Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Calico Cash Social Hour Coins

OCThen reader Slatts asks if anyone has information about some coins that came from Knott's Berry Farm...
I found 13 wooden Calico Cash Social Hour coins from Knott's Berry Farm. They are the size of silver dollars and just as thick. They must be from the 60's and I'm trying to find out what they were used for. Does anyone know? Thanks, Slatts
Click on "Post a Comment" below if you know anything...

Monday, March 30, 2009

Consumer City

OCThen reader, Donald Wallace, shares his memories of living in Santa Ana, back when Knott's Berry Farm was still free...
I grew up in Santa Ana, When Knott's Berry Farm was free to go to and The Aligator Farm and some large Crystal/ Glass museum was there. Movieland Wax Museum and Cars of the Stars/ Planes of Fame were awesome. Lived close to 17'th Street and Grand Ave. where Gemco and Zodys were on opposit corners. There was a TIC-TOC market by our house thet I used to ride my bike to for candy, All 4 corners had gas stations. ABC was rthe market my Mom shopped at, And evety Friday we went to Consumer city and ordered burgers at BURGER CHEF out at the ens of the parking lot. I remember when they tore down the Orange Groves to build Gemco, Lots of more memories, But this is plenty
He mentions, "Consumer city". I'm just curious if anyone knows what that was, or where it was.

There was a reference to Consumer City in a comment here on OCThen on a different article entitled, "A Kid Growing Up in Santa Ana and Garden Grove"...
Wow, what memories of the Mc Fadden, Newhope, First street areas! Besides Red Ranch and ABC market does anyone remember Consumer City and The Potato Bin on First St? My sister recalls the cars (hot rods)from The Munsters TV show making an appearance at Consumer City!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Broadway Billiards, Santa Ana

Anonymous writes in reference to a comment posted on my earlier article on the Saddleback Inn, regarding old pool halls...
I saw a reference in one comment about Broadway Billiards. Originally this "joint" was further north on Broadway nearer to the Broadway theatre. It's complete name was "Adam the Hat's Broadway Billiards". I used to hang out there when I was in high school (between 1964-1966. Adam wouldn't let me play the tables because he felt I was too young. But I spent a small fortune playing pinball! This was truly an old school billiard parlor; very colorful. We also hung out at the drum shop which was nest to the Broadway theatre. West Coast Drum shop still exists today but is located at South Coast Village.
During my college years, my friend Greg and I would ride our motorcycles to Linbrook Family Billiards in Anaheim, on the corner of Brookhurst and Lincoln. Read my earlier article about it, "Linbrook Family Billiards"

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Veterans of Orange County

Anonymous asks if I can start a thread honoring Orange County residents who died in the service of their country...
hi steve,i would sure like to see a spot here to remember our oc vets who payed the ultament price for the freedom we have today,may i start the list with 2 i went to high school with john hunt and dick russel both sahs class of 1965 and lost in vetniam
Of course this is not limited to the Vietnam War, but in any service wartime or other. If you know an OC resident who died while serving the USA, post their name in a comment, and tell us their story.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Old Bars in Huntington Beach

Kim T asks about some old bars in Huntington Beach that she used to hang out at...
Does anyone remember "Friar Tucks Bar", "The Keg", and the "Huntington Tavern" in Huntington Beach from the 1970"s and early 80"s? I can't seem to find anything about them in this site. They were dives but fun to hang out in.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Bohemian Summers of Huntington Beach

OCThen reader MichelleM remembers her summers in Huntington Beach, living an almost bohemian lifestyle all day and night in the uptopian world of an OC beach town...
it is hard to concentrate on one thing....but the summers in h.b. were what i remember. hanging out at the round stone tables on the peir, eating french toast at vics on the beach.....the end cafe, the other end cafe! the gameroom under the pier, those discusting bathrooms we used so often because we all lived on the beach from am to pm during the summer. the nights at the golden bear, and after partys at those old one room apartments overlooking main street. playing pool at the standard market with the juke box playing......ahhhh- memories! there will never be another "old huntington", i feel sorry for todays youth, they will never experience those carefree days we had.
Boy, what a contrast to the gangs, knife fights, and police sirens of the Santa Ana I grew up in during the 1970s and 80s.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Huntington Beach Plunge

OCThen reader, Linda J, asks if anyone remembers the Plunge at Huntington Beach...
Did any of you ever swim at the "plunge" on Huntington Beach? My Aunt Johnnie Belshe used to teach kids to swim there...I remember going to her house on every 4th of July and watch the parade pass by followed by a day at the beach and fireworks off the pier at night...
The Huntington Beach Plunge was a swimming pool by the pier that filled with ocean water. It allowed people to swim in the ocean in a controlled environment, without the worry of waves and sharks. Many beach cities had these.

