02/22/05 - posted by Joy Walsh
The Ingleside was a wonderful neighborhood to grow up in during the 40's and 50's. It was a charmed era. I lived on Holloway Avenue between Jules and Faxon. There were three markets on Holloway between Ashton and Jules (Selmi's, Marty's and Mrs. Nealsons (?sp). And Jack's Ice Cream parlor had the best ice cream and milk shakes. Ocean Avenue had a meat market with a sawdust floor, the corner hand-made candy store, two delicious bakeries, The Five and Dime store, The Star and Gene's markets and the best Donut Shop on Ocean and Miramar (I think). The library was on Ashton and we were in the summer reading program getting a star on the wall for every book you read. Roy's Gas Station on Ocean and Jules filled your gas tank, checked under the hood, washed the windows, checked the air in the tires and had time to chat and catch up on the latest neighborhood news. The Ingleside Police station had a barn in the back for their horses. There was a little dance studio on Jules where I took Tap and other dances. There was also a studio on Ocean Avenue where I took ballroom dancing. We had to wear white gloves to class. I attended St. Emydius School from 1947 - 1956. My neighborhood friends also attended. Our life revolved around school and church. Fr. Motherway was the pastor when I was a child. The Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondalet taught at the school. We received a wonderful education and faith instruction from dedicated nuns and priests. There were 50 kids in each class and two classes per grade (kindergarten through eighth grade). St. Emydius had a wonderful gym and we participated in all the sports and social programs (Fiestas, dances etc). The whole school learned folk dancing. We had a very popular teen club (the Doran Club) that was attended by kids from outside the parish as well. We would have a business meeting followed by dancing to popular songs of the day. Rock and Roll was in its infancy and we thought we were hot stuff copying the dances from American Bandstand on TV. There was a record shop on Ocean Avenue where we could listen to the newest 78rpm records in little booths. We have had three St. Emydius class of '56 reunions. Many of us get together regularly and many keep in touch via email. Our 50th class reunion is next year. It coincides with the 100th Anniversary of the Great Earthquake. We're planning a reunion on April 17 and going to Lotta's fountain at 5:18 on April 18. After school and on Saturdays we hung out at Farragut, the public school at Faxon and Holloway. There was always a director on hand who passed out balls and refereed our pickup games of basketball, softball and volleyball. We had teams that played other City playground teams during the summer for medals. We took busses or streetcars to the opponent's playground. There were no parents present, and we had a great time. It was a wonderful neighborhood and you could walk home safely from the streetcar or bus late at night. We went to the El Rey theater on Saturdays and, for a quarter, you would see a newsreel, cartoon, a western serial and the main attraction with a nickel left over to buy candy. I bought Ju-Ju Bees caused they would last the longest. It was a beautiful theater with loges and a balcony. My girlfriends and I took skating lessons at the Phyllis and Harris(?) Legg Ice Skating rink on Ocean Ave. We also spent a lot of time at the Red Roof consuming french fries and cherry cokes. I don't think I ever ate the jello squares that were on display behind the counter though. I attended Mercy High School on 19th Avenue. We walked when it wasn't raining, cutting through Ingleside Terrace. We took the "K" streetcar "Downtown" to shop and you wore hat and gloves. We would have lunch at Woolworth's on Powell & Market at the fountain downstairs, then catch a movie at the beautiful Fox or Paramount theaters. We were not allowed to talk to the sailors that were always on Market Street. Christmastime Downtown was wonderful, with beautifully decorated windows at the department stores, especially the Emporium's. The Big E also had roof rides, a small ice rink and Santa Claus on the top floor. We rode our bikes from Ingleside to the Zoo, Ocean Beach, Playland, Skateland, or Golden Gate Park. If we didn't ride bikes, there was always a streetcar (the K) or a bus close by that could take you anywhere you needed to go. It cost a nickel each way or you could buy a punchcard with 10 rides on it. The old streetcars had cow catchers on the front. The conductors talked to you while you rode. The only thing wrong with the Ingleside was the weather.
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