The day arrived for the second closure of the old school Sawtelle businesses. First it was George's Hardware next door to GR2 who closed just last month and today was the final day for Satsuma Imports. I remember going into Satsuma Imports as a kid. There was a pond in back and a tiny bridge that would take you across to the other side which had a bit more retail.
If I have my story straight, Don Sakai's uncle purchased the building 1939 and at some point in the early 60s, Satsuma Imports opened just a few doors down. Don told the story today, that at some point Satsuma then moved to its current location and was run by his father. Don and his wife Cynthia have been there for nearly as long as I can remember.
Don still calls me "kiddo," and I've heard plenty of great stories and wisdom. Cynthia on the other hand offers the biggest hugs on the block. They'll be missed.
The history of their location will always exist, but I was glad to be there to celebrate their final day. One of the best things about today is I got to hear Don tell the story about the time when this tweaker couple threw their dog's shit in their shop. It landed clean on top of their poo bag and Don grabbed it and hustled down the street and shoved it on the girls face. It happened. I was there. Surely there are better stories to tell, but this one came up today. I'll see them in the following few weeks cleaning up, so it's not quite a good bye, and if you see them, give them a wave, they deserve it.
As a retailer on the block, it's great to be part of the area that they helped create. I hope I can hold my end for a bit longer.
Watch Don Sakai take Huell Howser Along Sawtelle Blvd. I'm proud to be in this video with them.