Got an interesting recollection from reader Bob House on the glory days of Pomona’s West Second Street, a topic of Wednesday’s print column. If you didn’t see that one, the buildings on the north side of Second between Thomas Street and Park Avenue will be razed for new development.
As the wrecking ball nears I’ll try to write more about the history of this once-vital street, where the whole valley came to shop. In the meantime? Take it away, Bob:
“Another blow to nostalgia. I just did a little research and discovered that included in the demolition is the former John P. Evans store at 2nd and Main. In the ’50s (and before, I assume) it was Pomona’s leading men’s store and where I bought all my Cub//Boy Scout accoutrements. They had a glass case of prizes you could ‘buy’ by trading in store coupons that were earned with clothing purchases. I can’t remember today what prizes were in that case, but I remember standing in front of it dreaming of someday owning them all.
“Also in the neighborhood were Beamon’s Sporting Goods (where I won a Davy Crockett coonskin hat as a booby prize in the Prog’s weekly football-winner picking contest) and a shoe store with a very cool wooden climbing/sliding apparatus built into one wall to keep kids entertained while Mom bought shoes. The shoe store also had one of those big ‘fluoroscopes’ that you stuck your feet under to be ‘X-ray’d’ for a perfect shoe fit.
“If you haven’t seen this Ganesha High alumni site, they have some old postcards showing the redevelopment area: http://www.ganeshahighschool.com/vbportals/ganesha/showthread.php?t=236
“I was there for the opening of the pedestrian mall in the ’60s. High hopes were never realized on that project.”
Great note, huh? Buy Bob House a round on the house. His letter is one reason I asked for a blog — I could never have fit all that into my print column, not without letting Bob write it for the day, so I’m glad I have this new forum for sharing extended reminiscences.