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Verdugo Views: Remembering Glendale from afar

July 29, 2013
  • Barbara Berman Giasone with her parents, Harold and Margaret Berman, when she was about 3 years old in the early 1940s. The family lived on Bellevue Drive at the time.
Barbara Berman Giasone with her parents, Harold and Margaret… (Courtesy of Barbara…)

Even though she moved away years ago, Barbara Berman Giasone still considers Glendale her hometown.

“I was born there in 1941,” she said.

Giasone’s family lived on Bellevue Drive until 1950 when they moved to South Dakota and then to Redondo Beach. They moved back here to a house near the intersection of Brand Boulevard and Kenneth Road in the mid-1950s. They left again in 1957 and she graduated from Garden Grove High in 1959.

“Believe it or not, my dad wasn't even in the military,” Giasone said.

Her father, Harold Berman, was in the jewelry business.

“He met my mother, Margaret, at Gensler-Lee Jewelry. Eventually, he went on to Barry's Jewelers on Brand (later Brand Jewelers), and then joined with Doug Jensen to form Berman & Jensen Jewelers,” Giasone said.

Both her parents were working at Berman & Jensen, at Maryland Avenue and Broadway, when she was young.

“They would send me next door to Bob's Big Boy for a hamburger, orange soda and orange doughnut; I think, just to get me out of their hair,’’ she said.

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Giasone, who worked for the Orange County Register for many years, said she once interviewed Robert C. Wian, founder of Bob’s Big Boy, at his home in Newport Beach, bringing back many memories of her childhood.

Her parents died in 1967 when two Marine aircraft collided over Leisure World and plummeted to the ground, killing several people.

“It's taken a lot of work to reconstruct my childhood for an autobiography,” Giasone said. “Thankfully, some Glendale friends, including Mary Rose Grim, have been helpful.”

She met Grim when she came back to her first home on Bellevue to do a story for the Register. Afterward, she stopped by Balboa School and the principal introduced her to one of the teachers — Grim.

“She and I became fast friends. In fact, she arranged for me to meet with my favorite teacher, Helen Shelton, and three of my second-grade pals. Now, that's a friend,” she said.

Nowadays, Giasone stays connected with her hometown by reading the Glendale News-Press online.

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