12/31/98

Howdy.. I just checked out your page..and I really enjoyed it! I just wanted to tell you that I think you should write an autobiography of your childhood memories, not much unlike what you have put on your page.. You can even put your web address in the book. I'm sure almost any publisher would enjoy your work; why wouldn't they??

Enjoying it and thinking it's commercially viable are two different things, apparently. The people at Chronicle Books, to whom I submitted the Avocado Memories manuscript, enjoyed it, but after months finally decided not to buy it. Oh, well.

Trying again in 1999 is one of my New Year's resolutions.

I mean, look at how many people read your page after you update it!

Precisely.

I'm not the greatest of writers and I haven't finished any of my fiction that I'd love to see published, but I know great writing - and that's what you have. Keep up the great work!!

Thanks!

Wes


12/27/98

Was browsing and for some unknown reason wound up on your site. Despite having the flu I read the whole thing - your page is so great.

Having spent Christmas with my Dad in his "generation 3" home (and graduated from high school in 1975) your pages took me way down memory lane - especially the parts where you discuss becoming your mother/father.

My parents also did the decor thing - but being Espiscopalians were much more reserved about the whole thing. Despite this our "generation 2" home (when they upgraded from post WW2 laminate to harvest gold and orange) was a product of the 70's. To make matters worse, my father worked for Celanese which churned out billions and billions of tons of fortrel@ polyester - half of which wound up in our home. I remember my mother sporting the latest in (free) fortrel lounge wear (in a LARGE paisley design or some sort of flower-power green or orange) accompanied by my father in his (free demonstration) blue-and-white checked (and I mean BIG "honking" checks here) sports coat with beige pants.

I bet some twenty year-old would snap the ensemble up in a second...

Multi-coloured Shag and indoor/outdoor carpet (preferably with some sort of loud and "modern design") reined supreme in our home (I think it was free too - marketing stuff) prefered colour - orange. My mother once had an unfortunate accident involving a roast and the kitchen carpet - the grease stain never did come out. And the mirrors with the gold veining - my mother installed them in the living room - conceding that more light was available but worried (as Espiscopalians can be) that the neighbours might think we were of "mediterranean heritage".

Ha!

I thought we had died and gone to decorator heaven.

Dad's 3rd generation home is gold-and-beige. The same furniture from 1946 is in the home - having been reupolstered to match the decor. It's gold now. Nicknacks are everywhere - until I bring my children to visit - then the house is swept clean of breakables.

Anyway - I became my mother over the holidays (my role now that Mum passed on) and had to curse my father out for putting too much wrapping paper in the fireplace ("for Christ's sake you'll set fire to the chinmey")

I get the same lecture, except about newspapers. All males are pyros.

and not "lifting a finger to help around the place".

Hmmmm... sounds familiar...

I also have stainless steel appliances - undoubtedly these will become "groovy" in time. Personally, I am trusting that one of my close friends will point out any possible "groovy" or Gloria-like tendancies so that I can redecorate or be mercifuly terminated.

The site is great - keep it up.

Barb Carter
Victoria BC Canada

Thanks!

Wes


12/26/98

Like many others who have discovered your site I was reminded of my teenage years. Mine were spent in Gardena, California in the 50's and I've often wondered what ever became of some of the kids I went to school with at Gardena High.

Many of the things you talked about and letters from others show that from the 50's on through the 60's and 70's some things about life in Southern California didn't change much.

Every town had its drive-in restaurants that we hung out at in our custom cars. In Gardena mine was the Red Bell on Vermont, I think it was, and I remember having a huge crush on one of the car-hops but she was several years older than me and my crowd and didn't show much interest.

Here's one for you. I remember going to a night football game at the new Gardena High (I was in the first graduation class-the Pharaohs of Winter '57) and across the way was a drive-in movie theatre showing Elvis in Jailhouse Rock. Talk about a great two-for-one value!

Lots of your respondents have recalled their "weird" parents. I sure thought that mine were certainly in that category when I was a teen. I remember them buying a 16' runabout boat and the day they had the great "launching" down at Long Beach. My parents had invited two friends of theirs, my younger brother was included, and my friend Larry Richardson and I went along but felt the need to keep our distance from the great event in case anything went wrong. We didn't want anyone to think we had any connection with this group. They all got in the boat and my dad managed to get it started but had forgotten to put stoppers in the drainage holes at the back under the transom. Slowly the boat began to fill with water and my kid brother started to get really upset. My mother kept telling him and the others that the man at Sears had assured them that the boat was "self bailing" but by this time the motor was practically under water and could not cope with the load it was pushing. Somehow they managed to get close enough to the shore that they could all get out and we found someone with a vehicle that had a winch on it and we rescued the boat.Needless to say, my friend,Larry, could't resist sharing that little story with everyone and it took a long time for me to live it down.

Thanks, Wes, for creating a site that has triggered lots of memories for many people.

Ken Bailey


12/24/98

Your pages of memories had me laughing and crying..remembering Spanish swords crossed on the wall under a matador's hat, beside a bullfighting poster, all hanging over dark red naugahyde furniture with strange sort of plastic wood handrests (?) amongst other delights I experienced at the time of my mother's second marriage. It was '65 and I was 6.

Somebody who wrote in to me had a great term for this type of thing, "The Mediterrean Torture Chamber."

Unfortunately, the 2 bedroom bungalow was torn down in '79, though the orange and avocado curtains with yellow pompom trim hung long after we moved out. My children will have to rely on my descriptions and memories filtered by time and attitude. Your idea of publishing shouldn't stop with publishers. You could self publish quite easily, depending on the quality of your computer and printer. Don't let the commercial guys stop you from sharing this with as many as possible.

Thanks for the wonderful stories,
Kathe Izen-Mondlak

p.s. I found your site through my cable isp's home page, all the way up here in Richmond, B.C. Canada

Cool! I like hearing from people outside of America!

Thanks...

Wes


Hi Wes:

I have to say that I didn't mind spending an hour on your site today...I felt like it was 1975 all over again...I can still remember visiting my aunt and uncle who lived in Woodland Hills in 1975, and thinking that it was so cool to have those Hawaiin masks hanging off the back wall by the pool.

Yeah, it was a fashion statement, all right. We weren't the only ones...

Your stories really brought back that feeling that we all shared in the 1970's, and one that I miss now. I never once regret growing up then, and surfing your site just reaffirms that. Thanks again, from a 70's California kid (I know that my dad would have really wanted that bowling bench...)

I wonder what happened to it...

Wes


12/23/98

Hi Wes,

Thanks for the quaint walk down memory lane. I can truly say the overused "been there, done that".

I get this from a lot of people. Despite the fact that we're all from different states and countries, we have a lot in common in terms of what growing up was like for us.

I think that in the midst of the all the "Flower Power", people forget that we had a pretty '50's upbringing. Our parents were too old to participate, and we were too young to know what was really going on.

Yeah - I remember a lot of stuff that I now realize was from the Fifties (and before). The early Sixties were very much like the Fifties - every decade is like that.

It was a great time to grow up, and I'm striving to to give my own kids that same great upbringing, while trying to stay somewhat "cool".

I've given up coolness in favor of maturity, I'm afraid.

Thanks for the smiles.

Kathy Hofmann, 1963, California

You're welcome!

Wes


12/23/98

Wes- thank you for your great collection of memories. We are the same age, and I remember pleading for a Sting Ray for Christmas the same year you got yours. When I came to the living room that morning, I saw no bicycle, but a little card in the tree told me to look in the dining room. Holding my breath in anticipation, I rounded the corner to find... A big gold fat-tired Huffy with chrome fenders. I remember not knowing how to react, but inside I was crushed. I tried to act excited, not wanting to appear ungrateful. Turns out my Mom thought Sting Rays were a "fad." My Huffy, too embarrassing to ride with my Sting Ray friends, died a slow rusting death in the backyard.

I am so sorry!

Seeing the picture of you with your Sting Ray made me happy. I love your site and look forward to sharing it with my kids (8-10-12). Thanks
REO

Hey, go out and buy the car you want to make up for that Huffy! - Wes


12/22/98

Hi,
I enjoyed visiting your web site very much, I found the biography funny, sweet, touching and a great tribute to your loving parents. You have brought out the best of what the Internet has to offer.

Thanks again, it was a fun visit.
Bye,
Kate Graff


12/21/98

How strange for me. I come in from work & check my e-mail. I read the geocities newsletter singing the praises of "Avocado Memories". Since I grew up in Burbank during the 60's & 70's, I thought I'd check it out.

Flash Back time! ....Especially when you talked about your gal pal Angela De Tolla. Angela & her mother, Mary, were my neighbors in about 1968 or 69. I believe we lived on Tujunga Ave. We lived in a duplex...my family ( my mother, little brother & me)on one side and Angela & Mary on the other side. Mary would bring leftovers from Sargents restaurant to us on a regular basis. I especially remember the Chicken & Dumpling Soup and Hush Puppies. When I would visit Angela, we would talk about Dark Shadows. What a laugh you gave me with your recollections of that soap opera. I remember Angela drawing. She was, and I imagine still is, very artistic.

I graduated from Burbank High School in 1973. You graduated in the same class as my very good friend Debbie Welsh. She & Marilynn Christensen (Class of '73) are the only contacts I still have from Burbank.

Thank you for a most interesting time.

God Bless,

Jan Cox
(Formerly Janice Gruber)


12/21/98

The Daryl Starbird car you refer to in The Death of Ferro Lad was probably the "Predicta". Built in 1960, it was his first bubbletop car, and featured center stick steering , a Chrysler Hemi engine, and a fully chrome plated chassis. He built 14 other bubbletop cars through the years, including a 3 wheeler, "the Futurista", also made into a model by Monogram. I don't know how many of the bubbletop cars were made into models, but while Starbird was a design consultant at Monogram, 15 of his designs were produced, selling more than a million kits. More than you wanted to know? There's more, check out Rod and Custom magazine (Oct.98)

C-Ya
Dave.V.


