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El Cerrito groups holding centennial walking tour March 18

The historic Rodini house on Elm Street in El Cerrito.

 

The El Cerrito Historical Society and the El Cerrito Trail Trekkers will host “Architecture in the Flatlands,” a free walking tour of historical homes in El Cerrito, from 1 to 3 p.m. March 18.

“Let’s walk past and perhaps visit some of the more interesting historical homes in the city’s flatlands ranging from the early 20th through the mid 20th century.”

Meet by the historic Rodini house at 1715 Elm St. for the tour led by Dave Weinstein.

 

 

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El Cerrito’s beloved It Club celebrated with online treasure trove of family photos

The It Club at San Pablo and Central avenues in the heart of El Cerrito lives on in the memories of longtime residents. The club opened in 1938 and was the longest lasting of the city’s many celebrated nightspots, not closing until 1977. It was regionally famed as a stripper joint, but that ended in 1970, and the club carried on featuring musical acts.

If you’ve heard about it but never been there, or if you went there and want to remember what it was like, we recommend a visit to this website , created about a year ago by Tim Gatto, grandson of It Club founders Walt and Eda Gatto.  The collection of photos taken inside and outside the club are priceless.

Tim posted this on his Facebook page: A little over a year ago I put together a brief website to honor the “It Club”, an El Cerrito night club owned by my late grandfather, Walt Gatto. The “It Club” operated from 1939 – 1977, and was an East Bay staple for live music and various nightlife activity. I am hoping to build it out with a more complete history including articles, but so far it’s mainly a photo archive. I consider the site a work in progress, but hoping to make it a home to a unique bit of bay area and family history. Open to any recommendations to better the site, as well as any stories from the “It Club” era. Thanks for looking! http://www.elcerritoitclub.com

We will post more about the It Club here and hope you will share memories of the nightspot here and on the family’s tribute site. And we want to thank Diane Schoenstein Gatto, Tim’s mother, for contacting and letting us know about it.

itclub1938

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Federal order in 1942 hits the Japanese American community in Richmond and El Cerrito

richmond independent enemy aliens 1942

The 75th anniversary of the imprisonment of Japanese Americans on the West Coast during World War II is today, Feb. 19.

The initial coverage of the upcoming removal plans from the Richmond Independent on Feb. 2, 1942, noted that the federal order would impact the substantial and long-established Japanese American flower-growing industry in Richmond and El Cerrito.

 

richmond independent enemy aliens 1942a

The story of the Japanese American nursery families is Richmond and El Cerrito and their experiences during and after the war is told in the documentary “Blossoms and Thorns,” which is shown at 2 p.m. Thursdays at the Rosie the Riveter Visitor Education Center, 1414 Harbour Way South in Richmond.

 

 

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Berkeley: Moe’s Books explains why it will be closed on Feb. 17

People gather in front of Moe’s Books on Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley Sunday 4/20/97 during a memorial block party for bookstore owner Moe Moskowitz who died April 1, 1997 at the age of 75. (WEST COUNTY TIMES/EDDIE LEDESMA) wmoe

Moe’s Books on Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley posted the following announcement on its Facebook page to explain why it will be closed on Feb. 17:

 

Dear Friends
Many of you know that a general strike has been planned for February 17th as a way of resisting the Trump administration. Our immediate reaction was to support this action in spirit, but it is difficult for a small business to forfeit even one day’s income. Still, after discussing this with the staff we have decided that we will close the store for the day. We do understand that not everyone can join the strike, but we urge you to spend some time on February 17th thinking about the state of the country, and that you consider resisting this regime in your own way.
Thank you
The management and staff at Moe’s Books
#radicalbookselling