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History The History Of Los Angeles

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Ryan, Feb 15, 2010.

  1. oldpl8s
    Joined: Apr 11, 2007
    Posts: 1,185

    oldpl8s
    Member

    I was fortunate enough to attend several "car nights" there when Tom Parks was still alive. A car guys dream.
     
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  2. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 3,194

    jnaki





    Hey BN,

    Those full clover leaf interchanges were the only ones in So Cal at the time. Yes, they were so much fun to do exactly what you described. The added plus was that there seemed to never be a traffic jam getting on or off the interchange with those full clover leaf sections. Maybe Orange County could learn a lesson or two...like the interchange at the Crown Valley off ramp of the I-5 freeway South/North. It was built for 1968 OC, but not for today's traffic.


    Great memories of the LB Freeway interchange. Hey, when you were doing those circular moves, it was right near our second, Westside Long Beach house from 1953 to 1998. Wow, what a small world. Right off of freeway to going West was Harbor Ave.
    upload_2018-12-11_3-20-51.png
    KEY:
    Red circle: Our first home. A government trailer park built for the aircraft workers in Long Beach.
    Red circle/dot: our Long Beach (#3) house 53-98
    Harbor Ave: Home to Joe Mailliard’s Speed Shop and nearby, original Clay Smith Cams Shop and Mickey Thompson’s Shop was three blocks West near Santa Fe. Ave.

    The first "real" Westside house in 1948 was closer to the Lions Dragstrip area, but the second house provided the memories from the teens to the twenties and beyond. Good times in Long Beach.

    Jnaki

    Thanks for remembering those cool freeway interchanges near our LB house.
    https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/threads/the-history-of-los-angeles.446547/page-115#post-12513409



     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2018
  3. Bullet Nose
    Joined: Nov 20, 2001
    Posts: 1,959

    Bullet Nose
    Member

    Would that trailer park have been for people working at Douglas by the LB Airport?

    In my post, I said the 710 Freeway. That's what it's called today but I think it was incorrect for the early 60's. We just called it the Long Beach Freeway. Correct me if I'm wrong.

    In 1960 I was working in Downey and living in Redondo. I don't remember how I got to the LB Freeway but guess I took Artesia (174th St) since we lived close to there on 185th St. I would get off on Firestone and pass Harvey's on my way to work at Midnight. It was fun to cruise by Harveys on Friday night to see what cars were there.

    I also wonder about Lions being in Long Beach. That's what a lot of people call it today but before I was married, we spent many Saturday nights at 223rd and Alameda and I always thought that it was in Wilmington.
     
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  4. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 3,194

    jnaki





    Hey BN,

    Part of that trailer park is now the Goodwill Industries' main Long Beach headquarters on PCH. As much history as I could muster up, the aircraft workers must have been at Douglas Aircraft in Lakewood and this is the only inexpensive housing that the government provided back then. When we moved to those trailers in 1946, it was the lowest cost housing in all of Long Beach. We stayed until 1948 when we moved to the far Westside of Long Beach, our old Craftsman House backyard was the Terminal Island Freeway, a dirt clod throw away.

    For us, the freeway names, it was always called, the Long Beach Freeway, as far as I can remember. During our driving days in high school, it was known as that name. The numbers did not come to the freeways until the year I was off to Northern California for college.

    "In 1964, the state simplified its highway numbering system, ensuring that, with few exceptions, each freeway would bear only one route number. Around the same time, a flurry of new construction added unfamiliar freeway names to the region's road maps. Drivers found it easier to learn new numbers like the 605 or the 91 rather than new names like the San Gabriel River Freeway or the Redondo Beach Freeway." (Long Beach Freeway included)


    "Although the transition was gradual – numbers only eclipsed names in common usage in the late 1970s, and Caltrans still included the old names in signage through the 1990s – Southern Californians eventually joined the rest of North America in referring to freeways by number. But when they did, they retained their old habit of prefixing a definite article, the, giving rise to a regional idiom that still confounds and amuses outsiders today."



