Ralph Pearce

Ralph Pearce's picture
Reading Interests: 
Biographies, Mysteries, Science Fiction, Philosophy, History
What I'm Reading Now: 
Specimen Days & Collect by Walt Whitman

Blogs by this Author

Image:  This 1927 Associated Gasoline station stood on the corner of Market and Julian Streets . After being slated for demolition in 1978, History San Jose arranged for its relocation to History Park. Photo ©Ralph M. Pearce.
Image: This 1927 Associated Gasoline station stood on the corner of Market and Julian Street s . After being slated for demolition in 1978, History San Jose arranged for its relocation to History Park . Photo ©Ralph M. Pearce. Service stations have evolved quite a bit over time. I can remember when gas would always be pumped by a uniformed attendant . They’d usually wash your windows while you waited, check under the hood (oil and water) if you wanted, and make a little small talk if they knew you. Often times they’d give you promotional items like dishware with...Read more...
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Image: detail of Myron's Bookstore entrance early 1980s. Image courtesy of Myron Wahlstrand.
Image: Myron and Sue Wahlstrand in the early 1980s. Myron's love of collecting poetry lured him into the used book business. Coincidentally, Myron's sister was married to the brother of Recycled Bookstore owner Joan Hayes. For a while I worked at both bookstores concurrently. Photo courtesy of Myron Wahlstrand. One fine day in December of 1978, I found myself walking along Lincoln Avenue in Willow Glen. Earlier in the year I had hitchhiked across the United States. In September I began taking classes at San Jose City College , and was also on the lookout for part-time work. Crossing Curtner...Read more...
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Image: An A&W mug full of root beer.
Revisit re-purposed restaurant buildings with SJPL's local history expert.Read more...
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Cropped Image:  Senator Robert F. Kennedy prepares to address the crowd in San Jose's St. James Park on Saturday March 23, 1968. Photo ©Edward Souza.
Image: Senator Robert F. Kennedy in San Jose's St. James Park on Saturday March 23, 1968. Photo ©Edward Souza. On Saturday March 24 of this year, I participated in a 50th anniversary celebration of Robert F. Kennedy 's 1968 presidential campaign rally here in San Jose. The celebration took place at St. James Park , the location of the 1968 rally. I'd been honored with the task of delivering the keynote address. Along with speeches by several local politicians, actor Jeffrey Brian Adams provided an excellent re-enactment of Senator Kennedy's speech . One of the day's highlights was meeting photographer...Read more...
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Image: A 1940/50s neon sign reading "Motel."
Image: The Whitehouse Inn located at 3030 Monterey Road. Photos ©Ralph M. Pearce. Driving down Monterey Road the other day, I was struck by all of the new construction. Since the early 1960s, the road has been a collection of light industrial businesses along with retail stores, old motels, and an occasional restaurant or house. The old motels have always held the most fascination for me, as they harken back to a day when Monterey Road was a major thoroughfare for travelers. Image: The Palm Tree Inn Motel located at 2724 Monterey Highway. Photos ©Ralph M. Pearce. Monterey Road began...Read more...
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Image: César Chávez in 1982.  Photo coutesty of Ted Sahl Collection, MSS 1996-03-01 San Jose State University Library Special Collections & Archives.
Take a look back at local sites associated with the dedicated life of César Chávez.Read more...
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Image: Senator Kennedy's arrival at the San Jose Municipal Airport on March 23, 1968. Courtesy of San Jose State University, Special Collections Archives. Spartan Daily Negatives Collection, 2012, Archival Finding Aids.
Image: Senator Kennedy's arrival at the San Jose Municipal Airport on March 23, 1968. Courtesy of San Jose State University, Special Collections Archives. Spartan Daily Negatives Collection, 2012, Archival Finding Aids. This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of Senator Robert F. Kennedy 's speech in San Jose's St. James Park on March 23, 1968. Five years ago, I transcribed that speech from an audio recording, which I am sharing here for the first time. I am also pleased to be able to share previously unpublished Spartan Daily photos from Kennedy's visit. Reading his speech today, one cannot help but wonder...Read more...
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Image: The Falafel Drive-in sign on Stevens Creek near Bascom. Photo ©Ralph M. Pearce. 
Signs, like buildings, get our attention. And over time they become landmarks, fixed in our minds and memories, helping us navigate an ever-changing world with some thread of familiarity and link to our past. I remember at two or three years of age, laying in the "back-back" of the family station wagon playing with my red Etch-A-Sketch . I recall looking out and seeing an enormous globe of the world atop a building, and knowing right where we were (in front of the Heald Business College on Santa Clara Street). There were many such signs that I'm sure many "old-timers"...Read more...
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Image:The photo that hangs in the back of the cigar store. It features Carolina Teigeler and presumably her eldest single daughter Louisa, who would have been 16 years old when this c.1885 photo was taken. Photo courtesy of West Coast Cigars.
Have you ever wondered how we research the local history? Look back with us at a little house on Almaden Road as Ralph investigates its history with California Room resources.Read more...
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Image: Instead of the traditional giant Hershey's candy bar, I was rewarded with a giant can of raviolis.
What was it like being an A.V. Monitor at Canoas Elementary in the 70's? More importantly, what kind of reward did a monitor get at the end of the year?Read more...
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