Second Street remembered (at great length)

My recent column on the impending demolition along Pomona’s Second Street resulted in a reader e-mail that looks to be as long, if not longer, than the column that inspired it.

It’s full of well-observed details from a childhood spent in Pomona. The author gave his name only as Keith. As it’s too long to use in print, at least in full, here’s the whole thing, lowercase typing and all:

“mr. allen,

“read your sunday missive on second street in pomona. you brought up the ghosts of my childhood; i am 53 and have lived in the southeastern corner of pomona all my life [cepting college at ou [oklahoma] ; graduated from garey high [that year was the first year minorities in the pomona school system outnumbered anglos; times have changed!]. also attended alcott [when it was one brick building and 2 rows of classrooms] elementary and was in the first 3-year class at simons jr. high. it was great having everything from desks to books brand new.

“i watched the mall being built. my mother worked in the orange belt emporium [2nd and garey, ne corner] . my mother was old school; she never had a driver’s license; pomona in those days had a wonderful bus system, a cloverleaf pattern of 4 routes that canvassed the four corners of town, meeting on garey between second and third; i knew most of the bus drivers by name.

“my father worked in town also, at pomona valley creamery which was bought out by arden farms [se corner reservoir and 5th]; eventually bought out by knudsen which closed the pomona dairy forcing dad to drive to san bernardino til he retired in 1980; mother lasted til orange belt closed and was razed. she didn’t really have to work but her money bought an awful lot of extra and nice things.

“pep boys anchored the mall at park avenue. beamons was where i bought [dad bought] all my sporting goods til i left for college [baseball gloves, shoes, basketball and football shoes, bats, etc.]. i played in the american little league at washington park [there was only one field and home plate was 180 degrees from present site; field had sunken dugouts]; there was a fast pitch men’s industrial league on the softball field back then, pony league and 4+ years of american legion at ralph welch park [also vastly changed ]. do you know that ted williams, duke snider and jackie robinson to name a few played at the original welch field during the easter elks 20/30 high school baseball tournament; at one time the biggest of its kind in socal?

“i lived at the washington plunge in the summer when it wasn’t a game day or i was at the ymca. the y had a youth program after school on tuesday, thursday, and saturday mornings. swimming three days a week; it didn’t get any better for a kid; they had trampolines also. [sidelight — tramatic experience for a kid; i saw my first naked man in the locker room at the ymca — what a SHOCK.]

“sorry to digress. our family lawyer had an office in the stately bank building still standing. john p. evans was where i got my simons jr. high letterman’s sweater [back then 9th grade played the 4 sports at the jr. high level; jr. high being 7th, 8th and 9th grades] and where i bought my garey letterman’s jacket. it was a special present indeed to unwrap and see ewarts or john p. evans on the box lid. wright bros. and rice, a furniture store just off the mall next door to the old ua theatre, was where my parents bought all their furniture.

“thriftys and woolworths both had soda fountains; thriftys had a coffee shop in back; my father and i would eat there friday nites waiting for mom and waiting for the orange belt to close – the one nite it stayed open til nine [cepting xmas season] — the other 5 days it closed at 5:30; closed sundays.

“there was a pool hall in the basement around the corner from woolworths. as a young tot my older brother [by 14 years] would babysit me there by sitting me in the corner while he played “snooker” [a forgotten game].

“on the nw corner of garey and second was an orange julius; they had hot dogs also. it was the der weinerschnitzel of its time with mustard dogs and relish dogs and onion dogs.

“eating at badons [on garey between second and third] was a treat. the apex cafe [between third and fourth] on garey was my father’s favorite; it could be called a “greasy spoon”; they had the best chili. the lawson bros barber shop across from the mayfair on third cut my hair for over 20 years; there were 3 brothers, stan, jack and bob. of course you know all about the fox theatre. at fourteen i kissed my first girl in the balcony of the fox during “the love bug.”

“frasiers, next door to the orange belt, was the stationery store in town. another relic of times past, mission pack, set up shop on the mall at xmas time selling fruit baskets for mailing to family and friends. hamilton drugs and kress sat opposite one another; kress had a soda fountain and grill also. payless, see’s candies and larry wellins jewelers were farther east; i have no recollection of the many “women’s” shops on the mall. i did leave out ewarts on the west side; like evans it was out of my family’s price range, besides, mom got a discount at the orange belt.

