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I'm happy to have found your website. My great uncle and aunt, Bill and Charlotte Thompson owned and operated Bills Market on Balboa Boulevard many years ago. My dad grew up helping at the store in the 1950-60s. They used a model T runabout to deliver groceries. My dad has stored it for many years and my husband and I recently bought it from him. We don't have any pictures of the store or even the address. We have a picture of them with the car from the 1950s. We would love to find any archived photos or articles about the store. Could you direct me to anyone that might have such information? I would really appreciate the help.
Wendy Quiggle Tibbitts
I grew up in O.C. swimming across the bay, body surfing and sunbathing in Laguna and Newport, and yes, we used baby oil to fry ourselves. My grandmother and I loved Blackie's for fried shrimp, I was reminiscing about a terrific bakery on Balboa Blvd. People lined up on the sidewalk on the weekend for the cinnamon rolls. He made something called A French Kiss, and the best pastry I ever ate, a French Waffle. He broke my heart when he closed. My husband and I lived at '_007'. The 1 was always missing. It was one of the original buildings on the peninsula. When the bay and ocean met during a storm, our building needed exactly two sandbags. That was the winter you couldn't drive for the flooding and my neighbor was fishing from his kayak on Balboa Blvd. Our building had housed hippies, but at one time was a bordello. Our apartment faced the street and had the buzzer the madam would use to warn the girls and clients the police were coming. We had our own bathroom but it was down the public hallway. We never locked the door until we realized a homeless fellow was using it. My hubby helped him out but we started locking doors. We lived next door to Mr. Cucamonga and I enjoyed watching him drive his classic cars. Every weekend we ate at Dillman's. So, so good. Yes, I loved the red leather booths. We enjoyed our walks around the island and Lido. My hubby always recognized the retired movie stars living in the area. One night there was a tidal wave alert. How we would all have evacuated I have no idea. I woke up terrified at a deep rumbling until I realized it was a jet from O.C. Airport. My fantasy was to live in the house built to look like a lighthouse, on Balboa Island. Best years of my life and I still dream of falling asleep to the sound of the
rigging on sailboats in the bay.
As a child we stayed at the Twin Palms apartments about 10 doors up from the Fun Zone for a month every summer. Mornings would be donut holes and fishing with dropper loops from the dock. After dinner it was Balboa bars and skee ball.
We used to tell my mom we wanted to ride the ferry across to the island so we could get a dime each direction, then we would swim across and spent the money at the pharmacy on candy and toys. We fished from the Pavilion dock on special occasions.
We used to swim around the Balboa pier for something to do. Go figure. After 50 years I still vacation in Newport, only now I stay at the Marriott Suites so I don't have to cook or make beds.
The late 60's were crazy especially around the 4th of July.
Thank you, Marty
Do you have information on when the Playland Arcade opened and then closed it's doors? I have thousands of the "win tickets" from the games that I was saving up when I was young and never redeemed them!!! I am now making jewelry charms out of them and would like to have a bit of information on the Playland when I am selling them. THANK YOU!!!!!!
Is this blog still running? Born in 1942 at 1700 Surf (now Ocean Blvd)
As a small child back in the early / mid 60’s my grandparents ran a restaurant on a corner & also lived above the restaurant in an apartment , I also remember them having a raft shop , bar & snack shop on the other end of the block. We would help out in the restaurant & snack shop ( frozen chocolate dipped banana’s ) earning money so we could go play at the “ Carnival Area “ that my brother & I use to go to ? We also would ride the Ferry to pass the time. My memories seem to be fading more the older I get but I also remember there was an above ground swimming pool that was in front of the apartment building that was down the same street…. all of this was right on the beach. If anybody could give me the name of the street & any more information I would certainly appreciate it . I will be planning a trip to Balboa & would love to go back to “ Memory Lane “. I have never had so much fun as a child & great memories. My Grandparents , Don & Marie Ball. And George & Nila Fatino.
To all of my good friends. I apoligazise for the live ams being down for so long. I'm having unbeleavable techinical problems with everything from the cameras and the website. I'm doing everything I can to restore service. Thanks
Don't know...please tell us the story so that posterity can have it forever. Thanks
Why is the true story of why Collins and apolina andd turquise never mentioned as well as the association with Collins Castle and Fatty Arbucle? I am originally from OC, first water park I went was Newport Dunes in 1957.
Under your Editors Note heading, the word 'possible' is not spelled as it should be. I'm sure it's just an oversight.
PJ Wheeler-island resident from birth (1952) until 1987, when I got disgusted with the overcrowding, as well as with the plastic people who need to say they live in Newport just because they have no self esteem (and guys who have small penises, too!). I guess I don't need to mention the Hummer drivers with size 8 shoes. I'm thinking Eastbluff, Cameo Shores, and where there used to be cows (Newport Coast).
I used to enjoy seeing the enlarged, full screen, old postcards on this site. Now when you click on the postcard images they are small and in one corner. Hard to see them. What happened? Can it be fixed to show them larger? The Banana Stand photo is blank. Thanks Jim.
Hi Mike: Glad you could make to The Peninsula Fun Zone. It's a great place to get away to when your feelin' down, I do it often just to see what's up with the weather and to leave a few words, memories and whatever. Please leave some memories.
I am so glad to see the Fun Zone live cam working again. It always makes me feel happy to see it when I can't be there in person. Thank You !!!!!!!! From Arizona !!!!!!!
Thanks to all for getting the Boardwalk cam up again, missed it, and for keeping the Ferry cam running.:)
OOPS - found the Ferry cam........whew!!
8 o )
Wow, the U-Drive cam is back up, who installed it?
Are we not going to have the view of the ferry on this cam? Much more interesting than this view.
8 o (
I am trying to contact Shannon Parks, a long time friend of the Tunstall family. Shannon had enormous respect for my father and I have the sad news of informing Shannon about the death of Harry Tunstall.
Can you please send her the following link for his obituary?
I was ten years old living on Balboa Peninsula in an apartment behind and back of an italian restaurant - Gandolfo's, with Dad, Mom and Sister. Gandolfo's was on the south side/ocean side of Balboa Blvd., corner of what is now Palm Avenue. could be one street east or west but I think it was Palm As a ten year old with a bicycle and fishing pole, it was a little slice of heaven. I would collect empty bottles and cash for deposit at the market on the north side of Balboa Blvd. near where the municipal parking is now, and then spend the money either at the Fun Zone, or rent a kayak for a few hours. If I was lucky to have enough, I'd bike up to Newport and pick up some smoked Albacore.
In off season - there was the fog and haze and few beach visitor; it was even better deserted. I will never forget Balboa Peninsula. We lived there about a year and a half/two years; went first to Newport Beach Elementary School, and then later that year or the sixth grade ended up at Rand McNally in CM where we lived briefly. My dad was a union plumber and due to the recession in 57/'58, money was scarce on a good day. When it got better, we moved back to Anaheim; but Balboa Peninsula was the best.
Hey Jim did you know Bob Hass or that surfer guy they called Zombie? Bob said he managed the Rendezvous and Greg (Zombie)Nicholson always told me he was a bouncer or doorman or something to that effect. Some names I remember are Doug Worley and Kathy Rogers,Kathy Madely Greg has a photo album of sorts from that ballroom. Thanks for all the wonderful stories you posted. Josie also known As the Mexican Surfer Girl
Hi Jim and fans!
I notice a lot of folks asking for personal memories, so here's my two cents:
-the Mayflower house at the corner of Park and Coral on Balboa Island...almost "Munsterish"...used to dare my buddies to dash through the yard. -Bayside drive curving through along north bay...before it got re-aligned. The gum trees are still there.
-The ferry boats, before they added the pilots houses...it wasn't really that long ago. Late 60s? And the old wooden gates to close off the end. -Don Maddocs, at the Island Market...there actually used to be a great meat market there! -Riding bicycles on the Island bayfront...legally! -The red golf carts of Salisbury Realty...go, Barbara Humphries! - The old fire station, a few stores down from the bridge...when I was born (at 121 1/2 Pearl, in 1952), mom called the fire room there to ask for help in my birth... The guys on duty had to walk down to our house, as the truck was getting new brakes! And Bingo! Out I came, right then and there!
-Parking before the street sweeping thing... -The greeter, at the pottery place in Laguna. -And the Boom Boom Room, also in Laguna...used to go in pre-legal age easily...oh, the hearts I broke!...sigh...those were the days! -Exploring Skeleton Caves, where Promintory Point is now.
