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

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Jimmy Dorsey in Santa Clara 1937

Shirlie saved these two tickets to a Block S. C. Society event back in 1937. The Society was essentially a sports lettermen's group. These scholar athletes not only promoted the sports programs at the University of Santa Clara (thus "Block S. C.") but encouraged the whole concept of "scholar athlete" so much associated with the Jesuit college. This event was a variety show held in Seifert Gym on March 18, 1937. It combined professional and amateur talent, with exhibitions by students, members of the San Francisco YMCA, and professional and amateur champions in many different fields, including fencing, boxing, wrestling, weight-lifting, hand-balancing, rope-skipping and a number of unique performances. The show was generally conceded to be one of the best presentations of the year.

Apparently one of the professional performances was the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra with Bob Eberle as the lead singer and trumpeter. Shirlie, astute as always, got their autographs.




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