“i worked saturdays at the belt as a kid in the marking room for $1 a day. the owners, the rothschilds, were very kind people. mrs. rothschild would give me a twenty for my birthday and at christmas [most definitely old school store owners]. they knew all their their employees. the store even had an attendant-operated elevator. larry wellins was a family friend also and a big supporter of youth baseball in pomona; sponsoring the american legion team, post 30, called the larry wellins Gems.

“past that to the east where the college now sits was jc penneys, rod, gun and hobby, the toy store, robby’s restaurant, fedway, two banks, mcmahans furniture and the last addition to the mall, buffums. rod and gun also sold athletic equipment. the toy store was “model” heaven. in the 8th grade i bought my first “going steady” ring in fedway for $1.

“the christmas parade used second street every year [a choice spot to watch the parade was atop one of the many planters] and once a year a carnival set up shop on the mall. i am amazed that the fountains on the mall still work after 40+ years.

“one other store to mention not on the mall: just east of the corner of san antonio and 5th, on the south side, was the model shop — TOY TRAIN HEAVEN! got my first lionel train set there and later my first ho scale train set. the building wasn’t 20 feet wide but it was kid heaven. they also carried all the model cars and planes and ships.

“the treasure chest was just off the mall to the north on palomares; it was the town newsstand, the one place in town with an “adult only” section. try as i might i never could sneak into that section. i had to be satisfied with the vast comic racks he had. it was a smoke shop also.

“pomona was a one-stop family town. the butka family clinic was the family doctor on commercial next to the ymca and the weiss dental clinic was behind the 1st baptist church on holt, next to stanyer and edmonson tires where dad got all his tires.

“trophy king trophies and awards on holt just east of garey was also a big supporter of youth baseball in town, sponsoring the town’s connie mack summer baseball team, a rival league to american legion.

“greens delicatessen [now the pawn shop on holt and park] had a coffee shop and they made the world’s best old-style beef dips wrapped in paper to carry out.

“digangis grinders farther west [across from st. josephs] had the area’s best grinders [everything made fresh]; mr. digangi was a very nice person also. and farther west on holt was the original espiaus mexican restaurant, back then just a counter and a few booths.

“the one ‘fancy’ restaurant we ate at was the betsy ross on holt just east of reservoir. they served excellent fish and chips and a boy’s dream for dessert, the “washington monument” ice cream sundae.

“one more ‘kid heaven’ business: coates bicycle shop on second street just east of towne avenue. i went through 4 bicycles bought from them. [one of my best christmas presents was a schwinn stingray with the banana seat, slick rear wheel and wheelie bar back rest.] my friends and i rode our bikes all over town without fear of any neighborhood [even riding out to puddingstone lake to fish].

“we had a corner market, market spot [corner towne and philadelphia] that had butchers. the biggest so-called ‘super’ market in town was mcdonalds up on north garey. hughes and that plaza didn’t come along til later after they tore down what remained of the old pomona high which burned in 1956.

“i guess the coming of montclair plaza killed off the downtown mall and the indian hill plaza with sears and newberrys. i think the coming of women’s lib changed the family and town dynamics also.

“i can’t leave out mentioning the helms bakery truck that came through the neighborhood daily with fresh bread and those chocolate covered donuts, as well as the good humor man and his white truck and uniform and those jingling bells.

“pomona will always be home to me though now i doubt if i spend $10 a year in its city limits. i go to chino hills or chino now for almost everything. i hate crowds and do most shopping by mail order or internet.

“sorry for being long-winded and straying off the mall a bit. they say you can never go home again, but like the twilight zone episode ‘willoughby,’ one can always go home again in one’s mind; it’s always a sweet, though sad, journey.

“thank you for keeping the fading memories alive and for sparking mine,


Let’s give Keith a round of applause, and maybe chip in to buy him some capital letters. If there’s anything left to say, post away below, readers.

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  • Ramona Fredericks

    Like Keith, I grew up in Pomona, having arrived here at the tender age of 7 in 1947. My folks came with me to escape the frigid Minnesota prairies.

    I attended Washington Elementary School which was razed because, I believe, the termites had eaten it through. Apartments replaced it. Next I went to Fremont Jr. High which became the Ed Center. Lastly, Pomona High which burned mostly to the ground in 1957.

