Sunday, May 24, 2009

Greetings From Modesto, California

I’m not sure who first came up with the “Greetings From…” postcard format, but through the years countless states and municipalities have authored their own series of these cards to promote the scenic wonders, tourist attractions, modern buildings or other civic landmarks in their local area.

My hometown issued at least 10 of these cards beginning in the mid 1950’s, and I’ve managed to collect the majority. Today, let’s see what’s become of a few of the subjects they covered.

First up, Downey High School at 1000 Coffee Road:




I had the good fortune to find the exact piece of ground where our photographer snapped the original pic:





Modesto High School (my alma mater) came first, but the modern education age came to Modesto in 1952, when Thomas Downey High School opened up. My father Edward was in the first graduating class, and my uncles Gary and Philip followed him down the hallowed halls…



Downey’s most famous alum is George Lucas, who brought us the Star Wars and Indiana Jones movies, as well as American Graffiti, which was based on his memories of being a teenager and cruising the streets of Modesto. His movies of late have been fairly terrible, but I digress…

The Auditorium has been receiving a little facelift over the past year. I was inside about ten years ago and it was like taking a time machine back to the 50’s. I hope it isn’t changed too much...


One last look at a Classic American High School:



Now let’s take a quick detour to the outskirts of town and play a quick 18 at Del Rio Country Club:



I would have enjoyed finding the location for the ‘Now’ shot, but the club has been renovated extensively over the years and I’m fairly certain that the building pictured no longer exists. Besides, I think that Security may have taken exception to my snooping had I tried…


For our final stop, let’s journey a bit south of Modesto, to the growing town of Ceres, where the former Memorial Hospital of Stanislaus County once stood:




The building and grounds are still there actually, but now serve in the role of drug rehabilitation inpatient/outpatient facilities, as well as offices and storage.


I was born in this hospital, and my parents no doubt came through the former main entrance to get checked in:


I bet Old Glory was blowing in the breeze on that cold December day in '68...


The former approach and exit...



A newer section of the hospital features some of that wonderful rock work that was frequently used to grace our homes, coffee shops, and professional offices back in simpler times:


It's funny some of the things you can remember from your childhood.

I can remember visiting my great aunt Lottie when she was a patient in this wing. She was there for a week or so, and the nice lady who shared her room passed away during her stay…


OK, let’s get out of here, before I get too creeped out:



On a brighter note, and just down the road from the old hospital, what I suspect to be the former Sequoia Super Market continues to serve the local populace as La Sequoia (still) Super Market:



To those of you that checked back more than once to see if I had posted again, I apologize for the long delay. Thanks for visiting and I hope you enjoyed the journey.


Take care and I’ll see you down the road…

11 comments:

Raybies said...

Walter check my post about Ray Douglas Branding Iron, 26/09/07
Cheers
Ray

Raybies said...

Your post of 26/09/07

Namowal said...

Thanks for the new posts, Walterworld.
I like the trouble you take to get "before and after pictures" which line up so well.
The 1950s rockwork in that one picture is interesting stuff- ever noticed its often paired with otherwise stark and (then) modern details?

you'd be surprised said...

Old glory was drooping at half mast on that fateful Dec. day in '68... Nice try though.

Namowal said...

I thought of your blog when I saw this then-and-now page about a "Tent of Tomorrow" from the 1964 world's fair
link

Katherine said...

Hey Cousin,

I forgot to give you my e-mail
kathy.carrington@verizon.net

Katherine Elizabeth Walter

Victoria said...

Mr. Walter: I don't know HOW I stumbled upon your site. I was looking for images of metal awnings and there I see a post about my alma mater, Thomas Downey High School! The pictures are great! I graduated in 1981 and the older pictures are much more reminiscent of how I remember my days as a Downey Duck rather than the new ones. It was a great school and I have great memories of being there. Classic 50's architecture and details! Hope they still remain! Thanks for the blast from the past of my hometown!

Victoria Lancaster

walterworld said...

Hello Victoria!

So glad you stumbled upon my site and enjoyed the visit :)

Downey High looks very much the same today as in the years past; I was pleasently suprised to find it so.

My dad and brothers all went there; I was a MoHi Panther rather than a Duck, but always enjoyed attending footbal games that were held in your stadium since we didn't have one.

Hope you eventually found those metal awning pictures!

Take care and thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment...

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