Segarini: The Stockton/Toronto Connection – Food, Radio, and Music, PLUS Blackberry Smoke, and Brower’s Book

BobI have been caught up for almost 2 months writing about my hometown, (the sadly on the ropes, Stockton, California), which these days can be compared to the once mighty Muhammad Ali, and like him, still loved by those who knew him, but now not quite himself and well past his glory days. Those of us who grew up there can still revel in the halcyon days of the ‘40s, ‘50s, ‘60s, ‘70s, and early ‘80s, and even though I was born in San Francisco, Stockton will forever and always be my hometown, my foundation, and the place where my dreams were born; the launching pad of my long, strange trip.


When I first arrived in Stockton (at 6 months old, barely capable of ordering Chinese food by myself), there were 75,000 people living in Tuleburg/Mudville/Stockton.

Greetings from StocktonThis agricultural paradise, a farm community with rich soil and levee-held waterways, was as far away from urbane sophistication as you could get. Yet, in every way, Stockton excelled in just about every arena that would affect me, my taste, and my dreams from there forward.



asparagus-festivalThe Segarini family owned grocery stores and a produce company.

My father, (and damn near everyone else), was a hunter.

Stockton is the asparagus capitol of the world. Our cherries, avocados, tomatoes, potatoes, walnuts, and other fruits and vegetables were, and are, second to none.

My mother, though Italian by injection, (she would say that and laugh, my dad would blush) was the finest Italian cook I ever witnessed, having learned from my father’s mother, my grandmother Sunta. At a very early age I became a sous chef, first for Sunta, when I was around 9, and later for my mother.

CioppinoI chopped, grated, kneaded, rolled, shucked, plucked, skinned, peeled, sliced, diced, rinsed, battered, beat, stirred and whipped, and once, armed only with desire for my mother’s cioppino and an iron will, chased a dozen should-have-been-dead-but-weren’t Dungeness crabs around the garage with a hammer, until they fell beneath the blows of my, uhh…mighty weapon.


Unlike most children, (not all, thank God), my grandkids already have fairly sophisticated palates thanks to their mother’s amazing skills in the kitchen, and like them, I was exposed to a lot more than grilled cheese sandwiches and chicken fingers and fries when I was growing up.

roast-beef-with-garlicAlong with the pork chops (with homemade applesauce), veal cutlets with mashed potatoes and gravy, pasta, and roasts (riddled with cloves of garlic, inserted everywhere in the roast before cooking and spreadable like butter), our kitchen and dining room tables were often laden with squab (doves and pigeon), smelts (little-bitty, salty fishes) pheasant, duck, rabbit (tastes like chicken!), tripe (cow intestines), venison, duck, and even (after my dad shooting one on an elk hunt in Northern Idaho), bear meat…which is quite tasty and tender if frozen before cooking. Once a year (May 1st), when the rattlesnake population in the Sierra Nevada foothills gave birth to a gazillion Rattlesnake stewbaby rattlers, we would drive up Highway 12 and, finding a roadside mobile diner, have rattlesnake stew (Tastes like Chicken!). And I have to mention real, homemade ravioli, made the traditional way, the filling consisting of spinach and calf brains. My mother’s sauces and gravies were legendary, and sopped up with the Genoa Bakery’s fine French breads, rolls, and buns.

Angelina'sThen, of course, there were the restaurants, The 276 for steaks and prime rib, Risso’s, Murphy’s, Villa Basque, Arroyo’s, Costanza’s, Angelina’s (still the greatest minestrone in the known world), the Waterloo Gun and Bocce Club, the crab feeds, Newby’s barbecue roast beef sandwiches, Webb’s, the steak sandwich at The Ranch, a motel with a crackerjack kitchen, where you could have lunch AND a dip in the motel pool. Minnie’s, a Polynesian paradise with a little bridge over a man-made creek as the entrance to the fancy back dining room, the best Hoisin barbecued spareribs ever, the The Bar at Auten's Pump RoomTeriyaki steaks at The Islander,  chicken-in foil and everything else at Dave Wong’s and On Lock Sam’s. Crab Louie on the Avenue, Al the Wop’s in Locke, a short drive from Stockton, for the incredible steaks, Tamales from Pioneer Tamale, and Auten’s Pump Room, a toney The Pump Roomdining room straight out of New York with its red leather banquettes and crisp linens, and, later, Stockton Joe’s, a spinoff from Original Joe’s in San Francisco. We ate well in Stockton, the meat always of the highest quality and cooked to perfection, the vegetables and fruit usually fresh from only miles away.

