Continued from Memories Emails ...

Hi Steve et al,
I moved to
Redwood City in 1957 and transferred into Sequoia from Capuchino in San Bruno. It was a social traumatic change since all my childhood friends were back in San Bruno. To my surprise, I found Carol Conway, Bonita Hoefling and Brad Sheldon at Sequoia, kids that were in some of my elementary classes back at Edgemont. So my early memories are from Albert's Market and the El Camino Theater both in San Bruno.

My first Redwood City friends lived near our house in Farm Hills:  Trudie Armitstead, Mike Salinero, Doug Burke, Terry Nurmi, Joe Webb, Mike Kuschmann, and Judy Powers. Doug, Mike and Terry lived up Jefferson and with their cars we hooked up. These guys were a year ahead of me and, through them, I met Bob Stedman, his sister Peggy and her boy friend Butch Montoro.  Bob was dating Bonnie Castiglioni, and her best friend was Bev Welsh. It was through this gang that knew Nina Williams who, by border-line rules, went to Menlo-Atherton. Nina brought Robin Vandervort to some of Bonnie's gatherings and we, Robin and I, became an item. Robin's brother Pete was dating Diane Stoval, so now I knew some of her friends, Bev Moll, etc.

Now in my senior year, Dick Bartolomei, Bob Bregante, Norm Gravelle asked "Why are you still here? Did you stay back?” Since I hung around Stedman, Burke, and Fred Blagg, they thought I was class of '58. Dana Morgan and some of the “car guys” I met in Kleemeyer's auto shop class knew I was class of '59 because I attended in the summer of '58.  Jack Howell and I were in Mr. Poole's drafting class, and we both went on to have careers in related fields. My first job was with Land Title as a mapmaker. Looking back, it seems like a whirlwind time at Sequoia…but I did manage to meet some fine people and got a first stepping stone from Mr. Poole’s class.

And Mr. Kleemeyer inspired my passion of cars -- I still have the '50 Olds 88 I bought in April of '59 from Bill Leonhart!  I'm so looking forward to the 50th reunion.

Larry Ewing (

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Hi Steve, It has really been fun reading all the memories!  Each of them brings back even more memories for me as I'm sure they do for all of us.  It seem like I must have eaten a million burgers at Graf's before walking up and down Broadway at lunch!


I was saddened to hear of Jim Danz's death.  I knew he wasn't well because a friend of mine here (I live in Oregon now) is a friend of his brother, Ken.  It really is a small world!  Another classmate of ours, Lucrezia (Lu) Caraccia, lived a few miles from me,. She passed away a couple of years ago.  I would see her in the grocery store and think she looked familiar.  Then one day I heard someone call her name and it all clicked!  I also think Richard Cloutier lives in Eugene, OR, but I'm not sure.


Enough ......... but thanks for all the forwarding; it has really been fun seeing all the familiar names and catching up with them.  Anyone else living in Oregon?  I'm in Cottage Grove.


Bonnie (Dean) Herron  (


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Hi Steve…Norma Lou (Huskey Carney) has passed a few emails along to me, and I have thoroughly enjoyed the pictures and written memories.  We really aren't 50 years older! There must be some horrible mistake.  I don't know about you, but I'm still 25 (as long as I don't look in one of those dreaded magnifying mirrors. They definitely need to be outlawed.) Where ARE the wrinkle police when we need them? Anyway, Walt and I just celebrated our 41st anniversary, and I'm still teaching. I must be crazy, but I enjoy the little munchkins.


Keep up the good work. Am looking forward to hearing more about and from our classmates.  What a great group.....................Hugs......


Joan Elwood Marwitz (


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I can remember where both the theaters were located, but not the names. The one on Broadway was the nicer of the two, if my memory is right.


I also remember Me and Ed's Pizza!!! They claim to fame was that they used 7 cheeses on their pizzas, I think! I never have been able to figure out what those 7 cheeses would have been though! It was my first experience with "real" pizza, and I LOVED their pizza! Before that the only other I had tasted was a frozen anchovies one and I after tasting it I thought I didn't like pizza! 