12/18/98

Dear Wes,
I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed browsing your web site on Geocities. I happened on it by accident, when I for some reason clicked on the Landmark Sites page.

Although I was in Pennsylvania, and a couple years behind you, the memories in your pictures and essays are ones I can identify with. I was particularly amused by your Boy Scout recollections -- I'm in a similar boat. Although I went a little further than you (I made it to Life Scout), my connection today is through my son, who is about to get his Star. I've also been Cubmaster, ASM, and will become Scoutmaster in a couple months.

In fact, the whole reason I came to Geocities was to make a page for our troop (Yosemite/Rapids/9586/).

At any rate, there's a lot on your page, and I've bookmarked it to come back to in spare moments. It's highly personal, and I'm sure it will strike a chord with many people who grew up in the 60's. Frankly, it's the only page I've ever seen, dealing with an "everyday person's" life, that I've actually found interesting. I've NEVER taken the time to email someone telling them I enjoyed their web site.

Thanks for sharing your story.
Cary Bradley
Marietta, GA


12/18/98

Hello Wes,
I really loved it to read about your life. To get an idea about the Americans living. It's so totally different as how I lived my youth here in the Netherlands. Yes time flies! First I was the child, now I'm the mother....
I wish you well, take care,
Merry Christmas and a happy 1999!
Nel Koppers


12/17/98

Wes, I really enjoyed reading your essays and letters about growing up in Burbank, especially when you describe some of the places in "the cruise." I remember them well since I also grew up in Burbank, a little later than you, but it was still a great place. We always called it Bore-bank growing up since there really wasn't much to do in an "official" capacity, so we always had to make our own fun places to go.

Ah, yes, the same complaint every teenager has about the suburbs, "This place sucks." Then they drive into Hollywood the way we used to. Mike McDaniel and I were different, though - we actually liked Burbank.

Me and some friends used to go up to the Castaway's parking lot just like you describe the church lot. We would always cut class and go race up to the observatory in Griffith Park and back. Such good times. I used to live at 623 N. Lamer Street (where my parents still live), just 1 block away from Burroughs high school where I graduated in 1989. Our house has always been infamous in a way, you may have seen it. My dad, when we first moved in, planted about 30 baby cypress trees around the front perimeter of the lot; well these trees grow very tall and were never trimmed. They now stand about 75 feet tall.

Yes! I know exactly the place you're talking about! My parents and I used to drive by there on the way to Genio's Restaurant on Saturday nights and comment on those cypress trees... the comments were something like, "Well, I guess it's time to trim those cypress trees in front of our place before they get like that!" - Wes

I live in Wisconsin for now but love going back to see how things are changing, like how there's now an In&Out Burger in Burbank! of course after I move away. I will definitely be passing this site around to all my friends back home. Keep up the good work.

Andrew Domkus


12/17/98

Hi there: Just finished touring your site and I must say it really is quite wonderful. I really, really enjoyed myself. I think the best photo I came across was the one of the bench from the bowling alley. It made me laugh so hard because I remember when my dad announced to my mom that he could get one for free for our house. Well, my†mom threatened divorce, ha ha ha!

Thanks again for sharing your memories, sometimes I thought I was looking at pictures of my old home in Oshawa, Ont., Canada. Take care, keep up the good work on your site, I've bookmarked it. †

Annabelle

...proving once again that avocado memories aren't confined to the U.S.! - Wes


12/17/98

Having grown up in Burbank and also living on Lincoln St. I can share your memories. We lived in the 1400 block for awhile until my parents bought a home on Clark Ave. I went to Luther Burbank as you did but I elected to go to Burbank High rather than Burroughs. My daughter Debbie went to Burroughs and was Miss Burbank.

Really? You undoubtedly know that another Debbie, the actress Debbie Reynolds, was a Miss Burbank once as well. (Details here.) According to somebody I once corresponded with her photo was on that 1950's-looking mural of wholesome, dedicated students that used to be outside of Burroughs, on the front of the entrance to the auditorium. - Wes

I graduated in '61 so was a few years ahead of you. We're now in Ventura but will be heading east after the spring thaw. We stared a non-profit horse rescue here and are planning on a new chapter in NY or PA soon. Plus the grandkids are there. Good job on your site.

Mike Dodge

A follow-up email from Mike Dodge: "Debbie Reynolds went to school with my sister, who graduated in 1953. She used to live on Evergreen St. We lived there for a short while, too, when we got here from Florida in 1952. I think James Stacey's family still lives there. His real name is Maurice Elias."

Who is James Stacey, you ask? A one-armed, one-legged actor. He played the bartender in Disney's "Something Wicked This Way Comes." (A favorite film of mine.) - Wes


12/17/98

This site is too funny! It is like the "Wonder Years" 70's style!

The kid in Wonder Years is my age - he was depicted as being 16 in 1972, which was how old I was in that year. - Wes

You were lucky to have the "green" as a kid I had the mustard yellow with maha orange. I can still see the carpet in my mind now as I think back. It was a terrible yellow rubberback with orange octogons with smaller ones inside the bigger ones. But boy could you ride your skates or your scooter through the house on it. Now don't get me wrong we have the avocado green carpet in the living room with the black leather look couch and not to mention the red leather recliner with the red tape covering the busting arm rests. I can't wait to read the rest and look at all the special notes you have added. I will mention other things as I go along to see if i jog anymore of your memories of the wonderful years of growing up in the 70's...Keep it up I just wish I was as talented to do my own sight as you have.


12/17/98

Just wanted to say that I enjoyed sharing your memories. It brought back a lot of my own. What a wonderful place your children can go to to get some family history. I wish I had photos, etc. You can always "Go Home" and it must give you a warm feeling when you do. With all of the Junk on the internet, it was very nice to happen upon your site. I'm in Sarasota,FL and on cable internet and your site was featured under "Web Waste." I don't think your site quite fits the description, but I do find some worthwhile sites listed there from time to time. Thanks for sharing!

John Dittrich


12/17/98

Wes,
Going through your web pages brought back so many memories. We moved to Burbank from Spokane, Washington in 1965. The first place we lived at was called "The Trapper's Lodge"; man, what a dump! But with six children and two adults, it was about the only place to stay. Then we stayed at a place further down San Fernando Road near Lockheed, after that we moved all around the valley. But I remember the olive green and gold, shag rugs and the rest - I felt like I was 12 years old again. I really enjoyed your site, you are a very humourous and articulate person. Thank you for letting me visit!

Lynne
From Spokane, Wa ( I moved back after I graduated from San Fernando High)

Thank you!

The Old Trapper's Lodge, for those of you not familiar with it, was an amazing place. A folk art fan's find... I do believe that had the place not been torn down years ago it would today be on a California Notable Sites register of some kind. The front yard had a collection of really wild homemade statues of Homeric proportions. The one I recall best was a white man in a fight with an Indian - the Indian had buried a tomahawk into the guy's back and garish red enamel dripped down from the wound. (The artist - John Ehn, "the Old Trapper" - didn't spare the enamel when he painted up this one.) I think I also remember a giant statue of a bear in a cage. Also, there was a well with a sign that read "Pontiac Spring." Looking down the well one would see the automotive leaf springs to, presumably, a Pontiac. The decor can only be described as boyish; whomever did it must have been a kid at heart. Combine a Mad Magazine mentality with an unquenchable desire to create art (whether schooled or not) and you'll get an idea of what the front of the Trappers was like.

The place was decidedly seedy, all right, but it was nothing if not interesting from the outside! I'd imagine it was a real hell hole to stay at, however, like another one of Burbank's finer institutions, the downtown "Hotel for Men." (This may have been the Savoy Hotel.) The neon sign that proclaimed this could be seen from the Golden State Freeway, as I recall... I once had an occasion to go into the lobby for some reason and realized it was like walking into another world. The room looked like it was primarily occupied by bums and tramps, and smelled like, well, like nothing I can describe adequately. There was a sort of newsstand just outside that had an amazing collection of porn and horse racing papers, and a tobacco counter.

Do places like this even exist anymore?

Wes

GOOD NEWS!: Suzanne F. Hackett of the Valley Cultural Center pointed out to me that the Old Trappers statues have been preserved and maintained, and are on display at the Roadside America web site! Click here to see the Old Trapper's artistry.


12/16/98

Dear Wes,

Avocado Memories is being linked through the entire Cox@Home (cable modem) network in their "web waste" section. Don't take that as an insult, a lot of neat things can be found there.

Just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed your site. Made me a bit misty. Sitting here now thinking about my dad (The KING of innovation) and how he once made us a coffee table from a single board which he stained with strong coffee. We were SOOOOO proud of him! He's gone now, too. . . to the harvest gold and avocado heaven that generation would have found tasteful.

Thank you for going to all the effort to make so many of us smile and retreat for awhile into our childhoods. It's . . .keen! :)

Mark Hamby
Omaha, Nebraska


12/14/98

Dear Wes:
What a site! It really brought back memories! I'm only a year ahead of you and grew up in So. Cal (San Clemente) also. What a couple of characters your folks were. As mine were. Sadly, like you, I've lost both of mine. But what a great idea for a website. After my parents passed ('95) I left good ol southern Cal behind and moved to Spokane where I can enjoy the novel treat of four seasons and snow. And clean air. Now I've got a place to show the young'ns what it was like to be a late 60's early 70's geek.
Thank you for the memories.

Jack Green,Spokane


12/14/98

Your Site is THE BEST! I may have grown up in Tacoma, WA., but I experienced many of the same things as you. I guess its just a rousing case of nostalgia. (I always thought my folks were a bit 'weird' talking about the "Good Old Days"-- now I know...)

