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2 November 2017

I had the shock of my life this afternoon.  I was on my way to a dental appointment and passed by the spot where the Shell station where I have bought my gas for the past 43 years used to stand and saw this:

Whaaaa?  I had just been by it two days ago on my way to Atria and there was no sign that it was about to be demolished.  After my appointment with Cindy, I drove back and just kept looking at that empty spot.

In the bottom photo I am parked in front of what was once the attached car wash.  I just can't believe the whole thing was leveled in 2 days!  Where am I going to buy my gas now?  (Perhaps the Standard station across the street...?)

In a town this size, there are many landmarks by which we locate ourselves, many of them landmarks that no longer exist.  A good case in point is the Arden-Mayfair lot, a city-owned block located just south of Central Park. At the time, the park covered only the block located just south of Fifth Street, and Fourth Street ran between B and C streets. South of Fourth was the long vacant lot. In simple terms, the debate offered city voters a clearcut choice: more retail shops or more open space.  When we moved here in 1973, we learned that there would be an Arden-Mayfair shop built on that spot. It was the late 1980s before they finally gave up on Arden-Mayfair and connected the empty lot to the existing Central park.  But I still think of that end of Central Park as the Arden-Mayfair lot.

I never pass by the old Victorian mansion in central Davis without remembering that it used to be the Art Center, before the new modern Art Center was built on the other side of town.

I still miss the beautiful landscaping of a house on B Street, but the woman who kept it looking like a show place died and they eventually tore her house down and built an apartment building there.

I don't know what people will do here if Baskin-Robbins ever goes out of business because it seems that everyone gives directions to anywhere by saying "You know where Baskin-Robbins is?...." and then telling them which way to turn when they are standing at Baskin Robbins.

If you tell someone that "it's where Quessenberry's used to be" and they look at you oddly, you know they are newcomers.  Quessenberry's used to be "the" place to go for drug-store kids of things before Longs, and then CVS, moved in.

I feel sorry for people who go to the new Mexican restaurant in town and don't know the story behind the Blue Mango, the original restaurant that has been taken over by other restaurants several times. It was a vegetarian restaurant that was collectively owned by the workers.  It made the very best brownies that my boss, who owned what used to be The Secretariat, next door, would sometimes buy for us in the afternoon.  Haven't had abrownie since that was as good as those they made at the Blue Mango (of course, given the hippie vibe of the workers, one wonders if there was a "special ingredient" in the brownies that made them so delicious!).

We all miss the Palms Playhouse, an old barn in South Davis which was a haven for folk, rock, and country musicians (including a little-known band called "Lawsuit," which got its start there and played there many times).  When housing development in the area and cost of bringing the beloved old barn up to code became prohibitive, they tore it down (leaving the two palm trees for which it was named) and moved to a "real theater" in nearby Winters.  I wonder how many people going to shows in Winters remember the glory days of the original Palms Playhouse.

As I drive around Davis these days there are so many "used to be" sites that make me realize how long we have lived here.  Now I'll have to add the Shell station to them.


Avid Dodger Fan.
Where did we go wrong?


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