Cynthia Reichenberger cynthia@cmimanagement.net




Gary,

About a week ago my phone started to explode with my sisters calling and texting to say I just HAD to look up this website. One sister said she bawled while watching and I laughed thinking she should really get a grip! LOL!

I saw the website and I couldn’t take my eyes off of it. I even told my boss how I came to the sight and that I wanted to show it to him. I told him, “this is me, this is who I am” and made him watch it. But I still didn’t think it was worthy of any tears like my sister said. But about a week later she called and ask me about it. I didn’t realize until talking to her that there was a video! So I watched it, unfortunately at work! I was about one minute into it and I completely lost it. My co-workers were wondering WTF? I can’t tell you the emotions that came flooding back …all good. 

Funny, I thought for sure I was going to eventually come across a photo of me or one of my 3 sisters, since we were the same age as everyone else in those photos.  I don’t have a Facebook page so I have a friend trying to look up your profile because I heard you have more great pix. 

We can’t figure out if your went to LPHS or maybe Bassett. I was in the class of ’74 at LPHS. 

It was such a treat to stubble on this little gem. I’ve already contacted my high school boyfriend to share this with him. I’m also going to post it on Classmates.

Thank you for making what has been a very hectic day a great one. 

Cordially,

Cynthia Reichenberger

Note from Mike Martin


Mike Martin MikeMartin@azkidsnet.com


Hello Gary -
Forrest McCreadie posted your blog pages on the list for the 1963 WCHS reunion and I've just started reviewing it. However, I did want to comment on the Finch-Tregoff stuff.

We moved to La Puente in 1954 to a house on Fellowship near Glendora in a new development carved out of a dairy pasture, the remnants of which extended behind our house at the time complete with cows. I went to Fairgrove Elementary for fourth and fifth grade. At approximately that time my mother had a hysterectomy performed by Dr. Finch. I only know this because after the Finch murder my parents told me that my mother had became pregnant after the hysterectomy and they had tried to sue Dr. Finch, but they hadn't kept their receipts and couldn't prove it. My only memory is that I was expecting a new sister who was stillborn while I was in fourth or fifth grade.

You also have a brief mention of Elizabeth Taylor that rang a bell. I don't remember the exact date but it was likely after I graduated from WCHS I was at the May Co in Eastland Shopping Center, which was a good place to meet girls. On this occasion there was a young woman who was very attractive that I encountered while browsing in the May Co. She was a little older than me but she kept browsing near me and looking over at me so I thought she was interested. I almost made a pass at her but in those days I was still too hesitant around females so I didn't.

The next day in the newspaper there was a picture of the young woman. It turns out she was in Pomona/Claremont filming Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf and I was pursuing Elizabeth Taylor in the May Co. and the reason she kept looking over at me was probably because she expected me to recognize her, but I didn't. D'oh.

From Jeannette Lacey

Jeannette Lacey laceyjeannette@yahoo.com


to me
My name is Jeannette Lacey and I was born in San Gabriel in 1961 and grew up in El Monte.  I enjoyed seeing all your pictures because they brought back so many memories.  My cousin shared your video on my Facebook page - and I must say that you used a song that I remember as kid: "Swinging' Safari"!  I remember when it was the theme song for the very first incarnation of The Match Game and I have loved that song ever since!  You couldn't have picked a better soundtrack to go with all those pictures!!!
 
We shopped at the Eastland Shopping Center and Crawford's and ate at the Great Wall.  I was so glad to see it in your video because there are times I think I imagined the place.  I don't think I could find where it was again, although I recall that you had to drive around the old Home Savings and enter a long parking lot to get there. They had the best egg rolls and fried wontons! Sure, it wasn't the "authentic" Chinese cuisine we have nowadays...but I liked it!
 
