Saturday, November 30, 2013

Buy A Coke for Bear on Harbor Blvd

bear drinking coke harbor blvd
Photo of the actual bear taken in the 1950s or 60s. The man in the photo
had the last name, "McCoy", his wife donated the photo to
Janet Filbeck who in turn sent us this digitized copy.
A number of OCThen readers recall visiting a bear in a cage on Harbor Blvd (or Westminster), perhaps at a dairy in Garden Grove.  You could buy a Coke or a soda for a nickel and give it to the bear to drink.  It was a little bit of cheap amusement after a trip out to the farm fields of Garden Grove, back in the day.

It makes me wonder if Coca-Cola used this piece of history for its series of "Polar Bears drinking Coke" commercials.

In that time, it was common for businesses in the farming areas of Orange County to use caged wild animals as a way to lure families in.

Here are the comments I found regarding the Bear in the Cage...

Anonymous (July 11, 2009) - Anyone remember the bear in a cage on Harbor Blvd between Santa Ana and Costa Mesa? And the buffalo ranch. Great memories. Thanks!

Anonymous (Nov 17, 2010) - Does anyone remember bear that drank soda? It was in Orange County, I think it was on Harbor Blvd. It was in a fenced in area, and you could purchase cokes or other soda pop from a machine, and the bear would drink it for your amusement. It must have been in the early 1960's.

Doug Reeder (June 4, 2012) - Another highlight was stopping along old Harbor Blvd. on the way to the beach area to see the bear in the cage. For a nickle the bear man would give a small bottle of Coke to the bear and he would drink it holding it between his front paws.

Anonymous (Jan 6, 2013) - And the guy with the bear was Frank ( Manny ) Mc Cubbins.

Philetus (Jan 15, 2013) - The dairy on Westminster before Harbor with the zoo had a bear (or gorilla, I can't remember which) in a cage out front with a coke machine you could buy a coke and give it to the bear

Glendora Hammond (Dec 1, 2013) - That poor bear was on Harbor. He loved Orange pop and was so abused. His cage was tiny and he paced back and forth. I felt so sorry for him.

Janet Filbeck (Dec 1, 2013) - I remember the bear in front of a store on a chain. They would bring the bear from his cage in the morning and take him back later in the day. I don't remember it being in a cage during the day. We would buy it coke and it was fun as a kid watching it drink it. It was a fun memory as a kid. This is a picture of the bear being taken to the front of the store. Given to me by a friend of mine and her husband is in the back. His last name is Mc Coy. This picture was taken in the late 50's or early 60's she said.

Carole Tibbets (Dec 1, 2013) - The bear was on Harbor Blvd., next to the driving range, between Edinger and Warner. Later, Frank had a small zoo and after, he got rid of the zoo animals, he started a boarding stables, before, he moved to Oregon. I boarded my horse there for about 8 years.

Anyone with memories of this please post a comment...

Friday, November 29, 2013

Macy Elementary School, La Habra, CA

OCThen reader, "Monterey Jack" shares memories of attending Macy Elementary School in La Habra during the 1960's...
Macy Elementary School, La Habra. In the 60's, I was a student there in the lower elementary grades.

Folks out there remember some of the fine teachers ? Miss Voss ? Mrs. Morrison ? Mrs. Lewis ? Mrs. Schneringer ?

I recall Miss Voss reading chapters of Anne of Green Gables to the class. It seems Miss Voss also had the class put on a production of Amahl & The Night Visitors. Mrs. Morrison would frequently rave about the virtues of yogurt, and she taught kids to be open-minded about there being more than one possible answer or interpretation to things. Mrs. Morrison was a shining example of a teacher valuing each diverse kind of student and making them feel valued and cherished - she will always be remembered as a favorite teacher.

Mrs. Lewis was tuned in to some pretty "out there" stuff -- I remember her explaining the concepts of micro-particles and infinity to my kindergarten class ! She must have had great faith in the ability of 5-year-olds to grasp something about these. I will never forget her explanations, the details of which have influenced me all my life and to this very day. I have a very strong interest in speculative particle physics (quantum physics), even though I am a creative artist, and not a scientist.

Mrs. Scheringer taught at Macy School, but wasn't my teacher, however she was a neighbor and her kids were some of my best friends as a child -- most were older than me by a couple grades or by several grades. Because of her daughter Judy's piano playing, she inspired my lifelong interest in music. I also looked up to Judy as a role model ; she was older and quite mature at the time for her age, which I remember as around 12 when I was about 5. Mrs. Schneringer's son Rick was one of my best childhood pals and we often discussed science topics and the French language. I remember the Scheringer family fondly, as very upbeat and positive. Mrs. S. & her kids had such a positive impact on my growing up, they were all very creative, intelligent, kind, caring, & encouraging people. The neighborhood (near Macy School) speoke very highly of the Schneringers as a model family, who reached out to others and did kind things for them.

So there above is a bit of educational & social history of northwest La Habra, Orange County, California. I use the nickname "Monterey Jackson" and those wishing to share Macy School (& the neighborhood) memories may e-mail and put "Monterey Jackson" in ths subject line.

Hope I brought a smile to the faces of folks who connected with this (above) account of La Habra, OC life "back then." Say cheese ! -- From "Monterey Jack"

Memories of Costa Mesa, Huntington Beach, and Garden Grove

An anonymous OCThen reader submits their memories of growing up in Costa Mesa, Huntington Beach, and Garden Grove....
I grew up in OC. I was born in 1958 in Whittier CA and moved to Costa Mesa from 1960 - 1968 (on Elden Street near 22nd Street) and then to Huntington Beach (Bushard & Adams) and then (Brookhurst and Victoria)and then to Garden Grove on (Morningside Dr in the Buena-Clinton area)and then on Blue Spruce near harbor Blvd) I attended Lindbergh Elementary School in Costa Mesa, Gisler Intermediate in HB and Doig Junior High and Santiago High in GG.

