Visiting Glicks Lumber Yard With My Father

Visiting Glicks Lumber Yard With My Father

My father was always building, changing, or redesigning something at our house on Whittier’s Close Street when I was growing up in the 1960s.

I remember that he moved the refrigerator back to give more room for the dinner table in one of his redesigns. In another, he changed the doorway in the back bedroom into a large sliding shutter door. He also added a breakfast bar with shutters. Continuing a trend, he installed two rows of shutters, one above the other, in the windows of his new den. My mother always seemed pleased with the changes that made the kitchen larger and more comfortable for the five of us.

We made many trips to Glicks Lumber Yard to get supplies for these modifications. Glicks stood at the corner of Telegraph and Mills. I live in Missouri now, and found out via Google Maps that apparently now it’s a dirt lot.

I always tried to go with my father when he went to Glicks. It was a large lumber shed at the corner with the long side parallel to Telegraph road. It had the most wonderful fresh cut lumber smell in the shed thanks to a large and active electric saw in the building.

Along the inside walls of the Glicks corrugated metal shed, lumber stacks faced the AT&SF (Santa Fe) railroad spur, which ran down the center and delivered lumber to the yard. The track that served Glicks originated north of Lakeland Road in the oil fields on the Santa Fe mainline, and was called La Habra Valley Spur on the official timetable. A southerly sweeping curve brought it parallel to Lakeland and on a course to cross Carmenita at 90 degrees just down from the old Sears store and then through a sweeping S curve where a siding was before crossing Telegraph and then Mills continuing past the water tank, behind McKibbon School and onto a trestle across the concrete ditch near the confluence of two creeks.

The railroad would spot flat cars of lumber out the backside of the shed using a reverse spur that entered the shed from the Mills Road end and traveled through and out the other end. I remember trains running past on their way back to the mainline. The AT&SF used black and silver units often called “Zebra Stripes” officially from 1935 to 1960 and then switched to blue with yellow ends sometimes referred to as “Bookends” from 1960 to 1972.

I can’t confirm this as a memory because I was pretty young and not allowed to run out of the shed at the sound of the diesel horn, but I believe they still used the “Zebra Stripes” at the time.

The Glicks trip I remember best was to buy lumber for the new screen at the end of the patio. After one re-landscape, my father created what we called the “pink” patio, with redwood 2×4 dividers and pink dyed concrete panels typical of the ‘60s. It had a pepper tree well in the center. My father designed a large screen, separated into symmetrical sections with a window or opening in the center. The other sections were wavy fiberglass sheets standing upright in red and black frames. It matched the fence he built around our raised “play area” that was built from 4×4 posts.

It is a cherished memory because I went with my father to get supplies for his projects, saw trains together, and enjoyed the smell of fresh cut lumber. I was too young to be much help but loved going along. I learned from him and eventually became handy with tools myself.

Photo: 1960s interior via 1950sUnlimited.

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