I learned my "eating out manners" at the West Covina Bob's Big Boy. WOW!  Those pictures really made me nostalgic.  I miss that place - and the food.  I miss Bob's in general and thought it was a crime when they went out of business; there is still a Bob's Big Boy in Burbank but it is privately owned and the food is nothing like it was in the old days.  Perhaps that is due to the quality of food now, but I think the owner just doesn't know how to prepare the old recipes.  I admit they do a pretty good rendition of the frosty chocolate shake and the architecture and d├ęcor are the same. 
 
I have  question: do you recall that Christmas store that used to be on the north side of the 10 freeway in West Covina?  It wasn't far from the Bob's Big Boy off-ramp. I inherited most of the family Christmas decorations and many are from there! 
 
I have no pictures to share; a bad divorce in the family took care of that. I would like to know if you - or any of your connections - may have pictures from El Monte neighborhoods from the 1960's. That town has changed a great deal and looks nothing like it did when I was a kid. I recall that in the early to mid '60's, our street (Brockway) was lined with sycamore trees and everyone's front yard was lush and well manicured; today there are hardly any trees or bushes left...its as though everything was systematically cut down. Downtown EL Monte (the Mall) is also nothing like it once was...I'd love to see more photos of it to check against my memories of the area. Your one picture of downtown El Monte looked like the Mall area near the little J.C. Penny we had. 
 
I look forward to seeing more photos and reading more memories from people who grew up in the San Gabriel Valley. I know you can't go home again, but it is fun to revisit old times every once in a while!  Thank you so much.
 
Sincerely,
 
Jeannette Lacey

RCro rcro@aol.com




to me

Hi Gary-
We have never met, but I'd bet a lot of money on the fact that we have been in the same place at the same time at least once while growing up. I was born in 1953 and graduated from West Covina High in 1971. My Mom and Dad bought a house on the GI bill on Barbara Avenue, near Service Ave. and Glendora Ave. for $8,000 and stayed up all night wondering how they were going to make the payments. We later lived on Gardenglen, near Glendora and Garvey (10 Fwy) until the third grade. From there, we lived near Hollenbeck and Merced until I graduated from high school.
The reason I am reaching out to thank you is that I have been battling Stage 4 cancer for the last year. I cannot begin to convey to you how much comfort your postings and this website have given me while I have otherwise felt so horrible. The good news is that it looks like I am going to squeak by. The bad news is this is the lousiest I have ever felt while being forced to count myself among the lucky.
I remember it all. The Helms man, being gone on our bikes all day, the smudge pots for the orange groves behind our house on Gardenglen. The backyard incinerator we weren't allowed to use, the old wooden bridges that crossed Walnut Creek on Lark Ellen and Azusa, Lark Ellen Hospital, the first McDonalds I ever saw on Glendora near Francisquito, John's Hobby Shop during the slot car craze, hearing the drag races from Irwindale at night during the summer because all of the windows were open due to not having air conditioning, Azusa Avenue ending at Francisquito- I remember all of it.  I bought my first car from Leo Hoffman Chevrolet. It is impossible to describe to a stranger the feeling during the middle of winter when it is 80 degrees due to a Santa Ana condition and the mountains are still covered with snow from a storm the previous day.
Thanks to you, I have been able to virtually re-live those special times. We were so lucky and blessed. On a couple of occasions, you have done no less than transport me back in time. It didn't take me long to realize that what you did isn't to try and describe to someone who wasn't there what it was like. It is for the people who were there. I guess it's kind of like that old saying of what I've heard being an Elvis fan is like. To those who are, no explanation is necessary. To those who aren't, no explanation is possible.
I would have immensely enjoyed this during the best of times, but you gave me hope, meaning and strengthened my faith on days it was really hard to come by anywhere else. Thank you, my friend. May God bless you and your family every single day.
Thanks, again.
Chip C.
PS- As a past president of the service club, The Nomads, I am declaring you an honorary member. However, you're on your own as far as getting a jacket that fits goes.

Thank you for your obsession of Carole Tregoff Pappa....

Hi there,

Love your blog and wanted to connect. I was born in 1957 and raised in West Covina. From 1955 until 1975 my
father and my grandfather owned a small record store called Marty’s Music.

