NOTE: Many comments are also included on the 2000 Guestbook, which follows these letters. Click here to go there.
Totally captured by fast drive down Mem'ry Ln today--and now more than ever aware of the many hues of avocado. About ten years older than you and from Sierra Madre, I now live about eight miles outside of Nashville on a 63 acre farm in hilly country settled (after the Indians) by the Paradise family who fled Miss in the 1830s during the Whiskey Rebellion and came to the hills north of Nashville at the headwaters of Whites Creek where the 20 running springs provided the real feedstock for the family stock in trade. And they grew corn, too. Voted at the nearby high school the other day with several Paradises standing right behind me--have not quizzed them (yet) about the real Paradise story.
Sierra Madre was a niche community, a little different than Burbank and the SF Valley. It had been part of a Spanish Land Grant and I went to Sierra Madre Elementary with several descendants of the original landholders (after the Indians)--yes, they were related to the Sepulvedas,etc By the 1920s, Sierra Madre had a reputation as a haven for artists, as the historic Sierra Madre Canyon still attests---many tiny board&batten cottages which to this day have escaped forest and brush fires. It was also the town, 'Santa Mira', in the original 1954 version of,'Body Snatchers' which was filmed almost entirely in and around the town and included the siren which blared (until very recently) every time the local volunteer fire dept had a call. Went to Pasadena High School--the Bulldogs--your mascot,too?--since little Sierra Madre only had elementaries, except for private schools(uniforms!). We didn't have a pool--but would like to hear your pool stories--but we did have patio parties, and everyone drank and smoked.
I was a cruiser crazy teen too; we cruised Bob's on Colorado Blvd in East Pasadena and you may have done that spot, too, since it was still a mecca in the 1970s. Also cruised Bob's, Toluca Lake. Was always wishing and trying to pick up on the girls from San Marino High School and also John Burroughs HS, and one nite I actually got both wishes. A maroon 1940 Ford coupe and several other hot rods, along with a couple of 1930s and early 40s Packards were my cruiser cars(plus what would today be priceless motorcycles--Ariel Square 4s and Harleys and Nortons). Also had a 1954 Porsche, early cabriolet, not a speedster, with a little 1200cc engine.
Many times I would take off on a Friday, after working till about 9pm, with $5 for gas/food and go to the SF Valley. Sometimes, I went down Colorado until I hit the Griffith Park-Verdugo area--sometimes I went up into the Glendale Hills and Burbank area, starting at Eagle Rock. Mostly, I went alone or was on a visit trail to girls' houses--just to see if I could find them, sometimes to actually visit.
Did not ever consider myself gawky (did wear glasses,though), but was uncomfortable if not really shy. Most of my friends were 2-3 years older, including the ladies. About 5-11 (now over 6')and 160--175lbs,depending. Bench pressed 190lbs at age 14, btw. Still can and do. Went out with, and pined for, older girls, starting about two to five years older. Would've been crazy about the girl with the flip who was your family friend. Can still smell the perfume some of them wore. Did have girl buddies, too, like you did, and occasionally went out with two or three, but was super-uneasy in doing so. Their Moms always were hoping I'd get with one(they'd call my Mom to try a fix-up,even), and now that they are all probably grandmothers, it is easy to explain to myself why I never felt ready for any of them.
Worked at Higgins Shell at the corner of Rosemead (a direct line to the Beach) and Colorado (which eventually became Rt66) from the age of 15-18, so worked on all my cars and motorcycles, paid for the habit. Parents never bought me a car--have still never made a car payment or owned a new car. Surfed some,too, like you and your friends. Last year, my beautiful new wife who is a Nashville native (not a Paradise)and I went through Laguna and I parked down a side street I remembered--found a legal place with no meter!--and we walked down to the stairs leading to a surf-center now only vaguely part of my sixteenth year(easier to remember actual pastel-bikinied girls--with flips--cavorting on the beach like it was yesterday). Sheila and I saw five surfers wearing trunks/shorts like those worn in 60s and 70s--baggy and loud. And then, kinda like the foto of you on your website, Sheila took a picture of me next to a (No Parking) street sign--but this sign had a broken surf board splayed over the top of it!(those small boards are seen everywhere).
Went to Univ of Calif at Riverside, '63-'67, when Riverside grew from 50M to 250M in population, during Vietnam, and from 11 smog alert days to 257. Then UCLA Law School--no Viet service due to injuries, and later a wife and child.
Your early family neighborhood was/is totally fascinating to me; many of my friends who were hotrodders and racers lived on or near Chandler; I bought my first car in 1960--actually a 1936 Ford PU semi-basket,chopped and channeled--for $185 from a guy on Chandler--and when I saw John Denver in 'Oh God' in the 70s with George Burns driving down Valley streets (Chandler?), I was in a theatre in Salt Lake City, having just driven through Moab and Juab.
Had a flashback: maybe I saw you at the Jack,too, in the mid-late 1970s. Would go that way on Sunday nites after jamming at the Playtime C&W bar(c.1972-77), near the Palomino, with BJ Thomas, Eddie Rabbit, even--occasionally--Glen Campbell. Yes, the music brought me to Nashville.
My old friend, Cameron, who died in 1978 at the age of 91, used to rifle through the Goodwill shack in the Alpha Beta parking lot in Arcadia. From one such session, where I stood lookout for this very old man who was then worth about half a million, I still have a blue short sleeved shirt--as he would say,"it's perfectly good still,see, except for around the collar..."
Still like avocados,btw, and my new mother-in-law just two weeks ago got rid of her avocado dishwasher,(a new stainless steel was suggested by yours truly), but still has built-in avo-oven and stove top--which goes with her early 1960s house which is still--honest--pink brick! I used the the avo-stove-oven last nite at Thanksgiving!
Some things never change, or so it seems.
PS: Did your Mom talk kind of fast and have a voice that was a little gravelly but also very kind tone? If I did see your Mom, I remember her hair being a little longer than in the fotos on your site, but just a little. Almost positive that I went to your cafe with a guy who worked on Alameda in Burbank, and later worked at Burbank Auto Parts. We drank Coors and Hamm's (bottled)--remember the Hamms' sign that was like a cartoon with the canoe going down the river?-- at lunch, and I recall the place was crowded and full of smoke like a later afternoon crowd. Remember I had extra tomato on my burger, plus extra pickles, if that was the same place-cheerful, fast service. Very loud place,too. Went once.
Wow, great letter, and thanks for it! No, my Mom didn't have a gravelly voice at all - it was rather high. And I don't think we ever served Hamm's at the Lincoln Cafe. Miller Lite, Coors and Bud, and that's it, as I recall. Yes, I know that Hamms sign with the canoe - no we didn't have one in the Lincoln; you must be thinking of another joint! - Wes
I didn't grow up in the 60s, I grew up in the 70-80s and I've never been to the United States and so couldn't relate to the era of your memories, but certainly the joy and madness of families and their traditions and the fondness you hold towards yours, I could relate to. I absolutely loved your website, its one of the most unique and genuine sites around and I could tour your childhood for hours. I love people's personal show and tell sessions and yours is fabulously entertaining, even more so because of the incredible kindness and honesty you have put forward in the telling of your family experiences. Anyone who has a photograph of that pool sign on their website has got it happening!
I really enjoyed your site! I grew up in San Diego in the 1950s and 60s. We were all avocado too! (A bit of gold accents of couse) I am writing a book on the culinary history of America and was wondering if you could advise me on good web sites or pages that I could original recipes...from families? At this time I am working on the 1950s through 1970s. Any help would be great....and my gosh you have put in hours of work. I am not so sure I would want to go that much back. You are a brave man (and seemed to have neat parents) Again, any help would be appreciated
Thanks for the trip back...Crickette
The best site for food in America I know of is James Lileks' "Gallery of Regrettable Food," which is a scream. You'll love it. Click here to go there.
Thanks for the kind words...
Dang! I think you've created a veritable 'big brother' portal in this new age hunger for voyeur/slice-of-life entertainment!
I stumbled across your site, "Avocado Memories" two weeks ago and I've got to tell you, it was one of the most thoroughly enjoyable reads I've had in a long, long time. (Not since I picked up a Gary Larson book in the 70's have I laughed myself to tears over something I've read). It sounds like your parents, Wes & Madeleine, must've been exceptionally wonderful people (not to mention hilarious)!
I've since rabbited onto your other sites and, well, I think I know more about you that a lot of my own friends! I'm also one of those people with a life-long and inexplicable fascination with the American Civil War. (I've always wanted to show up to civil war re-enactment events with a bunch of guys dressed in 1930's spanish military garb with a Hemingway look-a-like at our head and say, 'What the...?") Actually, I've never quite gone as far as you 'livin like then is now' guys, but I have been a spectator and, since I read 'Confederates in the Attic', feel rather up to speed!
And finally there's your latest passion, RUGBY. Whoda thunk it! I don't know of anyone who plays it down here in Altanta (where I've resided for 2 years now) but I suspect if you substituted the ball for a rack of slow cooked ribs, you'd be onto something down 'heeeya'.
Anyway: I have enjoyed your peculiar twist on things in general (the Jonah Begone stuff is wonderful) and your wry sense of humor makes for one of the sanest commentaries on life available on the world wide web today.
Great stuff, Wes!
Sincerely, Tim York
I can't believe that I came upon your website purely by accident, as I was just surfing yahoo for some other stuff. I had to take a look and I'm very impressed with the amount of work that you put into your web site, and how much I can relate to life in Burbank in that time period.
I, myself grew up in Burbank, and graduated from John Burroughs High School in 1974. I also attended Luther Burbank Junior High.
Now, I still reside in Burbank, I work at Luther Burbank Middle School, and am the President of the Board of Directors of Black Knights Drum Corps (The Official Musical Ambassadors for the City of Burbank) Most of the members of our board of directors are Burbank High or Burroughs High Alumni including our Executive and Assistant Director.
Anyway, I just wanted to compliment you for some really good work. Please check out our web site http://www.blackknights.org which is operated and maintained by our executive director. Please sign our guest book. Our group will be performing on Magnolia Blvd. on Friday Nov. 17th at the "Holiday in the Park" event to open the Christmas shopping season.
Anyway, it was great visiting your site.
I found your site by accident while searching for Tom Hatten and Popeye, who I used to watch on KTLA in the early '80s (! - for a while I thought I had hallucinated the squiggles and Super Chicken...).