But, the best hamburgers were at Graf's on El Camino Real right across the highway from Sequoia! Carolyn's Dad would let us girls come in the back/kitchen/grill area and get our hamburgers hot off the grill. I was impressed that he made his own french fries there, too. He had a machine that even peeled the potatoes! Now I live in farming country in eastern WA State where they grow LOTS of potatoes, and where there are 2 processing plants that make most of the French fries, etc. for McDonald's and Burger King, etc.!


I also miss the bakeries on Broadway; I think there were at least 3 within a block or two from Sequoia's campus! One especially made the best brownies. They all made wonderful almond coffee cakes, I have never found a bakery that made them that way since, or a recipe for one in any of my recipe books.


I grew up living on Brewster Ave. between Alameda where it disconnected for one short block. We used to go the "the little store" on Jefferson Ave., which is where the Emerald Market is now, I think. Later another little market was built right across the street from there in a small strip mall...great places to stop for an ice cream bar or candy bar on the way home from school, or after an afternoon of swimming at the community pool in the summer!

Liz/Betti Heidel Butcher (

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I’ve gotten hooked reading everyone’s comments about their early years living in the Redwood City area and ultimately attending Sequoia.

I will try to keep this short for fear of running everyone’s printer out of ink. Some of you may remember me. I was kind of a motor mouth—still am!

My family moved to Redwood City when I was about 7 years old. I went to John Gill through the fourth grade, then Monroe for 5th and 6th. Hoover for 7th and 8th was the next stop before Sequoia.  Along the way, I always seemed to have a job—paper routes, busboy, yardbird at Edeo Lumber and motorcycle mechanic.

My wife, Toni, and I have been married for 47 years and raised 4 great kids. We lived in Redwood City until I retired in 1992. I worked at Beckman Instrument in Palo Alto for 34 years and retired from middle management. I had a great career. We  now live in Alturas (population 2500), the northeast corner of the state. We keep busy with involvement in community activities, RVing, and our kids and grandkids (7). We frequently are in the Bay Area for family visits—around fishing and hunting, that is.

Reading about Zestos and Jiffy Burger really takes me back. I had really close friends during our years at Sequoia- Jimmy Butler , Rick Arluck, and Werner Schopp. Unfortunately, Jimmy and Werner are no longer with us. Toni and I were able to visit with Bonnie and Rick during our last reunion.

Cruising El Camino was a regular activity with us, usually in Rick or Werner’s Old’s. We seldom used mine since it was sort of a junker. Rick and Werner’s cars were really nice cars. Werner’s had tuck and rolled upholstery ( remember that?). On one of our cruising events I met Toni and two years later we were married.

Now to the burger and drive-in joints:  Jiffy and Zestos were just the beginning. Just up the block was Graffs 19 cent burgers, owned by Carol Graff’s parents. It was directly across the street from the entrance to Sequoia. Two blocks north across El Camino was Rusty’s-home of the 15 cent burger!.Then another block north on the corner of Whipple was the Peanut Stand.Then on to the granddaddy, Sugar and Spice drive in. We spent a lot of memorable hours at these places. Rick, Werner and I just loved to cruise and hang out at these drive ins: Mels, Sugar and Spice, Kings, Marquads, and if we had the time we’d head to San Jose to cruise Spivey’s. Gas was not a problem in those days. We could dig into our pockets and fill our tank, since gas was only 25 cents a gallon.

I remember shortly after Toni and I were married, Werner came by all excited about a new movie called “American Graffiti”. He said it was about us! We got in the car and went to see it. I have a copy and enjoy watching it when I want to go back.

Toni and I are looking forward to the reunion and visiting with old friends.

Keep the memories coming…………..

Curt (and Toni) Talbott (

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Hi Steve,

I am really enjoying reading all the comments and memories from our classmates so I thought I'd add mine to the list. Here goes...