I don’t know if this is your blog too but you might find this of interest:


Like yourself, I have over 2000 hours of research into the replacement of James Paul McCartney.

Thanks again for putting together the blog, wow wow wow.

Make it a great day.

Best regards,

Mitch Santell   dothedream@icloud.com

From Rebecca Sweeney Lowe

A big "Thank You", to Gary Cliser, (Barrydale St, La Puente) for creating the website, When We Were Home, When Time Was On My Side, etc. I had the opportunity to speak with Gary last week, to thank him personally. My family home was on Millbury Avenue, between Temple and Amar. We attended Bassett Elementary for Kindergarten, then Saint Louis of France,*8 years) then Bishop Amat, (4 years) and/or Bassett High School. My parents purchased the home brand new in 1953, it was sold after my father passed away in 2003. 50 years of memories in that house, and that community. I have just discovered this website, THANK YOU. My family name was Sweeney. Rebecca Sweeney-Lowe.

From Chuck Whalen

Charles <motorhomers@yahoo.com>


I want to thank you for all the work you put into your website. I just came across it and I'm glad I did. I grew up one block away from La Puente Park, went to St. Joseph's School (altar boy, of course), and graduated from LPHS, class of '69. I have ridden my bike all over that city, downtown, P Hill, etc. My wife, whom I met at LPHS, grew up a few blocks from the Food Giant at Amar and Willow.
The West Covina Plaza was where I got my Levi's and T-shirts (Greene's and Penney's). It was the place to go shopping at Christmas time.
Crawford's at Five Points was a treat for us on occasions, too. The Tastee Freeze on Glendora where tacos were 5 for 99 cents was a regular hangout. And the Ivan's Pizza behind it is where I bought my first beer after turning 21. Heck, I can hardly find a photo that I don't recognize.
I even recognize some of the faces on the '64 La Puente Little League team, but I can't remember the names.
I'll let you go, but I want to thank you again. A great trip down memory lane.

Chuck Whalen

From Saddie Hunt...

SUDDIEHUNT@AOL.COM suddiehunt@aol.com

3:17 PM (4 hours ago)




LA PUENTE MAYOR LeFEVER...
My father was Mayor during this time.  His Name was Allen T. LeFever.  What a great video you put together.  I went to Sparks elementary. Sierra Vista J.H. then Workman High. 
Thank You for this I will share it with my whole family.  Brings back a ton of good memories.  My little brother went down P Hill on his bike
and ended up face first in the dirt.  And we used to hunt snakes up there.
We are in the process of moving and I have come across a lot of pictures.  Let me know if you would like
me to forward some to you of this area.
Susette (Le Fever) Hunt
PS:  The very first IN-AND-OUT was in El Monte.  My dad was friends with the owner.

From Robert….

Robert Brandler asurfpro@hotmail.com

8:59 AM (9 hours ago)
to measurfpro
Hello,
 
First off let me say thank you. Thank you so very much for your videos of La Puente and surrounding areas. My name is Robert and I was born in 1958 at General Hospital Los Angeles. At that time we were living in Baldwin Park but shortly after my birth we bought a house in La Puente as my Dad found a good deal on a home just of Main street called Appleblossom.
 
It was there that I discovered Pee Hill, Dalesford Street (we raced little broken soap box cars) Spears Pharmacy on Main, Doughboys store, Bakers drive in, and attended Workman Elementary. By the way I will add I recall many wonderful Mexican friends, and we had 1, just one black family in the neighborhood. A kind man and his family named Mr. Porter. Did you know the Porters on Inyo Street? Anyway I had not seen La Puente in a long time and certainly not the way your photos showed The La Puente of yesteryear.
 
MR. Clisner where did all the years go? They seemed to have slipped away like the wind. I must be honest while and after watching your video I had tears in my eyes but a great joy in my heart. Those memories were brought to life when I watched your video. Thanks from the bottom of heart. Note: I am the youngest of 10 and sent you YouTube links to all and some friends as well.
 