Oh, no, they existed. I used to call my dad "Super Chicken" because he refused to fly to Boston with Mom and I for a vacation in 1968.
The connection has been beaten to death, but: I immediately thought, This is soooo Wonder Years!
Yes. In the TV show Fred Savage is my age - that is, he's depicted as being 12 in 1968, which would make him my age.
Did it ever bring back memories, even though you're 17 years older than me (however, my stepfather is your age, having just turned 44 a few days ago, and is also a SoCal native). I too was a quiet only child, and grew up in a lower-middle-class neighborhood in San Diego (Clairemont, the setting for Fast Times at Ridgemont High) that was much like yours, with boxy little '50s houses and machinist fathers. I don't actually remember any '60s essentials such avocado appliances or resin grapes in my family (before my time, perhaps), but my friends had some of that stuff in their unredecorated houses, or in the form of hand-me-down clothes, books, records, and toys.
You can see the stuff in yard sales all across America still!
Perhaps it's because it's more hazy and elusive to me, but I find the '60s/'70s more attractive than "my" time, the '80s. More organic, and sunny yellow everything. The early '80s were neat, don't get me wrong, (MTV, oooooh!) but so plasticky and socially conservative. But the sets of Boogie Nights and That '70s Show ring a bell too (though perhaps a little late for you).
Eighties decor was more understated, I think, being influenced intentionally or unintentionally by a social and political swing towards the conservative.
Also, my best friend across the street moved to Springfield in 1983 when her commander father was transferred to the Pentagon, and I visited her there two years later. (Tiburon Court, 22152, I think). The woods and summer thunderstorms and fireflies were all novelties to this SoCal kid.
Yes, when I visited Massachusetts and New Hampshire in 1968 as a kid, the east seemed very, very different. It was a very eye-opening experience. Now I live here! (Virginia.)
In SD they had, among other things, one of those ancient console TVs that sit on the floor, a reel-to-reel tape recorder, and an LP of monster songs (~ Mash et al). (I told you my friends had old stuff...)
Sounds as if your family were the style and technology arbiters and innovators of your neighborhood. Trash compactors and primitive VCRs, hee. We had those early on too (the latter an RCA top-loading VHS with wired remote).
The Disneyland Haunted Mansion was very Scooby Doo, wasn't it?
Uh, yes. (I was never into Scooby Doo - it came on just as I began to abandon Saturday morning TV.)
Contemporaneous with, at any rate. I half expected to see bats flying out of it, and the van parked nearby.
The Haunted Mansion was opened in August 1969. (Mom and I went the week it opened.) A quick check with a web site confirms that Scooby Doo premiered in September of that year, so you're correct!
And Tomorrowland (sponsored by DuPont?), with its Rockets to Mars, was a little '50s time capsule. I haven't been to D'land since 1987. But my childhood loyalties definitely lay there - I was never much on Knotts Berry Farm, that overgrown state fair.
Knott's appealed to those who liked Westerns; I never especially liked Westerns. I liked space, so my favorite "land" at Disneyland was Tomorrowland.
In response to your rhetorical question, '80s décor was all about Santa Fe! Also, vaguely deco-ish mauve and pink and grey and burgundy. And black, in more daring circles. Japanese severity was a big motif too -- paper screens and branches in vases.
Yes, that, too. Lots of geese with blue ribbons around their necks and tole-painted stuff. Miami Vice made art deco and pastels (no earth tones) popular. Country was in, as was boardroom chic. (I used to go to lunch with the guys in my office in the early 80's, and one Wendy's had what we called "the Yuppie Environment" - a greenhouse kind of thing with brass and mahogany.)
You don't mention any pets. Did you not have any as a kid?
I had a crappy little poodle we called "Sandy" for a few months.
I don't think you looked like a dork. You were cute. You looked like a young Matt Damon, actually, in the borrowed rust-brown clothes.
Finally, your site deserves its own domain. I hope you get paid for your writing; it's very good. And your affection for your family really shows. You're a junior Lileks!
Actually, I'm a grown-up me. (And feeling more grown up all the time.) But thank you very much for your kind comments!
YOUR WEBSITE IS THE BEST. I'M A LITTLE YOUNGER THAN YOU BUT I HAVE VIVID MEMORIES OF THE LITTLE HOUSE WE LIVED IN WHEN I WAS 9. THE EXTERIOR WAS BRIGHT TURQUOISE. DON'T ASK ME WHY BUT OUR PARENTS LET MY 8-YEAR-OLD SISTER AND ME CHOOSE THE COLOR OF CARPET FOR OUR OWN BEDROOMS. OUR HOUSE HAD BLUE & GREEN CARPET IN THE LIVING ROOM, HOT PINK CARPET IN MY SISTERS ROOM, BRIGHT YELLOW CARPET IN MY ROOM AND WHITE CARPET IN OUR PARENTS ROOM. NOT ONLY WAS IT A DIZZYING COLOR COMBINATION BUT IT WAS ALSO THAT THICK SHAG THAT YOU HAD TO RAKE AFTER YOU VACUUMED IT SO IT WOULD STAND UP. WE ALSO HAD GLORPY HANGING GLASS GLOBE SWAG LAMPS IN THE LIVING ROOM, AMBER AND GREEN. MY DAD HAD THE SIDEBURNS. MY FAVORITE PAIR OF PANTS WERE BELL BOTTOMS THAT HAD BEEN TIE-DYED.
OVER THE PAST COUPLE OF YEARS I'VE BECOME INCREASINGLY NOSTALGIC FOR THE EARLY SEVENTIES. GUESS IT HAS SOMETHING TO DO WITH PASSING THE 35 YEAR MARK HUH? ANYWAY I LOVE COLLECTING STUFF FROM THAT TIME PERIOD. NOT SO SURPRISINGLY EASY TO FIND AND CHEAP AT MOST GARAGE SALES. WELL I THOROUGHLY ENJOY YOUR WEBSITE. I WONDER HOW LONG IT TOOK YOU TO PUT THAT TOGETHER? THANK YOU FOR DOING IT.
Thanks for the kind words and that description of the Wonderful World of Color you lived in. I began Avocado Memories in 1996 and have been adding bits to it ever since. Every time I find something on e-Bay (a great research tool, by the way) I used to have I add it on somewhere. - Wes
Dear Mr. Clark--Whereas many enthusiasts at your site state they can't remember how they came across it, I can. For me, it was your catchy title coupled with an interest in nutrition.
I had an avocado ( Florida,of course!) with my supper an hour or so ago and although I have eaten them all my life I only recently decided to check on their nutritional value---you detoured me in that regard, however for which I thank you as your site gave me far more enjoyment this evening than reading about vitamins in avocados. Regretfully, I must retire and get up early but will continue with your Avocado memories tomorrow. It might interest you to hear that I am know back living in the house that I grew up in, avocado green formica counter tops and all, c 1960. We do therefore have a link!!
You must be a wonderful son and a credit to your parents to have written with such sentiment. I feel like I've known you for years.
Sincerest best wishes,
Well! Happy to know that I diverted you - at least for awhile. You can go back to your original research after you're done with me.
By the way, I understand that as fruit goes, avocados aren't very good for you because they're high in saturated fat, like coconuts...
Wow all I can say is wow!
I grew up in the San Fernando Valley and can relate to your web site. I love your site brings back memories good ones and bad yet I can remember allot of crazy things I did when I was young. Its great to see pictures esp. from the San Fernando valley how it used to be compared to today. Best web site ever! thank you for brining back some nice memories of family and friends ..........thanks.......Dr. Juan Ramirez (teacher)
Good day, Wes!
I've read your entire site, and I must say, change a few names, move the location to Nanaimo BC Canada and Bingo! It's my life!
Enjoying browsing through your website. I grew up in the L.A. area in the 1950s (and 60s, 70s, 80s), and fondly remember a lot of the things you've jarred my memory about.
I visited the Antique Guild last year, in the old Helms complex, and put in an "interest card" for those little cardboard helms trucks the drivers used to hand out. I must have had a fleet of 20 or more at times. A couple months later I got an email that several had come in, still "flat" and in mint condition...for $25 each. So I bought two. In an unusual fit of forethought, instead of assembling them I color-scanned them onto light cardboard, and assembled a printed duplicate.
Ah, Helms bakeries! I do remember those trucks well! And now that you mention it, I also recall the little cardboard folded trucks! - Wes
Nothing evokes a rush of California 60-70' childhood memories more than a candy bar. Now living in the midwest...what do I look for when I go back to the San Francisco Bay Area? Wax whistles, wax lips, Look Bars, SevenUp bar, BIG HUNKS, Zero bars...this tiniest of jaw breakers that come in boxes we made whistles out of, lemonheads...Abbazabba bars...and those awful tasing penny candies,,,some sort of strawberry taffy sucker... little hot dog shaped gum and remember the nickle gum was yellow with the pink stripe? If that ball came out of the machine, you got a free candy bar.
Most people have never heard of Fizzies...my fondest memory is of eating the tiniest peices ,,, trying to stomach that sweet bitter rush of bubbles in your mouth...you couldnt possible put the entire tab on your tongue, you would erupt.
Square cinnamon suckers we got from out father during the roller derby games on Saturday afternoon...and the foot long wax paper wrapped taffy...was about 4 inches wide and took forever to eat. There is also See's candy...which still exists, but not to anyone east of the Mississippi. Sighs.
The last time I went home did I want to go to Cost Plus? Noooo. Did I take time out to see the sights? Noooo. But I did insist on stopping at a candy store to pile into a backpack all my childhood favorites. I left for the east coast on Friday night...with delays and layovers, I didnt get home til Monday...my back pack empty...such is life. Now, as it was then temptation was simply too great.
I liked your ode to childhood candy. Next time I go back to California I'll have to stop by at a Ralph's and stock up on favorites! - Wes
I keep sending people to your fantastic page - it really saves me time explaining the "California Experience" to my Canadian in-laws...... LOL
My sister and I were telling stories of youth the other night, and I realized that Idid not see a drive thru dairy in your pages! Was this just a San Gabriel Valley perversion, or were they in Burbank too? I can't remember one there in the '80s, but they were almost gone in the SGV by then too.
Thanks again for a wonderful documenterary of my youth.
