Growing Up at El Morrow Beach.
Transcript: My name's Robin Bank and I want to tell about growing up in California, spending many years at the beach. I think it's a unique experience in California, being so near the beach, especially Southern California where it's so swimable and you can go to the beach pretty much any time year round. I want to tell about how we grew up at El Morro Beach. It's not too far north of Laguna Beach and when I was about 6, my family bought a trailer there. It was a little vacation home for us and we spent pretty much every weekend and most of the summer there from then on. Growing up there and spending out summers at the beach was unique because you would basically just do that all day long, you would be at the beach. You'd wake up in the morning, you'd have breakfast and you'd go to the beach. You'd come up or maybe you'd bring your lunch to the beach or come up to the trailer for lunch and then you'd go back to the beach. We would spend hours in the water playing in the sun.
Transcript: [I'm] Woody Bowersock, I live in Laguna Woods Village - that's one of the reasons I picked that particular location because of the proximity to a swimming pool. Swimming is my favorite recreation.
I grew up in Milwaukee. As a twelve year old freshman in high school I was still somewhat leery about going in the water. I finally visited an aunt on her farm up in northern Wisconsin, and every day after they worked in the fields, I went with the family down to a nearby creek, probably three and a half feet [to] four feet deep. They never could get me in until almost the end of the summer.
I did go out for the swimming team when I was in high school. But I never made the team. I went on to college and continued my interest in swimming and became the chairman of intramural swimming for the college and ran the annual inter-class swim meet.
I came to California as a teacher. I went to see a meet and I enjoyed watching it, so I thought I'm going to try this. I did finally get so I was winning a few and set a record or two and kept on. I have been swimming in the Master's program for forty years.
I know one of my records that I set at 85 did not for ten years. At one time I held twelve or thirteen world records in different events in my age groups and a number of records in the 85 to 90 year age group that are still unbroken and a couple in the over 90. I'm of a competitive spirit. When I get in a race, I give it my best shot and I broke the mile record in the 90 age group and the following year I swam it again and broke my own record by over a minute. I think that was one of the reasons I ended up being in the International Swimming Hall of Fame.
Twenty years ago I was in a swim meet, and it was a three day meet. It was the local championships and I swam in eleven different events in three days and I got ten gold medals and one silver. The one silver was for one of the three relays that we swam.
I used to warm up by swimming a mile - easy pace - just to loosen up and get my body fit. As you get older it takes a little longer to warm-up (laughs). That was the start of my workouts for many years, but I've tapered off since then.
I have the records in the free-style all the way up to, and including, the mile, from the 50 yards to 50 meters to the 1650 yards to meters and also, I think I have all the records in the backstroke too. I think that was for the 70 [to] 74 year [old] age group for outstanding swimmer of the year.
Last August, we got the remnants of our old relay team together and we set five world records in the 90 and over age group for records in free-style and medley relay. I should tell you (laughs) that we have Walt Pfeiffer, who lives in Mission Viejo, [and] he does the butterfly for us. He cannot walk unaided. He has to use a walker to walk. He can't get up in the starting blocks to dive in. He falls in the water but he does a 200-meter butterfly. There are four of us [and] we've been together for many years.
Frank L. Buchanan.
A Wonderful Life.
Transcript: My name is Frank L. Buchanan, senior. I was born in St. Louis, Missouri, April 22, 1912. Entertaining was just born in me. I sang in high school, I've done over thirty big movies, fifteen times TV, and I'm still going.
The family moved to Los Angeles. I started school there in Los Angeles - 9 years old. At twelve years old, I was in a show at the Sabor Theater on Central Avenue. I learned a song from "My Pretty Snow Deer." It was taught me by a man who was boarding in our house. In that contest I got first prize and the prizes in those days was a bag of groceries - no money, just groceries.
I graduated in 1926 at Jefferson High School. I was eligible to take the civil service exam for the L.A. Fire Department. So I became a L.A. fireman. I took charge of Engine 14 and Engine 30 on Central Avenue in Los Angeles. Twenty-eight years later I retired from the L.A. Fire Department as an acting battalion chief. The main reason why I retired was, I had fallen down one time on a fire [call] and broke my back and for six months I was in a cast. So from then on (laughs) all I was doing was one movie after the next and shows - oh God, I belonged to nine big clubs in the Los Angeles area - and I was always going to do a show or be interviewed.
I gave Mitzi Gaynor flowers at one of her shows in Las Vegas. I sat next to Martha Raye while we watched her daughter perform for an audition [for] a movie. Then I met up with Timothy Carey and through Timothy Carey I joined the movie business and I produced a big movie called, "Ladies of Pasadena". In that movie, I did five different roles.
So then later on, I met up with Milton Berle and he introduced me to his brother, Jack Berle. Jack Berle and I did dozens and dozens of movies together and it was just a wonderful life for us.
OCDS_001.006 & OCDS_001.007
My Grandfather's Banjo.
Transcript: My story is about someone I never really knew, my grandfather, Bill Jennings. He was born around 1902 in Washington D.C. and grew up in the Philippines. He came to California and he was, um, he came to California when he was about 14 after his father died. He lived in Los Angeles and raised his family in Huntington Park. He died the year I was born in 1979. I know him through pictures, stories, and artifacts from his life. His life was an adventure. He grew up in the Philippines, spent a lot of time in Indonesia, and traveled around the world. He loved living in California where so many of the cultures he knew, and grew up with, were still around him.
My story today is about something I have of his, his banjo. It represents a part of his life here in California before he had children, so about 1930. I found it in our garage after my mom died. I wanted to have it restrung so that I could learn how to play it. I took it to a guitar shop in downtown Huntington Beach. Everyone in the shop was cool, more so than I will ever be. Punk and grunge kids were everywhere. I was suddenly embarrassed about my banjo. I soon felt much better when a long haired grunge kid told me how special my rare Gibson banjo is. I then embraced the banjo player from within. I carried it with me about my moves across the state and finally embarked on learning how to play it when I started graduate school. I felt like I was able to connect with my grandfather and learn a bit about history while I took these lessons. I learned that his banjo was used mostly for jazz, popular during that time period in the 1930's. I also learned about the history of the instrument itself dating back to Africa. When I look at the banjo today I feel that it represents a melding of culture and time, and for me, it represents a connection to the past that I would not have otherwise.
