[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Mostly cloudy
Mostly cloudy
62°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
May 19
1851 - San Fernando-San Francisquito-Eliz. Lake Roads become public highways [story]
wagon


Old Town Newhall got a little bit older this week with the death of Geraldine “Jeri” Bronstrup, longtime owner of the Way Station Coffee Shop. She was 73.

A fixture in Newhall for 40 years, Bronstrup died Tuesday at UCLA Medical Center from complications related to her great, big heart. She was scheduled for surgery on her aortic valve but didn’t make it that far, her daughter-in-law Michelle Leeser said.

“She was a delightful angel and I’ll miss her,” said local historian John Boston, a regular patron for nearly the entire four decades Bronstrup ran the diner at 9th Street and San Fernando Road, now known as Main Street.

“In providing the Way Station, she created a place that had more laughter and family and companionship and communion than possibly any building that’s ever been built in the Santa Clarita Valley,” Boston said.

“The outpouring of love has really meant a lot to us,” said Leeser. “I’ts amazing how well loved she was by everybody in the community. Of course people say nice things about her now that she’s gone, but nobody ever said a bad word about her when she was alive.”

“She loved Newhall and she loved that restaurant, and we are going on with the show,” Leeser said.

Bronstrup and her diner were featured in a 1997 article in the Old Town Newhall Gazette, written by onetime SCV Chamber Executive Director Viki Rudolph:

Jeri Bronstrup behind the counter at the Way Station in 1997

“Weekdays and Saturdays, Jeri opens at 5 a.m. to catch the people who go to work early. She closes at 2 p.m. (3 p.m. on Saturdays) after serving lunch. On Sundays her hungry customers have to wait in line to get a seat between 6 a.m. and 3 p.m.

“But any time you arrive during operating hours, you’ll get a hearty breakfast. Jeri offers a special each day, although her flexible staff will whip up your favorite whenever you drop by.

“The staff consists of thirteen people who have been in Jeri’s employ for a long time — especially the chef, Jose, who has been with her for 24 years. They’re a well-coordinated team and help each other out. Jeri has personally filled in at every chore.

“Jeri takes great pride in her coffee shop and is assisted by her son Eric, who, as a partner, shares the responsibilities of running the operation together with Jeri’s significant other, Tom, who is always around to lend a hand.

“The only time the Way Station doors were shut was after the 1994 earthquake — but by the following Friday, with the help of family and staff, they were back in business.

“An unusual collection of old license plates from all over the country and the world — including Antarctica — enhances the ambiance of the place, as do other memorabilia given to her by returning patrons.

“Near the back of the restaurant, an old jukebox is a reminder of the days when dining was an experience typified by a caring proprietorship and modest prices for quality food. This feeling is so evident at the Way Station that over the years, many movie companies have filmed the interior as a representative small-town American diner.

“Illustrating the success of her business, Jeri figures that she uses 900 pounds of coffee and thirty dozen eggs a week in her generous helpings that keep bringing customers back — sometimes from one generation to the next.

“‘My customers and staff are my greatest assets,’ Jeri says with a big smile. ‘I’m very proud of my business.'”

In 1997 when the article was written, Bronstrup was “anxiously awating” the construction of the Newhall Metrolink Station.

The train station came, as did many more changes.

Even the Way Station is gearing up for a change. The owner of the building, a Newhall-based investment company, has submitted plans to the city to remodel the exterior of the venerable old diner.

With Bronstrup’s passing, the interior will be noticeably different, as well.

 

A memorial service will be held Sunday, Dec. 18, at 1 p.m. at Mount Sinai Memorial Park, 5950 Forest Lawn Drive in Hollywood Hills. The family requests flowers or a donation to the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (alzfdn.org). A celebration of life will be held at the Way Station in January; date and details to be announced.

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

1 Comment

  1. Laura Brown says:

    She was a wonderful, caring spirit and will be greatly missed. God bless.