-Having the island damn near empty in winter time...only about a quarter of the houses had permanent residents. -Ozzie, at the ferry. Remember Ozzie?
-The only pool on the Island, in the 100 block of Pearl...RIP Chris Meyers. I will love you forever, dear boy. Will you remember you and I as well? So young an sweet... -Dirty K and her VW Thing, at Dads Donuts.
-The very first housing monstrosity, the Stones house, at North Bay and Sapphire. The beginning of the crap being built all over the Island now. -The open space in the hills above Crystal Cove. Munching mushrooms straight from the cow patties before surfing. -The horse stables south of Cameo Shores...great, but probably not the most environmentally clean. Hey, what was, in the sixties? -Oh, and so much more...maybe on another visit. Sadly, I would never want to go back. TOO MANY PEOPLE. (I know, honey, let's reproduce...that'll help...)
-Ha ha ha...
Austin, be glad that the ferry cam is still there...........
Just wondering if anyone remembers a little bar, called The Galley, that used to be on Balboa Blvd., down the peninsula, back around 1972? I believe the owners were Jim & Bobbi.
Also a place called Wheeler's Trading Post. There used to be a fellow that sold audio stuff there named John P. Murphy. He called himself "Murf The Surf".
Any memories would be very interesting.
Hi, I enjoyed having the cameras that showed the fun zone and the stores but they took them down :( I remember every day watching those cameras being excited to go for my summer vacation and wondering whats changed so I look... But now I can only look at the ferry ride and that's no fun at all its just not kind to know the cams are down. they were so fun and they made me happy to see the favorite thing I love doing with my grandparents and family...
Hello, definitely a interesting Balboa site, and for me a cruise sailing down memory lane in Balboa, I was born in upper Newport Heights, lived on Palisades roadm which later became bristol street and eventually the whole area was covered by the corona del mar freeway and a huge industrial area, macarthur blvd to red hill to bristol street, when i was a kid, that was all farms and John Wayne airport was just a small airfield and storage for relic WW2 aircraft,, PBy's and other assorted planes we played in as kids,, my 1st job was at the Balboa Pavilion/ Daveys Locker. Lying about my age as a young teen, i got a job at Tale of the Whale restaurant, and Daveys Locker, starting as a busboy in winter and a baitboy on the dock in summer, by the time i reached puberty i worked my way up to position of masterbaiter, lol, and worked on the docks during the day and in the Tale of the Whale at night, a young workaholic, eager to learn, i worked for Mike and Evelyn Gross, baiting up skiffs and private boats as well as baiting up Davey's 1/2 and full day fishing fleet, the Westerner , Thunderbird, and the Del Mar. off season i worked as a busboy and upstairs banquets in the Tale of the Whale restaurant, for Bill Couette and Phil Toser and Mike Gross at Davey's , Eventually when i got my sealegs at 16, i became a summer deckhand on the Island Holiday going to Catalina daily, I remember the day the Pavilion Queen came to port as a new part of the pavilion fleet, and started it's new life being transformed from a ferry to a tour and party boat, The lounge in the Tale of the Whale was a class act, great piano bar and ambience, Bartenders names were Dave and Art, cocktail waitress was a 6'2" amazon with a period correct beehive hairdo that made her about 6'6" i cant remember her name, but she was a fixture at the piano bar & lounge for years and years,, John Wayne and Buddy "beverly H-billy" Epson among other antiquated Ho-wood stars one wouldn't think as being sailors, were breakfast regulars at the Tale of the Whale ba
My 1st apartment was across the street from Arts Landing on the boardwalk, in a little summer bungalow court on the corner of Adams and the bayside boardwalk, my cottage was called the "Shady Nook" i paid 35$ a month , I rented from a ancient old seahag named Helen, the Bungalows rental office had a 1930's era handpainted sign of a poodle, with a saying "" this is the only pooch allowed in this court". Great little bayside bungalow completely furnished wih pots and pans,, Occasionally during unusual High Tides we would have to put the furnature up because the water would fill the streets and enter the bungalows, we would take surfboards or sabots and paddle thru the streets and alleys, Then i moved into the Balboa Inn on main street, across the street from the Prison of Socrates, i remember paying a heaping $65 a month rent including occasional maid service, had a great View of Peninsula, Ocean and the Balboa pier, from the top floor apt, I couldnt afford such steep rent in those days so i took on a room mate. Many Years later i heard Wilt Chamberlin lived in my old apartment at Balboa Inn, Long Before the Dennis Rodman era in Balboa/Newport.
The Balboa Inn was a bit downtrodden & nearly empty in those days, like a ghost hotel, Heidi's Cafe, The Balboa Bakery, Dillmans, the fun Zone were all a important part of my childhood and formative years. as i got up in my teens, i worked at Alley West in Newport and Hanks ocean front cafe, fish and chips, i later had an apartment above the Stag Bar/ Liquor store and Chinese food, then moved to an apartment above the Alley West on corner above the Dory fish and chips, before Charlies Chili moved from it's old bayside location to a spot next to Baldys tackle shop, by the Newport pier, places like Sids Blue Beet, the Little Heidleberg, Henrys market, and Blackies, Does anybody remember the twin brothers Freddy and Frankie who grew up and lived as dory fisherman with their father at newport pier ? back when that laid back beach lifestyle was the real deal, before Newport and Balboa got it's post modern stucco makeover and faux cape cod replica facelift, becoming what is almost unrecognizable to me in modern times, i left my childhood haunt there in the early 70's, seeing the writing on the wall, all good things come to an end,, when they painted over the old "Prison of Socrates" sign that was painted in the 50's on the brick wall in the alley on main street in Balboa, and put in some tacky New York pizza place, Pianted all the brick walls. i knew it was time to leave my home town when Chuck Norris bought woodys wharf, the quality of life in Newport was lowered, and the rent rose beyond affordability for an un-entitled local born kid, of coarse by then the new powers that be were hiring low wage slaves from the south to do all the jobs that we grew up learning and enjoying as kids,, the rest is history now, behind the orange curtain.
It appears to me, after following the 'Surfline' cam at 'The Wedge' for over a year and watching the wave formations there, that 'The Wedge' is not what it once was. It seems that the wedge breaker itself has disappeared except very rarely. I remember hitting the surf there without studying the forecast and I was always witness to this wedge after which the location was named. Back in the thirties it was known, even then, as 'The Hook'. I have noticed, in at least two locations at the base of the jetty where the surf meets the rocks, that possibly a few boulders are breaking the straight edge of that base and causing the waves to form differently. Is this a fairly recent development or am I imagining this? I'm going to be studying old video and still images to compare them with what I see now. Has anyone else noticed this?
Jim, Hello "Employee of the Month". I hardly recognized you without your beard. You look at least 10 years younger. I keep hoping someone will remember me from the last time I lived in Balboa 1978-1984 and send me a message, but at age 76 I suppose most of my friends have died off by now. Maybe they would remember my husband Bud Wilson better than my name. Would love to hear from anyone that knew us then.
Jim, you should save and put all these comments in a book and save them for posterity. I don't want to lose any of these memories. The histories of people's lives and mine in Balboa are so charming to read and remember. I'm so afraid that as time and technology marches on these personal stories will disappear. Please consider saving them in a published form. Only a real book will survive.
Gail Stringer Brooks Wilson
Can anyone help? I lived on the island in the late 50's early 60's and remember a large black sailing schooner moored down by the Lido area. Was there for years. Does anyone else remember the ship and have any information about her? What the story on the boat owner, how long it was moored there and what happened to it. Much appreciated.
The seashore around the Balboa Peninsula is the medicine which is particularly good for my soul. It has a curative effect which can not be explained to anyone. I suppose everyone has a place on the face of the earth that strikes him like The Balboa Peninsula impacts me, but my Balboa is special in all the world. Treatment for nostalgia is so soothing, I'm gifted to have it.
My brother Tom and I are planning a kayak adventure through the harbor and the back bay water ways. Thinking about just renting instead of using our own equipment. Going to have to check on the fishing requirements in the back bay. Anyone have an answer on that. Maybe we'll rent an electric boat for the day or some other more relaxing form of getting around. One way or the other, we're gonna have a great time.
