Verdugo Views: Brand Boulevard of Cars has roared since the '20s

If it seems as if the row of car dealerships on South Brand Boulevard has been there forever, you're close. Brand has been home to car dealers for nearly as long as Glendale has been a city.

Brand Boulevard of Cars had its beginnings in 1915, when Jesse E. Smith opened a Ford dealership. Soon, others followed. At first, the dealers were clustered north of Colorado Street, according to the Glendale News-Press, Jan. 26, 1978.

By 1920 the dealers had formed the Glendale Motor Car Dealers Assn. George Clayton, the Dodge dealer, was elected as the first president; other members included Stephan Packer, W.H. Tanner, Jesse E. Smith, Porter Kelley, C.L. Smith and E.L. Sutton.

Within five years, there were 18 dealers and a need for legal counsel, so they retained the services of a brand-new law firm here in town; it had been founded in 1927 by Clency Hasbrouck and Aubry Irwin, both recent graduates of the USC law school. Irwin became the executive secretary of the car dealers association and served in that capacity for many years.

After World War II ended, Henry Melby and Jack Crickard, both USC grads, joined the firm, replacing Irwin, who had left to become a Superior Court judge. Melby succeeded Irwin as executive secretary of the association.

In 1964, Jarrett Anderson joined the firm. Anderson had graduated from Utah State University in 1958 with a pre-law degree and also had gone through the ROTC program.

While applying for law school, Anderson recalled some advice he had once received: attend a school in the area where you plan to remain. As youngsters, both he and his wife, Marjorie, had spent summers in this area, so they were delighted when he was accepted at USC's law school.

But first, Anderson had to deal with the U.S. Army. He obtained a draft deferment in return for a commitment to later accept a regular Army commission and serve three years in the Judge Advocate corps.

After graduating from law school and passing the California bar exam, he entered the Army. “I served three years in the Bay Area and was honorably discharged with the rank of captain,” he said.

By then it was 1964 and time to find a job. Naturally, he went through USC's law school placement service and, as it turns out, was referred to the firm representing the car dealers association; only now the partners were Henry Melby, Jack Crickard and Clency Hasbrouck. (All USC law school grads, Anderson notes).

Anderson was named executive secretary for the car dealer association in about 1970. In that capacity, he performs their legal work and advocates for them on zoning, planning and marketing issues such as signage.

The Glendale Motor Car Dealers Assn. still exists as an entity, he added, but nowadays for advertising and business purposes it is known as Brand Boulevard of Cars and represents 16 dealerships.

Another part of his job is attending the association's annual outings, known as “Hi Jinks,” an event that goes way back to the 1920s when the association was formed.

Copyright © 2019, Glendale News-Press
EDITION: California | U.S. & World