Verdugo Views: Lagging pennies in Kenneth Village
The O'Loughlin family, from left, Tom, Legory, Mildred and Lois at their Idlewood Road home in 1949. (The O'Loughlin family / May 17, 2012)
The O’Loughlins, Legory and Mildred and their two children, lived at 1071 Thompson Avenue. Tom attended elementary school at Jefferson. His sister, Lois, was three years younger.
The O’Loughlins were still on Thompson when Paul and Elsie Duncan moved next door and opened Duncan’s Variety Store at the village. Tom’s mother, Mildred, soon got to know the new neighbors and went to work at their store two days a week. She worked there for thirty-eight years.
In 1945, the O’Loughlins moved to 1520 Idlewood Road. Tom went from Jefferson to Toll Junior High and Lois enrolled in Keppel Elementary. Then Tom entered Hoover High.
“Person’s was the ‘official’ hang out after high school,” he recalled. “It’s now Kenneth Road Pharmacy, which was owned for many years by Oscar Pallares. I loved Person's because they had a fountain just like in Happy Days.”
Another drug store, Perkins’, was directly opposite Person’s and was on the northwest corner of Kenneth & Grandview, he said
O’Loughlin and his friends lagged pennies (closest to the line in the concrete won) on the sidewalks of Kenneth Road and the Duncan Yo-Yo company had contests there. (The winners would then go to the championship round at Hastings Theater on Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena.)
Across the street from Person’s was Nessen's Shell Service station (Several small businesses are there now). Kitty-corner from Person’s (on the northeast corner) was Roellick’s Texaco Station.
“Duncan’s was a normal five-and-dime store, as we called them back in those days. As a youth, many of us could never figure out how our mothers knew so much of what was going on in our circle of friends,” O’Loughlin said. “Well, Duncan's was the hub where my mother Mildred and Elsie Duncan were recipients of all the gossip. Thus, what went around came around. The Hoover football game where my mother accused me of smoking? My denials fell on deaf ears. Of course! Someone at the game saw me, so for me, the game was up.’’
O’Loughlin delivered newspapers for the Glendale News-Press during those days. “I had 57 papers on my route. Up El Miradero Avenue and down Winchester Avenue. I folded the papers in a small room adjacent to Perkins’. It took me three to four hours to go up El Miradero and down Winchester. Why? I stopped to play ball whenever a ball game was going on. I'd get home to a pretty stern mother with many phone calls complaining their paper was late.’’
One of the highlights of those days was setting off fireworks.
O’Loughlin remembers, “It was a hoot to be able to use the leftover fireworks that didn't sell and have our own party in the vacant lot at Glenoaks Boulevard and Thompson Avenue.’’
O’Loughlin, who now lives on Balboa Island, graduated from Hoover in 1951, but often returns to Glendale. His sister, Lois, was in Hoover’s Class of ’54. His sons also graduated from Hoover High.
Susan Stanton, who grew up in Northwest Glendale, also recalls the two drugstores at Kenneth Village. “They were across the street from each other. One was Murray Greer’s pharmacy on the northwest corner. It was called Perkins’. The other was at Person’s.’’ Both, she said, had soda fountains. “Person's was on the right side against the wall, halfway back. In Perkins’, I visualize the soda fountain on the left as you entered.’’
Henry's barber and beauty shop was on the northwest corner in 1945, she added. “I know that because my mother went there and when my younger brother was born in December, 1945, she sent me into the beauty shop to tell them.’’
Stanton operated the Foothill Gift Shop in the same space as the old Duncan’s Variety Store from 1984 until 2006.