    My folks remarked that Cal Poly and Mt. Sac would do well to pay me not to attend since I seemed to doom every school I ever attended.

    Your recent columns and Keith’s remarks leave me with bittersweet memories of enjoying downtown Pomona, first with my Mom — watching the clerks in the OBE send money upstairs to the cashiers in a little “pot” attached to a wire by yanking on a handle and waiting for it to return with one’s change was a high point of our shopping experience — and then on my own as I grew up.

    I witnessed the niceness of small town convenience followed by the sharp decline. Right or wrong, we blamed the mall.

    I held out until my kids were grown and my parents were gone. Finally, listening to automatic weapon fire in my neighborhood as I tried to sleep convinced me to move to Rancho Cucamonga in 1987 without a backward glance.

    I’m glad to have your and Keith’s remembrances so I can think of Pomona as it was in the “good old days.”

    Good times, good times.

    Thanks for the memories,

    Ramona Fredericks, (who paid extra for the capital letters.)

    [Thank YOU, Ramona. — DA]

  • Renee MacLaughlan


    Even though I grew up in Claremont, I spent a lot of time in Pomona because my father worked at Wayne Manufacturing, which became FMC Sweeper. My mom would take me to have lunch with my dad when I was off school, and we’d meet at Betsy Ross or Green’s Deli. My first job was at Buffums Department Store in Pomona. I, too had a bicycle from Coates Bicycles.

    Thanks for all of the wonderful memories.

  • Brian Hurst

    Dave, Ya’ll need to track ‘keith’ down, sit down, and pick his brain. Sounds like a wealth of information.

  • richard e nunez

    sounds like my childhood, i lived 2 blocks from the 2nd st. mall. while they were building the mall i used to play in the sand piles that were there for the cement. yes i too remember the good old days.

  • linda owens

    David Allen,

    Thank you for the memories. I was born in Upland, but my parents lived in Pomona on Second & Towne next door to the gas station that is long gone now. My earliest memories of those days was getting to go next door to “Uncle Carl’s” station with a nickel cluctched in my hand to buy a Coke from the old-fashioned Coke vending machine. I am not sure what the greatest thing was, the Coke or getting to maneuver the bottle through the maze to remove it.

    When I was 4 we moved to the corner of Palomares & 7th Street, and I started school at Kauffman which was across the street. Then we moved to South Pomona and I went to Hamilton and then to Madison the first year it opened. I attended Fremont Jr. High, and I think those were the best of my school years because “Louie’s” was across the street and we would go there before school for a “well balanced and healthy” breakfast of a “Scotty Pup” and a Pepsi (Scotty Pup was a hot dog on a stick, but the coating was thin not the thick coating on most of the hot dogs on a stick). I can almost taste the Scotty Pup with mustard & bbq sauce YUMMMM.

    I remember the day the old Pomona High burned. I was in Miss Morris’ cooking class and we could see the smoke from the fire. My uncle took movies of the fire. It was a tragic thing to watch. I went to “Pomona Portable High.”

    I fondly remember downtown Pomona Second Street, before it was a “Mall,” and it was just never the same after that. Pomona was a great town to grow up in during the ’40s & ’50s. We could do things that you wouldn’t be able to do now. We went “exploring” in the hills south of us (all houses now), made bets on who was brave enough to ride their bike down “Prospect Hill” and lucky enough not to fall. Going to the Saturday matinee at the United Artists theater or the Fox Theater. Fight the bull in the farmers field behind our house (more like hoping you could out run him — tip: never venture too far from the fence).

    My favorite resturant was Espiau’s on Holt, best steaks in town. Best bbq chicken was Roy’s Liquor store on 5th (Mission) and White. The Christmas parade was a big treat. A must-see before the parade was the animated display in the window of the jewelry store.

    David, thank you and the readers for bringing back some fond memories of the “good old days.”


    [Linda, thank YOU for the great comments. See you at the Christmas Parade Saturday? — DA]

  • Ingrid Becker

    David, your past articles about revitalizing downtown Pomona had struck my interest.
    Back in the ’80s, my mom would take my brother and I to 2nd St. to pay the gas and phone bill. We would wait in the parking lot until she was done. Then we would take a stroll in Buffum’s.