I was born in
Redwood City and attended Hoover for the 7th & 8th grades and, of course, Sequoia after that. My dad, Ken Fried, ran the old Flying-A service station at James Ave and El Camino next to the campus (near Terremere Field) until 1958 or so when he moved it to Woodside Road.  My sister, Pat, graduated from Sequoia in 1961. In fact, both our Mother and Grandmother are also Sequoia's in the blood, I guess. ;-) I have a son, Ken Fried, who now lives in Colorado

After graduation and a stint in the US Navy, I married a Carlmont grad and got transferred to
Raleigh, NC
where we have lived happily for the past 40+ years. I spent the first 18 years as a design engineer for a switch manufacturer then started my own business writing custom business software. I semi-retired from that in 2006 and Susan and I are now traveling around this fine country in our RV as much as we can. When
we're not traveling, I enjoy playing old-time and bluegrass music.

We've been to many of the reunions and are really looking forward to the 50th (especially since there was no 45th) and seeing everyone again. I encourage all classmates to attend...what a hoot! See y'all in '09.

John Fried, Knightdale, NC (,m)

Sequoia/Redwood City Memories, June 2008


Welcome back, everyone.  Let’s begin with Redwood City’s “other” theatre:


(Stay tuned:  Right after I send out this edition of “Memories,” I will be sending out a second email that should be fun for many of you.  My thanks to John Tognoli and his brother Robert for making it available.)


Now, back to that “other” theatre:



Hi Steve, I will have to admit that the main memories I have of theaters in RC was the Bay Shore Drive-In Theater, but that was indeed a different life time. 


Lorin Myers

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You know that Redwood City had a drive-in theatre? It was called the Redwood Drive Inn.  Right?  Out over by Whipple?  Wrong, or what.  Let me know.  


Dee (Daloe) DeBenedetti Barmore


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Hi Steve--really fun remembering the theatres. I wonder why I am the only one to mention the drive-in?  Am I the only that went there? (Well, hopefully you had a date, Mike!)  As I remember, it was just across the freeway (101?) after taking Whipple. Maybe it was called the Starlight. Maybe someone can chip in on this one.


(Also, I know that Yoshi went to Stanford, but I think I remember seeing Bill Ray there, and maybe also Ted Hitchcock. If anybody knows where there are, I would like to correspond with them.)



Mike Kuschmann.


PS - Does anyone remember Mr. Spellinberg?  He would go to Fox Friday nights, and yell at the kids to "keep the volume down."


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I think Mike asked about the drive-in. It was the Starlite??  And I think it was in San Carlos or Belmont??? Oh, what memories that brings to mind.  Back in the day few of us had cars, I had a ‘49 Chevy and we would get as many as we could in the trunk and sneak them into the drive-in. And, of course, every Fri, & Sat cruise Sugar & Spice and then go down to Kibby’s and get a hot fudge sundae.                                                    


Bonnie Selvitella


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I think it was the Starlite Drive-In just across Bayshore Freeway off of Whipple Ave, as I recall.


John Fried


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And, now, a word about the trivia quiz, which was nailed by most of you (especially those of you who checked out the ads at the back of the yearbooks! No fair!).  I’ll just give the answers I was looking for…and include your other answers and personal comments rather than listing the duplicate responses. Very few got Stickney’s “Hick’ry” House, preferring “Hickory.”


Cheaper by the Dozen….complete the blanks:


1.  LESLIE Salt Company

2.  FRANK’S Tannery

3.  Redwood City TRIBUNE (newspaper)

4.  SEQUOIA OR KAUFMAN’S Men & Boys (two possible answers…same place, though!)

5.  FERRIS Miles Dodge (his daughters were a year or so ahead of us:  THEY WERE JOCYLN AND CECE, REMEMBER?)

6.  Blue RIBBON Ice Cream

7.  Keith COLE, Photographer to RC Elementary Schools

8.  DOWN’S (BY THE RR STATION ON JEFFERSON) & B&D Sports Shop (two possible answers; different stores)

9.  Flowers by SAT’S, where thousands of Jr. Prom wrist corsages were purchased!


11.  SUGAR & SPICE Drive-In Restaurant, where we all “cruised.”

12. Stickney’s HICK’RY House

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Some selected responses to the trivia quiz for more detail, more memories, & more stories:


2. S.H. Frank Tannery

4. Schneider's M&B

5. Ferris Miles Dodge (Was Irene his daughter?--our class?  --  NOPE, see above.)

8. Downs Bike & Sport Shop

11. A&W Drive In


Glenn Joesten, Yreka


Actually, it was the S.H. Frank Tannery--we have a painting one of Mom's friends (Katherine (Wheaton) Frank--also a Sequoia grad--Class of 1935) painted.  My dad was disappointed that we were up here in Yreka when it burned--it had been the fire waiting to happen for years and must have been quite a show.  As I remember, it had been shut down for years. When I was on the RC Police Reserve (1962-65), I recall many trips out there to run transients out.


Where was "Sugar & Spice"--I don't recall it--I remember "Kibby's" down somewhere between Roosevelt and Five Points on ECR.  Trying to remember the name of the restaurant at Whipple & ECR--Italian name but not an Italian restaurant--coffee shop or such--Magniani's or ?? (Yep, I think it was Magnani’s, later The Peanut Stand,  a hamburger joint, really…tables were in the back of the parking lot next to the RR track…an auto supply store was next to its parking lot.  Steve)


That's the one--I came close on one name-- not to be confused with the "Peanut Farm"--Bar out at the west end of Jefferson at Canada Rd.—My folks almost bought land in that area in 1946--then found the house on Avenue del Ora.  


Peanut Farm story:

A fellow who worked with my Dad at Peninsula/City Title kept getting calls from those who had drunk too much there--wanting a Yellow  Cab to get home.  "Herb" couldn't convince them that they had the wrong number.  So, he would say he'd have a cab out there in a half hour or so, then hang up.  Finally he got a call from Yellow Cab--they had gotten enough complaints after these guys had sobered up and checked at the Peanut Farm--and found "Herb's" number written on the wall by the pay phone.  They apologized and made certain they had the correct number there. 


 Last time I went up 280, the building was still there--




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A note from beautiful, downtown Gridley:


OK Steve, Here are my guesses - well, some of them I looked up - my memory is beyond redemption. (Nevertheless, perfect score, including Hick’ry!).


I am thoroughly enjoying all the memories that everyone is contributing.  I thought I'd throw a few out there.  I came to Redwood City in the fourth grade from San Francisco.  My former school had been a three-story rectangular building with a big yard - 1/2 for the boys and 1/2 for the girls, and no one was allowed to cross the line.  My first day at John Gill I thought I'd died and gone to school heaven.  It was such a wonderful place with the many terraces that we could all play on and the wonderful castle-like main building.  The first day my teacher introduced me to the class and asked them if anyone lived on Brewster Ave.  Betti Heidel raised her hand and was given the assignment to walk me home.  Good thing, I would have gotten lost.  We became fast friends and have remained so all these years.  Then in the sixth grade, our school got "inspected" for compliance to the Field Act.  That is the law that requires schools to be "earthquake proof".  My dad was one of those people because that was what he did.  Within a short time, our school's main building was closed, most of the school was on double session and the sixth grades were separated.  One class remained at John Gill and our class was transferred to an empty classroom far, far away.  We spent the rest of the year at Roosevelt (I think that was the name) and feeling like outcasts, we became pretty close as a class.  The next time we saw our school, the roof had been flattened and it had lost it's castle look.  I was mad at my father for a very long time for that!!


Most of my enduring memories have to do with being involved in music.  Treble Clef and singing in the halls at Christmas, A Capella choir and the music days at Cal and COP.  Singing Amen, Amen with 1800 other voices as we left the auditorium and climbed onto our buses for the ride home. For those of you who remember Mr. Clark, I "found" him a couple of years ago living in Paradise and we got together for breakfast at Black Bear in Gridley, where I've lived since 1970. (Gridley, not Black Bear).  He is well into his 80's now, snow white hair, and still as active as ever.  