I asked about Balboa Peninsula gas stations of 1986 on this forum a few months back. Your info posted below definitely helps! You nailed the apartment complex that I was looking for dead on. I have checked all the old environmental websites for "leaking former gas tanks" etc. and identified all the old gas stations you mentioned EXCEPT that Mobile station on 15th and Balboa blvd!! I had ruled out the location(even though it looked feasible from Google earth views) because I did not know a gas station used to be there. Also, I was searching through the Newport Beach City website where you can read old building permit applications and I confirmed your info. Feels like a 100 LBS bag has been taken off my back to finally figure out where it was! Thanks. There is something magical about Balboa Peninsula every time I go There, hard to explain! Actually, I want to move there this spring when my Huntington Beach lease is up, but I'm not sure how I'm going to find a reasonably priced apartment that actually has parking. Also, its been pretty cold this winter so its gunna be tough convincing my wife to move there. I wish I knew someone that owned an apartment complex there. At 50 years old, I figure if I don't move there now, I never will.
It's wonderful to hear from you Dick and thanks for setting us straight on 'The King Gillette House', but I will always refer to it as 'The Dick Dale House'. If one wants the truth he must go to the source. I, for one, would love to hear more about the house and your history on the peninsula; there's no time like the present and where better to drop your pearls for posterity. With Great Respect,
Dick Dale....King of Surf Guitar. WOW! All of us are wishing you well and we would love to hear your story. We all love you!
Former Ferry Pilot (1979-1982)
I AM SORRY BUT YOUR STORY ABOUT KING GILLETTE IS WRONG. HE DID LIVE THERE AS I MET THE SWEET ELDERLY LADY THAT COOKED FOR HIM IN THE MANSION AND SHE GAVE ME PICTURES OF HIM AND TOLD ME HOW HE LOST THE MANSION GETTING SUED BY THE MAN HE HIRED TO LIVE THERE AND TAKE CARE OF HIM AND HIS WIFE. THERE IS A LOT MORE TO THE STORY THAT THE KIND LADY TOLD ME AFTER I BOUGHT THE MANSION. SHE LIVED OVER IN CORONA DEL MAR. I HAD THE MANSION PAID OFF IN FULL BUT I ENDED UP IN A HORRID DIVORCE AND HAD TO TAKE A LOAN FOR A MILLION DOLLARS AND THE 2 BANKERS RENAGED ON MY CONTRACT AND I LOST THE MANSION. BUT IN THE END THEY BOTH ENDED UP IN JAIL. ONE DAY I WILL WRITE ABOUT IT...
Well...that should satisfy Mr. Diligence on the Gillette House, thank you kindly.
According to an article that appeared in the LA Times by author-historian Jim Sleeper this should clear the Air on the Balboa Peninsula's King Gillette Mansion and hopefully satisfy Mr. or Ms. Anonymous. Newport Beach has a mythology all its own. The town's capacity for myth-making is nearly as predictable as the tides that bathe it. And nearly as changeable. A fine example was encapsuled in a Times article (April 10) about an architectural monument at the tip of the Balboa peninsula known as the "King Gillette Mansion." Properly speaking, it was King G. (not C.) Gillette, the son, not the inventor of the safety razor, who bought the site and built the home in 1925 (not '26), after Newport contractor Paul B. Ellsworth took out a building permit for a nine-room (not 23), shingled structure to cost $12,000 (not $24,000).
Among Balboa's best-nurtured tales is that Gillette never spent a night in the place. In a feature story last year, Beatrix Padway, whose father-in-law once owned the place, opined, "Gillette never moved in because his wife fell in love with the architect and they ran off." This year's Times version has it that just as Gillette and a convoy of moving vans approached, a wave of biblical proportions swept over the roof, whereupon Gillette turned tail, ne'er to return.
If so, he missed the better part of eight years' construction, which included two more stories, a whole second half and 14 additional rooms. Following these post-wave improvements, Gillette sold the property in 1933 to R.V. Jones (not the Padway brothers), of Hollywood, for $75,000.
Next comes the cherished "feuding (Padway) brothers and house divided" story. It likewise falls. In November of 1936 (not '31), Jones (not Gillette) sold the residence to Barney Padway, president of a Beverly Hills mortgage company. It was Barney (not Martin and James) Padway who immediately remodeled the three-story spread into two Mediterranean houses. Far from any "brotherly feud," Padway occupied one half, while the other half was designed for his brother, Judge Joseph A Padway, of Milwaukee, Wis. When completed, each half contained 15 rooms.
Ultimately the Padways would occupy the landmark until World War II, when it was taken over by the military. Alas, it was the Army (not the Coast Guard) who commandeered the mansion for a base from which two 104-foot crash boats were dispatched to retrieve downed fliers at sea.
Two years after the war, Barney Padway sold the "divided house" to Andrew and Lucille Bailey for $40,000. After sprucing it up, the Baileys sold in 1972 to Dr. Jim Diffley for $150,000.
Reflecting a continuing rise in real estate values, the showplace sold again in 1976, this time for $275,000. As is well known, the purchaser was aging guitar-twanger Richard Anthony Monsour (also known as Dick Dale), "King of the surfing fender-benders." At this point, the beach house was described as 17 rooms with six baths.
In 1986, Dale was evicted after defaulting on his mortgage they say (though sex makes better reading). Then in considerable disrepair, the place passed to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. from which Al and Loyce Grasso bought it.
However, The Times was perfectly correct in stating that the Grassos are now (as of 1990'2) in the process of restoring the $1.4-million fixer-upper to its mid-1930s Mediterranean grandeur.
I trust that these facts will not confuse the harbor cruise directors, whose "ferry" tales have been such a fecund source of local history--especially those regarding the "King Gillette House."
Former Ferry Pilot (1979-1982)
On the ferry cam, the date stamp (upper left corner) says one day previous to the actual date of viewing. But the title (under the shot) says live. Which is correct?
PJ Wheeler...Island resident from birth in '62 until '95.
lighten up dude
You should probably do better diligence on your stories before you publish them...
your info on Dick Dale and the house is WAY off!!
I'm approaching 70 years old now and visited back at Christmas time with family at Corona del Mar. We stayed 5days and I treled out to the end of the East Jetty next to Corona del Mar. There is one rock about one third of the way outthat is very unstable and should be tended to by some city people as someone my loose his balance out there. There is a rock like that on the West Jetty by The Wedge also about half way out. I love that hike out to the ends of both jetties. I'll be doing it every year 'til the end of time. I love the beach, I love Balboa and CDM.
Thanks so much - nice surprise to see the ferry!!
Jim, glad to see that you are still on the job. You got the ferry cam back. How's the 'Downtown Balboa Village Walking Tour' coming along?
Oh no, not the ferry too!! Isn't there some business that would support the camera? I miss seeing the area each day.
To all of my friends. The balboa Island Ferry cam is down for repair. I can't locate the problem, but I'm working on it. Please bear with me while I work on this problem.
Editor & Chief Cook and Bottle Washer.
As a kid in the 50's used to eat at the "Jolly Roger" and play in the water all day, I was first one in and last one out! My sister and I used to swim across to the "boat house" once in a while, don't think my parents knew! One time I remember a BIG boat couldn't see us and we went under it, I remember seeing the boat go over us, must have been 60 feet long, wonder how long it really was, maybe 15-20 feet, but I was young and it looked like an ocean liner!! Great memories of Balboa, Huntington Beach, (thousand steps!), Laguna, remember the "Pottery Shack" and the guy that waived to everyone on the North end of town? Hint of the time, I was in the first class to graduate from Sunny Hills High School in Fullerton!
HAPPY NEW YEAR 2015 to Jim Fornier and all on Balboa Peninsula. Walter
Jim: That book is 'Newport Beach's Balboa and Balboa Island' as you may already know. Walter
Jim: Just ordered the book 'Balboa and Balboa Island' by Jeff Delaney at Thrift Books. It would be a great book for you to make available to those who take your walking tour. You may be able to get the right price from the publisher by wholesale
Jim: Sad to hear about the gallery closure, but happy to hear about your planned walking tours of the downtown Balboa. Hotels on the peninsula would love to hear that. I'm sure that other businesses would push it for you as well. Just stayed with family on Corona del Mar last week and thoroughly enjoyed it. While there I read the paperback on the history of Corona del Mar. My God, I never new. What a dramatic beginning. Have you read it. Many stories about ship wrecks all over here. Has anyone written a really good history of the Balboa Peninsula. That would sell to every walking tour. Put lots of old photos in that book too. You'll do just fine with your tours, bet on it. I'm going to miss this site. Shoot me a line Jim. Jim, think about the potential with the chamber.
I emailed you yesterday to tell you how sorry I am about the cams. Then it dawned on me - how am I going to see the Boat Parade? How am I going to watch all those cute Jr. Lifeguards coming and going on the ferry in the summer? How am I going to watch my daughter riding on the ferry? How am I going to check out the weather? I know there are many more things I see on your site - thanks for all your time and work.
