This scale hung in the Lindberg Open Air Market in Port Angeles while Marvin Lindberg owned the store. (Judi Lindberg)

BACK WHEN: Memories of Port Angeles grocery store shared

SEVERAL PEOPLE RECOGNIZED the Lindberg Open Air Market at Fourth and Lincoln streets in Port Angeles from the September picture of the month.

Judi Lindberg sent the photo of her dad’s shop, and her comments are below.

“This was my dad’s store, from 1946 until 1951.

“This store was where Mom (Ruth Miller) and Dad (Marvin Lindberg) met.

“It was when Dad was working for Hill’s Fruit and Produce, owned by Charlie Hill. The year was 1941. Mom had come to Port Angeles, from Sheridan, Ore., to visit her sister, Florence, and her husband, Loren.

“Dad proposed to Mom before she returned to Sheridan. They were married in 1943, before Dad was drafted into the Army and served in the Philippines.

“I was born in 1944 and Dad was honorably discharged in December 1945.”

New store owner

“In 1946, he became the new owner of the store, Lindberg’s Fruit and Produce. He ran it until 1951 when he started working for Langendorf Bread as a driver and salesman until 1981, when he retired from Gai’s Bakery,” she said.

“My parents, Marvin and Ruth Lindberg, both gone now, showed me the richness of life with little money in those post-war years.

“We lived up above the store in an upstairs apartment.

“Charlie Hill, who sold the store to Dad, lived in a small one-room apartment, in the back of the store.

“I remember that Dad would sit on a tall stool to have his sandwich and milk while he kept watch for customers.

“He would bring us Campbell’s tomato soup for lunch sometimes, and we always had fresh fruit and vegetables, for sure.

“I remember watching my dad close the store at night, rolling those wooden doors across the front until the next day.

“I was proud to see my name written in red script — so elegant, I thought, likened to a theater marquee.

“There was a sewing machine shop next door which Jack Ludlow owned and operated.

“Next to that was a radio repair shop, which was owned by Stan Radinsky.

“There was a narrow wooden sidewalk beside the store which led to a rear apartment, where the Radinsky family lived.

“I remember attending kindergarten in the old Roosevelt gym, now the Vern Burton center.

“It was a wonderful beginning for all of us, our family of three.

“These are warm memories of a quieter, gentler, safer time. I miss those days.”

Idah Smith wrote, “I was delighted to see the picture of Marv Lindberg in his store on Lincoln.

“The best part for me was noticing the old hanging scale in the right side of the photo.

“It’s hard to see in the print, but the top is large and circular, with the scale tray hanging below that.

“When Marv sold his shop, my dad bought the scale and it was on grocery duty at Parkway Grocery until his retirement in 1971.

“Our biggest use for the scale was weighing potatoes from 100-pound gunny sacks into bags of 10 pounds each.

“I own the scale, and it has hung in each of my homes. At one time, we hung it in the display window at Jim’s Pharmacy.”

Scale poem

Judi Lindberg enclosed a photo of the old scale and a poem she wrote to Smith. Here is “This Old Scale,” written in 2006:

She said I needed to see something before I left the store.

I went to find her and satisfy my curiosity.

I stopped abruptly when she pointed. I quickly swallowed the lump in my throat.

Proudly displaying a pyramid of polished autumn apples,

The old scale hung silently in the window of Jim’s Pharmacy.

This sentry spoke volumes in its genteel glory, a passage to “back in the day.”

As it towered about the harvest collection, time stood still for me.

My mind ran headlong back to 1947, back to Lincoln Street —

This was the scale that hung in my dad’s store when I was a very small child,

But I can see it now, “Lindberg’s Fruit and Produce,” in vibrant red-lettered script.

Dad greeted his customers with a smile, a fishing story or two, and curb service, of course!

On this scale he weighed oranges, apples, grapes, lettuce, vegetables — all fresh daily.

Almost 60 years later, the old scale brings it all back for me, a tear-stained vision.

Like many of us, there are a few dents, a few scratches … the signs of inevitable aging,

But ah, the history, the stories, the people this old scale has met in all those passing years.

Traveling from Marvin Lindberg’s open-air market to Eddy Herman’s Parkway Grocery,

The old scale now graces the window of this pharmacy in dignity and heritage.

Our dads are no longer with us, but we share the wonder of this moment.

This old scale is the symbol of our childhoods, when life was rich and wonderful.

This old scale weighs more than apples. It connects us to the memories of our dads.

We are bonded in that history of growing up forever, Idah and I — smiling and remembering.

When Port Angeles was smaller, cozier, quieter, simpler and maybe … better.

This old scale, like those of us who are trying to age gracefully, weighs timeless love.

Walked by store

Bernice Byrne and her sisters remembered walking by the store on their way to Jefferson School.

Their mom often had them pick up a head of lettuce or potatoes.

Norman Gallacci also remembered the store as he walked by on his way to Roosevelt.

He commented that Mr. Lindberg often gave the kids an apple.

Charles Hill kept the market open for a couple of years after Lindberg moved on until in 1954 he opened the Olympic View Barbershop.

By 1959, Edward Kavanaugh and Eugene Olefsen were the new owners, and in 1962, Wayne Bushman and John L. McHone owned the barbershop.

Charles Riddle wrote that he had purchased the building where Lindberg’s business was located in about 1962 together with John “Larry” McHone as the Olympic View Barbershop.

Riddle worked there for 35 years.

He said that the building was built in 1913 by Sig Larsen for the Brooder family.

Sandison’s Bakery operated there until 1922, when it moved into its new building, which was removed when Safeway built its new store in 1966 and the parking lot became the resting place for the Sandison’s Bakery building.

Riddle said he sold his interest in the building to Thomas J. Neudorfer in 1999 and retired.

Riddle said that Lindberg’s daughter, Judi, was his inspiration in writing his memories.


Alice Alexander is a Clallam County historian, author, and a descendent of an Elwha Valley pioneer family. She is a recipient of a 2014 Clallam County Heritage Awards. She can be reached at [email protected].

Alice’s Clallam history column appears the first Sunday of every month, alternating with Linnea Patrick’s Jefferson County history column on the third Sunday of the month.

October picture of the past Do any of you recognize this photo of the Graysmarsh main residence? Do you know the stories of this old mansion? Write to Alice Alexander at 204 W. Fourth St., Apt. 14, Port Angeles, WA 98362 or email her at [email protected] and she will include your comments in her Nov. 5 column.

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