OCDS_001.002 & OCDS_001.003
Cupcakes in the Desert.
Transcript: In the early 1900's my grandfather, Guy Maddox, used to drive a mule team across the Mojave Desert. He passed through the area of 29 Palms often and sometime during the 20's he homesteaded 5 acres of land there. My father was born in 29 Palms along with his two sisters Arlene and Alice May. This story was told to me by my Aunt Arlene and took place there on the homestead. One day my grandfather and grandmother hitched up the wagon to go in to town for some supplies. This was a long trip and it meant that they would not return home until after night fall. One of the rules my grandparents had for the kids is that there could be no cooking on the stove while they were away. It was a wood burning stove and naturally was dangerous. Well, this day my aunts couldn't wait for my grandfather and grandmother to leave cause they were planning to disobey and make some cupcakes. As soon as the wagon was out of sight, they fired up the stove, mixed up the cupcakes and plopped them in the oven. My aunts had just brought the cupcakes out to cool when they looked out and down the road they saw the wagon coming back. Panicked, they ran outside and buried the cupcakes in the sand at the back of the house. Well, they could hide the cupcakes, but they couldn't hide the heat from the wood stove or the smell of fresh baking. I never did find out exactly what happened, but I know my grandparents were pretty strict so I'm sure there were some sore bottoms in the house that night. Whatever punishment they got, it was better than burning the house down.
My High Spirited Grandmother and the Long Beach Earthquake.
Transcript: This is the story about my high-spirited grandmother and the Long Beach earthquake. My grandmother, Helen, and my grandfather, Glen moved from Eu Claire, Wisconsin to Long Beach, California in the late 1920's. My grandmother was called high-spirited and she was a bit of a flapper. I have a photo taken of her in which she and my grandfather drove up to Lake Tahoe. This must have been circa 1929 and in the picture my grandmother is sitting on the spare tire on the back of the car. Her stockings are rolled down, her skirt is hiked up, and she looks like she's having a wonderful time. Anyway, on the back of the photo, she has written to her sister, my Great Aunt Edith, "Very immodest but no one to see but the cactus – I'm a wild woman." Included is a note that says "Taken on the way to Lake Tahoe way up in the mountains."
So, a few years later after my mom was born, these grandparents were still living in Long Beach during the big earthquake in 1933. The story is that after the quake, there were lots of strong aftershocks, so they camped out in their backyard until the house was safer. My Great Aunt Edith told me that my Grandmother tried to keep up their spirits by singing camp songs and pretending they were on vacation. I'm sorry to say I never met my grandmother. She had very bad asthma and the medical treatment was not very advanced back then. So in spite of their hope that the beautiful California climate might help her asthma, she passed away in 1936.
One Box of Books.
Transcript: I'm Irma Franklin and I came to California in 1937. I moved to Leisure World when I retired in 1969 from the LA City school system. I heard about the library almost the first day I arrived because my neighbor was associated with the library and she encouraged me to volunteer which I did the second week I was here.
We were occupying a small building that had been a snack shack, the snack shack was needed because there was no restaurant nearby, it was all glass, and it had a roof leaked when it rained and we were badly in need of more space and more protection for books. There was no other library service nearby; you had to go to Laguna Beach. Not only was the presence of a library a selling point, but it gave the new resident a place to deposit all the extra books they he had brought. The library had a large collection of books, various natures, because the early books were all donations, a surplus that had been brought down by the new residents. A piece was put in the paper saying "If you have too many books, bring them to a location by the swimming pool and you could take a book" and it soon got out of hand because if they took a book, one book, they brought, they perhaps brought a dozen and we needed a larger building to accommodate this overflow. We applied for the funds to enlarge and secure our collection of books. They brought the library two double size trailers from which we operated for over a year while funds were being gathered and the building was being built. It was a challenge to warp our entire library into two trailers but we made the adjustment easily and in no time we had a new building to move into and they discovered they did not have enough money to provide shelving and carpeting. However, we immediately decided that all we needed to do was write a letter to each of the clubs, there were probably over a hundred by then, and in a very short time we had the $18,000 that was needed. The fact that we have a private library is a miracle in itself. It was 1974, I believe before we moved into the new building and that was a joyous time. We had a big celebration and we can say that this library began with one box of books.
A New Library in San Clemente: A Community Celebrates.
Transcript: I became the Branch Manager of San Clemente library in December of 1978. Located in a small building in a residential neighborhood, everyone from the City to the County agreed that we needed a new library. So the City purchased the land and the County contributed $800,000. And, with everyone working together, the library was approved, designed, constructed, and opened.
Our grand opening was in June of 1982. What a spectacular day! We had a parade from the old library to the new. Early in the process, it was decided that the facility should be a combined library and senior citizens center. No other county had this combination, but we thought it would work and it did. It has worked, over the years, very well for us.
The community was so excited about the new facility. We had encouraged donations from all the community's service organizations and we had them all displayed in the library, so everyone really felt like they were part of things.
We had a huge, huge party to open the library with the Marine Corps band and all the service clubs, all the children carrying books. And it was just an absolutely wonderful day and the library has been a great success ever since.
A Dream Fulfilled.
Transcript: Hi there! My name is Ray Holloway and I am a cowboy. I was born and raised in Porterville, CA. I was born in my grandmother's large home on the banks of the Tuley River and that's where I've stayed most of my life. I think that I've wanted to be a cowboy from the time I was about 3 years old and I think, I think the first introduction I had to it was with my Uncle and Aunt that had this Pack station up in the mountains and they packed people back into the back country on horseback and packed the things in on mules and so I got to spend a week every year, that was promised to me, I think it was over Labor Day with my cousin Jack and he taught me to fish and taught me to ride and taught me to play and taught me how to coax the coyotes to howl at night around the campfire when we'd sit around the campfire which we had every night, that was our, that was our recreation for the day.