Oh no.........every day I start out w/ your site and get to think back to all the special memories. I wish the cams could go on and on. I was sorry when you moved from near the arcade as I liked those cams, but this is so sad.Thanks for all your time and effort - it has been much appreciated.
We Love Your Site! Can you add us to your website. Also, my neighbor throw out large print that was signed by Artist, we can't make out the signature. Three Wins Playland Arcade. Scene of Balboa Island and Ferris Wheel...reminds me of Leroy Neiman...looks like it is from 90's or late 80's...bottom left side is signed in pencil ap on far right looks like BZM AR? We can't make out signature? Byar? Hope you can help :)))) Sincerely and with Gratitude
To all of my good friends.
First of all I want to wish you a Very Merry Christmas and the Best New Year ever.
I'm sorry to tell you that Balboa Gallery has gone out of business. Because of this, the two live cams showing the Fun Zone and Bay Front will be shut down in a few days. The only camera remaining in use at this time will be the Ferry cam.
The last few weeks have been a real mess for me due to closing the gallery and I may have missed some of your messages. For this I'm sorry. I look forword to the coming year with high hopes for Balboa. I'm now looking into the possability of giving walking tours of downtown Balboa. Let me know what you think. Thanks for all of your support, and your wonderfull messages.
Editor and Chief Cook & Bottle Washer
Hi there, thank you for your site i really appreciate it!
Like many people here, i was born & raised in Newport & spent my summers on the island & at the beach on the peninsula. I have the best memories of Balboa & the peninsula :) I had my first job at Pizza Pete's at the fun zone. And most of my friends worked nearby at mr fun foods, the boat rentals, the ferry and so on..
I had my first kiss on the boardwalk in the summer of 1986 and now he & I are engaged- better late than never! :)
I cried when i heard that the few rides that were left there & few shops were all closing :( I still live nearby, but haven't been able to bring myself to return there...
I want to remember life as it was growing up at the beach & hanging out with friends...
Every Summer weekend, we would get dressed up and go out to parties at someone's apt/house on the peninsula or sneak off to the beach to drink a few beers & then go "cruise" balboa blvd. And then maybe get into a little trouble, lol...but not really, it was all such innocent fun!
What GREAT memories!!
It makes me feel sorry for my nieces who are 16 & 18 and they aren't interested in much except "talking" w/friends online & texting people.
I know that life is about change & progress, but i long for those hot, fun & carefree Summer days & nights when time seemed to stand still & there was never a shortage of fun things to do & late nights spent hanging out with friends & loving life!
I wouldn't change a thing!!!
Thanks for the memories. And PLEASE, if anyone has pics from the 70's/80's of the Fun Zone, i would LOVE to see them..i've forgotten the names of alot of places, and it would be great to see some photos. Take Care
My name is David and I am interested in contacting anyone who might have worked around the Bay Department Store on Main Street, in the period of 1965-66 while it was owned by Roger Hanford. I worked there and met my wife who worked at the Bakery.
Does anybody remember a cocktail lounge called "Talk of the Town"? My mother used to date the manager (she could only remember his first name was Art) and she got pregnant. He doesn't know he has a daughter (my sister) and he may want to know. If anybody knows anything that could help in finding Art, it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
Whatever happened to eli Mena, aka smiley the clown?
Does anyone remember the Water Witch which was fishing boat ran out of the pavilion in the late 40's?
Maui Joe Yes I do. Fished off her a couple of times. Also the ' Skip A Lou' owned by Chili Trositer and George Graves also out of the Pavilion. Fished off the ZootsmiII from the Newport Beach Pier.
Jim: At first it was all about getting my memories of Balboa recorded in one place, but now I have taken a liking for your wonderful talent. As a photographer myself I can appreciate your great works. I will stop in when I get over there in late November or so. Now that part of the family has taken residence at Corona del Mar I will be closer to Balboa, a very special place and a special place in my heart. I don't know how to come close to describing my connection to this tiny community as it seems to escape me, but that is aside from your beautiful photographs. Thanks Jim,
Can anybody remember the Osprey story when they put a telephone pole beside a sail boat to move the next over to the pole? When was this, where, and who paid for this expense? Would appreciate hearing the story. Thank you.
Richards Market. It was always very cold in there, as I remember!
And expensive but they had great selections....
Does anyone remember the Water Witch which was fishing boat ran out of the pavilion in the late 40's?
Jeane H.: Welcome to Balboa; how is it down undah?
There was a Mobil Station on the corner of West Balboa Blvd. and 15th street, 1500 West Balboa Blvd. It was next to an apartment complex that had very limited parking. There was also a Unocal station on the corner of Newport Blvd and 30th street. There was one other station on the Peninsula around Newport Blvd and 34th street I believe it was an Exxon Station, these are the only ones I remember. Hope this helps.
Hello, can anyone tell me how many gas stations were on the Balboa Peninsula in 1986 and what their addresses were? I live in Huntington B. and recently returned to visit balboa, which brought back a flood of memories from 1986, when I was dating a Japanese exchange student from UCI. She returned to Japan. I wanted to find her old apartment address but I cannot remember for my life. All I found was here name and her old phone number 714-536-0428 in my records, but no address. I do remember that there was a 6 car parking lot for her apartment (which was usually full) and I used to park behind a service station (in its own parking lot), which was directly adjacent to her parking lot. Can anyone help? Alfred.J.
Richards Market. It was always very cold in there, as I remember!
Are you thinking of Richards Market. It was owned by O. W. Richards. The Coffee Shop was the hangout for many locals including John Wayne.
Does anyone remember the name of the grocery store, way back in the 50's/60's, that was on the right side of Via Lido (where West Marine is now), that had a lady upstairs that played the organ? I have been wracking my brain!
Hey Gary, Welcome to Balboa, glad you could make it. Let's take the ferry to the Island! Walt
I begin with apologies as this is unpleasant, unreal and unimaginable. On July 2,2015 late afternoon, the day began so well on a once in a lifetime vacation with my Favorite Person Ever. Balboa was so beautiful though after the following events, nothing is. Late in the afternoon we arrived at Balboa. Riding a tandem bicycle had been a dream for more than a year so we rented one. I had no idea that as a man on a roadbike pulling into our lane with nowhere to go,....would change lives forever and leave my Best Friend and True Love hating me because i could nothing but use my body to cushion Her. She was still injured, but the injury is deeper than imaginable. Unable to see the accident given time and position, she has lost trust in me. I implore the help of the man on that bike to help me restore the trust of The One Person i hope for the most,......please.....
To Alan Sandoval,
You hired our 19 year old son Grant in 1986 to work part time at your Playland Arcade. He had to quit soon after because he was losing his battle with bone cancer. We were so grateful you hired him in spite of his health issues; he so wanted to live a normal life and you gave him an extra boost....he loved that job.
Nancy (Allin) Baldwin
I found one story about Bears Lair. I was there I 1977.
I met a beautiful waitress named Marion have tried for decades to find her would you have any other stories about that place or anyone who might know her.
My great aunt was Ethel Strebe and she and her husband, George Strebe, purchased The Doll House in the 1950s. They subsequently got divorced and Ethel died about 10 years ago. All of her six siblings are also deceased and no one on our side of the family knows what ever happened with The Doll House at Balboa. Does anyone out there have any recollection of the history of this establishment?
JOHN B FINCH
Does anyone know the status of the surfer superheroes John Lugo & Ralph Dawson who rescued eight passengers from an overturned vessel at the entrance to Newport Harbor during the 1939 hurricane which produced 30' surf at The Wedge (known then as The Hook)? Video evidence of their deed can be seen readily with a simple search on line and it's all narrated.
Wish we could post pictures as Dick Dale, 'King Of The Surf Guitar' just won an award from the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame. Just received word from his wife and manager Lana. Video of him surfing is on line here and there with simple searches. That was back in the late 50's and early 60's.
Linda: Two or three blocks north west of the fun zone would put you on Adams which is two blocks north, but everything has changed since '45. Wish we could hold on to our past, but that's the way it goes many times. So much of it is still here in Balboa, particularly the sea shore which we all enjoy so much. I'll bet that little cafeteria was a cozy little place, was it in an old house? Drop a line again.
About 1945-ish there was a cafeteria just 2 or 3 blocks nw of the Fun Zone on a side street. Dark brown shingle siding. Anyone know the name of it or anything about it?