Sincerely,
 
Robert,
Syracuse, UT.

From Michael Brandon ---

Michael Brandon michaelbrandon60@gmail.com




to me
Hi Gary,

I ran across your web pages with your memories of La Puente and found it very interesting.  I lived right around the corner from you at 1266 Big Dalton across from Carol Tregoff.    My mom used to tease me that I got a ride to school one day from a convicted murderer.  We lived there from about 1955 till 1966 when my dad was transferred to Cape Canaveral.  One of the pictures of a birthday party has my brother Tim in it.

Unfortunately, the neighborhood has gone downhill in recent years.  I've driven by a few times over the years when I visit California.

I just wanted to say thanks for the memories.


From Mr. Nichols

Chris Nichols nixols@yahoo.com




to me
Dear Mr. Cliser,

I enjoyed watching your San Gabriel valley videos. I was born in West Covina and have a great affinity for my hometown. I'm a writer and historian and last year did a chapter on the SGV for the Getty museum.

I am curating an exhibition for the A+D architecture and design museum and was wondering if you had a collection of photos and ephemera?

Thank you very much,

Chris Nichols

Chris & Charlene Nichols

From Tony Rosales...

Dear Gary;

I believe you mentioned several names in "The Barrydale Chronicles" that I'm most familiar with; namely The Holsteins, Swenson, and those who I was personally closest to the Olmos', at 13083 Barrydale. I was a year older than the eldest, Jarvie who was also in Lonnie's (was it?) class in school, both Flanner, Torch and Bassett HS; who I also knew. What lead me to this notice was the name Lavelle, which was a family on Big Dalton that I was most acquainted with, Tony and MOSTLY his sister Vicky whom I dated in the '70's and early '80's. I think you were referring to a Randy Lavelle who likely is one of Vicky's brothers.

You hit the nail on the head about our lives growing up in Bassett like we did and obviously you have very much the same memories.

I'm still very close friends with the Olmos' but have seen NOTHING of any of the other people we all knew so well considering the times. My name is Tony Rosales, I had/have a sister named Laura that may or may not be familiar to you. I tell you that she and I do not speak, actually rarely did and have NEVER gotten along almost since day one, so there I can offer little. My age group was one of the first to attend Flanner Elementary, Torch and ultimately Bassett where I graduated from in 1969, joining the USAF in Apr. of 1970.

Let me congratulate you on a fine piece of writing and saving a true example of Americana for posterity. Please contact me since I'm SURE I will remember you as I did many of the pictures in the blog. Who would have thought that OUR old neighborhood would be a such a part of family upbringing of a historical nature as such.

Thanks SO MUCH for getting back to me. I for one would like to see more about this very interesting subject on our lives there in those days. I noted that you really have the chronology of events down pat, I thought I was the only one who saw potential history in that world of wonder that was our youth. For example, La Puente/Bassett/Valinda changed more in the FOUR years I spent on active duty in the USAF that a little town I was assigned to in South Dakota in 1973 has, TO DATE! I mention that because I've been back to visit old friends I made there, most recently 2003 and I was shocked that so little had changed. The SGV is like a little secret that with age has become more interesting.

I worked at Alexander's out of BHS and only recently I was by the old Food Giant bld. and I can't bare to go inside; so much of my youth took place there, at Grants, the toy store and of course Thrifty's I last got a haircut there in 1980!

I recognized yours and the other kids IMMEDIATELY. I hope I wasn't mean to you or the others, though I will admit I teased David Vanholsback about his weight in those days. I sincerely feel bad about that and wish I could make it up to him all these years later.

I figured out who was Vicky in the photo' when I went back to it. Do I understand correctly that Vicky LIVES at the old house at 1263 Big Dalton?!?!?!? I just went by there and your old place just last night!!! Have you been in contact with her recently. I would really love to see her again, we have some history.

My old home is 1247 Le Borgne, right at the T-bone of Stichmen and Barrydale, a strait shot toward the Olmos' place. Jarvie runs a restaurant in San Francisco, Mark and Allen live in Upland. Let's talk again, I need to find some old pic for you, let's see what we can do.

