Good job, Frank! I recall so many of the places you mentioned.
When my husband and I bought our first house on 46th Ave near Ulloa in 1956, he had to have a full set of tools, including auto repair tools, too. We went to that Sears you talked about and invested in a couple of tool sets - and what an investment they turned out to be. He was very handy and could fix almost anything. He had even rebuilt his first car's engine when going to college. Fast forward to the early '80s when our garage was burglarized and what a haul they got. Almost all those tools were gone among a lot of other stuff. He knew every tool that was gone. These were Craftsman tools, 100% replaceable, and our insurance covered them all.
My library was the one on 37th Ave near Geary and I was there very often in the '40s.
The funeral home the family used was McAvoy & O'Hara - forget exactly where they are - but they were in business from way back, too.
Sad to hear the Sugar Bowl is no longer in business - the father of a fellow we went to Jr and High School with owned it for many years. Another schoolmate's family owned the delicatessen next to the Balboa theater - great dill pickles. And you are right about Hermann's potato salad - none better.
To add to the list, though, was Will King's on Geary near the Alexandria N/E 18th Ave; The Flying Saucer on the south side of Geary near 27th Ave - a very popular place with the after-school bunch; Balboa Street businnesses around 37th to 40th included Littleman's Market, drug store, hardware store, dime store, jewelers, the Hockey Haven (bar) and Dom Dimaggio's (bar), Bank of America, an insurance office, Walter's Creamery, and, sorry I don't remember the brand of the gas station on the south/east corner of Balboa & 39th. St. Thomas the Apostle church and school at 39th-40th whose convent N/W corner of 40th, after the Sisters left was remodeled as the Archbishop's residence. It's impossible to name them all. It's amazing that you can include so many long-time-ago places, Frank. Thanks for the trip.