Leave a Comment


SCV NewsBreak
LOCAL NEWS HEADLINES
Friday, May 17, 2019
May 18-19: NKLA, County Animal Care Team for Super Pet Adoption Fair
LA County Animal Care and Control will participate in Best Friends NKLA's Super Adoption event at Warner Park in Woodland Hills on Saturday and Sunday, May 18-19, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Friday, May 17, 2019
Hill, House Pass Equality Act Protecting LGBTQ Americans
Congresswoman and LGBT Equality Caucus Co-chair Katie Hill voted Thursday in support of the Equality Act, H.R. 5, which passed the U.S. House of Representatives in a bipartisan vote of 236-173.
Friday, May 17, 2019
Hill Commemorates National Police Week, Fallen CHP Officer
U.S. Rep. Katie Hill celebrated National Police Week by working across the aisle on a law enforcement legislative agenda, commemorative Special Order Hour on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, and bipartisan press conference addressing a new bill to support police.
Keep Up With Our Facebook

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
1851 - San Fernando-San Francisquito-Eliz. Lake Roads become public highways [story]
wagon
1978 - Concert scene for "KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park" filmed at Magic Mountain [story]
KISS
Curtiss-Wright’s Defense Solutions division, a trusted leading supplier of rugged systems for aerospace and defense with a facility in Santa Clarita, will be a sponsor of the Santa Clarita-to-Pasadena leg of the Amgen Tour of California on Saturday, May 18.
Curtiss-Wright to Sponsor Santa Clarita-to-Pasadena Leg of Amgen Race
The city of Santa Clarita will host two additional public meetings on Thursday, May 30, for residents to have the opportunity to provide feedback on the proposed plan to build an inclusive play area at Canyon Country Park.
May 30: Public Meetings on Inclusive Play Area at Canyon Country Park
The next meeting of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is set for Tuesday, May 21, starting at 9:30 a.m.
May 21: LA County Board of Supervisors Meeting
The Santa Clarita Planning Commission will consider approval of Verizon's request to build a new wireless communications facility at Copper Hill Road and San Francisquito Canyon Road at its next regular meeting on Tuesday, May 21, starting at 6 p.m.
May 21: Santa Clarita Planning Commission to Consider Wireless, Jobs Boost
The seventh inning turned out to be the difference Thursday night, as Rancho Cucamonga scored four unearned runs en route to a 7-2 win over the JetHawks at The Hangar.
Lancaster Loses Series Finale to Quakes
LA County Animal Care and Control will participate in Best Friends NKLA's Super Adoption event at Warner Park in Woodland Hills on Saturday and Sunday, May 18-19, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
May 18-19: NKLA, County Animal Care Team for Super Pet Adoption Fair
Congresswoman and LGBT Equality Caucus Co-chair Katie Hill voted Thursday in support of the Equality Act, H.R. 5, which passed the U.S. House of Representatives in a bipartisan vote of 236-173.
Hill, House Pass Equality Act Protecting LGBTQ Americans
The Los Angeles County Probation Department’s 2018 Annual Report was released Friday.
LA County Probation Dept. Issues Annual Report
U.S. Rep. Katie Hill celebrated National Police Week by working across the aisle on a law enforcement legislative agenda, commemorative Special Order Hour on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, and bipartisan press conference addressing a new bill to support police.
Hill Commemorates National Police Week, Fallen CHP Officer
Not even the weather could stop The WiSH Education Foundation's "Wine on the Roof" fundraising event at the Westfield Valencia Town Center mall Thursday night.
WiSH Education Foundation Hosts 2nd Annual ‘Wine on the Roof’
The California Department of Transportation will continue nightly lane closures next week on portions of State Route 14 for a $6.6 million pavement rehabilitation project to improve the condition of the lanes and create a smoother ride for motorists.
May 20-25: Nightly Roadwork on Highway 14 to Roll On
The Trump administration said Thursday it would pull nearly a billion dollars in federal funding for California’s much-maligned high-speed rail project, terminating an agreement that previously awarded the Golden State another $2.5 billion for the plan.
Feds Cancel Nearly $1 Billion for California High-Speed Train
The California Senate Appropriations Committee has given the green light to measures by Sen. Scott Wilk addressing foster youth enrichment grants, homelessness and treatment/probation for individuals convicted of animal abuse.
Wilk Measures on Homelessness, Animal Abuse, Foster Youth Head to Vote
In another setback for groups fighting to stem California’s housing crisis, a proposal meant to spur new apartments near popular transit centers died silently in committee Thursday.
Transit-Friendly Housing Bill Shelved in Sacramento
