(The chicken farming connection continued this year . My Auntie Soo-Yin went to her Van Nuys High School reunion two years ago and met a former classmate of her's , Ed Holloway . They fell in love and were married this year ! Ed's family also had a chicken farming operation in the Valley called the Holly Poultry Ranch at the same time Jue Joe and San Tong were farming asparagus there. It was fitting that at Ed and Soo-Yins wedding the guests were served chicken breasts and asparagus spears for dinner !)
Dave Zoraster writes :
Junior - As you probably know, I work with your brother Richard. I also went to Hayvenhurst and Birmingham with your aunts. More importantly, relative to your blog, my father had a hatchery and then a poultry supply store and manufacturing operation on Vanowen Street in Van Nuys, a half mile east of the Joe Jue Ranch, from the late 1920s (with a gap during the depression) until the early 1960s. I was raised around the corner from my dad's shop on Woodley.
Richard thought you would enjoy the attached photographs. The first one is my dad's shop on Vanowen, probably in the 1940s.
Note the limited paving or finsh to the roadway. Your father used to ride his bike by there and told me sometimes he would drink at the hose bib. At the left the roof was a small house we lived in until 1948 when my dad's business got good and my first brother (I am the oldest of four) was born. The combined need for space and availability of money allowed my folks to buy the abutting lot on Woodley and build a new house. My mother had a story that when they were designing the new house she went to George Chapman, who was the custom home builder in the area. He had built the Jue Ranch House and recommended that she look at it for ideas. (My mom went to UCLA, she may have known one of your great aunts.) Anyway, my mom's story was that based in part on the Jue Ranch House she had Chapman draw up plans for our considerably smaller house. Chapman also of course provided a cost estimate and, as a result, a number of features (a fireplace specifically) got dropped. It was also only one story and was much smaller - major additions were made later as more little brothers arrived. In the end there was very little similarity between the houses.
The second photo is my dad's delivery truck for his hatchery, probably taken in the late 1920s at the back of the Vanowen property. The brick building in the first photo was added on in front of the wood building in the second photo.
The third photo is the grandfather or great uncle of your new uncle. His family had a hatchery in Van Nuys also.
It and the fourth photo are from advertisements in my dad's 1921 and 1922 Van Nuys High School yearbooks.
The fourth photo just gives an idea how small town Van Nuys was then, advertsing a car's power by naming the local people (and their weights) and the local road the car could handle.
Birmingham was a six year school when I started there in the seventh grade, combining junior and senior high school. Your uncle Guy was student body president and I think a star swimmer, one of your aunts was junior high president or something like that. And an awful lot of the student body lived in the housing tract built out of the south three-quarters of the Joe Jue Ranch after it was sold and subdivided.
The theory that the spelling of the name was changed to avoid ant-jewish feelings makes sense, particularily at the time period. Many years later I remember my father enjoying making a crack about the "jews down the street" , to the confusion of whoever he was talking to - your brother Richard is still occasionally subject to such clever repartee. In retrospect I am not sure that my mother, who was jewish, thought it was all that clever either.
I never met your great aunts, but when I worked at the LA County Assessor's Office in the early 1970s I remember Dorothy had quite a reputation in the Van Nuys office. Pre-Proposition 13 property taxes were a hugh burden, particularily if you owned a half mile of unproductive major street frontage. She would come in and raise hell about the property tax assessment. I remember her being called the Dragon Lady by one of the appraisers, after a comic strip character.
I very much enjoyed reading the blog. It is very well written and obviously took a tremendous amount of work. You have a fascinating family. Thanks for sharing it.
Sincerely, Dave Zoraster