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Old 01-16-2012, 11:15 PM
 
Location: Bay Area, Calif.
2,431 posts, read 2,979,334 times
Reputation: 2592

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I am enjoying a similar thread about Los Angeles history, and thought I would also share with Sacramento CD members who have lived here long enough to remember life in Sacramento back in say, the 1960's and 70's? I'd be very interested to know what it was like in simpler times, paticularly before the sprawl and what I've heard as the [negative] Bay Area/SoCal influence set in...??
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Old 01-17-2012, 08:57 AM
 
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I lived here in the 1970s and there was already plenty of sprawl here by then--it really took hold in the 1950s, with the first shopping mall opening in 1946 (Town & Country Village) and then four more in rapid succession during the 50s (Country Club Center and Plaza, Arden Fair and Florin) then by the 70s Sunrise Mall and Birdcage Walk. Each one became the anchor for suburbs, following highways or major streets through the unincorporated county.

A lot of folks now romanticize the 1960s and 70s on K Street--I certainly have fond memories of climbing on the "tank trap" structures as a kid--but the reality was a bit more grim, and grimy. What I didn't notice as a kid was that many of the funny old people downtown were the population kicked out of Old Sacramento a few years earlier--some simply retired seniors of little means, some migrant farm workers, and a lot of just plain ol' winos. There were a few more beautiful old theaters, but even by then many were closed and vacant, the open ones featured second-run films, kung fu films, and about half of the operating ones showed pornography. Until the late sixties we still had a burlesque house, the Alameda, formerly the Nippon Theater. There were also a lot of ladies with short skirts walking on the street downtown waving at cars, another concept I didn't quite grasp as a small child, although the main locations for that activity were farther down J Street and down by Southside Park at 4th and T ("I saw your mama at 4th and T" was cause to start a fight for Sacramento kids in the 1970s.)

Oak Park in the 1960s saw a lot of turmoil--the newly relocated African American community moved a lot of its social institutions from downtown to Oak Park lock, stock and barrel, but moving a neighborhood against its will is generally disruptive. There was a lot of political activism during the Civil Rights era, although mostly in a quieter fashion than major cities, until the Oak Park Riot in June of 1969, which was basically instigated by the Sacramento police department against the Sacramento chapter of the Black Panther Party, ending with Panther headquarters riddled with bullet holes. Oak Park still bears the scars of demolition done in that era, on the basis that a vacant lot provides less cover for rioters than abandoned buildings.

I don't buy the idea that the past were "simpler times"--that's mostly a matter of people forgetting the details, or choosing to ignore them. The past was just as complex as the present, but in different ways.
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Old 01-17-2012, 12:36 PM
 
1,321 posts, read 2,286,124 times
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Thanks MOD CUT for kicking off the thread. Very interesting perspective. Nostalgia apparent in many people's recollection of history is a very interesting phenomenon. I'd not read much about the riots in Oak Park, and a quick bit of googling brought me a story by Mr Burg himself for the Midtown Monthly: A Brief History of Oak Park | Midtown Monthly

Last edited by NewToCA; 01-17-2012 at 05:11 PM.. Reason: let's stick to CD names, please
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Old 01-17-2012, 07:05 PM
 
Location: Bay Area, Calif.
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Yes thanks again W.Burg. I often wonder how certain things got started as I stroll and ride around town. Like the Maydestone Building, The Old Governor's Mansion and and that huge house at S/E 22nd and F evoke plenty of curiosity whenever I pass them.
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Old 01-18-2012, 09:29 AM
 
Location: Sacramento
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Not to sidetrack the thread, but one could argue that Sacramento started sprawling around 1890.
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Old 01-18-2012, 12:30 PM
 
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I also have read the nostalgia thread for S. Cal and wished there was one for the Sacramento area. I moved to Auburn from the Bay Area in 1967 as a teenager and fell in love with the Sacramento of those days.

I had a janitorial service in Auburn, but had clients in Sac, where I also bought my supplies.

One of my fond memories is of the Perry Boy's Smorgy on Fulton. $1.00 for lunch and $1.25 for dinner.

I did live in the Country Club apartments on Watt Ave. in 1973 for a few months and just really loved the environment in the Arcade area at that time.
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Old 01-19-2012, 10:33 AM
 
Location: Bay Area, Calif.
2,431 posts, read 2,979,334 times
Reputation: 2592
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Ozo View Post
Not to sidetrack the thread, but one could argue that Sacramento started sprawling around 1890.
I think this fits in well enough. Thank you Mr. Ozo.
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