COSTA MESA - there was a little hamburger stand on Newport Blvd near 22nd St named Russ's or something like that, it was like In & Out food before In & Out. I remember going to McDonald's near the Blue Chip Stamp Store. Ramsey's Drug Store on Newport Blvd. A Circle K or something like that where we would buy ICEE'S at during the summer, near Charlie's Chili. Pat's Liquor Store with the apartment above it on Newport and 22nd St. There was also a Der Weinerschnitzel on Harbor across from Theodore Robbins Ford where my parents bought a brand new 65 Mustang that I got to drive in High School. There was a Costa Mesa Park with a big airplane at the park that they had the fair in. There was a parade, was it called the Fish Fry? Going to Disneyland & Knott's. I remember the A-E ticket books at Disneyland. We walked to Lindbergh on Orange St and there was a house that had a statue of a bull on the corner in their yard.

HUNTINGTON BEACH - going surfing at lifegaurd station 13 at the end of Brookhurst before and after school and all summer long. Going roller skating at a rink on Newport Blvd near Superior? Two Guys store on Brookhurst and Adams across the street from Save on. There was also a Thrifty's that we would buy double scoops for 5 cents a scoop. We would ride bikes all over. Hang out at Gisler and had so many friends. 
GARDEN GROVE - I hated the move from HB to GG but grew to love it there. We lived in an apartment that is now a gang area but it was safe back then. There was a huge slide and trampoline place on 17th St. I worked at a Jack in the Box across from Honor Plaza. We would walk to school and spend our lunch money at a Winchell's Donut Shop on the way to Doig Jr High. At Santiago we hung out at Del Taco and Bob's Big Boy after the football games in the 70's. Denny's we would go to and stay there until early in the mornings. Learned how to sneak into Disneyland by pitching in and having someone get there hand stamped and then we would transfer that stamp to 5 to 10 friends and go hang out and dance at that Terrace Theater with live bands that went up and down during the summer. There was a Sambo's Restaurant on Harbor Blvd that we had our pre-game football meals at.

So many memories and so much fun. Can we go back and do it again? Anybody live in any of these areas and does any of this ring a bell? 
Thanks for the fun!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

What Used to Exist in Newport Beach

OCThen reader Bob King is putting together pamphlet about things that no longer exist in Newport Beach... 
Hey all.....graduated from Seal Beach Grammar School on PCH and 12th in 1948. Still go to Seal on occasion to visit with a couple of friends and to eat at Walt's. I have a ton of memories about Seal, Sunset, Surfside, Belmont Shore, Long Beach, Huntington Beach, Newport, but I trying to remember the location of the Victoria Station Restaurant in Newport Beach and simply can't remember.  
 Can someone out there help this old dude? Need it as I am endeavoring to put together a pamphlet along the lines of "Things That Aren't Here Anymore".

Bob King
Newport Beach
The old Bison Ranch comes to mind.  It was an old restaurant and zoo where families could spend their afternoon and then snack on some bison burgers.  It was located along Jamboree Road where Bison Road intersects.

There was Merle's Drive Inn, located on MacArthur and PCH.  In the 1960's it was renamed "The Zoo" and then in the 1970s it closed down.

Also, Sid's Blue Beet, a favorite night spot located by the pier.  It changed hands was renamed "Blue Beet Cafe".

What you do remember about Newport Beach that doesn't exist anymore?

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Dakind Bar in Costa Mesa

Orange County Memories Reader Baz Rebell asks:

Anyone recall the name of the tiny but fun little beer bar on Harbor near Adams in the late seventies? The owner married his hot little blond bartender who could imitate Marilyn Monroe to a tee. The barmaids were all sexy-spectacular but alas a liquor license killed the business. It was later sold and renamed 'dakind' but never regained its earlier luster.

Do you remember the bar in Costa Mesa that Baz is asking about?

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Monday, November 18, 2013

Pioneer Chicken on Tustin Avenue

OCThen reader "Power" submitted this memory about Pioneer Chicken:
Remember Pioneer Chicken folks? Oh man I can still taste that chicken. Why did they go they were doing fine at least the one I used to go to in Orange on Tustin Avenue? They to me were as good as Kentucky Fried Chicken and different taste. And then a favorite Family restaurant also one Spoons also on Tustin Ave. Once upon a time. Sad.
According to Wikipedia:
"Pioneer Chicken, (or Pioneer Take Out, as it is officially named), is an American fried chicken restaurant which was founded in the Echo Park area of Los Angeles in 1961 by H.R. Kaufman. When Kaufman sold the chain in 1987, there were 270 stores operated by 220 franchisees. 
During the 1970s, several locations operated in Honolulu on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. There are three locations remaining in Los Angeles. It was named after Pioneer Market, a now-defunct small chain of supermarkets in Los Angeles. The original location in Echo Park was located next to the 1980s era Pioneer Market (the original 1932 market having been torn down in the 1980s) and is (now a Walgreens Pharmacy) on Echo Park Avenue and Sunset Boulevard. Due to considerable redevelopment activity in the neighborhood caused by gentrification, it was shut down in March 2009. During the 1980s, Los Angeles Lakers announcer Chick Hearn and former football player O.J. Simpson used to advertise for the restaurant."
Did your family eat at Pioneer Chicken? Do you remember the O.J. Simpson ads?

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