Reminiscing Revealed

In the May 24 issue of the Signal Tribune, we asked readers to submit their memories of this once bustling retail destination. The shopping center is located in Bixby Knolls along Atlantic Avenue just north of San Antonio Drive.
A couple of readers wrote in to share these thoughts.

Joan F. DaVanzo of Long Beach said:
Yes, I remember the shopping center above San Antonio Drive along Atlantic in its heyday!
It was 1948 and I was just 11 and invited to my first party in Bixby Knolls. I bought the loveliest handkerchiefs at Grants for that party, filmy things with beautiful all-over floral prints.
On that shopping trip my mother bought me a pretty elastic-waist skirt which I wore to Hughes Jr. High (as it was known in those days) just once. A boy pulled at its waistline and almost got it off me!
As I recall, the peasant blouses, also all the rage at that time, were quite nice. And down the street at Anthony’s they had the loveliest cashmere sweaters. They were so soft and luxurious!
Then again in the late 1970s or early 1980s, I returned to Anthony’s to buy oversized relaxed-fit clothing for my dad, who had just come home from Memorial after an operation on his back.
At the time, Anthony’s had a gigantic pair of farmer’s overalls (they must have been at least a yard wide) on the wall and I remember thinking I could always find a bigger size of anything there.
And, of course, during all this time we would nip into Vons for a few groceries, when my folks felt they could afford a major supermarket’s prices, or for a sale (remember when Jan’s Antiques was a McCoys Market? Yeah, we shopped there, too). And I would window-shop both Anthony’s and Robert’s (which replaced Grant’s) when I walked up to the center.
And up to the late 1990s or early 2000s, I would march up to visit Fantastic Sams to get my hair cut. It’s about a half mile from my family’s house and the exercise is still good for me.

Anne (unidentified last name) said:
The picture you showed in the May 24 issue of a shopping center was just off Atlantic Avenue, between San Antonio and 45th Street, [from] about 1967 to 1970.
It did very well for a while, but as you know it all slowed down as the Lakewood Mall grew and grew. But we miss it!

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