    When it would rain, my family would take a trip to Antique Row and spend hours upon hours looking in those stores finding old things with character.

    During the later part of the ’80s, I was a member of Job’s Daughter that held its meetings at the Masonic Lodge on the corner of Thomas St and 4th St. The Progess Bulletin was still there.

    As the years have gone by, downtown Pomona dwindled to empty stores and memories.

    Now there’s this big desire to re-do 2nd St. and all its glory. Did MacVaugh do his homework in order to bring success to Pomona? He seems to be comparing his success of Old Town Pasadena to what he is hoping Pomona would bring. But let’s compare the demographics of the two areas. Pasadena has a very sophisticated community where as Pomona is not. Each city has a different need than the other.

    As it was reported on “Kitchen Nightmares,” Pomona did not have the clientele for a fine dining restaurant. Chef Gordon took the time and did his homework to find the need of 2nd St. He discovered that there was a need for hamburger place. Maybe if the owner of Lela’s did her homework, then she might still be in business.

    I wonder why MacVaugh & Co. lost the bid to have Yard House. Was it because it would bring gangs into the restaurant creating a hectic atmosphere for its customers?

    Maybe MacVaugh and & Co. need to re-elevate their dreams for Pomona making sure that they hit the mark with the community.

    [First, thanks for the note. Let me clear up a couple of misconceptions. MacVaugh had nothing to do with Yard House; a different landlord than the Tessiers was talking to them and reportedly lost them due to issues with his building. And I don’t think MacVaugh is looking for a fine-dining restaurant; bear in mind that Lela’s is likely to be replaced by a hamburger restaurant! That said, I wonder if you’ve been downtown for a while. There’s a quite nice, and pricey, Japanese restaurant, Sakura Ichi, and 2nd Street Bistro, one block east of Lela’s, is usually packed at lunch. I agree about the demographic differences and think the Pasadena comparison is a little strained. But Pomona can aim higher than you might think. Sakura Ichi and the Bistro prove it. — DA]

  • S. Chilberg

    I too remember what Pomona used to be, living there from 1965-1994, going to Washing, Simons, Garey schools. My parents had the hooby & craft store on 5th(Mission Blvd) between San Antonio & Reservior, in the old two-story house. The hobby store down the street was called Nortons Hobby, not Toy Train Heaven. The mall in its glory days with all the stores, that over the years either just closed up or moved to the Montclair Plaza, until there was nothing left there. I closed and moved the hobby store in 1994 to Idaho as Pomona just seemed to keep going downhill. It would be nice to see Pomona and the mall brought back to what they were in the old days.

    [Always nice to hear from a Pomona oldtimer. Thanks for the note all the way from Idaho! — DA]

  • Bill Jackson

    It’s been many years since I’ve moved from Pomona but it’s always in my mind. I guess when something is good it always stays with you.

    I moved to Pomona in ’64 and was a resident until graduating from Garey in ’72. My old Emerson, Simons and Garey yearbooks are rough and worn but still bring joy.

    I worked for Taylor Maid donuts for awhile then started on Second Street with Coates Bicycle shop, eventually ending up at the Foothill store.

    No matter where I live I still call Pomona my home.

    Thanks for the great stories.


    [You’re welcome, Bill. — DA]

  • Ann

    What fun to read these letters! Bob Lawson of the Lawson Brothers’ Barber Shop was my grandfather. We all loved that barber shop. All the wonderful people that came through were like family to our family — I believe my grandfather really felt his clients were his family after so many years of sharing their lives together.

    My father transferred north in the ’50s, but I’ve been coming home to Pomona my whole life — just not really living there. Thanks for the fun articles — keep up the good work!

    Ann Lawson Taylor

    PS: I’m making a surprise book about the shop for my dad on Father’s Day. Wm H (Harold) spent his youth shining shoes and listing to all the stories right there. If anyone has pictures or stories to share, it would be great to see or hear them!


