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.


  1. I grew up at Ball Rd/Walnut Avenue. I recently saw where the old strawberry fields we picked in and freaked out on google earth.

    I remember Disneyland for teens was $3.95 to get in. . I bought my insulin at White Front Store in Garden Grove and I skated to "Grease" at the roller rink now long gone at I22/Haster in Garden Grove. I went to Ball JHS and Loara then to Esperanza HS.

    When dad took us to Sampan Restaurant on Euclid Ave in Anaheim, we loved crossing the little bridge and looking down at the huge Koi/Carp fish. I'm not sure if it still exists, but way down Euclid, rather North, was a tiny hold in the wall Cantonese Restaurant called "Lee Canton." I still remember the free Chinese calendars they laid out and how great the food was.. I watched them cook our food, standing on wood slats.

    Every year in mid July, mom took us to the Buddhist Temple off Dale/Brookhurst???? for the OBON Festival.. I finally get to go to one in June in Denver .. haven't been since I was a kid.

    At the big shopping center and Euclid/Ball Rd was Tops 'n Bottoms store, I THINK, Market Basket (maybe that was across the street?) and a really old fashioned Drug Store.. Also, pizza by the slice place and down the street was good old Dr.Jerome T. Cornelius, DDS.. also, EL TACO. My sister worked there.. it was my first taste of taquitos and gucamole.. no other fast food place makes them!

    1200 miles away in Denver, in 2009, my poor son will never know all the fun we had. . but, my memories will linger on forever to 1961, when I was born at the now gone Martin Luther Hospital, taking the bus down Beach Blvd to the beach weekly in the Summer.. . playing in the water and sand at Newport Dunes, watching the Summer nightly ritual of fireworks.


  2. Gary speaks of an Anaheim that was still largely segregated and Mexicans in the junior highs and high schools would get beat up solely on account of their nationality. As someone whose family goes back four generations from my great-grandpa and grandfather picking oranges (my grandpa eventually worked at the Sunkist Packing House), our "pit" is a paradise of working-class diverse families. Gary: you stay in your racist fantasy, us current Anaheimers will stay in my multicultural reality. Toodles!

    1. Gary did you work at Alpha Beta #26 in the late 70s Early
      80s ? It was on Magnolia and Ball. If so I worked with you there. I grew up in Garden Grove near Lampson and Nelson St. from the 60s through the late 70s. Garden Grove was a neat place to grow up back then. I still shop at what used to be Sav-On next to the Newberrys on Chapman and Brookhurst. For a Quarter back then I would buy a Comic book (12 cents) and a candy bar (10 cents) or a double scoop of Ice Cream. Try that now a days !

  3. Oh, geez..all cities in SoCal have and have had neighborhoods that could have been and possibly been described as "pits"...Anaheim is no different..why bring race issues onto a site like this.
    His "perspective" is what it is..let it go...I grew up in Anaheim in the 60's and 70's..I don't remember race being a catalyst for fights.
    Perhaps it depended on what part of town you lived in.
    The history of your family and what they contributed to the area is what's interesting. Not who is a "racist" because of a comment.

  4. As a resident of anaheim from 1960 to date, yes OC is steadily going down hill, if you can find a block wall with no gang graffiti, the city must have just painted it. Many residences once nice now have at least 3 families living in them, which includes a minimum of 9-10 cars parking all over the block. Racist? don't even go there, try "reality".

  5. Every OC city has nice areas and areas that would be classified as pits. Anyone who has been to downtown Anaheim recently knows that the city has done a lot to spruce up their image. I've lived in Anaheim all my life, have always enjoyed the cultural diversity, and have never desired to move anywhere else.

    I have fantastic memories of growing up in Anaheim and so do my children.

  6. Gary, I remember eating at Big Bernie's deli on Chapman behind the IHOP and next to the A&W drive-in.

    Do you remember a Cantonese restaurant by Field's Piano on Brookhurst at Chapman? They had the best almond duck with sweet-and-sour sauce.

  7. Gustavo, I grew up in the 1960s and 1970s in an area where students in my elementary, intermediate and high school lived in Westminster, Garden Grove and Santa Ana. My school friends were a culturally diverse lot. In high school I took 4 years of Spanish out of a sense of obligation about my native state's history. Throughout that time, Santa Ana was heavily populated by Hispanics and Westminster/Garden Grove became heavily populated by Asians. I chose to settle in that same area as an adult and raised my son there.

    I could have written a similar reminiscence as Gary's about the same era. There was nothing racist about his post and he is certainly not responsible for the system of segregation nor for his parents' decision to live in Anaheim. I am a fan of your column, but you are out of line here.

