Grandma Gertie always said there's not a savory dish that can't be made tastier by just a touch of tarragon.

Tsunami and Me

Tsunami and Me
too big to escape now....

Friday, January 29, 2016

Turn Back the Hands of Time: Joe Jost's

Still the same...
Last Sunday morning some unknown benefactor left a CD in my apartment complex laundry room, with a little Post-it attached, simply saying "Enjoy." I glanced at the playlist and found myself lost in the '50s. There they were, the tunes from my high school years, sung by Eddie Fisher, Kay Starr, and June Valli. Even Hugo Winterhalter's "Blue Tango," had been included, the melody I had danced to as a sophomore with the Pavlovettes at a Manual Arts High School talent show.

I accepted the donor's kind offer, snatched up the freebie, and and listened to it an hour later on my way to a reunion of folks who belong to the Facebook groups, "Born and Raised in Long Beach," and "Growing Up in Long Beach." The back room of the venerable Long Beach tavern, Joe Jost's, had been especially reserved for us. I hadn't popped in to this Anaheim Street landmark for decades. No worries. It hasn't changed one whit.

Joe Jost's has been serving its special polish sausage sandwiches, pickled eggs, pretzels and schooners of beer since 1924. When I worked in Washington DC at the start of this century, I used to stop in for Happy Hour at pubs twice or three times that old. But here in Southern California we have a way of tearing down anything over 50 years old. I'm glad Joe Jost's has survived. The only modern note I noticed is that the pretzels and eggs now come in an oblong cardboard box, when they used to nestle in big napkins.

Time for disclosure. I was born and raised in Los Angeles, not Long Beach. But I moved here in 1956 at age 18.5, on a transfer from Compton College to Long Beach State College, now CSULB, so I wouldn't be stretching the truth to claim that indeed I grew up here. I bought my wedding gown, for my June 1955 wedding, at May Co. Department Store in Lakewood Center. My husband and I lived in an apartment at 2nd and Obispo, before buying a home in Los Altos. Later I lived on Los Coyotes Diagonal not far from the Traffic Circle. Eventually I owned a condo at 3rd and Temple.

My son was born at Queen Mary hospital. In '56 and '57 I wrote feature articles for the Long Beach State newspaper, the Daily 49er. A gaggle of us used to tote our portable typewriters to Joe Jost's and bang out copy.

Where the wild things are... and the young at heart...

Last Sunday I'd hoped to run into some of my old Jordan students, but that didn't happen. Nonetheless, I reminisced about earlier days in Long Beach with former attendees of Poly and Millikan, who well remembered Atlantic Avenue, back in the day...and night.

On the way home I listened to more of the CD...this time Della Reese, "Don't You Know," followed by Paul Anka, The Browns, Sedaka and other artists I'd not thought about for a while.

Though I agree that it's doubtful that you can go home again, I well know that you can always remember what home used to feel like. And last Sunday, I did, thanks to the organizers of the gathering...and to that anonymous gift giver in my senior living complex. I enjoyed being back in the Fifties, if only for a day.

It's worth taking a few minutes to review the wonderful history of Joe Jost's here:

1 comment:

  1. sometimes music makes us feel fresh by travelling to the past :) nice write up mam:)