Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Sacramento: Twin Towers, Wheel Service, and a Map

Citrus Heights, CA – Sister’s House

Had a few inquiries as to how we are, and when was I going to write another blog.  Frankly, we have been with family, have fixed a few things on the motorhome (never ending tasks), and have not gone anywhere in particular outside of a few restaurants, visits with mom and dad, and house sitting at my Sister Patti’s house for pickup and delivery of furniture (Yes Patti, you still owe me lunch Winking smile ).  Frankly, we decided that after the terrible fire in Napa / Santa Rosa area, that being in dry lands just is not a good idea…and although we have had one rain, with another tomorrow, it has not been enough, and it is too cold up in the Sierras.

That said, I was reading Nancy Kissack’s blog (KIssack’s Adventures) the other day and she says, “ Someone challenges you to post seven photos of your life in seven days (no people), then every day you have to challenge someone else to do it.  I am NOT a fan…”.  I thought, hmmm…I don’t want to have to post seven days in a row, but I can post some things in and around Sacramento that are memories which I could share.  So today, I will share three things…Twin Towers, Wheel Service, and a Map.  I “PROMISE” to write some more (I think I hear some YAWNS out there), but not seven days in a row.  Also, in a “World of Google”, all the photos and maps today are from Google maps or Google images.

Sacramento Twin Towers

Above is Sacramento’s “Twin Towers”.  That is not their name, but that is always how I refer to them.  Located at the entire block between P and Q and 7th and 8th, it was a 6 mile bicycle ride from the house I grew up in (2nd grade through 10th grade), and I can guarantee you that I have seen each and every floor in both buildings (think elevators, young boys, and pushing the button for every floor).  I have also walked the underground floor which connects both buildings, AND the best part…have been on the top outside of both buildings where we would drop “golf super balls” down to the ground and see how high they would bounce back up (the inside of a golf ball back then had a rubber ball with a liquid inside, acted much like a super ball).  Of course, mom does not know any of this, until now, and will probably send me to the corner next time I am over at their place!  WHY these buildings you may ask?  Because back then, they were around the tallest buildings in town, they had no security, we just acted like we belonged, and very rarely got questioned and only kicked out once or twice (which means we would just go over to the other building).

Sacramento Wheel Service

Sacramento Wheel Service    Sacramento Wheel Service

I have written a few times about my uncle’s Wheel Service shop that my grandparents (the uncle was actually dad's mother’s brother) worked, my brother Jim worked for awhile, and many family friends worked at.  The top picture shows that it is located at 22nd and S street.  Uncle Mac sold it back in the 80’s to the Sacramento Bee, which is McClatchy Broadcasting, a well known name in the news world.  In the bottom right picture you can see many many newspaper stands stored along the side of the building.  The bottom left picture is where cars would pull in and park, and when ready, the workers would pull them into the building and do front end alignments, balance tires, and/or put on new wheels (including spoke wheels).  They did anything and everything dealing with wheels, and had a large stock of items for sale where “gear heads” would come in and buy things…which is how Arny (sister Sandy’s husband) first had contact with our family so many years ago.  We always wonder if one of those Bottle Water Dispenser times we were in there sharing donuts with the gang (in the bottom right picture where that car is parked, we would park our car and enter through that large garage door which is closed in the picture…and make a bee line to the wonderful staff (friends and family) to say hello and give them that look of “hope there are some donuts today”.  The other thing we LOVED was the huge bottled water machine….like the one to the right.  For a young kid, and I went down there from the time I was a baby all the way until I was driving, getting water from this machine was magical…and we always wondered how they got the bottle upside down without spilling.  Attached to the machine is a holder which held the paper cups for the water.  Lots of memories of the Sacramento Wheel Service...

Map to new house

I have very little memory of the first home I lived in.  The second home was at the corner of Hooke Way and Irvin.  I attended Hollywood Park Elementary School from K through part of 3rd grade…at which point we moved 2 1/2 miles away.  Now remember, this was the early 60’s…times were different.  More than once I walked to school and home…by myself.  Many times my brothers were walking with me…but not always.  Again, times were different…and it was just cross the street and walk to my left until I came to the first street…follow it until ended and take another right until I got to the school.  Coming home was a bit harder because I had to remember to turn left at the first street I came too…but “IF” I forgot, that street ended on Irvin and taking a left would take me right home.

When I entered 3rd grade I was SO HAPPY because I had Miss (whatever her name was), one of the nicest teachers that I think all of my brothers also had.  However, partway through the year we moved 2 1/2 miles away…into a much bigger house.  This happened shortly before I turned 8 years old -- my birthday is late in the year, and just days before the cutoff to hold me back, so I was ALWAYS the youngest in my class until I met Anne in High School who went to the Catholic Elementary School which happened to be right across the street from where we lived on Irvin and Hooke and demanded to be with her older Sister Mary who was in 2nd grade instead of kindergarten.  Anne did so well the first week that they kept her in 2nd with her sister, so she was about 18 months younger than I.  Just so happened that her dad was my Geometry teacher in 10th grade, and when he died of brain cancer the summer after we all graduated from high school, I was one of the pall bearers.

So back to the story of the map.  After school I was told (mom insists this is not what she said, but I insist it is) to walk over to her friends house about one third of a mile from school, and “IF” no one was there, go ahead and walk over to the new house.  SO, that is what I did…walked all the way to the new house…all 2 1/2 miles, where I found NO ONE at home.  Minutes later mom drives up with all the kids in the car while I sat there in front of the large garage door and well…someone was in trouble.  The route on the map is the pathway I remember taking, and although today there is a shorter path, the streets going the shorter way were not streets back then, they were farm fields.  To this day mom has no idea HOW I remembered how to get to the new home.  Frankly, I just knew the way because I paid attention as we drove over there before.  As a 7 year old, I could not tell you why I would think mom would have me walk that far…perhaps it was the stories of how she had to walk to school in the snow crossing railroad tracks when she was a kid.  Whatever the reason, I knew I could walk it, and that is what I did.  Today, the danger is not from the cars…but from the people driving those cars.  It was a much different time back then, that is for sure.

New House from the 60's

It was/is a four bedroom house, three baths (one is just a toilet and sink), laundry room, family room, living room, and in the backyard we put an oval 31’ by 19’ above ground pool with a slide.  We also built a small greenhouse which, until I graduated 6th grade, was strong enough for me to crawl up on top of (yes, day I graduated 6th grade Roger Sandy and I were having a water gun fight…I got on the glass roof like I had many times before, just to come crashing down, and YES, I was in trouble again).  We surrounded the back yard with various fruit and nut trees, we grew vegetables, had a horseshoe pit, and still had room for a lawn to play wiffle ball on…for baseball, football or basketball, we did all that out front, and all the kids in the neighborhood would come over to our house all the time.  I doubt any of the trees or bushes we planted back in the 60's still exist...the basketball hoop and backboard are no longer attached to the roof above the driveway, and the swimming pool is gone replaced by a swing, slide and sand.  The greenhouse is now a shed.  

Yes, things were much different back in those days…


  1. Aren't those old memories fun? Sometimes I'm amazed we can remember so much!!

    1. Glad I saw what you wrote to give me the inspiration to write what I did...

  2. Gosh ... you have a good memory.

    1. Can't remember what I had for breakfast yesterday...but I can remember all this other stuff from the past. lol


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