and the Brotherhood of Light was doing the lightshow. They set up a scrim behind the band and projected the lightshow from behind, and they had a local beauty, Gay was her name I think, dancing naked with her silhouette projected on the screen. I had been to the Filmore, but this was better than anything I saw there. Then, just after it started, the Stockton police smelled pot and ordered the lights switched on and they stood in front of the stage staring at the audience. The lightshow couldn’t be seen for the rest of the show. They completely destroyed the concert… then they probably went out afterwards and got drunk.

    • Jack, FYI, the Brotherhood Of Light is still alive and well and liquid-lighting around the world. Chris and Peter bought the company years ago and continue to work steadily with a number of bands and artists. In recent years their primary gig has been with the Allman Brothers Band. When I joined up with ABB eight years ago and first met Peter and Chris, we laughed and reminisced of the light shows going on in and around the S.F. Bay area in the late 60’s… Deadly Nightshade having been one of my personal favorites. We’re currently touring on an east coast double bill with Santana (Hey Bob, remember you and Kootch coming to hang out at that Santana show in Toronto about 15 years ago?) so I showed Chris and Peter your post a couple of nights ago. They enjoyed it, kicking off a whole slew of lightshow adventure antecedents of those years.

      • So Daved…are you coming to Toronto this time around?

      • Sorry Bob. We are going south along the eastern coastal states this time around. Gregg is feeling very well after his couple of years of medical issues. He’s looking and playing great these days… has rediscovered his musical muse and is engaged to a young lady named Shannon. He’s been supporting his recently released biography (“My Cross To Bear”) with TV talk show interviews and book signings, and is anxious to get back to touring heavily so bookings are starting to fill the calendar. We’ll possibly be up your way later in the year and you know I will contact you when that happens. As you know, I’ve recently gotten engaged myself and have been thinking of getting away for a vacation with my fiance when I get a break from the road. I’m watching for a Wackers, Segarini band, or Bob’s birthday gig to happen. If and when it does, I think I’d like to sneak up your way and let Kimberly break in her new passport if the scheduling works out.

    • melanie pickrell Says:

      to Jack
      hi this is Melanie (Bray) I was dancing that night also. We were not naked we had on leotards that made us look like we were naked from the audience side. You know my friend Teresa (Thompson).. Melanie

      • Jack Gilder Says:

        Oh… wow… well yes… you guys looked naked… lol. Are you the “Gay” I was thinking of? I could have had the name wrong all these years. I heard your boyfriend at the time had a rock band and his name was “Corky.” Do you remember the cops turning on all the lights? That was a great show up until that point.

        Are you talking about Teresa Killeen? If you are, yes, she is a close friend. She married Patrick Killeen and I played music for her dance troupe, Chimera. We all live in SF now. They live in Pacifica actually.

      • Pam Abare Says:

        Hi, Now all this is really getting close to home but my memory is still foggy. Teresa, is this the Teresa that taught belly dancing in Stockton and lived with Eloy Lores? Wow, my late husband, Mike Abare, played for her troupe back in the 70’s. My name was Pam (Bell) back then. These posts are wonderful! Keep them coming and a BIG THANK YOU to Bob for the media…. I will start following these posts and forward this link to our many music friends from Stockton.

      • Pam,
        I have no idea if we know each other, but your post caught my eye and your name is familiar. You say you were married to the late Mike Abare. Is this the same Mike who played guitar extraordinarily well and whose father was, I believe, a banker. If it is the same Mike who played in a Stockton group called the Strange, in the mid to late 60’s, then he was a very good friend of mine. I did not know he was ill untill a few months after he passed away. It deeply saddened me that I could not see him before passed. I don’t believe I ever knew he had gotten married. In the last couple of years I have been compiling and digitizing some tapes of music he recorded with the Strange. You will find some music and photos at http://www.myspace.com/thestrangeoriginal

      • Jack Gilder Says:

        Yes… that’s the same Teresa. Who was the other girl dancing that night at the Youngbloods concert then?

  15. Nancy W Gin Says:

    Hi Bob – I was born and raised in Stockton. My family name is Muzio. We lived on Linden Rd later name Fremont St. Great production – so well done. I would like my sisters and brother to see this memory of Stockton. How can it be done?

  16. fred eichel Says:

    Just “being Cool” Bob

  17. Connie Novelozo Lambert Says:

    Thanks for a wonderful article that brought back many memories. This is how I will always remember growing up in Stockton!

  18. Mark John Vukovich Says:

    Thanks…for reminding me again how fortunate I was to grow up in Stockton…as usual your writing is sublime and the Susan Berry memories are golden. I remember when you and I were lucky enough to spend an evening with her and some of her sorority sisters from San Jose State…a night to be frozen in time. I am headed for Squaw Valley next weekend to party with Eddie and am of course looking forward to that…same guy as always.

  19. Toni Sannella Says:

    Grazie…..and Bravo !!! Your explanation of our current predicament, and dare I say, demise, was impeccable. Your choices of photos, and stories to go with each, impressive!!! With all the bad stuff that has happened to our once lovely city of Stockton, you sure brought out all the wonderful, positive, best things possible. Bob, you made it so warm and fuzzy…..and such a wonderful stroll down memory lane……..That was the time, that was the best of times !!!!! Just so you know, this brought tears to my eyes……….please share more. I remember every place, and knew most of the people you mentioned. Thanks so much from a fellow Stocktonian who also……..loved it then !!!

  20. bbruno38 Says:

    Thanks for doing this article and all the pictures of so long ago. Brought back so many good memories for me. I was born in Stockton and lived there until 2004. I moved to Austin, TX as I have a son here. I miss Stockton so much and, all my friends that are still there. Attended both Stockton High School and Franklin High. Also, went to Delta college my last year. I remember Dick’s drive in and the Miracle Mile Drive in. Later in years I would have my business on the vary spot that the drive in was on. What great memories of the Miracle Mile. Cruising the drive ins and seeing friends. I had a business both in Lincoln Center and on Grand Canal Blvd.

    • I loved the Stockton of back then. Saddens me to think of it going bankrupt. I’ve met people here in Austin that know Stockton by it’s recent publicitiy. I find myself wanting to defend the wonderful place I grew up and lived most of my life. Stockton will always be in my heart. I pray it survives this traumatic time. Another Stocktonian…..

      • Dennis, I remember you well. I was married to Cecil Workman. I bowled with you in a threesome one summer. I know you were a great bowler and a very nice man. Betty (Workman) Bruno

  21. Hi Bob, So great to read this article! I was in a sentimental mood tonight, reliving memories of my childhood in Stockton. We were visiting my parents earlier today and the town is just not the same, so much lost and so much that’s hard to explain to those who never knew the town we knew.

    My father was actually born in Stockton, his father ran a couple of service stations including one on Charter Way. He ended up running Delta Truck Sales out on Cherokee Lane and Hwy 99. My grandmother also worked at The Wonder and used to tell us about the white blouse and black skirt uniform she had to wear. She actually worked in the gloves and handkerchief department.

    I grew up on Middlefield between Country Club and Tuxedo Drive. We were a block from Legion Park, and what a great time we had on the 4th of July with the fireworks and the crowds. We also lived on our bicycles, I rode mine to El Dorado Elementary, Webster Jr. High, and Stagg High, and, of course down the Miracle Mile more times than I can remember.

