Friday, July 10, 2009

Your First Kiss in Orange County

Anonymous recalls her first kiss in Orange County, along with other assorted memories...
I grew up in LaPalma attending Luther elementary, and Walker Jr. High, I lived 3 miles from Knotts Berry Farm and remember it prior to admission fees. The Graveyard with that beating heart was my favorite. The chapel with the glowing Jesus cards were cool too. Boysenberry anything is still my favorite. Our Brownies and Girl Scout troops would go often and always assembled at the Wagon Train for rest and relaxation. Other fond memories were penny candy at Stop n Go, Carls Jr., and riding our bikes to the beach. I had my first "real" kiss from a guy named "Manny" who is now a pastor. It rocked and happened at the Disneyland Hotel on a landing after we rode the Monorail over there. We snuck off from G.L.A.S.S. (Greater Los Angeles. . . ?) it was a church night at the park. Felt bad but a kiss I will remember the rest of my life. I was 13 and he was an older man of 17. My good friend Marys brother. I reside in Texas now and miss O.C. alot. The best years of my life were there. Would love to return and do often. Anyone know a David Taafe from Buena Park ? He lived in the San Marino st's...cannot remember which one. Kinda near Ralphs Market and Shakey's Pizza. I really cared for him and wondering what became of him. Annette, I will always cherish our memories of childhood!! Deanna you are my dear friend, and anyone remember "Crazy Clown", was it a myth or what....scared me!!!

Thursday, July 09, 2009

The Dory Fleet of Newport Beach

Anonymous asks if anyone remembers the dory fleet out of Newport Beach..
Anyone remember the Dorry (Dory, Dorrey?) fleet out of Newport Beach near the Pier?
I didn't frequent Newport Beach much while I lived in OC, but there is a website dedicated the dory boats...

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Garden Grove in the 1950s & 1960s

Linda asks if anyone remembers a girls softball field being there on Chapman & Dale, as well as a big slide on the corner of Beach & Acacia...
I grew up in Garden Grove in the 50's and 60's. Went to Lawrence Elementary, Alamitos Jr. High and Rancho Alamitos High School - graduated in 1973. Does anyone remember the girls softball field located on Chapman and Dale in Garden Grove (where there is now a 7-11?). Nobody believes me!

Also, anyone remember the big slide that was next to the Del Taco on Beach and Acacia? It was the kind you see now at the OC Fair where they give you the burlap potato sacks to sit on and you would get burn marks on your skin if you touched the slide on the way down? I remember when that Del Taco was built - we used to go hang out there. Now the hookers and druggies hang out in there - so sad.

Regarding the comments about the hippies: I don't remember the problems with them at Knott's - I could swear it was Disneyland!

I remember the place on Garden Grove Blvd. named Kiddie Land. I loved going there! It was small but then, so was I.

I remember going to the Strawberry Festival when it was at Garden Grove Park on Westminster Ave. near Bolsa Grande High School, not squeezed into the area on Euclid.

I also remember going to visit friends with my parents near Irvine Park and going up Chapman Ave. (no 22 Freeway yet) and Chapman east of the traffic circle at Glassell was a two-way dirt road surrounded by nothing but orange groves.

One correction: The restaurant located on Garden Grove Blvd. and Newland was called the Jolly Knight -loved that place and was really sorry to see it close.

Reading all the posts brought back a lot of memories - thanks!


Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Huntington Beach in the 1960s & 1970s

Greg offers up his recollections of living in Huntington Beach during the 1960s & 1970s...
We first moved into OC in 1966 and lived in Fountain Valley for a year, then moved to Huntington Beach in 1967 on Kamuela off of Brookhurst and Garfield. Memories of growing up: I can remember seeing the Fountain Valley Drive-in get built and still lived in OC when it got torn down. I can remember sitting on the roof of the house with friends and we could see the fireworks all the way from Disneyland. Every 4th of July, we'd have a block party on our cul-de-sac and a cop on the street would bring in contraband fireworks. Later in the evening, after we shot off our red devil stuff, the golf course across the Santa Ana river bed (which wasn't concrete yet) would have a fireworks show.

I remember Foster's Freeze in the old Lucky's shopping center and the Carl's Jr. across the street (my dad and I would fight over the fries on the way home.) Riding bikes down Brookhurst to the beach, you felt perfectly safe. A funky pizza place (can't remember the name) in the shopping center on Brookhurst and Adams, right next to the TG&Y ("To Gyp You") My parents and I were eating there the night LBJ announced he wasn't running again. Later, the fish and chips place next to the Sav-On Drugs next door.

I went to Edison High (class of 74) and spent more time on the Pier (on my own "personal bench" than I did in class, which is why I almost didn't graduate. Warm summer days and cool nights. Sitting with my family around a fire ring, roasting corn and hot dogs. What a great place to grow up!!

I now live in the east coast but, God willing, I hope to move back there this fall. You can never go home again, of course, and HB is far different, but it's the one place I still call home.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Harlem Globetrotters Visited Spurgeon Intermediate

Anonymous provides some random memories of Orange County, including a visit by the Harlem Globetrotters to my middle school alma mater, Spurgeon Intermediate...
Things I remember about Orang County:

Meeting Little Oscar and seeing the Weinermobile at a candy store near our house in Murray Manor..

Playing flag football in the morning and getting soaked by the morning dew.

When some of the Harlem Globetrotters stopped at Spurgeon School in Santa Ana and demonstrated their handiwork.

Hot dog days at St. Anne School and playing Santa Claus for the little kids when I was in the 7th grade. Also being taller than th epriest when I was an altar boy there.

Everyone seemed blond and skinny to me--I was not.

Spending time at Corona Del Mar with my family on the beach.

Things were idyllic.

The Harlem Globetrotters visit schools all the time, doing performances and talking to kids about physical fitness and the value of education, and continue to make that a big part of their overall mission.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Chicago and Beach Boys Concert, Anaheim, 1975

Lisa W remembers the Chicago and Beach Boys concert in 1975 at Angel Stadium...
Does anyone remember the Chicago and Beach Boys concert in 1975 at Angel Stadium? My dad gave my boyfriend and I tickets to it. It was amazing!! The stadium was full, and we were in the upper stands, and everyone up there started jumping up and down, and security told us to stop because they were afraid the stands would fall, they were swaying!!

We waited in line all day because none of the seats were reserved so it was first come first serve.

I grew up in Tustin, does anyone remember the matinees on Saturdays at Tustin Theatre?

The Tiller Day parade?
Bonfires at the beach?
Marywood High School and the guys streaking across the courtyard?

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Cowan Heights in the 1960s

funinsun2k writes about growing up in Cowan Heights in the 1960s...
I grew up in Cowan Heights in the foothills south west of Irvine Park. This was beginning in the very early 60's till about 1969 when we moved down "into town" to Tustin Meadows. One of my favorite memories from the Cowan Heights days was when me and my buddy would ride our minibikes to a spot on Chapman Avenue (near Newport Blvd. intersection). So, does anybody remember Bob and Jeans? It was a great little ramshackle buger joint/beer bar. We would go in and get a hot dog or chili burger and root beer. There was a mix of locals, ranch hands, bikers, hippies, and a few of us curious kids (I think my first time in a drinking establishment). Good food and a real cool spot full of nice folks. Sadly it's gone now like so much of our early O.C. memories. Anyhow, after our grub it was back on the bikes to either go by Irvine park, or just ride any of the endless trails we had long before disapperring due to development.

There's a bunch of memories on Bob & Jeans on a previous article here...

There's also some mention of Cowan Heights during that time on another article here...

Friday, July 03, 2009

The Plunge at Hart Park

Anonymous asks if anyone can provide memories of going to the Plunge at Hart Park in Orange...
Does anyone remember the plunge at Hart park and the May festival they used to have there?

OC History Roundup has an article on Hart Park and the Plunge...

Daralee has a photo of the Plunge on her Flickr photoset of Old Town Orange...

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Mr. T's of Anaheim

Anonymous remembers going to Mr. T's of Anaheim, a restaurant that's no longer there...
I remember growing up in East Anaheim in the 70's and 80's right off of State College and Ball. The big restatraunt across from Carls Jr. would change names every 2-3 years. But the best memory was going to Mr. T's right off the corner os State College and Ball. It was a blast to the past, i actually worked there for a summer in 11th grade flipping burgers. I remember going there to play pinball almost daily, then saving enough money for a cheeseburger and fries. Mr T's was cool is it stll there??I have been gone from Anaheim since about 1991, i went back in 2000 for my best friends wedding, it has changed so much since the 70's and 80's.
Interestingly, another reader provided some info on Mr. T's, saying that's it changed to something else...

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

BMX Tracks at Saddleback Park & Escape Country

Erick asks if anyone remembers the BMX tracks at Saddleback or Escape Country...

Does anyone remember the BMX tracks at Saddleback or Escape Country? Ive done some research and it seems Escape Country opened for BMX in 1973 and moved the track a year later to a downhill location.

I have talked to riders that swear they raced Escape in 1972 and Saddleback in 71 or 72. None though can provide exact dates or newspaper clippings or proof. Anyone got any or a photo that was dated BITD so we know its accurate?

My email is if you want to submit something to me. Thanks.

PS I recently got a Escape Country sticker given to me someone had from the old days :)

By the time I moved to California neither BMX track was running (1982).

Read previous memories on Saddleback Park and Escape Country here on OCThen.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Campground Partying in the OC

NovaDude wants to know if anyone out there partied in the campgrounds of Orange County...
Ahhh, lets see, The Ortega hot springs, and Trabuco Cyn campgrounds, and Laguna Canyon Rd in about hmmm,, 1969... anyone remember the parties?? Christy, Patty, Trisha, Lisa Morgan...

Yeah we had parties, but sad to say the ones I went to were all indoors at someone's house. Campground partying is something I've only now begun to revel in with my motorcycle-riding pals. If anything came close it was hanging out at the Newport Beach pier at night with some friends, but that's about it.

And we never camped in Orange County. Camping was always well away from OC, usually out in the deserts of Anza Borrego.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Orange County Sports in the 1960s

John Conover recollects memories of his sports and recreational activities in 1960s era Orange County...
more Santa Ana Sports in the 60's

I started surfing in 1961 and Santa Ana was a great starting point for travels to Newport, Huntington, Doheny or Trestles. Anyone remember The Orange County Surf Contenders? Still travel the globe in search of the perfect wave.

A day of golf started at Pine Tree for $1.00 where we played 18 holes then a mom took us over to Willowick where for $1.50 (after 1:00) we played another 18. Riverview was a fun 9 hole, family owned course on Santa Ana River...still there?