I also had a red '69 Karmann Ghia -- Henrietta -- She was my first purchased car, and I ended up putting 100K miles on her! I dont think I ever had problems going ANYWHERE in that car. Who needed an SUV when you had this amazing little Run-About that got 40 mpg?

I not only ate at Jack-in-The-Box, I worked there for 5 years! I was the Queen of the Drive-Thru during the Graveyard Shift. That time in my life was an entirely CRAZEEE Circus full of Characters and Events, probably never to be duplicated in this (or any other) lifetime! In fact, I thought they had "Sold Out" when they changed to "Monterey Jack's"-- I was outta there! The food became merely expensive, not good and greasy like in the old days. Officially: The End of Civilization began when they quit making The Bonus Jack.......

Thanks for the trip through the Dusty Curtain in Time.

Mary Jo Blackford-Davis


12/14/98

I was still half asleep on a Sunday morning, coffee in hand and turning on my computer to see if there's any mail. "Avocado Memories" caught my attention and I clicked onto it. Heh, there it was on my home page and I had no idea what it was but it's a great title because those of us who were around in the 70's all have avocado memories.

Yes, I've discovered that by the letters I've gotten from people!

Even when we were out buying our first fridge and stove, it was either avocado or harvest gold. I live in Toronto. Up here in Ontario (Canada not California) our memories are very similar. My former mother-in-law lived in Riverside, California, and your house reminded me so much of hers. I loved it--the pictures, the stories, the memories. Now that we've reached the big 4-0 (and there are a lot of us!), we're into nostalgia.

Well, I've sort of always looked back, even when young. The past is one of my hobbies.

My kids love being entertained by stories of what it was like when their parents were growing up. It's fun to reminisce and laugh at ourselves. You can write, you have a great sense of humour, your website is immensely entertaining, and yes, it's material for a coffee table book that would be a great gift for all of us boomers. Why are publishers so short-sighted? Good luck, Wes. And thanks for a thoroughly enjoyable Sunday morning.

Janet McNeil
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

You are very kind, thank you! As to publishers... well, I'm probably going to try, try again next year with a different agent. I've received enough letters of this type to believe this material has commercial potential. - Wes


12/14/98

Great Page! I stumbled across it and am glad I did. It brings back a flood of memories from my childhood growing up in a suburb of Chicago. I think no matter where we were born or grew up it's still a small town in America.

Jeff Powers

Burbank had a population of about 90,000 during the years I lived there. - Wes


11/30/98

I was surfing the web and I found your site...I absolutely love it. It's so Wonder Years-ish (that's a compliment) Then you have that final scene from the Wonder Years in it too...love it! Well I just wanted to let you know that you have a great site there Wes. Keep up the good work.
Guinevere


11/12/98

Wow, all I can say is thank you! I have spent the last three nights looking at your site and enjoying every second of it. It brought back many fine memories of my own. I didn't grow up in southern California, but I had relatives who lived in Pico Rivera and I remember traveling there in my dads' 1960 Chevy station wagon. Can you imagine three days in a car with six kids? I remember our car broke down as we were coming through a desert and we ended up spending the night there. The next morning a trucker gave my brother a ride into town where he bought a fuel pump and brought him back and fixed the car so we wouldn't have to bear the heat when the sun got high in the sky. Have you thought about putting this into print? I can't imagine it not selling. I applaud your tribute to your parents, I'm sure they were very proud of you.

Thanks again. Pat

Thank you!

I tried earlier this year to get this manuscript published; I got a literary agent, and five or six different publishers reviewed the text. No go. I may try again next year. - Wes


11/12/98

Enjoyed glancing through your site. I reside in Dallas now, but was born in Burbank (1947) and raised there. In the fifties bikers and San Fernando cruisers were a big thing. Our neighboorhood had families of 12, 9, 5, 5, 5, 4, 4. There were kids everywhere.


10/22/98

I just saw your tribute to growing up in the 60's and 70's. While I was a 70's and 80's child myself, I can still remember the wonders of Avocado green, harvest gold, and that rusty brown color my parents used to call "baby turd." I sure hope that's not its real name.

No, but it certainly is widespread. I've heard it referred to as that many times!

In one of your living room pictures there is a coffee table, wood with three marble tablets, the outer ones slightly smaller than the inner. My parents have (yes still have) one exactly like it. the center tablet is cracked, my sister was tap dancing on it while singing "I'm a little bit country..."

Ah, but did you have a bellows table? :)

I think that marble-topped one came from Sears, and was part of some sort of Euro collection.

In the 80's (pretty much the whole decade) my mom planned to replace the cracked piece with a counted cross stitch backgammon board. Like I said they still have the table, and the center slab is still cracked. We measure the family epochs by my mother's crafts. There's the De Copage (sp?) era, the cross stitch era, the latch hook era, the photography era which leads us to today, the digital photography era, the product of which takes many forms. T-shirts, scrap books, RV tour books, and greeting cards.

My mom had a similar progression of epochs with crafts and collections: poured resin plastic objects (ashtrays, lighters, grapes, swag lamps), demi-tasse cups and saucers, Avon bottles, knitting, making dolls, sewing clothes for dolls, L-1011 models, safety pin jewelry, quilts, macrame and hanging plants, counted cross stitch on canvas, cross stitch on plastic, tin boxes... am I forgetting any?

It is all my fault though. Life was simpler until I explained multitasking and object oriented philosophy to her.

I never tried! The closest my mother ever came to computer technology was when I showed her how to play solitaire on the PC!

Thanks for the memories,

Nick Stefanisko

Thanks for the comments!

Wes


10/20/98

Hi Wes,

I (1962-) grew up in Glendale, so I can commiserate/rejoice to some extent. But that's not why I'm writing. I want to recommend a book to you. No, I want to force you to read this book. You won't believe how well this book describes our upbringings. It's called Class, by Paul Fussel, 1983. (Or maybe it's Fussell.)

Read it, dammit! You'll love it.

Jack Schmidt

I did, I do. Here is a little article about it. - Wes


9/21/98

Hi Wes,

I'm in search of recipes or food ideas from the seventies for a party in October. I was hoping your Lincoln Cafe page was going to have a copy of your menu on it. If you have any ideas, or a place I may find ideas write me back.

Thanks...I enjoyed your site...

Kathy

Oh, the only menu we had at the Lincoln Cafe was hamburgers, cheeseburgers, hot dogs, something called a "patti-melt," and grilled ham and cheese. That's it; no party ideas, really.

Carrot cake was an early Seventies thing (fatty food masquerading as something healthy). You could offer a "diet plate" of a hamburger patty and cottage cheese - I remember that back in the 60's and it persisted through the 70's. (Once again, fatty food masquerading as something healthy.) For authenticity you'd want to serve 7-Up and not Sprite. Sprite was around back then, but 7-Up was the market leader until the 80's. Gilbert Brockmeyer introduced "all natural" carob ice cream back in 1971/1972 - I could eat a big container of it easily. It was the first time I ever heard the word "carob." Is there a health food carob brand you could serve? You'd also want to serve granola, which came in during the 70's. (My friend Angela used to eat those Quaker Oats granola cereals, which I called "squirrel droppings.") And of course there was naturalist Ewell Gibbons on TV ads, claiming pine nuts were edible... I think this was in ads for grape nut flakes, but I'm not sure.

Let's see... Bugles? They were introduced in 1966, along with Daisys and Whistles. Captain Crunch came out in 1964/65 as I recall. Hmmmm. Avocado dip was a 60's thing as well, but the color is certainly correct for a 70's party.

How about red, white and blue "bicentennial" Jell-O? (Good luck finding white.)

I've about run out of ideas, I'm afraid.

Wes


9/10/98

Hey There Wes,

Just revisiting Burbank's golden "avocado" days (from today's Tucson, Arizona)- I found your AM pages last October '97- the day of the 31st to be exact. I remember because I was later getting the kids out trick-or-treating than we had planned! All because of the strange spell your goldish orange pages with the avocado colored title had cast upon me. I wrote you then as well- probably November 1st, the following day. The spell your pages spun for me on that Halloween day was enhanced by the fact that of all the days of the year, it's Halloween that pulls at MY avocado memories the most. Trick-or-treating the houses and haunting the streets & sidewalks of a particular neighborhood in Buena Park each Halloween from 1960 - 1970 are memories cherished. You had my full attention Wes... and almost made us miss Halloween of '97!

Well, I'm sorry about that because I really enjoy Halloween as well! My firend Mike McDaneil and I used to decorate his house - perhaps "decorate" is the wrong word - we used to wire it for lights, motion and sound. It was pretty cool, for an amateur production.

You did write back a few days later... My having grown up in BP had reminded you of a picture or postcard you said you had of the old Farmhouse Restaurant and its windmill there at Hwy.39 (Beach Blvd) and the 91 freeway (am I correct on the location?).

Yes - I remember. I went to Disneyland last month and while driving to and from I looked for the neon windmill but couldn't see it. I guess it's gone.

My golden "avocado" neighborhood wasn't far from there... at one corner of our neighborhood stood a small apartment complex- on the other side of those apartments was the Int'l House of Pancakes (still there) at Beach & La Palma (right close to the Aztec Bowl and across the street (Beach) from the old Alligator Farm (later a ceramics/pottery shop).

Oh, I remember the Alligator Farm! We never went there but I always wanted to. My parents weren't the least bit interested. (We didn't do Lion Country Safari for the same reason.)

This IHOP is diagonally across the intersection of Beach & La Palma from the corner of Knott's Berry Farm (still there (-: but not in the form I remember it as )-': And for any old (we're not really old ...are we?)

"You're only as old as the girl you feel." - Groucho Marx

avocado/gold era (and much earlier) Buena Park folks who might read this, they should remember Mr.& Mrs.Bacon's avocado orchard just north of the IHOP a stone's throw on Beach Blvd, and across the street from The Movieland Wax Museum. Us kids absolutely COULD NOT- WOULD NOT stay outta there. It was a real forest to us city boys! The best climbing trees around!