    Does anyone remember Konrad’s Ice Cream? It was on the same block as Costanza’s and you could enter from the front, or from a screen door in the alley behind it, (we always entered through the alley where we often saw old Mr. Konrad making ice cream with a lit cigarette in his mouth). The Peach ice cream was to die for! Not to mention my favorite, Banana Royal Fudge. Webb’s Bakery was the place for birthday cakes and to this day I can remember the smell of that place….heavenly! Not to mention that before we went to pick up the cake, we’d take a quick look around Pardinis. We rarely bought anything, but every kid in town wanted to see that box with the red and white striped paper at their birthday parties!

    When I hit my early teens we used to go to Risso’s for Sunday dinner most weeks. My father ate there every day during the week for business so when we came we were treated like royalty. There was a definite “class” structure to the place. If you came in and were seated in the “pink” room that was considered more prestigious than the “blue” room. I had no idea this was the case until I heard it from a friend who was disappointed her family had been seated in the blue room when she saw us eating in the pink. Amazing what used to impress people!

    I remember Segarini’s stores! The one on Country Club is the first grocery store I remember. My mother used to take us there and if we were good the butcher would always give us a hot dog to munch on. I also used to spend my pennies at the store on Harding Way, which was right behind El Dorado School. Of course, I always wished I had more money so I could get a donut at Ruhl’s bakery on the corner.

    I actually remember when the building where Manny’s is on Pacific Ave. was built. I was at El Dorado at the time and some friends and I begged our parents for 15 cents so we could buy a burger at the new restaurant. It was called “Red Top” and had kind of a circus theme. I told my nieces that that explained the funny shape of the roof! The burgers at Red Top were terrible and they didn’t stay in business long.
    I really miss Manny’s! My parents moved out to Brookside in the mid 90s and for some reason it seems like a long way to go for some chicken or a burger, (I love the Cafe burger).

    Oh well, thanks for the walk down memory lane. It makes me feel less crazy when I tell people what a wonderful place Stockton used to be.

    • Rich Happoldt Says:

      Susan We lived at 1155 Middlefield (East of Pershing – 4 blocks) Seems we like we should know each other !! Moved there in ’51 (i think) so I was 9 yrs old………my brother Dan just sold the house this year !!!!

      • Hey, was Phil’s sister Lynette Arbios? She was my dance partner at Betty Hackett’s Dance Studio. She was a GREAT dancer.

      • OMG! We were the Gannon family at 1168, but we didn’t move in until the early 60s so we were quite a bit younger than you. There were 3 of us, my older brother was born in 56, I was born in 59, and my youngest brother was born in 61.

        I remember your mother very well. I’m sure you were long gone by then, we’re talking mid to late sixties. She always had the BEST stuff for Halloween, and because we were the neighbor kids she’d bring us into the house and let us pick something “special.” What a lovely woman she was!

        Do you remember Bill who lived next door to you? I know he lived there until he died in the early 80s. My family lived on Middlefield my entire childhood, my parents didn’t move until 1994.

        We used to play baseball at the intersection of Argonaut and Middlefield. My brother knew the Arbios kids who lived on Argonaut, I don’t remember them well as they were older than me, although I do think the girl babysat for us when we were little.

        My best friend lived on San Jose, and we had friends all over the neighborhood. It was definitely a knock on the door and ask, “Can you come out to play?” kind of neighborhood. We’d spend our summer days playing “ditch” at UOP, interspersed with swimming lessons and free swim at Stagg High. We didn’t go to “Yosemite Park” (we always called it that, not “Legion”), because by our day the East side of the park was where all the pot smoking hippies hung out.

        So many wonderful memories!

  22. Geri Bo Says:

    Oh boy what a tug at the old heart strings this stroll down memory lane was. Thanks for taking the time to pull it together.

    I was born and raised on Monterey as well and remember walking to the Segarini’s store on El Dorado. I saw no mention of that one. I can’t remember what it looked like inside, do you have photos?

    There were so many photos of the insides of places that I had long forgotten. One that you missed was the inside of Genova Bakery. It hasn’t changed one bit since Angelo opened it 100 years ago. Same wooden floors, same stacks of dryed products from Italy leaning against walls. Same marble counter where the ladies pull your orders out .

    Do you remember Gaia Delucci? The best catering business and grocery delevery around. My husband Greg Bo was the delevery boy there for years with the four bosses, Tony Gotelli, Al Bava, Primo Velterza, Tony Prato? If there was an Italian wedding in town there were Gaia Delucci Catering trucks out in front. Remember the ravioli?

    I worked at Katten Marango in the 60’s The two boys who ran the business were Ronnie Marango and his brother .

    I saw no mention of cruising the Avenue Friday and Saturday nights?
    We would look forward to cruising around seeing all our friends, stopping for a coke at Henry’s rolling pin. Just driving up and down, burning gas that was 29 cents a gallon then.

    Then there were the Blue Notes dances. I only heard about them.
    I was too young to go out there. But we all heard about the dances, drinking and fighting. What we never heard about was drugs, and guns.

    Please don’t let this stop. Remembering the good times, and good friends are what make life so sweet.

    • GERI, NEVER DONE THIS BEFORE BUT GLAD TO SEE YOU NAME. HOPE YOU ARE FEELING BETTER NOW. YOU HAD A TOUGH GO. MEL

    • Pam Abare Says:

      Gerri, Glad to see you feeling better. Wow! What a place to meet. Greg worked at Gaia’s? My Dad’s business was next door. Went to lunch there often. That’s where Joy (Plummer) Gard worked. As the circle closes… This is the best site… A friend of mine once said, ‘when you get old at least you’ve got your memories for awhile.’

  23. Mary Ann (Boyen) Hunter Says:

    Wow! What fun going back in time in Good Old Stockton. It was perfect for bike exploring, rowing on Smith canal, taking the bus (remember the tokens) downtown with my pals after school to shop at Katten’s, The Sterling, Turner Hardware (ski stuff), etc.
    I remember Segarini’s well. My mom and I shopped at the Harding Way store until we moved to the levee at the end of Grange St.
    She was a single mom and built a home there with the help of my grandpa and an old pensioner who lived in his houseboat. Then I could ride to the Country Club store. Bread was 18 or 21 cents a loaf. Veggies got paper bags. Thanks for your great write up of the old home town and for your take on the bankruptcy. I was wondering what the heck happened. When I was a kid the city hardheads sure kept the place on an even keel.
    I’ll be back in ’14 for my 55th Stagg reunion.
    Mary Ann (Boyen) Hunter

  24. Jim Robertson [J.R.] Says:

    Great effort Bob …… don’t know you but know all of what you wrote is so good, I grew up in section one of Lincoln Village, and basically recall virtually every place and pic you have listed….and was a regular for Freitas music and Konrad ice cream….. I was in the reserves w Eddie… where is he now…..Cheers….JR

  25. Joanne Caramiho Says:

    Well done, Bob! I was also born and raised in Stockton. Went to Stagg (Class of ’69) and got to see Jefferson Airplane perform for us. I enjoyed seeing all the great photos. Thank you for doing this!

