Friday, November 30, 2007

Ridgeways Ice Cream Store - Santa Ana

An OCThen reader going by the name of "CoxPilot" asks if anyone remembers an ice cream store called "Ridgeways Ice Cream" located on 17th street, near the I-5...
Does anyone remember a Ridgeways ice cream store on east 17th st. in Santa Ana, right next to the 5 freeway (on the North side) by the RR tracks? (Last I saw of the building it was a Bar). I worked there in my last couple of years at S.A. High School. 1958-1959. Then went to work at the Flight Circle at Disneyland. Ridgeways sold primarily to restaurants, but had a couple of stores. They made all their own stuff. Moved from Calif. in 1996.
Click on Post a Comment below, and chime in if you have anything.

Tustin Inn

Mike, and OCThen reader, submits his memory of going to Tustin Inn in the 1970's...

I was a new Marine stationed at El Toro from Feb. to May in 1970. I was only 18 and the only place that would serve us off-base was the Tustin Inn. I was told it was an "Okie" bar. The juke box was all country.

They knew we were under age and would only serve us pitchers of beer which came with a glass of tomato juice to make "Montana Bloody Marys".

None of us had a car so we walked through orange groves to get to the Inn.

For a kid from South Philly, California was a land of wonder and infinite possibilities.

Having spent so much time in Santa Ana and Lake Forest, I don't recall Tustin Inn. But I wonder if it might the same as "Little Red Inn", which we previously mentioned here...

Click on "Post A Comment" if you have something to share about Tustin Inn.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Smokey's Stables and Bob's Big Boy

My Cousin, Darla, and I would ride at Smokey's Stables in Huntington Beach whenever we could talk one of our parents into driving us there. Smokey's was on the Bolsa Chica Wetlands from 1980 to 2000.

If I remember correctly, Smokey was an actual person. He was a short older man who wore plaid flannel shirts, suspenders and smoked a pipe. But maybe this was all in my romanticized imagination.

Smokey's is where I fell off a horse named Storm and broke my arm. I was a chronic crier and a tad dramatic as a child, so no one believed me when I wept, "I think it's broken."

My Aunt picked us up from Smokey's and took us to the Bob's Big Boy, which used to be located on Edinger and Gothard (now a CoCo's). My Aunt ordered me my favorite shake-strawberry.

I remember sitting there, watching the yummy strawberry shake melt down the tall silver gobblet, clutching my arm, never touching the treat. It was then, FINALLY, they realized I was really hurt.

Anyone remember Smokey's? Was there really a man named Smokey? Anyone else miss Bob's Big Boy?

Disneyland Accidents

An anonymous OCThen reader posted a comment on an old article regarding an accident happening at Disneyland. His comment is about an incident he was involved in on the Jungle Cruise...
When I worked on the Jungle Cruise, I was working one evening in the front loader dock position. Two women and a litle girl approached as the boat was filling up. I was talking to the Mom, asking if they wanted to wait for another boat as this one was nearly full.

Before any of us knew it, the litle girl had stepped off the dock and fell between the boat and the dock. The water there is about 12 feet deep, and she was completely submerged.

I fell on my knees in the boat opening and fished for the girl in the water. I found her and pulled her out. It was a couple of seconds at best, but felt like minutes. Her eyes were like saucers, and she started crying almost immediately. All I could do was hold her close, then handed her off to her Mom.

There was no threat of a lawsuit. The Mom said she should have been watching her. I was not punished by Disney, though I did have to go back to wardrobe to change into dry clothes.

It did earn me the nickname "Lipton".
I wanted to ask our readers if they can submit their memories of other Disneyland accidents. I'm not looking for deaths, or major injuries, since those have all been well covered in the media. I'm looking for the stuff that didn't get reported in the papers, which involved little to no injuries.

Maybe someone fell into the water at Pirates of the Caribbean, or someone who actually got sick in the middle of watching Circle Vision, or some kid who got his head stuck between the bars of a fence and had to be greased up to pull it back out. I dunno.

I'm sure past and present Disneyland employees have lots to share.

I haven't witnessed any accidents, other than the countless times I slammed into the back of my buddies on the Autopia Cars. Though there was that time I nearly ran over a parking attendant because I had the sun shining in my face.

If you have something, click on "Post a Comment", and let's get this thread going.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Welcome Suzanne Broughton

Bo Donaldson and the HeywoodsI wanted to introduce our new blogger, Suzanne Broughton.

Suzanne grew up in Huntington Beach, and now lives in Irvine. She writes her own blog, "Emphasis Mine", where she rambles on about the past and present. She works as the Style Editor for Broughton Quarterly, a travel magazine.

I'll still be blogging away on OCThen, about as often as I normally do. Hopefully Suzanne can add stuff to make this website published more frequently.

