Street Stalking: The Review headline this edition with "Goblins to Stalk Streets in Hallowe'en Festival: Youngsters to plague householders Friday; attend carnivals Saturday."
The "plague" included Sue Ann Merritt in witch hat, black robe and fangs, intoning, "Have you muttered YOUR incantations?" (see photo).
They Never Slept: Still don't. Lemon Grove Soroptimist, the women's club launched in town in 1953, with multiple missions to aid, improve and upgrade, held a Halloween store window-painting contest for ages 12 -18. Categories like Most Frightening, Most Original and Funniest drove local kids to don berets and smocks and make like Picasso.
Mt. Miguel High, St. John of the Cross and Lemon Grove Junior High contributed all of the painters until several shopkeepers begged to be included "before you run out of artists."
That never happens in Lemon Grove (see below).
A trio of Mt. Miguel High juniors, Linda Nystedt, Linda Thompson and Roger Millhouse, won the Grand Sweepstakes Award (movie tickets, lunch, discount coupons) with their chiaroscuro goblins on Chuck's Union Service Station, Broadway.
Phil Kezar (still a hometown resident) and Rod Hitchcock of Mt. Miguel won for Funniest in the senior division by splashing San Diego Glass and Paint with owl-eyed spooks.
A Bash of Their Own: Soroptimist bacchantes, for whom no excuse was or is too flimsy for another party, celebrated the success of the window-painting project with their very own bash on Oct. 30 in costumes that blended brilliantly with the backdrop (see photo).
Soroptimist continues to sponsor the wild and woolly to this very day, to wit:
The 9th Annual Western Round-Up & Chili Cook-Off, coming this Nov. 2 at 6 p.m. in St. John of the Cross Parish Hall, is sure to draw another capacity crowd thrilling to chili with names like "The Flame Thrower." Wear boots, bring $20 and a fire extinguisher, and be guaranteed of a sensational evening.
They Had Brains, Too: Sandwiched between the parties, square dances, beauty contests and anniversaries was this important tidbit:
The Book Section of the Lemon Grove Women's Club will hold a celebration Nov. 7 to mark the first anniversary of the opening of the Lemon Grove Library in 1958 on Pacific Street at Olive. Tea and cookies will be served from 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the clubhouse. Mrs. Hal Crow will chair the event.
You remember, dear readers. Insurance man Ira Durham donated space for the library in his office complex, which still stands on Pacific across from Dirty Harry's Car Wash. Ira is remembered in the Lemon Grove History Mural, just completed on Oct. 24, 2013 in the portrait of his son, Jack Durham, long-time 'Grove business leader.
And those above mentioned artists of whom, thankfully, we never run out? Janne LaValle and Katy Strzelecki painted the the Lemon Grove History Mural between 2005 - 2013. It is the signature public art project of the Lemon Grove Historical Society and it is gorgeous. It's on Pacific Street at Main on the exterior wall of Grove Pastry Shop. It's all about YOU, so, please, go visit.
Tough Kid: Gregory Elsner, 3, Zemco Drive, was run over by a car outside his house, but suffered only minor bruises. Two days later, his mother thought he was going to fall, so rushed to grab him, but kicked him and broke her toe. Gregory wasn't hurt. He went trick-or-treating dressed as a wrestler.
Wish we'd been there.
Super Kids: Sherry Netzley, daughter of Lemon Grove Schools' superintendent Byron Netzley, and Mary Barrett, daughter of Robert and Laura Barrett, were chosen by a 12-person jury at Mt. Miguel High to spend a semester in a European country (TBA).
This student exchange program of the American Field Services was launched in the 'Grove by Rosemary Putnam, then president of the Mt. Miguel PTA. Rosemary, who still resides on Crane Street and is featured in the above mentioned Lemon Grove History Mural, ran the exchange program and was good friends with the Barretts, who joined her in the work of the Friends of the Lemon Grove Library.