  26. Thanks for the memories…..I was at Stagg in 69’…good times on the Avenue and all the dancing places…..

  27. Bill Wright Says:

    My parents would not shop ANYWHERE but Segarini’s market. It was “locally owned” and run by “good people”! Early on we lived just two blocks from the market on Harding Way near Lincoln. When we moved on to Westminster, we still drove “all the way” back to Harding (by today’s standards, a very short drive). Mom always thought that the “local” market was a better place to shop than the “chain” store (maybe Safeway, not sure any more). This was in the 1950’s.

    We also shopped at Marches, which used to be an independent grocery store but became a “big barn” liquor outlet, also on Harding Way.

    On the conrner of Harding Way and Lincoln (I think…or was it Willow…cannot remember which crosses Harding?) was a Texaco Service Station once owned by Chub Coil. Chub serviced our family’s cars for years…pick us up at home, drove the car to the station, change the oil, then brought the car back to us and then would take his car away. Oh, vaccummed and washed the car in the bargin. Try THAT nowdays!

    I was born in Stockton in 1946, lived there until 1969, and still visit every year. Would not want to live there any more. Too much “city life” and “city problems”.

    But when I did live there, I didn’t want to be there in summer. Peat dust storms!!!!!!!!!!!

    Much of the farm land around Stockton has either been built upon or is being cropped with rice or other, wetter, crops, but when I was growing up there, at this time of year (August) it was often the case that one needed headlights ON at NOON and then that was not enough! Winds would whip up the dust from the delta islands to the point that one could not see a city block on Pacific Avenue (then called the “Miricle Mile”) and many wore handkerchiefs over their nose and mouth to protect from the dust (which they’d have to remove momentarily to take a drag from their Camels or Lucky Strikes).

    We live outside of Portland, OR, now, and have for about 40 years. We have urban problems, too, but not like poor, old, Stockton. We wish Stockton and Stocktonians the best, and hope that your current bankruptcy does not (further?) sour the relationships between residents, government, employees and the enviroment (natural and economic) around you

    Oh, and please, PLEASE, resurface Highway 99!! It is a mess!!!

    Thanks!

    –Bill.

  28. Steve Swenson Says:

    Bob,
    Thanks a trillion for putting this review together. You and your guys were definitely “pure Stockton”. I was a little more timid, as my single-mother-of-three-boys mother had murder in her heart, but watching you guys raise hell was better than Gunsmoke! Was it Hanley and you who hot-wired bulldozers working on the levee?
    I understand you’re living in Toronto now–I’m in Vancouver, BC. Tame!
    Thanks Again. I think we’re in the same Grad Class (’64), and hope to see you at #50 in August of 2014.
    Steve Swenson

  29. Laurie Filice Says:

    Hi Bob, I had to take my van down to Wilson Way today and I had been thinking about the Genova bakery from reading this. I had a great sandwich & brought home a loaf too. Thanks for the trip down memory lane.
    Laurie (Crecelius) Filice

  30. Benita Wykert (Perkins) Says:

    Yep Stockton was a great place to grow up in. I grew up in the 50’s-60’s the best of times. Loved the memories of the Stagg & UOP games. Some of these pictures I have seen on the Stockton site but enjoyed seeing them again. I miss my home town. It is still a good town, I don’t care what the news says about it.

  31. Sandy Simpson Says:

    Bob, thank you so much for this. It’s the greatest blog or article I’ve ever read about Stockton. I write these all the time—but just to myself. My sister Pam and brother Mark McElyea and I used to know those 1,000 miles of waterways. At first we lived on Balboa in Colonial Heights. We knew where the turtles lived and the crawfish (called “crawdads” at the time), and the frogs, newts, water moccasins and even the huge orange goldfish that someone had put in a creek when it was little. None of the waterways were blocked off with easements or fenced so that we couldn’t enjoy them. We walked in them with our bare feet, never imagining there’d come a day when people would throw broken bottles and other junk in them.

    We were friends with some of your family. We went to Lincoln. We shopped at Segarini’s. I got my first fingernail polish there with my allowance. I can picture exactly where the aisle was! I believe, if I’m not mistaken, I got the first Barbie doll there also. Linda was a friend of my sister’s. That was when we lived a couple of blocks away on Pennington Court and she lived on Alexandria. We were kind of jealous of her because she had so many clothes! What I loved most about Stockton is that everyone knew everyone. We didn’t lock our doors either, of course, but when we went to Yosemite for two weeks one year, my sister and I left notes in our bedroom drawers to one of our friends, “Corky, get out of here!” He later told us he saw the notes! He went on to become a Stockton policeman. While still in high school I worked at Manny’s and then Knobby Dress Shop as the bookkeeper upstairs.

    As youngsters, when we went downtown, our mother made us get dressed up and wear white gloves. It was a wondrous place! For the past 35 years I’ve worked downtown on N. San Joaquin Street. Now I have to keep the building locked during the day and night. I wish this wonderful blog, written so well, would be required reading for every single person who has anything to do with the running of Stockton–past, present and future. Thanks again for the great memories and photos!

    • Jim Robertson [J.R.] Says:

      Cheers Sandy ……. Jim Robertson, knew you and Mark & Pam ages ago…. your sill in Stockton….. I am a permanent resident of Hong Kong….. hope you and family are well….. nice message and comments from you on all this…Cheers….JR jrinhk@hkstar.com

      • Sandy Simpson Says:

        Thanks, Jim, and cheers to you too!! I hope you’re well–in Hong Kong! We’re doing great. I’ll give my brother a link to this blog!

    • Pam Abare Says:

      I lived down the street from you on Cortez. How is your sister? Haven’t seen her since she left USDB. Thanks for the memories… Corky M…. Lots of memories there… He ran around with my 1st husband Jerry (Dutch) manager of Showers Drive-In back in the 60’s.

      • Sandy Simpson Says:

        Hi Pam! I remember Dutch! And Showers Drive-In. Wow, the memories! When we were young, who could have imagined that there’d be an Internet and Bob would write this and we’d be reliving these memories like this? And, yeah, we had a blast with Corky! I’ll tell my sister about your message (she’s not on the Internet)!

  32. Rich Happoldt Says:

    Wow, is right ! A walk down memory lane ! We came to Stockton in ’51 or ’52…went to El Dorado for a while till I went to St. Agnes, Annunciation and then St. Mary’s, graduating in 1961. Was amazed to see comments by Susan G……since I lived on 1155 Middlefield Ave b/w San Jose and Manchester (?) ……must have known her ! Early playmates were Bobby Garrow, Jerry Morton, Ron Checcini, Ron and Carol Mc Nabb, Phil Arbios, to name a few. I can tell you I was in every single store mentioned and can even taste the raviolis from Gia Delucci !! Caught this on the fly so, I’ll have to read everything in depth and chime in again.
    My best to all

    Rich “Hap” Happoldt

  33. Steph (Guidi) Morales Says:

    Born and raised in Stockton. Many fond memories….one of which is Vann Slatter (not surprised @ his success). I admired him so much, big crush! Everyday I’d come home from school and my mom would ask, “what did Vann say today?”…he was the funniest guy in class, so entertaining. I believe, even the teacher enjoyed hearing what he had to say, as he disrupted the class.

  34. Oh Bob, I loved this tribute to Yesterday in Stockton. For all her problems today, I still love it here. Thank You for the peek back in time when we were young and innocent. I also have found memories of you and your music.
    Love, Janet De Mattei- Cervo.

