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 décor 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.