Memories of El Monte
By Richard Cortez
For the younger generation there was a time before digital music and Mp3 players. We had 45 and LP records and we would play them on the biggest stereos we could buy that would have 10 inch speakers made out of real wood. We did not have Dj’s but our uncle would play the records at our family parties as loud as his stereo would go. Every little town would have a record shop and El Monte had the best one I felt. It was Pate’s Tapes and Records at 10905 Garvey Avenue. The building is still there but, now it is a market. It was opened around 1960’s and had all kinds of music from classical to rock and roll. They sold eight track tapes and 45 records. I bought my first 45 record there; it was called “Buick 59” recorded by Vernon Green & the Medallions. There was a time in 1973 that all my friends would buy their records from Pate’s until Zody’s opened in El Monte. There you could buy an LP record for less than two bucks what a deal since my allowance was only two bucks a week. Pate’s lasted until the giant record stores began opening up like “Tower Records” then “Music Plus” which offered not just a few records but hundreds of records. I miss Pate she was an amazing teacher that taught me all about music.
Big D Enter-Out Burgers
Big D as we would all call it was located at 11629 Valley Blvd. across from McDonald’s. It was first opened in the late 1960’s. Some people would say that it opened after In-Out Burgers opened in El Monte and was the second hamburger stand to have speakers for the drive thru. In 1973 my friends and I would walk after school and get burgers and fries plus chocolate malts that were out of this world. Big D got so busy that the owners found a bigger and better location down the street at the corner of Valley and Durfee were not only was the stand bigger but, so was the menu it now included pastrami’s and Mexican food. The burger stand on valley was taken over by “Art’s” and is just as good.
U-Drive Go Karts
U-Drive was located right next to Big-D at 11645 Valley Blvd. You could ride the go- karts for an hour for five dollars and with your friends have a blast. Sometimes we would get out of hand and get yelled at for driving crazy trying to crash into our friends karts. And when we got tired of riding the karts we would go to the big slide and ride it the rest of the day. Funny thing is we would have so much fun for the day and not use drugs or drink. The picture was taken from my high school annual. That is my friend Kim in the picture with two guys that worked their.