    You know, the locals from Long Beach called Lions Dragstrip location as Long Beach. The city border is right on the spot along 223rd street. But, as you can see, it is located in that dirt field, cargo container, parking lot area that is located in the city of Wilmington.

    Jnaki

    upload_2018-12-11_6-22-47.png

    Long Beach WESTERN BOUNDARY IN BLUE, JUST SHORT OF THE OLD ENTRANCE TO LIONS.
    upload_2018-12-11_6-24-6.png

    Wilmington City boundary sticks up right along the railroad tracks and the old Lions property. It is now a shipping container parking lot.
    upload_2018-12-11_6-27-14.png
    The cities do just about anything to keep industrial income flowing into the city coffers. What a weird city boundary extension.

    It looks like they are giving the “single digit action” to the residents of Long Beach. Yikes!!!

    upload_2018-12-11_6-27-54.png
     
  5. Bullet Nose
    Joined: Nov 20, 2001
    Posts: 1,959

    Bullet Nose
    Member

    It's funny how we called things different even though we only lived 20 miles apart. We drove the San Diego Freeway (405), Harbor (110) Long Beach (710) and San Gabriel (605) and the Garden Grove (22?). I don't remember that what we called the Artesia Freeway (91), ever being called the Redondo Beach Freeway. It doesn't even get close to Redondo where it ends at Vermont in Gardena. Or maybe that's called the LA Strip that runs to San Pedro. Weird? WhoKnows.gif

    Since the Ford plant was in Wilmington, it looks like the outline is that of a flathead engine giving LB the finger.

    What city would Terminal Island be in?
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2018
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  6. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 3,194

    jnaki




    Hey BN,

    Terminal Island is an entity by itself. It is located in Los Angeles County and current landowners are the city of Long Beach, Wilmington, and the city of Los Angeles.

    The west half of the island is part of the San Pedro area of the city of Los Angeles, while the rest is part of the city of Long Beach. The Wilmington area is more inland near the bridges.

    The Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach are the major landowners on the island, who in turn lease much of their land for container terminals and bulk terminals. The island also hosts canneries, shipyards, and United States Coast Guard facilities.

    The Federal Correctional Institution, Terminal Island, which began operating in 1938, hosts more than 900 low security federal prisoners.

    The sleepy fishing industry buildings have been around since the early 1930s. Our family lived there in the late 30s early 40s. My dad grew up in San Pedro and went to school on Terminal Island, then finished school at San Pedro High School.

    Jnaki

    We knew about the island from our family history. Most people know of the federal prison located at the far reaches of the island from the newspapers and TV shows. And of course, the big Navy Base and Shipyard had people we knew in the military and as shipyard workers.

    Recently, the island is quite busy. The new bridge is going in and the big trucks have taken over the highways leading into and around the island for the millions of port containers . The cool thing is that the main exit toward Long Beach has the Long Beach Freeway (710) sign and dedicated lanes leading right into the start of the freeway North.
     
  7. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 3,194

    jnaki

    upload_2018-12-15_4-21-18.png
    A long time standing, Long Beach tradition: The famous trees on the water at Alamitos Bay.

    Hello,

    Our dad was one to get the Christmas spirit every year. He wanted the two brothers to experience, “Things Christmas” as much as he could offer. First, it was the downtown Long Beach Pine Street decorations. I remember being in the back panel tray of the 52 Buick sedan looking up (and out of the rear window) at the overhead Christmas lights and decorations, as my dad drove slowly underneath them for several blocks to the ocean.

    Then, when they were put up, it was the family tradition to trek down to Alamitos Bay to see the floating Christmas trees in the smooth waters of the bay.

    As teenagers, every time we were driving down Belmont Shore 2nd Street with our hot rods or cruisers, we would approach the Eastern end of the street and see these Christmas trees all lit up, "floating" on Alamitos Bay. They were the most unusual, as they get put up and turned on from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day.