Today, Huntington Beach offers an annual "plunge", but it's not the same thing. It's just a bunch of people walking into the ocean during the cold (or theoretical cold) of winter.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Robert Kennedy in Orange County

Anonymous remembers when Robert Kennedy was running for President and landed at Orange County Airport, and describes the candidate stepping out of his airplane...
i just noticed the date and it brought back memories of when i was working at the orange county airport 40 years ago and bobby kennedy flew in on a lockheed electra,in those days security was nothing like it is today so we lined up on the tarmac to see him, i was standing directly under the #2 propeller and it was rubbing up side of me so i rotated it out of the way,the guy standing next to me in a suit(had to been a body guard because i could see his.45 auto under the jacket)grabed me and said dont move that it can kill you ,i took a second to explain to him the difference between a piston and a turboprop engine,guess that made him happy, anyway here comes bobby kennedy down the stairs followed by his wife i can tell you he looked nothing like he did on tv or in pictures he looked like he was 30 years older so did his wife i guess running for office really ages a person,they stepped into a waiting limo and headed off to anahiem i beleve,the the next days stop was los angeles where he was shot that night

Monday, March 23, 2009

Hanging out at South Coast Plaza

Anonymous shares some memories of favorite hang outs at South Coast Plaza, before all the trendy stuff went in...
Ok, back in the early 80's i remember couple of old restaurants in South Coast plaza, our old hang-out before all the upscale boutiques came in. One of them was Rendezvous Cafe. I vaguely remember an ice cream spot that sold dipped ice cream bars. Dont think they were Balboa bars, but wondered if anyone recalls? i think they had various dipping choices...mmmm, i could have one now!
I remember in the 1970s, I used to ride my bicycle there to hang out in the video arcade room. It was located inside the Sears, at the lower level, near the mall entrance. I'd come in with several dollars in quarters, and always left empty-handed.

There was a Del Taco really close to the video arcade room, and I always got a couple of burritos there. Across from that Del Taco was a Woolworths.

In the 1990s, my wife and I would go to the Ghirardelli store inside the mall and buy ice creams. I'd get the banana split, and she always got a sundae.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Knott's Berry Farm versus Tom's Farms

Anonymous writes about Knott's Berry Farm back during a time when it was a dirt lot and free to get in...
Speaking of Knotts Berry Farm and Disneyland! I remember the dirt parking lot and chickens! And it was free to get in! No log ride yet. I remember when it was getting built and the excitement of it all. And Disneyland... remember the tickets for the rides. "E" tickets were the best but you only got like 3! Of course "A" tickets were the sucky rides and you got like 6! But you could use the ticket book for next time. That's when Disneyland was affordable! I was just at, is it Downtown Disney? Its been over 20 since I've lived in Orange County. So many people... so little land!
Just south of Corona, along the I-15, is a place called Tom's Farms. Everytime I go there, I think of Knott's Berry Farm, and wonder if it looks anything like Knott's Berry Farm from those very old days.

Tom's Farms is still largely a glorified produce stand, with a shop for wine and cheese, a furniture store, a candy shop, a mexican restaurant, and a burger shop. But it also has a Merry-go-Round, a shooting gallery, a train ride, a large duck pond with live band, and even some carnval rides. And the place keeps adding more stuff all the time.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Polo Fields of Garden Grove

An anonymous OCThen reader asks if anyone knew of a polo field or polo grounds in Garden Grove...

