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

Saturday, October 11, 2014

VIDEO: Opening Day at Candlestick Park 1960 Giants vs. Cardinals

Shirlie Montgomery was a huge Giants fan. She had numerous Giants mementos, bobble heads and stuff. She adored Barry Bonds! She had met little Barry when he was just a child, so she felt a connection to him. We had some fun "battles" over his attitude and performance enhancing practices ... but we both agreed he was fun to watch.

Shirlie filmed this silent footage on the Giants' opening day at Candlestick Park, April 12, 1960, when the Giants beat the Cardinals 3-1. It features footage of Shirlie and her friends arriving at the park, spectators, the opening ceremony, some of the 9th inning play and then spectators exiting to the parking lot. Interesting that both Richard Nixon and San Francisco Mayor George Christopher are shown in this film, with Nixon signing autographs.

(If the video does not start, click here.)

Shirlie's collection of Giants' memorabilia included programs from the SF Seals era, numerous programs and booklets, and ticket stubs from the 1962 World Series ... Giants v. Yankees ... as well as one of her favorite items, a game day program featuring Willie McCovey in 1978.

We donated the 8mm film to History San Jose, who had it converted to a digital video. The video is from the Bob and Susan Bortfeld, Shirlie Montgomery Collection at History San Jose. Used with permission.

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