    My husband is from Mexico and grew up in the impoverished crime- and gang-ridden projects of East L.A. that have since been condemned. He carries physical scars from his childhood, but he's not bitter and he doesn't make unwarranted attacks on others.

  8. I grew up in Anaheim from when I was born in 1954 and now work about 2 blocks away from my chilhood home. I was basically raised on the tennis courts at Pearson Park and attended Thomas Jefferson & Horace Mann Elementary, Fremont Jr High and Anaheim High.

    I went to movies at the Fox theater on Lincoln (now the parking lot for CVS)and Century 21 on Euclid. I ate at Armstrong's and Tastee Freeze on Lincoln and have great memories of such local establishments as Turner's which was a very small outdoor lunch counter on Lemon right next to the phone company building. Also the Colonial Pantry on Harbor, Ronnies Coffee Shop on Lincoln and ditching 5th period music to run across Lincoln to the new Taco Bell for a burrito. (25 cents)

    Is the neighborhood the same? In a lot of ways yes but in other ways no. For instance Anaheim High now looks like a minimum security facility with all the fences and locked gates around the perimeter. Obviously as you grow up your perspective changes. As a kid you couldn't have cared less about racial diversity or if someones house was in disrepair but then as you mature and your perspective begins to change, you tend to notice things that could very well have been there before but chose to ignore them.

    Driving around the neighborhood I find myself wishing things could be as I remember them but don't we all? What I think I actually wish is that I could be a kid again and not a stressed out adult worrying about property values and job stability.

    Ok..that's enough. Oh, one more memory. Going to Curry's Ice Cream Shop that became going to The Licorice Pizza for $2.98 albums that became going to Steve Soests Music for guitars. All the same location across from Fremont Jr High on Lincoln.

    1. Oh, my gosh! I went to Jefferson, Fremont (which is gone), and started high school at Anaheim High. Then we moved to Corona. I remember the Fox theater, Tastee Freeze, and El Nopal. I lived down the street from Market Basket and I watched the fireworks every night from my front porch. I also remember the Anaheim Plaza on Euclid. Sitting at the lunch counter in Woolworth's was a treat. Great memories!

  9. I love this blog! I was born in 1955, attended George Washington Elementary, Adelaide Price (4th & 5th High Achievement classes), Fremont, Anaheim High, and the old Chapman College, pitching hardballs all the way to the Placentia Merchants! I remember going to the big, new theatre on Euclid Ave. to watch the first "Rocky" movie! Remember the "airplane" park? (Boysen Park). I remember working summer jobs at La Palma Park, clipping trees and washing down the stadium for $1.65 an hour! I remember Mr. Jimenez, who was my 4th grade teacher AND my mom's teacher, too! Jackson Drug store was downtown, and the old Chung King restaurant. Pup N Taco was next to the liquor store, too! What great memories!!

    1. I lived in Anaheim in the late 60's -early 70's. My mother was a waitress at the Chung King resteraunt. I went to Adelaide Price elementary school. I used to watch fireworks from Disneyland every night.I remember going to the TicToc store and JoJo's little hamburger stand around the corner from my house.I also remember the Helms Bakery truck coming down the street selling fresh glazed donuts in the morning. The more I write the more I remember. This is a great blog !

  10. Kinda sounds like I got out of So Cal in the nick of time. . . "home" will ALWAYS be referred to as California, but I won't go back. . I couldn't afford it and I love the mountains here way too much.

    I miss the more, relaxed, unhurried pace of the 1960's. I lived at 1412 W. Beacon Avenue, went to Betsy Ross and Ball JHS. .

    I remember then influx of the Vietnamese Boat people where sometimes 15 people lived in one house. We adjusted to Hispanics, most didn't speak English. (here in Co, it's very WASP in my opinion) My father helped build Crone Park (??) and we picked fresh fat ripe strawberries in the fields at Ball Rd/Walnut Ave.. seems a lifetime ago! We walked to and from Disneyland, scavanged 'E' tickets to use and drank a LOT of 7-11 Slurpees. We had banana seat bikes. mood rings, Mexican leather purses, had surfer bangs and wore Earth shoes. I remember laying on top of Tina Engineer's dad's station wagon with her and her siblings at the Anaheim Drive In and watching the new movie, "They Shoot Horses Don't They?" We ran in the street in our pajamas with oohs and ahhs each Summer night at the Disneyland Fireworks show.. think it was 9pm to - 9:25pm.

