Reflect on the good times in Vallejo ...

Mechanicsburg, PA

#625 Apr 25, 2012
i bet toni morrison could write a first-rate novel about the characters that have passed through the doors of ruby lee's. and right up the road, we have the white version in dinky doo's. another fine old establishment.

Oxnard, CA

#626 Apr 26, 2012
dink doo's ha ha ha ha.

Good times.

I know taking the wood - rolling tires down the street.

All streets filled with us kids playing jump rope -dodge ball - red light green light - hide and go seek - hop scotch -roller skating - bike riding with the card closepin in the clamped to the spokes to make the motor cycle sound.

Dang! fun huh?

United States

#627 Jun 20, 2012
This thread is amazing. I found it looking up memorabilia about Vallejo. I was born there in 54 at Vallejo General (yes, my MD was Dr. Palm), lived there till 61, then back in about 65 for another year. The names like the Plunge, Johnny's, Rudy's, Hofbrau house, China Barn, Larwin's Plaza, and all the other things people mention, bring disorientation to the mind, a swimming of long forgotten memories. My grandparents lived on the corner of Shasta and Indiana, and we lived on Downs Way. I ended up going to both highland and cave schools (springstown in my jr high years). My dad and grampa owned B&B Auto Electric.

It seemed we ate out every night, and the food at all the restaurants was amazing. Living most of my life in Washington State, I've told people for 40 years what a wonder it was to have good restaurants, and how Vallejo seemed a mecca for food of nearly any ethnic variety.

The feelings of the place was that the exuberance of WWII was still very alive. I tell my son about all the war surplus wonders I had, which he would give anything to have in his collection now. I remember the sub launchings vividly, an awesome site for a child. I remember the downtown at Christmas with the street pole decorations and the stores full of wonders that left me in a fever (Levies and Crowleys definitely bring memories). Then I remember going to Rudy's and my mom would sing with whatever band happened to be playing, always seems like a blast from the 40s in the days when real rock was just gaining ground. Honestly, it seemed like Vallejo was stuck in the 40s in a way, but a good way.

What I was looking up when I found the thread, was a restaurant that was on a ferry beached out toward the southeast of town on the Benicia road. Does anyone remember that. I think it was called Spangers. It was perhaps my most vivid memory, there was a hard hat diving suit that would raise his arm when the bartender pulled a string. Talk about freak out for a 5 year old.

Vallejo was a feel good place, I never experienced that again in all the places I've lived. Whether that was just Vallejo or my age and the state of things, I'll never know.

Oxnard, CA

#628 Jun 26, 2012
So much fun! Just plain fun.

I always wait for someone to comment on this thread.

It makes me feel so free to know there are a lot of us Vallejo people still around to go back to a better time and garner a smile!!

Vallejo, CA

#629 Jul 2, 2012
Eagletree, you were right, it was Spengers.....The other Spengers was/is in Berkeley....One brother owned the Benicia site, other brother had the one in Berkeley.....My Dad says he took Mom on their first date there in '48....You are right on the money about Vallejo being stuck in the '40's....You would'nt recognize it now, what a shame it is - but the 40's generation are almost all gone now................

San Rafael, CA

#630 Jul 3, 2012
The fire station on Mini drive has reopened and fireworks at the waterfront HOORAY!
Those were the days

San Bruno, CA

#631 Jul 3, 2012
I remember the great museums and restaurants and shops along the water. Meeting people from all over the world who came to absorb what made the city great . Small but great restaurants run by chefs who cared about the food and made California cuisine. All the fashionable people and great places for music and strolling.

Oops. Wrong city.

Vacaville, CA

#632 Jul 3, 2012
please don't pollute this thread. thank you.

United States

#633 Jul 11, 2012
Hopefully this doesn't show up twice.

BigDaddy: Seems like more than a smile to think about this topic. It brings back images, smells, and sounds in a what I could only call a nostalgic fantasy.

GOVNO: I think you have it there. What type of boat was it (the Benicia road restaurant) and what happened to it? I did find Spengers when googling. Know it was around then must make it one of the oldest family owned restaurants in the business. One off restaurants were a dying breed even in the 70s.

I'd like to see if someone can clarify a memory. I recalled that our mexican restaurant was called "Taco de Town". I heard someone else mention "Talk of the Town" but referred to it as a bar. The mexican restaurant had "curtains" between kitchen and serving area made of bottle caps strung on strings like beads. Anyone remember that restaurant or was it the same place. I believe it was to the east of the highway but may be mistaken given that 5 year-olds aren't allowed to drive!