From age 12 to age 16 I trained a horse and by the time I was 16 I had the horse trained quite well and in the summertime I would borrow my father's truck and I would jump the horse into the back of the truck and haul him up to the mountains and pack back in. I got a job on a large cattle ranch up in the foothills above our country about 6500 acres and we kept very close to about 1000 cattle up there. Then it was managed by an old cowboy from Texas and he had taught me the things I had wanted to know all my life. He taught me to rope, he taught me to ride, he taught me to brand, and he taught me to vaccinate, taught me to grease windmills and I'd really attained the skills of a cowboy.
When I first got in to the movies, the first picture I worked on was one with Red Skelton, we called it "Excuse My Dust" and it was such fun! It was on the back lot of MGM and we all had, we all had this chorus where we sang "Get a horse, Mister, Get a horse!" and then I worked on the submarine picture with John Wayne, I shook hands with both Roy Rogers and Gene Autry.
I got a call from Central Casting one day and it asked me to come down and interview, if I would, for a non-speaking part in a film by Steven Segal called "Glimmerman" and they auditioned me and gave me the job. I went back after I came to live in Leisure World, but in the meantime, I just got to be a professional auctioneer and I then got back in the cattle business and a couple of friends and I had 10 or 15,000 acres of grassland between Fresno and the Oregon border and we ran cattle all over Northern California. It was just like being in Bonanza. I really achieved what I wanted to be when I was 3 years old, I fulfilled my desire, my life was complete, I was a cowboy and it was like living in Bonanza and we just drove from one ranch to the other just "Whoopee!"
Transcript: Hi there, My name is Ray Holloway and I'm a cowboy. By the time I was about 4 or 5 years old, I was set. I couldn't think of being anything else but a cowboy. I got a job on a large cattle ranch up in the foothills above our country about 6500 acres. One of the neighbors up there started seeing us local people around there and started writing a play that included us as individuals and he included me as a cowboy. So I went to the barn theater and took my place and did my lines and after one of the performances the manager came to me and said Ray he says "There was a talent scout here from Paramount Pictures here last night and he wants to know if you'd like to come down and do a stage test." And I said "Well, why not?" Milton introduced me to a man named Mr. Sherman and Mr. Sherman said "Soo, you wanna do Westerns, eh?" And I said "Well, Yes sir, I think that might be a pretty good idea." And said "Well let's go over to my studio and talk about it" and he said "William Boyd has bought up all the TV rights to my movies and I haven't made a dime, but I'm gonna come back strong because I'm gonna develop a new series and I'm looking for someone to be a lead in my new series" and he said, "I kinda like your looks and he said Can you bring your horse down?" I said "Yeah I could do that." So I went home, loaded up my horse, came to Hollywood and pulled him up into the Hollywood Hills and there was the whole crew ready to film my ride. We did riding tests and I got off and I got on and I smiled and I knelt down and did one thing and another and said "Cut! That's great! Great!" He said "I really like ya, but he said I'm not quite ready yet." And so he said "I will allow you to get in the screen extras guild so you can learn what the business is all about." For almost the next almost a year or so I got in there with some of the old timers like John Wayne and Glenn Ford, Jennifer Jones and the fellow we all called Larry, well we found out Larry was really Lawrence Olivia before he became a serb. Finally Mr. Sherman called me in one day and he said "We are ready to go!" He said "I've got the scripts," he said "I've got the financing," he said "I want you to go home and I'll be up and discover you in about six weeks." Well, in two weeks I picked up the LA Times, looked at the headlines and it said "Famous Movie Producer Dies of Emergency Surgery." I thought uh-oh, happy trail to me.
Early Music Education.
Transcript: My name is Helen Lyon and I moved to California in 1931 to go to USC and to get a degree in Music Education and, at that time, the Los Angeles schools were at the top of the list as being the best school system in the United States.
I taught in the junior high for one year and then I was asked to become a music supervisor on a probationary basis and for the next thirty-two years, I was a music supervisor in the Los Angeles schools. We would have a music teacher for two schools, once in awhile even three, but all the larger schools had a full time music teacher.
The classroom teacher, as well as the music teacher, was for a music program because of what it did to the children. It gave them a chance to express themselves. When I'd go into a second grade class, the boys and girls would open their books and I'd say, "Have you ever seen this song before"?
"Sing it for us".
And they'd read it right off.
The most rewarding thing in my school experience was seeing how the children could learn and advance so rapidly. Learning seemed to be such an easy process for them.
I had seventy schools and every year I would choose four choruses which were outstanding and they would perform at Hollywood High School. And KCET would always come out and record it for television. Also, a record company would record their program and, of course, all of the parents would then buy records. And it was a great privilege to be one of the four choruses singing and having your performance recorded.
They felt so proud to be one of the children that was asked to sing there and I might add that every year I had all of the choruses get together with other choruses in the junior high schools and the choruses that didn't get to sing at Hollywood High School would sing, would have a concert of their own. And they attracted a crowd. They were very proud.
It was my privilege to work with some very good teachers who knew the reason for teaching as they did and that is so important.
Luckily, when I moved to Freedom Village, I was shown this apartment and the lady who showed it to us says, "Your piano can go right in there".
I said, "I'll take the apartment. That's great! I'll take it"!
She Needed a College Education.
Lisa Pedral: How did you come to San Clemente?
Edith Nelson: (Laughs) Well I thought that my husband was going to have a job there - it turned out that he didn't. But we had traveled and moved so many times that I decided we'd stay until the children were all done with school. That was about 1975. So we got in, in time—(Laughs) bought my house in time.
LP: And you were a schoolteacher in El Toro, correct?
EN: That's right. The funny part of it is that I was the only girl in my family who went to college. My brothers, of course, went, but my sisters didn't and they must have known I was going to have to support myself (laughs), even in my old age.
A California Stewardess in the 1940s.
Lisa Pedral: Grams, tell me about when you were [inaudible] the stewardess.
