Memory Lane Road Trip – Part Two: Let’s Go to Glenbrook

Wasn’t that trip just in time for last week’s Grass Valley fun? It gives me great pleasure to know that many people remember the works I wrote about, and share their own memories. I hope I can start at least some conversations between those who remember the places I mentioned.

This week we’re heading up the hill to the Glenbrook Basin, where many other memories from my childhood (and I’m sure there are many others) have been created.

First, although it still exists, Humpty Dumpty is one of the most important things to me and to many people I know. My dad would take me there on a cold winter’s morning, sitting and chatting with his tree-treading companions while I sipped hot chocolate with tons of whipped cream on top. The subjects of their conversation were of little interest to me, so I enjoyed watching the mysterious numbers light up on the railing above the kitchen window. (It turns out it was a way to send signals to servers when food was ready.)

Across the highway, there were all kinds of delights. Who hasn’t shopped at Jane’s store? It was the right place. Or Mark Sports, who was now the residence of the Knights Paint Store?

What is now the guest house was formerly the Sierra Fitness Center. My aunt Dorinda was an aerobics teacher there.

Next to Longs Drugs (oh, I loved Longs!) was of course the Flour Garden, but also the Honey Treat Yogurt. And at one point, the Four Seasons Hallmark flanked the Longs on the other side.

Back in the day, in the same sector where Safeway is now, there was the Lucky and Boomer Sound Record Store owned by Frank Sinoground. Next to that was Ye Olde Sweet Shoppe where I was amazed by the variety of colorful and flavored popcorn. (Cheese was and remains my favorite.)

Then there was Cornet, where The Sleep Shop is now located. I can’t even describe what Cornet was, but I remember it very clearly. It looked like your classic variety store, but feel free to correct it. I just remember buying those peanut butter things around Halloween. It always smelled like plastic.

Glenbrook Plaza

Across the road was Glenbrook Plaza. I like that the sign for said shopping center stays the same on the highway side as I’ve always remembered it, with just a few changes.

In elementary school, the ultimate status symbol was to go to Swensen’s Ice Cream Parlor with your friends on a Friday night and share an Earthquake sundae. It was a huge feat working as a team and working through 12 scoops of ice cream (and toppings).

My friend Melissa Jarrett worked there in high school and she told me the ice cream station was called Fountain, and the ladies who mastered all sundae recipes and could work at a very fast pace were called Fountain Queens.

And if you’re not getting your scoops from Swensen, you can pop into Thrifty drugstore for 10 cents. They had that scoop that shaped the ice cream in a cylindrical fashion rather than just a bulging scoop. (You can totally get these scoops on Amazon, if you’re feeling nostalgic.)

Everyone is going to get their new kicks at Dave’s shoe store, and bump into Goodie’s for cheap clothes and bags of Esprit books, which I can only guess is linked to the surge in scoliosis diagnoses.

Furthermore, there were Hart Fabrics. I spent many hours there, eagerly waiting for my mom to roam the many styles in search of our Halloween costumes and costumes, flower girl dresses, and more. To kill time, I would insert my arm into the bathtub full of buttons. My mother often had to refrain from lying in it.

Once upon a time my family was in good health. When I was a little girl, my mother would process her own peanut butter out of the machine inside the Sunshine Valley Health Food store. She stocked our sugar-free hard candy, and sesame chunks were our dessert. I still remember the smell of vitamins and protein powder as you walked in the door. happy times.

Join me again next week as I travel around the area on a trip back to my childhood days in Nevada County.

As a sidebar: a special reference to the fashion store that was on the rough and ready highway. I don’t recall what it was called, but I can show you the building to this day. Does anyone remember the name?

Thanks for reading! Aloha, Nevada County.

Jennifer Noble is a staff writer for The Union. She can be reached at

The Glenbrook Plaza sign has changed very little from when the center was built, adding only new occupants.
Jennifer Nobles

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