In Burbank we used to throw lemons from the trees. We climbed other, more substantial, trees.

The Bacons and their orchard were Buena Park homesteaders who were among the 1st to settle BP along with their longtime neighbors and friends Walter and Camilla Knott who grew berries and served home-cooked chicken dinners out of Camilla's kitchen. The Knott's berry farm and the Bacon's orchard were there on Hwy.39/Beach Blvd when #39 was just a dusty dirt road.

My parents used to tell me about those days in the 40's.

As a kid living there in the '60's, my favorite time to be in the orchard was Autumn (Halloweentime) late in the afternoon after school when the low sun's golden light was streaming thru the old avocado trees... quietness, peacefulness, paradise... I DO REMEMBER! These memories all tie into my fondness for Halloween. And having found your golden avocado website from the same era and from the same area- containing so much I could relate to -AND HAVING FOUND IT ON HALLOWEEN- really strengthened my avocado & gold memories of my childhood (I think I'll make it a tradition to do an annual pilgrimage to the Wes Clark's Avocado Memories site each Halloween :-)...

How nice of you! Well, for my part I promise to keep maintaining it. (In fact I have a few new photos I need to add.)

Yes, we also had alot of the "Avocadoness" of the times (I think I just coined a new 70's word) decorating our home's interior as well (those grapes, my father's harvest gold recliner, my brother's and my avocado colored bedspreads... but the Old Spice bottles were displayed on a little wall rack in the bathroom rather than a wall in the living room :-).

Somebody once wrote to me and described a father doing exactly the same thing! (I'm pretty sure that letter exists on one of the letters pages...) So he wasn't absolutely unique.

But I was lucky enough to have a real avocado orchard bordering the neighborhood of my southern California youth... and because of that orchard, the word "Avocado" means much more than a passing southern California decorating color fad to me. But then it's also much more than that to you -and judging by your mail and website hits, it's more than just a wore-out color scheme to alot of other folks.

I guess so - nostalgia is a wonderful thing. I'm sure everyone's memories of youth are golden, but for those of us who grew up in the 70's it was especially so, I think. (What with all the earth tone colors that were in decorating vogue.)

Tasteful or not, that color "Avocado", and those other ones so often paired up with it in the 60's and 70's- "Inca Gold" and "Aztec Gold", carry with them warm memories of our parents and our childhood spent with them, and our carefree time spent with childhood friends surrounded by an era painted Avocado & Gold.

The 50's may have had their tasteful black & whites (and patterned wallpaper), and didn't the 20's or 30's have some nice pastels in pinks, oranges, and greens? (and patterned wallpapers)...

I once checked out an interior decorating book from the library, and there was a section on color fads through the decades. As I recall, the Twenties were characterized by dark, bold greens and purple. Understated beige and creme colors were the fad in the Thirties and Forties.

Of course pink, coral and turquoise were big in the Fifties. People have pointed out to me that avocado really came in about 1967 or so, but only gained general acceptance in the 70's. I recall avocado and charcoal black being clever colors for house trim back then.

The Sixties colors were wild and psychedelic - I remember kids showing up for school dressed in lime green shirts... "robin's egg blue" (a vivid electric blue) was also a popular color for men's shirts.

The 40's elude me (but I'm sure they had decorative wallpaper!)... The 80's- do they even have a flag to wave?...

I recall maroon, white and navy; it being a "preppy" era clothes wise the traditionalism also extended to decorating. Personally, the 80's was my favorite era for clothing - I'm very much a traditionalist. (All of this came to an abrupt halt when "Miami Vice" came on the air in '85 or so, then art nouveau and pastels - "no earth tones" - became all the rage.)

'Course the 90's are waving their neutral earthtones...

Well, avocado is back, sort of, but it's a sort of olive this time. Clothingwise, however, the Seventies have come roaring back in. My 11 year old daughter and her friends are all heavily into Seventies style.

But it's that Avocado and harvest Golds that stir this boy's heart, and the hearts of those of us raised in the 60's and '70's (ESPECIALLY in southern California). And tacky or not- whether we use them or not- our hearts are INSEPARABLY bonded to 'em.

On a more personal note, as I mentioned in my November e-mail, I'm also LDS and am a return-missionary (Jan.'79--Feb.'81). I noticed some reminicing in your letters section about "Cissy" from the old 70's series, "Family Affair". You might find it interesting to know that I had the priviledge of being in the MTC at the same time that Johnny Whitaker -"Family Affair's" "Jody"- was there preparing for his mission. I remember one prep.day my companion and I were eating lunch with he and his companion and then the 4 of us heading over to the bookstore at BYU to do some shopping. Wow, it's hard to believe that was nearly 20 years ago...

I bumped into him in the Wilkinson Fine Arts Center on the BYU campus when I was there - in 1983 it must have been. I was talking to a secretary when she announced "Why, it's Johnny Whitaker!", and this adult red-haired guy walked in, looking a little sheepish about the introduction. Being used to his appearance as a kid seeing him as an adult was something of a shock. (But he's certainly grown up more gracefully than fellow redheaded child star and Partridge Family member Danny Bonaduce.)

I'm wondering if he's related to the Wetzel O. Whitaker who produced church films from the 50's, 60's and early 70's. ("Johnny Lingo" being perhaps the most well-known, but check out 1959's "Up In Smoke" - it's a classic and the youth in my ward love it.)

There was still just a little "Avocadoishness" in the air back then! Hey, Wes, we've got another new 70's term here! :-)

Sincerely,
Randy

Well, thanks for introducing it and thanks for all the nice comments!

Wes


9/2/98

I just want to let you know how much I am enjoying your site, and am trying to eat it in little bites rather than devour it whole...I grew up in Torrance, so I know whereof you speak.

Even at the tender age of 31, when I bring up things like my Suzy Homemaker toys and shag rugs, I get very few understanding looks.

This is the Pepys' Diary of our age.

thanks!
daisy


8/21/98

I haven't laughed so hard in a long time. I wasn't able to concentrate on my work until I clicked on every site in your memory list (I work in a library--one of your favorite places).

I applied for a job in one of the Burbank libraries when I was 15. I didn't get it because I wasn't old enough. A pity - at that time in my life I spent most of my days with books and learned to truly love them. Burbank would have had one heck of an employee.

The funniest story is the one about doing the fozberry flop (sp?) onto couches and chairs--something I still do and get yelled at by my brother for my lack of respect of other's property.

I did this not long ago and broke my bosses' bosses' sofa at work.

I consider most personal sites to be boring, self-serving and egotistical, wondering why in the world someone would think we would find them so interesting, but you write about your own personal experiences with such fondness and warmth that we are all reminded of our own glory days.

Thank you! For my part I am amazed how universal my experiences seem to be.

I remember cruising and the nerds in the audio-visual department and eccentric parents and tacky home furnishings and wish that I could go back to those times for just one day. Please keep remembering and writing.

It's publishing I'm trying to accomplish now!

Yes - to return for just one day would be a nice break, wouldn't it?

Wes


8/20/98

Hi Wes-

I was going to write you an e-mail telling you how well-writen your site is and how much I enjoyed it, but after reading your 'letters' section, I noticed that I'm not alone, and that everyone else has already said what I wanted to.

...pretty much. I only wish the publishers would read this stuff! HELLO! ARE YOU THERE? IF YOU'RE CONSIDERING BUYING MY MANUSCRIPT, READ SOME OF THESE LETTERS!

I came across "Avocado Memories" via a link from DeeT's 70's page and stayed up two nights in a row until 5:00 am (I get home from work at 3:00 am) reading it from front to back. You are a very talented writer and your site has been an absolute pleasure to visit.

Wow, thanks! You must be a real night owl!

I grew up in Buffalo, New York until I was 9 years old, and then lived in Suburban Atlanta, GA until last year. I was born in 1964, so I have a lot of similar memories, although for me they are from when I was a little younger than you were. I seem to remember Avocado peaking as a hot decorating color about 1972.

Yeah - it persisted until about 1977 and was gone with the Eighties, when it and bell bottom jeans became passe.

In May of 1997, my wife and I moved to Burbank, living for a year in Lakeside Apartments (which they are currently completely rennovating) at the corner of Pass Avenue and Oak Street, across from the Warner Bros. Ranch. A few months ago we moved to a rennovated mid-rise in Toluca Lake, on Cahuenga Boulevard. We absolutely LOVE it here - Burbank has a nostalgic charm like no where else I have ever been.

Reeeaaaally? "Nostalgic?" In what way? (That's one word I've never been able to fit to the place, actually.)

Suburban Atlanta has a very stuffy, status-oriented atmosphere that I really grew to hate. When we were looking for someplace in LA to live, it only took a few minutes for us to choose Burbank. I work on Van Owen and Valley Street, very close to Empire Avenue and (formerly) the Lincoln Cafe. I visit the Jack In The Box on Buena Vista about twice a week!

So you're a big Rolaids customer, then.

It may be that I am a little naive only having lived here for a year or so, but I don't think the gang problem is as bad in Burbank as you have reported.

My friend Mike reported it.

Downtown Burbank (San Fernando between Olive and Victory) has been transformed into a successful shopping district, and my wife and I always feel safe there even at night. We never see anything that even looks like gang-related activity. If there is a big problem, which there very well may be, I guess I just don't see it.

Maybe they're stealth gangs or maybe they don't really exist - I don't know.

If you ever want me to take any photographs of any of the locations that you are most fond of, let me know. I just bought a new camera and I already have enough pictures of my cat!

I'm flying in this Saturday, camera in hand. On vacation - by myself!

By the way, Rocky's Hamburgers is still there, and it looks like they recently re-did the entryway with new stucco and a new door. That area these days has quite a few video post production facilities located there, as well as other industries. I always wondered what used to be in that big vacant lot!

Lockheed's B-1 plant and a host of memories.