Another restaurant we went to constantly, was Jimmy's. It was a dinner club type of place with music (I remember I was always forced to dance with my cousin because the adults thought it was cute). This was to the south of Tennessee street toward town I think. Another was a bar my Grandpa went in often and I was always impressed with it having aquariums. It was called the Trocadero I believe. Having spent my life in places where kids couldn't be in bars, it was pretty cool that we could be in Vallejo.

Vacaville, CA

#634 Jul 11, 2012
my husband has vivid memories of spengers. when he was a boy, he used to fish with his father in the carquinez straits. they would pull up to the old ferry, secure the boat and go inside for a sandwich. he remembers that it was the old port costa-benicia ferry.
Whitey McKrackin

San Pablo, CA

#635 Jul 11, 2012
Talk of the town was a fun bar till near the end of it's run, in the late 80's it started getting rough. Josie Wales was a blast down by the old orchard supply, great bar with an awesome crowd every night of the week. They had chip and dale at style male dancers on Wednesday nights till nine, we'd show up around 9:30 to a bar full of amorous ladies. Like shooting fish in a barrel, haha

Oxnard, CA

#636 Jul 12, 2012
The great! thing about this post:

We all have vivid memories of Vallejo as kids.

I mean we 'remember' the acutally moments we had.

I don't know about you guys but putting the playing card attached to the closepin on the bar next to the brakes on my sting ray bike making the motorcycle sound (we thought) riding with the 'guys' was a BLAST!!

United States

#637 Jul 12, 2012
vjonative2: Have your husband look at this pdf (it's rather large). It really brings back memories. Your post prompted me to look it up with the Benicia-Martinez in mind and I found this, a real picture of Spengers. Like to freak me out to see it. It was the Ferry Encinal. I'll be looking that up next.


Since: Jul 12

United States

#638 Jul 12, 2012
BigDaddy: That is a memory of Vallejo, but not one of those good ones. On Downs Way, in that cul-de-sac, I remember my brother having his bike all set up with a card in the spokes, me (a dumb little 5 year old), riding on his paper rack on the back and trying to touch the card, and getting my fingers mixed up in the spokes ;-). A couple of years later, I remember they came out with the first Vroom (sp?).
vjonative2: I couldn't find the disposition of the Encinal/Spengers, it looks like Encinal was retired in 1930 and that must have been when it was purchased to become the restaurant. I also remember going fishing out that way. My uncle would take us to the straights. The thing I remember was that there would be snakes sunning themselves on the road. That impressed me.
WM: Do you think that "Talk of the Town" was the same as the Mexican restaurant I mentioned, circa late 50s and early 60s?

Oxnard, CA

#639 Jul 13, 2012
'E' the good thing was when you went the hospital (if you did)no MRI was required.

Put some rubbing achol on the cut and away you went!

No helment no knee pads just you and the bike and the street.
San Francisco bound

San Francisco, CA

#640 Sep 21, 2012
The Empress Theater
Ricos Pizza
Bjorns Hairstyling academy
Round table on Springs rd
palbys steakhouse on the outskirts
Highway 29 Cafe outskirts
The Joy of Cruising St Vincents at lunchtime before St Pats Vicents merger
Hogan Vs Vallejo Paint the V baby!!!!
Blue Rock Springs go hunt for the Zodiac!!!
Gravity Hill
Vallejo Auto Movies
Maggies Hamburgers 1985 and a secret lover
Gumbahs Italian beef
Napolis Italian Pizzeria
Dungeon and Dragons bookstore Larwin Plaza
peanut buster parfait at Dairy Queen mare Island
25cent Big Macs on Mare Island for soldiers or dependents woo hoo
Chief of Police Roland Dart aka RCD3 1980's
bathtub races
Marine World and the secret that you can watch all the shows for free from Dan Foley Park
Costco's induction
our first mega theater Costco area plaza

Vallejo, CA

#641 Sep 21, 2012
@Eagltree. That Mexican Restaurant of the 50's and early 60's was called "Taco the Town" and was succeeded by another now defunct Mexican Restaurtant "Mexico Lindo".

Fresno, CA

#642 Oct 11, 2012
anybody remember the elbow room? my neighbor across the street sang there.

San Pedro, CA

#643 Oct 14, 2012
As I yell and scream at the goings on in Vallejo today I still remember my town as the best to grow up in.

I will always love Vallejo.

Just cracks me up when people comment about the clothespin with the playing card and putting it on the bar near the breaks on the sting ray bike to make the motorcyle sound!!

To funny!!

United States

#644 Oct 14, 2012
I loved when my parents would take me to Mexico Lindo. Mexico Lindo and Terry's Waffle Shop on Magazine Street was our families favorite.

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