Do You Remember When. . .?

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Those Were The Days!

Do you remember when:
The civic auditorium was packed for city league basketball games and you had to pay to get in ... many if not most police officers and sheriff's deputies were local high school grads and sent misbehaving kids home instead of carting them to the pokey because they had probably committed the same type of mischief themselves as teens ... UC meant Berkeley, not Santa Cruz ... there were no parking meters and no traffic jams anywhere in Santa Cruz County?
Do you remember when:
We never locked the front door to our homes ... we left the keys to our cars in the ignition overnight and they would still be there the next morning ... we parked bicycles in bike racks without benefit of locks in front of the Del Mar Theater ... local telephone numbers were simple numbers (59 for Horsnyder's, 120 for Dell Williams Jewelers and 1080 for Radio Station KSCO -- three local business that still exist) ... the only people who rode surfboards regularly in Santa Cruz actually lived in Santa Cruz County and braved the Pacific's cold waters without wetsuits ... the drive-in movie theater on Soquel Drive was referred to as "The Passion Pit"?
Do you remember when:
Newberry's was located next to Woolworth's on Pacific Avenue and you really could buy things at the two downtown five-and-dime stores for 5 cents and 10 cents ... mothers bought their sons' clothes at Morris Abrams, Leask's, Penney's or Ebert's before their boys were 14 ... after turning 14, boys bought their own clothes at Leibbrandt and Puget, Schipper-Dillon or Harris Brothers men's stores, all on Pacific Avenue ... the only beach volleyball courts north of Santa Barbara to the North Pole were at the Cove, Castle and Cowell beaches ... fishermen lined up elbow to elbow along the San Lorenzo River for the opening of steelhead season ... Seahawks meant the local semi-pro football team and not the local community college team ... two-year institutions of higher learning were called junior colleges or JCs, not community colleges?
Do you remember when:
There was a merry-go-round on the Capitola Esplanade ... there was an airport in Capitola ... the Live Oak area was way out in the sticks ... local Italian restaurants were family-run, and mama, who probably was born in Italy, was the cook ... those same Italian restaurants served antipasto, all-you-could-eat minestrone soup, salad, spaghetti and ravioli BEFORE the entree arrived ... There were churches on Church Street ... youngsters watched cliff-hanging serials and grade-B western movies featuring Red Ryder and Little Beaver, Hopalong Cassidy, Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, Johnny Mack Brown, the Sunset Kid and the Durango Kid at the Santa Cruz Theater on Saturday afternoons ... there were two downtown ice cream parlors popular with kids of all ages -- the Pep Creamery and the Coast Creamery?
Do you remember when:
Almost every local drug store had a lunch counter, and successful business people, lawyers, doctors, politicians and local government employees ate there right next to the worker bees ... there was a mom and pop grocery story in every Santa Cruz neighborhood and your family ran up a no-interest tab, which was paid off once a month in cash -- not by check ... you had to be 18 to sit in the balcony of the Del Mar Theater ... mail was delivered to homes twice daily, once in the morning and once in the afternoon ... hardly anyone was acquainted with anyone who had actually been to Hawaii unless they had passed through the islands while in the military in WWII or Korea?
Do you remember when:
Most youngsters learned to swim at the Boardwalk's salt-water Plunge ... you could spend pennies at the Boardwalk's Penny Arcade and waste an hour with only 10 cents in your pocket ... the Miss California Pageant wound up its week with a Sunday show at the Boardwalk Bandstand (that was about the only time locals visited the main beach; we frequented the Cove, Castle and Cowell beaches) ... the Boardwalk had the Fun House and Pirate's Cove ... the Stagnaro family launched speedboat rides on Monterey Bay from the Pleasure Pier that extended out from the Boardwalk (the pier no longer exists) ... 25-foot-high TV antennas were attached to the roof of virtually every home ... Before KSBW-TV (Channel 8) arrived in the spring of 1953, the only TV we could get was from San Luis Obispo, and the pictures on the tube being so snowy that the images were barely perceptible (the mountains blocked out the San Francisco channels)?
Do you remember when:
