July 13, 2024
Audio Features
Bernstein With a Twist
This is a weekly program with commentary on current issues.
Fresh from the Riverside Poly Class of ’57, Shirley Quarto wanted to be an airline stewardess.

But her dad urged her to apply for a job at a new department store. On Sept. 30, 1957, when Harris’ opened its doors at the new Riverside Plaza, there was Shirley, barely 18, working in the “hankie department” for $1.01 per hour.

This summer, the store now known as Gottschalks’, will liquidate forever. Shirley, now 70 today, will say good-bye to the only place she has worked for nearly 52 years.

Things were a bit different when the young saleslady first broke in.

“We had to wear hats, gloves, girdles, whether we needed them or not,” she told me.

Today’s dress code? “No cleavage and no sneakers.”
Episode Date: May 1, 2009
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