Saturday, February 28, 2009

Moped Shops of the 1970s

OCThen reader, "Bryan of Myrons", asks if anyone has memories of moped shops in Orange County, back in the 1970s when mopeds hit their high in popularity...
Does anyone remember or have material related to any moped shops from the mid-late-70s moped boom? I remember vaguely one in Anaheim called Mike's Moped Shed. There had to be a couple others in Anaheim alone. I understand Myron's was around at that time. That one is still going at 1879 W. Commonwealth #L in Fullerton (scaled back from 2 locations at one time). A lot of vintage bikes come in for service bearing the decal "The Mo-Peddler" in Newport. Most are pulled out of dormancy and are back on the road! Yet I have yet to see any others (a few places in LA county)
I remember in 1978-1980, Greg, my best friend at that time, had a couple of mopeds. We'd ride them around everywhere. There was moped shop in Santa Ana, on Bristol St, I want to say near the corner with Warner. I don't remember the name of it.

One particular memory I had was falling off of the damn thing. He was riding it, and I was sitting on the back. He had pulled up to that very moped shop, and just before it came to a stop, I had tried to push myself off the back, expecting to land on my feet. Except my legs caught on something, and I instead fell off backwards, and hit the back of my head on the asphalt. I remember how bad it hurt too.

Little Corona Beach, Corona Del Mar

OCThen reader, "J San" remembers Little Corona Beach in Corona Del Mar...
My family moved to Anaheim, just west of Disneyland, in 1956.

Anyone remember the Snack Shop restaurants? Great burgers and shakes. As I recall, there was one on 17th in Santa Ana, another on PCH in Corona del Mar and another somewhere in Anaheim.

One of my best memories was trips to Little Corona beach. We'd take the Sanat Ana Fwy to Newport Ave, exit on to a 2 lane road in the middle of farmland, eventually get to a little airport in the middle of nowhere (now John Wayne) and then onto MacArthur, past the Buffalo ranch, over the hill and down to PCH. Virtually nothing between the freeway and Corona del Mar.

Great times.

J San

Friday, February 27, 2009

Anyone Remember This Steakhouse?

An anonymous OCThen reader asks if anyone can remember the name of a steakhouse in La Habra during the 1970s...
Does anyone remember a steak resaturant in La Habra in the 1970's near the intersection of Beach Blvd & Lambert Road? Mr. Steer's or Mr. Stein's sounds familiar, but no one in my family can remember. I believe they had a white steer character in front of the restaurant like Bob's Big Boy. It ws next to the existing Carl's Jr. & Del Taco restaurant.
"Post a Comment" below if you have anything to add...

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Escape Country, Robinson Ranch

Escape Country was the name of an outdoor recreation area at the eastern end of Rancho Santa Margarita, where Robinson Ranch now sits.

It was mostly a place where folks went to ride their dirt bikes and off-road vehicles, but it was also popular for sky diving, fishing, hang gliding. People camped out, partied all night long, and even live bands played there. I never went there, and don't really know much of it. But here at OCThen, we get a number of e-mails and comments about it.

There's also quite a few comments regarding Escape Country on my previous article about Saddleback Park, another motocross area.

Anyways, here are few comments we've fetched regarding Escape Country...
i remeber escape country, it was in the area that is now rancho santa margarita, u had to go thru trabuco cyn to get too it x a creek and up the hill, the hill is still there, but this would have taken u too escape country.

    Anonymous, Jan 11, 2009

hey i remember escape country. i use to race motocross there in the 70s. 71 i think i was like 14 then and my mom was one of the parks safty police..remember that monkey by the office. it was a nutcase. lmao... Bruce Priddy

    Bruce Priddy, Nov 22, 2008

Ahh Escape Country...I drove up Robinson Ranch Rd. and parked my truck in the neighborhood that occupies the old riding area.There's a small utility building next to the street and you park there and walk down a trail and suddenly you're on the back side of the old riding areas. If you keep walking, you end up at the downhill that leads to the old pond. It was cool to sit there looking at the old trails and have flash-backs of the good ole days.I miss that place and those times.

    Ted Mercer, Capo Beach, Sep 26, 2008

There are many that I can recall but some of the names have become a little obscure.