Boy do I remember "Frankie" (3 yrs. older than me) very well, our families were very close. Big Frank Chisum was a real New York transplanted Irishmen from "Hell's Kitchen" and a professional cook and restaurant owner; his wife Maria was a real live "War Bride" he met IN Italy during WWII whom he married and brought back to the U.S. Quite a bit of history in just that alone. Yup, they were very LOUD I know and strangely very loving with each other. There was also another brother David (?!) that was sent off to live with other family members, he was a little wild and crazy. Then there was Maria (Jr.) called "Bambala" (Italian endearment for "baby girl") by family and friends; she was very sweet and grew up to be quite comely and very sexy young lady. She was liked by my mother for her very lady-like persona and manners, unlike any of the other girls in the neighborhood. She was defiantly the apple of her father's eye, and how. She would be about Vickie Lavelle's age, I think. We live almost directly across the street from the Chisums.

I think I recall that lady Bina, she worked the cash box at Alexanders and was very funny?(?) Whenever our washing machine broke down we also washed our clothes there, how funny, then really not. That's why I know we know each other on sight. Do you recall that one of the pardners embezzled money and Alexander's went under in the early '70''s. Too bad.

Did I know Wally Waltman, wow? We were in Boy Scouts together, Troop 614 and mostly had our meetings at Flanner I'm sure you knew, Wally was our squad leader, "The Rebel Squad". as in The Confederacy not as defiance. (AH, the days BEFORE PC!!! :]) When his lovely mother died they really took it hard I recall, I went to the funeral as did most of the Troop. I know alto of the neighborhood did. She personally sewed our very unique squad patch; which included a "Confederate Flag". That was very sad.

Ooh boy is this something?! Yea' I'd really like to meet you again. Ha, we're almost family! I live in Riverside so were not far apart. I'm usually available, do give me a call. That lady did come to our house for those Banana Leaves, I believe it was early '70's as I was in the USAF. My dad was possitively OBSESSED over the yard it was a JUNGLE! It was his fetish; he even had a Bamboo growth in the back yard! It was TOO much & was often an subject of contention between us. Bad scene. Today 1247 Le Borgne is unrecognizable to me, I do not recognize nothing BUT the address!

TONY ROSALES PASSED AWAY IN 2012

from Maria Chism --


I stumbled on your website on accident. I was looking for Joelle Hymel and your website with my nick name came up. I was really surprised. I want to thank you for the beautiful website that you put up. It was a wonderful reminder of things that were very much part of my life growing up.

I lived at 13806 Barrydale Street. My parents were Bill Chism aka Tiny and Maria F Chism. My dad told me that when I was growing up that the ladies would just walk in the house, no knocking necessary to go have morning coffee. I guess kind of like Ethel on the I Love Lucy Show. Joelle Hymel was my best friend and I would spend endless hours together, with her playing in her front yard. She had her sisters and I had my little brother David. Of course I would have preferred no little brother being a tag along, but now I wish he was around. 


 I spent so much time riding my Schwinn Bike around and around the blocks I would go. I was all over that neighborhood. I never seemed to tire of riding around those blocks down by Van Wig. I used to love to cut thru Flanner because there were two entrances and they were a short cut down to the liquor store. Also there was a little boy I had a crush on. I would go down to his house and drop little toys in his mail box, which was right on the porch. Of course I would never leave a note. Now I think about it and his mom must of thought who is this putting little cracker box toys in the mail box. One time Jayleen and I rode all the way to Don Julian to go see a game. 

I think about that now and wow that was a long way. We would go down to the baseball park, down by the Vineland Theater and we would watch the baseball game, sit up on the scoreboard and change the scores. Of course, having a snack bar down there was great. I still to this day think The Vineland Theater was something. You had two movie screens showing different movies and in the middle they had the snack bar and best of all a playground. Imagine that, a playground that your kids would play in if they got antsy. I really loved Flanner. It was so cool to live right across the street from the school. So many memories. You have inspired me to look for some photos.

