Shirlie Alice Montgomery • June 9, 1918 – Nov 5, 2012

Shirlie always had her camera handy.
Shirlie Alice Montgomery was born on Chapman Street in San Jose on June 9, 1918. She was an only child. To her friends and neighbors she was a treasure trove of history. Shirlie remembered it all. She remembered the Great Depression as a child, the Second World War as a young woman, and eventually the transformation of the Santa Clara Valley from a moderately sized agricultural town to the hustle and bustle of modern Silicon Valley. The majority of her memories were supported by the thousands of photographs in her collection.
Young Shirlie Montgomery

Shirlie a few years ago from an article in the Rose Garden Resident.

She was the grandniece of San Jose’s forefather T.S. Montgomery. Shirlie lived a colorful life but professionally she photographed it with a 4X5 Speed Graphic in B&W. She was a celebrated photographer that shot Hollywood stars, U.S. Presidents and pro wrestlers. Although Shirlie did work for the S. F. Examiner and the San Jose Mercury her works remain some of the best representations of pro wrestling from the 40’s thru the 60’s. When asked about her penchant for shooting professional wrestlers she would answer “I always liked the big boys”. Such stories Shirlie had! She passed away quietly on November 5, 2012. She will never be forgotten. God rest her soul.

Obituary written by Shirlie's good friend and neighbor Joe Holt

Friday, April 5, 2013

Hale's, Macy's, Stern's ... and more

Shirlie's commercial clients ranged from mom & pop shops to the giants of San Jose retail. She covered events, weddings, charitable groups, trade associations, politicians and celebrities. Shirlie also had clients like Paul Masson, IBM, FMC and more. Here are some of the publicity photos she shot for downtown San Jose stores.
Hale's on Santa Clara Street downtown was one of the anchor stores. This looks like a recruiting photo taken on the stage at San Jose Civic Auditorium.
Candy Bar of the Week ... I wonder if she got paid in candy? Great looking counter!
Another Candy Counter! I see a trend here ...
The sign in back says: Semi-Annual Sale - All Macy's Own Wines
Stern's Luggage was on First Street before it moved to Valley Fair in the 1960s
Inside Stern's filled with leather products
Fancy Pastries, Pies and Cakes