Gladys and her husband, Herb Rice, raised two children, Herb Jr. and Robert. Other family members also lived close to
home: her mother and sister continued living on the property, while
brother ran a gas station on Sunset Boulevard at Alvarado Street (replaced in the 1960s by the Sunset Car Wash).
"Like a garden of Eden"
The narrow little property was idyllic for young Robert, who attended Logan himself
in the 1940s and early 1950s. There were apricot trees and half a dozen peach trees. When the grass on the hill behind the
house grew tall, kids would slide down it in cardboard boxes. "It was like a
Garden of Eden in the middle of L.A.," Robert recalled. "None of the kids I knew had a hill behind their house as a playground."
Growing up, Robert took the streetcar to school, rode his bicycle throughout
Elysian Park and
polliwogs in the L.A. River. He got ice cream from Betty's Ice Cream or went with his mother to the Jewish deli nearby (both
are now the parking lot at Pioneer Market).
Delivery men brought ice,
bread and even fish to the Rice family home door (an Italian salesman went up the street yelling "FRESH
FEESH!"). The Ramona Theater on Sunset Boulevard was plain, while the nearby Hollyway movie theater
was considered much fancier.
During high school, while working at his uncle's
gas station on Sunset, Robert made deposits at California Bank across the street.