I Thank you for giving me the opportunity to stroll down memory lane, thru your webpage. It makes it nice -

Michael...

 Hacienda/Glendora/Vincent?  Tough to keep those street names clear, ain't it?
If you were born in 1957, then by the time you were 5 that taco place was gone and the Old Center was in decline, thanks primarily to the growing competition from the Plaza and its environs.
The Orange Julius?  I don't recall one being down La Puente way, but there was an Orange Julius in my neck of the woods on Glendora/Vincent at Vine.  I'll bet your mother wasn't too happy when you dropped that glass.  Yuck, what a sticky and broken-glass mess!
Memories in general?  I love wandering through my databanks, and I've been blessed/cursed with a sizable "hard drive."  Typical for a writer though, eh?
So you remember the Green Burrito?  Great food, and they were open 'til 3:00 a.m.  By the time I was 16 (1966) and able to drive, my friends and I would occasionally get the late-night "craving" to go there.  However, the later it got, the more we gringos were reluctant to venture into La Puente.  I can remember that when we did muster the courage, we'd stack close together at the order window...and then once we got our food we raced back to West Covina.
Were our fears justified?  We thought so.  Fortunately, nothing ever happened...although there were a few occasions when we were downright scared.
The Green Burrito was on Glendora/Hacienda, a block or so south of the Sav-On ("Sav-On!  Save-On!  Join the Sav-On hit parade, it's fun to serve yourself and save at Sav-On drug stores, Sav-On drug stores...SAV-ON!").
And just north of the place was Gigi Burgers.  Remember that joint?  They made fantastic slushes, better than those at the Foster's Freeze that was a block or so south of that Orange Julius.  But their big seller was their hamburgers, which in 1960-61 were 15 cents!  My Little League coach would take the team to Gigi Burgers after each game we won.
Now let's see.  You grew up near Puente Ave. and Francisquito.  So that probably means that your family shopped at Thriftimart ("Whatever you put your shopping cart, you save and save at Thriftimart").  I can still see that big red "T."
On the parking lot across from Thriftimart and on Francisquito was The Bahooka -- a quasi-polynesian restaurant.  It was still there in '73-'75, along with its sister location in Temple City.  But the Franciscquito location was much better.
Do you remember Hartland Hospital?  It was on Francisquito east of Puente Ave.  And a block or two east of the hospital and on the opposite side of the street was Winchell's Donuts.  Word was that if it was 3:00 a.m. in that area and you needed a cop, just go to Winchell's.  ha ha ha
Then again, in the late '60s to early '70s, if you got the donut munchies at that hour, the last place you wanted to go to was Winchell's, if you get my drift.
Heading west on Francisquito from Hartland Hospital, near the freeway underpass was a Der Weinerschnitzel (today the chain is just called Weinerschnitzel).  And not far from that place was an In-N-Out, the other In-N-Out being on San Bernardino Road near the hardware/lumber store Pick's.  Both In-N-Out's were open 'til3:00 a.m., and at that time the Der Weinerschnitzel also stayed open 'til that late hour, trying to grab the bar crowd.
"Der," as we called it, never had any crime problems, and the cops usually didn't hang out there at night.  But In-N-Out?  Different story.  Both locations were frequent targets, so In-N-Out offered the local cops free food and drinks if they would stay in the parking lot to eat their stuff.
I knew several of the kids who worked at the San Berdu Rd. location, and sometimes I'd just hang out there at2:30 a.m. to watch the "show."  Yep, my friend reported and I saw for myself how the cops would be shooting fish in a barrel.  Some poor drunk shmuck would maneuver through the drive-thru and slobber his order.  The guy (in those days, girls didn't work at In-N-Out) would immediately realize that he had a boozer on his hands, so after taking the order he'd go to another window and flash the cops a thumbs-up sign.
The unsuspecting sot would pay for his food and then drive out...only to be lit up by the cops the minute he got onto the street.  Many a DUI was issued at that In-N-Out location.