Remember dancing to Stan Kenton's band at the Rendezvous Ballroom the summer of 1947? June Christy opened the show with "I Cover the Waterfront." We danced the New Yorker, the Balboa, and I finally learned the Huntington Beach Hop which was a great step but more complicated than the other two. Stan would announce a break by saying, "It's Blue Room time," and the band would go across the street to this bar named The Blue Room. Fabulous memories of these days. Also spent every spring break at Bal from Whittier High School, class of '49.
Cathie Moon Brown
Must make a correction ......Rick S. was from Big Fork, Flathead County, Montana which was located on Flathead Lake on the great Swan River. Rick was quite a picture at The Wedge that day. It was just before he joined the U.S. Navy. Drop a line Rick.
Just recalling a day body surfin' The Wedge with my buddies Scott, Rick and Mike summer of 1964. Guess someone got the surf report and we headed down from City of Orange. Nice big breakers and nicely formed wedge. Maybe it was the very first time we had done this as we were all from different parts of the country, Somerville, MA, Pewaukee, WI, Flathead Lake area, Wyoming and Minn., Minn.. We were all new to California and loving it. We were going to Orange High. Scott and Rick graduated in '64 and Mike and I graduated in '65. We hit the surf that day and it tested me to the max. I'm sure the others felt the same way, but nobody wanted to say quits first. I recall cutting back one time when the whole ocean floor sand was showing under me. I was in a standing position when the wave broke and dumped me flat standing. I was having fun. I think it was Mike who quit first with a bloody chest or nose, I don't recall. Rick also was somewhat damaged in the same way,but he kept on. Scott and I made it out fair. We will never forget that day
My Dad, T. Duncan Stewart probably carved the doors. Not just a poet!
Does anybody remember a place at the corner of W. Balboa and the Coast Hwy. called The Burger that had fantastic fried chicken. It was there in '63-'65. What a great place for a couple of beach bum buddies to get a fast meal then hit the surf. Rick reminded me of the time that Stewart drove his yellow '58 Chevy off of the parking lot accidentally and ending up door handle deep in the beach sand. I think it was near Balboa Pier. He also reminded me that we were a curious group as he could not remember us ever drinking alcohol. I think he is right, for the most part we were pretty sensible. I'll never forget the night that Stewart asked us all to chip in for gas to go to the beach then he took us all home and went out on a date. Gees we were stupid. That's ok, Rick reminded me of the time Stewart pretended to have forgotten his wallet while eating at Oscars. We all slyly left the table for one reason and another until Stewart was left at the table to pay his own bill as it should be. We all stood outside looking in at him. More to come.
As a young man I spent a week on Balboa Island with my first love Molly. We spent many of those nights at the fun zone playing arcade games, laughing, eating junk food and having fun. It was the most carefree fun time of my life and it was there that we fell in love. Tragically she died a few months later but, when I go back, it's as if she's with me holding, my hand and telling me she loves me.
The very first timeI went to Balboa was in August of 1963. Visited that little beach next to a small pier on the harbor on 15th St. right next to the American Legion. The Landry family from Anaheim were relatives who took us in for a while til our family got settled into Orange, they were relatives and we were very thankful for their help. It was the Landreys who took us to that beach. My cousin Rose was gracious enough to take me across Balboa Blvd. to the ocean side of the peninsula where I experienced the great Pacific for the first time. I sure did like Rose a lot, same age and all. Rose, drop a line here please. Walter
Lonnie: What is the agramie@yahoo all about? Yeah, my buddies and I spent a lot of time at the Wedge. This Tales Of Balboa brings back a lot of memories, thanks Jim for the effort you put into this site. Walter
Went to Balboa every summer with my family back in the fifties and sixties. Some of my most fond memories. Practically lived on the beach from morning til night. Then on the Ferry to the Arcade for more fun. Used to shop in a little grocery store that was on same street as the Ferry if I remember right. Great times and great memories.
Can anyone direct me to information on the painter Susan Newcomb from the 1980's? My parents have left me a huge painting titled " A Day in Town".
On July 2,2015 late afternoon, a man on a road bicycle and an woman and man on a tandem bicycle had a collision on W.Seashore N.W. of balboa near the end of the strand. I am hoping to communicate with the man who was bleeding from his left forearm.
My late Grandmother used to 'tan' at Balboa Peninsula back in the mid 40's. She said the used to take babyoil and iodine and mix them together...go figure. If they weren't visiting her Aunt in Santa Monica, they were at Balboa. I feel roots to this place because of this. Never a better place...
David Michael Alonzo
My buddy Scott is lookin' for Kenny Tesco star basketball player from Balboa and noted surfer from Connecticut. Kenny, call Scott, he's livin' on The Peninsula accross from the tennis courts. Scott challenges you to a Balboa championship which was handed down to him by his father P.S. Scheid, a Michigan champ from the 40's. Scott, let's rent some See-Dos or somethin' from The Fun Zone. I think we can both fit on one of the big ones. Someone fill us in on the best rental place please. Bye Scott P.S. You up for that man? Waltah
Mr. Scheid: There is no trying around Newport Beach, only doing. That's what we did when we surfed The Wedge in those years. If we only tried it, we never would have done it again, but we were also crazy kids. Yes, I'll be over to pick you up and we'll hit The Burger for a three piece chicken before we get wet. I love The Peninsula. Waltah
I was the UPS driver in Balboa from 1969 to 1985. I knew a young man who worked at the Bay Department store at 303 Main Street his name was Derik Farnsworth. We used to have some great conversations on the street while I was unloading to deliver. He road a 3 wheeled bicycle. I was wondering if anyone knows if he still lives on the Peninsula or how he is doing. We were down on the Peninsula last weekend and I began thinking about all the wonderful people I knew. I noticed a young lady riding a 3 wheeled bike and it made me remember Derik.
Waltah, Iam tring this for the first time. Its been many yrs since Ive been to newport and plan to go down one of these days. Iremember the 60`s when we were there all the time. Got to go again soon. Talk to ya later.
Saying hello to Scott my surfin' buddy from 1964-65. What a great place the Wedge is. Get back with me buddy.
Does anyone remember a tiny Tutor-style lane way or walkway near The Peninsula Point Racquet Club on the Balboa Peninsula? I am not talking about Belvue Lane. I think that I remember a number of small scale English homes near the bay. I had a walk today and could not find it. Many thanks for any help!
What a beautiful and wonderful place. My husband and I had a very enjoyable boat ride. Whale watching turned out to be smittened by the dolphins ride! They appeared to be so playful and having a terrific time swimming as fast as our boat was moving out toward the ocean. The boat just left the mouth of the channel, heading out to the open water. Just that quick the dolphins appeared, as though it was a daily routine for them ( the dolphins ) just waiting for the tour boat to come and the dolphins would have playtime and entertain everyone. Just luv it. The entire area of balboa peninsula island was beautiful and everything was scenic. The memory will be forever in my mind. Crab Cooker , the best.
To the writers wanting to know Newport phone prefix before area codes, I think it was "HARBOR." Costa Mesa had LIBERTY, KIMBERLY, and MIDWAY I believe. My parents lived on Newport Island from 1941 to 1943, went to Honolulu to work until the end of the war, and came back to Newport 6 months after the war ended and built a house near Western Canners on 31st Street. I don't know if it was the pre-war house or the 31st Street house they said they were on the old switchboard style phones that you listened for the number and type of rings to know when you should pick up your phone to answer it. Unfortunately they were on the same exchange as the local doctor who delivered babies in the middle of the night and had to lobby the phone company to get them a different number so they didn't have to hear it ring whenever there was a baby about to be born. I also think the older phone numbers were only 4 digits not 7 or 10 like we had later on.
PS to the phone number conversation - it was Liberty 8 and Midway 6 - I remember that for sure, and they were associated primarily with Costa Mesa addresses. We lived up in the Costa Mesa section of Newport Heights and both numbers were used on our street.
Hi Jim, Is your book still available? I would very much like to obtain a copy. I wrote to you some years ago. I lived in Balboa from 1941-1946
Whatever happened to Vi's Pies across the street from the theater? The black bottom and others were so good. Also the fine Bakery on the street leading to the Pavilion. We purchased several swimsuits from the Bay Department store in same block. We also had many dinners at Dillman's and Pops.