  • skip wayne

    also more news at

    my dad is Gil Wayne, of Wayne Mnfg.

    i live in Seattle and have lived/raised family in the Pacific North Wet since 1975. fond memories of Claremont and Pomona… paradise lost…
    memories of the old In-n-Out on Towne, the Feed n Fuel in Claremont, the old Stinkie’s tavern on Foothill and the amazing Chinese barbeque of Roval’s!!!!

    give a shout! i’m on facebook too!!
    Steven ‘Skip’ Wayne

  • Steve Mock

    Hi David, yes Keith and the others have offered tons of insight and memories of Pomona!

    I grew up in Pomona in the 1970’s and 1980’s, my mom moved from Colorado to Pomona with her parents in the early 1940’s and she attended the old Pomona High and graduated in 1945. I didn’t come along until 1967, and grew up in a home on Wayne St. in the North West part of town. I lived there until I was 22, and went through the Pomona School system of Montvue, Emerson, Damien (that is in La Verne) and eventually graduating in ’86 from Pomona High.

    My grandma worked at the 2nd street mall at the bottom floor of a dept. store, this being in the 1950’s through the 1970’s — which I can’t remember the name of, I think it was on the northeast corner of Garey and 2nd. She lived on Huntington dr. and she (like Keith’s relative) never had a drivers license and took the bus and walked to the store. I remember spending the night at her house and the next morning would walk up to the market with her to Park Ave. and Holt, pass the Pomona Girls Catholic High, and get our groceries and meat and the clerks would help her bundle everything up on her basket carrier.

    On Huntington dr., the city at XMAS would decorate the big pine trees in the center divider with lights, and every year for the XMAS parade grandma’s street would be the ‘holding tank’ for all performers in the parade on Holt — and we would watch from her front porch.

    Lots of fond memories of Pomona, we played lots of soccer and had the AYSO league going in the early 70’s, playing at Palomares Park, Emerson, Kingsley, etc. I even played Little League for Pomona National in the late 1970’s at Montvue Park — which at the time was one of the few little league baseball fields with a grass infield.

    What seemed great at that time was the diverse cultures and races that Pomona had to offer, seemingly meeting together and living and working. Something I can even use today in my everyday life as a ‘grown up’. No other town surrounding Pomona (maybe with the exception of Ontario) at that time seemed to have that uniqueness about it.

    It wasn’t ’til about 1980 or so that our North East part of town became more and more violent (we always seemed to be spared a little more than the other areas of Pomona): more shootings, more anger — didn’t help that a very bad recession was going on at about that time also. It got hard to walk down the street to work which was only a couple miles away. I worked at Music Plus in the late 1980’s on Indian Hill Blvd. next to Juanita’s Mexican Food and Carl’s Jr. After a few store robberies and gunpoint assaults of would be ticket buyers to concerts outside of the store, I decided to retire and move on.

    Now years later as I go back to the area to visit my dad (he lives in Montclair) of course a lot has changed. It’s good though to see an injection of energy at the 2nd Street Mall – that area will always be historic and very scenic, and I think it’s good for the city to keep that vibe alive.

    I too remember the Buffums — and actually there was a small warehouse room across the street where local metal bands would rehearse and perform — myself included.

    Thanks for the opportunity to reminisce some about Pomona — I had some of the best friends and times in my life there, hopefully the city is still building fond memories for some youth there now.

    We all have to remember that things in life always change — for the good and at times for the bad.

    [Steve, based on your description, your grandma probably worked at Orange Belt Emporium. And thanks for the cool comment. — DA]

  • Lori B.

    Amazing what a person can find using Google!

    I was trying to find out if somehow, Green’s Deli was still around, as my memory of their huge roast beef sandwiches still outshine any sandwich I’ve had since then!

    My dad and I lived in Pomona in 1965/66, at the Wishing Well Motel, which might have been near or on Holt or Garey. (Too long ago.) I remember Earl Scheib (paint your car for $19.95!) catty corner across the big intersection, a donut shop (maybe Taylor Made, someone up above mentioned them) across the street, and our little cabin was back of a Richfield gas station, owned by the nicest guy in the world. Next to that was a bar and grill. (more nice folks!)

    I spent 3rd grade in Miss King’s class at Lincoln elementary (nearer my babysitters’ on Alverado) but 4th grade I had to move to Roosevelt elementary, where elderly Miss King’s elderly sister Miss King taught. 🙂

    What memories! We moved out of state after that, but I loved and missed Pomona!

