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 (pyruretagoyena@yahoo.com) 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 OCThen.com

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.

Custom Search