    • DARYL BOTHWELL Says:

      Janet: Surprised to see your name here. Such great memories! I left Stockton upon graduation night for Oakland, graduated from UC Berkeley, was a cop in Berkeley for 11 years, started an insurance business in 1978, have lived in Danville, Ca for 34 years. I am headed for a European cruise next week but plan on posting some old Stockton stuff on this fabulous site.

  35. […] Thanks to the overwhelming response to last month’s column, (available at this link: Stockton California), I thought you might enjoy another trip down memory lane, this one, a short tale about an early […]

  36. Dennis Faselli Says:

    Bob great article brought back a lot of memories. Don’t know if you remember me Dennis Faselli grew up at West lane Bowl.

    • Candace Auten Says:

      Who doesn’t know ” Dennis Fascelli”? All the girls
      knew Bobby Segarini and Dennis Fascelli for sure.
      What a fabulous tribute to Stockton, Bobby!
      Remember Bechloff’s Beauty Salon on the Ave.?
      How about Orange Juilius on Weber Ave. Do you
      remember when “High Time”
      was filmed at UOP, with Fabian,
      Bing Crosby, Tuesday Weld and Jimmy Boyd? I
      remember meeting them and having dinner with
      them at my parent’s restaurant, The Pump Room.
      I was speechless. (I know that must be hard to
      believe). Back in the days when Stockton was
      thought of as a nice town, but at times a little too
      small as gossip spread like wild fire, I remember
      walking downtown going to the show, stopping at
      the fountain at Kress’s without a fear in the world.
      As much as I would love to see Downtown Stockton
      come alive, I doubt I will see it happen in my
      lifetime. I remember being taught to support the
      local guy and keep our money here in Stockton.
      I still believe this is what we should still be doing
      although it has become almost impossible.
      Thanks for the memories Bobby. I loved your
      Mother and Father so very much and I guess
      enough time has passed that I can finally admit that
      I had a secret crush
      on you, as well. Candy

      • Loved The Pump Room. Ate there many times with my parents. You and your brother were always good friends. I too, had the pleasure of Fabian and Tuesday’s company. It’s a story I told in another column in my blog. I’ll reprint it soon. And you might as well know…I had a crush on you too, cutie….

      • Candace Auten Says:

        Ohhhhh….You know how to warm a girl’s heart. Thanks for the sweet reply.

      • Candace Auten. I vividly remember you in a bikini at Oak Park Pool.
        You were just the cutest little girl.
        I had no idea that your parents owned the Pump Room. What a fabulous bar. Long curved with mirrors all along the back. I remember thinking this is what all of our parents were doing back in the days. hanging out in the great resturants and bars, having their cocktails with their friends all dressed up with hats, gloves, high heels, smoking their cigaretts; listning to great music, and dancing together like they were one. My How times have changed! What a shame.
        Are you still in Stockton? I think the last time I saw you, you may have been with Marilyn Salvetti, or Ann Marie DelAringa. Do those names ring a bell with you?
        Nice remembering all these wonderful places, isin’t it?

      • Candace Auten Says:

        Hi Geri…Yes, it’s me and thanks for the kind words. Bikini
        days are definiately in the past. Great to hear from you. Of
        course I know Ann Marie and Marilyn. Ann Marie is my
        neighbor. Yes it’s true, I haven’t seen you in quite some
        time. Hope all is well in your “Bunko” world. It’s sad how
        things have changed in Stockton, for sure. Take care and
        hope to run into you sometime soon.

  37. susan wegner Says:

    Thank you, Bob, for your Proustian memoir. Suddenly, I was back on the corner of the park near Monterey, on Allston Way, where my brother Paul ‘Hap’ Curtis received his delivery of Stockton Record newspapers. On cool autumn evenings, we would fold and slap those papers and line them up in an over-the-shoulder canvas bag. Hap added a whistle, to announce the arrival of the paper to each subscribing resident.
    I had just come from piano lessons, and can name every teacher in town, as I had many. My pals Janie Biasotti, Harriette Roberts and Carol Brandstad were standing by so we could make mischief.
    I would say that since then we grew up, but no, we did not.
    Susan

  38. Dan Happoldt Says:

    Hey Bob, After seeing your foto on the front end of these blogs , I suddenly realized that it was NOT Gary Podesto !!!

    When I first saw the foto and your great info on Stockton I thought SURE it was Podesto with a goatee ! Saw him 1 1/2 years ago at their HS Reunion
    UNCANNY !!!

    I do remember Susan Berry. She dated some of the guys in my class. A FOX. Do you remember Sharon Mc Bride , A blond knockout who was at Stagg then Stockton JC in late 50’s early 60’s. Her folks had a small hamburger place, like a Fosters Freeze. Talk about a small world

  39. This was forwarded to me by a second cousin still living in Stockton. We used to go often when my parents and 4 brothers were still alive. I keep thinking how much they would enjoy reading this. My brother Bob, was a friend of Mel Segarini and my best friend and I used to walk to Segarini’s Market in the neighborhood of Ellis and Sutter or San Joaaquin. My folks lived no N. California street when the street cars still went past the house. I graduated from SHS in 1944 L ater married the AF and moved away, all over. WE had our first date (blind) at the 276 club. My brother Jack lived across from Victory Park and it was a tradition to go to the Hagen Museum after a family dinner at their house. He was married 50+ years to Florence Busalacchi whose dad and brohers owened a fish market. The fist market sign is in the museum.
    My husband and I have been married 63 years . It has gone fast but then you wonder how we could have crowded so much living in that time. Thanks so much for the great trip down memory lane!

    • What lovely memories from all of you. The Busalacchis’ were friends of my family. That little corner grocery was my dad’s first. We all lived on Ellis with one brother (George) around the corner on California Street. Congratulations on a long lasting marriage and great memories of Stockton.

      • Karen Wolf Migliori Says:

        Bob…..Tom thought your mom was the greatest. He often tells the story of how she caught the two of you smoking behind some ivy and said you might as well smoke in the house so she could keep an eye on you so you wouldn’t burn the place down.

    • Karen Wolf Migliori Says:

      Wow! Marie, It always amazes me what a close knit community Stockton is. My husband’s aunt Hilda was married to Mario of the fish market Busalacchi brothers. We just saw Eloise & Joey when Tom’s mom died last month. It had been a long time.

  40. Joan Costa Bottini Says:

    Wow – did this bring back memories. Black’s Grocery store on Pacific Avenue – Otto’s restaurant out by the Five Mile House; the Green Frog grocers; The Avenue Drug; Rose Pharmacy; Blewett’s Ice Cream Parlor and the Delta; the street car going up-and-down Kensington, There are lots of memories if you grew up here – too bad they can’t stay that way.

    • Little Joanie Costa. We were friends when you lived on Monterey Street. Betty Wiley. I remember you wearing your hair in an upsweep. One of the first to do that. Still married to John. Amazing. I’m divorced and living in Austin, TX. It’s been a long time but I remember as if it were yesterday. Lots of fun back then. I’m so enjoying going down memory lane with the blog. I’d love to hear back from you……..hugs sweetie….

    • Ernie Williams Says:

      Joan I remember what a looker you were. Me and a friend came by your house to call on you a little to late one night and your Dad chased us away. Did you marrry Rich? He and I were friends at St Marys.