Edith Nelson: I was teaching school and it seemed kind of dull, so I was reading all the want-ads and I came across this want-ad for stewardesses and I decided I'd go to New York just for the heck of it to see what was up. So I went in and they were picking five girls out of a whole roomful of girls and of course, [they weren't] satisfied until I was one of the five (laughs).
Then we went to stewardess school in Chicago - this was United Stewardess School and this was the graduation picture of all the stewardesses who graduated [video shows photograph]. We got our uniforms actually fitted just to us and we got them from, really just the best tailor in Chicago. So they really did outfit us well.
Then I asked for California, because I thought, well I'd never been there and I wanted to see what it was all about. So after graduation here, I got sent to California.
LP: Was this picture [holding photograph] with [San Francisco] Mayor Lapham - was that in the newspaper, what was the picture that taken for?
EN: Yes, that was in the newspaper. We took the chamber of commerce for a flight around the Bay Area and served them lunch on the airplane and we cooked, if you could imagine, steaks (laughs) on a little cooking thing we had there, but we had very glamorous lunches for them.
LP: When you first became a stewardess you were stationed in San Francisco.
EN: Yes, I was stationed in San Francisco.
LP: What year was that?
EN: Well, that would have been [nineteen] forty-three.
LP: Do you remember that glamorous hotel in San Francisco when you first move there?
EN: (Laughs) Yeah
LP: Do you want to tell that story?
EN: (Laughs) You mean when I fell downstairs?
LP: (Laughs) Yeah
EN: I was meeting a fellow that I knew [who was] in the army - navy, actually - and he couldn't take liquor on the boat. It wasn't allowed. And so he had given me his bottle of liquor and I was supposed to bring it and meet him back at the hotel after dinner. I came in through the front door and slipped and fell down (laughs) a whole flight of stairs, with the bottle rolling after me and things were different [in that era], we got all dressed up in a little black dress to go to San Francisco.
The Daring Times of Transocean Airlines
(as told by Edith Nelson and Grandaughter, Lisa Pedral).
Transcript: [Text: "Founded by Orvis Nelson, Transocean Airlines was in operation from 1946-1960"]
Lisa: And how did you get involved with Transocean?
Edith: My husband at that time was a pilot for United and I was the stewardess. We flew together and he knew the fellows at United very well. He went in and was talking to United and they told him that they had a subcontract - they didn't want it - to fly and he said, "Why don't you let me try it?", and they said, "Well, if you can be flying within two weeks, why, you can have the contract". So he got on the phone and – because every pilot who was over in San Francisco was looking for a job and came out. We just hired them really by Orvis just saying, you know, "Where did you fly? All right, you're on", and that's the way we hired everyone and got started.
Lisa: So Transocean was based out of Oakland?
Edith: So it was based out of Oakland. Yes.
Lisa: And can you tell me a little bit about the picture with the Transocean plane going over the Golden Gate Bridge?
Edith: I guess that was just one of our planes and we wanted a picture of it.
Lisa: This is actually a picture that was in Time magazine, right?
Lisa: And you guys lived close by?
Edith: MmmHmm. MmmHmm [agrees].
Lisa: In Danville.
Edith: Danville [nods].
Lisa: How long did you guys live in Danville for?
Edith: A couple of years. Unfortunately we lost the land in Danville. We lost the airline. [We] had put everything into the airline, land, and everything. We lost that.
Lisa: And there's actually a museum that has, that's all about Transocean, right?
Edith: Well, it has room for Transocean. It is about just aviation in general.
Lisa: At the Oakland airport. And how many people did Transocean employ at their highest…?
Edith: Yeah, I think at the top they had 6,000 worldwide because we didn't fly in a lot of places and a lot of flights at the last minute, you know [laughs]? Something would just come up and so we'd just do it.
Lisa: And they still meet for reunions, everyone from Transocean. Every year in Oakland.
Edith: We do! Yes. In Oakland [laughs]. Or some place. We still get together. Because, you know, it was a crowd of young people and everybody was gung-ho. And actually, when we were losing the airline, then everyone said, well, they would put money in and all this and go without pay and... We really did have a good crowd that really wanted to make a go of it.
Marion Miller Neuberger.
I Was a Spy for the FBI.
Transcript: My name is Marion Miller Neuburger. My story begins back in 1950. I considered myself an average American housewife and mother who lived in West Los Angeles with my husband, Paul and my two children. One day I picked up the mail and I found an invitation for the Los Angeles Committee for the Protection of the Foreign Born. And I asked my husband "Have you ever heard about this?" and he read the letter and turned around to me and said "Marion, I think this is real communist propaganda." Then I phoned the FBI, I told them about the letter and immediately they seemed very interested and said "Marion may we come out to see you?" I said "Of course." When he came out and he was tall and very good looking, I could hardly resist it. And he said "Well what we'd like you to do is to go and listen to what is being said at the meeting and if, just, if you can to take notes or try to remember everything you can." I said "How can I do that, I can't even play poker without people knowing I have an ace in my hand. How can I be able to disguise myself?" He said "Well, I suggest you take your knitting with you, you're bag with knitting and just knit & pearl until the meeting is over." And so I did with great trepidation and just my strange luck I sat next to a woman and she was the executive secretary at that time. While I'm listening very carefully to everything and I hear a lot of things that greatly disturb me, a man stood up and said "I'm Frank Carlson and I'm secretary of the communist party for the county of Los Angeles. We think this is a great organization, we'd like you to join, we're going to give $50!" And so I excused myself and went to the restroom and took out my pen and pad and wrote down as much as I can remember. When I came back, delphine said to me she said "Marion do you type?" I said "Yes, I am able to." She said "We'd like you to come down to our office, we're very short of help." When I got home that afternoon, late afternoon I sat down and wrote a long 3 page single spaced copy of what I had heard and what I thought the FBI should know, everything I could remember. They were very, very impressed with that. And I said "You know, they've asked me to come down and do volunteer work in their office." Well, the FBI was just delighted, they said "It would be a great service to us if you could do this."