Anyone remember when Davey's Locker fishing skiff rentals was at the present location of Ruben E. Lee - where PCH crosses the harbor. They rented red 14ft skiffs made of honest to god wood. My Dad hooked a giant bonita once that pulled our little boat all the way out beyond the buoy marking the harbor entrance. Swells were about 15ft to 20ft that day. Only time I've ever been seasick. Had that big fish smokes at a place up on Newport Blvd near 22nd in Costa Mesa.
I just got an e-mail from Mike Murphy telling me he had contributed material to Jim Fournier's book, "Tales of Balboa." He said he had talked about the "Bar Wars" with Woody, Baer, and the guys from Alley West. Also some stuff about Dick Dale at the Rendezvous. Murf says it is a great book and that I should have one. Are they still available? Mike had left his real estate biz on the mountain for a few days to play a gig in Washington. Hope it went well for him. He had a great run as an entertainer and was one of the very BEST.
The stage at Woody's Wharf was a good vantage point to people watch. I recall a tragic night when a woman in a party of four, that was sitting at a table next to the glass wall overlooking the wharf and twenty feet from the stage, choked on a bite of steak. With a look of horror on her face, she grabbed her throat, waved her hands, and fell forward into her plate. I stopped playing and called out to the restaurant staff that we had an emergency at the window.
Bartender, Hank vaulted the bar and ran to the woman's side, who was now on the floor. Her son-in-law was giving her mouth to mouth resuscitation. Hank tried to get him to stop so the Heimlich Maneuver could be administered that would pop out the lodged food, but the hysterical man would not quit. Hank tried to pull him away and yelled at him, "You're forcing the food down her throat!" Still, he fought him off with several wild punches and continued. The paramedics arrived in minutes, but it was too late to save her.
The guests at Woody's were an eclectic bunch. A favorite was the man who would hang out at the bar wearing a stethoscope and often in scrubs, identifying himself as an OB-GYN, named Dr. Fallopian.
One memorable night, a man and two women took the half-circle booth, directly in front of the stage. The women were dressed in expensive-looking, tight, black dresses, the man in a beautiful black suit. He sat at the nine o'clock position, the women at twelve and three. Ms. Twelve gazed around the room with a look of disdain at the "peasantry." After ordering drinks from the waitress, she got up and walked regally to the rest room. A song or two later, she returned with the haughty attitude of a star walking the Red Carpet. Attached to the four-inch heel of one of her black pumps, was a six foot length of white toilet paper that trailed her every step. She stood at the side of Mr. Nine, who had downed a couple shots while she was away. He stood up, she slid into her spot and he sat down. At this point, I was trying to suppress a laugh and unable to sing and, with most of the rest of the room, watched this trio who were oblivious to being the center of attention.
Suddenly, Mr. Nine began convulsing. He placed his hands over his mouth but that couldn't stop the projectile vomiting as he spewed huge amounts of stomach contents all over and across the Formica covered table. As it ran down onto their laps, Ms. Twelve, using her extended pinkie as a squeegee, tried to push it back to the center of the table and kept yelling, "Ish, Ish."
As in the Last Days of Pompeii, Vesuvius kept erupting. Ms. Twelve, at last yelled, "Get up, you dumb son of a bitch!!" Covered in puke, the three slid out from the table and, with the man in the lead, followed by Ms. Three, the packed house crowd at the bar parted as if for Moses at the Red Sea.
Bringing up the rear and, to her credit, still looking as regal as one could with vomit from her waist to the hem of her black dress, Ms. Twelve walked with measured steps to the exit. Behind her, still attached to her four-inch heel, trailed the six feet of white toilet paper.
I was fortunate enough to spend many a summer Sunday at the bay at Cypress St. In August, we would rent 1 of the Plummer Court cottages for a week. I was 3-7 years old back then. Then they tore that block apart and built that ugly condo.
I saw the demise of the original Fun Zone. There is now a ferris wheel nearly on the water by the auto ferry. It seems to me that it can't be the original ferris wheel that sat between the bumper cars and the store on the corner. Does anyone remember how many seats were in the "original" ferris wheel??? (circa 1959) It was tall enough that you could see the beacon at the end of the jetty.
I miss the "old" Balboa. And whatever happened to that great big black music box that sat in the "middle" of 3 pinball arcades? And where did all those mechanical games end up??? Oh well...Thanks for letting me cry and rant. At my age, I'm happy to sit and ride the ferry across the bay a few times and reminisce. :)
To the writer wanting to know alpha characters for Newport Beach
My Mom always said Costa Mesa where we lived was liberty, or it was said as "LI8-". But you thought it was Kimberly. Maybe Newport Beach was Liberty then?
Jan Vitalich Lackey
To Kenny: RE Ocean Toad...Absolutely I remember the Toad...I was just a kid, and my mom, Betty Ann Wheeler, was head of the accounting office. This was probably the early seventies. There was some...er...interesting stuff going on with the books that she called attention to, and when the dead body belonging to a Vegas "promoter" was found floating under the Toad, she promptly quit, realizing there was an under current of shady characters who owned the Toad. She'd previously been with the Ancient Mariner under Pete Siracusa.
The name of the hypnotist at the Villa Nova was PAT COLLINS, The HIP HYPNOTIST.
Does anyone remember the Ocean Toad? I performed there for a few weeks as did, I believe, two other acts; Jerry Keko and Jason Chase. I used to write material for their acts. I didn't know I was their writer but they would often help themselves. Jerry called me once and said, "Ken, don't play Yuma. They don't like your act."
What a wonderful read! I was looking for Chuck Beauvais info and found other great stuff.
Like Mike Murphy, I performed at Woody's Wharf beginning in 1972. Woody Payne was a beautiful guy. The morning he was killed, we were to have met for breakfast to talk about opening a bar on 17th street. Woody had a non-compete clause from the sale of the Wharf and we had discussed using my name and his money. I recall he had a skateboard factory and not loving it. I was performing at the Spindrifter, on the water side of Coast Hiway, near the Arches. Woody had gone next door to the Italian place (Villa ???) and about 1:45 was walking across PCH to the Arches Bar for a last call drink before our 2 AM meeting. When I came out of the club, Woody Payne had been hit by a car was lying in the street. Not my favorite memory.
I remember, after 2 AM closings at the Wharf, we would sit at the bar, drink, and laugh sometimes until the sun came up. The story about the bumper sticker comes from the guys at Alley West hiring a professional to paint "Woody Drinks At Alley West" on the side of Woody's new El Camino. Not to be outdone, instead of removing it, Woody hired another professional to paint "Beer, 5 Cents A Glass" beneath the first sign. They played gags on each other for weeks. One morning, Woody drove into his parking lot to find eight goats grazing on his roof.
One night, a huge Samoan abalone diver took offense at something I had said on mic. He lumbered up to the small, two-foot tall stage, wrapped his massive right hand around my left hand and the neck of my guitar and with his left hand grabbed the front of my shirt, guitar strap, and chest hair and lifted all 220 pounds of me up and off the stage and was going to throw me through the window into the bay. I could see bartenders Hank and Baer getting ready to come to my aid and probably die with me, when Woody walked up to the mountain and said, "Hey, Man, You're ruining the show. Put him down or you'll have to leave." My captor looked down at Woody and then up at me and back down at Woody and shrugged his giant shoulders. As my dangling feet returned to the stage, I gave a silent prayer of thanks to God and Woody for my deliverance.
The Reuben E. Lee was my home many months a year for several years. It was a magical place to perform. I was there the night gazillionaire Peter Grace (WR Grace) tried to buy a seat for dinner and even after offering a huge tip was told it was a 2 hour wait. He left the Boat, drove away in his limo and on Monday called owner John McIntosh to demand the hostess be fired. The story goes, Mr. McIntosh told him he was going to give her a raise. Grace replied he was going to buy the Reuben E. Lee and fire her AND John. Then John told Peter the boat was not for sale and only a part of the huge holdings of Far West Services. That was when Grace started negotiations for the purchase of the corporation with a more than tidy sum going to Mr. McIntosh and the other owners. As soon as it became a Grace property, the magic left and the Reuben E. Lee eventually was hauled out to sea and sunk.
Wanted to send a link to an article l wrote for The Daily Pilot on Bill Medley (of Righteous Brothers) leaving Balboa that ran on Friday, May 22.
http://www.dailypilot.com/news/tn-dpt-me-0522-bill-medley-20150521,0,1123249.story Would love to anyone with connections to other icons that I could interview that were part of old Balboa's halcyon days of the performing arts.
My mom told stories of her time on Balboa Island; she left Illinois and came to California right after World War II. My sister says she worked at a few places there ... one of the places had the word "Tea House" in it and then a restaurant that was across the street. Wondering if any of those details sound familiar to anyone who is still around from those days. She loved Balboa Island. I do too.
