Montclair is a vibrant neighborhood at the end of Park Blvd. and the foot of the Oakland Hills in the SF Bay Area. When I was a kid (long before Hwy. 13) there was no sign announcing “Montclair Village,” it was just plain old Montclair, finding its way back from a war-slowed economy. There was a grocery store (La Salle Market then Roberts Market), Larry Dooty’s Signal Gas Station, a few beauty parlors, a neat bakery (Ogilvie’s), a drug store with soda fountain (Rexall?), a pretty fancy restaurant (Sanfords), a men’s clothing store (Jefferies), a fancy-shmancy dress shop, a paint store (Raimondi’s), a home decorator store (across the street from the paint store), a fish market, a place where Dub Johnson (played with the Straw Hat Review) gave piano lessons and his artist wife painted, and a bookstore which lent books as well as sold them. Montclair was rural; the Sidney Chowns still kept horses on Scout Road and the Sacramento Northern ran along the upper part of the area and into Sheppard Canyon. I was still taking the old No. 77 (Key System) to school in Glenview before the trees came down, Hwy 13 came in and those pesky PARKING METERS became permanent fixtures in what is now called MONTCLAIR VILLAGE.
That brings me to the reason for this blog. Montclair village and all those who shop there have the great good fortune to have a GREAT GOOD PLACE for BOOKS at its cultural heart. I just received the following announcement from Kathleen (owner) and want to pass it on. Please support her store. GGP is a treasure, but the damned parking problems in the Village are making it difficult for customers to reach the store. Gentrification has it costs, but Montclair will continue to be a vibrant neighborhood if all of you who live in the area continue to support Kathleen and her excellent staff. Here’s the message: