Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Nichols










In 1910, General Chemical, with the helping hand of William H. Nichols, opened shop two miles east of the Port Chicago (then Bay Point) town. General Chemical was set to employ 300 men, for which the company laid out a township, "Nichols", at the present day corner of Nichols and Port Chicago Highway. This township was to house its employees. General Chemical still operates at the location (one of the many mysterious companies / factories that operate behind high fences of mystery that pepper the northern coastline of Contra Costa), but like its sister community of Port Chicago, has been flattened. To the right, Nichols Then, the residences being in the top left of the intersection (south east).
























It is now this
Flattened. Gone. A community, people, souls - leveled. All that remains now are some crumbled pieces of street engulfed by dried weeds. Scattered memories. Barely any old photos. And strange names that remain quizzically on Google and Yahoo maps that leave viewers puzzeled as to why someone would name a clump of weeds

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Snow in our town?


(Lifted mischeiviously from good friend Cowellian who lifted it from Mr. Tatum's color phto book - i forgot the name of)
The day it snowed in Concord, date unknown, the Vargas Saloon, familiarly known as "Bucket of Blood" sported a white roof. The saloon was at the corner of Grant and Willow Pass Road.AndrewsIt snowed in Concord on January 9, 1913. Somebody got a camera and took a picture of Saloonkeeper Francisco Perez with three of his customers out in front of his saloon on the southwest corner of Grant Street and Willow Pass Road. The snow on the ground was already melting, but the tree branches and roof tops were still covered. It wasn’t much snowfall to an Easterner, but for Concord it was a blizzard. The saloon advertised Brooklyn Steam Beer for 5 cents a glass with a poster affixed to a tree. Concord was just a small country town in 1913, even though had been incorporated as a city in 1905. However, the Oakland, Antioch, and Eastern Railway (forerunner to BART) started in 1912, bringing the first wave of commuters to Concord— a hint of times to come. The saloon, later owned by Allen Vargas, continued for many years. The building was torn down in 1955 to be replaced by an office of American Trust Company ( now Wells Fargo Bank).
Grand Poobah Apollo says: So, now, in this cold, wet weather, in memorial's sake, bundle up, load up on a 22 of Double Bastard (unless you can find some Brooklyn Steam Beer, or better yet, the Anchor Steam Winter Ale, and go kick it in the parkinglot of the downtown Wells Fargo. Maybe hum a few bars of the Concord Cranksta; "Talk a bunch of shit and I'm good to go".
Yes, Virginina there is/was snow in Drunken Indian