I moved to the Eastgate section of Garden Grove in 1959. I attended Rancho Alamitos High School and graduated in 1963. I remember hanging out at a polo field located near Garden Grove Blvd. and Magnolia. When I tell people about this they don't believe it was there. Could anyone please confirm this and maybe tell me the name of the field.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Westminster, Garden Grove, Santa Ana, 1960-1970

OCThen reader, Joe Devine, submits his memories of growing up in Westminster, Garden Grove, and Santa Ana during the 1960s and 1970s.
I have great memories of growing up in the 60's and 70's in the Westminster,Garden Grove and Santa Ana areas. I attended St Barbra's Catholic school in Santa Ana and remember watching Army helocopters circling and landing in an area I believe turned into Mile Square Park. I wore out my 10 speed bike riding up and down the Santa Ana river trail bike path west to the beach past South Coast plaza mall when it was the newest thing. I also remember Atantisland and the Strawberry festival in Garden Grove. I moved away in 1990 but had a wonderful Disneyland visit in 2001. Thank goodness for memories it had changed so much. My sister turned me on to this site, she graduated from MaterDei in 1974.
I've never heard of "Atantisland". Perhaps he meant, "Atlantisland", either way I've never heard of it.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Sid's Blue Beet, Newport Beach

Anonymous asks if anyone else remembers a place in Newport Beach called, "Sid's Blue Beet"...
Anyone recall Sid's Blue Beet in Newport near the pier? Funky place with loads of ambiance and great live music. Sid, the onetime owner is wanted by the law and word has it, is hiding out in Vegas. It was hopping in the 70's.
Sid's Blue Beet is now "Blue Beet Cafe". I've never been there, but had heard about it.

I wonder if the person writing is either someone looking for Sid, or maybe Sid himself.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Cooper's Market, Santa Ana

Anonymous writes about his memories of getting "Kool-Aid Shooters" at Cooper's Market in Santa Ana...
i can remember riding my bike in santa ana in the late 50s/early 60s,going east on washington at the south west corner of bristol there use to be a place called coopers market, this was way before 7-11s or any of that crap, this was a mom and pop market and i remember they sold these i guess you could call them kool aid shooters,they were approx 6 inch long wax tubes with an ounce or so of kool aid in them for a penny a piece and we use buy 25 cents worth or what ever change we had and bite the top off them ,chug um down and spit out the wax while riding our bikes,coopers is long gone but sure do miss the memory of those days
I remember getting those things too, but I don't remember what they were called. The ones I used to get were shaped like soda bottles, but were very small, made of wax, and contained a sweet, fruity liquid.

I don't remember Cooper's Market, but I know the intersection he's talking about. In the 1970s and 1980s, when I lived in Santa Ana, there was a butcher shop there. That was one of the few places that still sold whole, frozen rabbit. My mom would get a frozen rabbit, and we'd take it out camping, and my step-father would roast it over the campfire.

Across Bristol, there was a Kentucky Fried Chicken, and caddy-corner there was an Alfie's Fish & Chips, and on the other side of Washington St, was Santa Ana College.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Nutburger in Santa Ana

OCThen reader Gary asks if anyone remembers a burger joint in Santa Ana called "Nutburger"...
I was living in Santa Ana during the mid to latter 60's. Does anyone remember The Nutburger? It was a hamburger joint on Harbor and Warner that featured hamburgers with peanuts in them. The were actually pretty good.
And he also asks if anyone remembers another place in Newport Beach...
Also, does anyone remember the name of the restaurant that featured cute carhops in short dresses who roller skated to your car to take orders and deliver food? It was on the corner of MacArthur and PCH in Newport Beach (where the Gulfstream is now). This would have been in the 60s and 70's.
If you have anything to add, click on "Post a Comment" below...

Monday, March 16, 2009

When Pearl Harbor Was Attacked

An anonymous reader recalls a third grade teacher attending his/her mother's funeral, and goes on recall a story about his/her dad skating at the Skate Ranch in Santa Ana when it was announced that Pearl Harbor was attacked...
I grew up in Tustin and went to Tustin Memorial Elementary. I was five when I began in 1967 and when I was in the third grade my mom died of cancer. A lovely Mrs. Saunders (my teacher) was so kind and gentle and sat near me at my mom's service. I remember that and always wanted to tell her that I did remember and always wanted to thank her.