  41. Bonnie Cannon Phelps Says:

    This is wonderful. I grew up in Stockton and went to St. Mary’s class of 1964. My family owned The Office Cocktail lounge on Pacific Ave. for 23 years. It was a wonderful place to grow up. My first years until 5th grade were on Beverly Place around the corner from The Miracle Mile. We moved North to Weberstown after that. (Out in the country) Now, March and Pacific!! Great memories. This brought tears to my eyes. Thank you, Bob.

    • Nancy W Gin Says:

      Hi Bonnie – I grew up in Stockton and graduated from St. Mary’s High School, class of 1950. I wondered when someone who went to SM would post on this blog. I remember the Green Frog, Risso’s, the House of E.J.Murphy, the M&M Club, Fremont Center. I attended my 60th year class reunion. I was surprised that many of my classmates still reside in Stockton. My parents shopped at The Green Frog, took the groceries home, picked up us kids and thenwe went to Risso’s. We sat in the bar but at the cocktail tables. Good times. Thanks Robert.

  42. Marty Hogue Says:

    Bob,

    Great article and great photos. I especially loved the Family Tree references. You once played the Whiskey a go-go in Hollywood as the opening act for a group called Mandala. Ron Brewer was doing the light show and brought you and Vann and Mike and Kootch by my apartment in Westwood. I you guys took me to the show with you. It was great. If I recall, Buffalo Springfield had their equipment vans in the parking lot for the next show. I still hum “Do you have the time?” I bought a copy of Miss Butters. It’s in the garage somewhere with all my other vinyl.

  43. Great job Robert. I think my Dad, Tony Chargin, was a friend with your Dad, or one of your Uncles. As far as Risso’s goes, we used to go there all the time. Great Food! Amelia Risso, who was a great friend of the family, ran that place her own way. I loved your pictures! They really bring back memories of my early years, and how downtown was vibrant, and Pacific Avenue was littered with upscale shopping and fun with Henry’s Donut Shop and Miracle Music. Thanks for the gift of your work of love.

  44. Bill Sanguinetti Says:

    What a wondreful trip down memory lane.Since during my childhood there were more Sanguinetti’s in the Stockton area than Smith’s anything like this is very special.Our favorite restaurant was Bruno and Lena’s which later became Ospital’s Basque restaurant.It was next door to the Stockton Rescue Mission,so there was a lot interesting characters hanging around.

  45. Marlene Belew Hnath Says:

    Thanks for the memories. I was born in Dameron Hospital, lived on Walnut Street, did the El Dorado School, and have nothing but WONDERFUL memories of this town. Still live here, but now we lock our doors.

  46. Kent Lillie Says:

    Brilliant Bobby! How great it was for me to receive this today. I have visited Stockton only a few times since leaving for the Marines in early 1966 (all family members left shortly after) including on my 40th for another great meal at the “new” On Lock Sams and the tinfoil chicken WAS just as good as 25 years earlier. So good to read about and see an image of Gary Smalley and to be reminded again of my great friend Lon Dudley who passed so young. I had no idea that your family made its own vodka, my respect grows. Wonderful to be reminded of Pepe’s, the A&W, Stockton Theatre, and so many other ‘landmarks’. My very best to you and thanks for the reminders of those wonderful and so less complicated times.

  47. Sharon Fitzgearl Harlowe ( Class of '64) Says:

    Another Stocktonian heard from. I’m so tired of people complaining about Stockton. If they don’t like it here, please leave! I went to St.Mary’s with Judy, and Ron was just ahead of us. Love all of the pictures, and a walk down memory lane.

  48. Thanks for the memories. I’m sitting here in beautiful Western Montana missing old time Stockton. It seemed safe and sane back then. I lived across the street from a park on Pacific and Alpine and we used to go to Kern’s Chicken Coop for greasy fries and cokes. It was next to the original Toy Box and down the street from Webs. My mom was a Marengo, so we went back three generations before me.

    The Calaveras diverting canal was the north end of town and Ottos was called the Five Mile House. We lived on bikes and played catch in the street. We knew all the neighbors and watered their yards and fed their dogs when they were gone.

    Good memories!….jib

    • DARYL BOTHWELL Says:

      Jame: The second name I recall from good ol’ Stagg High!
      I lived on Telegraph Ave and that canal was a few blocks behind my home. I graduated 1961, left Stockton to get my first real education in Berkeley, graduated UC Berkeley 1975 while working as a cop on BPD. We had some great times in old Stockton, and when I have business there I sometimes cruise around Pacific Ave, my old ‘hood and haunts. It really was a good place to grow up.

    • Jane Biasotti! OMG! This is Jim Nash 🙂 My sister Sally told me about this site; what a trip down memory lane! Good old times, to be sure! I taught for thirty-six years in the Bay Area and worked for twenty-five summers up at The Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite National Park during my breaks from school. I’m on the planning committee for our FIFTIETH STAGG HIGH SCHOOL REUNION next year; hope to see you there!
      PS I’ll never forget the sailboat out front of Stagg High with your name in huge letters on it in November 1962 at Homecoming! You were (and I’m SURE still are) a BEAUTY! Great stuff those years! 🙂

    • Hiya Jane…most beautiful girl at AA Stagg…loved walking you home once in awhile

  49. Dean O'Connor Says:

    Enjoyed your article. Good memories growing up in Stockton. Last saw you in the late 90’s. You had just finished the theatre at your mom’s, and came out to Happy Harbor where Mihran Bobson and I were playing. You even jumped up and sang with us!

  50. Bonnie Shaljean Says:

    Loved reading this and seeing the photos. I grew up in Stockton and remember my mother playing piano for you, singing Frank Sinatra numbers (?) or something for some performance or other, probably school-related. You came over to our house in Adams Street to rehearse, and would have still been in grade school – I was a bit younger. I went to school at Lincoln with Linda, who was a year ahead of me, and I’m so sorry to learn that she’s no longer with us. I also went to grade school with Gary Smalley’s sister Glenda, who I think is the little girl in that photo. I also remember Mrs Berry with great fondness – I never had her at Woodrow (had Mrs Billings instead) but she encouraged my love of music and let me take her autoharp home over the weekends and holiday breaks. A wonderful lady. As the man said, Thanks for the memory!
    Bonnie Shaljean (living in an old farmhouse in Ireland now, also a musician).

    • Wow Bonnie, great to read your blog. Hope you are doing well..I think of you often, and the time we spent together in Stockton. Playing around the block, school and Segarini’s Market, the bakery next door and the Newstand on Harding Way. I hope you are well and happy! Best to you, Suzi..Sue Milne

      • Great to hear from you! Yes, I remember those days well and it’s such a kick to hear all the old place names again. Would love to get back to Stockton sometime and revisit old haunts. Thanks so much for writing. Do please stay in touch – Twitter & Facebook will find me. Hope we can get together again sometime! Bonnie xxx

  51. Chuck Conway Says:

    Terrific article Bob. I lived my childhood and teen years in Stockton. Graduated in first class out of Stagg Hi in 1958 when it was still on the old Stockton College Campus. I remember the Roxie theatre as a kid for 16 cents with 2 movies, cartoons, a serial and news reel while rotting my teeth on 5cent candy bars (3 for 9 cents at the nearby Payless Drugstore on Miner Avenue). So many memories of a safe, magical place that was the center of my universe. We shopped at the Segarrinis on Harding Way, not to mention the old Black’s market on Yosemite Street near my home. We were poor but didn’t know it. After moving from back east in 1945 my dad got his first job as a bouncer at one of the clubs in Stockton’s notorious skidrow. He later got a job as a
    deputy sheriff…hired by Carlos Sousa which got the family out of poverty and into the lower middle class. Our house on San Jose Street, built in the 1920’s, is still there…many families have passed thru that wonderful little abode. It certainly was a different time and place in the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s After coming back from the Navy in 61, I got my A.A. at Stockton College, then worked as a psych tech at Stockton State Hospital….eventually moved to Sacramento and have not been back after my paretns died. It pains me to see what happened to that sleepy, safe, magical little city I was raised in. It was like living in Ray Bradbury’s “Greentown Illinois” from one of his great novels. I go on and may be making it better than it was (one forgets getting beat up, dumped by your girlfriend, getting sloppy drunk for the first time), etc. I don’t care, I wouldn’t trade growing up in Stockton for anything in the world.