One of Robert Barrett's striking paintings was featured in "The Art of Lemon Grove" sponsored by the Lemon Grove Historical Society in the Lemon Grove Library during September, 2013. Mary Barrett Scott was on hand for the "Art Talk" discussion and has donated the painting to the historical society.
Thus does the Grove hang on to, and showcase, its own.
The Road to Cityhood. Lemon Grove wanted recreational facilities from the county, but was at the back of the line. The Board of Supervisors determined to establish a first-ever 4,000-acre "city-like community service district" to finance the facilities. Assessed valuation of the acreage was $25 million.
Some 15 per cent of residents had signed a petition asking the board for the service district (10 per cent was needed). But one per cent in Spring Valley and the La Mesa-Spring Valley School District petitioned to be excluded from the new district, fearing little or no benefit. This delayed the board's vote on the district's boundaries for another week, placing in jeopardy a vote on Dec. 22.
Thus was Lemon Grove constantly beset with competing concerns from adjacent communities during its long march to cityhood.
Roots of Route 125: No sooner was Highway 94 past Lemon Grove completed in 1956 than a Highway 94 Club sprang up and began regular visits to the California Highway Commission in Sacramento.
The Lemon Grove, Spring Valley and Casa de Oro Chambers of Commerce urged extension of Route 94 east through Spring Valley, with a north-south route from Spring Valley across the freeway and north toward La Mesa and El Cajon.
Jacob Dekema, engineer with state highways said the exact path of Route 94 must be determined before Campo Road through Spring Valley could be improved. Then, he noted, the state could begin work on both roads.
Thus did the Highway 94 Club arrive in Sacramento on Oct. 29, 1959 armed with resolutions from the three chambers. As everyone knows, they succeeded. Route 94 continued through Spring Valley east to Boulevard, where it connects to Interstate 8. Campo Road was improved. And that north-south route, known as Route 125, came along in stages between 1999 and 2007.
Plucky bunch, those early chamber members.Halloween Deals: McMahon's Furniture reopened after remodeling with nifty door prizes. Aya Segawa, San Miguel Avenue, won the Westinghouse portable dishwasher and Mrs. Edgar Allee won the Gibson refrigerator-freezer.
Bowlero offered mothers free babysitting of moppets 2 - 8 years old if they bowled weekdays between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Mom had time for this?
Don Diego Market gave away free pumpkins to the first 500 kids who came in with mom or dad on Oct. 29.
Canfield Brakes offered a weekend special: $1.18 got you brake adjustment, brake fluid, brake inspection and a wheel bearing pack.
Food Basket sold pumpkins for two cents a pound, three pounds of apples for 25 cents and a pound of sirloin steak for $1.59.
Daily Bread: In the Review's always-fascinating Legal Notices, the board of supervisors issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) for improvements to 68th Street along Lemon Grove's western border. Here are the per diem wages specified in the RFP (that's daily, not hourly):
journeyman carpenter, $28.80 or $3.60/hour
general laborer, $23.04 or $2.88/hour
concrete mixer operator, $26.96 or $3.37/hour
dump truck driver, $25.24 or $3.16/hour
tractor/bulldozer operator, $31.28 or $3.91/hour
That was 1959. In 2013, journeyman carpenters earn $19/hour; general laborers get $9 - $28/hour; concrete mixer operators draw $12 - $21/hour;
dump truck drivers pull $17 - $19/hour; and heavy equipment operators pull $13 to $35/hour.
And so it went 63 years ago when not even spooks and goblins and merrymaking could keep Lemon Grovians from the serious stuff of daily life.
About this column: Compiled by Helen Ofield, president of the Lemon Grove Historical Society, from newspapers archived at the H. Lee House Cultural Center. Each week, we take a peek at the past with some news and advertising highlights from a randomly chosen edition of the Lemon Grove Review. Ofield was awarded first place in 2013 and second place in 2012 in non-daily column writing from the Society of Professional Journalists.