Larry rolph remembers riding on Tommy Wurdemans sp Rhodes 17 as a kid and the flight of the snowbirds in the summer. It was all wooden boats at the time. The pioneer and the goodwill were moored in the upper harbor. I remember Forrest smith house on the island and playing with mike and Forrest jr. Forrest sr became the owner of irvine country club.
Hello I live now in Portland Oregon but lived on the Island as a child in the '50s-c.56-60. Lived at 110 Agate just across the street from the then Methodist Church and a half block from the ferry. My family bought it c. 1913. We still have snaps of the water tower. The family name was Bradford and were part of the "Pasadena Colony" I guess (Altadena,actually) but we never identified as such. Is there anyway to find out who constituted the said Colony?Are we listed? :) Doing research for long undiscovered and recently contacted family. Be glad to offer scans of WWI era BI if anyone interested. Thanks! Jeff Colby,Portland
Does anyone know the name of the man who ran the ferry in the late 1970s? He had been a dentist in Sierra Madre and retired for health reasons to the island. He lived on Agate..
Hi Jim, I check back for updated postings every so often & enjoy your site & reading about memories of Balboa Island. I am John Vitalich's daughter, Jan. Many of your friends knew my Dad who was a skipper out of Newport, and I'm sure have lots of stories! I saw the posting from Pat Taylor who was looking for "Smitty"'s daughter. I'll try sending her an e-mail. Marilyn Smith married my Dad after Smitty passed away and they had many happy years together until my Dad passed away at 94. He saw lots of changes to the area and would have enjoyed your site. Thank you.
Jan Vitalich Lackey
My family owned summer homes first on the Island ( I.B. and Cornelia Potter) and then on the peninsula ( Marion and LP Elliott/ Doris Potter). My mother and her brother spent their summers there, sailing and swimming, then brought the next generation along as we arrived. To this day, I look back on those days as some of my best memories and Balboa as paradise on earth for kids. My cousins and siblings still visit whenever we are in the vicinity, dig our toes in the sand and remember all the good times.
hey jim,its greg(rod & donna's) son,i just found my self on here for the past 2 hours and even heard a couple people mention Hidi's cafe'everyone that's been there knew my mom Donna, sad to hear about ron white..anyways good job Jim,i'll see ya when I go down there,just to let you know my dad passed sept.2 2013.
Thanks for all your efforts Jim ,
Tales of Balboa is back in good hands. Your beautiful photography is a wonderful legacy to Newport Beach California homes on Balboa Peninsula. Your photograph's truly tell the story about our town and the rich history it has to offer.
See you in the neighborhood.
Mary Lou Skowronski
Jim, congratulations on getting your website back. People all over the world (I mean that literally) must be elated. I for one certainly am. Keep up the great work on your superb website.
Hi Jim, I love your new location, It was nice talking with you today. Keep it up.
once again thank you for the nice talk we had yesterday in your gallery - it made my day :-)
it was a real pleasure to exchange with you our attitude about photography and how much we both consider it as life-enrichening.
I would be happy to hear from you from time to time about news from balboa.
all the very best and please stay happy and healthy -
Jim: My mistake, Dick Dale's place is next to Jetty View Park, not Peninsula Park. Walter
Jim, Trying to find your gallery web site; what's the address. Where are you located. Must tell the story of my high school basketball buddy. We were sittin' on the beach in 1964 and in a mood of stupidity I gave him a shove. I had no idea what his capability was that day at 15th Street near The Stuft Surfer, but he twisted me in knots ; I think I had sand everywhere including my mouth and nose. I never got pushy with Scott Scheid again. By the way, our non-profit seeks hard assets in the form capital investment in resort residencial real estate and we will do it on Balboa Peninsula when it is time. I can't think of a better place. Thanks for your Tales Of Balboa and the web cams. Walter, Orange High '65.
Yes that was Dick Dales house but that would have been in the late 70's early 80's. He owned a Surf Shop on East Balboa Blvd. and a hair dressing salon on West Balboa Blvd. Dick is a great guy, and a fantastic musician. We became friends and still talk regularly. I was the UPS driver on the Peninsula from 1969 to 1985. The house was originally built by King Gillette, the razor guy. It has been sold a few times. Another notable who owned it was Humphrey Bogart. Lauren Bacall owned the house next door. That is an interesting story as well.
Re: Alpha prefixes for Newport Phone numbers -
Oriole 3 and Oriole 5, if I remember correctly.
Also, Costa Mesa, in addition to Kimberly, wasn't there Liberty 8?
Do I aslso remember in the days of Alley West ( Now 21 Oceanfront) for a while there was a bumper sticker claiming "Woody Drinks At Alley West"?
Good times. good people.
I visit the American Legion over on 15th, right there on the harbor every time I,m in the neighborhood. What a wonderful and very hospitable organization it is. I can not dwell enough on its purpose and mission. We will get through the things that we are going through. What a pristine environment for members to visit and relax. I love The Peninsula. Good Day,
Fill me in, That big house out next to Peninsula Park, the last house on the channel as you walk toward the wedge belonged to Dick Dale in the early 60's and maybe beyond. Am I right? Dick is still working and can be found by entert his name into search. He works hard. I sure love The Peninsula. My buddy Scott and I surfed The Wedge back in '64-'65.
@Roy Christensen, Re: Woody's The pertinent info is you're looking for is here: http://www.woodyswharf.com/history
Forgot to add, I believe Woody's last name was Payne not Herman!
Woody did own the restaurant. I believe if memory serves me well, Woody was hit by a car while crossing PCH near the Villa Nova Restaurant, he didn't survive. Woody's was sold and I believe Chuck Norris bought it. Like I said if memory serves me well this is correct. Anyone who knows different feel free to correct me.
Can somebody settle an argument for us. Woody's Wharf restaurant I believe was owned by Woody Herman. Is this correct? Thank you.
What was the name of the hypnotist, that did shows at the Villa Marina, in the 1960s? Was the first name Pat? Thanks!
What happened to NANNA'S Mexican restaurant that was right next to the ferry portal landing at the Newport side? The best of food, all home crafted and the price was right, my girl friend Alex Salazar was the grand daughter of Nanna, great people!
Enjoying your great new site. Will gather memories and try to share a few. Grew up on the Island 1943+ (yes, I'm an oldie) graduated from Harbor High 1958.
Live in Reno since graduating from UNR.
Sharon Lyman Quinn
What were the alpha prefix phone numbers in Newport Beach? Costa Mesa was KImberly.
Love this new web cam shot of the intersection through the gazebo, the old Studio Cafe on the right and the Balboa Inn across the street.
Gail Stringer Brooks Wilson
There were/are quite a number of well known big band musicians in Newport/Balboa. Possibly the Pasadena//Balboa connection.
I just noticed that the "twin palms" are missing. When did that happen?
Does anyone remember Eugene Studebaker Wierbach and his daughter Sandy (Alex) who lived in Balboa Island? I would love to hear more about them..He may have been know by the name Papo. He was my grandfather and she was my mother..They would have been there in the early 50's
My mother Alex or Sandy dated a musician named Ansel in the Balboa/Newport Beach area. He may have played in the horn section of the Stan Kenton orchestra/band and with June Christy. This would have been around 1953. I would love to find information about him..a last name would help. Information on family members would be awesome.
Wish you would move Camera 7 slightly to the left so we could see the ferry arriving on Balboa as well as leaving the peninsula. Thank you for your consideration.
Just discovered your site. What a pleasure in reading all about Newport Beach and Balboa. We had a summer home on Anade behind the Library. As a youngster my folks would come down from Pasadena and rent a house on Balboa Island. I've had many haircuts from Mr. Balboa, Bills Market was a great little store. Bill would cash my out of town checks and our two sons would find pop bottles and turn them into money for the fun zone. After WWII when they dredged the back bay they piped the sludge into West Newport along River and Neptune. I purchased a city block out there that for a year it took to bleach the muck out into clean sand. Linda Darnell liked the area and purchased a lot from me. A friend, Stan Ahlman , we formed a partnership and remodeled and built several houses in NB. Our first bid job was a remodel for Ray Milland on Lido. Dillman's was our favorite watering hole and Max always was glad to see us when we arrived. George Pearlan had a couple of stations and would adjust my car to keep it from pinging each summer. Fry of Fry's Market lived across the street from us. The Balboa Beacon published over a dozen of my stories about Balboa, the area has always been very special to us.
does anyone remember the local newspaper in Newport beach in 1969 ,I was a little kid and used to play on the boats at the pavilion,and a newspaper reporter came by and took my picture,my grandparents took the clipping out of the paper,but,they passed and I can not find it,I would like to find out how to get a copy and show my kids,thanks for any help
Bill Cook -
It could be Chuck Beauvais, who was a prodigious painter in the 60's and early 70's.
