Escondido, CA
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At least we have sanitized supermarkets now

ED GALLO SPEAKS

OK, now this is getting serious. I’m talking about the impacts from the COVID-19 virus. Last week I was due for a haircut only to find out that the shop owned by the woman who has been cutting my hair for 25 years will “due to the COVID-19 we will be closed until further notice.” All of a sudden I see myself regressing to the ‘70’s when my hair was down to my collar as was the style. The only difference is that back then I had a balance of top and back hair. Wish I still had my leisure suit, although I did save some wiiiide ties—but not a good look without a wide lapel jacket.

However, another upside to this current pandemic is that we will now have sanitized supermarkets like never before. The other day I went to my local Von’s market and had to wait in line outside since they were limiting how many customers were allowed inside. As two people left two new shoppers were allowed in. Then while inside I noticed red tape markers on the floor at the checkout. The markers were six feet apart where we were to wait in line. Not like before being a foot apart.

The real upside is I saw numerous employees cleaning and sanitizing every shelf and piece of equipment including the conveyor belts at the check stands. Hopefully all markets are taking the same advantage to long overdue deep cleaning. And just coincidentally, this is the Spring season and time for Spring cleaning. The cashier even had a bottle of hand sanitizer for our convenience.

Oh, this is rich: Recently I heard that gasoline prices in California may reach a low of $2.00 per gallon as a result of disagreements between major oil producing countries. Think about it. With the pandemic creating so many unemployed people or people working from home to keep “social distance” to what destination people will be driving? I have family members who are now working from home and not driving anywhere—using no gas. Have you looked at the traffic lately or have you been to Grand Avenue? Last Friday afternoon I think I saw perhaps six people downtown.

How about a few more “Did you knows?” Did you know that James Cagney, now his family, owned the Escondido Square Shopping Center at Escondido Blvd and Washington Avenue? Something interesting about that center is the anchor store at the west end of the center has been an auto parts store since the beginning. When I moved here in 1973 the store was Checker Auto Parts and today is Auto Zone.

Some other celebrity property owners in Escondido included Jack Benny’s sidekick Dennis Day, who owned the old JC Penney building on Grand. Subsequently, the Mingei Museum occupied the space after Penny’s move to the Mall and is now owned by John Paul the Great Catholic University. Noted cartoonist Walter Lantz, who made Woody Woodpecker famous, owned the old H Johnson building on 2nd Avenue. A few years ago the Lantz family sold the building to the university. This was a departure from Lantz’s real estate philosophy, which was to be a buyer not a seller.

You probably don’t know that in 1977 Bill Asti, who owned the old Fireside Restaurant, was asked to cater the meals for the David Frost interviews in Temecula with former President Richard Nixon. The Fireside was also the site of a reserved booth for the late former Escondido Mayor Doug Best. It is said that Doug Best never ate alone while conducting important city centered discussions. Years ago, after Doug left city government, I asked to be seated at the Mayor’s booth. As I recall, the only employee there who knew which one was a long time bartender. A nice brush with history and a good meal. Oh, in the late ‘70’s I played my first video game there Pong,

Observing personalized plates keeps me amused as I drive. This one is rather obvious NAUGRAD not sure about HLWEN13.   

*Note: Opinions expressed by columnists and letter writers are those of the writers and not necessarily those of the newspaper.

3 responses to “At least we have sanitized supermarkets now”

  1. Carole Boyce says:

    I too am amused and curious about personalized plates and have an extensive Paper list of plates I’ve seen, pictures of many and a growing power point I can show.

  2. Gabriella Jones says:

    You have a lot of historical references that some of us that didn’t grow up here may find confusing, but seems interesting. You should write more historical information about the town and would love to see pictures of what the buildings looked like & what is currently occupying the site.

  3. Bill Martin says:

    Sorry, Ed, but when you moved here in 1973 that westernmost store at the Escondido Square was a Thrifty. Remember those 5 cent ice cream cones? Checker Auto Parts was one or two tenants to the east. Thanks for the memories.

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