My father Clem and his mom and dad and animals and four sisters and a brother drove from Oklahoma to California in 1941 -- on a two lane highway. Dad drove all the way because he was the best driver -- he was only 16....oy. They lived in Santa Ana on Edinger near what was a MacDonald's but is now an office building and across from their little farm was a bean field.

I remember dad said that a few months after they arrived they were skating at the old skate ranch and it was announced that Pearl Harbor was attacked. Dad joined the navy in 1943. They all attended Santa Ana High School and he met my mom in 1947 and lost his one love in life in 1970. Unhappily for me but happily for them -- Clem and Mary and together again. Their families go way back in Santa Ana.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Growing up in Huntington Beach 1960-1970

OCThen reader "Oly" submits memories of growing up in Huntington Beach during the 1960s and 1970s...
I was born in 1962 and have been in Huntington Beach ever since. I first lived on Baffin Cr. off of Bolsa Chica and McFadden. I remember the many walks to Speedy Mart for Slurpies and candy. I remember the bean fields right accross the street next to Robinwood School. My older brother would walk over and pick them, would boil them up and they were pretty tasty.

We later moved to the Meadowlark tract and we backed the 6th fairway which is now the 15th. I attended Meadowview School then Marina High School. A lot of goodtimes.

Great time in little league at Ocean View National, that used to be next to Meadowlark Airport on Heil. Does anyone remember the little coffee shop that was on Springdale and Edinger that was in the same location as Marios?It was next door to Alpha Beta. When we would go to Alpha Beta with our mom, we would walk over there and by 10 packs of Baseball cards once a week. Many walks to Thrifty Drug for ice cream cones and toys and Thriftimart where I actually worked my first job in High School. And how about Springdale Drug?

A lot of great memories there and i'm glad to have bought a house in the same tract. Could not be a better city to live in in this world. Could go on for a long time, but would take forever.


Saturday, March 14, 2009

United California Bank, Huntington Beach

OCThen reader, "salesteacher", submits the following memory of working at the United California Bank in Huntington Beach...
I left Buffalo, NY on a Greyhound bus, at age 19, and landed in Huntington Beach almost 3 days later. July 3, 1962. Took me forever to find a job--no car--literally walking between towns. A great guy named Tim at United California Bank at 1018 No. Main Street took a chance on me, and I worked there for four formative years that left such a deep imprint in me, that I almost believe the bank and the people are still there. Last time I visited the building, it was some sort of school. I would love to hear from anyone who was among the fifty or so employees of that bank branch. Such fond memories.
Anyone who worked there, "Post a Comment" and share your memories...

Friday, March 13, 2009

Greenbriar Inn and Sanitarium in Garden Grove

greenbriar inn garden grove
An anonymous OCThen reader asks if anyone knows the name of an old mental hospital in Garden Grove...
I grew up in westminster,born in 1959 in Artesia. My mom and dad bought a house in Westminster in 1955 I believe.I just came across this site when I was trrying to find some info on an old mental hospital in Garden Grove.I think it was on Garden Grove Blvd.

Me and my friends used to drive through there after it closed because it was supposed to be haunted,but I cant find anything on it,maybe someone else remembers it.I have many fond memories of Orange Co.I read on here about someone mentioning Farrels Ice Cream parlour I think there was one in Huntington Beach on Beach Blvd. or maybe it was Westminster.I used to go there alot. That was probably in the 70s.
The "old mental hospital" was a sanitarium on Garden Grove Blvd and Nutwood.  It part of a 15 acre resort called Greenbriar Inn.  Greenbriar Inn opened up in 1940 and included a hotel and restaurant.  Greenbriar Inn closed down in 1970.  Later on it was torn down and turned into tract homes.

Many believe the sanitarium to be haunted.

If you have anything to share on this, please click on "Post a Comment" below...

Thursday, March 12, 2009

New Wave Club in Fullerton

An anonymous OCThen reader asks if anyone knows the name of a new wave club in Fullerton...
I'm looking for the name of a New Wave Club in Fullerton. Berlin used to play there with a lot of other bands in the late 70's John Scalzo wrote a newsletter called the Fullertone. It was across from CoCo's off of Stage College and....?
If you have anything to add, please click on "Post a Comment" below...

