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Market memories

July 20, 2009

Re "Still fresh, yet familiar, at 75," Column One, July 15

It was heartwarming to read your article on the Original Farmers Market. It is indeed a special place, a true Los Angeles treasure, a small town in a big city.

I grew up there. For years, my father was the podiatrist at the market. Ensconced in his tiny cubicle, Lou "Doc" Smolin clipped the nails, shaved the corns and massaged the feet of a variety of market denizens, from bandleader Woody Herman to Mrs. Walter O'Malley to a multitude of neighborhood folk.

Thanks again for capturing the essence of the place.

Barry Smolin

Los Angeles

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Growing up nearby, I spent a good deal of time there. And for the last 70 years, I have been eating Magee's House of Nuts peanut butter. When we lived in New York in the 1960s, we had it shipped to us; there is none so good anywhere.

Julie May

Los Angeles

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I just had to add my own addendum to your wonderful Farmers Market story. A few years ago, I stopped by the market, discreetly toting in my briefcase my mom's cremated remains, on my way to her final resting place.

I thought one last trip together to where she so often bought me chocolate milk and doughnuts in the 1950s might be nice. It was.

I swear, the same old chairs under the same old tree were still there -- happily within sight of Bob's Coffee and Doughnuts. On the way out, I went to the place she would sometimes buy me a toy -- Kip's. And not only was it still there, but so was Kip. Gray, slightly stooped but still going strong.

Having moved east 30 years ago, I smile when someone says my hometown has no history. I love L.A.

Gregory Munford

Arlington, Va.

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Your article about the Farmers Market's 75th anniversary captured its heart and soul perfectly; I call it L.A.'s biggest natural antidepressant.

Tom Stanley

Palm Springs

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