Baseball started at age 7 at Far West Little League where at age 12 I tied All-Pro NFL Isaac Curtis for the home run title. Pony League, Colt League, American Legion, Metro League (La Fonda) were great times but it was truly a joy to play for Bill Ross who coached at SAHS for 35 years.

Mixed in these years (age 10-20) was pool at Broadway Billiards; basketball, flag football, ping-pong at The Boys Club, which was a couple blocks from my house; skateboarding with steel skates we bought at Goodwill and screwed or nailed onto 2x4's...what a death machines those were; motorcycling with D Aldana; watching Aldana skate and win every race he entered at The Skate Ranch; hitchiking with fins to 17th St to bodysurf giant south swells; as kids, playing football with friends in the endzone at The Santa Ana Bowl during high school games; and most memorable, being part of probably the best footabll team in Santa Ana HS's history in the 1967 season.

John Conover

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Hot Dog Shack in Costa Mesa

Aimee C remembers a cool little hot dog shack in Costa Mesa, and wonders if anyone remembers it also?
Does anyone remember the little hot dog shack on Wilson Street in Costa Mesa? It was there in the early/mid 80's, at the side entrance of the old Harbor Shopping Center. I am not sure what it was called, Sammy's sounds familiar, but I am not sure if that's right. I remember going there a lot when I was a kid. I used to love it because they would give you a plain dog, and you could put on whatever toppings you wanted. They had the best chili cheese dogs ever!! I am pretty sure it closed when they started the huge remodel on the shopping center. I don't know if they moved to a new location or not, but if anyone knows what happened to it, I am curious.

Harbor Shopping Center was such a cool and interesting place. I think it's called something else now. I haven't been by there in a while, last time i drove by I was amazed at what it has become compared to what it was. It's a shame things have to change.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Trains in Downtown Orange

Anonymous reflects about the trains that ran near the Orange Circle, and says that there used to be a train car that when around the Circle...
I remember as a child growing up in orange. My aunt lived on cypress st where the original cypress barrio was. Anyhow i recall the old freight train parking lot that was behind the "Omega" burger joint which is still there. I recall watching the night man with his lantern guiding the train back so to leave the cars in the lot. there were about six different sets of tracks. all used to park train cars. i also remember that one set of tracks continued toward the circle all the way up to and a little past plaza muffler. My mother told me that there use to be a train car that went around the circle and on to santa ana. i can not find any pics of what i remember as a child but i have my memories.

Friday, June 26, 2009

When Magnolia Didn't Go Through to PCH

Melanie asks if anyone remembers when Magnolia St didn't go all the way to PCH...
Does anyone remember when Magnolia in Huntington Beach did not go all the way through to PCH? I actually liked that, but I suppose that it wasn't so good for all of the traffic on Brookhurst and Newland!
Not having lived in Huntington Beach, I don't remember that. But in Santa Ana, you used to be able to take Flower St all the way from the south to the north. But during the 1980s, folks living in that posh area just north of 17th St & Flower, lobbied the city to stop the flow of traffic in their neighborhood. So, at first the city prevented you from taking Flower St across 17th St for only certain times of the day. I think now, it's resistricted all times of the day.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Big "O" in Orange

Brett M remembers a waterslide in Orange...
I remember in the mid 80's growing up in the City of Orange. Off of Chapman Ave., just off the Fwy there was a waterslide. It was originally made of glass(?) and I think someone actually either died or was severely hurt. None the less, I remember walking there from my old home off of Palmyra and Yorba.
I think he's referring to the Big "O" in Orange, which was a skateboard park that had a fiberglass waterslide.

I think it shut down because the fiberglass would crack and cause people's bathing suits to tear. I didn't hear about someone dying or severely injured, but I wouldn't doubt it.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Highschool Football in Santa Ana, 1960s

Anonymous shares some good memories of living in Santa Ana during the 1960s, revolving mainly around school and football games...
Oh my gosh....I have no idea how I found your website but I love it! In the past few moments, I feel as though my life has flashed before me.

We lived on St. Andrews, across from Lukens Dairy, right at the dead end. Our house was a "hang out" for Mater Dei football players since my brothers played on the team. And later I attended John Adams, Smedley and finally Valley. In the summer, I "lived" at Memorial Park and worked at the swimming pool. Does anyone remember the Warrens and the slide that we climbed to go to all the late night baseball games? We used to call the radio station every Friday night after football games and go to Me & Ed's for pizza. Who could forget Newport Bal Week in the 60's. I'm pretty sure Soupy Sales did an assembly at Smedley. Steve Martin was our Guest Speaker at Senior Breakfast, Disneyland Hotel. I'm sure I could keep gliding down memory lane but for now I will stop. Thanks for such a positive in our negative world. Keep up the good work!! Hello to the Class of 66 from Valley High!

Now living in Santa Rosa wine country.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Jolly Knight Restaurant, Garden Grove

Anonymous says his grandparents owned The Jolly Knight restaurant, which used to be in Garden Grove...
My grandparents owned The Jolly Knight. The street that the restaurant once stood is named: Ansell Court (after my grandparents).
I don't recall ever going there, but from what I understand it was an old English themed restaurant. Anyone else go there?

Monday, June 22, 2009

Night Cruising the Streets of OC

Scooter recalls cruising the boulevards at night in his 1930 Model A coupe, with the radio on, and taking in the scene...
As it was said by Huey "Piano" Smith, "Dont Ya Just Know It"! for sure, til this day, growing up in the early days of Orange County, is always a close to the heart, memory! The smell of orange and lemon to this day lingers, cruising Main street in Santa Ana in the 30 model A coupe, flathead powered, three carbs, lowered to the ground, that old Delco radio blasting away, KRLA, KFWB, Hunter Hancock, "Slippin and a Sliden" Ooooohhhhh Yeah! Little Richard! And then? well! "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" and "Lets Go Strollin"! Should you like to step back in time for a little visit and spark up some old pleasant times past, I suggest another evening viewing "American Graffti"! Pretty close to the truth for that era! I'll be back!
The closest I got to "cruising" the streets of OC at night was on my motorcycle with my friend Greg. We'd head out at night on our Kawasakis and rode all over OC, going from one place to another. Shooting pool at Linbrook Family Billiards was favorite hang out, then grabbing a late night snack at Norm's in Santa Ana, catching a movie at the Villa Twin theater in Orange, or riding out to the Newport Beach pier.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Remembering the Helms Bakery Trucks

helms bakery truck
Lee Fredrickson remembers the Helms Bakery Trucks rolling through his neighborhood, and the smells of fresh baked bread...
One of my favorite memories of growing up in Orange County was the Helms Bakery truck coming through the neighborhood during the weekdays.

I was talking with a high school friend today about that, and things I remember was the driver always blew the horn twice while going up and down the streets to draw the customers outside. As kids, we didn't get to see the bakery truck very often because we would usually be in school when the driver made his rounds, but when we were home, and we heard that horn, we would immediately start pestering our mother to get something from the "bakery truck".

It was always a treat to be there when the driver would open the double doors at the back of the truck and to smell all those wonderful treats - some of them still warm from being baked that day. My mom would tell the driver what she wanted to purchase that day, and he would start opening up those long wooden drawers which were used to store the baked goods. One drawer would have doughnuts, the next one would have cakes, another held pies, and it would go on and on while we just watched and enjoyed the show.

The drivers were always very friendly and knew our Mom by name. Mom didn't always have the money that day to pay for the stuff she wanted, so the drivers would extend her credit until the next time they came around. I remember they would have a little notebook with the customer's name on it and a column of numbers showing purchases and payments.

Unfortunately, Helms Bakery went out of business in 1969, but it is a memory I still cherish to this day.
Aside from the ice cream trucks that cruised our neighborhood, the only other food trucks I remember were the ones in Yokohama, Japan when I lived there from 1970-71. They sold just about everything, and if they didn't have it, they'd have it for you on the next stop. My mom would buy stuff from them.

In Santa Ana, I'd often see trucks going up and down the neighborhoods selling produce and clothes, but our family never paid any mind to them.

Today, we have the Schwan's trucks making deliveries in the neighborhood out here in the IE.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Theater In The Round in Orange

Anonymous asks if anyone remembers a "theater in the round" in Orange...
I may be crazy, but I swear there was a really nice "theater in the round" (a la Melodyland) in the City of Orange (on Katella, I think) back in the middle 60's. I believe it was called the "Carousel Theater". I'm sure it was converted into the unusual round bank building still located on the north side of Katella between Tustin Ave and Glassel. Does anyone else remember this?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Looking for Justin Tusk

BajaBlond says she's been looking for Justin Tusk, who apparently was a musician that played a lot of gigs in OC...
I just found this web site, and was looking for Justin Tusk from years past. What about the great guys that were Bob Joly's other sound's. Rick Myers and Chief Wilson,along with Bob Joly made the sound's of the packed night life of the then Ruben's and other like resturant night club HOT spot's.They were from Tustin to Brea La and more. They were HOT and not to be stopped. They are very missed....Yesterday's New's Letter Lady for Justin Tusk...

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Shopping at El Toro Marine Base

Anonymous remembers shopping at El Toro MCAS...
I loved going to the el toro base I loved doing our shopping there and hearing the jets rumble on their take off. then they built a different commissary and you couldn't hear it so much but you could see them and still hear them just not so loud. I enjoyed eat the hotdogs at the stand after finishing shopping! I don't have any pictures of how it used to look.Someone please post some so when we open the page everyone can see how producitve and awsome this place was. thanks
My dad was in the Navy, and one time he took me into El Toro MCAS and we did some shopping at the Exchange and Commissary. Stuff is always so cheap in there, and always packed with people. Even in my San Diego days, we'd go to the "Base" to do our shopping. I used to get haircuts at the base barber shop.

I don't know if anyone remembers this, but the OCTD bus had a route that started from Santa Ana, and drove into the restricted area of El Toro MCAS en route to Laguna Hills shopping mall.

Today, when I visit my dad up in Washington State, we'll hit up Fort Lewis, go into the commissary, and pick out some steaks for the BBQ. You still get the best deals on the base.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Garden Grove in the 1960s-1980s

Pedro Yruretagpyena ( offers some cool little tidbits of his memories growing up in Garden Grove, right on the border with Anaheim...
I grew up on songish st in garden grove, brookhurst and katella area in the 60's through the 80's. Anyone remember fishin at Kids Haven on chapman, ridin bikes in the field behind market basket on brookhurst and katella (later called Shopping Bag and then Fazios), boxing at the stanton gym, eating by the fire pits at Taco Bell on katella and beach or the one on katella near gilbert, levis at Red Eye, Pier 1 Imports, 5 cent scoops at Thrifty's, Al the ice cream man, glazed donuts from the Helms trucks, the burger joint on katella and nutwood (AJ's i think), Orange Julius on katella, A&W on chapman, or the cows in the fields north of katella and nutwood. Wow, some of this stuff I havent thought of until now.....

