Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Army Navy Surplus Store Garden Grove

Mark White submits his memories of working at his father's Army Navy Surplus store at 9651 Garden Grove Blvd (between Gilbert and Brookhurst) during the 1950s...

I grew up in Garden Grove and grew up in my Dad’s Army Navy Surplus Store at 9651 Garden Grove Blvd, today it is a Korean Restaurant. I worked there from the middle of elementary school, the 1950’s, first sweeping and straightening up sections. On a Saturday I might sweep the store, using oiled sawdust and then be in charge of straightening all of the electrical section or camping gear or to stock the tools. I loved it.

Outside the door was a red Coca Cola Vending machine Dad had purchased, yes as surplus, and then purchased the 12 oz coke and stocked it himself. He would make his kids, me, buy a coke after being paid for working. With that you should have decent insight into my Dad. Every Saturday until I was on “payroll” he would buy me lunch from Zestos across the street. I can smell Zestos now. In my humble opinion, Zestos and In-n-Out ran neck and neck.

One anniversary for he and Mom, he bought a gorgeous ship's barometer and temperature set. Done in wood and brass it was beautiful on my mothers den wall. He came rushing home months later and took both telling my mother he could pay the mortgage with the money he was going to make on the set. That was Dad.

The store had camping gear, canvas, clothing, work shoes and much much more. Today Kids love Dickies. We sold the real thing, grey and tan work pants. Men from all over would come at regular intervals to buy their “gear”. When a customer my Dad recongnized as a Dickies customer would walk in the door, Dad might rush to the clothes section grab the size 40 waist 32 in seam the man would need and have the pants set for display. “Walk around the store and see what else you need and get these in a box in a moment”.

When we got Levis and army gear was popular in the sixties... I was in heaven. “What size in men’s pants do you think I need”, would ask a lovely Rancho Alamitos Senior Cheerleader. “Oh, well, turn around and let me guess”. My Dad said, “always guess two sizes smaller and hand them the proper size and one size bigger, when the young customer says these are too big for me it makes them feel good”. What a great job... What a great job, sorry lost it for a sec with some awesome memories.

Everyone from babes to boys scouts came in that store. I included a picture, I am thinking the year is 1959. My Grandfathers black Cadillac is on the side, my Dad’s truck is in front of the store. The coke machine is visible just to the right of the door in front of the store. Sorry no pictures of the soon to be hippie kids buying jeans but it sure is a hoard of wonderful memories for this Orange County Kid.

army navy surplus store garden grove 1950s

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

A Memory of Fess Parker

Fess ParkerLast March, an OCThen reader submitted a memory of meeting Fess Parker, the actor of the Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone television shows...

I saw in the newspaper today of the passing of Fess Parker and it brought back memories of meeting him in the 1960s.

At that time I was working for an FBO at what was then Orange County Airport, and on this day I was in the office when a single engine piper taxied up and parked on our transit line. The pilot got out and started walking up to the office. I noticed the rotating beacon on his aircraft was still on so when he walked into the office I said to him "You're going to have a dead battery when you come back."

He was kind of taken back by my comment and said, "Why is that?" I said, "You left your master switch on", as I pointed out to his aircraft with the beacon going round and round. He replied, "Oh wow thanks so much", as he rushed back out to turn it off. At that point it still didnt register who he was but he had a pony tail and was probably 6ft 6 inches tall and I thought he looked like the oldest hippie I had ever seen (this was the late 60s remember).

He came back in and said "Thank you so much for catching that, you saved me a lot of trouble." It was then that I reconized the voice and face as Davy Crockett.

An FBO, by the way is a Fixed Base Operator, similar to a service station for aircraft.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Buck's Antique Clocks - Costa Mesa

Last March, an anonymous OCThen reader submitted a note regarding the remnants of an old clock shop in Costa Mesa, and wondered if anyone can provide more information...

Last week I noticed something that piqued my curiosity. On Newport Blvd. at 17th Street in Costa Mesa.-on the south-east side of the street, the old, small Van's store sign was removed. (Van's moved to a newer and much larger spot.) Underneath the old sign, and looking very old, faded letters appeared. It says what looks like: Buck's Antique Clocks--a family tradition since 1892. Next to it faded letters that say: Escapade. Can any of you old-timers remember this clock shop? And the shop next door? I want to go get a picture before they paint over or demolish it. There are so few remnants of the past...

UPDATE: OCThen reader Gaye submitted the following photo illustrating the remnants of the old Buck's Clock and Escapade signs..

buck's clocks

Friday, October 01, 2010

Carrie Wicket Clothes Store

A couple of OCThen readers share their memories of a 1960s and 70s clothing store located at the Orange Circle called "Carrie Wicket"...

Anonymous said...
Hello! Does anyone remember a girls (young womens) clothing store on the "Orange Circle" in Orange named "Carrie Wicket"? An old friend and I were talking about our days at Santa Ana Valley High School in the late 60's, and what a great store Carrie Wickets was. In the 70's, they opened a mens store across the street called "Sir Wickets".....I remember we could always find cute clothes at Carrie adays, you could spend a whole day at any mall and not find a thing to buy! Love those olden days!

Janie Elsey Campbell
Class of Santa Ana Valley, 1968

Anonymous said...
Yes! I recall Carrie Wicket's! My mom bought me a lemon yellow linen pantsuit that I got lots of compliments on. I was 13 or 14. Wasn't it a little upscale? At least it seemed like it at the time. If I remember correctly the racks were always well stocked and the sales ladies were very helpful. I hadn't thought of that store for decades. Thanks for the memory!!

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