I met Jim Robinson at Escape Country in August '73 and he offered me a job. It was fun and I met some really great people. I used to "drag" the motocross circuit between races on Saturdays and Sundays with the D9 CAT. I wonder what happened to Ron Hoppie who ran the races and bike rental with Dick.

The bush fire that was at Escape Country remains quite clear in my mind and especially being rescued by Bill, the house framer, on the back of his bike after the CAT and I got cut off. I was sad to find out that the ranch was no more when I visited in '89.Such days as those will never be seen again. Thank you Orange County and Escape Country.

    Terry McGrath, Jun 24, 2008

To 'anonymous' from Feb. 4th posting . . . I sure do remember Escape Country!!! That's where I first learned to Hangglide! It was a primo area to learn (and make mistakes!). Fond, fond, fond memories indeed!!!

    Anonymous, Apr 21, 2008

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.

    Anonymous, Apr 2, 2008

Does anyone remember a place called "Escape Country"? It was off Santiago Canyon, between Irvine Lake and Cooks Corner. We used to go there in the 70's to watch motorcross. There was also hang gliding, fishing and sky diving. Anyone remember?

    Anonymous, Feb 4, 2008

If you remember Escape Country, please "post a comment" below...

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Huntington Beach & Westminster in the 1960's

An anonymous OCThen reader remembers growing up as a kid in the 1960s in Huntington Beach, Westminster, and remembers a more conservative, and rural way of life...
In the early 60's my parents purchased a home on the border of Huntington Beach and the City of Westminster. Fireworks were legal and we used to go down to the beach and watch them all, then liberals started banning fireworks and ruined the fun for everyone.

Those were thr good ol days of Freedom Fireworks, Red Devil Fireworks, "The Block Party" from Red Devil Fireworks, "The Smokey Joe" and various different other fireworks.

The Orange Groves were vast and expansive. Disneyland was in it's infancy. These were good times going to Disneyland, shopping at Ed Tunks Country Store in Garden Grove.

I remember going past Los Alamitos and seeing the Nike Ajax anti missles out of their silos and ready to defend the general area from Russian missles

I also remember going to the Movieland Wax Museum in Anaheim as a small child. Going to Angels games in the old stadium.... The Big "A" way before the stadiums renovations.

I also remember going to drve in movies at the "Highway 39 Drive In" on Beach Boulevard with my girlfriends.

The Westminster Mall was being built and I distinctly remember the opening of the Mall and riding my bicycle from my home to the Mall in it's very early days.

I also recollect as a kid fishing from the Seal Beach Pier, fishing from the jetty near the power plant. We used to smoke the gaunge and sit and fish from the bridges near the power plant during the night on the weekends.

These were all good times that I fondly remember. I joined the Navy in the later part of 1979 and early 1980. I left Southern California and went to Northern California, back to San Diego, the East Coast and finally retired from the Navy in Hawaii in 1998.

I never returned to Orange County area after I retired from the military. Instead I decided to get out from underneath the day to day life of the big city and move to middle America where the hunting and fishing is spectacular.

I wish all who were born raised and support Orange County the best that life has to offer and you all have sustained the area and all should be congratulated. I wish everyone in Orange County, Huntington Beach and The City of Westminster all the best.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

La Palma Jr. High School

An anonymous OCThen reader remembers attending La Palma Jr High School in Buena Park and being among the last students there...
I attended the last class, clearly remembering the first day 7th grade and the last day before the start of summer and not realizing that the school would not be opened for 9th grade (everyone was shipped off to different schools).
He's posted some recent photos of La Palma Jr High School, albeit more of an abandoned building now...

If you attended La Palma Jr High School, post a comment and share your memories...

Monday, February 23, 2009

Old Irvine Store

An anonymous OCThen reader submits the following question about "Old Irvine Store", asking if anyone has any memories to share...
Does anybody remember the Old Irvine Store? I can remember going there as a kid and buying candy. My brother had a cool t-shirt with their logo on it. I think there was a small post office attached to it and the Old Irvine Hotel was across the street. I actually went to kindergarten at the Old Irvine School before Los Naranjos was built.
Post a comment below if you have anything to share...

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