The photo above is from April 1954, which the calendar on the wall proves. For my 10th birthday the previous December I'd received the jigsaw puzzle and a Brownie Hawkeye flash camera. This seemed a good time to use the latter -fitting the last piece in the puzzle. But the real reason for sending this photo is the two model airplanes in the background. They were the typical birthday present for boys back then, and mostly came from Horton's Variety Store, I think at 5803 El Cajon Blvd, where San Diego Auto Glass is now. I bet lots of Crawford boys remember that store. It was the only one in the College area that had stuff a boy would be interested in. You had to go to North Park otherwise, but that was beyond biking range for us. In addition to model planes, they sold some sports equipment, had a full paint department and I think some hardware, too -- a pretty strange mix. Mr. Horton was very dour and didn't seem to like kids in the store, probably with reason. To this day I find myself in stores with my hands in my pockets so they won't think I'm shoplifting, a habit developed at Horton's. But Mrs. Horton was very friendly with kids. Fritz Ziegenfuss and I always dreamed of making the perfect model -- no glue showing, perfect decals, expertly painted -- but then rushed to finish and wound up with something far less than perfect. Can anybody recognize the two jets? The one near the calendar might be an F-86 Saber. I'm sure I had one. I hope this triggers a lot of Horton's recollections --Bob Richardson '61

(My 1956 City Directory lists a Horton Variety & Hardware at 5805 El Cajon Blvd. I recognize the Lockheed XF-90 sticking you in the eyeball, and the North American F-86D Sabre, sitting atop what may be a priceless Indian basket. At the very left is one of those little turn-of-the -century Revell plastic model cars. What's with the 30.06 cartridge -- and who took the photo? JF)

Some further information, since you brought it up: My dad took the photo. I don't recall how I came to have the 30.06 cartridge (spent, you may be sure), but it definitely was something a boy could use. I still have the Indian basket, prominently displayed in my living room. The Saberjet is actually sitting behind it, on its stand. I don't recall anything about the Revell plastic car, an abberation in my collection of stuff. Two things you missed: the elegant Tijuana Plaster of Paris horse on my dresser, and the post card on my desk which might show Sather Tower on the Berkeley campus, or maybe not. And, of course, Mr. Future Geographer Guy had a map on the wall. The XF-90 must have been assembled incorrectly. The wing pods are at an aerodynamically goofy angle, probably another flub from not having read the instructions and taken my time.

Didn't Lana Horton's parents own the store?  She was a classmate and her photo was among those in the Joy Dance Studio program --
Jeannine Berger Passenheim '60

I've been working on a Facebook album, leading me to find the postcard on the desk in the photo above, between the jigsaw puzzle box and the XF-90 model airplane. It turns out to be Sather Tower -- a postcard sent to my folks, postmarked Jan 29 1954. Postage was two 1-cent stamps. When my older son graduated from Cal in 1986 (English major) we walked around the campus with my dad, who'd done his PhD in Geography there. We took the elevator ride to the top of Sather Tower and it turned out the operator was a Geography major and became quite excited upon finding that my dad had studied under Carol O. Sauer himself -- the grand old man of geography in America -- Bob Richardson '61

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