We used to shop at a Jessup's drive-through dairy in Burbank, on Burbank Blvd. around Sparks. The place is now an indoor market/liquor store. Milk in glass bottles tastes better than milk in plastic gallon jugs. - Wes
I have no idea how I happened upon your wonderful, but disturbingly familiar, web page,.....however, I would like to thank you for reminding me of the simple things in life,..like not only having the life giving force of gold veined glass squares adorning my bedroom wall, but having them accented by the opposite wall covered completely in cork!!!!!!!!!!! rrreemmeber that?? Your own 8 foot tall cork board!! My mother and your mother sound alot alike. Mine also dove into the world of self decorating our home and mine and my sisters wardrobe!! I have pictures of my living room in 1968 with the vinyl white couch next to a turquoise revolving chair and hung in a thought out arrangement above the chair are "5" turquoise (spray painted) styrofoam balls (all of different sizes) hung by clear fishing line (a believable illusion to a 5 year old) with toothpicks, painted gold stuck all over them, then topped off with glitter top coat!!! Lovely!!! I believe another Star Trek take off???? Don't even get me started on the year my mom "FOILED" every item in the house!!!!! Once again Thank you and I hope to enjoy more memories from you!!!
Been some time since I wrote to you but I have generated some more cognitive bits and pieces of those wonderful days in Burbank. I even have some answers to my ever nostalgic inquiries gratefully answered by the Local Legends site.
(1) I don't know if you remember me asking you about a great burger joint on Lankersheim (that had a sign on top of a caricature of a man with a pencil line mustache flipping hamburgers and wearing a server's hat) that had a crazy way of taking orders (putting colored square pieces about the size and shape of a scrabble piece on a table that had colored square slots). Your suspicion was that it was the Mr. Big Burger near the Mar-Lin-Do Bowling Alley on San Fernando road. Local Legends idenitified the place as "Sirloin Burger". Parti Girl even went one further and told me the place still exists and still serves those wonderful hamburgers with special sauce and their "Miles of Spahgetti". Glad to see some things don't change.
I never heard of it. I don't think I ever ate there!
(2) You mentioned that you had a friend by the name of Bob Avery who lived on Niagara Street. I failed to mentioned something about that street where I lived on in case you or others ever plan to motor west. The Niagara street that I lived on was two streets down from the Lockheed airport (next street over was Frederick). Our family lived just off of Niagara on an alleyway. We lived in a small bungalow to the side of our landlords house. His name was Bob and his wife was named Rose (they were Irish). If by a fluke you or your readers visit Niagara Street, on one end of the street will be where Ben Franklin grade school was (now a military complex). On the other end will be a sport recreational complex. We lived closer to where the sports recreational complex was on the aformentioned alleyway. Our landlord had this huge mural painted on the stucco side of his garage (easily spotted as your driving down this alley way if his lemon trees are not fully leafed out) of a wildlife scene full of deers. This thing covered the whole wall. It still exists to this day (we are talking about 1964-67 when I lived there). Our family lived right next to this garage.
Yeah, I remember this. The first time my parents drove me by there I was really surprised. Next time I'm in Burbank I'll have to get a photo of this.
(3) Speaking of murals, our family moved to Sun Valley California from 67 to 70. You may or may not remember this but some guy got on top of a tunnel on the snaky hilly road that leads to Redondo Beach and painted a picture of a nude woman hanging from a noose on the side of that tunnel.
Nope, I don't recall this one!
The man was arrested and I think he got himself on the news. Of course, we are talking about 68-69 here when many young people were protesting against the establishment in their own artistic way. The only thing I protested against was my mother shielding my eyes preventing me from seeing the work of art as our family passed through the tunnel on our way to a Redondo Beach outing. I also remember a sign of Chef pointing the way to a pancake house on our way to there.
(4) If you don't know about it already on the Local Legends site, the Troy Troy What A Joy debate has finally been settled. No, it is not a department store or auto lot. It was a place that made sofa coverings. What a let down.
Ah, so now we know. Yes, it is a letdown...
(5) There used to be a huge church way off in the distance behind where the Lockheed Airport and old White Front store used to be. It had a steeple on the top of it that resemble something from a Mosque or those steeples you see in Stalingrad.
I don't recall seeing this.
Well, that does it for now. I have plans to visit there one day. I hope I don't walk into a Twilight Zone scenario and walk down Niagara and see a young boy about 6 or 7 by the name of Ronny Davis living on that street with a butch haircut. And maybe see his father and mother telling him "Come on, Ronny, tell Bob and Rose goodbye. We're leaving for Redondo Beach". If I did, I would walk up to the boy and tell him to enjoy these days while they last, because one day, they are going to be magical to you when you reflect on them".
If I ever met myself I'd say, "Don't sell those comic books no matter what. They're going to be worth tens of thousands of dollars someday - but more than that, you'll just want to have them!"
Your website is awesome.
Not only is it a deligtful celebration of kitsch but its touching as well. I found myself getting all wistful and misty eyed and I don't even think I remember the seventies (in any coherent way at least).
hi, I'm doing a project which requires a description of a typical suburban California town in the sixties. I saw your webpage and I was wondering if you could provide me with the general layout of your old neighborhood. Thanks.
Well, it was a typical block in a typical street in Burbank - a typical Southern California city.
Almost all of the homes had stucco exteriors. (Stucco is a bumpy type of plaster finish, like very coarse sandpaper.) Almost all of the homes had three bedrooms or less - ours had two - and they were all built c. 1940. Some had one car garages, some none. A few had two car garages. Most had driveways. Virtually all of them had some kind of improvements done to increase the amount of living space, and all had rather large back yards. Figure 1/3rd acre lots.
Lincoln Street was very wide. I was told that in initial planning it was supposed to be a main thoroughfare like Buena Vista Blvd., but for some reason that never happened.
Looking at the front of my house, to the left was Bob, a fellow we didn't get along with very well. In about 1979 or so he vastly added on to his house, changing the basic stucco look with a wooden front. "Potatoes," his basset hound, used to be able to get to the roof, and would howl at me as I arrived home from work. Next door to him there used to be a Jewish fellow who did plumbing or electricity or some other kind of industrial work. He had an old Ford Falcon station wagon parked on the street with all sorts of heavy stuff in the back: pipes, big tools, etc. His house had a huge dead tree in the front yard that he never removed. I used to like leaping the hedge that grew between his house and Bob's. Next to him was an English fellow who used to yell at me every now and then because I liked to walk along the tops of his brick borders on my way to the corner drugstore. At the corner was one last house that, for me, was characterized by a chain run through some concrete-filled steel posts that served as a boundary to the alley. We used to walk grabbing onto the chain, pretending that it was army training of some kind. (Click here for a picture.) Then there was the alley, and at the corner of Lincoln and Victory, some retail buildings. Initially a corner drug store was there, then this closed and a company that manufactured amplifiers took the space. Then something else moved in.
Burbank has plenty of alleys.
On the right side of my house was Flo. Her place was pink, and she owned a purple Cadillac. Her tree smelled like popcorn to some, dog crap to others. Later, her son moved in with his family and greatly expanded the house. Next to her was a corner house, where Vickroy Park was located. The only thing I knew about these people was that they were originally from Minnesota.
Directly across the street from us were the Millars, a nice Scottish family who live there still. A member of the Millar family bought the place to their left; I do not know who owns it now. Nothing notable about this house other than the fact that it was beige and had a nice lawn, like the Millars'. To the left of them was the Gardemanns - I played with Vicki and Jamie when I grew up, the "girls next door" (sort of). Next to them was a rather grumpy older couple, and next to them an old man lived in the corner house with his dog, whom I used to pet on the way home from school. To the right of the Millars was where my friend Richard Springer lived, in a house painted carbon black. Next to them all the way down to the alley is terra incognito - I didn't know any of those people.
All of these recollections are of the era c. 1965-1980. Things have changed.
Great Web site! And hey, when we moved into our house in Tempe, Az....just a little later then your family's splendid buy, the WHOLE DAGGUM THING was painted avocado. Yeppers, the exterior paint on our concrete block beauty. AND to add to the intrinsic value, the rugs were uniformly red (which Mom, a spotless housekeeper, kept amazingly clean...applause, applause). Yes, and there was even a totally red bathroom with a red ceiling. Though Mom did change that in later years it is still referred to as the "red bathroom".
They weren't such bad years. Was it really worse then "forest green"?????
I really enjoyed your site. I'm the same age as you and Kevin (Wonder Years) and did you know that Homer Simpson is our age too? In one of the Simpson episodes, Homer graduates from High School in 1974 (the song playing in the show is BTO's "Takin Care of Business).
Yes, I saw that show. It also features Homer singing Steve Miller's "the Joker," which was a major hit in the Spring of 1974 - my last months of high school.
The creepy thing is:
1) Homer Simpson is supposed to be my age (44)
2) He has three kids - so do I
3) The oldest is a boy, followed by two girls - so are mine
4) He lives in a city named Springfield, so do I.
I grew up in Michigan from 61-68 and in St. Louis in 68-92. I also enjoyed your Marine reflections. I think it is hard to understand for today's youth the distain many had for the military in the late sixties-early seventies time frame.
Yes, the Reagan-era buildup of the military wasn't just budgetary, it was in public perception, as well. It made it hard for kids to understand the extent of the post war distain (and hatred) of the military.
I remember some college ROTC friends tried to keep their military involvement hidden as much as they could.
When I was looking for a job in 1993 I was advised by one fellow at Price-Waterhouse to keep my Marine Corps experience low-key. Too many of the hiring managers were draft-dodgers who would probably feel guilty about it.
Needless to say, I didn't bother with Price-Waterhouse.
I'm going to send a picture of the "Multi-Pistol 09" to my older brother who had one that I envied. I had a secret agent set somewhat similar that had a camera concealed in its carrying case. I still feel deprived that my parents never got me the Sting Ray bicycle!! Some even had the 5-speed Sting Rays!!
Yes, the ram's horn fastback. I loved mine.
Again, I really enjoyed your site and hope to spend more time viewing the rest of it.
Hey, let's hear another one about how the internet promotes alienation and social disintegration. I've not surfed a site so successfully illustrating the web's potential for "connectedness". In addition to inspiring others toward their own html/java explorations, you've provoked thought about privacy and voyeurism. Well done.
