1437 Gibbs St., where the Nelsons lived. Photo by Ren.
New reader Greg Nelson sent me a long, fond epistle a few weeks back about his childhood in Pomona. Warm, detailed, it’s worth reprinting in full. I did cut one section for use at a later time. And now, take it away, Greg:
“I just stumbled on your blog and loved every picture and phrase. My family moved to Pomona in 1956 when I was 4, from New Orleans, and I didn’t leave until I went to college. Our first house was at 1714 Calatina Drive. It was down in the south and right on the edge of the wilderness at the time. It got its name from the developer, who crossed the L instead of the T in Catalina. They decided they liked it like that. We moved uptown later.
“I graduated from St. Joseph’s in 1966 and from Damien in 1970. During my first year at Damien it was still called Pomona Catholic, or ‘PC.’
“We dated the girls from Sacred Heart and St. Lucy’s, and occasionally from Pomona, Ganesha, and Fremont Highs.
“At St. Joseph’s I served many a mass (more than a hundred) for Monsignor English, the 6-foot five pastor, who was a millionaire before he entered the priesthood, and built St. Joseph’s with his own money. It was hard to serve mass there because the altar was a lot higher than at most churches because of his height. Sometimes we went to mass at Sacred Heart because they had a 7 PM Sunday mass.
“My best friend was Lloyd Purpero, whose dad, Carl, owned a pancake house called Breakfast At Carl’s, and also a place called Perp’s.