What struck a cord with me is that she mentioned in her first post, "You know you grew up in Orange County in the 70's", by saying that she had a dance routine to the hit song, "Billy Don't Be A Hero". Because, my wife had her own dance routine to the same song. It would be scary to watch them compete against each other on The Gong Show.

And according to our, "Milk it for all it's Worth Department", yes, Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods are still touring, and they have a MySpace site.

You know you grew up in Orange County in the 70's

-You blew your entire back-to-school clothing allowance on one pair of Chemin De Fer Jeans.

-You were banned from wearing your Sex Wax T-shirt to Sunday school.

-You and your cousin (or sister) did "shows" for your family. These were dance routines to tunes like "Billy Don't Be A Hero" or "Silly Love Songs." You remember..."I (point with both thumbs at your chest) Love (wrists crossed against chest) You (arm
out-stretched, finger pointing at bored, squirming family)."

-You doused yourself with Love's Babysoft before leaving the house.

-"The Shining" was the first scary movie you ever saw (and my last).

-You thought going to Knott's Scary Farm was the best night of the whole year.

-You used to be "Ditto Monitor" at school, in charge of helping the teacher at the ditto machine in the school office.

-You would NEVER eat "Pop Rocks" and drink Coke at the same time for fear your head would explode.

-You thought Mr. Bill was hilarious.

- You had a satin jacket with matching satin shorts and hat.

-Your family's big night out was either at Charlie Brown's, The Velvet Turtle or Sam's Seafood.

-Your Mom; colored her hair in the sink, bought her dishes at Alpha-Beta and watched Lawrence Welk every week.

-After a day spent at the beach, you thought Jack-in-the-boxes tacos were the best food ever made!

-You and your girlfriends thought Scott Farnsworth was a total babe.

-You and your seventh-grade boyfriend got back together after they played "Reunited" by Peaches & Herb at The Holiday Roller Skating Rink.

-You stayed up late to listen to Dr. Demento on your radio which was hidden under your pillow.

-You had a blue cruiser, your friend had a red cruiser, your other friend had a blue cruiser and your other friend had a red cruiser...

-You used to layout covered head-to-toe in baby oil.

-Your Mom had to bribe you into taking off your down jacket so she could wash it.

-You had a KLOS Pink Floyd rainbow bumper sticker on your bedroom door.

Please feel free to add your bits of the 70's...I know I missed some.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Old Burger Stand on Main & Edinger

Brian wants to know if anyone can remember the name of a hamburger stand in Santa Ana, located on the NE corner of Main and Edinger...
I lived in Santa Ana 1963 thu 1966 our family used to buy burgers at a hambuger stand on the northeast corner of Main and Edinger. It was a great place real salty fries. I cant remember the name can anyone help?
Click on "Post a Comment" below if you have anything.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Orange County Swapmeet

orange county swapmeetAn anonymous OCThen reader submits a memory about going to the Orange County Swapmeet...
Does anyone remember the Orange County Marketplace in Costa Mesa? (The OC fair grounds) In the late 80's my parents would take me and my sisters to the swapmeet and we'd shop there all day. I don't think we ever got to finish walking the entire swapmeet. I used to save my allowances for weeks because I knew I would find lots of things there and wanted to be ready when I did. My favorite part about going to this swapmeet was the Old Fashion Ice Cream Bars. Yumm! 1/2 almonds and the other 1/2 chocolate sprinkles.
The Orange County Swapmeet was a place our family visited a lot during the late 1970's. We had relocated to Santa Ana in 1978, coming up from San Diego. The swapmeet was where my folks would find stuff for the house.

Back then, most of the vendors were still folks trying to get rid of junk in their garages. They'd lay out everything out, and we'd pick through it.

Many times we'd find something old that someone was selling, and which triggered a fond memory of something else years ago. My step-dad would talk to the seller about it, and they'd share some memories together and some laughs. That's part of what going to the swapmeet was about, to peruse all this old stuff that you don't see anymore, and maybe find something valuable.

Now it's all different. The vendors are all businesses who find the swapmeet a cheap way to market their inventory. It's not much different than going to a shopping mall, except you have to pay to get in, and you don't get elevator music or air-conditioning.

The last time I went to the Orange County Swapmeet was in September 2001; I bought one of those Thomas Kinkade "knock off" paintings that they make in China to hang above my fireplace.

I understand these days the OC Swapmeet has become more like a fair, with lots more entertainment, rides, shows, karaoke contests. And I guess for that matter, it's almost like going to an amusement park. For what it is, I guess that's great. I still remember the old swapmeets where you could take a stroll down memory lane.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Huntington Beach - The City of Walls

An OCThen reader named Stan Chamness submits a very enjoyable story of a kid who grew up in Huntington Beach in the 1960's. This story reminds me of the years when I was a little boy in San Diego, between 1971-1978, and venturing out with my friend Mark. It was a time when kids could turn their curiosity into an adventure, get into a little trouble, and at bedtime, stay up all night thinking about what you wanted to do tomorrow...

