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If my memory is correct Larkgal, before it was Buds Ice Cream, it was Herbert Sherbet. Next door was the Corte Madera Shoe Repair. Next to them was a beauty shop, then Crocker Bank.

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Rick D. Mendell


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Hahahaha! Funny story about the skating, Melanie!

Was the Ancient Mariner REALLY dark inside with paintings of old ships being savaged by rough waters? I remember thinking the paintings were a little spooky, like something out of Rod Serling's "The Night Gallery".

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I grew up in Strawberry and the Ancient Mariner was the big fancy restaurant that we went to for birthdays. I remember their Clam Chowder was great and I think it was the first place I ever had Mud Pie - yum!

My other great memory of the "Town & Country Village" was the Hickry Pit. My grandmother would take us there for lunch after she got her hair done at the Golden Strawberry Hair Salon. Their milkshakes, fries and chocolate cream pie was the best!

We also used to roller skate (white skates, rainbow laces & pink wheels) all over that shopping center. The best was skating one of the longer stretches and jumping to hit every hanging wooden sign (for each of the stores). Once a friend hit one and it dislodged on one end and swung into the glass front of one of the stores (this was at night). Needless to say, we skated off quite fast and stopped hitting those signs!

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My girlfriend, Sherrie, and I used to go to the Ancient Mariner for drinks on Friday evenings. We had a lot of fun there. One night I struck up a conversation with a really good looking guy and it turned out that he lived in the same small neigborhood that Sherrie and I did and we had never met him before. We invited him over for coffee at my place and he and my friend really hit it off. They began dating and went on to get married and make a great life together.

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Thanks for the great post! Check out the Corte Madera section for the Sixties...there are a bunch of old "CMC" (aka Town Center) pics.

I'd love to see some pics of old Strawberry Village way before IN-N-OUT. There was this one restaurant in the 70's (I think) called "The Ancient Mariner". Never realized until just now that "Mariner" may have been a play on words.

Keep posting, that brought back a lot of memories! Hopefully someone will find a picture of that old DUNK TANK. I'd love to see anything from that old CM Fair. Weren't there rides too?



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You know what I totally remember? The liquor store in Petrini's, where they had this big illuminated plastic penguin on a high corner shelf. Every time we went to Petrini's when I was little, I would sneak into the liquor section to see the penguin. Except he wasn't a penguin. He was a promo thingy for Old Crow. When Petrini's closed, I absolutely cried because of the Old Crow penguin. I may cry now, just thinking of it. DAMN PETRINI'S.

I hope someone, somewhere has a photo of the dunking booth that used to be at the 4th of July fair in Corte Madera Park. That had to be in the mid-70s, because I stopped seeing it by the time I was big enough to actually throw a softball hard enough to hit the target. That thing was awesome. Probably a huge legal liability, too.

So much has changed -- but you know what really blows my mind? The Corte Madera Town Center. Remember when it was just the Corte Madera Center? With Woolworths, and JC Penney, and Crocker Bank, and Bud's Ice Cream? Kind of run-down looking concrete, with the goofy 70s-modern sign that said "CMC?" That mall's transformation sums up the changes in Marin, for me; it gives me this (maybe inaccurate) memory of southern Marin as a less rarified, more all-American place than it is now.

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