    • Christine Nellman (Chris) Says:

      I am trying to remember where the “Roxie” theater was? I remember The Fox, The Ritz and The Esquire downtown. Then the Stockton Theater on the Miracle Mile. The $2 a car load drive in movies and the other drive in movies maybe near 99?

      • Candace Auten Says:

        Was it on Sutter & Channel, dowtown?

      • I thought it was on San Joaquin street just past Weber Ave on the east side of the street. Candy, do you remembe Betty Warshauer?

      • Candace Auten Says:

        Of course I do. What a gracious lady. Is this Bruno?
        Wasn’t this wonderful? Bobby took great pride and and a lot of thought to put this together for all of us to enjoy.
        Growing up downtown and remembering the wonderful
        times that apparently all of us enjoyed years ago was
        certianly heartwarming. A Great Big “Thank You” to
        Bobby for this stroll down memory lane.

      • Yes Candy, I am Betty Bruno but no longer married to Joe. I’m single and will remain that way as at this age, I no longer care to be married. How about you? What’s going on in your life?……happy I hope…..hugs

    • Dan Happoldt Says:

      Chuck, I was ahead of you 1yr. out of St. Mary’s HS Knew a lot of the Stagg kids. I have always tried to find anyone who knew Henry Coldani and a sweet doll named Sharon McBride . Her folks owned a hamburger place in town. went out with her a few times. Any recollection ??

  52. patti nordwick blodgett Says:

    Hi Bobbie, we lost contact after your mom passed away. I will send this blog to Evette C. and Barbara K. as I am still friends with them both. Evette, Carol R., Betty D., Margo(Evette’s sister) and both of my sisters still get together for lunch. We call ourselves the Mariposa Monterey gang. We were never allowed to do what you did but we do have wonderful memories of Stockton and we still love this place.

    • GREGANDGERIBO@comcast.net Says:

      I sent this to you before because I knew both you and Margo would

      love hearing  from so many people from the past.  This has been fasinating.

      I hope you got on it, made a comment, and are reading everyone else’s comments.

      • Geri, I’m reading everyones comments. It’s fun and I know so many here. Like Ann Marie. She used to be a client of mine. Hugs to you both

  53. Mike Ubaldi Says:

    Bob

    This was forwarded to me by my sister, Barbara (Ubaldi) Risso. I was thrilled to get the article. It was magical! The photos and story played with my senses like an unforgettable perfume. I wanted to go back…back to that time where we jumped on our bikes on Christina Avenue and rode, sans helmets, to the store on Alpine. Back to that time where we would go as 10 and 11 years olds to the UOP football games and collect chin straps for the likes of Dick Bass and Tom Flores. Back to the time where our folks would drop us off at the Pacific Avenue Theatre where we would watch double features all day, eating Bon Bons and popcorn. And most of all I wanted to go back, even for just a fleeting moment, to the Friday and Saturday night “cruises” along Pacific Avenue with the St. Mary’s guys…Greg Hakeem, Wayne Hernandez, Bruno Marraccini. I will always remember the parties at Linda’s house in Park Woods. Those were the time, and sadly, those were the times that our own kids will never know.
    Thanks for the cruise down memory lane.

  54. Suzi Busssacco Says:

    Wow…I lived on Harrison across the street from Segarini’s on Harding Way. We used to stop there and get penny candy on the way home from El Dorado School! Thanks for the photos..they are great! Those were the days..!!

  55. gaye grindrod Says:

    Thanks for the memories, not of people but many places! I graduated in 1949, the 1st year Stockton Hi had its senior year on the Univ Pacific campus and we actually went 2 years longer so when we graduated in ’49, we had an aa degree. I wonder if any other reader was in that same class. Fond memories of Charter Way, Wilson Way, San Joaquin St., Weber’s Bakery, the 1st kfc, Owl drug etc. Fun to reminisce. Gay Hill aka Happy Mountain….now Gaye Grindrod

  56. Kathy Keil Says:

    great memories and pictures! We lived next door to Suzi B. , corner of Willow and Harrison, through the 50’s. I remember so many of the places mentioned, especialy El Dorado school and Segarini’s, plus roller skating around the block, riding bikes and playing hopscotch on warm summer evenings. In ’59 we moved over to Alpine Way, and I attended the grade school on Mission Rd. (name?!) Lost touch with Annette J….would love to reconnect. Yes, it was a good place to grow up.

  57. Julie Dozier Nelson Says:

    Loved reading the reply from Kent Lillie. When he broke my light fixture with a broom, my mom sent him home around the corner. We lived just down the street from the Stockton Theater and, yes, I remember eating bonbons, as well as making out in the back row. Thanks, Sayonna, for sending this my way.

    • bonnie cannon phelps Says:

      Julie, I remember you! You said, “sayonna”. Would that be sayonna Auwringer? I remember her, too 🙂 🙂

    • Kent Lillie Says:

      Lovely to hear from you Ms. Dozier Nelson and hope that all is perfect in your world.

      I mean you no disrespect but one of the unfortunate results of the aging process for some, is somewhat diminished cognitive and recall capabilities.

      The lamp to which you refer was no doubt done under by some miscreant who you mistakenly believe to have been me.

      No apology necessary.

      On the off chance that is was a result of my carelessness it would be correct to assume that it was simply an unfortunate accident.

      But then again my memory is not that great either.

      My very best to you.

    • Mike Martin Says:

      who were you making out with in the back row.

  58. Sayonna Martin Says:

    Beautifully written, Bob, of Stockton then and now. Favorite memory is 3 legged races down the aisle at Stockton theater and good times cruising “The Ave.”

  59. Bob Saunders Says:

    Nice job, Bob. I’m St. Mary’s class of ’64.

  60. Candace Auten Says:

    OMG…..This is Betty, isn’t it? How are you? And where
    are you. I haven’t seen you in many years. Are you still
    in Stockton? I will never fotget your thoughtfullness when
    I opened my Salon. For you to extend you well-wishes
    to me in my new endeavor will never be forgotten. It was
    a new experience for me and having you in my corner
    mean’t the world to me. Many well wishes to you and
    yours in your world. It was great to hear from you.

    • Candy, I’m living in Austin, Texas now. I’m retired of course at 75 but miss friends and family back in Stockton. So touched that you remember me. It’s been such a long time. What a pretty lady you are. Thanks and so good to be in touch with someone from home. Are you still in Stockton?
      I to appreciate Bobby’s work and kindness in putting this together and all of us that knew each other back when. Stockton As the bast…..