I left Stockton with an adventurous palate, and a fair knowledge of what separates great food from good food. Like anything, the more care and love you put into the preparation and using the finest ingredients available, coupled with skill and talent, makes for an unforgettable experience.

When I left Stockton, the population stood at around 100,000 people.



Motorola_Transistor_Radio_1960The radio was always on. Always. I fell asleep to it at night, I woke up to it in the morning. When Transistor Radios became available, I took radio with me everywhere I went, a pocket full of spare batteries just in case. The only accessory was a single, tiny plastic earbud for listening in school, church, and (sadly) the Principal’s office. I was wired for sound.

And, oh, what music!

There was an actual ‘Dial’ on radios back then. A knob you would twirl searching for the right song for the moment, opening the portal to current favourites, nostalgic touchstones, and new, unheard, soon-to-be-treasures.

Locally, there was KWG, a staid, conservative bearer of Standards from Sinatra to Miller, Sarah Vaughn to Peggy Lee. Monotone deejays quoted liner notes, (recorded here, on such and such a date), and treated the music with reverence, drawing you in with information and the kind of music that STILL resonates all these years later.

KJOY CroppedThere was KJOY, a schizophrenic combination of easy listening, pop, and rock and roll and a station that parents would tolerate at home, a little Chuck Berry for Bud, some Paul Anka for Kitten and Princess, and then Mitch Miller for mom and dad, delivered just in time to stop them from turning the radio off. Father didn’t ALWAYS know best.

Finally, there was a station that broadcast from their tower location in an always muddy cow pasture just outside the city limits. KSTN occupied a farm-like building surrounded by farmer’s fields and cows ripe for tipping. In this simple wood frame house came greatness that affected radio dramatically.

It was here that Bill Drake’s Boss Radio was created, tried, tested, and tweaked. It soon spread to the far corners of North America and eventually dug its claws in at most every contemporary radio station in the world. The top 50 became the top 40 became the top 30, Boss Jocks proliferated, and there were contests abounding. Rock and Roll was here to stay and the music (and radio) became the heartbeat and clubhouse of a generation. Jocks were stripped of their given names and re-christened Jack Daniels, Charlie Tuna, and Pete Moss. Listeners were asked to ‘Voice their Choice’, vote in the ‘Record Race’ and call the station and say, ‘This is Dedicated to the One I Love’. We were united. We occupied the airwaves. We were PROUD to be part of the 99 percent.


Radio Stations from outside Stockton were accessible too, thanks to good weather conditions and constant knob twiddling.

There was KFIV from Modesto California, a mere 40 miles south of Stockton, where cruising reigned supreme and music was everyone’s favourite passenger. There were the twin powerhouses of Sacramento, KROY and KXOA, two rockers who battled it out in public, stealing each other’s most popular Jocks, fighting over who could present the best concerts, they locked horns and the listeners were rewarded with a ringside seat to radio greatness, and the spreading of the Gospel according to The Beach Boys far beyond the beaches of Southern California.

From over in the Bay Area came KYA and KFRC, another pair of top 40 behemoths who, like Sacramento’s giants, strove to out-do each other at every turn. Oakland’s KEWB, another rocker, and KDIA and KSOL, two R&B stations who brought James Brown, Ray Charles, the Kings, B.B, Freddie, and Albert to the white mainstream stage, along with Hank Ballard, Johnny Otis, and 100s of doo-wop singing groups, female and male blues artists like Carla Thomas and Bobby Blue Bland to centre stage so powerfully, that the rock stations had no choice but to add them to their playlists and widen our musical horizons.

And there were others.

Southern California provided the signals for KHJ, KRLA, KFWB, Soul monster KGFJ, and KDAY, Salt Lake City Utah served up Jazz with Bolan, a late-night program from KSL. KOMO Oklahoma would come in clear some nights, when the conditions were good and the bounce reached Stockton. Even XERB and Wolfman Jack came booming in occasionally, its 300,000 watt blowtorch of a signal coming all the way from Mexico.

Radio gave us the music, and I was inspired by both.


From the time I moved from Stockton and my temporary homes in Los Angeles and Eureka, I have been asked the same question repeatedly as recently as last week.

Why did you move away from California?

I was first asked that question by Immigration when I moved The Wackers (Rock and Roll’s own ‘Wrong Way Corrigan) to Montreal in November of 1972.

Why, indeed?

