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Vallejo, CA

Reflect on the good times in Vallejo past & present

Yes, you could say that, almost as if literally. I have to go to Bremerton about every week. I was there when my Mom was dying in a nursing home on the east side, I wandered around outside the facility and was walking the streets. I couldn't help but have the most ghostly feeling about Vallejo even though wandering the old project streets of Bremerton (the east side was originally all government housing built at war time, the buildings are all replaced with modern medical centers, but the streets and sidewalks are exactly as they were laid under federal contract). I had the weird disorienting feeling standing there looking out toward the navy yard, on streets that could be carbon copies in their quality building methods of the 40s, thinking I could just as easily be in my home town Vallejo. Maybe you had to be there, but as I stared at Bremerton, I saw Vallejo. Reading the history of Pacific Theater WWII extensively, Mare Island was constantly mentioned for it's upgrades of ships. The Navy's photo library has a large number of photos taken to show upgrades done at the yard, but even though one ship or another is always the foreground, if you look in the background, most of the time they were shot so you can see panoramas of Vallejo across the water. Actually both MINSY and PSNS were fundamental in being able to win WWII in the Pacific. That's a proud legacy for Vallejo. I was shocked when I saw that Mare Island had been BRAC'd, but PSNS survived. It's understandable that Vallejo would have immense challenges after that, Bremerton would have very similar difficulties under such circumstances. My memories are of a thriving Navy port, I can't imagine it without MINSY.  (Nov 6, 2014 | post #967)

Vallejo, CA

Reflect on the good times in Vallejo past & present

It is Taco the Town I remember so vividly, at least as vividly as one can from a 5 year old's perspective. Wonderful memory. It was one of the places my family frequented so it fills in not just memories of a restaurant and a town, but of a larger family now long gone.  (Nov 2, 2014 | post #964)

Vallejo, CA

Reflect on the good times in Vallejo past & present

Prussian, I forgot about Sherwood forest, that brought up a convoluted memory of a 5 year old. Since when I was that young, there was a robin hood series that played every day after school (that's when I was going to Highland), it confused me that there was a Sherwood forest in Vallejo ;-). I see you now are from the other Vallejo (Bremerton). Though born in Vallejo, most of my later childhood was Bremerton. A lot of similarities between the two towns, but Vallejo was so much more colorful, bright and alive (and way better restaurants). The yard whistles were a lot the same though. Some of the subs I saw launched in Vallejo, ended up in this area for range work. I still have the tie clasps that Mare Island handed out when a launch was coming up. It was pretty exciting to go down to the waterfront with throngs of people to see a Sub slide down the ramps.  (Oct 31, 2014 | post #962)

Vallejo, CA

Reflect on the good times in Vallejo past & present

Wow, you triggered a memory with the goose thing. I can't even quite remember it yet it's so familiar. Like total awe! It must have been around for a bit because I would of have been 4 by 58, that's probably the earliest I could retain memories.  (Jan 21, 2014 | post #848)

Vallejo, CA

Reflect on the good times in Vallejo past & present

@Brian Take a look back about 6 or 7 pages, I posted a link that has a postcard picture of Spenglers. It's in a Benicia periodical from their historical society. Was hard to search due to being in a pdf.  (Jun 15, 2013 | post #746)

Vallejo, CA

Reflect on the good times in Vallejo past & present

I'll have to take your word on Zanetti's, that sounds too close to the situation and I doubt there would have been two places like that. I never heard the adults mention the name. Was Valentino's first name Jimmy? My grandpa always called a place we commonly went to just "Jimmy's ", and so I never knew the real name (a quick lookup of the name brought up a reference to a place where a VHS graduate attended a function). The place we went was definitely a steak house. I just remember a dance floor in the middle of the dining room and a stage which was usually not in use. For some reason, Volare (Dean Martin) is stuck in my head when I think of that place, a far cry from my musical tastes, but the memory is very warm. The family always had us kids dance with our cousins and friends kids. Of course we didn't like that one bit lol. (my cousins should be reading this thread now as I turned them onto it by email, I know they will have some solid Vallejo memories). No Problem on asking that, I wish we could talk that personally because then you can find out more. But sadly, the net has a million scammers listening in. For all of those who are participating in this thread, realize that because of it, you are actually preserving history that would be otherwise lost.  (Mar 5, 2013 | post #732)