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Old Tiki Restaurant in 1960s Newport Beach

An anonymous OCThen reader asks if anyone remembers a tiki-style restaurant in Newport Beach during the 1960s...
Does anyone remember a restaurant on Pacific Coast highway in Newport Beach where Billy's is currently--called Kon Tiki? I recall going there on a date in the 1960's. I was there recently and recognized the Polynesian touches that are still there, but I am not sure I am remembering the name correctly.
If you know anything, please "Post a Comment" and share with us...

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Saddleback Inn Station Wagon

OCThen reader Mike Herrick was reading my previous article on Saddleback Inn, and submits the following photograph of Saddleback Inn's station wagon, dated in 1981...

Saddleback Inn Santa Ana

He says...
I was reading about the Saddleback Inn and remembered I had this photo of the Saddleback Inn company station wagon I used to drive to pick up guest from the Orange County Airport.

I also have a napkin in a old photo album from the bar.

We met alot of nice people and a few movie stars and music artist.

I can remeber that the movie Coal Miners Daughter was released in 1980 and Loretta Lynne was very popular at the time. She stayed at the Saddleback with all her family for about 5 days and I would deliver meals to their rooms.

Lots of stories to tell. This was a very popular place in it's time.

I was a bell boy, my brother was a cook in the kitchen and his wife was a maid. We have great memories working at the Inn.

Kind Regards,
Mike (KIWI)

Monday, March 09, 2009

Boy Scout Troop 26 of Santa Ana

OCThen reader, "92707", asks if anyone out there was a former boy scout troop member in Santa Ana...
Anyone out there who was also a member of Boy Scout Troop 26 in Santa Ana? The troop that was sponsored by the Santa Ana Police Department. We had our own building on the south side of what was then the Santa Ana Community Center when Civic Center Drive was still named 8th Street. For me it was a family tradition belonging to 26. At the Scout-O-Rama's we were often called the best-fed troop in Orange County!

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Claude Bell's Artist Shack - Knott's Berry Farm

OCThen reader Michelle submits her memories of Claude Bell's Artist Shack at Knott's Berry Farm...
Knotts Berry Farm! One of my favorite places to ride out a cold!

My Mom Moselle Townsend was one of the Pastel Artists there when I was young! Above Claude Bell's Artist Shack was a patio roof with umbrella chairs and a table and when I was sick Mom would take me there to relax and read while she worked!

For lunch I get to meander around and visit Motts Minatures, the gold panning area and some great old ladies in prairie bonnets. Being sick was a priviledge! I loved to eat at Mrs Knotts Kitchen, is that what was it called? Bosenberry Pie is still my favorite to this day, rubarb in syrup and the greatest fried chicken and gravy! Wasn't there a great little dish of bacon and cabbage too?

I still have the want ad mom cut from the newpaper. Claude Bell was looking for a pastel artist to do portraits and my mom thought she could do it so she drew my sister, brother, dad, me and our friends from Lakewood all in one week and then went down and applied for the job and got it. I am not sure how long she worked there but it helped buy her supplies while she got her MFA at Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles.

I have often wondered how many portraits she might have painted over the years she was there? I think she might have been there for about 4 years! Perhaps 1955 to 1960.

I went to High School in Whittier in the 60's and my dad use to drive us down to Retail Clerks, the Union Hall right past Knotts Berry Farm where we could dance for $1.00 with great groups like the Righteous Brothers! Growing up at that time was really fun. Michelle.
If you had a portrait drawn at Knott's Berry Farm between 1955 and 1960, Michelle's mom probably drew it.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Santa Ana Community Hospital

OCThen reader Susan Creger submits the following memory of growing up in Santa Ana during the 1950's and 1960s'...
Wow, I am so excited to run across this place. I miss CA so much, and to read about other people's experience growing up there is exciting. I was born in Santa Ana Community Hospital in 1952. I lived on Newhope St and went to Newhope Elementary until the 4th or 5th grade when Heritage Elementary opened it's doors for the first time. I can't for the life of me remember the name of the Junior High I went to in Santa Ana but it was on the corner of Newhope and ? We moved after 1 semester & I went to Smedley Junior High after that. We moved back in my 9th year & I went to La Quinta High School. I miss the CA of my childhood with Orange Groves everywhere. I remember Farrell's Ice Cream parlors. I went there EVERY day when I was pregnant with my first daughter for a Fudge Sundae Royale.
The name of that junior high school on Newhope and ? was probably Fitz Intermediate. And as for Santa Ana Community Hospital, my wife was born there in 1966. I also remember in the mid-1980s, when I worked at Santa Ana Public Library, several of us employees traveled there (after it was converted to a convalescent home) one Christmas Eve and sang carols to the residents there.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Welcome to Irvine Ranch Sign