Born in Glendale in 1957, I was raised with the same toys, same TV, same mountains in the horizon, and same cold war. And, apparently, much the same blue-collar, laid back upbringing as yourself, at least up until my folks decided Southern California was an unsafe environment for childrearing and abruptly moved us to a farm in the Ozarks ("Green Acres" became a fast favorite). Although my dad fixated on a slightly lighter shade of green and had different political sensibilities, most everything else matches - down to the ashtrays and patio furniture.
You're right: Mr. Toad's Wild Ride was the best, Kitty's flip is perfect (didn't I see her on Lloyd Thaxton's?), George Putnam was the Man, and the disappearance of lawn darts is as sure a sign as any that the apocalypse draws nigh. Let's hear more. What about Griffith Park? What's the stupidest thing you attempted on your bike? How did you get through that difficult time in '65 when Batman aired opposite Lost in Space? No one from the VCR era can know what that hell was like. It took a while to chew through your site but I'm caught up now and ready for more.
Thanks, see ya
I never intended this site to connect to others in the way it seems to have done, but it's nice that it has. Thank you for your kind words!
Privacy and voyeurism: As I have written somewhere, I mostly associate with the G.I. Generation my parents belong to. So a "let-it-all-hang-out" approach isn't what I want. Yes, I know this site is detailed, but there are plenty of things I simply do not (and will not) discuss. This site is on the web, but it's still primarily meant for my kids in the future... so some self-censorship will exist. Besides, you really don't want to know all the details.
Green Acres: I loved this show, and still do. You know why? The humor is universal. All of us, at some time or another, feel like we're the only sane beings in a world of crazies - which is primarily the theme behind Oliver Wendell Douglas' experiences in Hooterville. (Bob Newhart revived the whole idea for stories taking place in a Vermont inn in the Eighties, and that, too, was a favorite sitcom.)
Kitty's flip: I still get a thrill when I see a flip on a young woman these days. It's like an appreciative nod to all I hold sacred. My Venus de Milo's hair curves upwards...
Griffith Park: Driving through it on one of Dad's Sunday car drives with Angela, she assured me that it looked like the Realm of Somethingoranother as described by J.R.R. Tolkien, which she was reading at the time. Maybe it was "the Shire" - I forget. The sad thing was that Griffith Park is merely some wooded hills in Southern California, and nothing like an ancient English forest. The actuality back in 1972 (maybe still today), was that it was a woodsy haven for homosexuals. Tolkien doesn't describe any gay hobbits.
The Most Stupid Thing I Attempted on my Sting-Ray: I forget the maneuver, but I vividly recall flying over the handlebars and attempting to arrest my forward progress with my fingers. On pavement. I can go back to Burbank and point out exactly where it happened, too. I slid to a halt in front of a house with a garden gnome, who grinned stupidly at me, as if defying me to claim being less stupid than he. My friend Richard did the all-time most stupid thing. He painted over the hot lime metallic Sting-Ray I gave him with Volkswagen zenith blue enamel - so he had a bike the color of his father's powder blue 1965 Beetle.
When Batman aired opposite Lost in Space: Easy decision for me - Batman. I was casting about for something to replace the show with the hated Billy Mumy. ABC made the choice obvious.
VCR's: We Clarks may have been the first on our block to have one. It was a Sanyo beta machine; we bought it in late 1978. We purchased it in Glendale for about $1,200, as I recall. (A pittance since we were doing well with the Lincoln Cafe.) I remember the earliest two hour beta tapes were something like $30 each! I recorded a 1978 network broadcast of Paul McCartney and Wings Live on Tour '76, and have the tape to this day. Yes, I still have a beta machine, although I rarely use it. (It won't rewind anymore. I do this function with an attachment on a power drill.) But the last time I viewed this tape - last year - it was a little cloudy-looking but still acceptable. That's 21 years later, folks. I have a Blue Oyster Cult cassette tape I made for car use in 1976; it still sounds okay, too. Moral: Buy good quality magnetic media and you won't regret it.
Ready for more? Golly, about all I have left to offer are my x-rays or my pay stubs!
Thanks for writing!
When I finished my navy enlistment I stayed in long beach. I got to meet many kids my age and younger on the beach, and lived a idealic life as a beach bum for about 4 months till I ran out of money and went to work. There was a girl from santa ana that used to come to the beach her father was a colonel I think. We called her wera and she had red hair and owned a horse, she hung around with squeeky another beach girl. There was a bunch of us that hung around long beach and met on the beach and a small grass hut type bar or food hut, with sand floors. This was in the summer of 61 and 62. All good kids though and I have a feeling some became quite famous and rich. In fact there one girl that was eva gardners hair dresser and she called her up one time and let me talk to her, to show me how intimate they were. Lots of memories down there.
Although I grew up in Southern California, I never took part in the beach culture. I would look through the windows of our car when we took family drives to Laguna Beach at the people apparently having fun, and yearned to take part, free from my parents. But when I was younger I found reading books more interesting than anything else I could do, and so grew up as a bookworm. (In junior high and into high school it used to be my habit to retreat to the library during lunch and read, rather than associate with the other students.) I was a voracious reader, and read widely on many topics, including things I probably shouldn't have read, like adult-oriented best sellers when I was 13 and 14. I still remember some of the steamy parts of Clavell's "Tai-Pan."
My wife Cari had a similar background (although she was much more social than I), and it troubles us that none of our three kids seem to enjoy reading as much as we did.
I'm happy to have the literacy that growing up reading has given me; in fact, I credit my current interest in writing to my interest in reading. When I first saw "Summer of '42" it occurred to me that I may have missed out on something having to do with being young and carefree. Maybe I should have wasted more time at the beach when I was a teenager...
It's never too late to try things you could have tried when younger, however. At the ripe old age of 42 I took up rugby. (Click here for my club's website, which I edit, and here for my very own rugby website, "the Rugby Reader's Review.") I now play eight or more matches a season - in addition to practice twice a week. Last weekend I played two 40 minute halves against the Marines from Quantico - many of whom weren't even born when I got out in 1978! I've been doing this for a year and a half, and probably will quit when I have some disabling injury. This interest popped up just when I thought I would ease myself into a settled and uneventful middle age - it must be Male Menopause. But it seems that life still holds surprises, and I continue to surprise myself.
Maybe when I retire I'll have the time and money to take up being a beach bum in earnest, when I can do it right!
For additional information about the Farm House, contact Mike Johnson at Arnold's Restaurant, Atlantic and Bixby, Long Beach. His father, Ray Johnson, worked at and later bought the Farm House, as well as the citified version of same in Long Beach, originally Arnold's Town House, now Arnold's Restaurant. Mike recently took over ownership and operation of Arnold's from Ray. He can provide insight into the Farm House and how to contact his father. By the way, The Buttery, which was across the street from the Farm House, was the more upscale of the two (a sit-down and service as opposed to cafeteria) and the more upscale restaurant at the time in North Orange County area. I remember as a youngster eating at the Farm House and ordering French fries, which were 30 cents an order. Ray, working behind the counter, counted and scooped up onto my plate six fries, the most expensive fries I ever had at 5 cents each. A Toyota dealership now sits on the land occupied by both the Farm House and the Buttery. People remembering the food served up at The Farm House can find their same favorites at Arnold's in Long Beach.
First time visit to your site. Enjoyed local tv section, brought back fond memories of how my life stopped at 4 and 5 p.m. for Skipper Frank and Tom Hatten/Popeye.
A well laid out script - it has all the makings of a slide projector show I'd watch (reminds me of the narration in the sitcom "Wonder Years" with Fred Savage); it's a cool page, your kids should love ya for this.
Hi, my name is Curt, i'm 23 and live in Jamaica West Indies. My site's not yet completed but you gave me more input for my site which is of a similar nature. My family, as with many caribbean families, is spread all - that is "ALL" - over this world. It is a custom so it may seem that most Jamaican men spread their oats very far, therefore I have a lot of relatives that have never seen the root of this tree they belong to. So I've satrted to chronicle the life and times of the family back home; hopefully one day we'll have the other "branches" of this tree as web links.
I do have some family in the Bronx whom I stay with in the summers. I don't know much (if any) about American life during the 70's, but people should feel some nostalgia just by visiting the page with its feel of the 70's - the colors reflect that. I had fun reading your page and will be back as I have book marked it. Again, a really good idea and a great page.
I was born in Van Nuys and grew up in Anaheim, and I read your section on TV programs with much amusement.
I recall 'Chiller' very well, as it was a television 'event' that I lived for every Saturday. Eight o'clock, and there it was. The first movie they showed was 'The Giant Behemoth' (redundant title, eh?). Real Famous Monsters of Filmland stuff. It was on channel 11, home of Sheriff John, whose theme song is indelibly etched in my brain.
And you may have forgotten about Skipper Frank and Engineer Bill, who were also subteen icons at the time in LA.
Very scary to think how long ago that was...
I became an instant fan of your website after being led there by a friend of mine from the midwest. At first I didn't think I could relate because of our age difference and dissimilar backgrounds but the more I delved into the surprisingly vast site, the more I got hooked.
I'm very glad to hear this! Avocado Memories is a bit more universal than I thought it would be...
It didn't help that I live only blocks from your old haunts. I'm on Buena Vista and Olive, near the Disney buildings. I swung by the old Lincoln Cafe. I can't believe that place is packed on a Saturday afternoon with its bizarre location.
You're right, it is a bizarre location now (since Lockheed is gone). I guess his clientele is a mixture of locals and the studio equipment people who have facilities nearby.
Just wanted to tell you you've done a great thing and it inspires me to do something like this when I "grow up" (I'm 26).
Thanks! I started AM when I was 32, but one only really begins to become nostalgic for one's youth after about 35, I think.
Also, in case you were interested, a commercial airliner didn't quite land right the other night at Burbank Airport and skidded into Hollywood Way nearly barrelling over a Chevron Station. It's mere blocks from your place. Thought you'd be interested. Here are a couple of scans from the LA Times Valley Edition 3/6/00: Photo and Map.
Great scans - thanks!
I wrote to you months ago and have since been visiting your "Avocado Memories" site occasionally. I've been struck by how many of our childhood memories are products of mass marketing. In many ways my boyhood in Western Ontario was like yours, but with snow in the winter. These days life where I grew up (London, Ont.) would be even more similar today to life in California, simply because of globalization. Nobody drinks Wishing Well soft drinks in London any more, for example.