This was October 1950. President Truman had just sent our troops overseas to protect South Korea. So I thought just because I was a woman I had no right to refuse if I could do something to stop communism at home. I started going down regularly and working in the office and I was able to get information for the FBI.
After 2 years, one of the functionaries came over to our house and said "We want you to join the communist party." Well the communists thought that I was dedicated and they liked they what I was doing and so everything went along fine. One day I get a call from Washington and the man identified himself as an attorney from the department of justice specifically before the subversive activities control board. He said "We are ready now to hear your testimony." So I did go to Washington and then I wrote a book and the book called "I Was a Spy in 1961." Shortly after writing this book, Ronald Reagan called my husband and invited us to come to his home and to have dinner with him and his wife Nancy. He wanted to discuss the possibility of using my story to portray his General Electric Theater. He wanted to portray my husband's role himself. It was very exciting and thrilling because Ronald Reagan was always one of my favorite movie stars.
OC Public Libraries.
I AM...Orange County.
Transcript: I am California of the Past. I am Orange County.
I am California of the Past. I am Orange County. I hear the waves rolling off the San Clemente shore. I see the sparkling variances of the blue ocean each day.
I am California of the Past. I am Orange County. I remember the orange blossoms and the warm California air. I remember the miles of citrus groves before there were any houses.
I am California of the Past. I am Orange County. I am Laguna Beach in the summertime with my parents and my brother and sometimes dog. I am fond memories of going to the beach in the summer enjoying a fish taco watching the sunset.
I am California of the Past. I am Orange County. I see miles and miles of sandy beaches. I smell a lot cleaner air than I'm used to.
I am California of the Past. I am Orange County. I remember the strawberry fields that filled a whole area between Harbor Blvd. and Chapman. I remember the wonderful taste of those juicy strawberries.
I am California of the Past. I am Orange County.
Transcript: I'm Beryl Peterson. Fifty years ago I moved to California. It was traumatic experience, it was a happy move for my husband's promotion, but I was leaving a much loved bookstore job in Seattle. After a few months, I'd get lonesome for a bookstore and went prowling around and found Dick and Marion Hunter's Bookstore in Beverly Hills. Dick and Marion had established a very warm, friendly, neighborhood type bookstore and it was a very happy choice. However, Dick & Marion wanted to retire to their country home down on Palomar Mountain so they soon sold it, and the new buyer, new owner moved the store across the street to 400 N. Rodeo which, as everyone who knows books, recognizes as the place to get the books. We had a very good general bookstore, but my favorite department was the art department, art and architecture, coffee table type books, history, and biography of all kinds. It was exciting to see the book shipments come in every, well every season but best sellers. The bookstore was a fun place to work because everyone there loved handling books, could be happy taking books out of boxes, I think. Anyway, at that time our clientele was made up so much of the early day movie people, stars like Clark Gable, and Haryl Lloyd, and Merle Lloyd, Betty White, Burns and Allen, all were familiar customers in our shop. Katherine Hepburn was a welcome customer. She would come down early in the morning before we were really open, come in the back door and pick out an arm load of books with Spencer Tracy. I can't imagine living in Beverly Hills without having had the chance to work at Hunter's Books. It was such a fun place to work, such a rewarding place to work. You enjoyed the people, and you enjoyed the books and just as the sidelight, you couldn't help but learning a lot. It's too bad Hunter's is no longer in Beverly Hills, it was such a vital part of Rodeo Dr., North Rodeo. It was such fun to give people so much pleasure in their spending.
Sequoia in the Summer.
Transcript: Hi my name is Kathy Rogers. I have lived in California since I was 6 years old. One of my favorite places in California is Sequoia National Park and we started going there right after my oldest son was adopted, he was 6 years old and we would go every summer with another family who had 2 adopted children themselves and every summer we would take a week and go up and rent one of the housekeeping cabins and don't really do a lot of sitting around, a lot of hiking, we make the kids walk up to sunset rock, we made them walk the meadows, we did all kinds of things with them, which I'm not sure they really liked but they had, we all had a good time having them do it. Some of my favorite memories of Sequoia are sitting out at Sunset Rock cooking hot dogs on the fire or over the fire and sitting and eating. Every night we would have bear patrol where we would sit out on the porch and just kinda sit and listen for bears to come by. Once in a while we were brave enough to stay out there when they came by but most of the time we were inside. Sequoia was a very restful and serene place for us. We've tried other national parks and there was always too many people and this became kind of like a second summer home for us, even if it was only for a week the boys got to spend time together and they did it in a place that was beautiful and quiet and that we all loved.
Pallie Jean & the Earthquake of 1933.
[My name is] Pallie Jean Bosworth Stenzel. [I'm] a native California and my mother was from Canada and my dad was from Iowa and they met at a church in Long Beach. My granddad and grandmother from Iowa had moved out here as well and he was basically - had been - a farmer, but he could build anything and that's what he loved to do. So he and my dad had built the house that I grew up in. So that's where I grew up, in Naples [Island, Long Beach].
In regard to the earthquake which happened in 1933 when I was about four and a half years old - the memories I have, there are few that really stayed with me, maybe because they were repeated over the years or maybe they were just so impressed in my memory. It was a perfectly nice day, I wasn't school age yet and my dad and I had gone to an after-school play that my sister was in. I remember it being said that the teacher noticed that the children were getting very restless - everybody was just unsettled - so she cut out a large part of the play. And we left - everybody left - earl[ier] than [we] had expected to. So we drove home and all three of us were in the front seat of a coop. We had driven to our house and kind of tooted the horn for Mother to come out and open the garage door. We were just waiting, and I can still remember Mother reaching for the garage door when all of a sudden my and my sister just fell over on me, just squashed me again the side door. And I can remember being so upset that they could do this to me [I was thinking], just get off me.
When we all did get out, of course my dad and mother and [sister] Virginia knew that it was an earthquake that had struck and just that first shock had pushed me - pushed us all - back and forth. I quickly learned what it was, because there were a number of aftershocks that went on for days, as a matter of fact--So we kind of pulled ourselves together and proceeded into the house and every cupboard and drawer and closet, the door was open, everything was just thrown out on the floor--(Laughs) Mother never did replace all her glassware and all our plates and so on - and in every room [everything], including a very large, old-fashioned radio that stood up high on its legs, was turned completely over on its head and we just never could figure out what kind of a jolt and sway had caused that.