    We ate pizza from Costello's, which became Mama Cozza's and then ?? We shopped at FedMart and El Toro Commissary (spelling) and Exchange. We had our own fruit trees, and would barter our peaches and oranges for the plum and apricot trees our neighbors had... my dad and Lyle DeVine next door made plum wine every Summer in our kitchen. Life was innocent and good. We spent our time at Newport Dunes peeling hard boiled eggs and dipping them into the salt water.

    I sure miss the beach, sometimes on our -11 days, I have been know to burn a Yankee Candle that I found that smells like the beach - right smack down to the Coppertone scent! But, I love snow more.

    Does Rubebegonia's (??) restaurant still exist near FC - Fullerton College?

    Enjoy the memories, b/c they are really moving away as we do ourselves.


  11. As an Hispanic I just had to respond to what Gustavo said about Gary's comments. I am late in comment, so please forgive me. I grew up in Anaheim in the late 60's all the 70's through the mid 80's. I attended Edison Elem, Sycamore Jr High and Katella HS. My brothers and sisters all went to Anaheim. My parents still live on the same street. Anaheim for the most part has gone down hill. My parents neighborhood was well kept through the mid 80's. Now it is full of cars, multi-famlies in one house. Very crowded. I don't ever remember "Mexican" kids getting a beat down because they were just Mexican. Most of the Hispanics back then were born and raised here and thought as themselves as American.

    1. we use to Christmas carol in Anaheim, when it was safe ,those were the days.sylvia foguth, aka amber westbrook

  12. I in no way meant my words on old Anaheim as a racist diatribe. I had many friends that lived in "the Colonia" located at Gilbert & Katella. In fact, one kid named Joe taught me about the birds and the bees in the 6th grade at Walter Elementary. We white kids were called surfers by the Mexicans simply because we had blonde hair-what a laugh. They took pride in their low-riders cruisin up and down the street. But I'll tell you this-we never had any problems between the two races. They were just other kids to me, didn't matter what color they were. As for my Anaheim is a pit comment, one only needs to look at the old neighborhoods and see how bad they look. People just don't seem to care for their homes like they used to. I see the same thing happening in my present neighborhood.

  13. Terrie, I do remember the Field's Piano and the Cantonese restaurant there. Across the street of course was J.J. Newberry's with the lunch counter inside. Savon had ice cream as well as Thrifty's. And Blue Chip redemption was south of Newberry's in the same strip. We kids used to walk to the O.C. Plaza to Helen Grace to get a Polka Dot Sundae and hang out. Recently, Huell Howser did a special on Linbrook Bowl at Brookhurst and Lincoln-brought back many memories of bowling and watching people drink in the lounge area. :)

  14. I was raised in Anaheim from the early 70s to the present.. and yes some neiborhoods have deterioted, what can you expect from the biggest city between LA and San Diego ? but I have also seen alot of upgrading to the downtown area and to alot of the major streets as well and being the home of the Angels, ducks, formerly the la rams , the largest convention center in the west and the original Disneyland make you proud to be from anaheim and I will never consider it a PITT !

  15. I too recall Licorice Pizza and the $2.98 albums. Wasn't it right next door to Anaheim High School? And yes, Rutabegorz is still there on Lemon a block from Fullerton College. There are now at least two other Rutabegorz locations. One near the traffic circle in Orange and one in Tustin. Their menu is the same, if you can believe that!! It was the first 'coffee house' around, if I remember correctly. Loads of ambiance!

  16. For those of you who mentioned Dr. Cornelius in your comments, THANK YOU. He went to be with the Lord on 3/31/10. He never retired, but continued to serve his community with generosity and kindness until the time of his passing.

    Lynn Cornelius and family

  17. I remember the Copper Penny restaurant, Moody Music, Miller's Outpost, Thrifty Mart(next to thrifty drug store), Red Eye for Levi cords all located at the Orange County Plaza which is now called the Garden Grove Mall. Remember the Taco Bell on Katella near Gilbert? Grew up at Orangewood and Gilbert streets in Garden Grove. Haven't thought about that Shopping Bag(which changed to Fazios) grocery store in a long time. What memories. I drove the area recently and it has changed for the worse, too bad. There seems to be a general lack of pride for the upkeep of houses and their yards. Hopefully, that will change back someday. Peace

    1. I remember Zody's;shopping there etc

  18. Thanks Lynn.

    Not too long ago, I mailed Dr. C a card, thanking him for all he did for my mom and my sister and I growing up.