I'm not, by the way, leaping to the conclusion that this similarity is necessarily a bad thing. While many people bewail the supposed standardization of life throughout the world, I do think it has had the benefit of giving people more things in common, which has the further benefit of giving them a larger number of topics about which they can communicate. Perhaps that explains the way important social changes (bad as well as good, I must admit) spread around the globe so quickly these days.
Neither am I a Pollyanna about this. Reducing differences means reducing the exploration of alternatives, but a lot of the alternatives we didn't really need. And other things encourage diversity. I've often thought that a big determinant of regional differences is the climate, for example. When you live in a place like Southern Ontario, for example, you're accustomed to each day being different, and differnet parts of each day being different (a friend of mine from California was surprised when he first visited Toronto at how quickly the weather changed -- it was one of those days when it was changing every 20 minutes).
But enough of my babble. I enjoy your comparisons of the different parts of the States you have lived in (your report of your disappointment on seeing your first real farm windmill was actually an eyeopener to me -- "What, they don't have windmills?"). I wouldn't mind seeing a few more if that idea interests you.
Thanks for all the great work.
Thanks for the letter.
One thing that the spread of democracy has caused is, as you state, the increasing standardization of life in the industrial world. Everyone has access to Cokes, McDonald's, entertainment from Hollywood, etc. (I know Canadians are especially sensitive to the pervasiveness of the US culture.) However, we're seeing more and more Canadian and British programming here. Maybe in another 30 years or so there will be one great world culture.
Do you remember Sen-Sen? They still sell them in a couple of places in British Columbia and Alaska. Hardly anybody remembers them but they still manufacture them.
Yes, I vividly recall Sen-Sens. Nasty things. It was sort of a macho test when I was a kid to see who could eat them like candy. Yuuck! I know they still make them - I see them for sale in the oddest places...
Great webpage you have and brings back a lot of memories. You're talking to somebody who used to play Batman and Robin with his best friend in the middle fo the street I graduated from HS in '75 and remember a lot of what you have here.
Here is our homepage with many pictures and trip report of western north america if your interestes.
Your web site is neat; lots and lots of pictures. I liked the Scotty's Castle ones. My dad told me that when I was a toddler we went up there on vacation. Apparently I wet my diaper and got some on a carpet. The fellow doing the tour told my mother: "Madam, kindly restrain your child." - Wes
I'm not sure how I arrived at your website but I found it very enjoyable and full of laughs as it reminded me of my childhood. I was born in 1959 in Childress, a small town in the Texas Panhandle and your descriptions and pictures remind me of our home in those days. My avocado story relates to my mom. In our home we had wood panneling the was only half way up the wall of our entire living room (we did not have a den or it would have suffered the same injustice). The stuff was was a natural pine finish but that was not good enough for mom. One day she purchased all of the avocado paint that could be found and painted all of that panneling and what a change it made, it was a real showplace of the neighborhood. My Mom loved to paint and this was not her only adventure with the brush and in fact she was on a first name basis with the folks at the paint store.
I especially enjoyed the story of your father sitting down and breaking the sofa, in addition to all of those great pictures. I just wanted to say that you did a good job with this web site and thanks for taking me back a few years into some great times.
Mark Foster in Austin Texas
My brother turned me on to your pages and I just love dropping by to see what you've added.
My brother and I grew up in the San Gabriel Valley (50' & 60's), had a big avocado tree in the front yard and played tackle football across the front lawns.
Now here's the thing. House of Pies. Do you remember the House of Pies? I want to find at least one photo of the House of Pies. Okay, I am a nut. But I have fond memories of those all-night, coffee, cigs, and oh yeah, a piece of pie!
Well, Thank You Wes. For sharing and for the humor.
Vicki Levy, Arcadia, CA
I do indeed remember the Burbank House of Pies. It was more or less across the street from the Akron on Hollywood Blvd. A search on e-Bay and Yahoo! for images turns up nothing, however. In the late Seventies and Eighties I enjoyed Marie Callender's pies more... Nowadays my wife Cari bakes my pies. And they are much, much better than the commercially available ones.
I've lost track of the time that I have spent looking at your site. It's awesome! I'm 5 years older than you, but I still remember "all" of it.
Just to let you know I loved the soap series of "Dark Shadows", still watch it on my sci fi chanel every morning at 10:00 am; my daughter's name is Angela, but she doesn't swear; I have collected the blue & white Currier & Ives dishes for years-not the same as your clipper ships pictures, but some of the ships are on different dishes; & last but not least, we live in a house that was built in 1970 & in the master bath the sinks, shower & tub are all avocado green! After looking at your site, I'll never change them.
Change them? One day I'm convinced there will be an avocado room in the Smithsonian!
I appreciate you & all the time you've spent giving me so many fond memories.
You're cute, too
Awwww... shucks. Thanks! Wes
Avocado Memories Guestbook Entries for 2000
Soctt S. - 12/24/00 18:11:28
What a wonderful Xmas present I just found, your Web page! I was born in '53 and grew up in the 60's - 70's. What a great time to be a kid! A younger brother and sister (of 6 kids) have passed away, but my memories of growing up with them will be with me always. Thanks for helping me remember those wonderful days. Scott
Dori - 12/18/00 05:43:08
Avocado is great man, but try it out with an orange kitchen---I came home from school one day and found the kitchen painted an eye-throbbing sort-of neon orange. And yes, I've become my mom but without the orange paint! Thanks again for the memories whi h have made me recall my own. Maybe it's something about Silver Lake.....
Dori - 12/18/00 04:54:32
Oh man, what a total flashback! I graduated 1975 from Marshall High and grew up in Silver Lake and Hollywood,just over the hill from you. I just went through the pics so far! Glendale and Burbank are like heaven to me--but I'm real far away from it, st ck in North Carolina right now. I've always been into that "tiki" kind of stuff, along with pink flamingos. You know, people who didn't grow up in SoCal then think that's really weird, but you know what man, it's like really normal to me. Your patio was great! Gee, my mom put up a patio several times that was all bamboo and it would be really great until it rained and got water soaked and collapsed. When we look at pictures like that now, it might seem kind of hokey but it really was okay back then. ne of the coolest places I remember was the Castaways Restaurant, and there were some of those tiki things up there. I spent a lot of time at the Golden Mall in Burbank cause my mom used to get her hair done there. We'd wait for her outside and climb al over those rock fountains they had there. We'd go to movies at Pickwick, or if we were really lucky, that big pool they had there. Those were the days man! I'm going to check out what you wrote some more! Thanks for the pics and the words!
"Glendale and Burbank are like heaven to me": Well, the jury is still out on that. My high school pal Mike McDaniel, who still lives in Burbank and has kids going to Burbank High School, recently sent me notice of a rumble that took place there. I gues it's heaven if you're deeply into West Side Story! - Wes
jeff smith - 12/10/00 04:52:34
My Email:wonderer41 @excite.com
i really enjoyed your web site. there's one thing missing--the tonka apple peeler metal car. other than that, this web site brought back memories of my child hood. Thank you.
John Vallow - 12/08/00 14:49:34
Enjoyed your page very much. I grew up at 1815 Lincoln (down by the railroad tracks) until 1966 when I was drafted. My dad was a welder a Lockheed. Small world.
rich nash - 12/08/00 02:22:20
Ireally enjoyed this look into the past. I was born in 1962 and remember things like the Schwinn bikes.thank you very much Rich
Claudia - 12/02/00 10:20:41
Laughing loud, slapping the table, and barely able to breathe, I suddenly began to weep. I thought of my orange hassock from childhood still in absolutely perfect condition in my mom's living room, the aluminum Christmas tree my Pop made from split beer cans (metallic paint hiding the label side, of course), and my wild drives through the hil s of Silverlake during high school. Suddenly it hit me: four years ago at nearly this precise hour my Pop passed away quietly in the arms of my mom. I'm not typically given to dwelling on "coincidence," but I surely needed to be reminded of my own "avocado" beginnings tonight. Thanks much for making your meal of memories indescribably delicious! Claudia Belmont High, 1974 Note: I lived at 240 N. Robinson Street from 1958 - 1966
S.Li - 11/22/00 21:28:36
It's slow at work today, being the day before Thanksgiving, and while surfing around I came upon your website. Only got halfway thru with it cuz my break is almost over. I've bookmarked it and will get back later. However, want to say that your writing style is terrific and the time period you're covering is bringing back fond memories.
Ben VanDortrecht - 11/16/00 03:17:01
Oh my GOSH. I remember gold viened mirrors, The rain lamps, the Fuzzy red textured wallpaper. Our house cound have been a whorehouse. What ever happened to "Just Token" T-shirts, and of course the BeeGees Thanks for the Memories
I too once had gold-veined mirror tiles covering an entire wall of our dining room... love the picture of you with the cookie dough. daisy
Susan - 10/30/00 18:16:35
The 60s and 70s were very magical years. I would'nt trade growing up during those special years for anything. Thanks for the memories, it was great!!!
Hey great site. Came upon it purely by accident but glad I did. When I saw the mention of Burbank I had to check it out. I grew up in Burbank too.... Same time period :) Thanks for the memories.
Love your website. I love the 60s and still listen to my Monkees records. Lived in Chicago during the 60s, didn't move to LA until about 1978. I used to have a Avocado Tree in my backyard when I lived in Venice. The dog used to eat the ones that fell to t e ground, and he ended up so chubby the vet made me put him on an avocado-less diet (they are high in fat). You have a really cool page, and I will bookmark it and visit again soon !
Love your site! I've been visiting it for almost three years now. Voted your site "Website of the Week" recently. You've managed to put into words what so many have only memories of. Keep it up!
Ed Hoover - 10/13/00 01:26:43
Jesse - 10/11/00 17:18:52
I am working on a college project, building a web page, in which my theme is my experience as female in the Corps. I found your personal experience as a Marine interesting. Although I am out it is an experience that, for me, one will never forget.
Judy Stuart - 10/10/00 07:30:35
I was thinking of redoing our living room in seventies style, and was looking for ideas. Thank you! Will you be writing a book?
