Slice of Life – Changes at Hadley

August 8, 2023

After watching our niece play one of Ariel’s mer sisters in The Little Mermaid at The Old Town Temecula Theater on Sunday (it was precious, by the way), we drove home on Monday.

About 45 minutes from home, we decided we needed a break and stopped at Hadley Fruit Orchards in Banning, California. As a child visiting grandma, we made a regular stop here to buy all our raisins, walnuts, almonds, dried apricots–all things fruit and nuts. This is the old building, still on the premises:

Today, Hadley is owned by the Morongo Band of Mission Indians and is located in a new building next to the old one. My grandma used to live on the other side of the highway, within walking distance.

Imagine the scene below without Chipotle, or the parking lot, or the landscaping, or the skyscraper casino. (Or the outlet malls behind me.) That’s what it looked like when I was young. Yesterday I wondered what it would be like if my grandma could be here and see all the changes. That is always fascinating to me to imagine changes over generations.

The inside has changed a lot too. There are still plenty of dried fruits and nuts, but there are also every imaginable snack food and drink and candy and souvenir and so much more. I wanted to buy a dozen different things, but instead…

I just bought a date shake. Everyone needs a date shake when they go to Hadley.

10 thoughts on “Slice of Life – Changes at Hadley

  1. Denise, it is nice to know that the old building has not been torn down to make room for the new, but that they can co-exist. Date shake? Something I have never heard of. Looking at your picture of the inside of the building I think I would be like a kid in a candy store.

  2. I think about your comment, “Imagine the scene below without Chipotle, or the parking lot, or the landscaping, or the skyscraper casino. (Or the outlet malls behind me.) .” So much change happens now—without even the distance of a grandparent for perspective. All the concrete…I wonder how long the remnants of the past, that tumbling-down reminder, will endure. And all the options, sometimes they leave me exhausted.
    I love the sweet closing though…a date shake sounds delicious. (I thought you might write a poem, an ode or haiku to that cold treat.)

  3. Denise,
    The new Hadley’s is shiny and pretty, but there’s something a little sad about it, too. I like the organic feel of the old roadside fruit stands. I get overloaded w/ stimulation in large retail spaces and end up buying nothing because it’s too hard to decide what to buy. BTW, I’ve never had a date shake.

  4. Denise, I also wonder what your grandmother would think of the change. Just this morning on my drive in to work, I was looking out over the landscape of the rolling hillsides here in rural Georgia, trying to keep myself from thinking that 30 years from now, this land with morning steam rising from the ponds and the forests will be subdivisions. It breaks my heart. I’m glad that they didn’t tear down the old building. And I’m also glad you got some great pictures of the place.

  5. One thing we can depend on is things will change. Your slice shows this so well through your words, photos and your nudge to use our imagination. I live in the same area that I was born and I’m constantly noticing and commenting “That used be…” I love the idea of a date shake, too!

  6. How wonderful that the old store still exists. It is fascinating to think how much things change over time. That date shake looked yummy!!

  7. This post is lovely, like a piece of travel writing. It brought the reader to this specific time and place with a hot pick for what to order. Yum! As you are someone who shares a history with a place throughout generations, your writing reminds us of our connections to the spaces we inhabit. This is intriguing to someone who is not a “Native” of their current city. Thank you!

  8. Oh Denise – I love seeing your part of the world – so different from the Mid-Atlantic coast! Your description of Hadley’s from then to now is fascinating. It would be a great setting for a children’s book.

  9. Like you, I wonder what my grandmother would think of life today. Is it simpler or harder? I know that she suffered the loss of her husband to Parkinson’s and sent two sons to WWII. That’s a hard life. Things do change. Sometimes they are good changes, like a bigger, newer space for getting a date shake (yum). But sometimes I’d like to sit next to her again and just play with my Barbies. She made furniture and clothes for my Barbies. Thanks for spurring on these memories for me.

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