    [Google has led a lot of readers to this blog, and I’m glad of it. Thanks, Lori. — DA]

  • Jersey Dean

    I was born in Pomona in 1960 and lived there until 1976 (dad was transferred east) and we were just talking about DiGangi’s in Pomona last week. Everyone around here claims to have the best “hoagie” or “sub,” but those of us from Pomona know the best was DiGangi’s.

    Doing a Google search I was not surprised, but sorry to hear they closed DiGangi’s. On return visits “home” I’ve been saddened to see the decline of Pomona’s city center. I know the only constant is change, but to see your hometown change in this way is a bit sad. Mind you, it’s still my home town and I still have a great deal of pride in the city.

    I’m just thankful I have some of the same memories as Keith. It was a good time to be in Pomona. You can take the boy out of California but you can not take California out of the boy!

  • barbara f

    Holt Avenue in Pomona also boasted in 1960 a huge building that was always very well maintained and painted a brilliant white. That structure housed the offices of Dr. Wing, a physician of Chinese medicine and I believe also a doctor of naturopathy, who resided in Claremont with his family.

  • barbara f

    The internet can be wonderful sometimes! Carolyn the daughter of Dr. Wing has put down part of her story in this volume I just learned of seconds ago: Eternal River Vol II The Claremont Years

  • barbara f

    Jayne Mansfield made a personal appearance in the lady’s department at the grand opening week of Buffum’s. You had to take the escalator up to the 2nd floor. I believe the Orange Belt Emporium was the only other store with an escalator at that time. I saw Jayne Mansfield at Buffum’s that week. This was back in the early ’60s when the grand pedestrian only mall was still quite new. I remember my amazement to find small water features and tiled pools with sculpture, the oblong box of water held in place by wide edges as if to invite people to sit and enjoy the coolness of the fountains.

    • LaDonna Bradley

      It wasn’t Buffums it was Fedway at the time. My Father was the Manager. The store was packed with people the fire Marshall closed the store because too many people were on the second floor. It was before the mall was started. Fedway was the first store in town to have an escalator. The store was closed nights open only on Thursday night. I remember playing in the store at night when my Dad would stay to do paper work. My brother would ride trikes down the escalator with them turned off.

  • barbara f

    Why Jayne Mansfield? You wouldn’t need to ask if you’d been in a Pomona movie theater in 1957 or so to watch the new film, “The Girl Can’t Help It.” From the opening credits, which melted into the story line, all backed by and powered along by Little Richard’s astoundingly heavy r&b song of the same name … Pomona likely had never seen or heard anything quite like that …

  • barbara f

    A salute to Badon’s, the one restaurant that always made my parents happy, the one place that deserved repeat visits. In the late ’50s and all through the early ’60s, Badon’s did their best to offer good service and good quality food, right down to hand sliced freshly steamed vegetables presented in small side dishes. The veggies were so fresh, they vibrated with color. A puffy white dinner roll sat on a paper doily on a separate saucer and the pats of butter were each pressed with a design and wrapped individually in gold foil.

    • Jackie Sue Jacobs

      Hi. ‘Just found your comment on Badons. CB Badon was my my mom’s brother. He had left Texas and moved to CA about 1930 as a young man. He took over Badon’s around 1950. His daughter (my 1st cousin) was Jerry Jean. (She was about 18 years older than me.) I think she worked there some also. I think CB sold Badon’s in the 1970’s so he could retire. He died in 1982 and is buried in Pomona. Jerry Jean died in 1970. CB’s wife Madeleine died in 1997. She was from France. Madeleine’s parents had lived in Pomona too.
      I was so delighted to see a comment about my uncle’s restaurant. Thank You, Jackie Jacobs (a Badon descendant)

  • barbara f

    Badon’s even made their own succotash!

  • rebecca

    When did 2nd first close off thru trafic?

    [1962, I think. — DA]

    • LaDonna Bradley

      It close around 1962, due to the downtown merchants loosing business to the malls popping up in the area. It was a lot of work to even get the Governor to allow the city to close a Main Street. My Father and other business leaders went to the capital to ask Gov. Jerry Brown permission to do this work. We moved to N.Y about the time the mall opened.

  • Diana

    In addition to all these other memory-stirrers:

    Crystal Cafeteria!!!