What's up, Wes! dis is da phunky ravin sound of Sailor Raver Moon! aka Juliana, BHS webpagepro student.... I think your site is really awesome. I loved reading about the history of your childhood and your house ^_^ Keep it real! Much luv, Julz
DAVID - 09/27/00 17:31:53
ALL I GOTTA SAY IS THAT YOU NEED A LIFEEEEE!!! YOUR PAGE SUCKS!!!! BY THE WAY YOU SHOULD PUT THIS PAGE DOWN TIL YOU PUT SOMETHING BETTER ON IT THEN YOUR LIFE STORY!!! HOW BORING!!!! ZzZzZzZ<
Looking at your e-mail address I suspect you're not in my target audience. - Wes
Your site is quite interesting... and your viewpoint on website design is interesting!
John Rider - 09/25/00 03:07:14
Great web site. Brings back a lot of memories. We had a Wham-O Super Ball when we were in school, and it bounced great in the hall ways, but always ended up in one place, the principal's office....
Casey Dillon - 09/18/00 23:38:24
I myself grew up in Burbank during the 70's and 80,s and happen to have grandparents that lived on N. Lincoln st but I cant remember their address. Their names were Al and Carmen Paige. I lived on Naomi st between Magnolia and Chandler. I know live in Dallas and have been here for 8 years. I happened upon your website one day at work and it was cool because it hit so close to home. Anyway, the webpage is cool. Case
Denise - 09/03/00 05:10:58
What memories this site brought back. It made me think of the place I lived in for most of my childhood in the 70's and early 80's. My parents got a deal on decorating materials from my dad's brother-in-law, which meant pretty much they used whatever he g ve them for free. :) The living room was done in rust colored wall-to-wall carpeting. One wall was gray paneling and the other wall was plastic fake bricks with wood beam things that my dad beat with a hammer to look 'distressed' before nailing to the wal . My mom hung the room with all these black wrought iron sconces and mirrors-when my sister and I talk about it today, we call it 'Castle Frankenstein'. They did my bedroom with what was left over, so I spent my teenage years in an annex to the living roo . Except that my Mom hung two velvet horse paintings in there. We lived in the middle of South Philly-the only horses I ever saw had cops on them. Christmas one year, my dad tacked lights in the shape of a tree on the wall, and then decorated it with garl nd and ornaments just like it was an actually Christmas tree-God, it was tacky. He was always doing stuff like that. He died when I was 19, and going through your website really made me miss him-and that house. Thanks...
carolyn hoffman mike - 08/30/00 01:31:51
Man.... i love your web page....... Sure does bring back the memories... Thank you for sharing i really enjoyed it... all *grin*
Cool site, I enjoyed reading the stories. Visit my page! :)
dave jury - 08/15/00 11:50:11
thank u for letting me share ur memories, they bring back alot of my own too, ur site is great and 1 of the best ive ever seen, please keep adding to it.
Angela - 08/12/00 19:31:56
your site sucks ass! how do i get out? y r u conncted to rotten.com? whats the point of this stupid site anyways? r we supposed to be interested in your lame life or somethin? maybe you should get one before u make a site about it!!! love angela fro new orleans
How do you remove yourself from my site? Use your browser's "back" function, of course. I'm not sure how Avocado Memories got on the rotten.com's links page - we have little in common, and I certainly did not request the connection. - Wes
Phillip Aguirre - 08/12/00 15:39:53
Came across your page by accident. I grew up on N. Evergreen St. in the 60s and 70s. Was looking for information on the passing of Bill Burton, whose family lived 5 houses up from me.
Sorry, I don't know the fellow. - Wes
Mike Ransom - 08/07/00 04:40:14
Hi, again, Wes!
"Quiet Village" which you mentioned as the first music you remember enjoying, was the 1st theme song for the late night sci-fi/horror show "Fantastic Theater" here in Tulsa in the mid-to-late sixties. My obsession with trying to identify its 2nd theme song, "Sonik Re-Entry" by Dissevelt/Baltan, was the catalyst for the creation of my web site, Tulsa TV Memories.
But your site had already shown me that good writing about the very local was more than enough to make a site enjoyable and memorable.
Thanks for the kind words. I have looked through your Tulsa TV site, and it makes me long for the days of local programming. Yes, I know it's still available in the form of cable access (and I do like the local programming found there), but it's diffe ent, somehow. - Wes
Lillith - 08/02/00 04:37:42
What a fantastic site you have - I have spent hours here! Many laughs, many great memories (growing up in Australia wasn't too much different!)
I see this comment fairly frequently; I am surprised to learn that avocado was also a 70's fact of life in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the U.K. - Wes
Mark hernandez - 08/01/00 01:22:53
Hi Wes--I was glad to hear---thanks to you .That those weird statues from "the Old Trappers Lodge"--are still alive(so to speak)at Pierce College!!That's a great web page that you suggested--it explains who and what happened to these "folk-art wonders".I we you---man they look just as "spooky" as I remembered them as a kid!!!Now I can go check them out!!(if I dare!!)
Sally - 07/28/00 19:26:29
I've just sent the url to 12 of my friends. Your site offers glorious "work avoidance minutes". You should get some sort of faux gold trophy to display in your rec room as a tribute to your efforts. I'm totally envious of your formidable achievement.
Andy - 07/26/00 04:22:04
Wow! Your site is so detailed it makes me hunger for the SFV of the 60's and 70's. Open fields to ride dirt bikes, skate boarding every where. The pleasure of someone moving and leaving a drained pool for us to skate. 105 degrees in the summer, no pro lem. Let's play baseball in the cul-de-sac. Thanks from a former Sepulveda (now North Hills resident).
Hi Wes----Thanks for responding to my "fizzies" question on "Local Legends".Man-- you had me laughing soo loud,with your comment about the Daisy air-rifle!!! And yes--- I did shoot my pals with a blast of terra-firma in the face.(and had my own features d rt enhanced--what's good for the goose--etc., etc.) I had forgotten about that little stunt as a kid.We may not have been perfect as kids--- but boy, we sure knew how to have FUN!!!
I've been a visitor since 1998 and I'm still discovering new items like the "death of Ferro Lad" and the memories of the corner drug store. Your web site is the next best thing to a time machine. You've inspired me to wax nostalgic about something close t my heart, summer camp. See my web page link for my stories. Thanks again.
Your Camp web site is great! Very fun reading - I recommend it to readers of my web site. - Wes
Jeanne Nelson - 07/20/00 05:11:43
Neat page. Mcculchian (sp) had a link to it. Jeanne
clarence - 07/11/00 20:14:24
you are very handsome!
It was so
COOL SITE I like it alot
Doug Nichol - 07/06/00 15:13:16
Thanks for a good time.
You have a very nice webpage. I came upon it while viewing the different neighborhoods, namely the "Heartland" neighborhood.(7/4/00)
Mark Hernandez - 06/29/00 08:44:57
Hi Wes---I totally enjoyed your 60's toy memories."Gosh--you sure have some great toys"---if I may quote Roy Batty" in" Blade Runner". Your comments are sooo funny about your old child-hood toys!! I'll never forget shooting up my "Aurora" monster models f om the 60's(Dracula,Wolf-man,Mummy,and the Creature)with my "Marksman" BB pistol-- cause I was getting older and growing out toys.That little stunt probably cost me a couple of grand if I had only kept them(dough!!)Our past always comes back to haunt us!! br
Jade - 06/28/00 15:44:25
Love it!! You have a great site with loads to see!
Jody Castor - 06/22/00 05:06:10
Wes, I am a 44 year old mother of 4 from Fort Dodge, Iowa. I can't even remember how I found this, but I have just spent the last hour and a half getting acquainted with you and your parents. I feel like we are friends now. Can you BELIEVE we wore knit gold triped bell-bottoms.... and thought we looked GOOD?
I have little self-delusion about my looks or dress sense, even back then. I always suspected I looked like an idiot. - Wes
You wouldn't think a girl from Iowa and a boy from California would have much in common... but you'd be surprised. Just look at my email address! Your kids will treasure this forever, ............ it is wonderful. Jody*
Mark Hernandez - 06/20/00 22:09:17
Hi Wes--- Iam glad "you "too remember those cool"sting-ray" bikes.Thanks for adding your comments on "Local Legends" and for clueing me on to your great web-site!!You're really done your homework in digging up alot of cool memories from the 60's.I had com letely forgot about the calf on the Jessup's logo.
I'm trying to find an image of it on the web now, with no success.
We probably rode our sting-ray's right by each other!!That use to be a favorite place with my bunch of pals as a kid!!We use to take grease off the convayer chain --roll them into small balls--then throw t em at the cows.(boys will be boys!!)It would stick like glue--but wouldn't hurt the cows!!Do you remember the cool "slot-car" race track on Lexington near Brand in Glendale? I believe there's one in Monrovia called Uncle Jer's.I'll be here a while going t rough your site---it's a whopper!! thanks--Mark Hernandez
When we first moved to Burbank in 1965 Mom used to take me to a slot car track somewhere in Burbank, but I forget where. (Burbank Blvd., maybe?) Anyway, that was a fad that lasted a couple of months with me. I didn't do an especially good job of customizi g my car, and I was never very good at keeping it on the track! - Wes
email@example.com - 06/19/00 16:59:33
Best pic of "Big Lou" I've found yet. Still have mine but he's seen better days. Astro raygun, motorifics, Jimmy Jet! Thanks!
Fun page, an interesting idea for a theme. I enjoyed it.
Hi Wes, Having grown up in Whittier, CA during the 70s, I found your website to be a delightfully accurate and detailed look at California suburbia. My Mom still lives in a hacienda-style mobile home with avocado appliances and red/orange shag carpeting. Little d d you know that your father's taste in Tikis would one day be adopted by an army of hipsters!
Yes, my father's taste in music, recreation and decor is now called "lounge." It's really true, there is no new thing under the sun. - Wes
d benson - 06/08/00 23:42:45
Just surfed in. You did a very nice job on your web-site!
holly - 06/07/00 22:52:01
Im really not sure how I found your website, but I looked at your pictures, and read some of your stories. I really enjoyed all of it!! It reminded me of my childhood here in massachusettes. Especially my parents interesting taste in home decor. The w bsite is very heartwarming. Thankyou for sharing, holly
This is the grooviest page I've seen! I wish I had more time to explore it - I'll be back for sure! It's amazing! :)
heather ivill - 06/04/00 17:46:32
I truly enjoyed looking through your web site. I'm doing a report on the 60's for my history class and I thought that it would be appropriate to get a hands on look at the 60's. As I scrolled down the pages, my mother was narrating everything before I ould read what you wrote. She gave a description of everything that we saw. Not only did I get to see the 60's-70's first person, but I also felt like I got to know you personally. So I say "Thank you" for helping me with my research assignment and tak ng me back in time! Yours truley, Heather Ivill student @ Homestead Senior High(homestead, Fla.)