Thanks again, Wes, for a very enjoyable experience.

Todd Evans
Toluca Lake, CA

Thank *you* - glad you enjoyed it!

Wes


8/13/98

I saw your web site listed in my local newspaper (Hartford Courant, Hartford, CT) and just finished checking it out for myself. I liked the idea of it, irreverent, kind of silly, and probably a lot like everyone's childhood of that "era". (It reminded me of my own "geekdom".) I thought it was a bit wordy though, and some of the photos were hard to really see that well. Thanks for the "trip" back, though.

S. Mayock, Northern CT

I've come to grips with the wordiness aspect of it: I quit adding to it! Remember, however, that I originally meant for this to be a record for my children, and their children. I wanted it to be complete in a way that I've never had for any genealogical information I've ever found...

The photos are the way they are because of disk space limitations - I had to do some compressing. (That and the fact that the 1960's < a href=instamatic.jpg>Kodak Instamatic format didn't produce what we'd call really sharp images!)

What did your local newspaper have to say about AM? I'm interested.

Wes


8/11/98

The article about your site was in the Thurs., July 30 copy of the Philadelphia Inquirer in the section called life@inquirer on the second page in an article called Web Winners by Reid Kanaley (reid.kanaley@phillynews.com) in which he reviewed the 70's. I bet Reid would be glad to send you a copy of the entire article if you email him.

I've written to him and asked for a copy - thank you for alerting me about this!

He had a pic of people doing the bump and a copy of a magazine I used in the 70's to teach with, Dynamite!, to illustrate his article and the first article after that (really you did not expect to be above the bump and a pic of Farrah Fawcett did you?)

I figure I'm somewhere between the Hustle and lava lamps, actually.

The review of your site was as follows:
"Avocado Memories How amazing the Web can be. Wes Clark is just some guy who, like millions of people, took pictures of his room, his neighborhood, the family cars and his parents as he grew up in the '60s and '70s. This site celebrates the Wonder Years as Clark experienced them at his house on North Lincoln Street in Burbank, Calif. http://www.wesclark.com/am"

What really caught my eye about it was the "a" word...avocado. My sister lives in a house in Tulsa that is profusely still avocado. We have come up with color schemes to help her live with the avocado bathroom, kitchen, and living room rug. None of them quite work, but they are an improvement.

Why improve on it? Just be authentic, and continue to maintain the decor in its 70's purity!

A plus black seems to be the most satisfactory, just in case your parents are still trying to live down the avocado elements they might still have. (I haven't gotten to your bathroom at N. Lincoln St yet.)

I never took photos of the bathroom. That would be gauche!

In fact, your site is so large it is like reading War and Peace... you can only do it in small pieces, which is just fine because then you always have something to look forward to. (Yes, my life IS pathetic...)

Yeah, I keep adding to it. I don't know why I have this compulsive desire to document my youth so completely... (One problem is that I keep finding photographs to caption.)

Again, thanks for a great literary gem, which I intend to spread the word about to many of my friends who will enjoy it. You may want to get one of those counter things for your site, just to check out the multitudes...

Pam Morrison

There is one, at the bottom of the home page. It's very gratifying!

Thanks for your nice comments... - Wes


8/7/98

I really enjoyed the web page, and I got an especially big kick out of it because I am based in Burbank. I really ought to go up to your old house and see what it looks like now.

Better, actually. The current owners are better homeowners than we ever were.

I'm heading out to Burbank later this month on vacation so I'll have a chance to see for myself what the place looks like.

I took interest in the page at first because of the name...I collect 8 tracks,

I see them all the time at yard sales. Is this where you're getting them?

I drive a '73 Gremlin

Ah, Wayne and Garth's "Mirth Mobile."

and I pick up stuff from the 70's whenever possible (I am a pack rat in the worst degree). Unfortunately, I'm a Gen X'r and missed the experience of the 70's. Maybe I can be re-incarnated back in time? :)

No, no, no - I'm sorry, you Gen X'ers will just have to develop a culture of your own. Stop watching "the Brady Bunch" and other antique sitcoms, trade in the Gremlin for an Accord and discover digital audio. Tattoos, goatees, shaved heads and body piercings were an innovative start - but where do you go from there?

Thanks again for the great page,

Daniel

You're welcome!

Wes


8/6/98

Thank you Wes, for the most enjoyable evening I have had in quite awhile. Deja Vu....Your memory is incredible........Obviously the 60's didn't take a toll on your memory. . Thanks for putting the pieces back together for me. =:-0

Thanks.....Nancy.....Jacksonville Florida

PS....my Karmann-Ghia was light blue.....The best car I have ever owned.


7/30/98

Dear Wes,

My children ran amuck while I read your website from end to end. You won my heart when I saw your dad's red Karmann Ghia. My dad's was yellow and I too learned to drive in it. I will never forget being pulled over by a kind-hearted policeman on Valley Circle Blvd. (in Canoga Park-now West Hills- in the SFV) because the normally empty street had developed major gridlock when I stalled for the 6th or 7th time. I too wish I still had that car. I also remember the time that my family, plus my aunt, took that car to Disneyland. Three adults and three children in a Karmann Ghia for at least an hour both ways! We'd have gone through even more for a trip to Disneyland.

We got our Karmann-Ghia when I was twelve, and I remember a Sunday ride when we took along my friend Richard Springer. Two big adults in the front and two long-legged boys in the back seats made for one cramped environment. I can only imagine what your trip was like! (But you're exactly right: I'd endure that and more for a day at Disneyland!)

That Karmann-Ghia was more than just a car for me. Unlike anything else I had driven before or since, it was freedom itself.

My husband and I (both born in 1959 and raised in the west San Fernando Valley) have just purchased our dream home. It is here in West Hills and has everything we wanted, including a pool with a pink slide that screams 1972. Our housewarming party will be a retro San Fernando Valley "Pool Party".

What a great idea! Can I invite myself? Please? Please? (I may be in California in August, hunt, hint.)

Needless to say your website has reminded us of countless details that had slipped our minds. We're off to find Beer signs (I think my brother has a few hanging in his garage. My dad was a supermarket manager and we often benefitted from leftover display "art". My mom still sets out the "7-Up Santa" during the holidays),

Cool!

and resin grapes. Every house I walked into in my youth had resin grapes. I'm sure someone must have saved them.

Absolutely. I hunt around at yard sales every Saturday morning - just as my mother used to do when I was a teen - and I found one (a bunch?) of them last year and a bunch the year before, so yes, they're still to be found.

My church has a Christmas party every year with a white elephant exchange as one of the activities; the resin grapes are always a hit. (Last year I also wrapped up a set of Village People LPs.) The problem now is that everyone knows I contribute a bunch of grapes to the game so I've had to be clever in the way I wrap them. Last time I disconnected one from the wooden "stem" and put it in a nicely decorated little bag. When my victim selected it she pulled out the single resin grape and looked at it quizzically. I then ran out and said "Wait! Wait! There are more to go with it!" and gave her the rest of the bunch. It was one of the social highlights of last year, I can tell you. (I suggested that this year, in order to unload them on someone else, she includes in an envelope a voucher for a bunch of resin grapes, which she can then present when somebody opens the envelope and reads the voucher.)

Thank you for a wonderful afternoon spent sifting through your memories as well as my own.

Glad you enjoyed it!

Wes


7/29/98

Loved your website.

But I noticed in the "What's New" section that you'd deleted your awards section.

This I consider a great pity.

What BETTER way to acknowledge the basic theme of the whole site than to include what you called "the clutter" of an awards page?

I would have sincerely enjoyed seeing who recognized your page along with any comments they made.

I hope you reconsider.

I'm from the same era and your site pushed a boatload of personal buttons for me.

Best of the day to you,

E.Wilson

First of all, thanks for the comments about AM.

One of the reasons I got rid of the awards was because nowadays it's turned into a not-so-subtle ploy on the part of the giver ("Mugwump's Cool Sites Award") to get a link established on somebody else's page.

Another reason is I don't bother reading the awards page of anyone else's site; I'd imagine most people could care less about mine.

Finally, there's my "Less is More" design ethic. I like content and try to minimize the amount of other stuff (animated gifs, awards, etc.).

As for people's comments - you can read that in great abundance on this letters page.

So, no, I'm sorry, but the awards are staying off.

Wes

"Awards are for boys." - Charles Ives' comment on receiving his Pulitzer Prize


7/27/98

Dear Wes, I've been to MANY web pages before, but yours was so well done that I thought I would write you and tell you so!

I'm 35 years old, so I was able to relate to your life growing up, even though I grew up about 30 minutes (or four hours if you actually count real traffic times!!!!) outside Manhattan, in the suburbs of New York. East coast, West coast, it seems all us boomers grew up in that cheesy, 60's, 70's, schoolhouse rock, conjunction junction-type lifestyle!!!

Ah, "Schoolhouse Rock." That started to appear just as I was losing interest in Saturday morning TV. (I also missed "Super Friends.") It appears to be some sort of icon for people just younger than me, though.

What I liked about your site was that you had the foresight to take pictures of everything, which in turn, (I guess) helped you in recalling a lot of your childhood!

Yeah, for some reason I felt compelled to photo-document everything around the house. Mom used to yell at me for wasting film - now I'm glad I did.

I can't remember as much, which I think is my brain's defense mechanism for blocking out all my families bad taste!!! Yes, our house too had avocado and harvest gold themes,,,,,,, UGHH!!! Funny thing is,,, my wife just went out and bought a new dishwasher for our house,,,, guess what color??!!!!....that's right.....AVOCADO!!! The salesman told her that it"s the HOTTEST color out there right now!! So I guess we do turn into our mothers and fathers,,,, I guess there could be worse things!!!

Yes, I had heard rumors that avocado was coming back in. From the little I've seen, however, the avocado in vogue right now isn't quite the same shade of the 60's and 70's version. Seems more like an olive, or an olive-avocado.

