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February 8, 2023

A look back at ‘62

Editor’s note: This is the first half of a two-part series about Watsonville High graduate Joanne Buob Martin, class of 1962.

WATSONVILLE—Joanne Buob Martin was part of Watsonville High’s 1962 graduating class, the largest class to date, with 355 seniors. It was also the graduating class with the most scholarships and the most straight As.

That was the time you could get a burger on special at the Burger Patio for 15 cents. Lambert’s Market was the happening food store at the East Lake Village Shopping Center. It was the time of Towntry Fashions, May Way Pharmacy, Stepick’s Camera store, Tom Lawson Buick, Pat ‘n Dale Auto Supply, Young’s Store For Men, A&W Root Beer and Foster’s Freeze. 

Buob Martin’s family lived at 336 Hushbeck St. where she lived until she graduated from the University of San Francisco and got married in 1966.

Buob Martin recently returned to Watsonville from her current home in Indiana to continue family tree research at the Pajaro Valley Historical Association. 

As she rolled into town she got pulled over by Watsonville Police, not as a welcome wagon gesture, but because she didn’t make a full and complete stop at a stop sign in her old neighborhood. The cop let her go along with a few advisory words.

At least a dozen of her relatives are buried in town at the Pioneer Cemetery.

Buob Martin said she still recalls days of being a pom-pom girl at WHS, homecoming parades down Main Street and cheeseburgers and vanilla Cokes during school lunch at the nearby Donut Den on East Lake Avenue.

“That’s where everybody went around lunch,” she said. “Even the staff hung out there—it was the place to go. Or the A&W Drive-In on Freedom Boulevard for root beer floats; Dick and Ted Crocker’s dad owned it.”

For out-of-town fun, Buob Martin said it was common to go to the Brookdale Lodge in San Lorenzo Valley for prom dates. 

“And it was the Miramar Grill for Christmas Eve with family, the Chili Dog Stand that was across from the Masonic Temple and next to the Police Station,” she said. “One unforgettable memory is cruising up Main Street after Rainbow Girls meetings in the Masonic Temple, down to Pronto Pup Drive-In at the St Patrick’s end of the street, turning around in the Pronto Pup lot and going back again multiple times. Best part: We were wearing our full-length gowns in rainbow colors and tennis shoes. I did it with dates, too, but this was the most fun.”

Tarmo Hannula
Tarmo Hannula has been the lead photographer with The Pajaronian newspaper in Watsonville since 1997. He also reports on a wide range of topics, including police, fire, environment, schools, the arts and events. A fifth generation Californian, Tarmo was born in the Mother Lode of the Sierra (Columbia) and has lived in Santa Cruz County since the late 1970s. He earned a BA from UC Santa Cruz and has traveled to 33 countries.

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