Saturday, November 26, 2022

See the USA In your Chevrolet

I scanned a bunch of random slides a while ago, and picked a few to share with you today! First up is this neat street view. Undated, but those cars look pretty old. Is this pre-1950? It was also unlabeled, but the Pioneer Hotel in the distance made it easy to figure out that this is North Stone Avenue in Tucson, Arizona. Hey, one of the Junior Gorillas lives in Tucson! I asked our friend DrGoat if he recognized this area, and here's what he had to say:

Very cool. I know exactly where that is. Looking south up Stone Ave., downtown. The Pioneer Hotel and the Valley National Bank building just south of it. My Mom worked at that bank for 30 years. It is no more but the buildings are still there. That area between the hotel and the tan building in the left fore ground are all gone, replaced by bigger buildings.

Here's a Google street view... you can still see the Pioneer Hotel in the distance (though it is now an office building). 

Because I am so disorganized, I'm not sure if this next one is from the same batch of slides as the first one. But it is from Arizona - Tortilla Flat, about 100 miles north of Tucson. I'd heard of the John Steinbeck novel called "Tortilla Flat", but it turns out that it's about Monterey, California. Who can I sue?! Anyway, this photo shows a small restaurant; "S.R. Slimmer & Mrs. Powell". Even today there's not much around Tortilla Flat, and that was obviously the case back when this photo was taken. Let's go in and get some home cookin' and a cold beer!


Melissa said...

Mmm, beer lunch.

Anonymous said...

Everything you need, in one handy little location. Is that ‘Atlas Tires’ above and to the left of the post office sign? I wonder what’s in that ‘basket’ on the ground, next to the gas pump??

DrGoat, it’s cool you recognize the area in the first scan.

Thanks, Major and DrGoat!


Anonymous said...

Morning, Melissa,,,I don’t care for beer, but I’ll join you for a sandwich, right after I mail a few postcards...


Nanook said...

That convertible is a 1941 Pontiac - "possibly" in 'French Copper'. (The balance of the cars is anyone's guess). However, in the Tortilla Flat image, those ladies [apparently] heading back to their car are definitely stylin' - as that's a 1941 Cadillac Fleetwood 75 - with 'suicide doors'.

Thanks, Major.

JB said...

Having trouble posting again. Splitting up my comment:

#1) The photo may be from the early fifties, but some of those cars appear to be 1930s models. (Nanook?) If this IS from the thirties, and in good-looking color, it's quite a find.

Tortilla Flat: I think we're seeing the entire 'town' in this photo. The restaurant/gas station appears to be well kept up; for being in the middle of nowhere. "Eat here and get gas!"

JB said...

Melissa, what are you doing up in the middle of the night? I mean, besides dreaming of beer lunch.

Sue, I think that basket of goodies is the entire grocery store.

Nanook, ah... early 1940s. Are some of those cars from the thirties?

Thanks for the Arizona randos, Major.

Anonymous said...

“Eat here and get gas!" LOL


Nanook said...

@ JB-
"Are some of those cars from the thirties?" Undoubtedly. As to the date of the first picture, based on the blurry image of the license plate, I'm going to say the license plate dates to 1945. (With the exception of 1943 & 1944 - Arizona issued new license plates every year up to 1956).

TokyoMagic! said...

"Tortilla Flat: I think we're seeing the entire 'town' in this photo."

JB, I bet you're right. There is even a U.S. Post Office to the right of the restaurant (attached), and what looks like public restrooms to the right of that.

I wonder what’s in that ‘basket’ on the ground, next to the gas pump??

Sue, I bet it's recyclables, like plastic water bottles, aluminum cans, etc. ;-)

Thanks for the vintage pics, Major! And thank you Dr. Goat, for the additional information on Downtown Tucson!

Chuck said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chuck said...

Note the Western Auto store and the Hudson dealership in the Tucson image. Would love to take a vintage drive down that street, preferably in the fall or spring as those cars are not air conditioned. Thanks, DrGoat, for sharing your family connections to that picture!

Although it’s hard to make out, I think the gas pump in the Tortilla Flat photo is sporting a variation on the Chevron logo introduced in 1946 (scroll down the page in link at left to find the 1946 logo). It makes sense that Atlas Tires were sold here, as Atlas Tires have been exclusively distributed through Standard Oil outlets since 1935 (Chevron was also known as Standard Oil of California from 1906-1984).

JG said...

Thanks for the stories of downtown Tucson, Major & Dr. Goat. There were several buildings of that hotel’s general style in Fresno, it was a popular look. No surprise that I prefer the older picture.

Photo 2 looks like a place I’ve been and can’t remember where.

Cheers all!


Bu said...

Mail a post card from the official US Postal Service, have a few beers, fill er up, and get back on the road! Sounds like an episode of the Brady Bunch with Jim Backus as a cantankerous guest star. Tortilla flat is a place:
I concur that this is not the Steinbeck version but perhaps a Zane Grey one. Zane Grey had quite the house on Catalina Island, turned into a hotel, now still a hotel but a wee TRE'd. It was very natural in my time there. Rootin' tootin' stories weren't really my bag when I was a kid. I was a more Hardy Boys and Scooby Doo and "Alvin Fernald Mayor for a Day" guy. Tortilla flat is not flat from what I have seen in my research. Maybe the cafepostabeeragasatorium is on a flat piece of land? Speaking of beer, I just got back from Texas, where I have learned the saying "hold my beer". I saw it on coasters and mirrored wall plaques in the "Texas Store" at the Mall. I asked a Texan what it meant. So now, I say "hold my beer" quite a bit. I wonder if after stopping at Tortilla Flat and you got in your car, if you were driving you would say "hold my beer"? Could be. ....back to my leaves! Happy fall clean up!

Chuck said...

Bu, just finished six hours of nonstop lead cleanup. Only thing I’m happy about is it’s done…for this week.

Oh - and it’s game night -and we’re playing Zombicide! Everything just got better…

Chuck said...


“…just finished six hours of nonstop leaf cleanup.” Won’t do any lead cleanup until after we deal with the zombies.

Melissa said...

It’s not easy getting all that lead off the leaves.

Chuck said...

You think that’s tough, you should try getting it out of zombies sometime.