Phillip J.Knight - 06/04/00 13:55:40
AHHH!!! The smell of "Creepy Crawlers " during their metamorphis from Goop to a more solid state!There is nothing quite like it.That or the odor of my Mom's polyesther Hi-Lo Moss Green shag carpet melting down to the slab under the Heating plate!My Mom ha "throw rugs" in the most unusual places!I was a Quik Clac champion till Russel Coble threw mine into the High Voltage power line that ran behind our subdivision.They hung there well into the late 80's.....I really enjoyed your site!
Carla - 05/30/00 01:01:47
Wes- All I can say is a big fat "Thank You!" I just love your site and all the tales you tell. Even though I grew up in Northern California (SF Bay Area)it's all still the same. My husband gets a kick when i tell the story of coming home from school one day (early 70's) and finding that my mom had spray painted everything (picture frames, lamps, etc.) orange. She thought this went well with all of our avocado appliances and lime green shag carpet! Thank you Wes for all your hard work and please don't ever stop!! I will be back!!! Carla M. Concord, CA
Cool site. The Marine Corp part was interesting. Times have certainly changed (and I don't always think for the better!).
Agreed. The Marine Corps seems to be significantly different from what it was - but then, old Marines have been bemoaning this fact for decades. - Wes
Dig your hands into the earth, and then let the clay and dirt fall to the ground. After a year's passing, can you find that clay again? But drop a stone block, a beam, a fired brick; it will persist a year, and another hundred years beside.
Yes, in a few hundred years' time cultural researchers may dig up our backyard and discover a circa 1968 model Blue Haven swimming pool, and a Ph.D. candidate will earn his degree by speculating about what sorts of activities took place around it. - Wes
hi, i'm 14 and a freshman at BHS. well, finals are upon us and i'm getting sort of nervous. i'm actually taing a break from writing my essay in english class. stupid topic. anyway, this website is really neat. now, at BHS, there's an asb-run "dj" on the f otball field at lunch (fridays) that blasts lame rap and pop music. i am so not popular there, but i like it that way. one question: where did you sit at lunch during your four years of torture? it seems like where you sit and what you wear and dictate y ur social status. i hate things like that. a lot of people at bhs are so shallow. but a lot of people broke out of the conformist thing, so it's a really diverse place. ha, i can't imagine bhs in the seventies! must have been crappy! oh wait, it still is. love, al
As crappy as it is for you, however, years later you will find yourself thinking back on these days with some wistfulness. Wait and see. I sat upstairs in an alcove for a door that led to the balcony of the auditorium. Me and some girls used to have our l nch there. Generally, we all liked classical music. I recall the time I admitted liking Alice Cooper's music, and getting incredulous stares in response. I showed Becky a cassette I had made of "Billion Dollar Babies," and she looked at one of the song titles and then at me: "Raped and Freezing?" - Wes
LT - 05/24/00 19:40:50
You bring a feeling to us!! I hope I can search more in the web.
Henry McCullagh - 05/23/00 14:24:05
Mr Clark ...what a site! I am glad to see that i am not the only one to have experienced the joys of an avocado colour scheme while growing up. Indeed as a 1957 model myself I see so many similarities in your youth and mine. In my case though I grew up i Brisbane, Australia. Thanks again for the 'truth' of our generation!
Honeylee - 05/22/00 04:30:08
so far so good??
sh - 05/21/00 07:58:52
You have a great homepage !
Just dropped in to say hello.
Anitra - 05/10/00 20:54:30
Brought back some memories for me, like your web page, you did a very good job on it, Im just looking at peoples pages to come with some ideals for myself, after seeing yours I now know what Im gonna to do with a web page. Drag out all of the old black a d white photos of the 50's & 60's. My that Sting a ray sure brought back memiories for me too.
Janet McKanna - 05/10/00 02:47:09
How funny! I was just telling my coworkers about my weekend visit to my parents, where they still have my circa 1968 paint-by-number collie paintings still hanging. Then I stumbled upon your site. Thanks for bringing back memories of the same tacky dec r, the same nerdiness feelings - and the gratitude I'm not the same, but can appreciate the past for what it was.
Francisco Ramirez - 05/05/00 19:16:19
Congratulations on your web site! It is really inspiring to know that there are people who care about family and memories!
erica - 05/05/00 17:25:51
hi your site is really good.i never think that maybe some day i will want to see my house's pictures. Your site just inspirer me ! when i was a kid,my parentsrarely took the picture.so now i only get a few pictures of me.that's pretty sad,isn't? and i forget to introduce myself... my enghish name is erica end i am a Taiwanese,20 years old. ok bye i will visit this site again
Danielle - 05/02/00 00:17:08
I absolutely love this page. I am a 22 year old from North Dakota, and plan on moving to California very soon. I stumbled across this page and read every bit and bookmarked it. I love it! Time to get my camera out!!!! ;)
Cindy - 04/28/00 20:51:02
I just laughed and cried my way through this site. I'm a bit younger than Wes (born in 1969), from the Midwest (North Dakota), but my parents bought a house in 1974 that I grew up in, with harvest gold appliances. My mom also had this weird idea of put ing wallpaper on just one wall in every room. My parents still own the house, but they have moved to another town and are trying to sell it, so it's pretty empty. I'm heart-broken now that I didn't take more pictures of the little things in the interior that, if I accidentally see something similar, has the power to instantly take me back to the 70s. Wes has done a fabulous job. I really enjoyed meeting his family. Thank you!
Hello Mr. Clark. I very much enjoyed visiting your web site. I grew up in the 60's and 70's too. Your advacado memories took me back to my childhood as well. You have done a wonderful job. Thank you for sharing it with me.
Jon - 04/26/00 18:39:51
I thoroughly enjoyed the site. Although I was born 10 years later than you, and in Arizona, Avacado Memories really took me back to my own youth. Last night and this morning, I read the entire contents of the site (unless i missed a few links within the sections). Superb content...thanks for documenting it, sometimes the world seems so far away from the "old days". J
What a smashing website ! I have never been to the States , but this was a perfect insite into real life , very touching, and some smashing pics of old 60's toys . I had a man from uncle gun myself and was always Illya Curiakin [ pardon my spelling ! ] when we played games. thank you once again for some first class entertainment. [ my site has only just begun and |I am a total amature ] tara for now ! nige
jes hively - 04/16/00 22:09:30
4-16-00 Cool web page; I was born in 1956, and so a teenager in the 70,s. Love those memories. jeshively
I too was raised in Burbank on Chandler Blvd. Went to J.B. High grad. in 1965, Your house looked much like mine, I do get homesick for Burbank once in a while as I now live in Northern California. Check out my website as it is about trains in LA.
Jack Duggan - 04/15/00 01:39:49
Wes, I grew up in Burbank myself. I'm about 10 years older than you I think. I loved the pictures and site. It's just great. Lots of old memories there. It was an interesting place in the 60's. Best regards, Jack Mill Valley, CA (above San Francisco)
Mike Cooley - 04/14/00 15:00:49
Wes, Finally see another who sees the world as I do. It can be fun when we let it be. Thanks for sharing, making many smile and showing love for your parents. Your Mother & Dad taught you well. Mike Cooley Memphis, TN
Bev Powell - 04/11/00 19:16:09
I loved your page. I am a few years older than you(don't tell anyone) but I remember vividly alot of the stuff that you went through. I had three younger brothers that would have been fast friends of yours as they did alot of the same things you did. T anks for the wonderful page, your family should be very proud. I hope your kids continue and make it a tradition!! Bev
Melissa Kronlund - 04/09/00 20:52:18
Sorry, I forgot to include my email. Smiles, Melissa
Melissa Kronlund - 04/09/00 20:50:39
Wow, what a blast from my past...like a lot of the others, I grew up in Burbank from 1960 thru 1999 and you brought back many memories. I lived up on Keystone and Magnolia Blvd. and went to JBHS...home of the Indians....We were so lucky to grow up in such a great little town.
Hi, again, Wes...just checked out your Film Noir site. I see you mentioned 1998's "Dark City". It was about my 4th pick at the local multi-plex theater on the occasion, but it proved to be better than choice A, B or C.
It was truly imaginative, and ploughed that general turf ("nothing is what the protagonist thinks it is") a lot more effectively than the Jim Carrey movie ("The Truman Show").
Much as I liked it, I was amazed that a mainstream critic, Roger Ebert, named it the best movie of that year!
Hmm. Well, I did like the film. I am always interested in seeing noir elements crop up in newer productions. I think that film noir, like the movie musical, is a uniquely American artform.
(By the way, my embryonic film noir site is here. When I realized I wasn't writing anything that couldn't be found elsewhere on the web, I gave up on it.)
My favorite "What is reality?" film is the cult favorite "Carnival of Souls." (A Twilight Zone episode - "The Hitchhiker" seemed to be related to this.) "Jacob's Ladder" had this as a theme as well, as did the recent (and much more successful) "The Sixth Sense."
andrew starr - 04/01/00 09:28:44
Hilarious! I wasnt able to check out all the stuff but your site is great! It looks like you had a fun childhood. Very real! congrats andrew starr firstname.lastname@example.org
A Friend - 04/01/00 01:00:57
After hearing the sound bytes of Sheriff John singing "Put another candle on my birthday cake", I really had a hard time keeping my eyes from tearing up....been over 30 years since I heard that song, and had almost forgetten it til now. Thanks for making me feel OLD! :-)
Thanks, anytime! :) That sound clip of Sheriff John, by the way, is found on Trish Parti's spiffy "L.A. Local Legends" site at http://www.angelfire.com/ca/PartiGirl/index.html
I've spent a whole morning when I was supposed to be working, just looking at your site. I grew up in California (SF Bay Area) in the 60s/70's and my father, too, brought home the aluminum Christmas tree replete with color wheel. For some reason this was a male undertaking. We also had a regular green artificial tree, but the aluminum tree w s my favorite. What could be better than lying on my back, head thrust beneath the tree while it's branches glittered and shimmered in sequence, green....blue....yellow...red, while the Wonderful World of Disney was on the (black and white) TV in the nex room and Professor Von Drake sang about "...red, yellow aqua and blue, blue, blue"? It's so pathetic and endearing what my parent's did to our house in an attempt to be stylish or modern. My mother antiqued like a mad woman but rather than avocado, her favorite color was a sort of dark gray-blue. What was the idea of that sooty after-glaze that got smeared on after the main coat of color? Was it supposed to simulate dirt? I could never figure it out.