Thanks again for that SWING down memory Lane!!! Also,i think you should take up WEBSITE design as a second occupation,,,,, you did an excellent job!!!!

Later
Mike Riso


7/20/98

Just wanted to let you know that I enjoyed the tour through your home and your life, It made me think just how much we all have in common.

Even here down under in Australia.

Thanks for making my day.

Leisha


7/13/98

Being the same age as you, all your memories rang true for me. I grew up at the same time, in Hacienda Heights, in a pink house with pink rocks on the roof. It was new construction when my parents bought it, a tract home. The motif was that the nearly identical houses were painted alternating pastel colors, and they all had matching rocks on the roof. There were pink, yellow, blue & green for sure. This stood out rudely against the rolling hills and orange groves of the natural environment. Eventually most people painted over with a more neutral color, but there was nothing to do about the rocks on the roof. Gradually, the rocks would disappear, since the obvious thing is to go up on the roof and throw them. Also, rain and Santa Ana winds took a toll. (I don't remember what happened with the roof situation, I think I need to take a drive over the hill and find out.)

Yeah, well, these days "organic" architecture (that which blends in with the surroundings) is in. Back then it wasn't - unless those little white decorative rocks appear naturally somewhere!

I'm sure you get these letters all the time, so I'll just throw in some highlights of MY mom's decorating style. (As an aside, she also was prone to ripping out plants and fences apropos to nothing, or deciding that hedges and trees had to suddenly go. Coming home from school was always an adventure as one never knew what mom might have done. She was big on making things with red bricks -- a fire pit, a path, decorative borders around plants and trees - they were never stuck together with concrete, she would move them around like they were lego pieces. I think she took diet pills and had excess energy.)

Geez - sounds like we have identical mothers. You're not a long lost sibling, are you?

After my father passed away, my mom came into some insurance money. This was about 1972 and she was suddenly a 'Parent without Partner' and started losing weight, going into my closet for mini-dresses, going on dates, bringing men home for dinners....quite the swinger. She must have wanted to spruce up the place to catch a husband, because she did this:

- Installed wall to wall white shag carpeting, (with 4 kids - White Carpet!)
- Bought mediteranian style furniture from Sears (lots of black vinyl and curved iron stuff)
- She re-did the entire kitchen in the color Blue only found on Hot Wheels boxes. Floor was blue lino. Walls, cabinets, ceiling were all painted a shiny lacquer blue. The kicker was the concentric circle wall paper in the breakfast nook. She didn't bother with matching up patterns on wallpaper. I remember coming home from high school to this kitchen. The fumes were toxic. And I was high on pot. It was very surreal.

You don't mention having been a pot smoker, but back in the 70's me and my friends were always getting high. We had a treehouse, and we'd go up there and smoke doobies. It made the 70s more managable, for me anyway.

Nope, I have never, ever done drugs. People don't believe me when I say this, but it's true. What's more, I have never been drunk!

I could go on and on... but hey! You were there! You understand! I really enjoyed your journey thru the past and wonder how we survived -- we should have died from embarassment a long time ago.

Regards,
Pat

Embarrassment? From being stylish? Nahhhh.

Wes


7/13/98

WES!

I have to tell you that I LOVED your story and pics of the Patio! I want to go back in time to your Hawaiian Patio! I grew up in the cold midwest and dreamed of patios just like yours!!!

Liz

Well, apparently growing up in the cold east of Brooklyn gave my father the very same ideas!

Wes


7/2/98

Thank you for a wonderful web site. My parents' home was also a shrine to home improvement; my dad may be the only person to have ever painted a kitchen using the color scheme from Denny's restaurants (the old pink, orange and gold theme) because it looked "sharp". He actually painted the cabinet frames one color, and each of the cabinet doors and drawer fronts different colors. It was a lot of work, and he loved the way it turned out.

Wow! Yes, I agree with you, this may be a first and only.

My Dad painted our exterior because he saw black and white houses in Beverly Hills and thought they looked "sharp," but he never thought to duplicate the Denny's look in our kitchen!

He covered the front porch in Astroturf; the dining room wall was sort of a rotating exhibit of decorating trends-one year it was a ship etched in six mirror frames, a couple of years later it was a floor-to-ceiling photograph of a stand of aspen trees that you applied like wallpaper.

Oh yeah - we tried putting on of these up in our son's room once, and angrily gave up.

All furniture was mediterranean; the lamps would have been sort of much for a whorehouse.

!

When I went to see "Home for the Holidays" with a younger friend, she whispered to me, "That's what I picture your parents' house looking like", and I whispered back "Close, but cut the budget by two-thirds and you're there."

With us it would have been, "Close, but add a lot of yard sale decor."

The sad thing was that the house was a really wonderful 1927 Craftsman-style bungalow - two bedrooms, one bath, full basement and finished attic. When my parents finally sold it, the purchasers did a wonderful job of restoring it. It still had tiger oak doors, wood floors and a beautiful built-in oak buffet, once you removed all of the decor.

-Tina Robichaux

These seem to be in vogue now, and people are turning them into really nice homes.

Our place in Burbank was a 1940 vintage two bedroom stucco - the kind that litter Burbank. There's a few with circular entrances with crenellation at the top (to look reminiscent of an old castle, but one of about twenty foot height). My Dad called them "Old Spanish Dogs." I refer to them now as the homes of The Warlords of Burbank. (Click here for a full treatment of this idea.) You never know when you'll have to defend your house against aggressive paper boys, you know... - Wes


6/29/98

It's a good thing we don't all choose to save our childhoods and document them because then yours would be all the less appreciated. I never saved a scrap of mine, except for memories; I find other people's past stories fascinating, as I do yours. I think your children will appreciate this greatly... I used to drive my parents crazy with questions -- what did you do when you were my age? Did you guys ride bikes? What did you wear to school? and so on and so on and so on. Being immigrants from China, my mother had but one picture and my father none.

Thank you for caring about the past.


5/22/98

Dear Wes,

I really enjoyed the story of you and your family in California in the 60's and 70's. It was told very nicely. Your mother was a very attractive woman.

It's about her that prompts me to contact you. Specifically, it's about her ruse to get the grandfather clock from Goodwill Industries at a $20 reduction. I'm sure you cherish her memory and I think that giving that $20 to Goodwill today will allow you to recall the memory of your mother and of the clock you still own with greater fondness.

Donations are also tax deductable, but more importantly, your contribution will help create jobs for people with disablities and other disadvantaging conditions.

Stephen Snyderman
Goodwill Industries of Eastern NC

Well! That's the last time I let skeletons out of our family closet!

Wes


4/27/98

This is all quite interesting. I have just begun a webpage myself.† I was surfing (?) and the title of your page caught my eye.† My mom was raised in Burbank so I will show her your pages.† I was raised in Bell Gardens, Downey and Whittier areas.†We moved constantly to keep up with California's booming real estate economy during the 50's and 60's.†It is hard to believe my first home in the 70's looks like your parent's... I guess you have made me feel older than my years.

I love avocados to this day. I eat them on toast with smashed pinto beans... that one is the killer for people who were not raised in California.† Thanks for the tour... I didn't think I would find all this so interesting... May God Bless... †

†Marsha†

Glad you enjoyed Avocado Memories, and that you like avocados. Beware, however, I understand they're high in saturated fat!

Wes


4/20/98

I happened on your page by way of rotten.com. I can relate to your families lovely decor.

Our family moved to Florida in 1971, when avocado and harvest gold were in full swing. Our house had avacado carpet and gold appliances. My mom still has her gold stove. We also had lovely red carpet with the look of tile, it was great.

Thanks for a great page it brought back lots of memories for me.
Dawn


4/20/98

Hi there,

I just got through looking at most of your pictures...I love this site! I'm forwarding it to several people.

Thank you!

It made me think a lot about my family home in West Palm Beach, Florida. We went through the ubiquitous Colonial fad, with a lot of deacons benches and Americana.

...when you think about it, that colonial decor is just as out of place in Florida as it is in Burbank! (I used to wonder why Mom was trying to replicate New England in California.)

My brother and his family live in our old house; my old bedroom (minus the jungle wallpaper) is now my youngest nephew's bedroom. When my brother and his wife extended the Florida room, they contacted the same people who put in the original terrazo floor and extended it. They have gotten rid of the brown carpeting, but they still have Mom's avocado stackable snack dishes!

Oh, yes, this stuff persists - I see it at yard sales all the time. When my in-laws moved from Burbank to Sandy, Utah, they moved their household belongings... and a vintage bag of plastic knives, forks and spoons in mustard, avocado and coral! (I don't know which is odder - that fact or the fact that we took the bag home ourselves as a curiosity.)

Also, you mentioned Jonathan Frid from Dark Shadows never being able to deliver a line. I remember in one scene with Willy the Caretaker (remember him? He later played Tyne Daly's husband Harvey in Cagney and Lacey)...

Yeah, John Karlen. I have always maintained that he was the best and most natural actor in the series. He could credibly manage a wimpy sort of belligerence as a wanna-be thug (his manner before he opened Barnabas' coffin and freed him), fear and panic (in the early days while he was being victimized by Barnabas) and a mother hennish attitude (after he sort of got to like Barnabas and began to be concerned about him).

Frid was supposed to say, "Don't ask me any more of your silly questions!" I guess he got confused, because the line came out, "Don't ask me any more of your Willy questions!" My best friend and I still quote this to each other!

My personal favorite Dark Shadows moment came when Barnabas was choking Dr. Julia Hoffman - played by the ravishing Grayson Hall - and forgot his line, which was (apparently) "I'm going to kill you!" After a moment or so of strangling and an uncomfortable pause in dialog Hoffman fed him his line thus: "You're not going to kill me, are you?" and he responded "Yes! I'm going to kill you!"