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Gabrielli's Deli & Gilligan's Island Liquor

Janel asks if anyone remembers Gabrielli's Deli or Gilligan's Island Liquor in Placentia...
I grew up in Placentia in the early 1980's. Does anyone remember Gabrielli's Deli and Gilligan's Island liquor store located in the Toy City plaza at the corner of Palm and Valencia? I attended El Dorado High School and worked at the deli during my High School years. A lot of great memories and friend from those days!!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

A Man Named "Ski" with Parrots

Roxanne asks if anyone remembers a guy named "ski" who wandered around Newport Beach with parrots...
Does anyone remember a guy named "ski" who used to walk around Newport Beach with parrots on his shoulder? If you were female he could be a bit of a pervert but he was harmless. My friends and I first came across him when he was living at the Ambassador Inn Costa Mesa. He then moved to Newport Beach and would walk up and down the boardwalk showing of these amazing birds and trying to pick up chicks of course.

Friday, June 12, 2009

The Music Market in Costa Mesa

Roxanne writes about her years growing up in Costa Mesa during the 1970s and 1980s...
I was born and raised in OC and spent my formative years in Costa Mesa during the 70's early 80's. Does anyone remember: Licorice Pizza (record store) near Newport Blvd? Also, the Harbor Roller rink, Music Market (on Harbor and Adams), and Kona Lanes. We used to get up to no good at the Ambassador Inn (Harbor & Wilson) by sneaking in and using the swimming pool. We used to cut across the alley that ran parallel to the golf course and hop the fence. It was right near the Pup- n -Taco.

I also remember the Tiki themed apartments on Wilson across the street from Tic Toc convenience store. I loved the koy pond and the wooden bridge.
I sure do remember Licorice Pizza, they were really big during the late 1970s, when they went head-to-head against Tower Records.

And yes, I remember Music Market! That was my favorite place to get records. It was in the shopping center on Harbor & Adams, next to the Ice Chalet rink. They had such a huge selection of music.

In my college years, during the mid-1980s, I was into electronic music and no where else could I find stuff from artists like Walter Carlos (before he became Wendy Carlos), or Terry Riley, Isao Tomita, or Kraftwerk. They also had a room just for used CDs, with CD players so that you could listen to them. I'd gather 20-30 CDs, listen to them, and figure out which ones to buy, and they'd only cost $1.00 to $3.00 each. I used to find all sorts of great but obscure bands.

And who couldn't forget the Hamburger Hamlet located right out in front?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Red Barn in Westminster

Anonymous shares some memories about the "Red Barn" in Westminster...
Does anyone remember the "Red Barn" on Garden Grove Blvd in Westminster? When we "Indian Village" kids could scrounge up a few pennies off we'd walk or ride our bikes to the the Red Barn to buy our penny candy. Times were so different then. - Catching pollywogs in the ditch, feeding Dusty and Starlight (horses) on the way to Finley Elementary school in the 60s.
As far as walking to school and stopping to feed the horses, there were never horses on my routes to school when I was a kid. But I managed to find other things to divert my attention while walking to school.

I always had stores and fast-food joints that I walked past. I would stop into a convenience store or corner market and buy a bottle of soda, or pick up a candy bar. While walking back home, I'd often have enough money in my pocket to get a bag of hot french fries from a McDonald's to munch on while I walked.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Garden Grove & Anaheim in the 1960 & 70s

Gary offers the follow tidbit of his memories living in OC...
Graduated Magnolia High in '72. Lived at Katella/Brookhurst starting in '58 Across from the Shopping Bag grocery store. A&W on Ball Rd. OC Plaza at Chapman/Brookhurst Helen Grace had amazing sundaes. Zodys, Thriftys, Blue Chip redemption store, hitch-hiking to the beach. So many good memories of growing up, but Anaheim is a pit now. The houses used to be immaculate and well trimmed. So sad. Linbrook Bowl is still there.
He says "Anaheim is a pit now". I moved into Orange County in 1978, and back then I thought Anaheim was a pit. But I guess it's just a matter of perspectives. Where I lived in Santa Ana, the neighborhood was a pit. But, it's still a part of my youth, which is something you always hold on to.

Monday, June 08, 2009

New Blog Design for

For those of you reading OCThen via RSS, take a look at the website because I changed a lot of stuff around...

Primarily, I migrated it over to New Blogger, which Blogger actually refers to as just "Blogger". This means OCThen is now hosted on Google's servers. It used to be running Classic Blogger, via FTP, on my server.

The migration gives me access to several new features, which I have running right now...

    Improved Search - search results shows you the full posts, instead of links to posts

  • Recent Comments - this shows you the last five comments our visitors made. This was sorely needed, because the real gold in OCThen are the comments people make. Now you'll know where the latest comments are. Check back everyday because there seems to be new comments everyday.

  • Comments RSS - If you already read OCThen via RSS, you can now get a separate RSS feed for just the comments. Click here.

  • Form Commenting - There's now a comment form on OCThen. Previously, you had to click a link to open up a form window. This just eliminates the step of clicking the link.

  • Instantaneous Commenting - Now, when you post a comment it will appear on OCThen instaneously. Previously, Blogger had to upload the comment to my server via FTP, which could take several minutes.

  • Reorganized Archives - I reorganized the archives so that there's now just two sections, one for "Communities" and another for "Subjects". Previously, I had something like 20-30 different sections.

  • It Looks Different - That's because I changed the design. It now resembles something like an old newspaper, giving it that nostalgic look. Hope you like it.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Hanging Out At The Orange Mall

Anonymous wants to start a discussion on hanging out at the Orange Mall...
Did anyone used to frequent the Orange Mall as a teenager?

I remember some local freak, I think nick named "Jesus". Also the Carl's Jr., Sweats n Surf, pet shop, and Farrell's across the street.
I never hung out there, since I was growing up in Santa Ana. But my wife spent a lot of time there, and when we were dating, she took me there several times. Of course, it was a far cry from South Coast Plaza, which was closer to where I lived.

But my best memory of Orange Mall is watching the movie "Dirty Dancing" there at the theater with my future wife. It was our first date together. I'd guess that was 1987. As a result, she had to pick "I've Had the Time of My Life" as our wedding song.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Santa Ana in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s

OCThen reader Brenda writes of her memories growing up in Santa Ana during 1950s, 60s, and 70s, and talks of an "old school reunion gala" taking place...
I grew up around jerome center in santa ana and attended smedley jr high and graduated in 1972 from valley high school. I have alot of wonderful memories of growing up in santa ana.

Consumer city was a department store like k mart in santa ana on first street. Does anyone remember the a and w rootbeer drive in on first street in santa ana. What about the broadway theater on broadway on sundays.when it only cost forty nine cents to get in. Do you remember the rec nites at el salvador. What about the sock hops after school.

Those of you who attebded smedley do you remember mrs. Webb she was a wonderful teacher. What about mr walter cole he is now a very prominent attorney here in orange county.

Do you all remember the seals at knotts berry farm, what about japanese village, the go kart ride on harbor, the skating ring, the roller derby games at the convention center in anaheim and the thunderbirds.

Do you all remember the good cinnamon rolls we ate at nutrition time at smedley and the good spaghetti.

Do you all remember going down town to eat those great chili dogs at grants in santa ana. I have not had a good chili dog since.

What about when sears sold the best popcorn and wards had all of that great candy, do you remember naugles restaurant the bell beefer from taco bell.

There were so many great memories from the era I grew up in which is the early seventies. The kids today to not know what clean fun we had. We didi not haveto worry about our safety like we have to with our kids and grandkids. Why did things have to change I would love to see our kids enjoy what we enjoyed.

I also remember thr helms bakery truck they had the best glazed donuts. What about seeleys bakery on bristol and mcfadden.

Myt name is brenda bolen any classmates out there, do any of you remember clifford kimble. If any one is interested pearla jo tabb has started an old school revisted reuion gala that started three years ago, it happens every august it is a dance and dinner and the nexct day there is a picnic where everyone just hangs out and bring theri picnic gear dominoes cards whatever you want, I attented the first one where every one dressed in the seventies style. We had a comedian, live music a dj the food was superb, we did the soul train line had a best dressed old school contest. It really took me back down memory lane. The afro wigs, the platform shoes it was so funny, this year lenny williams from tower of power will be performing. He sings that song oh oh oh.

Any way if you would like to get tickets to this years old school celebration it is called the function at the junction, you need to contack pearla tabb-wallace at this number and tell her brenda bolen sent you. The number is 626-453-6904 or charles aldridge at 714-366-4274 or bertha davis at 714-389-3933or dorothy strong at 714-686-4037. And everyibe if ekery race is welcome it is for people from the forties up to now just people from orange county period. You will definantly enjoy yourself and see friends from high school and the old neighborhoods that you lost touch with.

And by the way this is a wonderful site. I was looking for a bakery and stumbled upon this site, if anyone out there wants to email me they can at God bless brenda

Monday, April 27, 2009

Douglas "Wrong Way" Corrigan of Santa Ana

Anonymous writes about his/her memories of meeting Douglas "Wrong Way" Corrigan in Santa Ana during the 1960s...
when i was growing up in santa ana in the 50s/early 60s there were still homes located within small orange groves,many with barns,one of these groves was located as best as i can remember around the north flower area almost into orange,as the story went it was owned by douglas (wrong way)corrigan and that he kept his trans atlantic aircraft in the barn,in the late 1960s i was taking flying lessons from an instructor who owned 2 aircraft at orange county airport,while taxing back to the tie down after a lesson i noticed the other aircraft was out and there was an older man standing next to a parked car,my instructor asked if i know who he is,i answered no and he said that was douglas corrigan,we parked the aircraft and i was introduced to him,he was there waiting to pick up his son who was on a solo flight in the other aircraft,after a short conversation we shook hands he wished me luck and i wished the same for him and his son,and i drove off just as the other aircraft was taxing back in,the really sad part of all this is his son was killed several years later when the single engine cessna he was piloting crashed into the windward side of catalina island

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Pink Bus of Beach Blvd

Anonymous writes about the "Pink Bus" that run up and down Beach Blvd...
I grew up in LaHabra and was a little surfer, we used to take the Pink Bus that ran up and down beach blvd for 50 cents every chance we could.
I never lived around Beach Blvd, and never knew about the Pink Bus.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

In-N-Out Burger, Santa Ana

Anonymous writes about memories of In-N-Out burger in Santa Ana, where the owner would walk out to your car to take orders...
I remember going to the In-N-Out on Main st. in Santa ana as a teenager with my nieces & friends. The owner himself would take our order from the car and then bring us free homemade chicken soup while we waited. The hamburgers & fries were always freshly made. I tell my kids that the In-N-Out burgers from today are good, but the ones from back then were the best and we knew the original owner!
I don't remember the one on Main St, but I always went to the one on Bristol St and Civic Center Drive. This was back in the mid-1980s when I worked for the Santa Ana Public Library. And back then there were long lines at lunch time, and I imagine it's the same today.