    Jnaki

    It was a teenage thing to do, despite the fact that we had seen them countless times. Driving with mixed company always drew raves. Thanks to my parents for setting the stage, then, we continued it as teenagers and when our son was little, we drove back to Long Beach to see the “Floating Trees of Alamitos Bay.” It is something to see and it never gets old. The “ooohs and aaahs” are always present.

    upload_2018-12-15_4-22-4.png
    “The annual Long Beach yuletide tradition of the Christmas Trees in the Bay goes back to an evening in 1949, when a Belmont Shore restaurateur named Don May, set up a Christmas tree on a raft and shoved it out into Alamitos Bay. It was one of those great ideas that comes around once in a millennium.

    Don May was a man who got things done. The so-called (and honorary) Mayor of Belmont Shore, May owned the popular and still-mourned Leilani Hut on Second Street, where you’ll find Legends today. So the tradition he started has held up, and lighted trees have decorated various bodies of water in Long Beach during the Christmas season ever since.

    More than 60 of the 16-foot trees on 8-by-8-foot bases have sprouted up over the 69 years. Now you can spot them in the Colorado Lagoon, Heartwell, Scherer and El Dorado park lakes, Rainbow Lagoon and Harbor, and Spinnaker Bay, as well as in the initial spots of Alamitos Bay and Naples Canal—pretty much anywhere you’ll find water, you’ll find colorful trees growing in it when the Christmas season begins, which, in the case of the Trees on the Bay, is at dusk on Thanksgiving evening. The trees are lit every night through New Year’s Day.

    The lighted trees almost faded to black in the 1970s when they came close to extinction because of the double-threat of energy conservation and the passage of the budget-crippling Proposition 13.

    Each year, about 10 trees need to be rebuilt and strung up with about 200 bulbs, at a cost of about $3,000 per tree.

    In terms of modernization, not much has changed since May pushed out the inaugural tree in 1949. In 1953, wooden frames were introduced, and the trees proliferated slowly over the years. LED lights were given a try one year, but they weren’t bright enough, so the city went back to the old-school bulbs.”
     
  8. LBCD
    Joined: Oct 28, 2009
    Posts: 969

    LBCD
    Member

    Port of Los Angeles Warehouse No. 1

    1917
    [​IMG]

    1930’s
    [​IMG]

    2018[​IMG]
    [​IMG][​IMG]


    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
     
  9. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 11,349

    DDDenny
    Member
    from oregon

    Jnaki
    Did you ever watch the drag racing action in the 70's at Big Willie Robinsons' Brotherhood Raceway Park on Terminal Island?

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brotherhood_Raceway_Park
     
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  10. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 3,194

    jnaki





    Hey DDD,
    In my travels to San Pedro and Long Beach for family visits, we did drive by that place on the airfields of the old Navy Base quite often in the late 70s. We never attended that place, but geographically speaking, it was located on the old U.S. Naval Base runway. We used to watch the police/highway patrol guys practice their car control, avoidance testing, and skid control nearby. That was fun to watch for a short time.

    That dragstrip was an excellent idea with no one to bother except for the seagulls and the million cars that zip by on the way to Vincent Thomas Bridge. See LBCD's great bridge/car photo: https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum...-your-windshield.218910/page-46#post-12883351
    It is center lane driving for the "Scaredy Cats".

    But, for some reason, they (local cities) approved it to function and did not give the raceway any support. I guess the shipping port would be the main culprit for complaints with the traffic and all. There was also, the possibility of a shipping terminal in its early days, which has now become a full fledged shipping terminal that won over the property.

    Jnaki
    It was a good idea, but the popularity of the largest port in this area called for more shipping containers over a low level dragstrip without any sanctioning or support. So, it was a band aid for a major wound in the drag racing circles, with the 1972 closure of Lions Dragstrip.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2018
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  11. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 3,194

    jnaki

    Legends of Lions Historical Society of Long Beach Feb 2, 2019

    Hello,
    Lions Dragstrip opened in 1955 and closed in 1972. It was a historic run from opening to the final drag racing night. The Historical Society of Long Beach, in trying to develop a sense of local history of drag racing, has decided to present an event in their storefront on Atlantic Ave. It will not be the street closing event like we all saw in the 2000’s Cacklefests, but the Historic Society’s version of a big part of Long Beach History and specifically, Bixby Knolls AND Lions Dragstrip.