Yes, the weather is mild (taking earthquakes out of the equation), the landscape is beautiful and varied especially in Northern California, and San Francisco is on a par with Montreal and Toronto when it comes to urbane cultural touchstones and gastronomic diversity. The people of San Francisco are also more inclined to wit and sophistication than their Los Angeles brethren.

Toronto in the '70sI fell in love with Montreal after several visits there, and found the food, music, and radio to my liking. After 5 years, though, the brutal winters, a shift in Provincial government, and with the economy and opportunities dwindling before me, I reluctantly moved to Toronto, which in 1977 reminded me of a hillbilly L.A, a Protestant and pedestrian backwater with a few skyscrapers and a sensibility matched only by Mormons and Midwest lottery winners.

What are you going to do with your 16 million dollars?”

“Buy a Trans-Am!”

I was wrong about Toronto, and in the ensuing 35 years since I moved here, it has become a city unequaled in my eyes, by any other.

It is home.


Southern Ontario FarmlandLike Stockton, it is nestled in an agricultural area and populated by hard working, sincere people. Although the population is made up of dozens of different nationalities, their culture, their religions, and best of all, their food remains intact, and available to all.

As far as music and radio goes, Toronto is light years ahead of most cities its size and larger, with a local music scene better than most, and live music and venues proliferating in almost every neighborhood in this ‘city of villages’.

Radio, though homogenized and formatted into an almost unrecognizable soup far removed from its golden era of risk taking and individual and personable uniqueness, has even started to show signs of life and a return to 94.9 The Rockthe street connected and savvy cheerleaders and providers of new music and local artists. A good example of that is the newly red-hot 94.9 The Rock, a station making its presence known all over the Greater Toronto Area, by combining deeper tracks from classic rock albums, and adding new music and artists to the mix, as well as bringing artists into the city heretofore overlooked by their competitors.

It is enough that I can get as fine a steak as I have ever had at The Harbour Sixty, or a close second from the also-local Berbarians, and franchise outposts, Morton’s and Ruth ‘s Chris, or perfect Mexican fare from Rancho Relaxo, Cajun from Southern Accent, or Chinese  from New Ho King and lMedium Old Fashioneddozens of other Chinese restaurants, plus Thai, Indian, Mediterranean, Japanese, Ethiopian eateries…the list is endless. And sorry, Montreal, but the best smoked meat on Earth can be found at The Centre Street Deli. Their Old Fashioned medium on a Kaiser can NOT be beat.

I can also leave the apartment any night of the week and hear great music both from local artists, touring bands on their way up, and Internationally famous acts, all in venues as good and sometimes better than any around the world.


Blackberry Smoke

blackberry smokeThanks to the aforementioned 94.9, and my good friend David Rourke, I bore witness last Wednesday night to Rival Sons’ southern-rock brothers, Blackberry Smoke at the Mod Club on College Street in Little Italy.

The Mod Club, run by Platinum Blonde front man Mark Holmes, is a moderately sized concert hall with state of the art sound and lights, a large Blackberry Smoke 1stage, perfect sightlines and a long bar for leaning. It is a fine venue to see up and coming and sometimes recently arrived bands. Wednesday, I saw a band who have toured with Kid Rock, ZZ Top, the Allman Brothers, and more, but if it hadn’t have been for my friend David, I would never have heard of them. Their latest CD has been playing in his car for months. Every time we went anywhere, it would play in the background, and finally, I had to ask who it was. He extolled their virtues, gave a little history, and turned it up. I have been a fan ever since.

Live, Blackberry Smoke deliver what can only be described as country rhythm and blues. Guys who have been writing and playing the kind of music Blackberry Smoke 2they love on the road for years. Based in Atlanta, they remind me of a chicken-fried Allman Brothers, their music sounding like it should be played behind a chicken wire fence in a big wooden bar with sawdust on the floor and hot little waitresses in Daisy Dukes, boots, and cowboy hats. A band I would love to hear in a juke Blackberry Smoke 3joint or roadhouse on a dusty road on the outskirts of a blue collar town of people who work hard all week and party harder on the weekends.

Like their hard rocking counterparts, Rival Sons, you really need to see this band live.

