Hello, and best wishes!
Here are more memories, this time remembering Lenny Beck, his Steak House, and before:
My memories of Lenny Beck go back to what I believe was his first business venture in Long Beach.
In about 1947, Lenny and a partner whose name I cannot now recall, took over the soda fountain in Lee's Drug Store, then located in the Peck Building, on the south side of W. Beech Street between Wyoming Avenue and Alabama Street. As I recollect, both he and his partner had moved to Long Beach from Toledo, Ohio.
Lenny and his partner's enterprise quickly became very popular because they featured a delicious food menu in addition to the usual soda fountain bill o' fair of the time.
In about 1949, Lenny, who I believe by then, was on his own, moved a couple of blocks west, and opened a larger eating place in the old West End Theater Building, located on the south side of W. Beech Street, between Tennessee Avenue and Vermont Street.
While I was away from home serving as a career Army officer, probably in the fifties, Lenny opened his Steak House, located between Minnesota Avenue and New Hampshire Street, on the north side of W. Beech Street.
The last time I remember seeing Lenny, was in about 1972. It was on the occasion of a visit I made to my late and wonderful stepmother, Grace Giblin Sagona, who by then was my Dad's widow, Jim "Cos" Sagona. We had dinner at Lenny's Steak House. It was on that occasion that Lenny proudly told me of his son who had graduated from the U. S. Military Academy at West Point, NY, and was serving as an officer in the U. S. Army
My more vivid memories of Lenny were the years of his first establishment at Lee's Drug Store. I remember savoring his delicious roast beef sandwiches and other items, which up to then were unheard of in the West End, except maybe for Al's Hebrew National Deli, which then was across the street on the northwest corner of Wyoming Avenue and West Beech Street.
Al offered wonderful food, too. I remember that during the WW II years when we were teenagers, 25 cents bought a big kosher beef bologna sandwich on rye. The sandwich must have contained at least a half pound of the most delicious bologna one ever tasted.
One of my fellow admirers of Lenny's at the time, and for that matter, also Al's Hebrew National Deli, was Nick Knox, who grew up on Wisconsin Street, and is one of my chums since early childhood. We went through West School and our Jr/Senior High School years together. Nick now lives in Island Park.
Another childhood chum of the same era is Ted Hommel, who with his high school sweetheart and bride, Jane Kavanaugh Hommel , now live in the West End of Long Beach. Another chum is the late Eddie O'Toole. We have all known one another since kindergarten.
So much for some fond memories of Lenny Beck, my childhood and youth in Long Beach, then known as America's Healthiest City.