    Laurie (Simms)

  19. I miss Van De Kamp's restaurant! How about one of the first buffets - was it in GG? It was really good. Oh yeah, remember the Grant's store off St. College/Lincoln? It's a WMart I think my sis told me recently. Every night of the wk Grant's had all you can eat this or that = we went for liver and onions, fried

    Skating rink was at Haster and GG Blvd??

    White Front store

    Chicken Delight

    Two Guys stores

    Belisle's - I never ate there!!

    Fedco - just as I met my DH, Fedco was pulling out.. I still have my mom's membership card!

    I know the quaint pasty shop still exists off ?? all the way downn, there was / is a Claim jumper near, in Los Alamitos, not too far from the race track.

    I hear the Chicken Pie Shop at Ball and ?? LaPalma?? folded.

    The original H. Salt, Esq are long gone - meaning, the original owners and such.. last time we had it, it wasn't like it used to be: great!

    The Japanese OBON festival, across frm the old chicken ranch still is on each July at the Buddist Temple off Brookhurst? I MISS that. It was last wk here in Colorado.

    Anaheim Blvd ? used to be a theater where mom dropped my sis and I off to see a movie in Summer.. I vividly remember a small pharmacy store a few doors down, where I ALWAYS bought the soft Luden's cough drops that today would be the precursor of gummy candies. That goes way back to the late 60's for me, and harder to recall.

    I miss going to Thrifty Drug for an ice cream cone.. I remember when your choices were like: choco/straw/vanilla/choc chip and mint chip period!

    I didn't know till I worked there, that Martin Luther Hospital at LaPalma / Euclid originally was across the street, I think in the black bldg that used to house physician ofcs.. My sis told me that the secondary spot of the hospital is gone! I was born where the last spot was in 1961.

    The movie theater off katella that had the 'rocking seats.'

    I miss El Taco off Euclid/Ball - only they had taquitos in guacamole sauce waaaay back ..

    I miss Shakey's bunch o lunch. Mom shopped at the dented can store just down the street from Belisle's. Ther was a dairy too across the street.

    I miss going to the Anaheim Public Library on Sundays and watching the show in the basement. . my sis said that the library inside is really different too.

    I grew up at Walnut/Ball Rd. and was FREAKED out when sis told me about all the street traffic/frwy changes to where Dland is. I just can't wrap my brain around the streets changing.. I hope all that welfare area at Cerritos/Walnut has cleaned up.

    1. The theater with rocking seats was (I think) the Cinedome. My parents took us to the buffet, Sir George's Restaurant, often. I recall they served sugar-coated "fritters" which were big, round treats kind of like a donut. I visited family in Anaheim a year ago and saw the banner announcing the OBON festival at the Brookhurst temple. I used to work at Disney, but with all the streets changed around like they are, there's no way I'd be able to find my way there now without a GPS!

  20. Does Disneyland STILL retain their wine cellar at the hotel?

    I was only 18 but my g/friend and I were served.. I still recall the bottle:

    1982 charles krug chenin blanc

  21. Anaheim is no longer racially diverse. At least East Anaheim is 99.9% Hispanic. When I grew up there in the 70's it *was* racially diverse. I had plenty of friends. Many Hispanic friends. Two My *best* friends were Hispanic, and the other was Hawaiian. I don't remember any fights over race back then. It was usually over a girl or between a "jock" and a "dirtbag" (as I was called for having long hair).

    On a recent visit to East Anaheim I quickly realized I was the only white person in the vicinity and the glaring looks I got from both young people and adults was eerie.

    From my perspective it seems like generally white people these days are much more tolerant and open to other races whereas when a town is nearly 100% Hispanic, they are not happy about seeing a white person in their neighborhood and they make no bones about it.

    I am fortunate that my parents raised me to not be racist and as a result my life has been enriched by close relationships with people of many races. I embrace diversity, DIVERSITY. It means diverse, not 100% ONE race. Which is what Anaheim has become. I basically feel like we were run out of town by the Hispanic population and they have claimed it as their own. Victory is theirs. The High School I went to is now dilapidated and looks like it hasn't been painted since 1980. Enjoy your paradise. We had to get out. White people aren't welcome in Anaheim any more.

  22. Ah! The A&W Drive first job, a car hop, that was some darn good root beer!

  23. Terrie, if you ever come back here, I think the name of the Cantonese restaurant near Field's Pianos was The Chopstick - my folks ate there all the time.