Speaking of the Sons, they are halfway through their first headlining tour if Canada, having just had the number one rock record in the country for a couple of weeks. You want to see them if you can, because they are very close to making the move from clubs and bars into the concert venues and arenas they are already used to in Europe. Here are the remaining dates on their Canadian Tour. Pictures 2, 3, and 4 courtesy of Front of House Photography

02/11/13 Hamilton Stonewalls Canada
02/13/13 Kingston Merchant Tap House Canada
02/14/13 Ottawa Mavericks Bar Canada
02/15/13 Toronto Lee’s Palace Canada
02/16/13 London Norma Jeans Canada


We all have (or should have) friends like David. Men or women who have good ears and discover music and share it with those they think may like it too. They spread the word to others and they in turn, spread the word further. The thrill of being able to hear these new (or new to me, anyway) rock bands on the radio (again, thanks to The Rock) is a bonus…and a good sign for the future of terrestrial music radio. What a joy it is to hear some great rock besides the same 6 Led Zeppelin songs or 5 Pink Floyd tracks we have been saddled with for decades. Hearing bands like the Rival Sons and Blackberry Smoke over the air, on the radio, where they belong, is just fantastic.

XprimeDavid is also the reason I became a fan of Xprime, 4 young men from the Niagara region who are the vanguard of a new generation of groups who take their cues from the great British vocal groups of the ‘60s. In Xprime’s case, they simply raise the bar on what has gone before so high, that like Rival Sons, Blackberry Smoke, and Courage My Love, they have the solid foundation of their influences, but also bring a freshness to their respective genres that has been missing for a verrry long time. Picture courtesy of Heather C.


Comparing Stockton to Toronto would seem difficult to some, but all the things I wanted in life seem to be here. Every dream I had growing up in Stockton right outside my front door. Toronto has comparatively mild weather for a Canadian city, it’s population even more diverse than Stockton’s, and it certainly keeps up with the must-have restaurants, diners, and lively street life we had all those years ago in Stockton.

Queen StreetThe Miracle Mile and Pacific Avenue of yore are called Queen Street West and College Street here, with the Dundas/Ossington corridor gaining ground as a good place to hang as well. There are great restaurants of all stripes everywhere you look, the meat of the highest quality and most of the veggies and some of the fruit is produced locally, just like it is in Stockton. There are dozens of Italian bakeries that compare favourably to the Genoa bakery in Mudville, and the camaraderie and friendships made here in Hogtown (or, if you prefer, The Big Smoke; two of Toronto’s nicknames) are as solid and long-lasting as the ones I forged in my home town. Imagine Stockton in its prime, add 5,000,000 people, and you’ll get the idea.



Brower’s Book

J BowerJohn Brower is what is known as a ‘character’. Like Kim Fowley, another madman mutual friend of mine and John’s, John seems like he is actually 4 or 5 little men in a John Brower suit. I must remember to look at the back of his head the next time I see him to see if there’s a zipper.

He is mercurial, a bit of a genius, and a bit of a lunatic. He is resourceful, well read, intelligent, childish, civilized, and old beyond his years. He can make absolute sense one minute, and then say something so weird, I think he is talking in some kind of code.

In one of our recent conversations he asked if I’d started the book, and this is what followed….

Bob: I’m confused…start what book?

John: I can see for miles and miles and miles and miles and miles and miles and miles….whoo who…lolol

Bob: John…what book?

The Heatwave PosterEventually he got around to telling me ‘what’ book. It is a book he wrote, the first part of a planned trilogy of books detailing his experiences in the planning and executing of one of the most historically significant music festivals Canada has ever witnessed. Where we all fully understand the love of music and being rabid fans of great songs and artists, John takes it a step further. He is JUST as passionate about putting massive concerts together to present the music he and the rest of us loves. If you know anything about the incredible amount of work, money, people, and military-like planning, and the bean-counting, math, and peripherals, logistics, and god-knows-what-else that have to be addressed, you probably realize you would have to wear mittens so you couldn.t pull your hair out, and rocks in your pockets to make sure you stayed grounded instead of floating away. The experience, as John tells it in his book, is like trying to put a 10,000 piece jigsaw puzzle together on a trampoline…blindfolded…in a blizzard…wearing mittens…with rocks in your pockets. Where’s the door?


Reading this book (which I have and you should) you realize just how nuts you have to be to produce one of these shows. Of course, John had quite a history of running  these kinds of operations, especially one he put together back in 1969.

From John’s Facebook Page….

The Lennon Train - Brower“Our railway car from Toronto to Ottawa December 1969…going to meet Prime Minister Trudeau.. Peace was in the air.
— with Brower “The Man”, Anthony Fawcett..”Yoko’s asst”, Mrs Hawkins..”Wanda”, Ronnie Hawkins “The Hawk” Ritchie Yorke.”

From Wikipedia….

