August 3, 2009

Powayopoly, A Nostalgic Look Back

I was cleaning out closets the other day and I came across a board game called "Millionaire". Inside was a monopoly -like game that featured local Poway merchants. The game was a fundraiser for the Poway High School band, the Emerald Brigade. I don't remember what year it was produced, but I think it has been stored away probably for a good 10-20 yrs.

How many of these merchants do you remember? You can click on the picture to make it bigger.
Erb Engineering is in the business park. Travel agents have pretty well been replaced by the internet, but Poway Travel is still there. Sizzler's used to be where Cully's was before they got kicked out to make room for an "upscale" restaurant. Cully's is still in town, but Sizzler and the upscale restaurant are not. Ozzie's is another long time Poway business. We bought a violin there when our son was in 4th grade. Later, he took guitar lessons there.

Whiskey Creek is gone. I never ate there, but I had to drop off a kid from our soccer team there one time. His mom never came to pick him up. So we offered to drive him home, but he said no one was at home and that if we dropped him off at Whiskey Creek, he could find his mom there. Kind of sad. The stationary store hung in there for a while, but I guess it was too hard to compete with big box stores like K-Mart and Wal-Mart.
Remember the iron-on T-shirt craze? I think we bought a couple of them from Shirts-R-U. Rex Trophies is still in Poway. I've got a couple of boxes of trophies they kids left behind. I could change the names on them and open my own shop.

Right now I am enjoying some great air conditioning. We sweltered through the muggy July days for about 20 years and finally gave in and had an A/C unit put it. We chose Carrier because they were around so long. About a month ago my across-the-street neighbor had A/C put in. I saw the Carrier truck in her driveway, so I know that they are still in town. El Comal is still going strong too. The Franciscan Inn is still in town, but they have competition now from a new business hotel. Amway, hmm, do they still have that pyramid selling scheme? I haven't heard about them in years.

Look at the picture of the "downtown" shopping district on the game board. Now, that is nostalgic. Big canopy trees, old-fashioned GAS sign, extra wide sidewalks, and almost no traffic.
I grew up in a Midwestern town that looked like that. Downtown was really pedestrian friendly.

Poway's commercial areas have always been a collection of strip malls. They were designed for vehicular access, not pedestrians. One thing that might force a change is that in the last couple of years, hundreds of affordable apartments have been built in the area. And likely more will be built. A car-centric downtown is incompatible with an area that is becoming increasingly filled with nearby residents. It will be interesting to see what merchants are still standing in another 20 yrs and just what downtown Poway will look like.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is great! Glad you hung on to it. In the 1980s there were two honky tonks in town. Whiskey Creek was one, and I bartended at the other. As I recall, before it was Whiskey Creek, it was the Ivanhoe. I recall a similar story where my friend's dad drank their monthly welfare checks at the Ivanhoe.

I kind of remember most of the others. Not much of that Poway left, huh? But when you come home after being gone for 10 or 15 years, it's the hills that you are happiest to see.

And the olive groves, when you can still find them. And the oak trees.