OCThen reader, "richp", of South Coast Divers, remembers a sign along the 405 freeway that depicted a cowboy on horseback, and wonders whatever happened to it...
I remember being a kid while they were building the 405 freeway. I remember a big sign that read, "You are now entering the Irvine Ranch". It was a fancy sign, iron and concrete/stucco and it showed a comboy on horse back, which it was my understanding was, in reference to how the Irvine ranch came to be. What ever happened to that sign? Are there any pictures of it anywhere? I even learned to drive in the area that is now Tustin Marketplace.

I also heard yesterday that Farrell's Ice Cream is coming back to S CA, Good stuff....

Send me an email if you've "Been there & done that".
Click on "Post a Comment" below if you remember this as well...

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Velvet Turtle Restaurant Employee Passes Away

An anonymous OCThen reader submits the following about a former Velvet Turtle Restaurant employee who passed away, and is looking for a friend of hers named "Patricia Hartman" to simply let her know of her passing...
I am a former OC resident and former mgr of a couple of Velvet Turtle Restaurants.

A long time friend and former employee of mine at The Velvet Turtle in Fullerton has passed away. She asked before she passed that her husband Dan and I find a friend of hers to let her know what happened.

Patricia Hartman is her name and she worked at the Velvet Turtle in Fullerton with us. Patty may be married now but if you knew her or worked with her please have her post here to so I can let her know.

Thank you for all the wonderful memories on OCthen.com It is good to know that people thought so highly of this special group of restaurants that will live on in my heart forever and thankfully in your hearts as well.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Fitz Intermediate School

OCThen reader, "Squiddy", asks if anyone here attended Stephen R Fitz Intermediate School in Santa Ana during the 1970s...
Anyone go to Fitz Jr. High in Santa Ana (during the 70s)? My dad (Mr. Peterson) taught math and loved all the students and tried to be corny-funny.

Anyone go to Plavan Elementary in FV?

How about Hye's Pizza or Acoubian's restaurant in FV on the west side of Mile Square Park?
Click on "Post a Comment" below if you have memories of any of these schools or restaurants...

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Old Van Clubs of Irvine Park

OCThen reader "TimS" who grew up in Santa Ana submits some memories of hanging out in Irvine Park during the 1970s with the van clubs, and wants to know if anyone else has similar memories...
Hi All.

I have spent most of my 49 years living in OC, and have really enjoyed some of these comments.

I was wondering if anybody remembers anything about the van clubs that used to have weekend night, or caravans, way in the back of Irvine Park back in the early to mid 70's?

I was sort of a wild wander as a kid (bad home life...), and at 12 or 13, I tagged along with someone, who owned a really tricked out Ford Econoline van, to a Van rally that I recall was way in the back of Irvine Park. It seemed to be a long ways out there, but as an adult, now it doesn't seem like Irvine park extends as far as I remember traveling. Do any of you remember this? The guy who let me tag along with him and his girlfriend was a long haired guy with the first name of Randy, and, at that time, worked at the gas station on the corner of Main and St. Gertrude Plc.
And then he goes on to talk about dealing with gangs and tough guys in the schools of Santa Ana...

I also wanted to comment to those who have posted about violence in OC HSs. I went to Saddleback and Mountain View HSs in the mid to latter half of the 70s, and there was some violence from blacks and Mexicans, and sometimes even the sportos. Having long blonde hair, and a smart mouth, I got my ass kicked more than once before I finally learned how to stare guys down and act like a bad ass so people would leave me alone. That didn't always work though because with the mexicans it was always a gang of at least 3 or 4 to 1, so you always ended up on the losing end. I can clearly remember being 14 and walking down Warner Ave from McFadden Jr High, and how I flipped off the 4 low riders who had just said something foul to me about being white and having blonde hair, and how these guys flipped a U turn in the middle of Warner and came after me. I ended up being thrown into a rose bush after they caught me, tore my books in half and pounded on me for a while.