I also remember eating lunch at Graf's.  Imagine, a hamburger and drink for a quarter. Wow. A quarter bought a lot in the 50's...a loaf of bread, a quart of milk, entrance to the movies, lots of gas, entrance to the swimming pool on a hot summer day.

I hope you've considered putting all the memories together for our 50th.  It is so much fun to read them.


Ione Cheesebrough Cunningham


Ione’s Chaper II, in response to my email:


Well, Steve, there is a chapter two to this memory.  Sixth grade is over and we've moved to McKinley.  Guess what? McKinley fell under the same ax as John Gill and a part of the main building is closed for remodeling to comply with the Field Act.  Four of the 7th grades are being housed at the high school in the bus garages and, yes, I'm in one of them.  For those of you who remember the bus garages, thank my dad, again.  They were dark and cramped and were like....bus garages.  But we did get to open the big garage door on hot days and get out for lunch a few minutes early because we had to walk a block to the cafeteria, so it wasn't too bad.  However, those same bus garages, fixed up a little more, became classes for the high school after McKinley was through with them so we got to enjoy the experience all the way through high school.    Ione 


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Bonnie Selvitella, in response to my question about her “whereabouts”:


Hi Steve, No I don't live in RWC, I wish I did. I moved to Jacksonville OR, in 1971 It’s an old historic town about 6miles east of Medford . It's a beautiful valley, was a great place to raise my 2 children… population was about 1800; everyone knew everyone, kids, cats and dogs. Mayberry, for sure. Lots of fun, but as everything changes, so has Southern Oregon.  My son & family live on Long Island, NY.  They have 5 children. My daughter has 2 children. She is, as we speak, on her way from NY moving to Santa Rosa CA. I'm driving down to RWC to wait for her. I'm very happy about her moving back to the West Coast.


Bonnie Selvitella


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OK, Steve…You are challenging us!!  My 'younger' husband has a great memory of RWC. (Class of '60).


I love reading all the news and having memories jogging through my head!  Just found the 7th & 8th grade pictures from Hoover School.  As you know, I was one of the Central School Kindergarten class, before we moved to Monroe School during 1st grade!  I grew up on D Street, next door to Patty DeGiovanni!  When we were kids, D Street was the last block in North RWC!!  There were so many kids in our neighborhood!  We had to take the bus to Hoover School, because McKinley was full, and we were 'across the tracks'!  We walked to town to go to the shows (Sequoia/Fox and the Redwood), and I took the bus from town down to Spring Street to see my cousin, Ruth Hobbs.  (By the way, she passed away in Jan. 2005.) All the time I was in high school, I never had a car of my own.  Had to use Mom's '53 Ford station wagon or my dad's pick-up!  We did have lots of fun!!!!


Looking forward to more updates! 


Shirley (Meredith) Souza (


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Hi Steve,

Just wanted you to know that your efforts are much appreciated here.
I enjoy reminiscing through the messages.

I live in Bothell, WA, about 20 miles north of Seattle. I'm a licensed merchant marine chief engineer; used to sail the high seas, but have been employed by Washington State Ferries for the past sixteen years. I have also owned and operated a boatyard and a Signal service station (now that dates me!). Married and divorced (one each), a wonderful daughter and two granddaughters.

Sequoia Men & Boys Shop was where I received my first "Charge-A-Plate" credit card. It was stamped steel, not unlike a military dog tag. I still have it. (Unbelievable, Bob!)

Best Regards,

Bob Rooks


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8.  Down’s (by train station) and B&D (El Camino near Roosevelt) Sports Shop. (The “D”was for Dini, Sandy Dini’s father).  (I didn’t know that, Pete! And you were one of the very, very few to remember Down’s!)


Pete Savoia



Hi Steve,

Wow, I can't wait for Memories V!! See my comments below (and edit as
you see fit. ;-) and here's a few more trivia blanks to ponder...

13. ___ & ___ Television on Perry & Brewster
14. _________
Pontiac on El Camino Real
15.  The _________ Stand at Whipple and El Camino

[Answers: 13. A&K, 14. Weltner, 15. Peanut]

That was fun...and brought back some fun memories as well. Thanks.


John Fried


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