Balboa of Misty Memories
by George Chevalier

Remembering those days when the Commissaries had still to be configured as supermarkets and each category of food or mdse. had it's own counter to be lined up on for service. It seemed to take forever having to go from meat to can goods to toiletries etc as you worked your way down the shopping list.

When my mother would send me to the commy and as I waited in a long line how mad I would get if it was after 4PM and the clerk would call out,"next employee please"and from way behind me some grouchy old coot would call out his request over my head.

But then one day during summer vacation while you had a summer job it gave you immense satisfaction to sound off with your order when the clerk called for next employee much to the surprise and anger of all those old coots. And you were prepared to show your ID for your validity might well be challenged by the irate oldster.

Many was the occasion when we kids were sent to the commy with a list to place as an order for delivery to home by a commy van later that day. Inside the front door of Balboa's Commy to each side was an order desk and clerk waiting for you to sit down and recite what it was your mother wanted to be delivered. You paid with the commy book and were then on your way to play. Some hours later the van would stop at your house with the groceries completing another long forgotten service.

During your day of play if you should have a painful accident such stepping on nails or broken glass or anything else that might disturb the peaceful form of your body you had only to stop at the dispensary. There in the first aid room an all knowing West Indian Merlin would solve our tearful problems and return us to the pursuits of our day.

If the swimming pool was our destination Mr.Thompson or Phillips would punch our swim cards and punch the button that would open the door to the pools dressing rooms. I think the admission charge in those days was 10c a visit and we might have saved a bit by buying a card with say ten punches.

During summer school vacations Coach Greiser would have swim meets on Saturday mornings and the prizes were candy bars. To win a first prize you got a whole candy bar, 2nd was half a bar with 3rd getting a fourth of a bar. I sure did not get to overindulge in sweets and watched while such swimmers as Wood, Wallbridge, Ford and Zemer were enviously eating their 1st and 2nds.

During the school year there was the Popsicle vender,a Greek I believe ,who pushed his cart with it's large barrel loaded with Popsicle's of many flavors packed in dry ice. His usual spot of business during the lunch period was between the Jr.High building and the Gym. The price was 5c each. To accommodate those of us who might be a little short of funds he kept a little book and was very generous in extending credit between allowance days. The grape one was my favorite.