  61. Hi Bob, my name is Bob Good ( Stagg High 1958/1960 ) , my cousin Daryl Bothwell, sent this to me. My dad, Jack Good, started Stockton Bowling Supply, next to the Eldorado Bowl. We lived down the street from Newby’s toward the Box Co., I remember when Newby’s burned down. I was on a summer bowling league with your cousin Diane & my cousin Lorreta Lorenson ( I had a crush on your cousin who was 3 or 4 years older ). Reading this really brought back memories ( mostly good ), thank you for sharing & thanks to cousin Daryl for sending it. Living the GOOD LIFE in Maui now, but sill have family & friends in my hometown. BG

    • Dan Happoldt Says:

      Hey Bob, Saw you were at Stagg ’58-’60. Do you recall a little blonde knockout named Sharon McBride ?? Her folks owned a hamburger place. She was there at that time . Been trying to touch base.
      Dan Happoldt

      • Name sounds familiar, didn’t know her personally, not in 1960 yearbook,sorry,good luck

    • ted darrow Says:

      I remember El Dorado Bowl- I believe Lloyd Bloom was the owner. He and his family were neighbors of mine and I went to school with Barry Bloom.

      • I remember Mr. Bloom, my Dad worked for him as night desk man @ the Eldorado Bowl in the late 50’s.

  62. Chuck Vance Says:

    Bob, Great piece. We have a lot in common, I went to Woodrow Wilson grammar school, and one of my favorite people in life was Mr. Bryant, (Ed Bryant), the asst. principal who I have stayed in touch with for over 50 years. I also went to Stockton Jr. High, Stagg for 2 years and then St. Mary’s. I left Stockton in “59 after graduation and never returned.

    My classmates where Gary Podesto, Victor Chavez (brother of Ed), and your cousin(?) George (who you mentioned as Georgie). He was a good friend, (we both came from Stagg), and got me a job (my first), in one of the Segarini stores as a box boy.

    Do you know what happened to George? We tried to get in touch with him for our class reunion, with no success. Thanks!

  63. Evette Coolures Sola Says:

    I had such a great time reading all the memories….I soooo remember all the places mentioned. You mentioned you were amazed you never got “beat Up” at Stockton Jr. High. I remember one day at good old Woodrow Wilson I got called into Mr. Germain’s office (the principal) because you and George Biagi got in a fight at recess. Mr. Germain wanted to know if I knew anything about it. I didn’t, but I was petrified he was going to call in my parents and I’m sure you remember my Dad!!!
    I have such fond memories of record parties at your house and dancing with you and Cliff Severson. Cliff passed away some years ago, but he remained a sweetheart all his life!!
    I ‘m sure you don’t remember this, but you are the first boy that ever kissed me. We were about 12 yrs. old and you kissed me on the cheek and ran!!! OMG!!!
    I had forgotten how truly beautiful Susan Berry was. She was also a friend of mine. Even though I was 3 or 4 yrs. younger, I spent a lot of time at her house. She must have been very patient to tolerate a younger kid hanging around.
    My Dad had a refrigerator in the garage and it used to get “raided” now and then because he kept beer in it. One night I heard voices outside my bedroom window and, if I remember correctly, I think it was you and Jimmy Nichols. We talked though the window for awhile. My Dad was furious the next day because some of his beer was gone!!! Why he didn’t lock the garage, I’ve never been able to figure out!!
    Lovingly, Evette

    • Oh, Evette…I was SO taken with you, and so was George. Truth be told, he and I got into it over you when the bunch of us were playing “Spin and Marty”. I can still see you in my mind’s eye prancing around like Annette on a horse. Were we EVER that young? Being back in touch with everybody is so great. Sorry to hear about Cliff…have we lost anybody else from the neighborhood or our close knot band of ‘Little Rascals’?
      …and yeah, your dad’s fridge. We knew where every beer fridge and wine stash was in the ‘hood. LOL
      Your dad watched you like a hawk…made you even MORE desirable to all your suitors. Stay in touch…ALL of you. I will try to get out to Stockton in the Spring, and if any of you find yourselves coming to Toronto for a visit let me know. Love to you and yours.

  64. kathy (Porter) Camp Says:

    Having a good time reading all the posts!! Kathy ( Porter) Camp here,Stagg High Class of ’65. See some familiar names as I read . My folks opened up the Gingham Girl Donut Shop downtown in early 1960’s, then went on to take over rides/concessions in Pixie Woods(where I remember making lots and lots of cotton candy!) Jack, my stepdad, built the little hambuger/ beer/ bait place out at Dad’s Point. They moved out of Stockton in 1969 but I’m still here! Loved cruising “THE AVE” remember the Blue Note dances too at The Stockton Ball Room. Mother wouldn’t allow me to go…so had to spend the night at a friend’s so I could! LOL! NIce site you’ve put together Bob, anyone ever hear from or know what happened to Frankie Botto?

  65. Great history and great blog. I miss the way Stockton once was. I grew up in the 1900 block of west Bristol. As a teenager I would walk across town, east of 99 to visit friends. Did so at night. Never a problem; no one bothered me. Also, walked downtown to Hunter’s Square to shoot
    pool at Bill’s Billairds and Hunter Square pool hall. All of that next to the old skid row. Never a problem. Drag the Miricale Mile; Main Street. Those were good times. Graduated from Stagg in “60” and Stockton was still a great place to live. Hopefull Stockton will improve in the future.
    Andy Jackson

  66. Ernie Williams Says:

    Bob and all, thanks for the memories, Bob I am a generation before you, graduating from St Marys in 1955, but I am of course familiar with all the business’ you mention. When I returned to Stockton from the Army in 1959, I went to work for Pacific Finance at 38 N California St. Our after work watering holes at that time were the Tocadero,,next to Galls Clothiers, and also Arnies a block further north on California St….also the Colony Club on Sutter and Main.
    I basically grew up in Downtown Stockton, corner of Oak and Hunter in a apt building across the street from Braleys Dodge and Lloyd Test Nash. Being so close to the Civic Auditorium my brother and our gang would be at all the events,,ie:boxing, wrestling matches, basketball games and never paid to get in. we would also ride our bikes a few blocks down W Freemont st after dark and get pies from a panel truck from Mrs Kramers homemade pies. That is until we were only getting spoiled pies…….Those summers from 47 thru 52 we would ride oubikes to Oak Park, spend the day swimming and if the Ports were in town, we stayed for the games. we were at the ballpark so much they gave us all jobs. I live in Monterey now and still have family in Stockton, my brother Duke, a retired Stockton PD,
    and I am in Stockton about 3 or 4 times a year….it just isnt the same.
    I ride around all my old haunts, thinking I will see someone from the past….

    • Dan Happoldt Says:

      Ernie, I remember you from St. Mary’s . You were 2 years ahead of me but I still have old friends I stay in touch with- Geo. and John Ramirez, the Chapmans, the Orello’s. Remember hanging out at the Trocodero and Colony Club back in the ’60’s. God, half the guys in the Colony were “dealing”.
      Also remember the Traverso’s, Castles, Sanguinetti’s, Torlai, Tony Guerrero etc. and especially Beverly McCloud , my 1st crush even though she was 2 yrs older. She was a cheerleader and we would all ride in the buses to the football games.