Anyone know about their "secret menu"? If you want three patties and three cheese, tell then you want a "3x3". If you want 4 patties and eight cheeses, tell them "4x8". Simplicity and elegance in ordering.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Chinchilla Farm in Garden Grove

Anonymous asks if anyone remembers the chinchilla farm in what appears to be Garden Grove...
Does anybody remember the chinchilla farm located on chapman ave, between magnolia and gilbert.I walked back to the cages to check them out when I was a kid ( punk ).

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Villa Park High School - Barefoot

Anonymous shares memories of walking to Villa Park High School barefoot, walking on the ground and feeling the cow poop squish between his/her toes...
I wonder if anyone remembers being able to go to Villa Park Elementary school, in Orange, bare-footed? My folks had an orange ranch in the Villa Park area and I enjoyed the feel of the dirty old clay and cow poop between my toes. I have class photos showing some of my childhood buddies and I without shoes. That would have been early 1950's.

Also, does anyone remember the floods in the late 60's in Santiago creek that wiped out the bridge running from Santiago Canyon road, now Katella Ave, between the two Sully Miller gravel pits across Santiago creek, north, over to Villa Park? Not the existing road Katella but the road running between the school and nursery now that dead ends where the bridge was.

Anyone out there from the first graduation class from Villa Park High school, 1966?
How about Bruno's market on the corner of Katella and Wanda, near the Villa Park orange packing plant?

Happy memories to everyone.
I would not have wanted to be the guy who polished the floors at Villa Park High.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Hippies at Knott's Berry Farm

Anonymous writes about how the hippies "ruined" Knott's Berry Farm...
I grew up less than a mile away from Knotts in the sixties. We used to go there and hang out. It was free to get in before the Hippies ruined it. Knotts started charging admission to get them to stop loitering. Nothing against against the Hippies though. Great place to go on a Sat night and try to pick up girls.Knotts had a park in back that was short lived . I believe it was called "jungle island". You paid 50 cents to get in and you got to play there all day-what a blast. We used to buy our cigaretts at the "pottery shop" that was across the street from Knotts. They had a machine in the back. Nobody was ever looking and for 35 cents we got a hard box of Marlboros. Next to it was the Alligator farm. Who out there remembers that place?
Coincidentally, another commenter, Dave, posted a note a couple of years ago making a similar comment...
The hippies were sleeping in the parking lot, so thats when they fenced it in, and they wide the tracks for the train to run on, and charged a quarter for admission.
I didn't realize that Knott's changed from being free admission to paid admission as a way to get rid of hippies, but I guess that's one way. But it seems to me that as the park grew larger and larger, charging a fee would eventually happen anyways.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Space Ball Trampoline of Garden Grove

Palanuk's Pen writes about memories of the "Space Ball Trampoline" in Garden Grove...
Garden Grove-Does anyone remember the "Space Ball Trampoline"? Best I can remember it was in front of the indoor swimming pool behind Winchell's donuts...I think!! We played there for hours. A big trampoline with a net in the middle with a hole in it that you passed a ball through to the other person. I graduated from Rancho Alamitos 1969 and lived on Plesant Pl off Lampson.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Donating Chickens to Knott's Berry Farm

Anonymous shares memories of Anaheim in the 1960s, and finishes up with something about dropping off chickens at Knott's...
I moved to Anaheim in 1963 and went to Benito Juarez elementary, South Jr. High and Katella High School. We used to walk through orange groves as kids to get anywhere. It was a big deal when they opened the 7-eleven on St. College and Ball and I do recall the "Mr.T's" restaurant down the street. We hung out there all the time. It was originally a Tasty Freeze with a walk up window. I will never forget the chile-cheese dogs. I am trying to remember the name of a diner on the corner of East and Lincoln that was there at least until the mid-80's. Anyone?
How about the Original Van's shoe store on Broadway?

I also remember Escape Country. We used to drive there along those windy roads every Sunday in the summer beacuse they had live bands play in the afternoon and everyone would party. I think that area is now Dove Canyon and Robinson Ranch are of Santa Margarita.

We too use to drop off chickens in the parking lot at Knotts.

Those were the days!
That's an interesting point. How many other people let loose their chickens or other excess farm animals at Knott's, just because they figured Knott's would take them in?

I guess that would have been more humane than tossing them over the fence into the Alligator Farm nearby.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Random Memories of Orange County

OCThen reader, Brian W, shares his memories of Orange County...
My dad, Brad Worley,just passed away in Tustin last month. I live in DC now, but damn I have a lot of OC memories.


The Alligator Farm

Lion country Safari

Original Sam's pizza in Orange (in the sixtys it used to be my maternal grandfather, Lee Fugere's, deli and butcher shop) My mom said the everly brothers used to buy meat there.

The Green Garden chinese restaurant a few doors down from Original Sam's (near Main/C.H.O.C.)

The California Surf soccer team that played at Anaheim Stadium?

The Southern California Sun football team?

Anaheim Stadium when the Big a was the scoreboard?

Anaheim stadium when the Rams moved in.

Anyone ever have an Anaheim Rams bumper sticker.

Remember the Cinedome theatres near the Santa Ana river?

Tewinkle park BEFORE all the fancy landscaping, when there was just a big dirt hill that kids rode their Big Wheels down?

Brian W
OMG, yes I do remember the California Surf soccer team, I actually attended one of their games at Anaheim Stadium, and I want to say they played the Seattle Sounders that day.

And of course I remember the Cinedome. I would take my wife-to-be in those days, and there would hardly anyone there. We'd find a place away from other people, and just make out all movie long. Had there been any more people seated, we'd have probably been thrown out for indecency!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Growin Up in Garden Grove, 1950s

Anonymous share some memories of growing up in Garden Grove in the 1950s...
What a fun trip down memory lane! I grew up in Garden Grove beginning in the mid-50's. Lived on Elmer Lane (south of Katella, between Magnolia and Dale). I went to Blessed Sacrament in 1st grade and then onto St. Polycarp when it was built. All my neighbors went to Marie L. Hare and then to Rancho. I begged my parents to let me go to Rancho BUT they sent me to Marywood where I met my best friend, Rosi, and today at 55 years old, we live 4 houses from each other in Costa Mesa!

Remember Copper Penny Restaurant? Helen Grace Ice Cream & Candy? Both at THE PLAZA (Chapman and Brookhurst). And Top Hatters run by the Women's Club of GG -- learned to square dance! The Pink Spot on Chapman? Zody's? Newberry's? Love's Pet Store? Buster Brown Shoes?

Knott's Berry Farm on a Sunday afternoon with my dad because it was FREE! Watching Disneyland Fireworks on summer nights at 9:00 from our front lawn and then when the trees began to grow, sitting on the top of our roof?

Life growing up in Garden Grove was the BEST! EVERY day was special because we felt safe and loved.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Confetti's Nightclub, Orange

Anonymous asks if anyone remembers Confetti's Nightclub in Orange...
Does anyone remember Confetti's Nightclub? It was located where The Block is now? How about The Hop or The Red Onion?
I don't remember it. But I do remember seeing The Hop, and I do remember going to The Red Onion a few times with my future wife.

I actually didn't care much for nightclubs. In my college days, my best friend Greg and I were into motorcycles and shooting pool. It wasn't until after I met my wife-to-be that I started doing some of that weird stuff.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Growing Up on El Toro MCAS

Ginny shares her memories of growing up a military brat on El Toro Marine Corps Air Station...
When I was 5 years old, we left El Toro Marine Base, and we lived in base housing during that time. I remember sneaking off the El Toro's Elementary school. We were all military brats, and we lived on Trabuco Road, right at the very end of the air strip. My fondest memories in life are from those days. Although, one of the fondest is the carrott fields we used to plunder during as soon as the new harvest was cut. I loved it there and wish we had never left. I remember the 82 Marines killed at Saddle Back Mountain, the time the president flew over the air base and they dropped candy from the plane, it was so awesome. If only we could go back to those times, a time when there were not so many people and construction, among other things. I have pictures of my brothers and sisters, and my Mom, standing on the sidewalk in between the houses at El Toro. I could be mistaken, but I believe we lived 1938 Trabuco Rd. Anyway, I loved it there. Anyone interested in the pictures can contact me. I have more than a couple for sharing.
That sounds cool, the President's airplane dropping candy down on the kids below.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Growing up in Anaheim in the 1950s

Anonymous writes about memories of growing up in Anaheim during the 1950s, making mention of orange blossoms...
The best memories are the ones of growing up. Or if not, they should be. I have so many fond memories of growing up in Anaheim. I left in 1994 and when I went back down for a visit, it just wasn't the same. Everything I remember as a kid, is gone. Even my old house where I grew up, is so different. When my parents first moved there in the 50s it was overgrown with orange trees. We had 2 in our backyard and I can remember as a child smelling orange blossoms wafting through the window on a warm summer night. Now when I smell my own orange tree during the summer, lots of memories come flooding back. It was nothing for us as kids to hop on our bikes and peddle down to TG&Y for candy and pop. Coming back proved more challenging as we struggled to stay on our bikes while eating candy at the same time! Nowdays kids don't seem to have the freedom to go off on their own, as we did. Times have changed, not all for the better. I long for a simpler time. Like it was back as a kid growing up in the OC. Playing ding dong ditch-it, roller skating continously around the block, waiting for the ice cream truck during the summer, eating at A & W burger and having mom take us to Knotts Berry Farm to go on the burro rides. Ahh, the memories. I miss them and I miss Anaheim like it used to be.
The last house we lived at in San Diego, along with another house we lived at in Santa Ana, had orange trees, and yes I loved the scent of the orange blossoms. Today, when I ride my motorcycle through the orange groves of Temecula, or through the groves in Pauma Valley, the smell is so intoxicating. I'm not sure someone driving in a car with the windows rolled up would even notice.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

John McIntosh, OC Restauranteur

OCThen reader, Gary Lycan, submits the following news about an OC restauranteur, John McIntosh passing away recently, and asks if anyone can share some memories...
John McIntosh died recently. He was the man behind the Far West restaurant empire that started with Snack Shop and later included Coco's, Moonraker, Reuben E. Lee, Plankhouse, Baxter Street and others. I would love to hear memories from anyone out there who ate at a Snack Shop - one at PCH and MacArthur in CdM where Ruby's now is, or one on S. Main across from what was once Sears in Santa Ana, or my personal favorite, the Snack Shop at 17th and Flower in SA (across from a Market Basket) where I can still taste their Chili Size.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Does a Ghost Haunt the Santa Ana High School Auditorium?