Was that fair to the customers?  Probably not.  But the kids working that store felt safe with the cops around, and they didn't want to jeopardize that.  [NOTE:  Several of those boys occasionally had scrapes with the law.  Nothing major, mainly traffic violations and suspected DUI.  But they'd developed relationships with the officers, so they got off with a stern warning.  Ah, politics.]
Yes, I have a junk brain that's stuffed with memories.  However, we all do.  It's just that some folks don't think they do.  So here's a little trick for you, in case, like me, you enjoy reminiscing.
Write down whatever you can remember.  Doesn't have to be perfect prose.  Just fragments, if you will, of what comes to mind at that moment. And don't worry about spelling, punctuation, or the rest.  Simply jot down whatever you recall. 
Then stuff what you've written (handwritten, on a typewriter, or a printout from your computer) in a cubby or drawer at your desk and leave it for several days.  When you come back to your tract and scan it, you'll find more and more memories surfacing.  Add those to your manuscript, and then repeat.
It works.  But alas, I can't take credit for this trick.  It comes from Mark Twain.
However, I have another trick that I've used, and it's wonderfully effective, too.
Close your eyes, think back to any place you'd been in your past, and "walk the streets."  Imagine that you are, for example, back in 1964 when you were 7.  Where'd you go?  What did you see?  What did you do?  Whom did you meet?  Where did you shop?  What movie theatre did you attend?  And so on.
It's a version of "remote viewing," but here you're going into yesterday, not now.  You might call it "memory meditation."  But whatever the label, it also works...and it's great fun.
And for me, when I do this kind of time travel, I try to remember not just the sights and sounds but more importantly the smells (olfactory memory is the most potent of all).
I remember the Center Market in the Old Center in West Covina.  Very small store (and a few doors down from the Western Auto).  They had an equally small butcher section in the back.  But what always comes to mind for me is the aroma of the place.  It smelled like Sonny Boy, that juice concentrate ("Sonny Boy, Sonny Boy, Makes 3 quarts of drinking joy!  Needs no sugar, tastes just right!  Have some Sonny Boy tonight!  Sonny Boy, Sonny Boy, bring some home today!  Giddy-up giddy-up giddy-up go, get Sonny Boy!")
Also in this strip mall was Snyder's Meats.  It was a butcher shop, and it sold top-quality meats.  But that wasn't all.  Snyder was the guy who started In-N-Out.  Why?  Because he was sick and tired of the crappy burgers his kids were getting at the various fast-food joints in the area.  Enough was enough, he finally said.
So he created In-N-Out.  His premise was simple:  quality beef, quality buns, quality fries, uncomplicated menu, fast service, and strictly drive-thru...and at a reasonable price.  He was right...and to this day, the In-N-Out offering hasn't changed that much, and they've held onto their affordability.
In-N-Out's burger meat is selected and ground to their specifications (aka Ol' Man Snyder's butcher specifications).  The same goes for the buns they use.  And their fries are real potato, not "manufactured."  What's more, Snyder saw the pitfalls of franchising.  Unless things have changed, every In-N-Out store was and still is company-owned.
But I've gone on long enough.  Stay in touch!
-Michael
P.S.  Did you go to high school in La Puente or thereabouts?  I attended Edgewood, the politically dismissive step-sister to West Covina High.
P.P.S.  How about college?  Mt. SAC, perhaps?  Back in the day, SAC was called, "high school with ashtrays."

Russ

Russ Crozier rcro@aol.com
11:00 AM (23 hours ago)
to me
My name is Russ Crozier. When I was born in 1953, we lived on Barbara Ave. in West Covina- not too far from Barrydale. Later, we moved near Hollenbeck and Merced. I graduated from West Covina High in 1971.

Everything you put up is right in my wheelhouse of growing up. Thank you, for all of the work you put into this. At the age of 60, these memories are priceless.

God Bless you and your family, Gary. Thanks again.


Russ