Town Crier: Farewell to longtime Safeway Montclair managers


Montclair Lions Club member Bill Scramstad, right, is shown collecting eggs from young collectors during the Montclair Lions Club annual Easter egg hunt on April 12, 2009. Longtime Safeway managers Scramstad and John Lake recently retired after each working for Safeway for 41 years. (D. Ross Cameron/Staff archives)

MONTCLARION: November 25, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving! If your life is anything like mine, you’ve got a full tummy and a full house. But as sluggish as you may feel, you’ve got a job to do today, so you might as well get to it.
It’s time to strip the carcass.

There are many ways to fix leftovers and some folks get creative. My favorite recipe is Turkey Noodle Doodah Casserole, a Minnesotan delicacy using egg noodles, turkey, Cream of Mushroom soup and Old Dutch Potato Chips. Is it good? You betcha! You can even dress it up for fancy occasions with a little Cheese Whiz on top.

Around town: Speaking of food, longtime Safeway managers Bill Scramstad and John Lake have quietly joined the ranks of the retired. Both men have been with Safeway some 41 years — almost impossible to imagine in this day and age. Most visible was Scramstad, whose departure “will be a great loss — not only to Safeway — but to Montclair,” says Lake. As store manager, Bill helped run the Montclair Lions Club and a number of charity events. He also hired and mentored several special needs employees. Happy trails to both of you!

Closing time: An Uptown staple is shutting its doors. Ozumo was one of the first restaurants to open in Uptown’s development project that began in 2006. Founder Jeremy Umland says he and his business partner were so optimistic, they took the largest restaurant space in Oakland. Umland admits to some lean times in the past eight years, but says it’s unfortunate that they have to close just as Oakland is seeing such growth.

Holiday happenings: ‘Tis the season — for folks to come together at the Dec. 1 Montclair Holiday Stroll. This is a magical evening with strolling carolers and dancing trees and spiced cider and cookies. Thursday nights through Dec. 15 mean late shopping in Montclair Village and some sweet seasonal offerings like the 2 to 8 p.m. happy hour at El Agavero.

Montclair muses: Mother Nature can be full of surprises, but one thing’s for sure — snowflakes don’t rise, they fall. Or do they? Reader Margaret Thomas says she was admiring the holiday light display at the top of La Salle in Montclair Village last week, when she realized the snowflakes weren’t falling, but rather, ascending. She says it’s the second year in a row she’s seen this phenomenon of rising, not falling flakes on La Salle. In the Montclair Village Association’s defense, I have seen snowflakes swirling in all directions, assuming there’s a stiff winter wind.

Got news? You can reach Ginny Prior by email at or on the web at http://www.


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