OCThen reader Julia shares her memories of growing up in Orange County...
I remember having so much fun when I lived in Orange County. I was born in Orange, but resided in Santa Ana. I left for Buffalo New York at age 16 but came back and resided in Anaheim from 1997-1998. I went back to Buffalo, New York and been here ever since. I'm 32 going on 33 years old and I can recall some of the great memories I had growing up.

I went to Carr Intermediate, Spurgeon Intermediate and graduated from there and went to Santa Ana High School as well as Valley High School. I ended up relocating and graduated from Kensington High School in Buffalo. I remember when I went to Santa Ana High School, the beautiful choirs, the cheerleading and tall flags squads, the food lol, how we had so much variety in what we wanted for lunch, which isn't like that at all here in the Buffalo school systems.

I also remember this time where there was a rumor spread about a girl who supposedly gotten killed by falling over the balcony in the auditorium during an assembly. They always said certain parts of that school where haunted. I have no idea if that was true or not but if anyone knows the truth about it or even remembers the incident, I'm still quite curious as to what happened.

I didn't stay at that school very long because of my grades, so I went on to Santa Ana Valley High School. Boy did I hate being there because it seemed like every single day I would get bombed by the birds LMAO!!! I had so many funny incidents there it was pitiful as well as sad. There were a few classmates that have passed away.

By the way I also went to Childs World Kindergarten and Lincoln Elementary School. Those were the good old days lol.

I have noticed that many posts are from people in the 1950's and 1960's, which I really find quite interesting. I'm glad I found this site and to be able to read these stories make me very homesick. Who knows, I may even come back to live one day.

I also remember the beaches that I used to go to. Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, Huntington Beach, Long Beach which I really remember going to see the Queen Mary and the Spruce Goose.

And let me not forget my favorite attraction, "Knotts Berry Farm" yesss!! I liked Knotts better than Disneyland, I always have. I think its because of the Old West environment that really attracted me to it and I'll never forget the attraction "Sam and Sadie". Does anyone remember that? Is it still there?

Sooo many memories and the fast food mexican restaurants were unbelievable! Of course no one can cook right here on the East Coast lol.

The thing that I regret most is losing contact with my friends. I do have MySpace and found a couple of family members that I lost touch with, still waiting to hear back from them but it's so exciting to know that I was able to find them, so I'm guessing that I can find a few of my classmates there too.

OK! Now that I have written a book here on my life lol, I'll stop here for now and read some more of these wonderful Orange County stories!!

Blessed Be to All!!
I never heard about the girl who fell from the auditorium balcony at Santa Ana High School. But I do remember singing there. I was in the choir of Santa Ana College, and one year we performed a Christmas program there, and indeed that balcony is pretty high.

It would be interesting to hear of ghost stories of Orange County's schools.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Memories of Orange in the 1950s

Anonymous share memories of life in the 1950s of Orange...
My memory is of growing up in Orange in the 1950's. Cambridge Elementary school with the big beautiful tile mosaic of a girraffe. Loved that! WE shopped only downtown Orange or downtown Santa Ana. Once a year we would drive to LA where my Dad would order suits, and my mom would get some dresses. Does anyone remember the children's shop in Orange Circle? I remember a big loft upstairs. It was a real adventure going there!

I too, watched the Orange Mall being built. Seemed it was out in the middle of nowhere, with only the orange trees all around it.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Armstrong's Restaurant, Anaheim

OCThen reader Gary Lycan asks if anyone remembers Armstrong's, a restaurnat in Anaheim...
Does anyone remember Armstrongs, a neighborhood corner restaurant on Lincoln in Anaheim. Our family used to go there and have delicious barbecue beef sandwiches and potato salad before heading over to the Broadway Anaheim shopping center - usually on Friday nights to walk around and do some shopping. It's been replaced by a Mexican restaurant, it probably closed years and years ago, but I would love to hear from anyone with memories of it.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Honer Plaza, Santa Ana

Anonymous writes about memories of Honer Plaza in Santa Ana...
I grew up in Santa Ana near 17th and Bristol, across from what used to be Honor Plaza. There was Newberry's, House of Fabrics, Montgomery Wards, Roberts, Sav-On and the movie theater. There was also The City in Orange with The Little Folks Shop. I always remember going down the little slide they had in the store. Does anyone remember the Belgian Waffle Restaurant in the shopping center across from South Coast Plaza? They had THE BEST waffles and then just disappeared. Talking about food, who can forget Belliles (sp.) in Garden Grove. The plates were gigantic and the food was unforgettable!
Of course I remember Honer Plaza. There was a small barber shop inside the mall that I used to go to all the time. And there was this self-serve postal annex in the parking lot that sold stamps, and included a scale to weigh your packages and mail them off.

My folks used to shop the Montgomery Wards there.

Calisphere has a photograph of the Montgomery Wards under construction at the future site of Honer Plaza...

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Orange International Street Fair

Anonymous writes about his/her memories of the "big parade on Chapman Avenue" before there was an Orange International Street Fair...
In the late 50's when I was growing up in Orange, this time of year was the big parade on Chapman Avenue. Does anyone remember? It was before the "street Fair" came to be. I loved that Dad had an office on Chapman and we would all set up "camp" there before the parade. School was almost out, and it was nearly my birthday...the world was perfect!
"this time of year" is in reference to the month of May. (I'm still going through old material from last year).

I guess I didn't realize that there was a parade that preceded the street fair, but then again it makes sense for a city to have an annual parade.

Interestingly, the Orange International Street Fair has its own website, and there's a page on its history (link)...
In 1973, The City of Orange was looking for ideas to celebrate for its one hundreth year. Inspired by the Orange Street Fair of 1910 it was decided that for the centennial celebration Orange would have the Orange International Street Fair. The Fair was so successful that it has become an annual tradition during Labor Day weekend ever since. The Fair is located near Plaza Park.
I remember visiting the street fair a few times during my college days with my best friend Greg. This was the mid-1980s. Back then, it was jam packed, just as it is today I'm sure. We rode our motorcycles and was always able to find a tiny spot to park them into. There was always so much food I wanted to eat, and just couldn't.

In the early 1990s, my nephew lived a few blocks from the Orange Circle, and when the fair would come around, he'd set up a makeshift soda shop on the sidewalk near his house. He had no vendor's permit of course. He'd buy up cases of Coke at a Price Club, and then sell an ice cold can for $2.00.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Santa Ana Zoo

Anonymous writes about his/her memories, which includes "Prentiss Park Zoo"...

Lion Country Safari

My husband drove past it daily from our house in Aliso Viejo to Irvine daily before we left CA..

Japanese Deer Park

Remember that awesome place? Those sweet deer??

Waaay back, when Prentiss Park Zoo was FREE and fun!
I don't know if it ever was called "Prentiss Park Zoo", I remember it as Santa Ana Zoo. But I do remember visiting there. This was in the 1980s, I think around 1980 actually. I was amazed by the fact that they had animals in cages.

Consider the fact that I had lived in San Diego prior to then, and was accustomed to San Diego Zoo, where animals were featured in exhibits with living plants, water, rocks, and dirt, etc., not just concrete floors and iron bars.

But it explained to why all those old Looney Toons cartoons of the 1940s would often depict lions living in jail cells.

Of course the Santa Ana Zoo is still there today, but I've never been back.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Kono Hawaii Restaurant, Santa Ana

OCThen reader, "Deanie" writes of her memories of visiting the Kono Hawaii restaurant in Santa Ana...

One of my fondest memories of Santa Ana is going to the Kono Hawaii on 1st Street. I can still smell the food and the foil-wrapped baked pototoes. They had the coolest Koi fish creek running through the restaurant and the servers were dressed in beautiful Japanese dresses. Is wear I can still remember what that cool place looked like. Too bad they turned it into a night club. I went with my husband when it was a Vietnamese restaurant but it wasn't the same. What a waste of a cool restaurant.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Back When Brea Was a Small Town

Anonymous recalls the City of Brea back in the 1970s when things were smaller, and asks the old timers what they think about the new hustle and bustle...
Brea has changed more than any other city I can think of. The main street, Brea Boulevard was so very small, just 2 lanes and there was no mall and really no shopping to speak of. (and I'm not referring to the 1930's, but the 1970's.) Their library was in a small strip mall. I remember a yardage store that was always hoping. I think it was called Jeanne's. Now, Brea is a bustling town. Lots of restaurants, a large mall, a big modern library and city center. I'm wondering how the old-timers like the change.
Sounds like Anonymous is an old timer too.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Weber Bread Bakery in Santa Ana

Austin Cooper, an OCThen reader, submits his memories of growing up in Santa Ana (sounds like the northern end of town) from the 1950s through the 1970s, and then mentions how everything changed when he moved back ten years later...

Does any one remember the Weber Bread Bakery on North Main Street in Santa Ana? It was about two blocks north of the Santiago Creek bridge and just south of what is now the Main Place Mall. The aroma coming from the bakery was always in the air for blocks and blocks around this building. What a wonderful memory it was in the mid- to late-60s to peer through the large plate glass windows of this bakery while standing on the sidewalk and watching the bakers hard at work.

Other memories include a Santa Ana Ana Dog and Cat Hospital, also on North Main Street, located across the street from Weber Bread Bakery, where we would take the family cats and dogs for their annual shots, etc.

There was also a park in the area called Santiago Park, where bike riding and hiking were great fun.

Two other memories include the English Motel, also on North Main Street in Santa Ana, just north of the bridge that went over the 5 Freeway and the tall Bekins Moving and Storage Building across the street from the the English Motel. There was also a motorcycle dealership there, too.

I lived in Santa ana from 59-76, and then my family moved to Texas; howevver, I returned to Orange County (McDonnell Douglas in Huntington Beach) in 86 and established residence in Santa Ana very near the Bower's Museum on Main Street. Upon returning to Santa Ana in 86, and living there through 99, the bakery, veterinarian's office, and motorcycle dealership were all gone. The old mall, where Bullock's was, had been gutted and converted to the Main Place Mall, with an entirely new appearance and feel that I thought was kind of sad.

Anyone having memories or these landmarks, please post a reply. Thanks.