Catholic bishops in California have announced the establishment of a new compensation program that will be available to any person who has been sexually abused as a minor by diocesan priests of the participating dioceses, no matter when that abuse might have occurred.
California Catholic Dioceses Announce New Compensation Program for Sex Abuse Victims
1993 - Dale Poe, 61, developer of Stevenson Ranch, killed in car crash [story]
Stevenson Ranch fountain
Here is the list of Santa Clarita arts-related events for Friday, May 17 - Wednesday, June 5:
May 17-June 5: Santa Clarita Arts Calendar
At one point during last month's Golden State Athletic Conference championship, someone asked Robert Penalber what he was shooting through 15-odd holes.
TMU’s Penalbar Sets Sights on NAIA Nationals
LANCASTER – The University of Antelope Valley is pleased to welcome Nicole Brouillard as the new head coach for its women's volleyball program.
Nicole Brouillard Named UAV’s New Head Women’s Volleyball Coach
Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn secured $700,000 of Measure H funds Tuesday to hire and train 22 peer navigators who will be stationed at every community college in Los Angeles County.
Measure H Funds to Go Toward Peer Navigators for Homeless College Students
There are only a handful of therapists in Los Angeles who specialized in working with individuals with autism.
CSUN, Ed Asner Family Center Partner to Train Autism Therapists
The 2nd Annual Yoga Kula Festival will take place Saturday, June 1, from 7:45 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Yoga Kula Festival to Benefit Hart Park, Bridge to Home, SCV Youth Project
The Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara (MCASB) presents the West Coast solo debut of James Benning: Quilts, Cigarettes & Dirt (Portraits of America), which runs from Thursday, May 16 to Sunday, July 14
Longtime CalArts Faculty Member James Benning Debuts Santa Barbara Exhibit
LANCASTER – The Rancho Cucamonga Quakes were too much for Lancaster to handle Wednesday night, as the JetHawks fell, 18-8, at The Hangar.
Quakes Prove Too Much for JetHawks
LOS ANGELES – Because of the recent rainfall, Los Angeles County Health Officer, Muntu Davis, MD, MPH, is cautioning residents who are planning to visit Los Angeles County beaches to avoid swimming, surfing, and playing in ocean waters around discharging storm drains, creeks, and rivers.
Advisory Issued for All Los Angeles County Beaches
The city of Santa Clarita has been recognized by the Construction Management Association of America’s (CMAA) Southern California chapter with a 2019 Project Achievement Award for the City’s 2017-18 Annual Overlay and Slurry Seal program.
City Lauded for Annual Overlay & Slurry Seal Program
A panel of judges has selected the recipes, including one from Newhall resident Merry Graham, that will be represented in the sixth National Festival of Breads, sponsored by Red Star Yeast, King Arthur Flour and Kansas Wheat. The baking competition will be held June 8, 2019, in Manhattan, Kansas.
Newhall Resident Selected as Finalist for National Bread Competition
After 36 years as an established, trusted community leader in the core areas of housing, community development, and economic development, the Community Development Commission/Housing Authority of the County of Los Angeles (CDC/HACoLA) is excited to announce that it has rebranded itself as the Los Angeles County Development Authority (LACDA).
County’s Housing Authority Rebranded to Better Serve Residents, Partners
SACRAMENTO - State Sen. Scott Wilk, representing the 21st Senate District, announces that Senate Bill 153 (SB 153), a measure to ensure California is well positioned to begin the cultivation of industrial hemp, has cleared the Senate Appropriations Committee and will now go to the floor for consideration.
Wilk Measure Expanding CA’s Industrial Hemp Heads to Senate Floor
RIVERSIDE — The Cougars track & field program is sending three student-athletes to the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) State Championship meet this weekend.
Cougars Track & Field Sends 3 Student-Athletes to State Championships
The rainy morning commute has caused two separate collisions near the Newhall Avenue exit and northbound Highway 14.
Rain Triggers Separate Collisions Near Newhall Avenue Exit
SACRAMENTO - State Assemblywoman Christy Smith, Chair of the Joint Legislative Committee on Emergency Management, facilitated an Informational Hearing on Tuesday
Smith Facilitates Hearing on Wildfire Preparedness
Medical examiners identified the body of a man found deceased at the Placerita Canyon Nature Center on Wednesday.
Medical Examiners Identify Santa Clarita Man Found Dead at Nature Center
The Valencia High School Music Department invites audiences to experience the many exhilarating performances at the annual Spring Concert on Wednesday, May 22nd at the VHS theater at 7:00 p.m.
May 22: Valencia High Music Department’s Spring Concert