Death from Barnabas came in four ways: 1) Strangulation, 2) Vampire bites, 3) Getting whomped with that silver-headed cane, and 4) Having to endure his halts in dialog.

I never saw the all-time best Dark Shadows goof, but Angela did. According to her in one episode Angelique (the witchy babe with the huge blue eyes) pitches Josette's music box at Barnabas and cold-cocks him square in the forehead.

What was always a matter of profound confusion for me was the final episode voiceover wrap-up: Barnabas rejects Angelique and marries Julia Hoffman. Bleccch!

Thanks for some great memories, of your home and mine!
Dianne Dorsey

Thank you!

Wes


4/13/98

Hello Wes,

Your website address was forwarded to me by an acquaintance in Newport News, Virginia (I'm in Roanoke, VA) after I sent him a photo of myself, circa 1973-74ish, from my childhood in Lonoke, Arkansas. If you ask for a copy & promise it won't be posted on your website without permission, I'll forward it on its way.

Okay - it'll be our secret. Send it on!

Anyway, my friend promised I'd enjoy your website, and it was true. I'll have to pass the URL to my sister back in Arkansas so she can have a few hoots & will have a few meaningful memories stirred (for better or worse).

I hope you're going to get published because your writing style & photos would make for a great coffee table book. I can think of at least four people who'd BUY such a book, too. So if you're looking for a publisher & if they would take into account my sentiment, I hereby grant my permission to excerpt this e-mail for use as a 'letter of reference' in the market research you might present. You've already done most of the work with the webpage, so I would think you could easily transfer it to book form. And if a publisher says something about it already being available free on the web, I say that's nonsense, because I'd still buy it & put it out on my coffee table so that people visiting will know just how zany I am. ;-)

Thanks a million for this unsolicited endorsement - I sincerely hope any publishers are reading this (which is why I put it in boldface)!

As far as this page is concerned, I suppose it would have to go away if and when I get a contract. (I'm sure they would want to excerpt the manuscript on a page they control.)

And besides --- I like the website, but it lacks the mobility & tangibility of an actual bound book.

...not to mention the imperishability of a real book. (Besides, I want to give some copies away to show what a big shot I am!)

Thanks for the memories. I'm sure I'm not alone in saying that.

Krin Collins
Renting a cottage with avocado appliances!


4/6/98

Wes, †

I, like many other visitors I'm sure, read Avocado Memories front-to-back, one slow day at work.† As a nostalgia freak, your site is second to none as far as capturing the era (even though I'm in Jersey and have been to SoCal exactly twice in my life).

What prompts me to write is that last weekend I painted my front porch. The home's previous owners had painted it... AVOCADO!!!† I don't mean to shout, but the project took me about 30 hours, both Saturday and Sunday from sun-up to sun-down, to cover that 'period-piece' with a couple of coats of Dutch Boy white.†My point is, if it took me that long, it took my predicessors that long...††Boy, they sure must have loved that color! †

Anyway...†† Thanks for the memories!

...as I recall it took my Dad awhile to paint our front porch electric blue. My coming out of the front door and stepping onto the wet paint didn't help. - Wes


3/30/98

Hello Wes....I'm an independent Rexall distributor and, quite by accident, I came across your story, "The Death of Ferro Lad in the Corner Drugstore." Coincidently, I'm also an old comic book collector from way back and so I immediately identified with your story. I remember reading my very first comic, a World's Finest featuring Superman and Batman, at my neighborhood drug store in Lakewood, CA.

Anyway...just wanted you to know that I enjoyed your story and, especially appreciated the reference to Rexall in it.

- Jerry

That place was heaven on earth for a kid. It had everything one could want: models, comics, candy, ice cream and an easy proximity to home. - Wes


3/27/98

Hi Wes:

I read the entire Avocado Memories homepage (at work!) - it almost had me rolling on the floor with laughter (which would have gone over well with my office mate).

Glad you liked it!

It certainly jogged many memories from my own childhood. I wish I still had my brothers hand me down Schwinn.

I wish I still had my Schwinn, too.

Anyway, look for the website of a magazine called Vintage Guitar. It had a great (I believe a two-parter spanning two consecutive issues) article on Del within the past year and a half.

I will - I'd be interested to see what he's doing these days!

Unfortunately, I tossed all my back issues when I moved in February, otherwise I could tell you which issues to get if you're interested. The article (interview, in fact) is (needless to say) very "techy" and guitar player oriented, but it did say that he was quite the innovator in the development and use of various effects used with the electric guitar, as well as going in depth into his rather impressive studio career. I thought you'd perhaps find this an interesting tidbit to add to your story.

Regards,
Bob Craver

I remember he had a really interesting reverb box that he demonstrated for me. He also used to ask me which light I wanted to see light up on the panel of his effects boxes. I'd choose one and he'd do something to light it. Not a big deal, really, but something I've never forgotten for some reason! - Wes


3/25/98

I really enjoyed your web page. I grew up in Burbank and still live here (one block down from the Mormon Church).

You may recall Lincoln Continentals blasting by at 1 AM. I hereby apologize (late) for the noise.

Your page brought back many good memories of Burbank from when it was a nice, be it tacky, place to live. Until recently it was still that 70's Burbank but gangs have moved in: we had a shooting at Olive and Belair (one block from the church) about 4 months ago, and a gang-related shooting on Alameda and Glenoaks 3 days ago.

That's what I've heard. (See email below from a reader who takes exception to this assertion.) I know the old adage "You can never go back" is true, but it's still distressing.

Unrestrained apartment building has replaced many of the white and beige single family stucco homes, and the Golden Mall actually has customers (remember the playgrounds on the mall?).

I certainly do - they were made out of formed concrete. Bump your head on one of those and you knew it.

The air quality has gotten better, though: no more of those third stage smog alerts we had in the 70's, and you can actually climb the Verdugo Hills without developing "black lung." Thanks for bringing back some memories.

Glen Darcey

p.s. I drove by your old house after dropping my kids off at school this morning, the new residents are keeping it up nicely.

Yes, I know. They seem to be very meticulous people, and are also nice. (They showed me around inside in 1994 when I was there.) Their stewardship of 1631 North Lincoln Street is a lot better than ours ever was!

Wes


3/20/98

I loved your site. It's like jumping into a pot of nostalgia - I've enjoyed living vicariously through your site. :) I'm dying for the 70s fonts you used. Where ever did you find them?

Windows! I think it's called "Pipeline."

By the way, I wasn't born until 1977 - Carter's Inauguration Day - to be exact :)

-Emily Snider


3/20/98

Except for the copper-colored aluminum jello molds my mom had hanging on the kitchen wall, we seem to have shared an eerily similar childhood, right down to the Stingray bike.

For a long time we had copper-colored roosters on our kitchen wall.

I grew up an only child in a Ventura suburb in the '60s and '70s and now live a short hop away from your Lincoln home, on Eton Drive, in Burbank.

Cool!

Congratulations on a wonderful Web journey through your childhood! Cleverly written to complement the images, your story evoked so many glorious instances of deja vu, that I, like another letter writer, was reminded just how charmed my childhood really was.

It is truly the most magical thing I've encountered on the Web.

Steve Devol

Thanks - I do appreciate your comments. (All the more so since my agent is sending out the Avocado Memories manuscript to publishers in an effort to turn this into a book; I hope they see your praise!) - Wes


3/17/98

I'm sending your page to my mom. She's gonna scream! (Are you sure you didn't sneak in and take pictures of my home in Encino, circa 1970???)

Jacqui


2/24/98

It's almost 5 A.M. in Burbank and I will finish reading the letters later, but you commented that we were gang infested now, too.

I get my information from my Burbank consultant Mike McDaniel, who still lives there, and from observation during my occasional visits. Without quarreling overmuch, I can assure you that Burbank High School, my alma mater, isn't the place it used to be. The signs are unmistakable.

This is not true and the lack of gangs is why most people live here. It is still very "smalltown". Maybe you were scolded later, I don't know.

No, yours is my first scold!

Like I said I'll finish reading the letters later.

I will send you some pictures of Burbank '98.

Great! I look forward to seeing them!

Great site.

Thanks!

North Glenoaks (near corner of Buena Vista)

...not far from the site of a really great Hawaiian backyard I visited as a result of going to a yard sale in 1972.

Wes


2/13/98

Hello Wes,

I was looking for an photograph of Burbank and I came across your web page "Growing Up....".

There isn't much out there about Burbank - I know, I've looked. Perhaps the best picture is the nighttime one on my cruise page!

I visited your site with interest. I think I am one year older than you.

My birthday is 27 April 1956.

We moved to Burbank in 1957 when I was 6 mos old and left Burbank in 1975 after I graduated from high school. That entire time we lived at 2730 N. Lamer St, in the foothills near Brace Canyon Park. We went to Horace Mann ES (long gone now), John Muir JHS

I went to Luther Burbank Junior High School.

and Burbank High. I looked at your high school friends and I didn't know any of them so I assume you went to Burroughs.

No, no, no! Check out my KBHS page - I graduated from BHS in June 1974.

I'm attaching a photo of my family in front of our house on Lamer St. taken about 1968 (I'm the youngest).

Great photo! Eucalyptus trees in the background, stucco houses, set-back garage, Sis in the big, colorful floral print dress... and, I must say, what a handsome family!

I think we paid about $17,000 for it in 1957. It was originally 3BR and one bath.

Well, that's one bedroom more than we had!

We added-on twice to make it four bedroom and two bath and enlarged the kitchen and living room. It seemed pretty big when I was a kid but I drove by in 1986 and it looked like a cracker box!

Yeah, I know what you mean! Those postwar California stucco houses were really tiny. Affordable, but tiny.

Some stuff I remember when I was growing up is going swimming at McCambridge pool,

We had an over-the-ground pool since I was about five, so I never swam in public pools - didn't need to.

and choking on the smog after swimming all day.