The Toronto Rock and Roll Revival was held at Varsity Stadium, at theUniversity of Toronto, before an audience of over 20,000. The originally listed performers for the festival were Whiskey HowlBo DiddleyChicago,Junior Walker and the All StarsTony Joe WhiteAlice CooperChuck BerryCat Mother and the All Night News BoysJerry Lee LewisGene VincentLittle RichardDoug Kershaw and The DoorsKim Fowley was listed as the Master of Ceremonies.[2] Screaming Lord Sutch was later added to the bill, as was the Toronto area band FLAPPING. Prior to the addition of FLAPPING, the only local band on the bill was Whiskey Howl. The appearance of John Lennon, Yoko Ono and The Plastic Ono Band was not publicly known in advance.

torontoRNRrevivalposterThe festival was produced by John Brower and Kenny Walker, who had also produced a 2 day festival in June of 1969 at the same facility. The Rock and Roll Revival was notable for its almost having been cancelled the week of the show when poor ticket sales prompted the backers George and Thor Eaton of Canadian department store fame to pull out. Upon hearing this news, Kim Fowley, who was in Toronto early that week with Rodney Bingenheimer to promote for the festival, suggested that Brower call Apple Records in London and invite John and Yoko to come over and be the emcees. Fowley correctly surmised that given Lennon’s love of the music of Chuck Berry, Little Richard and Gene Vincent he would be prompted to accept the invitation. Lennon however went Brower one better by suggesting that they wouldn’t want to come unless they could play. Brower accepted that offer and quickly arranged plane tickets for John and Yoko, Klaus VoormannAlan White and Eric Clapton along with Beatles road manager Mal Evans and Yoko’s assistant Anthony Fawcett.

Media outlets in Toronto, including CHUM radio, refused to believe Brower and ticket sales remained stillborn until Detroit promoter and radio personality Russ Gibb played nightly the tape recording of Fawcett reciting the names to Brower for the plane tickets. This caused a last minute stampede into Toronto from Detroit and once wire services reported the entourage had boarded their flight in London CHUM radio went on the air with the news and the stadium sold out during the afternoon of the event. Lennon meets TrudeauAlso notable was the escort into Toronto for both The Doors and John and Yoko by The Vagabonds motorcycle club, whose 80 members rode 40 in front and 40 in back for John and Yoko’s limousine after having run wild trying to catch The Doors who were not expecting an escort from the Toronto airport to the university stadium in the city center.

It was at this festival that audience members first lit matches and lighters to welcome a performer on stage. Fowley came up with this as a means to ease John Lennon’s stage fright. Fowley appeared on stage just before introducing the Plastic Ono Band and had everyone get their matches ready whereupon Lennon and company took the stage to a spectacular show of lights. This has since become a tradition in rock and roll, but was first experienced here.

John kept his feet wet with a legendary Toronto venue called The Rockpile.

Here’s a short clip of John and journalist/author Richie Yorke remembering The Rockpile

The book, however, focuses in a festival John was behind that took place on August 23rd, 1980.

The first book is called  Count Wiffenstein Meets the Ugly Canadians, which, once again, is typical of John. At first glance I would think this tome John's Bookwould be about an exiled Nazi accordion player who gets booed off the stage at a Burlington rib fest by a bunch of irate Tragically Hip fans, but no…it’s about the backroom machinations and tricky dance moves performed by the parties involved in putting the Heatwave Festival together. The other 2 books in the trilogy are planned to be released in March (The Battle for Heatwave) and August (Day of Show and Beyond) of this year.

I had no idea what to expect. Knowing John, I assumed he would somehow make the dry and traditionally boring retelling of meetings and phone calls, logistics discussions, and sleep-inducing profiles of wealthy business men who invest in these things to meet girls, get laid, brag to their kids, and either make a killing or write off the money they threw at a dream so they could say they were in show business, into some sort of mystical journey

I assumed correctly. John surprised me just like he always does.


The monkey in John's BrainI have this mental image of the inside of John’s head. His brain is laid out like an Ikea store, a maze of pathways that are confusing as hell, this and that piled up high on shelves, and a monkey in a coat looking for its lawyer. I figure there is just stuff everywhere, and when John is using his brain, he just runs through the maze and cherry-picks what he needs, stops to pet the monkey and hightails it to the checkout stand. He then takes his purchases home and uses them to entertain the rest of us. His is a gift versed in jabberwocky, random exposition, and non-sequiturs. In John’s hands, it all comes together and the job gets done…just like all the projects he has successfully completed over the years.

