Friday, November 29, 2013

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!


  1. I wish I knew your name. I also went to Doig jr.high, and lived on Brookhurst and Hiawatha the next street over from you. I was born in 1950.

  2. My first apartment was on Keel Street in the Buena Clinton area in was mainly bikers, hippies and Marines from LTA living off base. We added an "O" to the street sign and it was KEEL-O for a long time...

  3. I live a few miles from Santiago HS near Mile Square Park, I used to live at West and GG Blvd. around 2000. The JITB is still there. I don't remember the Winchell's. The Bob's was on Harbor and Chapman? The Del Taco became a Boston Market around 2000; it's now a Bank of America. Denny's is still there. The Loves Steak House is gone. ("When you're in Love's, the whole world's delicious") The electronics store (Sav-on Electronics?) is gone as well. Lucky's Grocery is now an Albertson's. Didn't there used to be a car wash there? I think there was a cleaners on the SW corner of Harbor & Garden Grove Blvd. There was also a musical instrument store across the street from there. Was the Sambo's closer to Disneyland?

    Shame on you for sneaking into Disneyland, I'm going to report you = ) .

    I would love to go back an do some of this stuff again. If I did, I take a nice camera with me and take pictures of everything.

    BTW, the DW on Harbor is still there if you can believe that. It's now across from a Toyota dealership.

  4. I lived near Mile Square Park, but I remember the area rather well. The Bob's your thinking of is on Harbor south of Chapman, right? It's now a Coco's, and has been for some time. I don't remember the Sambo's or Winchell's (though I do remember the chains), but the JITB, and Denny's are still there. The Sa-von Electronics is gone as of about 10 years ago. I'm remembering a cleaners on the south side of Garden Grove Blvd, west of Harbor facing GG blvd. There was also a musical instrument store across from that on GG blvd. Both are long gone.

    The Love's Steak House has been gone for about 15 years now. ("When you're in Love's, the whole world's delicious"). The 22 fwy has been widened. The Del Taco became a Boston Market, and is now a Bank of America. Lucky's is now Albertson's. There was a plaza on the NW side of Harbor right after the start of the bend that had a supermarket, but I can't remember the name of the Market.

    Belisle's (The pink restaurant on the west side of Harbor, before Chapman) was put out of business in 1995. They used to have a guy standing there to wave people in, as I remember. I think all of the homes that faced Harbor in that area are gone too.


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