The news lately has been so disturbing and distressing it’s only natural to retreat into reveries of a more innocent time. At least that’s what I’m doing.
Eureka in the ‘Fifties was very different in feeling than it is now. Going down town to do Christmas shopping was exciting because you could discover what new stores had opened, not just what was the latest to close down. There was a feeling of prosperity in the air and the trains still rumbled along the waterfront, not that we went down there. The Bank of America was the edge of the known world to a kid in those days because we weren’t allowed to go any further toward the Bay, not without an adult. Anyone remember the Sportsmen’s Cafe? The burgers were flavored with the excitement of being close to the Unknown, just catty-corner from Daly’s.
Daly’s could always be counted on for lots of holiday decor, as could the other stores: Bistrin’s, McGaraghan’s, Lerner’s, the Mode O’Day. I loved Sears’ Cafeteria on Fifth Street where Millie Sears dished up chicken pot pie, the all-time comfort food. I remember being with my grandmother and my Aunt Evelyn Olander in a diner called Tiny’s that was on or near the corner of 5th and F. The place was packed with shoppers and the windows steamed against the darkness. We ate spaghetti, which we never got at home, and all was well with the world.
On Fridays there would always be a reason to go to Lazio’s. Friday lunchtime it seemed the whole town was there, including the priests from St. Bernard’s. We watched the ladies slinging crabs and picked up chowder to take home. Eureka was a great place to grow up in. Let’s hope the New Year brings back some of the comfort and joy we knew in days past. Happy Holidays to all!