“Master Concrete” holders III

February 16, 2018

This mark, from Howard Avenue in Piedmont, documents two things. First, it shows that distinguished sidewalk maker Ed Doty held “Master Concrete” number 13, in addition to numbers 16 (1937-38) and 17 (1938-45).

Second, it shows that Doty switched from this stamp to the curved configuration, which incorporates the Master Concrete bug inside, some time between April and September 1937, when he used Master Concrete number 16.

“Master Concrete” holders I

“Master Concrete” holders II


1982 – A. J. Ferrero

January 21, 2018

32 Greenbank Avenue, Piedmont

This mark extends Ferrero’s dates into the 1980s. It’s also only the second proper stamp I’ve ever found from 1982.

1938 – Ed Doty (master 17)

January 20, 2018

965 Rose Street, Piedmont

This mark establishes the change from Concrete Master 16 to 17 as having taken place early in 1938.

1928 – Ed Doty

January 19, 2018

573 Wesley Avenue

This version of Doty’s second-oldest stamp used a dot in the date instead of a dash.

Sidewalk maker: Anthony Anaclerio

December 15, 2017

Anthony Edwin Anaclerio (1904-1981) was born in or near Palermo, Italy, and christened Antonio. He immigrated in 1905 with his mother “Rosy” and two siblings, preceded the year before by his father “Frank,” and the family showed up in the 1920 census living in Berkeley with two more children born in America. At that time “Tony” and his older brother Charles worked at California Foundries with their father, and his mother was a clerk-typist at a syrup factory.

He rose in the world to become a contractor working in the fresh air, and sidewalks stamped with his name are found all over Berkeley, dating from the 1950s and 1960s (thanks to Hannah Berman’s long-inactive Sidewalk Secrets blog for that documentation). And Lincoln Cushing has recorded another example in Albany.

I have not found an Anaclerio mark in Oakland — the photo here is from Los Angeles Avenue in Berkeley — so ordinarily I wouldn’t record it in Oakland Underfoot. But his work inspired David Woeller and Peter Tracy to write “Mr. Anaclerio’s Sidewalk,” a song about a sidewalk maker and the pavement that’s his posterity:

There’s a sidewalk in North Berkeley that moves up ‘n’ down just like a roller coaster ride,
Roots of the camphor tree are pushing it up from the underside
The people in the neighborhood have learned where to step high and low
On the sidewalk built in 1954 by Mister Anaclerio

While I can supply a few bare facts about guys like Anthony Anaclerio in a blog like this, it takes a poet’s song to evoke their living lives. And my few notes here aren’t really that important, any more than Anaclerio’s name, chosen for its rhyme. The point is that he’s an emblem of hundreds of sidewalk makers who helped build our East Bay by hand, square by square.

I can see him bending to his labor in the early morning East Bay fog
One hand on the floating trowel and one eye watchin’ the prowling dog
He knows nothin’ lasts forever and especially the monuments of man
And the pride in his eye is the completion of the labors of his hand

That was their craft and their trade. I bow to them wherever I walk. And I keep in mind that their work may outlive mine.

Sidewalk maker: Arthur G. Moniz

December 8, 2017

Arthur G. Moniz (1911-1973) grew up in East Oakland, the son of Hawaiian parents of Portuguese ancestry. His father George was a shipbuilder, and at age 19 Arthur was listed in the 1930 census as a cabinetmaker. In the 1940 census he was listed as a cemetery caretaker, married to Rose (another Hawaiian native) and the father of Arthur Jr., born in 1939. Various records have him as a mariner in 1934, a shipbuilder in 1935, an ironworker in 1936, 1938 and 1940, a laborer in 1939, a shipfitter in 1944 and a cement contractor in 1967.

He never used a metal stamp. His trademark was the hand-drawn scroll; I have examples dating from the 1930s into the 1960s. I have two examples from the 1950s consisting of the scroll with “Moniz + Moniz” inside. Perhaps Arthur Jr. helped, or a relative. He also left hand-drawn marks consisting of his name and various partners:

Moniz & Johnson (perhaps R. W. Johnson or R. E. Johnson)

Moniz & Chaves (probably L. F. Chaves)

Andrade & Moniz (William Andrade)

Moniz-Silva-Chaves (there are several possible Silvas)

J + J & Moniz

He lived at several addresses in East Oakland, but I think of his home being at 3955 Burckhalter Avenue, where he lived in the 1950s.

It’s because of this panel at the front gate.

I wish I knew more about him; I think he must have been a character.

2008 – B. R. Concrete

December 1, 2017

Highland Way and Highland Avenue, Piedmont

This is on the floor of the little bus station where the 33 line pauses.

As I push into Piedmont, I hope to find a few marks to include in Oakland’s compilation. This is the first, but I don’t think there will be many.

In other news, I still have not found a mark from 2017. That’s pretty unusual, so if you have seen one please add a comment and tell me where it is.