There are moments in this first book of John’s Heatwave trilogy that are truly jarring, like a record that skips or driving around a corner on a Canadian highway and finding a moose standing in the road in front of your car.

SpillaneBrowers’ narrative concerning the long process involved  in bringing a project like this to fruition, (which he makes interesting by not pulling any punches when it comes to letting us know how he feels about the people he had to deal with), will suddenly take on the classic tone of a Mickey Spillane novel from the ‘50s, a book noir that had me waiting for the words ‘dollface’, ‘gat’, ‘dames’, and ‘gams’ to come roiling up out of the pages and make me want to put on a fedora and a cheap blue suit, open a flask of rye, and light up a Lucky Strike.

Other times, it briefly channels a whodunit, or a CSI procedural, and even a bodice-ripping tale of romance. Sometimes John’s descriptive prose…defies description, and I found myself staring at the words, trying to figure out what the hell he meant.

Even the opening page of the book is uniquely John. He quotes himself as Count Wiffenstein, then follows it with a Biblical passage from John the Baptist.

This is a book about putting on a fucking rock concert, and  unlike any other I have ever read. A good, fun read with some eye opening backroom insights that will make you think twice about ever getting into this line of work…work that Brower obviously loves.

It’s a short book, a quick read, and available for download from Amazon for 99 cents. Heatwave: Count Wiffenstein Meets the Ugly Canadians

Highly recommended.


Segarini’s regular column appears here every Monday

Contact us at

DBAWIS ButtonBob “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. 



11 Responses to “Segarini: The Stockton/Toronto Connection – Food, Radio, and Music, PLUS Blackberry Smoke, and Brower’s Book”

  1. Count Wiifenstein Says:

    so…I see you read it…lolololololololololololololol…xo

  2. Reblogged this on front of house photo graphy and commented:
    Another engaging, engrossing post by my man Bob. And thanks for including my Blackberry Smoke shots!

  3. […] some very special perks – written memoir by Johnny Brower, The Heatwave Trilogy (see Bob Segarini’s hilarious review of Brower’s book), rare memorabilia, and rare vinyl by The OFFS, with cover art by Jean-Michel […]

  4. George Diaz Says:

    Great Read and spot on from a fellow Stocktonian

  5. Kevin Honeychurch Says:

    Great read, But Stockton turned into an armpit…

  6. This was wonderful. I love hearing your thoughts on both cities. I’m a Stocktonian through and through. Only if you leave do you truly appreciate how wonderful it is. I’ve been in Austin for the past 5 years and can’t wait to get back to Stockton. Severe weather in nothing in Stockton. Come to Austin and that’s HOT!! I thought I was homesick before but now I’m missing so many places and things your’ve mentioned. Dave Wongs, can’t go home unless I make a visit there. I was home for a visit last year for 10 days and that wasn’t enough time to visit all my favorite restaurants. So happy to hear the real estate market is on the rise. Just keep room for me……
    Thanks so much for taking the time to write this. So appreciated…
    Betty Bruno

  7. judy (ruff) jensen Says:

    I love your memories of Stockton and your music knowledge, child of the fifties.
    Dian was a friend and can’t remember you as was over at the house off pacific ave, Glendora, but we were older than you.
    I spent a lot of time with her when Jim had the hospital bed put downstairs. I had never heard of scleroderma but since her death have participated in many fundraisers in her name
    I’m a third generation stocktonian and relate to everything you write about, yeah stockton constantly changes but I’m still here as its home to me.

  8. We have know each other 55 years and sometimes ya still surprise me. You left Stockton a couple of years after I did but your observations remain like my own, a wonderful place to grow up, a farm town, a small city, I could not wait to leave but as soon as I did I missed it. It had a kind “American Graffiti ” kind of magic. I don’t possess your talent for analyzing and communicating, I wish I did but suffice to say, ya make me appreciate where I came from and the people who made that farm town in central California a special place. Thanks, Bob ya made me smile, Best Dan Colen

    • You sound pretty articulate to me, Dan. Thanks for the compliment. It was the greatest place and time to grow up. And the people who raised us and friended us, and informed us, are still with us, in spirit if not in fact. The best to you and yours, Old Friend.

  9. Kevin Ross Says:

    Great read… thank you… I was at Heatwave and look forward to reading “Count Wiffenstein…” (where are the other 2 parts, I wonder!). Originally from Montreal, I made it down the 401 in 1991 and, though I miss my home town, I love Toronto and Southern Ontario ! BTW… I agree 100% with regards to Centre Street Deli… although they are originally from Montreal… Rock On !!!

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