My name is Michele (Martin) Carter. My parents are Al (deceased) and Barbara (Bobbye) Montanari Martin who owned and operated the Valley Market at the end of Yosemite Avenue from 1963 to the early 70’s. My grandparents were Resto and Ada Montanari who owned and operated the Big Top Drive In.
Our family has discovered that we do not have any pictures of the Big Top Drive In and would like to appeal to your readers that if any of them do have such photos, would they please e-mail or contact me so I can have duplicates made.
Also, my uncles, Bob and Paul Stefanelli, owned and operated the Reed and Bell Drive In, located on what is now known as Gateway Drive (uncles Leo and “Babe” Stefanelli owned and operated the Reed and Bell Drive In located in Los Banos) and my uncle Julius Montanari and his son, Ken, owned and operated Monty’s Liquor which was located next to the Standard Station at the end of Yosemite Avenue and later in the former Valley Market site. If any of your readers have pictures of those establishments, please contact me.
These establishments are a piece of Madera history and our family’s history that I would like to complete.
I have checked with the Tribune through Tami Jo Nix, and she was unable to locate pictures of the Big Top Drive In, both in the Tribune’s archives and the high school’s old year books.
Thanks to you and your readers for any assistance they can provide. Keep up the good work.
Michele Martin Carter
1412 W. Sample Avenue
Fresno, CA 93711