    Tomorrow, the Historical Society of Long Beach will be having their “Legends of Lions” Day. (along with the "CHROME" Show, still in place until March 7) It was an interesting concept as, what is a “Legend of Lions?” In the very early days, my impression of a “Legend” would have been and still is, Tommy Ivo. Some of the legends of Bixby Knolls and Lions Dragstrip have passed, like locals, Tom McEwen and Gary Gabelich.
    upload_2019-2-1_4-26-1.png The staging lanes at Lions: Tom McEwen

    in the seat on the right. Next to them is the Rossi, Rapp, and Maldanado car with Gary Gabelich in the seat.

    For others still around, Tommy Ivo represents a faction that would be a “Legend.” Well, his newly recreated, single engine, injected Buick has been OK’d for entry into the display area for this event. He is a legend for sure and his single engine injected Buick could also be described as a “Legend of Lions.”

    One of my early Tommy Ivo films shot at Lions Dragstrip 1958-60:
    Ivo progression single injected

    Getting all of those legends in one place, is a feat in itself. But, the event will be inside and outside of the Historic Society’s storefront in Bixby Knolls. (The race car display, show, and possible "Cackle", will be in the back alley, behind the Historical Society's main building.

    The FEDs and roadsters that are slated for display and possible CACKLE are:

    Don Prieto -Tommy Ivo's single injected Buick FED
    upload_2019-2-1_4-30-59.png http://pwhetstone.com/index.html
    Joel Gruzen- Newhouse Roadster upload_2019-2-1_4-31-52.png
    Frank Baney – Yeakel Hemi FED
    upload_2019-2-1_4-32-26.png
    Jerry Bivens –Checkmate Hemi FED upload_2019-2-1_4-32-57.png or Tom McEwen's FED

    Jnaki

    I am proud to say that the Historic Society has selected some of my (NEWLY CREATED) Lions films to display on various monitors in the display event. That is an honor and my 1958-60 Lions films are some of the only ones of the early Lions Dragstrip history, still around in original 16mm format and digitally preserved. There is also a 1964 Gas Coupe/Sedan event film from 1964 at Lions, somewhere in their files, too. Finally, tribute films for Gary Gabelich and Joe Reath will be shown.

    Thanks, Lions… and the Historical Society…

    Ivo extra
     
  12. BrerHair
    Joined: Jan 30, 2007
    Posts: 4,209

    BrerHair
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Pretty fucking cool. Have enjoyed all of your many wonderful contributions to this thread. Congrats on this!
    Priceless stuff.
     
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  13. redo32
    Joined: Jul 16, 2008
    Posts: 1,421

    redo32
    Member

    I talked to a guy last year that was gathering stuff for a Lions Dragstrip Museum, how is that doing?
     
  14. waldo53
    Joined: Jan 26, 2010
    Posts: 825

    waldo53
    Member
    from ID

    Tom Hatten, KTLA TV personality died Saturday at age 92. He was a talented artist and entertaining guy, later appeared in Hogan's Heroes. Rest In Peace Tom, and thanks for the memories. hatten3.jpg
     
  15. toml24
    Joined: Sep 23, 2009
    Posts: 1,365

    toml24
    Member

    Watching Tom Hatten and his cartoons in the early 1960's is a fond memory of mine. I even had one of those white sailor caps. Those were good times. Thanks for the memories Mr. Hatten.
     
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  16. oldpl8s
    Joined: Apr 11, 2007
    Posts: 1,185

    oldpl8s
    Member

    I met Tom Hatten along with other local kiddie show hosts Engineer Bill and Sheriff John at a car show many years ago. I still have Tom's autograph complete with the Popeye picture he drew.
     