Orange County to me was growing up in Huntington Beach as my father did. I lived in a housing tract like everyone else at Adams and Bushard. It was one of the first to go in and the frontal houses faced the main streets with olive trees lining the frontal border.

Crop fields surrounded our tract and made it a great place to dig holes, build forts and best of all to make tracks and jumps to ride our stingray bicycles around in. The grass would grow higher than we were tall during the winter so we would make our own maze to get lost in playing.

The empty fields soon gave way to more housing as Huntington grew at a record pace but all the new tracts faced inward with their backyards to the main streets and so grew the city of walls.

At around the age of 10 (1966) I mustered up the courage to get on my bike and head to the beach, alone. Bushard didn't even go through as a paved road at the time. You had to ride through farm fields before coming back to the pavement. That would give you a chance to eat a little something, for they grew melons, tomatoes and corn, just to name a few of the crops that I would borrow on my ride.

Once I knew how easy it was to get to the beach, I spent most of my energy as a kid and high school days trying to get back there. At around 13 I peddled my way down to Corona Del Mar with my best friend Kenny and bought my first mask and fins and went diving. I think of that now and most kids of 13 aren't allowed to leave their block let alone ride 15 miles or so away and swim in the ocean alone. Of course I wasn't either, I just did it.

I remember Kenny and I would grab some lawn chairs and ride our bikes at night to the Fountain Valley drive in over on Brookhurst. We would ride through a trailer park located behind the drive in, park our bikes, then toss the chairs over the fence then climb over ourselves. We would also make sure it was an R rated movie showing so we could hopefully get a glimpse of nudity and catch a nipple or two. We became friends with the security guard who didn't seem to mind that we had snuck in.

We would also at the age of 12 and 13 hop on the bus at Adams and Bushard. Ride it up to Harbor the get a transfer. Ride up Harbor to Disneyland then jump over the exit gate and play in Disneyland all day and then go home. All for 50 cents. It was only a quarter each way. I remember my parents asking where I had been and I would just say "oh, over at Kenny's house."

At the age of 15 my old man kept coming up with stuff for me to do, so it became harder for me to get to the beach. I needed a good reason to be there so I tried out for Junior lifeguards. Gotta be there everyday for that. I remember riding down Main St. everyday to get to the pier. There were great shops like Grandma Bean with tapestries, backlight posters, incense and beautiful girls working inside. Man, my hormones would rage! Then down a little further, Robert August would be shaping boards and who knows what else. I would stop at Jacks to get a t-shirt now and then.

The whole town was completely different in the 60's. I guess nothing stays the same.

When I was real young my parents owned a beach concession just north of the Huntington Pier that made burgers and rented surf riders. So at the age of 3 to 5 I spent a lot of time walking around in the sand with a big burlap sac collecting Pepsi bottles for 3 cents each. Today there is an apartment complex built right on the sand where our concession was located.

I went to Edison High School shortly after it opened and I remember checking the flag in the late summer to see if there was an offshore wind. If so, it would mean no school today (at least for me). And when the surf wasn't good it would mean the water visibility was, so we would head down PCH to Laguna to do some diving and spear fishing. Once past Corona there was an area called the horse pastures with this little shack in the middle of nowhere. The sign read Date shakes. And even if you didn't like dates you would most likely like these shakes, I still try to make them myself to this day.

Well I could go on and on but I think I have rambled enough for now! Late.....

Stan Chamness

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Anyone Remember Coyote Hills?

An OCThen reader named Corey, wrote to me asking about a part of Orange County that used to be called "Coyote Hills". He heard the name in the new movie, "There Will Be Blood". Here's what he said...
Anyway, the other night I went to an advance screening of the new film There Will Be Blood from PT Anderson (Boogie Nights, Magnolia). It is about a monstrous SoCal oil man in the early 1900s (played by Daniel Day Lewis). The film is intense and incredible. Lots of Oscar buzz.

So, most of the film takes place in the Signal Hill area near Long Beach and Santa Barbara County, but the oil man is constantly referring to his drilling operation in Coyote Hills. Being from Buena Park, I knew that everything in the area was Coyote This and Coyote That, and also that there are a lot of oil derricks in the BP/Fullerton/La Habra/La Mirada area. I did some internet research the next morning and found that the part of North OC was called Coyote Hills at one point.

You never see the region depicted in the film (which was lensed in Texas, by the way), but I found it to be an interesting bit from the film and thought you and/or OC Then readers might be interested.
I've never heard of Coyote Hills, but I know that many places in Orange County once had different names. Before Lake Forest, it was called El Toro, and before that, Aliso City. El Modena used to be Olive, and Irvine used to be Myford, and Fountain Valley used to be Gospel Swamp.

If anyone has anything to share about Coyote Hills, click on "Post a Comment" and speak your mind...

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