      Hope you are well. George and John moved out of Stockton the past 2 years. Geo. is in San Mateo and John, who just lost his wife, is in W. Sacto. This blog keeps getting more and more interesting
      Dan Happoldt

      • Ernie Williams Says:

        Dan , nice to hear from you…all those guys you mention were/are friends of mine….last time I saw the Ramirez boys was at Tony Guerrero’s funeral….I am in touch with Frank Orello, and went to visit George Orello a couple of months ago….my best school pals, Tony, Ken Castles and Tom Valpey have all passed on….You , me and alot of guys had a crush on Beverly. I miss those days….I live in Monterey now but get to Stockton a few times a year….it is not
        the same…..stay well

  67. Marilyn Valpey Says:

    Ernie,
    I just read all of these comments which brought back memories for
    me, too, and I would love to hear more from you. My brother
    truly enjoyed his times with you. He lived here with me for 15 years
    before his passing and the children were able to come to school
    here and be near their dad. So many stories. I hope you and your
    family are all well.

    • Dan Happoldt Says:

      Marilyn , Great to see your name. Hope you are well. I just sent an email to Bob Raspo and the group who attended the class reunion on the 13th regarding this blog. What a trip ! so many people/ places we get to remember. Are you still in Stockton ? I’m still down here in Long Beach area the past 40 yrs. Missed this reunion but hope to make the 60th. Stay well, Dan Happoldt

    • margo coolures tzikas Says:

      marilyn, i just read this on bob’s page. i have fond memories of you and your brother who i dated in highschool. i remember coming down to dominican college to visit you with joyce dorcey. where are you now and how are you doing? i was aware of tom’s passing too soon in life and saddened by it.

  68. Ernie Williams Says:

    Marilyn, It was so nice to hear from you…..Tom was such a great person, he was so kind alot of fun to spend time with. The last time I saw Tom was outside my office on Californis St, just before I was transferred to Merced….we had planned on getting together but sadly it never worked out……i am happy to hear his children were able to spend that time with him and that you and he remainded close. My family is doing fine, and as flaky as I was, I have remained married for 53 years and more to go……please take care of yourself and thanks for remembering me……

  69. Pete Gormsen Says:

    Hi Bob

    It was great to step back in time. I enjoyed the part about all of the Segarini Brothers living on Ellis Street until you they all got rich. It was a nice neighborhood and we were all lucky to grow up in such a great time. Thanks for thinking of the Stockton of old. it was greatly appreciated.

    Pete Gormsen

  70. […] Read the whole piece here. […]

  71. […] Read the whole piece here. […]

  72. Brilliant! Possibly the best reminisce of our hometown I’ve ever read. Though I grew up in Stockton a few decades later (i.e. the 60s/70s), many of your memories also resonate with me. For example, my mom attended Stockton High/Stagg, I can remember visiting Pardini’s Toy Box once as a kid (and wanting to visit it again and again!) and Sno-White/Manny’s at Waterloo & Wilson was a fixture of my childhood. Though our hometown’s weather is no longer “ALWAYS good” (e.g. tule fog and weeks without sun in the winter, offset by weeks over 100 in the summer) and the challenges facing it are significant (I blogged about a few of them recently: http://bit.ly/QeE4Qi ), I still hold hopes that things will start to improve as the economy improves. Regardless, I am, and always will be, a Stocktonian, regardless of where I find myself, now or in the future.

    Thanks again for sharing a great blog about one of America’s most maligned and misunderstood metropolises!

  73. My family lived on East and West Ellis. Yes I rememnber the El Dorado store—–and Lonnie Dudley! My sister married a young clerk from the store 45+ YRS. AGO. He also lived in the neighborhood on Sutter. My friend and I job shared upstairs in the beauty shop when we were very young. i can remember where every item in the store was located. Curious now—who was the 1st family to have a TV on Ellis. We lived 4 houses from Linda and Eddie.( ZAREMBA’S) There were 3 families of us on Ellis. We were on the same party line as Eddie and Linda. So many of the names are familiar! I sent this to many of the old neighbors in that area. Still in touch with many. Great Reading. Made me remember so many stories about growing up there. My sister and I started at WW school and then to Annunication. My brother and sister went on to St. Mary’s however I finished at Stagg. Again the memories are flooding after reading this.

  74. I’m from Stagg, ’65…I too, Victory School.
    I went to Webster & Stagg. I live in (Stagg counselor, Evelyn Stuart’s home . Lots of good people on this gig..thank you to
    those of set it up. I survived Ballroom Dancing lessons on California
    and Alice Slabic’s art class due to the audacity and humor of Don
    Stadtner whom I see from time to time.
    thank you to the “founder” of this site .
    p.s. Did everyone have a crush on Van Slater?! I sure did!
    -melinda

  75. Rick Healy Says:

    Bob,
    Simply wonderful and thank you. You have given me an opportunity to share my youth with my family.
    Hi to you and your family,
    Rick Healy

    • Rick….
      Where the hell are you? Your name comes up and no one knows where you went.
      I read that your dad passed, and was sorry to hear it. I hope your mom is adjusting to the loss. I know they were married a long time.
      When do you get to Stockton again?
      Let us know, we would love to see you .
      Geri Bo

  76. ted darrow Says:

    Bob-Thanks for the wonderful journey back to our old hometown. I too went to Woodrow Wilson and the picture of Mrs. Berry brought tears to my eyes as I was reminded of how forutunate I was to have had her as a teacher. I went to Stockton Jr. High and remember the half pints of ice cream that they sold at lunch. Favorite teacher there was my P.E. coach Mr. Szyper. I lived around the corner from you on West Arcade, and as I recall, we played either little league or Babe Ruth together. Went to Stagg and graduated in 65 and remember the assemblies. Vann Slatter not only was a talented drummer and singer, but he was probably the funniest and wittiest person in our class that I remember. Bob-Do you remember a band that you played in called the Jades. You guys wore green blazers and your band and Eddie Luchesi used to play at our DeMolay functions. So many other things I could say, but again Bob-Thanks for the memorys.

  77. Fanstastic discovery! I too was a Stockton boy, and my family shopped your family’s market on Pershing Ave. Bought my comics and nickel candy there! I’m doing the occasional post about my childhood adventures. Could I use the photo of main street on my blog? Thanks for all the great memories!

  78. Lynn Saunders Says:

    This is the first time I’ve seen this article. I have so many of the exact same memories. Those were the days. The days when you could spend the day sitting on a bar stool with your Dad, Shirley Temple in hand, playing Liars Dice at a let’s say…very young age with your Dads buddies. Boy was Dad in trouble when we got home!! As far as the teenage years…pretty much a great big beautiful blur was had by all!! Actually nothing compared to the trouble kids get into these days, comparatively. So many warm fuzzies! Thanks Bob for an awesome journey back.

  79. Frank M Lozano Says:

    Great writing. Grew up in Stockton, know your cousin Eddie. My first job was with Manny’s, Gary’s father, Manuel Escobar hired mev to pick up papers and cups in the parking lot on my way home from kindergarten as I pass the driven-in. Paid me one silver dollar every Friday.

  80. Kimberly Moore Says:

    anyone have a photo of the Snow White display that used to be up at Manny’s? I loved eating there because of that when I was little

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