Really liked your South Wells Ave piece and I have to admit it brought back so many memories. I was 9 when our family moved from Nevada City to Reno in 1968. We lived in a small brick house on Kirman Ave just north of the Veterans Hospital (when Kirman and Locust Streets were one-way streets in the opposite directions as they are today). As kids we spent a lot of time on Wells. I do not recall Posey’s or Wayne’s Drive-in but definitely Deluxe Laundry. [I think I screwed up Wayne’s Drive-in; it was across the street from the present Peppermill, now Clary’s – ed.]. We did not go to Deluxe; my mom went to a small dry cleaner on the southeast corner of Wells and Thoma which is now St. Ives Florist. Froggy’s was a great place but I do not remember it as a Gulf station and I did not know that the Vassar St, church had been relocated, I also do not recall it being a restaurant. Obviously as a kid the Dairy Queen was a favorite and I have had my fair share of Peanut Busters and Dilly Bars there.
I remember both Humphrey’s and Baker’s furniture stores and that mom preferred Humphrey’s but I only recall Eagle Thrifty on the east side of Wells. That was a great place and that basement was nothing short of awesome and of course Earl’s, Sierra Custom Sound and Lear-Higdon are very familiar but I seem to recall a vacuum cleaner store in there also. [yes; later – ed.] I remember many of the other little stores you mention but I had totally forgotten about Murdock’s, man was he grumpy. I really got a chuckle about Art Remple TV shop. I totally recall the RCA Victor terrier’s on the side of the building [Nipper!] but as kids we used to sneak up the alley alongside his shop and steal the large empty boxes from the old console TV’s they set outside to make forts out of. Once he caught us and chased us up the alley but we got away. We used to go the Ryland post office all the time and the store across the street, I can’t remember the name and I keep thinking it was another Eagle Thrifty but that does not seem right.
It is amazing how South Wells keeps coming back into my life. When I was in the 8th grade we moved to Washoe Valley but when I got to high school we were bused to Wooster High and the McDonald’s was the hang-out of choice and I cannot tell you how many times I was there and how sad it was when it closed. The other hang-out was the Woolworth’s at Park Lane, they had fantastic burritos. As life progressed I lived in Carson and then back to Washoe Valley but the office I currently work at is at Holcomb and E. Pueblo, just half a block from Wells.
John S. Harding
AINSWORTH ASSOCIATES MECHANICAL ENGINEERS
I worked part-time for the US Post Office from summer 1962 to summer 1964. After one week at the main post office downtown, I was sent to the Peavine Station – the one at Ryland and Wells – which handled all the parcel post. I started at 4:30 PM and drove a truck around to all the substations (University campus, Washington St, Valley Hardware (is that right?) in the shopping center at California and Booth, and one on S Virginia. I collected all their mail, dropped everything except the parcel post at the main office, and took the parcel post to the Peavine Station. By 10:30 (end of my shift) all the outgoing parcel post had been sorted and dispatched.
After about a year or so, a new parcel post station was built at 2nd and Kietzke Lane [later to become a fabric store, on the east end of Kuenzli Street – ed.]
The California parcel post had to be sorted into sectional centers. I can’t remember exact numbers anymore, but there were hundreds of California post offices and about 32 sectional centers – and I was the only parcel post employee who was able to memorize what went where. The five or six busiest days before Christmas would get really hairy. We all, even the part-timers, would work extra hours. Whatever time I came in, there would be a mountain of CA parcels waiting to be sorted. If necessary, someone else would be assigned to do the substation collection and I would go to work on the CA parcels. We always made the dispatch time of 7:30 PM!