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Tuesday, June 9, 2009


In response to the May 17, 2009 posting on this blog of The Museum of the San Fernando Valley, Beverly Graf wrote:

"What I can tell you is on the page with the Panorama City pictures, that you identified the first picture as probably a school. The next 3 photos I believe are Panorama Market.

Before my family moved from Burbank to Northridge in August of 1951, we used to drive out to the new "Super Market" every Friday night. Usually, my sister and I stayed in the car and if we were good, we always got an ice cream cone ( we usually fought like normal siblings, but the moment we saw Mom and Pop, we were angels....that was our pact :-). I can still see the area around the Market as viewed from the parking lot. It was just fields, no other stores, even Thrifty's, it came later.

The market was so big, compared to Bill's Ranch Market in Burbank, where we usually shopped before this market opened.
The meat and fish counter were along the east wall of the store (parking lot side). Then going west were the aisles of canned goods, the shelves ran from north to south, including a coffee grinder to grind the bag of coffee beans you would purchase. I always loved it when I found a stray coffee bean to suck on. The produce section must have been on the west side of the store. On the north side....across from the check out counters was a sundries area that included toys.

The meat counter ran the entire length of the east side from the entrance south and included not only fresh meats, but seafood as well. When my parents had the money they would get jumbo prawns.

Later came the dime store and a hardware store. When we moved in 1999, the hardware store was still there.
If you look at the picture of Panorama City in the 50's you will see how the sign above the market being constructed matches the market in the 60"s

Has anyone remembered Burts Market, on Saticoy St. in Reseda, just west of White Oak? It said it had the coldest beer in the Valley, had a great candy area for kids, including dill pickles in wax and kept accounts on cards ( like recipe cards) that you could settle on payday. I've got check stubs for my parents paying their bills in the 50's.
Also, in the same area, there used to be a seasonal stream that ran down White Oak, where we would go and collect tadpoles. At about that same time west of White Oak and north of Saticoy was a walnut orchard, as was on the southeast corner of Saticoy and Louise, before it became a Ralphs Market.

Long ago and far away, but a wonderful place to grow up in.
Thank you so much for the work you are doing.
Beverly Graf"

The San Fernando Valley, in the heart of the Creative Capital of the World, deserves a great Museum of history and culture.


Jacqueline said...

Hello Beverly

I just by chance found this website because I "googled" Burt's market. I was born in 1950 and my childhood and my parents bought a "tract" house on Saticoy Street when I was about 3 or 4. I went to Lorne Street school. My childhood memories are of Burt's market and how he used to measure all the kids in the neighbourhood on their birthdays... the heights were marked on the wall and we were allowed to choose a present on our birthday. I also remember very vividly the tadpoles - I used to keep them in a jar on my desk and watch them grow.

It was a wonderful place to grow up... magical !! We moved in 1963 to the east coast and in 1967 to Europe (Belgium) where I have lived ever since. Such fabulous memories - thanks for bringing them back !


Scott said...

Hello, I'm new to the San Fernando Valley but my family is not. My mom was born and raised here and I was never aware of it's history. Thanks for the great story. I live here now because I'm a student at CSUN, working towards a degree in film production. If it's not asking to much would you please take a look at a short film I made in one of my classes. It's just the first cut so it's rough. It's all about CSUN's Outdoor Adventure Club and the things they offer to the students. Thank you.