Anyway, I took ROP at Valley HS, and had trouble with the blacks hanging out in the parking lot every time I went on the campus from the greenville entrance, and knew white guys from SA HS who were always fighting with Mexicans, so I always viewed both of those schools as being much worse than Saddleback, or even Mountain view, which was a continuation school. Nobody was ever shot at that time, but some guys got knifed, or seriously pounded on. However, there was one guy at saddleback that I will never forget. He was dark skinned, but I couldn't be sure if he was mexican or samoan. But he used to hang out with an entourage of mexican semi-toughs. This guy clearly knew martial arts at that time, and used to wear some strange flamboyant clothes, like a cape. I later realized he wore the loose baggy pants so he could kick really high. Anyway, I witnessed this kooky guy start, and finish, several fights with big guys that usually got left alone.

A lot of us hung out at Memorial Park, and saw first hand that we had a lot of Mexican gangs rising up including the Delhi boys, F-Troop, Shades of Brown, and others from north Santa Ana. Some of these guys were pretty hard core, in my view, and I think were early Mexican mafia.

What a childhood that was! That's why I joined the navy at 17, and got out of dodge as quickly as I could.

TimS from Woodland Plc, Santa Ana.
Click on "Post a Comment" below if you have anything to share...

Monday, March 02, 2009

Old Man Named Cheerio

Anonymous asks readers of OCThen if they remember a guy in Santa Ana who went by the name, "Cheerio"...
Do you remember Cheerio? He was an old man who always seemed to hang around the parties in Santa Ana. Rumor had it that one of his kids was murdered which is why he told kids not to drink and drive. Do u guys remember him. I have always wondered what became of him.

Growing Up A Marine Kid in Orange County

An anonymous OCThen reader submits some short bullet-point memories of growing in Orange County as a son of a Marine...
Living in Southern California was simply an adventure. This is coming from a born and raised North Carolina boy that was uprooted, because my stepfather was a Marine. Therefore, here are short bullets of my memories of the area:

1. Attended Santa Ana High School while our family waited for El Toro base housing.
2. Hit in the face at the bus stop, by a F-Troop gang member, because I would not give up my bus money.
3. Skateboarders everywhere.
4. Those wonderful orange groves.
5. El Toro Marine Corp Housing; I lived off of IWO Jima street.
6. An employee of the groceries/package store near the back gate.
7. Newport, and Laguna Beach parties.
8. Wrestling team at University High school.
9. Irvine High School (then only Freshmans and Sophmores) dance parties.
10. The California trend setters.
11. California surfers, loadies and jocks.
12. Disney Land with family and friends.
13. Knots Berry Farm
14. Mickey Mouse Club
15. My first car (1969 Opel Cadet)
16. Fred Delrio, Ken Dietre, and other friends.
17. Worked out at the Marine Corp gym all the time. The weight room was great, and so was the sauna room.
18. The base theatre with my friends. Saw Jaws there...

A lot of great memories...
He mentions F-Troop. I remember growing up in Santa Ana, attending Spurgeon Intermediate School, and seeing signs of F-Troop all over the place, and all the kids aspiring to become F-Troop members one day. And being a kid who moved up from San Diego, it took me awhile to figure out what F-Troop was; I kept thinking about the old sitcom show, and wondered why everyone was so obsessed with it.

Sunday, March 01, 2009


OCTHen reader "Pat Nolen" recalls growing up in an area of Orange County known as "Delhi", and submits the following...
I grew up in Orange County, lived in area called "Delhi" where there was Orange groves and Sugar Beets growing, right outside of El Toro Helicopter Marine Base. I went to school at Smedley Junior High School, then on to Santa Ana Valley High School. I have not been there in years, it's my understanding the most of the black families no longer live there, (Latino population). Does anyone know if the public library has any yearbooks from 1968-69? I plan to visit the area in March 2009.
Much appreciated,

Pat Nolen @ Bflypat@yahoo.com
I never heard of Delhi. If you have some information or memories to share on this area, please post a comment below...

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