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 kimbletustin@sbcglobal.net. God bless brenda


  1. Is this the Pearla Tabb from sahs? I grad. from there in '68 and knew a girl there with that name. Is this open to sahs grads?

  2. The Broadway Theater in Santa Ana - spent many Saturday afternoons there. We used to live on Custer Street, and my Mom would give us each a dollar to go to the movies, and they were double features that didn't kick us out after each showing. The dollar would get us into the movie, and have change left over for popcorn and a soda. The balcony was usually closed, but we would try to sneak up there the watch the movie, but always got caught.

  3. historical photos and essays on orange county past at the sears law building 18 truman irvine. conference center at steven sears attorney for protection of valuable sites and assets of value to future generations.

  4. Does anyone remember the Drs. Hospital on 17th St. in Santa Ana? My oldest son was born there in 1958 while I was stationed at El Toro. Was there 1956-57-58 and have nothing but wonderful memories of El Toro. Was in VMA 224 and VMA 223. 223 was the greatest group of Marines ever. I continue to search and search for pictures of El Toro in the time frame I was there. No luck so far

  5. Brenda,
    I remember Mrs Web, and I agree that she was a wonderful teacher with a great sense of humor. It was in her civics class in 1959 that we practiced our atomic bomb drills. When I went there it was the first year the school opened (1956-57 school year. The flies from Lukens Dairy were so thick reporters from the Register came out see them. The methane from the cows used to knock us out on the far end of the track because the air was trapped by an enormous mound of dirt that was there for years after construction was complete.

    And Lee,
    The Broadway Theater was a weekly routine with my sisters and I. Before that I remember we went to the West Coast, which is now a church.

  6. I remember the West Coast had a free show for kids on Saturday morning. You had to go into the downtown merchants to get the tickets. They would show 10 cartoons, a serial and a movie, all free. I remember Walker's theater I think it was 12 cents for kids under 12, we were always under 12 as long as possible. It was a dump, if I remember correctly. I miss theaters where the curtains opened and closed. The Broadway had the best ones, a big gold one that opened sideways and then I think a green one that went up. Or maybe the other way around. We could ride our bikes anyplace in town with no problems at all, stay out until it got dark. This is late 50's early 60's. It was so different then. I miss it.

  7. Anyone ever hang out at the big dirt lot next to Alpha Beta on Bristol and Warner in Santa Ana? There was a dirt bike track some local kids had constructed and maintained there. I remember Saturday mornings, after cartoons, I would ride my bike there and meet up with friends. This would have been between 1975 and 78. I used to love hanging out at the Freedom fireworks stand they would put up in front of the same Alpha Beta every 4th.

    1. I used to play in that lot in the 50's and 60's and fly our homemade kits! ride bike and look through that lot looking for treasures. Seems like forever ago! Thanks for the memories! Sandy

  8. I remember the dirt bike track next to the Alpha Beta and the fireworks. We only lived a few blocks away on Camden. I think that's the same field the carnival set up in when they came to town. I also remember there was a Der Weinerschentel close by. I moved away in the late 70's but miss so many things. So Cal was a great place to grow up.

  9. Yeah, I remember that dirt field. There was/is the 7-11 and the apartments across the and the Texaco station and Alpha Beta.I remember the Der Weienersnitzel also. Fun Times!

  10. Hey Anonymous who lived on Camden Street, next to Alpha Beta, I too lived on Camden Street in the mid 60's. I remember: The Rabouins, Smiths, Gunton's (Bob Gunton who is an actor), Near's, Palmero's, Taylors, Fultons, etc.... Those were nice times and lots of nice people. Doug Bokosky - FVCAL at yahoo

  11. i remember smedley jr high in 1972,i didnt walk home, i ran for my life,lots of gangs and racial tentions back then.don't have alot of good memories there.......

  12. I totally remember the dirt lot next to Alpha Beta, my stepfather used to do donuts there and we felt like we were off roading.

  13. I remember everything you just posted. Remember the old See's Candies Store next door to the Broadway theatre. You used to get those chocolate suckers for a dime. Carnation Ice Cream store on Bristol and McFadden with the original 31 flavors. South Coast Plaza before it got huge, getting into Disneyland for $2.50 and you had to buy tickets for the rides. They would have those special nites that cost like $6.00 and every ride was free. I would absolutely love the recipe for those cinnamon rolls. Nobody ever passed those up and they were a dime. Gwen Davis Allen


Custom Search