A Navy Man Drops Anchor in San Clemente or The Story of Sam's Shoes.
Transcript: My name is Sam Tiberi. I was born and raised in Butler, Pennsylvania and I've always been in the shoe business. The shoe repair business, I should say. I started that out as a young kid, it was a novelty thing because I was shining shoes, just a little fella. But I learned to be a shoe repairman and I was a Journeyman then.
Never ran out of a job. Came to Oceanside one night, needed my shoes fixed for inspection and the fellow that owned the place said he was too busy, couldn't do it.
I said, "Would you mind if I did them myself"?
Of course, he looked a this wise-guy nineteen year old. "Sure. Go ahead", and he watched me. He said, "Well, you've done that before".
"Oh, yeah. Once or twice, you know".
And then, "Well, why don't you come to work here"?
Well, I didn't know you could do that and still be in the Navy. So I started moonlighting there. Worked through that.
Well, as time went on, I got married and stayed in Oceanside with them and then didn't want to stay there too much longer. It was two brothers and [they] didn't want to work there, so I told the one, the older, brother, "Why don't you buy this little shoe shop in San Clemente"?; which a little Englishman that was a draftsman started the shoe shop but really didn't know how to fix shoes.
Long story short - I went to two of the suppliers that he owed money to and I said I would assume his bills, which were a couple hundred dollars a piece, if they would let me take over the shop. Well, they had nothing to lose because they weren't getting anything from him.
This is December, 1953. Opened up Little Sam's Shoe Repair and stayed in that building which in only about twelve by fourteen. It was very small.
But, at that time, there was many thousands of Marines at Camp Pendleton so I start repairing Marine boots. And we would get them in a company at a time, two hundred to two hundred and fifty pair in an evening. So I would take care of the local business during the day then fix boots all night long.
But we expanded from there down to another store down the street just a little ways, but that was unfortunate because then there was a beauty shop there and the owner lived upstairs. Well, I was trying to fix shoes at two [or] three o'clock in the morning and that didn't go over too good.
Anyhow, time went on and we moved into where the post office is now. And in order to do that, to pay the extra rent, I put in some shoes. Well, thank the good lord [and the] good people of San Clemente, it became a success. We've got a good shoe business and shoe repair business.
1963, I moved into where I am now. Dropped anchor. I have my two sons working with me.
Two Sams and the Band.
My name is Sam Tiberi, I was raised in Butler, Pennsylvania. I was in the high school band and had a little dance band during World War II and wanted to further my music career so I joined the navy and they promised that I would go to Washington, D.C. and Navy Band, but that I had to go through boot camp first. Well I did that. At Great Lakes I was in the drum and bugle corps, kept my jobs up all through that. [I] came out of boot camp—supposed to go to Washington, D.C. [but] that didn't happen. Instead I was sent to San Diego, California, Hospital Corps School, which is the medics for the Navy and Marine Corps. [I] graduated from there and was transferred to Camp Pendleton Naval Hospital and that's where I spent over four years.
In the mean time, a fellow started a municipal band in San Clemente and found out that I was a trumpet player, so he came in and coaxed me to go play. Well, I hadn't touched it in eighteen years, the valves were supposedly stuck, but after going down and listening to a rehearsal one night, my foot started tapping and I wondered if I could. So I tried it out and I spent about a month trying to get [inaudible]
Anyhow I went into the municipal band and we did a lot of civic things around town. We would play for the Fiesta, and [there are] pictures of us marching up Del Mar Avenue, which was terrible because we were all too old to do that and we got too hot. It's a wonder we didn't pass out.
There were some other fellows in the band and said, "Well why don't we start our own dance band?" And I [said], "Ah, get out. We can't do that." One fellow had stands, and he had some combo orc[hestra] books which were good for dancing, so we started a dance band and it was called the "Royal Knights." Actually, it was named by my son because we played mostly for the Knights of Columbus, which at that time, the Catholic church was where the [municipal] golf course is now. There was a big hall and we played there with sour notes and had a lot of fun [as] it progressed.
During that time, a fellow came in the store one day and [said], "I understand you have a dance band. I play tenor sax, baritone. I do a little vocal. I wonder if you might need me." And I, real smartly, said, "Well, we rehearse on Wednesday night if you'd like to come try out, we'll see what you can do." He came and he took his saxophone out of box and started to warm up and I knew that we were dead. This man was fantastic. He was doing arpeggios up and down and all over the place. We said, "Wait a minute, we're the amateurs." And he said, "No, no, no." He'd been around. He played with big bands in New York.
It was a great novelty thing, he actually was the man that was the model for [the] "I Want You" Uncle Sam [poster] from World War I. His name was Walter Botts and he was the original Uncle Sam. He played for me for years. He and his wife both taught piano, music [to] a lot of children around town. And I had a great time with him. The man passed away and I missed him terribly because he was just a great musician and a great person.
Transcript: My name is James Arwol (?) Tsutsui. My parents were immigrants from Japan and they decided to settle in the Los Angeles area in the early 1900's. They raised a family of 7 children. We were all born in Los Angeles and we all attended school in Los Angeles.
On December 7, 1941, I was a 16 year-old high school student. I was working on the weekends in a produce market that was part of a supermarket in Long Beach. That fateful morning found me working on a fruit display in the produce section. A couple walked up to me and the gentleman, with an odd look on his face, said "I hear you guys were bombing at Pearl Harbor" I looked at him and I said "No, I wasn't bumming around, I don't even know where Pearl Harbor is!" And his wife said "Come on, hun, let's get out of here" and they walked away. I was mulling in my mind what he had said and I was trying to place where Pearl Harbor was. Just about then one of the butchers was listening to the news on the radio turned the volume up real high and we heard the news "Japs bombing Pearl Harbor and attacking Hawaii." When the impact of the news hit me, I sat on the floor and covered my face with my hands and I wondered "What's ever gonna become of us?"
