Video game nostalgia open thread

As promised I’d like to open this post up as an open thread for your Sacramento 80s video game memories. That short-lived arcade at Arden Fair near the elevator above Johnny Rockets, different places where you held the high score, your favorite place to game it up, places you were ejected from and why, etc.

RygarI’ll kick it off with my memory of Rygar at Round Table on 51st. Rygar was that side-scrolling game where your weapon of choice was a spinning axe blade on a chain. It wasn’t a very exciting game but I became pretty OK at it and played every chance I got at the Round Table on 51st.

And of course the best of all: free gaming at that home store in Howe ‘Bout Arden where the Rack stands now.

Discuss. (Please)

Calling all Sacramento historians

Ok, folks, I’m looking for help settling a bet between a couple of buddies. Years ago there was a Baskin-Robbins ice cream store located at Watt & Fair Oaks next to the Casablanca restaurant. I’m looking for an approximate year that the store closed to become one of many cell phone retailers.

In similar news, I had to let go of my memory that there once was a Leatherby’s in Loehmann’s Plaza where Giovanni’s pizza no resides.

As you were.

Have you adequate postage, Master Luke?

I was on my way into the State Capitol this morning when I saw a mailbox painted to look like R2-D2 at 11th and N. At first, I thought that it had fallen prey to an incredibly nerdy vandal until I saw the Web site tag. Apparently, the United States Postal Service has teamed up with the Star Wars people to bring you mail service. Hopefully, my Netflix returns will not end up in a galaxy far, far away…

Streetcar history on CPR

Via Sacramento History, a great new blog I just came across:

Today on Capital Public Radio (KXJZ/KXPR) there will be a program about Sacramento’s streetcars, the 20th anniversary of Light Rail, and upcoming plans for a streetcar line between Sacramento and West Sacramento.

I was too late to post about the radio spot but it is available online. I can’t believe it has been 20 years of Light Rail. I remember my first ride on the train and loving the swiveling areas between cars. Check out the radio program and check out that blog.

Camellia Day

CamelliaYou might not know of this particular claim to fame, but it makes sense that Sacramento is officially Camellia City of the World. You also might not know that today is Camellia Day. One thing is for sure. You can’t miss the fact that there are probably a million of these brightly hued flowers blooming across the city, as they always do in the waning days of winter.

Camellias are native to Southeast Asia and first came here, like many other things, during the Gold Rush. Colonel James Lloyd Lafayette Franklin Warren came out West from Boston in 1851 to open, among other retail establishments, a seed shop. A year later, he imported the first batch of camellia seeds into Sacramento and they quickly took root as one of the favorite local blooms.

Continue reading “Camellia Day”

Looking for Snoopy?

Spike, Snoopy's brother from Needles, CADon’t check the Bee’s comics page. Today is the day that The Bee pulls the plug on the Sunday Peanuts strip. Say it with me: Good grief! Along with your Sunday dose of Charlie and gang, say goodbye to “Frank & Ernest,” “Rose Is Rose,” “B.C.” and “Family Circus.” More tragically, if you’re a fan, say goodbye forever to “Mother Goose and Grimm,” which has been running only Sundays for a while and is now gone altogether.

If Sunday just isn’t the same without a 40 year old Peanuts rerun, remember that the Official Peanuts Website has a daily strip. Mike Peters, creator of “Mother Goose,” (which I actually kind of enjoyed) has a web page but as of Saturday morning it seems not to be working.

Memo to the Bee’s comics dept.: Don’t mess with my Dilbert.

Good luck, Russ

Tower Records, R.I.P.Few businesses in the history of capitalism blew as badly as Tower Records. The Sacramento-founded and West Sacramento-based company went from having must-shop stores in Hollywood, Tokyo and Manhattan to being the current generation’s edition of a buggy-whip manufacturer.

The Bee is reporting that Tower Records founder and Sacramento-area legend Russ Solomon has signed a lease for the former TR site on Broadway, with plans to open a … um … would it still be called a “record” store? For the history-minded, that location would be right across the street from where it all began, in the corner of the Solomon family’s Tower Drugs.

Fergoshsakes, Russ, you’re 81 years old. Why don’t you open an iTunes account like the rest of the world and enjoy your retirement? Still, gotta admire the spirit and wish him the best.

As an aside … isn’t it strange that after all those years Tower didn’t own that property? The family that does has also leased the Tower Books site, to the Avid Reader.

The Bee clicks with history

The Crocker Art Museum has a special exhibition starting tomorrow, “Without Words: The Sacramento Bee’s Most Powerful Photographs.” From the catalog:

Protests. Tragedy. Disaster. Despair.  Each day in the pages of The Sacramento Bee are photos that tell a story few words can. Since the first photographic image appeared in 1898, The Bee’s photojournalists have taken our readers to the frontlines of the most important events that have shaped our history.

Commemorating the 150th anniversary of The Sacramento Bee, The Crocker Art Museum presents the photography that brings to life events seen through the lenses of The Bee’s award-winning photographers.

A collection of nearly 20 images will be on display in the Crocker Art Museum’s Ballroom. A highlight of the exhibition is Assassination Foiled taken by longtime Bee photojournalist Dick Schmidt, who captured the image of Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme after her failed 1975 assassination attempt on President Gerald Ford in Capitol Park.

You can hear Dick Schmidt (long-time friend of mine, by the way) being interviewed today at 2 p.m. on CPR’s show “Insight” (KXPR; FM 90.9). He’s a low-key, charming and funny man, so I’m guessing the interview will be a great one. The Crocker exhbition runs through March 21.