Austin Cooper
Decatur, Alabama
That motorcycle dealership he recalls, I believe, was Irv Seaver BMW, which has since moved (or more correctly, moved back) to Orange. Seaver has published a history of his dealership on his site, noting all the places it was located, and previous ownerships. (link)

And what of that "old mall" that used to be where Main Place now sits? The OC Archives has a photo of "Fashion Square" on its Flickr site (link)

I remember seeing Fashion Square, but never ventured in there, since we lived closer to South Coast Plaza.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Milk Shakes at South Coast Plaza

An anonymous reader asks a question about a store in South Coast Plaza...

Does anybody remember the name of the health food store/restaurant/shake bar at South Coast Plaza back in the 70s? It was pink and they made shakes out of ice cream and ice milk. I'm racking my brain trying to remember the name of it. It was near the carousel area in the section that goes towards Nordstrom. Thank you.

Leaving on a 4-Day Camping Trip

Folks, this morning I'm heading out on a 4-day camping trip to Utah and back, via motorcycle. Myself and six other friends are going.

Camping at Zion National Park the first night.

Natural Bridges National Monument, camping second night.

Grand Canyon Caverns, camping third night.

That first night is the coldest, with temps in the 30s, and predicted for rain and snow fall that morning. We should miss that stuff, but am expecting wet and icy road conditions when we get there in the evening.

That next morning, we're riding up to Bryce Canyon. That'll be the toughest part of the trip, with temps that morning in the 20s, and more wet and icy roads. The rest of the trip should get better from there.

And for the record, I am by no means an expert riding a motorcycle on icy roads. I've tried it before, and ended up dumping my bike. Hopefully, things will be better only because we're staying on the more heavily travelled roads.

Anyways, feel free to follow me on my Twitter account:

I'll try to post updates there, assuming I have Internet access.

But I do have several more "memories" posts for OCThen scheduled to publish, so checking back for more.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Old Knott's Berry Farm Rides

OCThen reader, Snoop-tastic, writes about his/her memories of Knott's Berry Farm, and the attractions that are no longer there...
I remember going to Knott's Berry Farm atleast once a year as a kid...And now I work there! It truely is the "Friendliest place in the west". I remember what reflection lake looked like before the Silver Bullet was added....The water show thing they used to do was always great to top off every visit! I used to be scared of the Calico Mine Ride....It still freaks me out a little! lol. I loved the Kingdom of the Dinosaurs, and I hate that I couldn't ride it just once more before it was removed. I remember the Tampico Tumbler, the Gran Slammer, and I even have vague memories of the rides underneath the Wind Jammer (Where X-celerator is now.) The music at Knott's gets stuck in your head, yet it leaves a smile on your face. The stage shows (at the Wagon Camp, Calico Stage, Camp Snoop Theater, and Charles M. Schulz Theater) are all magnificent and well-written. I love Snoopy's Big Bow Wow, Charlie Brown's Jungle Journey, The Wild West Stunt Show and, at Halloween Haunt, "The Hanging". Every moment spent at Knott's, whether working or playing, is an adventure and a time to remember. For anyone who has not been to KBF, I highly recommend it, and while you're there, be sure to check out as many of the shows as possible, including the one in the Mystery Lodge!
The first time I went to Knott's was in 1973 (or was it 1974?). I can't recall what all that was there at that first visit, but I do remember the Haunted Shack, the mine tour, the train, the stage coach, panning for gold, the Calico Graveyard, and of course the log ride. I think only the Haunted Shack is no longer there.

Back then, I lived in San Diego, and it was a really big affair for us to drive up to Buena Park. I was so excited to have visited Knotts!

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Memories of Anaheim in the 1960s

OCThen reader Amber submits her memories of growing up in Anaheim, probably in the 1960s, based on the $4.95 it took to get into Disneyland...
I grew up in Anaheim.. I remember dad getting take pizza from Costello's, down around Walnut ? and Cerritos.. then it was changed to Mama Cozza's... I remember hearing they had cockroaches all over and they just baked them into the pizza.

I remember "..don't cook tonight, call Chicken Delight.. we deliver.." and White Front Pharmacy in Garden Grove.. I remember the Skate Rink off the 22/Haster, skating to the theme song from Grease.

Till I moved to Dana Point, I STILL drove up to Ball /Euclid to see my childhood and adulthood DDS, Dr. Cornelius.. he had a daughter and I never knew her, but she went to school at Ball and Loara HS.

I remember the OBON festival every Summer during my Birthday and I'm finally going to the one here in Denver...

Remember Disneyland on my BD every year with my friends.. I VIVIDLY remember us complaining it cost us $4.95 to get in! I remember hoarding E tickets and going home for dinner and coming back later on till they closed. I remember the GE Carosel of Progress.. my fav thing other than Pirates of the Carribean.. in 2006 we went to DisneyWorld and didn't like it.. way too big . BUT, the GE show was there and I videotapped the entire thing! Only one other person was in there with us.. they totally updated it and I HATED that.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Original Mike's in Santa Ana

An anonymous OCThen submits a short memory about growing up in Santa Ana...
Santa Ana is my hometown. I live in the IE area now, but when I'm in seems just about everywhere I turn...there's a memory. I remember my parents took us out to eat on Fri to Straw Hat Pizza next to the Pic-n-Save..on Bristol..there was also a restaurant called Sir Georges that we loved so was a buffet style (like Hometown Buffett but smaller).
I have to agree. I lived in Santa Ana from 1978 to 1988, and lived there when I was 12 to 22. Everytime I go back there I see buildings that be used to be other buildings. I remember stuff that ain't there anymore. My wife was born there and can tell you a lot more. Her parents moved there in the 1940s, and the stories never end.

Santa Ana actually is a much nicer place today than when I lived there. I know it has its gang problems, but it had worse gang problems back then.

Some months ago, I had lunch at Original Mike's on the corner of 1st Street and Main. That was just an abandoned building the entire time I lived there, and now it's something pretty cool. When I worked at Santa Ana Public Library, I would walk past that building everyday, and wonder if anyone would do something with it.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Calico Cash Social Hour Coins

OCThen reader Slatts asks if anyone has information about some coins that came from Knott's Berry Farm...
I found 13 wooden Calico Cash Social Hour coins from Knott's Berry Farm. They are the size of silver dollars and just as thick. They must be from the 60's and I'm trying to find out what they were used for. Does anyone know? Thanks, Slatts
Click on "Post a Comment" below if you know anything...

Monday, March 30, 2009

Consumer City

OCThen reader, Donald Wallace, shares his memories of living in Santa Ana, back when Knott's Berry Farm was still free...
I grew up in Santa Ana, When Knott's Berry Farm was free to go to and The Aligator Farm and some large Crystal/ Glass museum was there. Movieland Wax Museum and Cars of the Stars/ Planes of Fame were awesome. Lived close to 17'th Street and Grand Ave. where Gemco and Zodys were on opposit corners. There was a TIC-TOC market by our house thet I used to ride my bike to for candy, All 4 corners had gas stations. ABC was rthe market my Mom shopped at, And evety Friday we went to Consumer city and ordered burgers at BURGER CHEF out at the ens of the parking lot. I remember when they tore down the Orange Groves to build Gemco, Lots of more memories, But this is plenty
He mentions, "Consumer city". I'm just curious if anyone knows what that was, or where it was.

There was a reference to Consumer City in a comment here on OCThen on a different article entitled, "A Kid Growing Up in Santa Ana and Garden Grove"...
Wow, what memories of the Mc Fadden, Newhope, First street areas! Besides Red Ranch and ABC market does anyone remember Consumer City and The Potato Bin on First St? My sister recalls the cars (hot rods)from The Munsters TV show making an appearance at Consumer City!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Broadway Billiards, Santa Ana

Anonymous writes in reference to a comment posted on my earlier article on the Saddleback Inn, regarding old pool halls...
I saw a reference in one comment about Broadway Billiards. Originally this "joint" was further north on Broadway nearer to the Broadway theatre. It's complete name was "Adam the Hat's Broadway Billiards". I used to hang out there when I was in high school (between 1964-1966. Adam wouldn't let me play the tables because he felt I was too young. But I spent a small fortune playing pinball! This was truly an old school billiard parlor; very colorful. We also hung out at the drum shop which was nest to the Broadway theatre. West Coast Drum shop still exists today but is located at South Coast Village.
During my college years, my friend Greg and I would ride our motorcycles to Linbrook Family Billiards in Anaheim, on the corner of Brookhurst and Lincoln. Read my earlier article about it, "Linbrook Family Billiards"

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Veterans of Orange County

Anonymous asks if I can start a thread honoring Orange County residents who died in the service of their country...
hi steve,i would sure like to see a spot here to remember our oc vets who payed the ultament price for the freedom we have today,may i start the list with 2 i went to high school with john hunt and dick russel both sahs class of 1965 and lost in vetniam
Of course this is not limited to the Vietnam War, but in any service wartime or other. If you know an OC resident who died while serving the USA, post their name in a comment, and tell us their story.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Old Bars in Huntington Beach

Kim T asks about some old bars in Huntington Beach that she used to hang out at...
Does anyone remember "Friar Tucks Bar", "The Keg", and the "Huntington Tavern" in Huntington Beach from the 1970"s and early 80"s? I can't seem to find anything about them in this site. They were dives but fun to hang out in.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Bohemian Summers of Huntington Beach

OCThen reader MichelleM remembers her summers in Huntington Beach, living an almost bohemian lifestyle all day and night in the uptopian world of an OC beach town...
it is hard to concentrate on one thing....but the summers in h.b. were what i remember. hanging out at the round stone tables on the peir, eating french toast at vics on the beach.....the end cafe, the other end cafe! the gameroom under the pier, those discusting bathrooms we used so often because we all lived on the beach from am to pm during the summer. the nights at the golden bear, and after partys at those old one room apartments overlooking main street. playing pool at the standard market with the juke box playing......ahhhh- memories! there will never be another "old huntington", i feel sorry for todays youth, they will never experience those carefree days we had.
Boy, what a contrast to the gangs, knife fights, and police sirens of the Santa Ana I grew up in during the 1970s and 80s.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Huntington Beach Plunge

OCThen reader, Linda J, asks if anyone remembers the Plunge at Huntington Beach...
Did any of you ever swim at the "plunge" on Huntington Beach? My Aunt Johnnie Belshe used to teach kids to swim there...I remember going to her house on every 4th of July and watch the parade pass by followed by a day at the beach and fireworks off the pier at night...
The Huntington Beach Plunge was a swimming pool by the pier that filled with ocean water. It allowed people to swim in the ocean in a controlled environment, without the worry of waves and sharks. Many beach cities had these.