It wasn't too long before we found out. In February of 1942, a executive order was issued by President Roosevelt, the order said that all persons of Japanese ancestry were to be excluded from the West Coast and that included American citizens as I was.
In April we were given two weeks notice to get ready to leave our homes. My father was at a gas station and he was leave the inventory of the station and all his equipment and tools were left in the care of a neighbor. As I remember, his name was Vasquez. Well, that was the last time we ever saw Mr. Vasquez.
On the day of departing our homes, we gathered at St. Mary's Episcopal Church where I went to Sunday school. We gathered at St. Mary's in a motorcade. The motorcade was about 2 blocks long and we were escorted by military police through the streets of Los Angeles to Arcadia where the Santa Anita racetrack is located. On the way to Santa Anita we would see groups of people jeering at us as we drove by. We drove through a large barb wire gate at Santa Anita and we saw row upon row of barracks which turned out to be our homes. We were there until later end of year that we were shipped to more permanent quarters or what was called relocation centers.
Life at Santa Anita.
Transcript: While at Santa Anita to keep us busy we were given work to do. There was a great number of people working on camouflage nets for the armed forces. These nets were huge nets that hung from the ceiling of the stadium down to the stadium floor and as colored burlap strips were woven into this netting, it was raised.
I was working on a gardening crew and we were assigned to trim a huge hedge. It was an oleander hedge that lined the northern perimeter of the track and there was a chain link fence that was 8 or 10 feet tall with barb wire on top. We were given makeshift ladders that were made out of 2x4's and given lopping sheers and hedge sheers to trim the oleander. One day I was up on the ladder and I was clopping the Oleander and of course the oleander would grow outside the fence and I was leaning over the fence trying to top the oleander when I heard a voice say "Get back inside that fence!" And there I saw an armed guard, a military policeman. And I said "all I'm trying to is trim the oleanders like we were told to do and the only way to trim is to reach over" at which point he worked the bolt of his rifle chamber around and brought his rifle up to ready and said "I told you to get back inside that fence." Well, naturally I climbed right down and I put down my lopping shears and I didn't work anymore that day. That was the first time ever I had a gun pointed at me.
On another occasion, someone happened to look back towards the stadium and noticed that all the camouflage nets had all been lowered at the same time, which was quite unusual. We knew something was going on so we left our tools there and ran to the main part of the camp. And there we found turmoil. People milling about and the excitement was caused by word that had gotten out that the interior police force which was a private police force on the guys looking for contraband were going through the barracks and the stables where we were housed and they were stealing valuables from the evacuees.
Life After Internment.
Transcript: I graduated in February of '44. While in April I received notice from my draft board to report to Omaha, Nebraska for my pre-induction physical. After I got my 1-A, a man interviewed me and asked me what branch of service I preferred and I said, well, I'd like to join the Marines. He looked at me and said "You're Japanese aren't you?" I says "Yes I am." He says "Didn't you know Marines are the only ones fighting the Japanese?" I says "Well, I thought I might come in handy cause I understand a little Japanese." He says, "Well, I appreciate your loyalty" and he took a rubber stamp and he stamped my papers and it said "Classified Service" That meant that I was limited to certain areas of service. Then orders came through for me to report to another white company. The platoon leader came to me and said "Tsutsui I want you to be a squad leader." And I looked at the LT and I said Sir, you know I'm Japanese. He says Yep. He says I know. I said "well, I don't know how the guys will be, you know take to taking orders from me." He looked at me and says "You're an American, aren't ya?" I says "Yes, sir!" He says "You're my squad leader." And upon receiving my discharge from active duty I enlisted for 3 years in the enlisted reserves. In the meantime my wife had moved to New York and she was working in New York as a Belve(?) nurse. So I went to join my wife in New York and I missed the slower pace of living in Los Angeles. So I convinced my wife that we should come back to Los Angeles and start our family here. We came back in Molata Park in 1946. I decided to transfer my family from Los Angeles to Orange County. We bought a home in Santa Ana and this was in 1960. And when he bought it we moved into that home there and there was nothing but farm land all around. It was before all the development started. I the meantime I had worked for a restaurant called Miyako Restaurants. After I left the restaurant in 1980, I went to work for a landscape construction company as sales manager and the largest contract I was able to obtain for the company was the landscaping of Main Place in Santa Ana. And so we moved to Leisure World in the year 2000. I think that's one of the best moves that I've ever made. I belong to the rally(?) young club and you couldn't ask for a better group of guys. We're just one big family like. We have everything we need including wonderful people.
Karen Wilson Turnbull.
Aliso View Grocery.
Transcript: Hello, my name's Karen Turnbul and I'm 4th generation South Laguna and I was going to talk about my grandparents' grocery store they had in South Laguna; it was called the Aliso View Grocery. Grandma and Grandpa had come out from Missouri in 1911 and settled in Los Angeles and then Brea and then they came, they heard the fishing was good down in Laguna. So in 1922, they came down to Laguna Beach and in 1924 they purchased the Aliso View Grocery store which was right on the cliff at Aliso Beach which is a current county park and they built their little grocery and they had a gas pump which was the last gas pump before San Juan Capistrano. They were really very isolated, they were several miles from the rest of the settlers in Laguna. And they ran a camp ground, also. It was 50 cents a day for camping and setting up your tents and then you could buy food and water at the store. And the second summer they were there, they had hoof and mouth disease inland and all the inland parks and recreation areas were closed and everybody came to the beach. They rand out of food in all of Laguna, they ran out of gas, they ran out of water and it was terrible for crowding, terrible out house problems, it was really a mess and on the picture that's attached to this, there will show the back of the store and the out houses and this little tiny square building that looks like a tool shed and that's my fathers old bedroom. He grew up to be a carpenter and architect and he built himself his own bedroom when he was 15 and it's a very cute little addition to the back of the house.
Karen Wilson Turnbull.
Laguna Sea Creature, Are You Out There?