    The restaurant at Holt and San Antonio (?) that had a huge plastic horse inside!! (Seapies?)

    The fancy restaurant on Holt where we ate holiday dinners–just west of Garey. French? Italian?

    and speaking of fancy: Orlandos! Also on Holt.

    There was also a restaurant on Park across from the police station, on the second story I think.

    How about Taco Kitchen in La Verne on Bonita? Seemed like the end of the world when we drove there from Pomona in the 1960s.

    Roys Deli on Indian Hill–oh and Steakburger! And Mr Milkbottle!

    And that little funky miniature golf on Foothill. Remember?

    Thanks for the memories. I too got here searching for any traces of Greens Deli. (The branch in Claremont was never the same).

    Diana (born 1961, moved to Pomona–Wayne St–1965)

    Still loves Pomona!!!!

    [Glad to hear it, Diana. I’m guessing the “fancy restaurant” on Holt west of Garey was the St. Charles Grill. Some of the other questions are new ones to me but readers may know. And did you know Mr. Milkbottle is still there? — DA]

  • David H

    I stumbled on this article when I googled Green’s Deli. I grew up in Pomona (62-75 Grad. from Pomona High). My mom owned Trophy King Awards and was always proud to sponsor local teams and the community. Went with my Dad to see “The Longest Day” at the UA theater. Always rode the “up & down” bike for Coates bike shop (it had offset spokes). I remember almost all of the things mentioned in the e-mail responses. Thanks.

  • Erik Sundstrom

    Is there any kosher deli near the pomona-claremont area? My neighbors have been married almost 70yrs and they remember Green’s Deli in Pomona. They use to go there all the time. Anyway, they would like me to pick up a kosher sandwich and I know of no kosher deli in the surrounding area. Is there one? Thanks.

    [I’d have said no, but recently I was informed of Kara’s Korner in Glendora, and its website says it’s kosher: — DA]

  • LaDonna Bradley

    Loved this article. I live in Pomonna from 1950 until 1963. I attended Kingsley elementary school, Emerson Jr. And Pomona High, the burned down location. My Father P.B. Madison was the manager of the Fedway Dept store, the Orange Belt and JCPennys were the local dept stores. My Father was President of the downtown merchants and that group started the mall downtown because of the new malls coming in the area. Sure remember the Christmas parades, Badons where my Dad ate every day, and I would meet him on Saturdays after I went to the beauty school. Remember when they remodeled the Fox theater and Chill Wills Jr. Came to the opening. Saw the movie Psycho at the UA theater. When Fedway was remodeled Jayne Manfield and Sugar Foot ( can’t remember his name) came to the grand opening. The fire Marshall closed the sore because there was so many people on the second floor to see Ms. Manfields. Fondly remember my childhood in Pomona.

    • davidallen909

      Wow, Jayne Mansfield in Pomona. But all the rest of your comment was cool too. Thanks, LaDonna.

  • doclogic

    Can anyone remember the name of the restaurant in Downtown Chicago that featured a treasure chest full of small, inexpensive toys? Children dining in the restaurant were allowed to go up to the chest (escorted by a parent and wait-staff, of course) and select one toy per visit. I went there with my mother and grandmother in the 1950’s. Thank you in advance for any help with this.

    • davidallen909

      Did you really mean to say Chicago…? We really just focus on a sliver of Southern California here. (I’ve heard of such restaurants here, btw, so restaurants with a small “treasure chest” of toys was perhaps not uncommon in that era.)

      • doclogic

        I apologize. I found your site by searching for the restaurant on Google and yours was one of the resources they listed. Yes, it was (or maybe still is) in downtown Chicago, or at least it was as of 1956. I appreciate your tip: it is very possible that the “toy” gimmick was popular elsewhere as well. Thank you!

  • Mark Dixon

    Keith mentioned the Butka family clinic as being on Commercial, actually it was at 195 East Monterey east of the YMCA. Really pretty art-deco building with glass block around the front entrance. They had a nurse named Studebaker and I always wondered if she was named after the car. My mom called her Studie for short.

    • davidallen909

      Nurse Studebaker! A name and title to conjure with.

  • Natalie Estrada

    Never saw or got to enjoy any of these restaurants or services of those businesses. I was raised in Pomona and have a lot of family there. I wished we could have all experience these nice places.