Vallejo, CA

Reflect on the good times in Vallejo past & present

Casa De Vallejo, yup, that rolls off the tongue pretty easily. It's what I thought but couldn't remember for sure. Believe it or not, my main memory of that comes to mind as looking out from under a table in a massive crowd of people, I think I was too sleepy to be awake, must have been really small. I think it was a fashion show and my mom and aunt were modeling. Kind of a warm and convoluted memory. Seems I can recall seeing the exterior of the place too. I'll look it up. She went by Betty Ann as a partial answer to the one question, but to post personally, I shouldn't put the last name (on the net, we have so many "friends " listening to everything we say lol, every mother's maiden name is a "commodity "). She and her mom and sister would sing and play anywhere they could. They did the child star thing and tried to make it in the midwest. My grandpa jumped at the chance to make some money when Mare Island exploded in work with the war, and came out and took a machinist position. They migrated to Vallejo like so many of that time. My dad met my mom just before the war was over on a bus headed to Vallejo after he'd finished his overseas duty and was assigned to meet returning sailors scheduled to be "retired " and take them through the process. They were married right away and I think they had their first house on a Moreland street (I don't remember it, I wasn't born). Eventually through VA, they bought a little place on Downs Way. The type venue I remember was Rudy's but there was another place she commonly would sing and for the life of me, I can't remember it's name. But I remember Rudy's clearly because it was always dramatic, all the guys at the bar hootin and whistling. My dad seemed to think it improper at that time, but this week, he admitted he loved the fact that he had the "hot chick". LOL, cute to hear a 90 year-old man admit that. That's how I came to be searching for Vallejo memories since I was researching my Dad's ship and WWII service and that had reminded me of Spengers being so close, which in turn brought me to this thread last year. The ship sat over in Suisan Bay until about 1973. Amazing that we lived so close to the ship he'd served on all over the Pacific. Since I'm cleaning out years and years of memorabilia, I'm going to start going through my moms and grandmas old papers with an eye for Vallejo stuff. We did find a hat box from one of the big department stores. I'll have to get a picture with the name on it. I bet there is a lot that would be interesting to this thread. On the bread at the Hof Brau Haus, I do remember that, I think I always had something like pastrami or corned beef. I just remember it was a sandwich that was better than anything you could get at home, like wonderful. Wow, I'd have that tonight if there were anywhere I could get one. Indeed, that is my most poignant memory of Vallejo, good food, every night. Nothing anywhere nowadays seems to compare. China Barn started my obsession with Chinese food. Some place near it had Ravioli that was to die for (I remember going with my grandpa and he'd bring a kettle and they would fill it up as take out). Restaurants serve food that tastes downright sterile by comparison. Plus it's not often that everyone knows the proprietor personally and by name. Every restaurant, the owner would greet my Grandfather with a hug or handshake as if we were visiting a relative. I always thought "How can grandpa know so many people", but frankly, I think that was just how business owners did business. That was how every night was in Vallejo. Trocadero really connects with the minabird and an aquarium in my brain. I'll ask my Aunt to fill in there and get back to you. She was a resident from 45 up until about the late 80s I think.  (Mar 1, 2013 | post #719)

Vallejo, CA

Reflect on the good times in Vallejo past & present

Thanks BigDaddy, when it's time, it's time. I contacted the Times Herald (I think that was it) to put an obit in on the off-chance that someone might still be alive in Vallejo who would remember her. She belonged to all sorts of women's clubs there, and sung quite a few places. But they wanted 54 something to post it. Times HAVE changed. Thinking about my mom, I remember some place called the "Casa De ...." something. It was like a hotel or large club. I remember some big show there when I was really young. Seemed like a larger than life stage. Anyone remember a place like that that had that start for the name?  (Feb 28, 2013 | post #713)

Vallejo, CA

Reflect on the good times in Vallejo past & present

That is so weird to think about that. Talking to the person that made those awe inspiring curtains, I mean no fabric or door could have been cooler. But you were responsible for someone else's memory of what, 50 some years? How weird it is that you hated what you were doing, yet that simple thing brought indelible memories to other people. Makes you take a second glance of the little stuff we do in life. It may have meant a lot to someone else.  (Feb 28, 2013 | post #712)

Vallejo, CA

Reflect on the good times in Vallejo past & present

I came back to this thread because I had a very weird "Vallejo " day yesterday. It was my Mom's funeral which I had done all the planning for. My family and childhood, and Vallejo, are inseparable even though none of us live anywhere close now. The family hadn't come together in about 40 years. All my cousins flew up with their mom and the rest of us living here in Washington, met for the occasion. Vallejo was the topic during the funeral and at the get together following. Most of the names of places mentioned here surfaced at least once. Since I was doing the Eulogy, a chunk of it had a story that took place at Rudy's Supper Club. Well that set the tone of it, and it was a day of nostalgia for all of us. Certainly the Barrel Club came up (to us kids,it might as well have been the Pyramids), and those head-covered mugs of root beer from the bar at Sadies Hof Brau etc. What a blast from the past. Of course we all traded emails and I'm about to send out a spam to the entire family about this thread. Might just bring a few more stories. I will tell you, the feeling I get when I let myself get lost back in thoughts of Vallejo in the 50s and early 60s are nothing short of a blissful transcendence. I have to ask myself if it really was that good and happy, or if anyone in that time thinks that way about their hometown. This thread suggests it was a unique place since so many people seem to share that magic feeling.  (Feb 28, 2013 | post #709)

Vallejo, CA

Reflect on the good times in Vallejo past & present

You finally solved my question several pages back. I heard people talking about a bar named the same, but that isn't the memory. Did you have coke and 7up bottle caps strung on strings that made up the curtains between rooms? My family went there a lot.  (Feb 28, 2013 | post #708)

Vallejo, CA

Reflect on the good times in Vallejo past & present

YES, I remember the minabirds well going in there with my Grandpa. What a wonder that was to a little kid. Herb's Trocadero brings back serious memories. My grandpa's auto electric business wasn't far if I recall. Not driving at that time of course, means my spatial skills on town streets were poor. According to your age, you and I must have been in the same grade at the same time. I went to Cave and Highland. I wonder where those class pictures got to ;).  (Feb 28, 2013 | post #707)

Vallejo, CA

Reflect on the good times in Vallejo past & present

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?  (Jul 12, 2012 | post #638)