Hi, my name is Karen Wilson Turnbull and I'm a fourth generation South Laguna. I want to tell a story that happened to my grandmother and my father in about 1924 on the beach at Aliso in South Laguna, what's now called Laguna Beach, but in those days it was South Laguna. They were standing on the cliff one day outside their store, that was the Aliso Creek Grocery, and they were just watching the ocean and suddenly they saw this big black neck - something like the shape of a giraffe - and it was black and shiny like a seal and it was floating along, just cruising south along the coast and it was looking at them with big eyes and had funny little tiny ears.
My dad was one of those secure souls and my grandmother only went to the eighth grade in Missouri - she was basically uneducated - but they weren't shocked, they weren't scared. They just said, "Well look at that. What's that beast? That must be something that's come down from Alaska or Canada or some place. We've never seen a fish like this." And they called it a sea horse. They watched it for [about] ten minutes.
[They] told their friends about it and nobody really believed them, but a week later in the San Clemente little local paper there was an article that [reported] two fishermen had seen a great, big neck that came up out of the ocean by their boats and looked up and ate something out of their nets, then swam off. At that time nobody had even heard of the idea of a Loch Ness Monster, they just thought this was a sea horse. Dad told the story over the years, and by the way, my father did not ever exaggerate; he was the most honest person I've met. He didn't get excited about anything. He had a real Bob Newhart, sort of low-key, personality. So we ended with this story and never thought much about it. Then in the nineteen-fifties or sixties, at some point, Life magazine got that little blurry picture - what [people] call the Loch Ness Monster - and put it on the cover. We subscribed to Life magazine and I'll never forget my father running upstairs. He was just shaking [while] pointing to the picture on the cover on the magazine and said, "that's what my mom and I saw when I was a little boy."
Of course, we gave him a lot of grief over the years, but as it turns out, there have been some sightings. [There are] pictures of something that does fit that sort of description - the long, slimy undersea creature. It could have been a giant squid, it could have been anything, but I believe my dad and my grandma. I think that the Loch Ness Monster is alive and well off the coast of California, here in Orange County, and I just hope we find him some day.
Karen Wilson Turnbull.
Nellie Gail Moulton Ranch.
Transcript: "Hello, my name's Karen Wilson Turnbul and I was born here in Orange County. I'm fourth generation Orange County and I wanted to reminisce about my neighbor Nellie Gail Moulton of the Moulton Ranch family. She lived next door to us down in South Laguna. I was in three arch bay, she lived next door but she was actually still on the Moulton Ranch. Her property was a little bit of a, a little zigzag on the property line map into the neighborhood and the cows from the Moulton Ranch were grazing her backyard and that was fun to go see. That property now is all Monarch Bay in Dana Point.
Her husband, Louis Moulton, was a rancher and he owned a huge ranch out in El Toro and he acquired all the land that eventually became Laguna Woods, Leisure World, Laguna Niguel, and Monarch Bay and formed with his partner, Mr. Daguerre, one of the Basque farmers, and he formed the Moulton-Daguerre Ranch. And Mr. Moulton, according to Nellie, my neighbor, he acquired all the land that's now Monarch Bay on the ocean front from a Mexican cowboy. He traded him his pair of silver embossed boots from Spain for 200 acres of ocean front and the man didn't have any shoes and they traded right on the spot and that was the final piece in the jigsaw puzzle of making his ranch.
Karen Wilson Turnbull.
Saddleback College: A Happy Place.
Transcript: Hi, my name is Karen Wilson Turnbul and I was going to tell a little story about how I met my husband. I graduated from Laguna Beach High School in 1968 and I was in the first class out a Saddleback Junior College, the brand new college in the fall of '68 and it was located, that first year, right where Mission Hospital is now and its second year it was moved to its present location. In those days there were only about 400 students, my student number was, and probably still is, 104 and there were so few, there was no faculty lounge, there was no place else to go so everyone got very well acquainted right away. We used to watch cowboys at the Moulton Ranch rounding up cattle and sheep and we could see that from the door of our English class because the ranch still surrounded the campus at that point. Well, I had met a young man named Rick Turnbul and he was flirting with me and giving me rides home once in a while and he wasn't too interested cause I was dating somebody else. Well, one day he walks up to me and he introduces me to a Steve Turnbul, his brother, and he said "I know I was gonna give you a ride home today, but I'm not able to. This is my brother, he would be happy to drive you home," because I didn't have a car at that point, and normally I wouldn't ride with a stranger but school was so small and I had seen this boy walking around with his books and I knew his brother, so I said "OK" and jumped in the car with a stranger. He started giving me a ride home every single day and before we knew it, we were dating and you know, now, 39 years later, we're still happily married. After we had been married about 30 years or so, my husband told me that he paid his brother $5 to go over and tell me that he couldn't give me a ride home because he had seen me on campus and decided that I was the girl he was going to marry. So I have very fond memories of Saddleback, it was just a wonderful, happy place.
OCDS_001.004 & OCDS_01.005
Laling and Charlie.
Transcript: My mom was born and raised in the Philippines. Her name's Laling and my mom was a young window with two young boys. My father was a soldier with the US Army and he was stationed in Manila and some of my dad's buddies from the army knew that my dad was single, my mom was available and so one night, they, his buddies, Chuck's buddies, decided to introduce the two. Well, they dated for a while and my mom and dad fell madly in love and my dad proposed to my mom and asked her to join him in the United States and my mom said "Yes!" So my dad worked with the U.S. Army to make arrangements to have my mom come over, so technically she's a war bride, and they made arrangements for my mom, her two young boys, and my father to come over to the United States on an army transport ship. Well, the way my dad tells it, is my mom never really got to see the light of day because she was always sea sick and so wherever she went about on the ship, she had to take a bucket with her just in case she needed something. But she said it was really worth the time with her new husband and her two boys to come over to the United States.
My mom's port of arrival was Port Segal in San Pedro and she remembers the weather changing. It was a little foggy that day and she said that she was just so excited she could hear and feel her heart filling with joy and excitement that she had arrived in California.