The Downtown Report: Early April Edition

Getting to know you

This pre-printed, spiral bound phone directory was left behind when we purchased our mid-1960 era house in East Fullerton. Each one listed on the first page is included inside with address and phone number. Pretty good idea, I’m sure they all paid to be in here and for good reason, easy referrals for anyone new in town. It was interesting to note that at least a few places are still around. We spotlighted Bill’s Body Works last year, and there are more listed that still exist. I believe Pick-A-Dilly had to change their name to It’s-A-Dilly due to a trademark of some kind. I wonder if Floyd the Handyman is still being handy.

Seems like Lee’s Hardware was here into the 80’s, there was a hardware store at Post Office Village back then and they knew everything to know about the houses nearby. Need a fuse? What’s the address? Oh yea, here it is. You may have some luck with that at Ace Hardware on Commonwealth, the rest are gone. Towne and Country Liquor store is still there, it’s Town and Country now, and they are listed as having “Unique delivery services, and their motto was “We Plan Your Party With Flair.”

Fullerton Fashion Florist is no longer on Harbor, but you can still go to King’s Flowers on Commonwealth, in business since 1975. Lakeman’s Market on Commonwealth is now La Aguila and Williams Company now houses Bourbon Street and The Bowery Craft Beer and Pizza. If you spot any others let us know, is the place to go.

Calling all model citizens

No, It’s not a new committee, it’s the amazing return of…. MODELMANIA! Not listed in Getting To Know You, but this relic of the past has resurfaced at 232 W Commonwealth with “bargains galore.” The classic sign I recall was “If it is in stock, we have it” but now it’s “please be patient with us while we adjust prices for this Century” and they ain’t kidding. Hours are from 11am to 4pm Thurs-Fri-Sat and you can call them at (714) 992-6194. If you don’t know the area code you may not be a target customer anyway.

Speedy smog

Maybe it’s a reaction to COVID, pushing some to make drastic changes to their lifestyles and leading to erratic behavior.  No doubt you have noticed impatience, risky moves, red light crashes and speeding now more than ever. Some jaywalk across Commonwealth in our downtown even when cars are speeding past, and it’s scary to see. I have heard people say signs should be posted, but they are posted, just not noticed.

Keep in mind, the fine for jaywalking is $196 and with other fees it’s about $250. Large signs warning drivers to watch for legally crossing pedestrians are here and there, including these on Chapman, another street where wannabe NASCAR drivers seem to race by often. Now this…

When this scene popped up, it was easy to imagine it had to do with speeding, but no, it’s a Smog Check station operated by the Highway Patrol.

Never fear, it’s voluntary, free, and the results let you know if you need to take your car in and get any emissions issue taken care of. Even with all of the signs and patrol cars, many drivers had to break hard at the last minute. Take it easy! Don’t let the sound of your own wheels drive you crazy.


The latest SoCo restaurants are going up fast now, as you can see, the second floors are taking shape.

Included below is a current aerial photo as accurate as we could get of the area once covered by the Bastanchury Ranch, as seen in the Early February (year 44 #2) edition of the Observer.

Photo Quiz

This plaque is in the sidewalk front of which Downtown Store? There is a hint in the copy above. Send answer to Mike at

6 replies »

  1. Fun to see Alison Honer.I worked for them doing PR at Honer Plaza in the 1960s. Fun job.

  2. Mike, Spelling Bee! Break vs. brake. You were looking for a more serious flaw when there was none.

    • Yea, spell check or whatever happened, I always make sure no typos get by, good catch this time, but good luck getting me again, I’m always the guy who catches typos, the challenge it on, ha. Your comment had the correction so I did not even check.

  3. What am I missing? Maybe it’s an awkward sentence, or? They were speeding by and at the last minute had to hit their brakes, ignoring or not seeing the signs and flashing lights, unsafe for all of those operating the smog check. Of maybe you love finding the smog checks? Either way, thanks for your comment, I appreciate any and all feedback.

  4. For the smog check many drivers had to ‘brake’ hard at the last minute.

    Sorry Mike. I love finding those. I just couldn’t pass it up.

    • Hey Mike and Martin,

      As editor, I will take responsibility for not catching that spelling error. It has been fixed. Thanks for noticing!