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: a fresh tray of donuts at Hooz Donuts in San Jose.
Do you like donuts? Me too. Explore some local history through donuts.Read more...
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Image: A circa 1911 photograph of John Trexall's grocery store which was located across the street from Lowell Elementary School. Prior to 1907, Mr. Trexall had a market at 350 San Augustine (now W. St. John Street). Courtesy of The Sourisseau Academy for State and Local History.
Once a year I create an album for San Jose State University’s Sourisseau Academy . Each album contains captioned historic photographs on various topics, and my first one was entitled, “What Ever Happened to the Corner Market?” (a video was also created) I noticed that one of the markets in my album had been located on Margaret and South Seventh Street , so I decided look up the address on Google Maps to see what was there now. What I initially perceived was that the beautiful old building had been replaced with a very plain modern one, but then I...Read more...
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Image: The day's event get going with a rousing performance by the San Jose Taiko Group.
In the month of May we observe Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month . This year, the San Jose Public Library has held celebrations at Village Square and Seven Trees Branch libraries. The purpose of this observance is to honor the contributions of Asian and Pacific Islander Americans to our nation’s culture and progress. Image: The program cover for the libary's Asian/Pacific American Heritage Celebration on May 12, 1990. The program was designed by librarian June Hayashi (first director of the library's Partners In Reading program) and myself. Image: Contents of the program show a timeline of the day's scheduled...Read more...
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Image: Fuzzy demonstrates his winning form in this shot from 1965. Photo courtesy of the United States Bowling Congress.
Last month we explored the phenomenon of the once popular bowling alley disappearing from the San Jose landscape. This month we recognize local bowling legend Rokuro “Fuzzy” Shimada. Fuzzy was the sixth son of a Japanese immigrant, and came from a large sports-loving family. Born in Vacaville on October 26,1921, Fuzzy was given the name Rokuro, with “roku” being Japanese for the number six. In the fall of 1936, the Shimada’s moved to Santa Clara. The family leased property and grew strawberries on Reed Avenue near what is now Lawrence Expressway. Image: Looking down Reed Avenue west of Lawrence Expressway,...Read more...
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Image: The author of this blog stands ready to roll on the site of the old Fiesta Lanes. Located on the corner of San Carlos Street and Willard Avenue, Fiesta Lanes closed in 2002 and is now the site of an apartment complex. A new street on the site was named Fiesta Lane in memory of the bowling alley. Photo by Gabriel Ibarra.
Image: The author of this blog stands ready to roll at the former location of Fiesta Lanes bowling alley . Located on the corner of San Carlos Street and Willard Avenue, Fiesta Lanes closed in 2002 and is now the site of an apartment complex. A new street on the site was named Fiesta Lane in memory of the bowling alley. Photo by Gabriel Ibarra. Well, it seems as though the heyday of the bowling alley may be over. Bowling always struck me as a rather monotonous game, but I did have fun the one time I played with my...Read more...
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Image: Faber's Cyclery on the corner of First and Margaret Streets in San Jose about 1992.
Discover the history of Faber's Cyclery building.Read more...
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Image: Henry Huggins by Beverly Cleary. A fun story about a boy and his dog named Ribsy.
From September 1967 to June 1968, I was in the third grade at Canoas Elementary School in the Meadowbrook tract (now Canoas Garden neighborhood) in Willow Glen. My classroom was A-3, and my teacher was Mrs.Keith. After our lunchtime recess (which was the longest), we would all return to class sweaty and wound-up. Rather than starting right back in with subjects like math or history, Mrs. Keith would read to us while we unwound and settled back in. Thinking back on all of the great books that Mrs. Keith read to us, I’ve tried to remember as many of them...Read more...
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Image: This is what my first library card looked like. The blank white area included your name and full address. The "Bookamatic" system was developed by Addressograph-Multigraph Corporation and used by San Jose Public Library from 1958 through 1977.
For the first time in many years, the San Jose Public Library will soon be featuring new library card designs . There will be six new designs, two from each category of Adult, Teen, and Children.The design entries were submitted as part of a contest conducted by the library, and each category had one design selected by the public, and another by a panel of judges. These new card designs got me to thinking about my first library card. I had the card throughout the 1960s, and I remember using it when the pink bookmobile would park across the street...Read more...
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Image: "We're going to tell the truth," Kennedy said, "and I don't care what Mr. Nixon says, we're going to meet that responsibility." Senator Kennedy was introduced by Mayor Paul Moore, with platform guests including local Democratic candidates Russell Bryan, Jack Kennon, and Al Alquist; City Councilmen Emery Delmas and Robert C. Doerr, and County Democratic Chairman John Thorne. Photo by Josephine Curto.
Some years ago, my dad mentioned that a cousin had seen John F. Kennedy speak at a presidential campaign rally here in San Jose. When I began working here in the California Room, I decided to check our clipping files for any articles on the event. I found an interesting San Jose Mercury article with several photos that showed Kennedy speaking from a platform somewhere in the west parking lot of the Civic Auditorium on November 2, 1960. Image: "We're going to tell the truth," Kennedy said, "and I don't care what Mr. Nixon says, we're going to meet that...Read more...
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Image: A recent visit to Ramona Avenue with the closet window and the blue airplane. Photo by Michael Pearce
In May of 1963, my family moved from our house on Singletary Avenue (off The Alameda) to a house near Coe and Ramona (off Lincoln Avenue). On moving day, my mother took me into my new bedroom and enthusiastically exclaimed, “Now look what’s inside your closet, a window!” As a three-year-old, it wouldn’t have seemed very interesting if my mother hadn’t explained that it was a relatively special feature. As I stood there looking into the closet, the light from the window revealed that there was something in the far back corner. It was a small blue airplane, a toy...Read more...
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