Today, Huntington Beach offers an annual "plunge", but it's not the same thing. It's just a bunch of people walking into the ocean during the cold (or theoretical cold) of winter.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Robert Kennedy in Orange County

Anonymous remembers when Robert Kennedy was running for President and landed at Orange County Airport, and describes the candidate stepping out of his airplane...
i just noticed the date and it brought back memories of when i was working at the orange county airport 40 years ago and bobby kennedy flew in on a lockheed electra,in those days security was nothing like it is today so we lined up on the tarmac to see him, i was standing directly under the #2 propeller and it was rubbing up side of me so i rotated it out of the way,the guy standing next to me in a suit(had to been a body guard because i could see his.45 auto under the jacket)grabed me and said dont move that it can kill you ,i took a second to explain to him the difference between a piston and a turboprop engine,guess that made him happy, anyway here comes bobby kennedy down the stairs followed by his wife i can tell you he looked nothing like he did on tv or in pictures he looked like he was 30 years older so did his wife i guess running for office really ages a person,they stepped into a waiting limo and headed off to anahiem i beleve,the the next days stop was los angeles where he was shot that night

Monday, March 23, 2009

Hanging out at South Coast Plaza

Anonymous shares some memories of favorite hang outs at South Coast Plaza, before all the trendy stuff went in...
Ok, back in the early 80's i remember couple of old restaurants in South Coast plaza, our old hang-out before all the upscale boutiques came in. One of them was Rendezvous Cafe. I vaguely remember an ice cream spot that sold dipped ice cream bars. Dont think they were Balboa bars, but wondered if anyone recalls? i think they had various dipping choices...mmmm, i could have one now!
I remember in the 1970s, I used to ride my bicycle there to hang out in the video arcade room. It was located inside the Sears, at the lower level, near the mall entrance. I'd come in with several dollars in quarters, and always left empty-handed.

There was a Del Taco really close to the video arcade room, and I always got a couple of burritos there. Across from that Del Taco was a Woolworths.

In the 1990s, my wife and I would go to the Ghirardelli store inside the mall and buy ice creams. I'd get the banana split, and she always got a sundae.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Knott's Berry Farm versus Tom's Farms

Anonymous writes about Knott's Berry Farm back during a time when it was a dirt lot and free to get in...
Speaking of Knotts Berry Farm and Disneyland! I remember the dirt parking lot and chickens! And it was free to get in! No log ride yet. I remember when it was getting built and the excitement of it all. And Disneyland... remember the tickets for the rides. "E" tickets were the best but you only got like 3! Of course "A" tickets were the sucky rides and you got like 6! But you could use the ticket book for next time. That's when Disneyland was affordable! I was just at, is it Downtown Disney? Its been over 20 since I've lived in Orange County. So many people... so little land!
Just south of Corona, along the I-15, is a place called Tom's Farms. Everytime I go there, I think of Knott's Berry Farm, and wonder if it looks anything like Knott's Berry Farm from those very old days.

Tom's Farms is still largely a glorified produce stand, with a shop for wine and cheese, a furniture store, a candy shop, a mexican restaurant, and a burger shop. But it also has a Merry-go-Round, a shooting gallery, a train ride, a large duck pond with live band, and even some carnval rides. And the place keeps adding more stuff all the time.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Polo Fields of Garden Grove

An anonymous OCThen reader asks if anyone knew of a polo field or polo grounds in Garden Grove...

I moved to the Eastgate section of Garden Grove in 1959. I attended Rancho Alamitos High School and graduated in 1963. I remember hanging out at a polo field located near Garden Grove Blvd. and Magnolia. When I tell people about this they don't believe it was there. Could anyone please confirm this and maybe tell me the name of the field.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Westminster, Garden Grove, Santa Ana, 1960-1970

OCThen reader, Joe Devine, submits his memories of growing up in Westminster, Garden Grove, and Santa Ana during the 1960s and 1970s.
I have great memories of growing up in the 60's and 70's in the Westminster,Garden Grove and Santa Ana areas. I attended St Barbra's Catholic school in Santa Ana and remember watching Army helocopters circling and landing in an area I believe turned into Mile Square Park. I wore out my 10 speed bike riding up and down the Santa Ana river trail bike path west to the beach past South Coast plaza mall when it was the newest thing. I also remember Atantisland and the Strawberry festival in Garden Grove. I moved away in 1990 but had a wonderful Disneyland visit in 2001. Thank goodness for memories it had changed so much. My sister turned me on to this site, she graduated from MaterDei in 1974.
I've never heard of "Atantisland". Perhaps he meant, "Atlantisland", either way I've never heard of it.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Sid's Blue Beet, Newport Beach

Anonymous asks if anyone else remembers a place in Newport Beach called, "Sid's Blue Beet"...
Anyone recall Sid's Blue Beet in Newport near the pier? Funky place with loads of ambiance and great live music. Sid, the onetime owner is wanted by the law and word has it, is hiding out in Vegas. It was hopping in the 70's.
Sid's Blue Beet is now "Blue Beet Cafe". I've never been there, but had heard about it.

I wonder if the person writing is either someone looking for Sid, or maybe Sid himself.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Cooper's Market, Santa Ana

Anonymous writes about his memories of getting "Kool-Aid Shooters" at Cooper's Market in Santa Ana...
i can remember riding my bike in santa ana in the late 50s/early 60s,going east on washington at the south west corner of bristol there use to be a place called coopers market, this was way before 7-11s or any of that crap, this was a mom and pop market and i remember they sold these i guess you could call them kool aid shooters,they were approx 6 inch long wax tubes with an ounce or so of kool aid in them for a penny a piece and we use buy 25 cents worth or what ever change we had and bite the top off them ,chug um down and spit out the wax while riding our bikes,coopers is long gone but sure do miss the memory of those days
I remember getting those things too, but I don't remember what they were called. The ones I used to get were shaped like soda bottles, but were very small, made of wax, and contained a sweet, fruity liquid.

I don't remember Cooper's Market, but I know the intersection he's talking about. In the 1970s and 1980s, when I lived in Santa Ana, there was a butcher shop there. That was one of the few places that still sold whole, frozen rabbit. My mom would get a frozen rabbit, and we'd take it out camping, and my step-father would roast it over the campfire.

Across Bristol, there was a Kentucky Fried Chicken, and caddy-corner there was an Alfie's Fish & Chips, and on the other side of Washington St, was Santa Ana College.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Nutburger in Santa Ana

OCThen reader Gary asks if anyone remembers a burger joint in Santa Ana called "Nutburger"...
I was living in Santa Ana during the mid to latter 60's. Does anyone remember The Nutburger? It was a hamburger joint on Harbor and Warner that featured hamburgers with peanuts in them. The were actually pretty good.
And he also asks if anyone remembers another place in Newport Beach...
Also, does anyone remember the name of the restaurant that featured cute carhops in short dresses who roller skated to your car to take orders and deliver food? It was on the corner of MacArthur and PCH in Newport Beach (where the Gulfstream is now). This would have been in the 60s and 70's.
If you have anything to add, click on "Post a Comment" below...

Monday, March 16, 2009

When Pearl Harbor Was Attacked

An anonymous reader recalls a third grade teacher attending his/her mother's funeral, and goes on recall a story about his/her dad skating at the Skate Ranch in Santa Ana when it was announced that Pearl Harbor was attacked...
I grew up in Tustin and went to Tustin Memorial Elementary. I was five when I began in 1967 and when I was in the third grade my mom died of cancer. A lovely Mrs. Saunders (my teacher) was so kind and gentle and sat near me at my mom's service. I remember that and always wanted to tell her that I did remember and always wanted to thank her.

My father Clem and his mom and dad and animals and four sisters and a brother drove from Oklahoma to California in 1941 -- on a two lane highway. Dad drove all the way because he was the best driver -- he was only 16....oy. They lived in Santa Ana on Edinger near what was a MacDonald's but is now an office building and across from their little farm was a bean field.

I remember dad said that a few months after they arrived they were skating at the old skate ranch and it was announced that Pearl Harbor was attacked. Dad joined the navy in 1943. They all attended Santa Ana High School and he met my mom in 1947 and lost his one love in life in 1970. Unhappily for me but happily for them -- Clem and Mary and together again. Their families go way back in Santa Ana.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Growing up in Huntington Beach 1960-1970

OCThen reader "Oly" submits memories of growing up in Huntington Beach during the 1960s and 1970s...
I was born in 1962 and have been in Huntington Beach ever since. I first lived on Baffin Cr. off of Bolsa Chica and McFadden. I remember the many walks to Speedy Mart for Slurpies and candy. I remember the bean fields right accross the street next to Robinwood School. My older brother would walk over and pick them, would boil them up and they were pretty tasty.

We later moved to the Meadowlark tract and we backed the 6th fairway which is now the 15th. I attended Meadowview School then Marina High School. A lot of goodtimes.

Great time in little league at Ocean View National, that used to be next to Meadowlark Airport on Heil. Does anyone remember the little coffee shop that was on Springdale and Edinger that was in the same location as Marios?It was next door to Alpha Beta. When we would go to Alpha Beta with our mom, we would walk over there and by 10 packs of Baseball cards once a week. Many walks to Thrifty Drug for ice cream cones and toys and Thriftimart where I actually worked my first job in High School. And how about Springdale Drug?

A lot of great memories there and i'm glad to have bought a house in the same tract. Could not be a better city to live in in this world. Could go on for a long time, but would take forever.


Saturday, March 14, 2009

United California Bank, Huntington Beach

OCThen reader, "salesteacher", submits the following memory of working at the United California Bank in Huntington Beach...
I left Buffalo, NY on a Greyhound bus, at age 19, and landed in Huntington Beach almost 3 days later. July 3, 1962. Took me forever to find a job--no car--literally walking between towns. A great guy named Tim at United California Bank at 1018 No. Main Street took a chance on me, and I worked there for four formative years that left such a deep imprint in me, that I almost believe the bank and the people are still there. Last time I visited the building, it was some sort of school. I would love to hear from anyone who was among the fifty or so employees of that bank branch. Such fond memories.
Anyone who worked there, "Post a Comment" and share your memories...

Friday, March 13, 2009

Greenbriar Inn and Sanitarium in Garden Grove

greenbriar inn garden grove
An anonymous OCThen reader asks if anyone knows the name of an old mental hospital in Garden Grove...
I grew up in westminster,born in 1959 in Artesia. My mom and dad bought a house in Westminster in 1955 I believe.I just came across this site when I was trrying to find some info on an old mental hospital in Garden Grove.I think it was on Garden Grove Blvd.