  24. I lived just off of Trash Avenue in Garbage Grove, Ranchero Way to be exact. We could/watch the fireworks of Disneyland from our driveway, always swore we could see Tinkerbell as she slid down the Matterhorn. I went to Eisenhower Elementary,then Doig Jr. High.
    A memory that will NEVER leave my head & or sense of smell is of the yellow w/ blue writing on the HELM'S BAKERY TRUCK as it rounded our block. Stopping & the driver opening the doors, the scent of warm glazed donuts and when he pulled out those longs trays, ooh la LA!! I remember riding my purple Stingray across the field to the bridge that crossed the fwy. that took us to Garden Grove Blvd. and as a young girl in the 60's it was totally cool to ride alone all over these areas. As mentioned above,Skating rink was at Haster and GG Blvd that had the Oscar Meyer Weiner Mobile parked outside. Riding my bike to Haster up to the little convenient store for PENNY candy, Archie & Little Lotta 10cent comic books & Bazooka Bubble gum & SLUSHIES. I remember going to all of my little brothers softball games & the snack bar behind/beside Doig Junior High.
    I have the fondest memories of the GEM Theatre, it cost a DIME to get in, in the 60's or was it all candy was a dime, it was swell :-) The minature golf w/ trampolines up Trask near Haster. I remember when the first Taco Bell on Garden Grove Blvd. opened .29cent tacos & mom frowning when I'd order 4 tacos. Zody's for my first vinyl purchase, White Front, World Market for craft items,HUMDINGER's for a giggle when we'd pass by. Visiting our cousin's on the other side of G.G. was a totally different Garden Grove, around the Bolsa Chica area... the 10cent park. Many fond memories as seen by a young girl and her bike 1964-1968.

  25. that is totally untrue !White People are welcome in Anaheim ! having been raised here since the early 70s I too considered myself an American, Most of the caucasians that left did so because they did not want to co exist with the hispanics,however a pct of whites did stay behind for economic reasons or simply because they dint care about the changing demographics and I have to give them credit as they quickly foundout that they were acepted by the community as thier own.. they are what you would call - Good Folks .

  26. I can't write about old Anaheim because I wasn't around for that. But I have lived here for eight years now, first renting a house near Orangewood and Ninth, and then owning a house a block from Elder and Santa Ana -- I suppose that's East Anaheim as it's about five blocks east of East St.

    My first neighborhood was majority white, very safe and very quiet. I liked the area but houses were just out of our reach because we were first-time buyers. We could go to $350K but needed to go to $400K to live there.

    The neighborhood where I now live is probably majority Latino, with a little bit of Asian. I'd say it's maybe 35-40% white. (I'm white.) I do long, strenuous walks for exercise so I walk all the streets in the area, and I never have had a problem with people staring me down or shooting me bad looks, etc.

    Other than a couple small incidents of graffiti, there hasn't been a problem I've become aware of in my immediate area. I haven't checked a police map so I may have missed something, but I haven't heard anything from neighbors.

    The neighborhood is mixed as far as maintenance of houses goes. Between Elder and State College there are modest but good houses mixed with neglected houses -- about half and half. West of Elder the houses are mostly maintained, some well and some adequately. Other than the occasional party, the neighborhood is quiet.

    So while I'd guess that the person who calls him/herself "Anonymous" probably means well, I don't believe that that report on the area is accurate. Anonymous exaggerates wildly in saying "99.9% Hispanic" and indicates a level of uncomfortability with things as they are here. We wouldn't have snide remarks like Victory is theirs" if this were not the case.

    In any case, I wanted to give my $.02 worth as of November 2011. This place isn't paradise, but it seems to be relatively safe and quiet. Foreclosures in the area have in some cases resulted in new owners' improving properties. The city just paved the streets, and the area looks a little better than three years ago when I moved in.


  27. Lived in Anaheim 1954 thru 1959. 3rd & 4th grade Broadway Elementary.
    5th & 6th grade Thomas Jefferson Elementary. 7th grade Fremont Jr.
    High. Neither encountered nor even heard of any racial conflict, much less any supposed beat-downs of Hispanics. Don't make shit up!!

  28. I grew up in Anaheim. Went to Patrick Henry Elementary, Brookhurst and Fremont Jr. Hi's and Anaheim High School. Remember the Fox Theatre, the Garden Theatre(when it showed scary movies), Baton Music, Weiser's Sporting Goods, Licorice Pizza and all the crusing down Harbor Blvd. on Friday nights. Go back every once in a while to check out the old home and it doesn't look too good. Street I grew up on is full of cars and homes are looking sad. I really loved growing up in Anaheim but glad I moved out in the 70's.

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  30. Does anyone know a woman with the last name Anders in Anaheim around 1961?

  31. Does anyone know a woman with the last name Anders in Anaheim from around 1961?


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