  17. LBCD
    Joined: Oct 28, 2009
    Posts: 969

    LBCD
    Member

    I remember watching Sunday morning cartoons in the 70’s with Popeye, Tom Slick, Dick Dastardly & Muttley, Penelope Pitstop, George of the Jungle etc....


    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
     
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  18. toml24
    Joined: Sep 23, 2009
    Posts: 1,365

    toml24
    Member

    Engineer Bill put in a personal appearance in Redondo Beach about 1962 that was really close to our house so my mom decided we would all walk to see him, and this turned out to be the correct decision because thousands of families and their young kids showed up. Engineer Bill was up in the cab of a Santa Fe Rail engine. I've never seen a rail engine painted so magnificently. All the wheels and connected hardware were painted with layer upon layer of ultra bright glossy silver paint. There was not one drop of grease or oil on that engine. Engineer Bill was waving the whole time from the cab. This was an incredible experience for a child of 6.
     
  19. Mike VV
    Joined: Sep 28, 2010
    Posts: 1,382

    Mike VV
    Member
    from SoCal

    Back when I was in grade school, "about" 1962 or 63 Tom Hatten came and did a show at the local school near me in Covina/Charter Oak. Don't recall much but, stories and a lot of drawing, of course...Popeye stuff.

    Mike
     
  20. Mike VV
    Joined: Sep 28, 2010
    Posts: 1,382

    Mike VV
    Member
    from SoCal

    DDDenny mentioned Brotherhood Raceway.

    I spent more than a few days there racing my Anglia.
    LONG story, short, one day there with a coupla friends helping. Normally I just made runs for myself, didn't do much actual "racing".
    One day I was doing good on the lights, the car was running good, we stayed to race.
    I won a lot of races that day. As day headed to early evening, the car did something it hardly ever did, it made a hard turn toward the guardrail with the front tires off the ground. I figured that I needed to lift as I could see the rocks in the "K"-rail..! What I didn't know, my competition was a slower car. He won.
    Well, when my friends came to get me, they were in a hurry to leave. I didn't know what was going on...LETS GO, was all I got from them.
    We put the car on the trailer and left...still in a hurry, and I still didn't know why. What I did see was a LOT of people walking toward us in the row we were in.

    What the guys told me on the way home was, because I was winning race after race, the "betting" that was going on, that I didn't even know about...I guess the dollar value was getting pretty high for me to win the night. All I needed was two more races for that to happen.
    As it turned out, my nonchalants about the whole thing, and just coasting to the end of the track when I could have won that second to the last race, put me or us (my help) in line for a good whippen by the high dollar betting crowd.
    I stayed away for a few weeks...for our safety. When we did finally go back, boy did I get an ear-full from folks I didn't know... No hassle, just a lotta talk..!
    All was worked out without physical altercations. Wouldn'ta bet on that the night of the race though..!

    Overall, the Brotherhood Raceway was a fun place to race.

    Mike
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2019
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  21. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 11,349

    DDDenny
    Member
    from oregon

  22. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 3,194

    jnaki




    The History of Los Angeles
    upload_2019-4-3_5-56-27.png
    4367 S. Central Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90011 in front of the Top Nails Salon near the corner of E. Vernon and S. Central

    Hello,

    When we were little and the Long Beach Freeway was not built as yet, my dad used to drive into Los Angeles on Alameda Street or in this case, Central Ave. They all went into downtown Los Angeles. If Alameda(road of choice) was a little crowded early morning, then moving over a couple of blocks to South Central Avenue was a smoother drive into town.

    Since that early time in So Cal and the Long Beach to Los Angeles commute, the area has received some notoriety in various media. When one hears South Central, it brings up the 1965 Watts Riots or for the youngsters, the LA Fire/Riots of 1992.

    Jnaki

    Nice find on the guitar sculpture in a generic shopping mall location in the vast Los Angeles area. It is part of the urban development movement in the area.
    upload_2019-4-3_5-57-34.png

    A guitar sculpture at Vernon and Central Avenues nods to Central’s important place in history, both in music and in race relations. It is about 3 miles south of downtown Los Angeles.
     
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