The Skyroom on Pacific Avenue was where singles hung out after turning 21 ... you could buy a quarter-pound of fresh crab at the wharf for 50 cents ... sole was the cheapest item on any restaurant's menu and abalone was almost as inexpensive ... the Hi-Ho on Ocean Street was the only restaurant open 24/7/365 ... the Colonial Inn on Ocean Street, now a real estate office, offered the best buffet ever served in Santa Cruz County, even up to today ... trout were plentiful in Soquel Creek, and every boy from Soquel was an accomplished fishermen by age 12 ... everyone knew Scotts Valley as Camp Evers ... Organizations held their state conventions in Santa Cruz, and the visitors usually stayed at the Casa del Rey Hotel across from the Boardwalk?
Do you remember when:
Seemingly every spring vacation either the Rainbow Girls or the Job's Daughters stayed at the Casa del Rey during their state conventions here, and virtually every local boy old enough to drive and not going steady tried to dodge a plethora of chaperones to make contact (some guys tried to pass themselves off as bellhops but the hotel was more difficult to penetrate than Fort Knox) ... all the teens from Felton south attended Santa Cruz High (those north of Felton attended tiny Boulder Creek High) ... a goodly number of Aptos area kids attended Santa Cruz High instead of Watsonville High ... "Back East" meant anywhere on the other side of Reno ... teachers retired to Santa Cruz because it was an inexpensive place to live?
Do you remember when:
Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park in Felton was called Big Trees County Park ... two of California's top men's softball teams were from Santa Cruz County -- the Felton Woodpeckers, whose home field was in Big Trees Park, and the Santa Cruz Merchants, whose home field was in DeLaveaga Park ... Many former high school football stars played on our local semi-pro Seahawks football team ... when the only organized youth baseball programs were given by the city recreation department (twilight league, no lights), except for the American Legion program in which the top juniors played in the summer before their senior year against the top players on teams from Watsonville, Salinas and Monterey.
Do you remember when:
The local high school sports league was called the Coast Counties Athletic League (CCAL) and consisted of only four schools -- Santa Cruz, Watsonville, Salinas and Monterey ... school principals retired from their jobs and weren't using them as stepping stones ... high school lasted only three years at SCHS because the freshman year was given at Mission Hill and Branciforte Junior Highs ... Branciforte and Mission Hill also had elementary schools in the same building?
Do you remember when:
On-campus pep rallies at SCHS were held before each league football and basketball game and were attended by the entire student body ... dances were held in the girls' gym after every home football and basketball game ... no guys wore tuxes or hired limos to go to the five major dances held each school year -- the quasi-formal Sophomore Reception in September and the four formals: the girl-ask-boy Snow Follies in December, the Hi Tow Tong Valentine's Day Dance in February, the Junior Prom in April (you couldn't go unless a junior or senior took you) and the Senior Ball in May (you had to be invited by a senior to attend) ... donkey basketball games were played at the civic auditorium to raise funds to build an SCHS swimming pool ... school buses from the Soquel and Capitola areas carted kids together to Holy Cross Catholic Elementary and High Schools and to our public Mission Hill Junior High and Santa Cruz High ... the Girls Honor Society and the Hi Tow Tong (boys' honor society) led the SCHS student body in honoring America's war dead at annual Memorial Day services on the football field?
If you remember these ...
Then you remember the 1950s in Santa Cruz.
And, if you can remember when Highway 1 from Santa Cruz to Aptos was Soquel Drive, one lane in either direction, then you can remember back to the '40s.


The Santa Cruz Beach, Boardwalk and Bandstand
The pier that extended out from the Boardwalk, went past
the Bandstand and jutted out into Monterey Bay no longer exists.

The Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf
Starting between the main Santa Cruz Beach and Cowell's Beach,
the wharf reportedly is the longest in the U.S. that cars can drive on.

SCHS Campus As Seen By Satellite
The satellite photo above of the Santa Cruz High campus and
surrounding neighborhoods was downloaded
from a great web site --
The red dot is about in the center of the campus
at a corner of the tennis courts
adjacent to Bill Dodge Baseball Field.

The 50th Reunion of the Class of 1954 is Sept. 10-11-12, 2004