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!



  1. I remember the softball're not crazy. I went to St. Polycarp school over near Beach and Chapman and lived near Chapman and Magnoolia, so I went past there every day during most of the early 70's.

  2. I also remember the ball field. Lived off Marylee Drive located down the street. Have fond memories of hearing the cheering and softball chants. Would occasionally put the numbers up on the score board and our reward was free food from the snack bar. Great memories.

  3. Linda, I would have graduated from Rancho in '73 but moved to Mission Viejo two years earlier. Wow, we probably remember so many of the same people. Vicki Randall has been Leno's percussionist forever. Coach Darr became pretty well know for coaching Olympic swimmers. I played a lot of music back then so remember mostly the rock & roll kids in bands. Lived near Brookhurst and Katella.

    Hey Chris, thanks for this site. I've had a great time reading all the comments. So many great memories made growing up in the OC.

  4. By the way, didn't the Olympic gold medalist Gary Hall graduate from Rancho? Not the son, but the dad? I'm pretty sure he did - coached by Flip Darr.

  5. I lived near Magnolia & Lampson & graduated from Pacifica in 1969. I do remember the big slide as well as all the burn marks!

  6. Desert Living 2 HotAugust 05, 2009 10:42 AM

    So many great memories growing up in the OC in the 70's, Kiddie Land? was it by the high school i remember a long slide never could remember what the name of that place was but it was great,lived by brookhurst & katella when you could see the fireworks from disneyland till the trees grew..does anybody remember 'Beliios resturant'(not sure of spelling) corner of chapman & harbor across the street from 'Two Guys'... they would give you so much food like 6 eggs for breakfast whole loaf of bread with dinner and if they ever opended up another restaurant..what about japan deer park in buena park what a beautiful place that was..or the orange drive in swapmeet on sunday could go on & on, alot of fun memories....

  7. My best buddy, dano lived right accross the street from the "BobbySox" fields on dale. went went there to be "cool" all the time. Quite a serious place. I aslo use to hunt for tickets behind the big slide by Del Taco. that was a way cool ride for little GG.

    Pat Boles

  8. Gary Hall Sr did indeed graduate from Rancho in 1969. I was on the swim team and water polo team for four years and graduated in 1970. I was priveleged to earn some CIF meadals with Gary on relay teams. (My initials are KO) Gary is now retired and living in Florida after living and working for many years in Arizona.

  9. I played at those Bobby Sox field for more than 8 years of my childhood. Spent many many hours their playing ball. They are some of the best memories I have of being a young girl.

    My aunt Peg and my mom shirley were real big into the softball.
    Linda Grimoldby Spilde

  10. I remember the bobbysox field. The drain ditch helped make up the outfield. I remember the little farm by St.Polycarp. Hunting for tadpoles in the drain ditch before they put in cement. The orange fields that are now Quaker Gardens and a moble home park. The Jolly Knight had a neat little sign with a skunk holding a martini glass. Someone bought it and mounted on a tree along Gilbert close to Trask. It's still there. Kiddie land was on GG blvd. between Gilbert and Brookhurst. Precillas Cake Box was the best place to get a birthday cake! And I could never stay on the burlap sack at the big slide over at Beach Blvd and Stanford. Pepa's Pizza on Katella past Beach. And lastly Gene and Ed Tunks country store complete with dirt parking lots and plenty of flies!

  11. I played on the Bobby Sox Field. Great times at that field. For some reason the Kiddie Land name doesn't strick a bell...I remember it as Tinker Town. So what am I think of?

  12. I remember the softball field. Watch a couple of games there. Our baseball team would go on the super slide if we won!!! There also was another super slide up on Magnolia and Orangethrope or La Palma by the 5 fwy.
    It's was Knott's that closed in their park because of the hippies. My mom talked to Walter Knotts himself at the gate at Knott's berry farm because we like to eat at a place inside the new park. He told us to go to the gate and let them know and we could go in for free. It worked several times.
    Was kiddie the place with the small and large ferris wheels and a few other rides? If it is I do remember that.
    They did move the strawberry festival to Euclid about 76 or 77. It was too small for it. And I know Pat Boles who sign his name above.
    Henry Holdridge


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