Thursday, March 4, 2010
A Walk Down Memory Lane in Hawthorne
Post by the Hawthorne Hawkman. Original photographer unknown. Photos of photos by the Hawthorne Hawkman. Pat Carney and Jules Inda changed photos into slides for the Hawthorne Neighborhood Council. The photos originally appeared on the Hawthorne Voices blog.
Last summer, Anne McCandless of the Jordan Area Community Council called me up and said, "I've got something that belongs to you," in a rather mysterious tone. Usually, my first question after a statement like that is, "How much is the ransom?"
What Anne had, though, didn't cost me a dime, and really it belongs to the Hawthorne neighborhood. Somehow a poster board with photos taken in 1974 of Broadway Avenue in Hawthorne had made its way into the basement of the Jordan offices. Anne was just returning it to us.
The photo above is the full poster board. Right away I contacted the ubiquitous NoMi photographer Pat Carney. I explained what I wanted done with the photos, which was to have them duplicated in such a way that it would be something of a rolling slideshow that would walk viewers along West Broadway. "Like the background in the Yogi Bear cartoons when he's running away from the park ranger." Pat and Jules either knew what I was talking about or wisely decided to refrain from asking about any medication I might be taking. Their slideshow is here. It takes a longish time to load, so I recommend opening it in another window.
The rest of the pictures are below...
I'm especially interested whatever anyone can share about what the avenue was like then. Were the businesses that were there better or worse for the neighborhood? The design is different thirty-six years ago, but what can we learn from that?
Friedman's may be the only business in these photos that's still around.
Take a look at the price of gas!
Can you name the three things that are missing from this picture of Merwin Drugs? (The correct answers are: a liquor store, a check-cashing outlet, and drug dealing. "Butt fence" will also be accepted.)
Now we get to perhaps my favorite part. This is what the Hawthorn (sic) Crossings strip mall looked like thirty-six years ago. Well, technically it didn't exist yet, except perhaps as a mere twinkle in an incompetent developer's eye.
I'm also wondering if anyone has crime statistics from this era to compare especially this block or so of Broadway to its current condition. It's easy to look at the differences between 1974 and 2010 and say, "Well of COURSE things were better then." But were they really? Inquiring minds want to know.
For now at least, let's enjoy the memories.