Sherry - 03/28/00 08:48:18
I LOVE your site! It reminds me so much of when I was growing up! You have done what I have only thought about doing!I'm in Geocities, thinking about starting my own home page. IF I do it, hope it looks as good as yours! " Keep the home fires burning" Sherry
jane and jim - 03/27/00 20:36:51
I love it! Your memories make me homesick. We are from northern California, but, after all we are still "Californians; residents of a state in which taste is no requirement" Jim and Jane Palik, Stuttgart, Germany.
Mao - 03/26/00 20:04:36
Antonio M. Melchor - 03/19/00 15:55:40
Hi Great Idea. Super neat page. I lived in Long beach after completing my military service. Miss all my old friends in CA. That was in 61 thru 62. Was in navy 57-61. After 20 year break came back in military and retired in 97. Was recalled to Desert Storm in 91. There is a song that hunts my memory, but nobody remembers it from my beach bum days in L.B.I think it said " That old Balboa moon like a toy ballon" The melody is crystal clear, the words I'm not really sure off. Any Recollection? Maybe it was that " ld Bill Ballard Moon" And Again terrific page.
Lynnell Henderson - 03/19/00 05:24:08
Remember me? I haven't read your entire page yet, did you forget all the times Viki Gardemen and I T.Peed your house? I'll write again, I too have so very much to share about our Burbank. Wow Wesley Clark!!!
Dude, thanks for taking me back to the time.. I too grew up in Burbank, and nearly right across the street from you... Wow, what flash backs, I just had... Lots of memories of places that even I had forgotten about. Thanks for taking me back.....
Wes: Sure enjoyed your site! Your Disneyland section really interested me, as I worked there from 1966-81 and 1995-86. Please visit my Disneyland page at: http://sr2.xoom.com/donpayne/aboutdp.html I hope you enjoy my stuff as much as I did your writing. Regards, Don Payne Lake Arrowhead, CA
Keeley Martin - 03/10/00 16:42:01
hi i love your site
Amanda Halls - 03/10/00 16:39:26
Its a grate web site and ill be back soon
Dave - 03/06/00 23:25:23
You have developed something special. You have inspired me to do a similar project for my family. I think everyone takes family for granted untill they are no longer around. What a great gift to those close to you to leave a cronical of your journey throu h life.
Great site! Lived and roamed around down in Southern CA. Loved the toys & made me think of the good old days.
Danelle (Vierra) Williams - 03/04/00 02:41:08
My brother told me about your website, and I loved it. We too grew up in Burbank, partly in the same area as you. My grandmother lives almost directly behind your house. Small world! Thanks for the memories.
hi i am trisha and i signed your guess book if you didn't mind! from trisha
chris - 02/26/00 02:00:19
Hi greetings from germany!
Jody - 02/26/00 00:27:27
When I want to laugh, feel good and nostalgic, I click on the bookmark for your Avocado Memories. In keeping with your parents' polynesian decor, I am making the trek to Ventura to visit for the first time: Tiki Traders on Main Street! They claim to have Tiki candles, Tiki party lights, bamboo/rattan accessories, grass matting, Aloha shirts and other tropical apparel, etc. I'm buying all the trashy nostalgia of the polynesian 50's I can afford.I'm bringing the tradition forward into the new millennium! Thanks for your web site!
B. Clay Moore - 02/25/00 07:59:01
What a beautiful site, Wes! I stumbled upon it purely by accident, but was surprised how much I enjoyed touring your home and reading your recollections. Strangely affecting stuff...very nice.
philip rush - 02/20/00 12:42:11
enjoyed very much thank you
Bob AKA = Mr.Magic - 02/20/00 10:37:37
really nice page I enjoyed gooing throught it.....
Sharon Gannon - 02/20/00 03:30:26
I grew up at the same time in LA. I think your web page is wonderful! I was just surfing, looking for ideas for a business web page....thanks for the memories.
Miriam - 02/19/00 18:45:28
1953 for me. My childhood friend, now living in Chicago, sent me link in January. I finally peeked today, but see that I'll have to come back for more. The rich detail of faded old memories is phenomenal -- thank you for investing your time, energy and for letting us in! My 10-year old is a cubscout. You should like my e-mail address!
Debi Garrett - 02/18/00 18:06:38
I will have to come back and read more when I have time, but my "Best Friend" Lori from Burbank (We both grew up there) sent me to your web page! What a kick. But i'm surprised that no one from your guest book says they are from Burbank!I was just up ther driving around my old houses too! that was fun! thanks! Deb
clarky - 02/17/00 03:50:35
cool page and a great name ( clark )
J.K. - 02/14/00 07:19:11
Great site! I was looking for some 1960-1970 information for an upcoming Cub Scout Blue & Gold Banquet. You really brought back some pleasant memories. Thanks!
Bryn & Rob - 02/13/00 05:27:55
Thanks for the tour. Check out "Sensations" - the exhibit of art from the Saatchi & Saatchi collection for an interesting and different take on family life. Enjoyed your pix and stories - thanks.
Marina - 02/13/00 04:52:54
Hello, I took a look at your site..I thought it was a very good idea...I took a look cause I wanted to do my own Web page too...But, I did not take pic...But, if I thought of it..I would of...Now I wish I did...Cause I left Huntington Beach in 1995. Came back in Spring of 1997..I was shocked how it grew and changed in that short time..I was WOW...Ohhh if I get mine going..I let you know... Later, Marina
Ethan Clark - 02/11/00 14:47:04
For a really cool site, from the son of the guy who made this site, the Hairy Lit'le Gnome! A cartoon created by Ethan Wesley Clark. Click below to get to it. http://www.angelfire.com/ut/HairyGnome
Avocados are cool, but onions suck, so visit the Anti-Onion League
Terence - 02/07/00 19:55:47
What a great site! I certainly enjoyed visiting your homepage. Visit mine too! I'm sure you won't be disappointed.
You have a cool website! : )
Jill - 02/01/00 18:42:38
hey, did u know that the word avocado comes froma native american word for testicles? it does.
As Ed McMahon used to say, you are correct, sir. The dictionary says, "avocado: modif. of Spanish 'aguacate,' fr. Nahuatl 'ahuacatl,' lit. testicle 1697." - Wes
marcy - 01/29/00 03:44:22
Gave me quite a few chuckles...in other words really enjoyed stopping by and will be back. Also forwarding your URL to a few friends. Peace, Baby!
What a great page. Thanks for sharing and have a nice day !
Travis Winters - 01/23/00 22:16:19
This is one of the funniest and warmest pages I've seen. I was in my teens back in the '70s and I experienced my share of mood rings, pet rocks,Partridge Family, leisure suits(my mom bought me a powder blue one, UGH!),shag carpeting and my Dads Pinto sta ionwagon. Thank you, Wes, for reminding me of my youth. p.s. the carpeting was in our living room. It was avocado!!
Frederic - 01/21/00 22:36:37
What a surprising site ! I thought at first that it would be just another "me and myself" boring personal homepage... and I ended up spending most of my evening reading it. Its simplicity and authenticity are touching. I would never have thought that desc ibing a house could be so funny too ! I often laughed out loud while reading.
Sherri Hellige - 01/21/00 06:14:13
What a fabulous idea! And a great homage to your past (avocado and all!). It brought back many similar, tacky decorating faux pas of my childhood, but with which I remember with great joy (and sometimes horror!) I appreciate the opportunity to have my memories rekindled, as well!
Joy Franklin(clark) - 01/21/00 04:45:09
I have Clark family out in ca. was just wondering if you are part of it?
Maybe, maybe not. Click here for my genealogy. Do you fit into it anywhere? - Wes
- 01/16/00 03:17:00
When I think back to my childhood in the 60's It feels like another world. Of course everything changes and the 90's children will probobly recall there decade better than the 2020's. But some how I think something changed. I would give anything to be back watching the Avengers on a cold New York autum, while hearing sombodys radio playing "Love is Blue" Your site took me there. Rick
BooBooKitty - 01/14/00 06:21:04
It's about time someone deflated the nostalgic myths of the 70s. Compared to much of the 50s and 60s and even the 80s and 90s this so-called "classic rock" just doesn't rock. As far as disco, it was actually a step forward compared to the Osmonds and Part idges that preceded it
Ilona - 01/13/00 17:22:57
I spent quite awhile on your site-the combination of your writing,affectionate banter,and the amazing recall and documentation (who would think of putting together such a wonderful collage of pics?)was fascinating. really. Your web design was impressive,t o.
Mike Ransom - 01/11/00 07:18:57
Wes, my site, Tulsa TV Memories, just got a new URL!
Could this be the Avocado Millenium?
It's beginning to look that way! - Wes (I've updated this link on my links page.) - Wes
Alright Wes, did you get inside my life or something? I still have my Johny Eagle Magumba Rifle, though it's missing the scope and it's kinda beat up! ....I still have that ship's hatch with all the layers of resin and never did get legs on it, but the d ips are there! ....And our neighborhood Farouk sold hotdogs outside the school and broke the springs on the green station wagon that he used when he sat on the tailgate once! All this and hey, we're gonna put you on our Surfin' Turf Fishy Links page at FishyNews.com - The Source of All News and Seafood Too, and, well, to put it mildly, you've created something great here. We agree 100% about the comment that this should be in the Smithsonian! All the Best - Fishy
Fishy has a cool site. I especially agree with the film reviews! - Wes
Donna - 01/04/00 22:34:07
Mary Moorefield - 01/03/00 03:31:53
Wonderful. I think you really captured it. My mother was also fond of avocado green, macrame and different decorating schemes (we moved a lot since my father was in the military so she had lots of chances for redecorating), but avocado green was always here!
Wes! My gosh...WHY aren't you writing books??? I've been at your website for 2.5 hours thoroughly enthralled!! As a kid of the 70's....whatta nostalgic tour. And our mothers were 2 of a kind. Also my husband's father was from Berlin, NH. You've done a fan astic job here and I can only imagine how much time was invested. Maybe someday you'll have the time to glance at my website & sign the book. Thanks for the entertainment.