Mike Read/Pages From The Past
(Editor’s note: This feature takes a stroll down memory lane through the pages of the historic Novato Advance newspaper. And you can still subscribe for home delivery to this very day. See details on page 3A.)
100 Years Ago
— Mrs. Hugh B. Porter, formerly Miss Kathleen Coleman, died at the St. Francis Hospital, San Francisco, from complications which set in after an operation that had been performed a week ago. The deceased was well known here, where she had spent much of her life. She was a daughter of Mrs. Rudy Litchenberg, niece of James B. Burdell, and granddaughter of the late Dr. and Mrs. Galen Burdell. Her mother and husband were with her when the end came. Born in California, she was aged 24 years, having married when quite a young girl.
75 Years Ago
— Sid Locke, proprietor of DeBorba’s Restaurant, warned patrons today that the restaurant will be closed Monday, March 25 and reopened Saturday, March 30. During this time the establishment will undergo a cleaning and painting. New hours of the restaurant are from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m.
— Francis F. “Frank” Mattos, a native of Marin and a member of one of Marin’s early dairy-ranching families, died March 3, 1996. He was 77. He had been ill for several weeks. Mr. Mattos, who had lived in Penngrove, had worked as a custodian for the Novato Unified School District for 21 years. Mr. Mattos was born in Tiburon on. March 22, 1918, the son of the late John C. and Mary Mattos, early dairy ranchers in Marin and Sonoma counties. The family came to Ignacio when he was 1 year old and operated a dairy. In 1934, they moved the dairy operation to Tomales, where he worked on the ranch. With the outbreak of World War II, Mr. Mattos enlisted in the Army and served in the Aleutian Islands. He returned to his family’s dairy operation after the war. He later went to work in the Novato schools, where he was well known and loved by students and teachers.
— Chairman Wm. Gnoss announced this week that the Firemen’s Dance held last Saturday, night was the biggest affair of its kind yet to be held by the Firemen. The dance floor was filled to capacity at all times and the times of Paul Law and his orchestra seemed to be just what the dangers wanted.
— Directors of Novato Chamber of Commerce went on record as opposing the proposed State Hospital and Mental Institution, to be built at Ignacio on the Bodkin property. At a hastily called meeting of the Chamber directors, it was ordered that telegrams registering opposition be sent to Governor Earl Warren, Assemblyman Richard McCollister, Senator Thos. Keating and Richard A. McGee, Director of Dept. of Correction. They went on record as opposing the building of any such hospital anywhere in Marin County, due to the fact that Marin has already one penal institution and another such institution would be a blight on a fast growing community.
— Karl Mattheas, owner-operator of Karl’s Place, announced this week that work has started on his new building adjacent to the one that he now occupies. Mattheas stated that the new structure would mean an expenditure of around $15,000 and would be complete with new fixtures and equipment. Jack Sheilds is the contractor.
50 Years Ago
— Novato has been fortunate to have a man of such outstanding quality as Douglas M. Merrill serving on its city council for the past seven years. With still one year remaining on his second term, Merrill last night announced his resignation. It will be acted on at the next regular meeting of the council so that Merrill can have a hand in naming his successor on the council and picking a new mayor. Merrill was elected to the council in the first wave of citizen revolt that swept the city in the 1964 elections. It was a revolt against a council that was too permissive with new development.
— “It will probably get worse,” predicts Bob Smith of Bob’s Mobil service station on Diablo Avenue, talking about Novato’s gas price war. The “shooting” started a couple of weeks ago when Dave Killian, the new operator of the Shell station on the corner of DeLong Avenue and Highway 101, dropped prices several cents down to 35.9 cents for regular and 38.9 cents for ethyl. The chain reaction began, and other stations cut right back, with Smith down to 34.9 cents for regular, plus stamps. He predicts continuing and worsening cut price competition, but in these inflationary days there are more than a few motorists who are hardly showing their distress.
— Two grand openings were held in Novato last week and Chamber and city officials called on the new businesses. The two concerns are the Novato Singer Sewing Center at 959 Front Street and Paul’s Pastry at 1201 Grant Avenue.
25 Years Ago
— For the first time in 24 years, Marin County’s 4th District will be represented next year by someone other than Gary Giacomini. The race to replace the state’s longest-serving supervisor is a wide open affair involving three self-described “moderates” hoping to carry on the Giacomini tradition and an environmental activist who gave the retiring incumbent a stiff challenge four years ago. Hoping to succeed Giacomini are Judy Arnold, Marin County’s first supervisorial aide; John KINSEY HESS LEMIEUX ARNOLD Hess, a former aide to Senator Barbara Boxer; Steve Kinsey, a community advocate designer and builder; and Dotty LeMieux, an environmental attorney.
— Ugo Innocenti doesn’t take his work home—he takes his home to his work. Innocenti lives in Novato and for 23 years every day and night he has put on his Novato Police Officer’s uniform it is with the idea that he is going out to protect his community—his home. Innocenti, now a sergeant, practiced community policing long before it became a buzz phrase. For him, it is not a program, it is a way of life. Was honored by the Novato Elks Lodge as Novato’s Police Officer of the Year. Also honored at the Elks Lodge’s ninth annual tribute to Novato’s top safety officers was Firefighter of the Year Larry Glines from the Novato Fire Protection District.
— Michael Di Giorgio, owner of the Video Place at Pacheco Plaza on Ignacio Boulevard, recently opened a second store. Video Place II is located at the former site of Flicks at 536, Alameda Del Prado.
— Stained Glass of Marin recently opened at the former House of Printing site at 1001 Mirabella Ave. Owned by Mary Page, the shop features stained glass items made by Page and other artists, bead-making, and fusing classes.