Me and my friends used to drive through there after it closed because it was supposed to be haunted,but I cant find anything on it,maybe someone else remembers it.I have many fond memories of Orange Co.I read on here about someone mentioning Farrels Ice Cream parlour I think there was one in Huntington Beach on Beach Blvd. or maybe it was Westminster.I used to go there alot. That was probably in the 70s.
The "old mental hospital" was a sanitarium on Garden Grove Blvd and Nutwood.  It part of a 15 acre resort called Greenbriar Inn.  Greenbriar Inn opened up in 1940 and included a hotel and restaurant.  Greenbriar Inn closed down in 1970.  Later on it was torn down and turned into tract homes.

Many believe the sanitarium to be haunted.

If you have anything to share on this, please click on "Post a Comment" below...

Thursday, March 12, 2009

New Wave Club in Fullerton

An anonymous OCThen reader asks if anyone knows the name of a new wave club in Fullerton...
I'm looking for the name of a New Wave Club in Fullerton. Berlin used to play there with a lot of other bands in the late 70's John Scalzo wrote a newsletter called the Fullertone. It was across from CoCo's off of Stage College and....?
If you have anything to add, please click on "Post a Comment" below...

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Old Tiki Restaurant in 1960s Newport Beach

An anonymous OCThen reader asks if anyone remembers a tiki-style restaurant in Newport Beach during the 1960s...
Does anyone remember a restaurant on Pacific Coast highway in Newport Beach where Billy's is currently--called Kon Tiki? I recall going there on a date in the 1960's. I was there recently and recognized the Polynesian touches that are still there, but I am not sure I am remembering the name correctly.
If you know anything, please "Post a Comment" and share with us...

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Saddleback Inn Station Wagon

OCThen reader Mike Herrick was reading my previous article on Saddleback Inn, and submits the following photograph of Saddleback Inn's station wagon, dated in 1981...

Saddleback Inn Santa Ana

He says...
I was reading about the Saddleback Inn and remembered I had this photo of the Saddleback Inn company station wagon I used to drive to pick up guest from the Orange County Airport.

I also have a napkin in a old photo album from the bar.

We met alot of nice people and a few movie stars and music artist.

I can remeber that the movie Coal Miners Daughter was released in 1980 and Loretta Lynne was very popular at the time. She stayed at the Saddleback with all her family for about 5 days and I would deliver meals to their rooms.

Lots of stories to tell. This was a very popular place in it's time.

I was a bell boy, my brother was a cook in the kitchen and his wife was a maid. We have great memories working at the Inn.

Kind Regards,
Mike (KIWI)

Monday, March 09, 2009

Boy Scout Troop 26 of Santa Ana

OCThen reader, "92707", asks if anyone out there was a former boy scout troop member in Santa Ana...
Anyone out there who was also a member of Boy Scout Troop 26 in Santa Ana? The troop that was sponsored by the Santa Ana Police Department. We had our own building on the south side of what was then the Santa Ana Community Center when Civic Center Drive was still named 8th Street. For me it was a family tradition belonging to 26. At the Scout-O-Rama's we were often called the best-fed troop in Orange County!

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Claude Bell's Artist Shack - Knott's Berry Farm

OCThen reader Michelle submits her memories of Claude Bell's Artist Shack at Knott's Berry Farm...
Knotts Berry Farm! One of my favorite places to ride out a cold!

My Mom Moselle Townsend was one of the Pastel Artists there when I was young! Above Claude Bell's Artist Shack was a patio roof with umbrella chairs and a table and when I was sick Mom would take me there to relax and read while she worked!

For lunch I get to meander around and visit Motts Minatures, the gold panning area and some great old ladies in prairie bonnets. Being sick was a priviledge! I loved to eat at Mrs Knotts Kitchen, is that what was it called? Bosenberry Pie is still my favorite to this day, rubarb in syrup and the greatest fried chicken and gravy! Wasn't there a great little dish of bacon and cabbage too?

I still have the want ad mom cut from the newpaper. Claude Bell was looking for a pastel artist to do portraits and my mom thought she could do it so she drew my sister, brother, dad, me and our friends from Lakewood all in one week and then went down and applied for the job and got it. I am not sure how long she worked there but it helped buy her supplies while she got her MFA at Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles.

I have often wondered how many portraits she might have painted over the years she was there? I think she might have been there for about 4 years! Perhaps 1955 to 1960.

I went to High School in Whittier in the 60's and my dad use to drive us down to Retail Clerks, the Union Hall right past Knotts Berry Farm where we could dance for $1.00 with great groups like the Righteous Brothers! Growing up at that time was really fun. Michelle.
If you had a portrait drawn at Knott's Berry Farm between 1955 and 1960, Michelle's mom probably drew it.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Santa Ana Community Hospital

OCThen reader Susan Creger submits the following memory of growing up in Santa Ana during the 1950's and 1960s'...
Wow, I am so excited to run across this place. I miss CA so much, and to read about other people's experience growing up there is exciting. I was born in Santa Ana Community Hospital in 1952. I lived on Newhope St and went to Newhope Elementary until the 4th or 5th grade when Heritage Elementary opened it's doors for the first time. I can't for the life of me remember the name of the Junior High I went to in Santa Ana but it was on the corner of Newhope and ? We moved after 1 semester & I went to Smedley Junior High after that. We moved back in my 9th year & I went to La Quinta High School. I miss the CA of my childhood with Orange Groves everywhere. I remember Farrell's Ice Cream parlors. I went there EVERY day when I was pregnant with my first daughter for a Fudge Sundae Royale.
The name of that junior high school on Newhope and ? was probably Fitz Intermediate. And as for Santa Ana Community Hospital, my wife was born there in 1966. I also remember in the mid-1980s, when I worked at Santa Ana Public Library, several of us employees traveled there (after it was converted to a convalescent home) one Christmas Eve and sang carols to the residents there.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Welcome to Irvine Ranch Sign

OCThen reader, "richp", of South Coast Divers, remembers a sign along the 405 freeway that depicted a cowboy on horseback, and wonders whatever happened to it...
I remember being a kid while they were building the 405 freeway. I remember a big sign that read, "You are now entering the Irvine Ranch". It was a fancy sign, iron and concrete/stucco and it showed a comboy on horse back, which it was my understanding was, in reference to how the Irvine ranch came to be. What ever happened to that sign? Are there any pictures of it anywhere? I even learned to drive in the area that is now Tustin Marketplace.

I also heard yesterday that Farrell's Ice Cream is coming back to S CA, Good stuff....

Send me an email if you've "Been there & done that".
Click on "Post a Comment" below if you remember this as well...

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Velvet Turtle Restaurant Employee Passes Away

An anonymous OCThen reader submits the following about a former Velvet Turtle Restaurant employee who passed away, and is looking for a friend of hers named "Patricia Hartman" to simply let her know of her passing...
I am a former OC resident and former mgr of a couple of Velvet Turtle Restaurants.

A long time friend and former employee of mine at The Velvet Turtle in Fullerton has passed away. She asked before she passed that her husband Dan and I find a friend of hers to let her know what happened.

Patricia Hartman is her name and she worked at the Velvet Turtle in Fullerton with us. Patty may be married now but if you knew her or worked with her please have her post here to so I can let her know.

Thank you for all the wonderful memories on It is good to know that people thought so highly of this special group of restaurants that will live on in my heart forever and thankfully in your hearts as well.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Fitz Intermediate School

OCThen reader, "Squiddy", asks if anyone here attended Stephen R Fitz Intermediate School in Santa Ana during the 1970s...
Anyone go to Fitz Jr. High in Santa Ana (during the 70s)? My dad (Mr. Peterson) taught math and loved all the students and tried to be corny-funny.

Anyone go to Plavan Elementary in FV?

How about Hye's Pizza or Acoubian's restaurant in FV on the west side of Mile Square Park?
Click on "Post a Comment" below if you have memories of any of these schools or restaurants...

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Old Van Clubs of Irvine Park

OCThen reader "TimS" who grew up in Santa Ana submits some memories of hanging out in Irvine Park during the 1970s with the van clubs, and wants to know if anyone else has similar memories...
Hi All.

I have spent most of my 49 years living in OC, and have really enjoyed some of these comments.

I was wondering if anybody remembers anything about the van clubs that used to have weekend night, or caravans, way in the back of Irvine Park back in the early to mid 70's?

I was sort of a wild wander as a kid (bad home life...), and at 12 or 13, I tagged along with someone, who owned a really tricked out Ford Econoline van, to a Van rally that I recall was way in the back of Irvine Park. It seemed to be a long ways out there, but as an adult, now it doesn't seem like Irvine park extends as far as I remember traveling. Do any of you remember this? The guy who let me tag along with him and his girlfriend was a long haired guy with the first name of Randy, and, at that time, worked at the gas station on the corner of Main and St. Gertrude Plc.
And then he goes on to talk about dealing with gangs and tough guys in the schools of Santa Ana...

I also wanted to comment to those who have posted about violence in OC HSs. I went to Saddleback and Mountain View HSs in the mid to latter half of the 70s, and there was some violence from blacks and Mexicans, and sometimes even the sportos. Having long blonde hair, and a smart mouth, I got my ass kicked more than once before I finally learned how to stare guys down and act like a bad ass so people would leave me alone. That didn't always work though because with the mexicans it was always a gang of at least 3 or 4 to 1, so you always ended up on the losing end. I can clearly remember being 14 and walking down Warner Ave from McFadden Jr High, and how I flipped off the 4 low riders who had just said something foul to me about being white and having blonde hair, and how these guys flipped a U turn in the middle of Warner and came after me. I ended up being thrown into a rose bush after they caught me, tore my books in half and pounded on me for a while.

Anyway, I took ROP at Valley HS, and had trouble with the blacks hanging out in the parking lot every time I went on the campus from the greenville entrance, and knew white guys from SA HS who were always fighting with Mexicans, so I always viewed both of those schools as being much worse than Saddleback, or even Mountain view, which was a continuation school. Nobody was ever shot at that time, but some guys got knifed, or seriously pounded on. However, there was one guy at saddleback that I will never forget. He was dark skinned, but I couldn't be sure if he was mexican or samoan. But he used to hang out with an entourage of mexican semi-toughs. This guy clearly knew martial arts at that time, and used to wear some strange flamboyant clothes, like a cape. I later realized he wore the loose baggy pants so he could kick really high. Anyway, I witnessed this kooky guy start, and finish, several fights with big guys that usually got left alone.

A lot of us hung out at Memorial Park, and saw first hand that we had a lot of Mexican gangs rising up including the Delhi boys, F-Troop, Shades of Brown, and others from north Santa Ana. Some of these guys were pretty hard core, in my view, and I think were early Mexican mafia.

What a childhood that was! That's why I joined the navy at 17, and got out of dodge as quickly as I could.

TimS from Woodland Plc, Santa Ana.
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