Yup - I recall this as well. Take a deep breath, that's it, now commence coughing!

I played all the sports in the recreation leagues but in high school I only played on the golf team.

I never went out for sports at all - I was a total nerd. I wish I had, now, and am encouraging my son to.

I was in the cub scouts but not the boy scouts. My best friend growing up was Eddie Strang.

He also lived on Lamer just up the street from me. We did everything together. A few weeks ago my sister called me and told me he was in People magazine. I knew he was an artist for the studios, because I knew his dad got him that job (he was also an artist for the studios)and I had some reunion news. He's in the issue with "Bill Clinton's Women" on the cover.

I, too, have had my picture printed in magazines, but none of them as famous as People. (See my personal web site.)

Another thing I remember was in 1968 was when a young woman was murdered at the Castillian apts on Grismer St. near GlenOaks and Scott Rd. There was a book written by the case's prosecutor Vince Bugliosi, the same guy who later got Charles Manson. The book is called "Till Death Us Do Part" and they made a TV movie about it about 5 years ago. It was a very interesting case and a good book, too.

Regards,

Andy Cohen

Since Andy wrote this I've read the book, and it is excellent. Very creep, especially the fact that all of it happened thirty years ago. As far as I know the killer is still alive. - Wes


2/12/98

At last, someone else who remembers stuff from his childhood! I have two sisters who apparently grew up in a different house.

A case of viewing life through rose-colored glasses, huh? That's no fun.

Our family started in Brooklyn, NY (I was born 1962). Around 1970 the white enamel "fabulous fifties" kitchen was remodeled into the avocado and colonial maple look my mom still adores. EVERYTHING was, and much still is, the "Early American" look.

I read somewhere that the phrase "Early American" really only refers to the simple, unadorned furniture people in the 17th C. made, and that "Colonial" came later. It is now clear to me that when mom described her favorite furniture as being "Early American Maple Walnut" she didn't have the foggiest idea of what she was talking about!

In 1972 we moved to suburban Boston. One of the reasons my parents chose the house was the avocado kitchen. It had one of those ranges with an oven on top and on bottom. Of course, the woodwork was colonial maple. It seemed like home. Before we moved, my parents hired a guy to come and spray paint a white refrigerator avocado so we could take it with us. Many years later, in the early 80's, that fridge died, and my parents went to Lechmere to buy a new one. They got the only fridge available in avocado (it's still there).

In my office suite there's an avocado fridge in the pantry with refrigerant recharge dates from 1968 written on the back - those things never die!

It was so large, and they forgot to bring a measuring tape, that when it was delivered, the front door to the house had to be removed in order for it to fit.

Yikes!

It's snugly wedged into the little refrigerator nook. Next to it on the counter is the avocado electric can opener. The stove died shortly thereafter, but alas, the new one is almond.

Bummer. There still are avocado stoves around, however. (Read the previous letter - I posed next to two last weekend!)

I vividly remember the episode of Family Affair you mentioned!

I found it in an Internet episode guide:

Edisode #37 - "Fat, fat, the water rat." Written by Phil Davis, directed by Charles Barton, aired in 1967. Jackie Coogan was in it. Story: Buffy finds friends in a poor area. Uncle Bill agrees to take her to them without Mr. French knowing. One of the kidís father thinks Bill is out of work and has financial problems.

Isn't the Internet grand?

Immediately after I saw it, I fixed myself a bread and sugar sandwich. At the time, I thought it was gross, but I might have to have one when I get home from work tonight. Is Family Affair ever playing in reruns?

I don't know. Alas, where I live - Fairfax Country, Virginia - cable TV is too expensive and we only get crummy channels on the basic service - no Sixties reruns.

By the way, I met Cathy Garver ("Cissy") at the 1966 Santa Claus Lane Parade down Hollywood Boulevard. The only detail I can recall (ahem!) is looking down her dress. Great flip! Reminds me of Kitty's.

I'll have the theme song in my head all day now.

Turn on your sound card: Daa daa daa da! da da da da daaa daa daa daa da! da da da daaa da, etc.

My goal as a 8 or 9 year old was to live in an apartment as spacious and hip as Uncle Bill's. This remains my goal today.

Speaking of Mr. French, have you ever heard Sebastian Cabot's LP of Bob Dylan songs? He sort of narrates them over a string quartet accompaniment. Performed in this way Dylan's lyrics are just as overrated as I always suspected them to be.

Thanks for dredging up all the memories!
Michael Monte

Glad you liked it. Say hey to Brooklyn for my dad, will'ya? G'wan.

Wes


2/9/98

Hi Wes,

Just a note to say that I love your website. It has been bookmarked so that I can come back one day and read it all over again. I am 22 and grew up in the 70's and 80's, but can still relate to much of what you said.

I wish I had a camera handy to capture many of the moments of my years growing up, I guess I will have to raid mum and dad's photo albums.

In Australia, as you mentioned we had the invasion of the avocado. I remember when I was 4 and we moved to a new house, our phone was that colour, it matched well with the beige shag pile, gold and turquiose carpets in the house, not to mention the brown and orange lino in the dining room and kitchen. Everything was painted mission brown, except for the furniture. It was that fake laminated walnut look. We had tacky wallpaper too that had avocado radiating dots on a beige coloured background.

Wow! I'm pretty sure you've topped me with this collection of colors. We didn't have orange or beige. Thrown in with avocado and turquoise the way you did, well, that's a pretty heady assortment!

We had a big orange vinyl and fake walnut dining table that my parents eventually parted with in 1981 for a mission brown and white set with fake marble table top. The orange seats from the old set lingered well past 1985.

Incidentally, mum and dad still have much of the old furniture from then (Much to my disgust). I luckily got turned off mission brown (because there was so much of it about) when I was about 7 or 8, and now I have a tastful living area on natural pine, etc.

But the bad taste did rub off on me. I own an old boxy volvo with a dark brown and avocado interior. :( I like having the Volvo, but not that interior...

Not the Swedes, too! I can't believe avocado made it all the way into Scandanavia!

Mum and dad loved that avocado phone so much, that when we moved, they ordered a new one from the telephone company in 1983 for the new house! That was scary! They almost took it with them when we all upped and moved closer to relatives 120 km away. But they opted for the beige and mission brown model (that was 1989).

Mission brown and avocado products are still available here. You buy your nice new steel fence in those colours amongst gazebos etc. Shocking...

Eek!

I will admit to want that kitchen in the Brady Bunch house for my place when I finally bother to move out of home! :)

Speaking of the Brady kitchen... I attended a 70's dance last Friday night in a church building with, get this, an avocado fridge, two avocado ranges and an orange Formica countertop! It was like a museum. Anyway, since I was wearing a nice late Seventies vintage powder blue tux I had my picture taken there. Here's the photo. (Note: That's a wig I'm wearing. I thought it was rather bad, but some people at the dance thought it was my real hair!)

Anyway, I will go - I have probably kept you long enough. Your site has inspired me to work on one of my own... We'll see how long it'll take!

Paul Rands


1/29/98

As a native of Glendale, California, I found your home Avacado Memories a charming walk down memory lane.

I was born in 1970 up near Montrose on Verdugo Road, but Burbank was always sort of a "sister city."

A poorer sister city, I might add. Glendale had more stores, much better ones, and probably still does. We always used to shop in Glendale.

I always got the impression the Burbank City Council was a day late and a dollar short when it came to bringing business and general affluence into the city.

I've lived in New York for five years, and love to see other people who've gotten perspective on an LA upbringing.

Keep up the good work!

Gabrielle Middaugh

P.S. How about some pictures of you and your family as you all look today? The contrast would be great!

Okay! Here's a shot of me and here's a shot of my wife and kids. I reported elsewhere in these letters that Dad and Mom have passed away.

Wes


1/28/98

I just came across your web site! I got a great laugh out of it. I grew up in San Jose in the sixties and seventies, so I can relate to alot of your content here! Thanks for the memories! By the way, I have a red Ghia and get asked to sell it all the time. I learned to drive stick shift on it... so needless to say I am going to keep it!

Lisa Bettiga

The convertible Karmann-Ghia is one of my dream cars (the others being a 1974 convertible Bug or a 1966 convertible Mustang). - Wes


1/28/98

My dad discovered panelling before he discovered Avacado paint. Since we moved north to Minnesota from El Centro, wood was a natural up here. He had every wall in our house panelled before we had lived there two years. We did, however, stick to the Avacado appliances and the Harvest Gold and Rust colored furniture with the gold shag upstairs and the avacado green shag downstairs.

What a labor of love you have done and what fond memories you have shared. Thank you.

Kathleen A. Burns

We used white paneling in the garage/pool hall, which was probably one of the best things we ever did. It made the space look bigger, as if one could actually make a side shot without the end of the cue stick bumping into the wall. - Wes


1/27/98

I really liked your story and pictures. I am 26 years old, but I do remember growing up in the '70s. Reading about and looking at your pictures prompted me to go back and visit the house I lived in with my family until I was 12 years old. I went through the house with my kids (age 2 and 3), and it really took me back, although a lot of things were different from when I lived there. I wish I had pictures of my old house, so I could do the same as you did with yours. It is interesting to visit and see how things have changed over the years...

Carol Ann


1/7/98

When I saw your page I was hoping you might help me. I am looking for an idea totally 60's to put on a t-shirt for day camp this summer. Any ideas on where I may find some interesting graphics?

Patti Miller

Why not be perfectly authentic about it? When I was four or so (c. 1960) I had a Beethoven sweatshirt, as did many, many others. (It was a campus fad.) It might be a little warm for summer, but the design would certainly be appropriate for a 60's tee shirt and elicit knowing smiles from people who were there.

I suppose a graphic from a Jimi Hendrix LP would be good, but people might associate that with drug use. Come to think of it, you have a real problem on your hands. People might associate *any* typical 60's graphic with drug use!

Good luck!
Wes


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