I have a couple of his boat scenes, and the (in)famous "pink lady" nude that embarrassed my sister every time her friends came over to find it over the mantle ;)
Will the Balboa boat rental site be coming back? It's so much better than the front as half the time that is in shadow.
I was your Daily Pilot delivery boy 60-62
Thanks so much Jim. Balboa is so important to me, as a place I grew up, and where my family had a business for many years. I think no one else captures the important parts of Balboa and all it means to so many people as you do with this site. Simply by posting email messages you receive from visitors you perform an immense service to everyone who holds Balboa in a special place in their heart.
My particular time in Balboa spans the years from 1957 to 1992. Surely the 'golden years' in there somewhere. I treasure hearing from people who love Balboa and the time they were there, either as visitors or residents, or something in between. Every message you post triggers a memory for me. You cannot overestimate the importance of this web site.
As I related to your site some years ago, my family owned Playland Arcade in the block between the Fun Zone and the Pavilion from 1957 to 1992.
I'd be especially interested in hearing from people who remember Playland Arcade. And to the very many young people who I was so fortunate to have working with me at Playland, THANK YOU. I'd love it if you could post here and relate your memories of that time.
To Bill Cook,
I was the entertainer at Woodys in 1971&1972. Jim would have to verify, but there was an artist named Virgl Partch that used to do sketches I believe.
My girlfriend and I use to go to Woody's on Sunday afternoons in the early 70's. For a period of time they had an artist who would rapidly paint great pictures on large canvas, from the back of a boat while speaking to the patrons via microphone. He was quite the artist and showman. My girlfriend, who became my wife, bought one for me and it has been my prize possession, even more so now that she has passed away. He rarely signed the art but he did mine. I am hoping someone can tell me the artist name. I can only make out the first few letters. It looks like Beau ?
Does anyone here know Sandy Fisher. She lived there in late 80's?
To all of my friends and visitors. I'm in the process of doing some small updates and changes. Please excuse any mistakes.
Merry Christmas to you, Jim! Sergey, Leslie and Jonathan (former tenants of Rolf & Ruth Laib's "Sand Castle")
A very Merry Christmas to everyone.
To PJ Wheeler:
I have no problem whatsoever being a realist and WOW... were you having a bad day when you sat down and wrote this rambling foolishness? Newport Beach in no way, shape or form sucks. It is, and always has been paradise.
Sorry that you hate smog, but it is a reality in Southern California. And as for your concern about “the hills” … well, it’ called development, growth, and progress.
The attitude of those who live on Balboa remains much as it always has been: friendly, welcoming, and one that clearly represents someone who lives a blessed lifestyle.
Arnold now lives in OC, no one cares where you were born, and in all the years that I personally knew John Wayne – he never referred to himself as “Mr. Morrison”. Yes, he did dislike the airport because the take-off flight-path was lmost directly over his home, but why you take issue with OC naming the airport in his memory is … well, silly.
I do agree that anyone who arrived in our community after 1978 missed decades of amazing events and history, but that they have been, since 1978, building their own amazing history.
And finally, speaking for those of us who still live in and love Newport Beach and South OC, we too are glad that you didn’t spawn any hate-filled off-springs that would probably find themselves more comfortable in the mobile home community that you now reside, rather than the shining star of Orange County, California.
A Life-Long NB Resident
Merry Christmas from Denver. I was out there a few weeks ago and it was really hard to leave,,,,, again!
Grew up in the OC and sure do miss it
Thanks for the new views - altho' I miss the view from your Balboa Gallery by the ferry.
Great new cameras, Jim! Thanks for updating us on the status of the Balboa Gallery. Looks like you got a great spot now!
Thanks for the updated web cams!!
Welcome back! I was going through withdrawal! Love the new camera views!
Thanks for your trouble, great bay views.
Merry Christmas to all of my good friends. Sorry about the problems with Tales of Balboa. Balboa Gallery moved to a new location on the bay front two months ago and it has taken all of this time to get an interner connection. Add to this computer problems and we have a real mess. I'm glad to say things are back to normal. I hope. I've added two new live cams for you Balboa buffs that can't get enough of Balboa. Enjoy Thanks for sticking with Tales of Balboa through thick and thin.
Tales seems to be adrift again, too bad.
Now for sale exclusively at Ebay: The Original Soundtrack Recording of Dirty Feet, the 1965 movie starring Tim Morgon. Re-mastered by Karl Machat in Montreal, Canada. See link below or simply go to Ebay and enter, TIM MORGON DIRTY FEET SOUNDTRACK CD
We have sent a copy to Tim and Spence Hathaway and folk singer Susan Renaker.
Nicholas and Michael Campbell
does anyone remember where Nana's was located before the ferry entrance ? I do
Collecting bottles on the beach, playing in huge shore break between A and B streets, riding bikes along the oceanfront to school everyday, Balboa theater admission, eleven cents, fear was nonexistent, fishing in the bay.
I LOVE NEW PORT BEACH...THE PEOPLE ARE GREAT, THE BEACHES ARE CLEAN, THE VIEWS ARE BREATH TAKING. AND THE KINDNESS OF THE OWNER OF 15TH STREET SURF SHOP IS BEYOND COOL. STAYING AFTER HOURS TO HELP ME FIND A LOCKSMITH ON A SUNDAY A HOUR AND A HALF AFTER HE HAD CLOSED ONLY TO HAVE THE LIFEGUARD FIND THEM AS I WAITED FOR A LOCKSMITH. DAVE IS JUST ONE OF THE GREAT PEOPLE I MET THERE AND WE ALWAYS HAVE A GREAT TIME IN NEW PORT BEACH!...THANK YOU!
I just found out that a wonderful restaurant/bar in Balboa that used to be Dillman's, then the Shorehouse at Main and Balboa Blvd. has been taken over, remodeled and turned into a Pizza place called Cruisers. It makes my heart sink to think of those cozy, beautiful red leather booths, classic round bar in the middle, polished wood walls with trophy fish is now a place for bikers who want pizza. The interior has been completely torn out, they kept the round bar but took all the leather away and now have wood planks. I knew Max Dillman well and he personally greeted the diners who went there for full course meals with top notch service and real tablecloths. So sad. I wanted to return for a visit, but now I think, what's the use? All the places I loved are gone.
Gail Stringer Brooks Wilson
Lighten up PJ!
You know, I hate to be the realist, but, the reality is that Newport now officially sucks. Has anybody else ever noticed that many of the late summer days are kind of orange in tint? The inland basin smog is the reason...Catalina used to be visiable every day. Now? To see it is a treat. And what happened to the hills? Looks to me like they are covered with plastic people living plastic lives. And the attitude of people living on Balboa Island...sheesh! Talk about the Hummer driving, small peni* crowd! Arnold would fit right in! And West Newport was always a bit rough and tumble, but now it's alot of folk who would fit in just as well in Palmdale or Lancaster. And this is an opinion coming from somebody who was born on Pearl Street in 1962 (mom couldn't get to Hoag)...so I know! I lived there untill I saw the worst coming (thanks, Ms. Irvine), and left in '92. Did you all know that John Wayne (Mr. Morrison to us) HATED the airport, and opposed any expansion of it? And what did the county do when he passed on? Renamed OC airport in his honor!
Jim, your site is delightful, but it is about time somebody pointed out that it is far from peaches and cream. Those of you who didn't arrive until after 1978 wouldn't believe what you missed, nor that you actually added to the problem by arriving in the first place. Welcome to reality! I sure am glad that I didn't reproduce and add to the mess that is now Southern California!
I grew up on Oceanfront and A Street and have wonderful memories of after dinner walks on the pier, learning to ride my bike in the park in front of my house and Mom sendign me on last minute runs to Balboa Market for missing dinner ingredients. My folks owned Clarke's Surf Shop on 15th and I spent my childhood riding back and forth between Balboa and the shop - my second home. I miss those days!
I also remember Nana's Restaurant as a favorite spot for amazing food. A family favorite!
"Loved getting ice cream at the Jolly Roger window" ...And Sunday morning breakfasts ....and coming of age in Balboa in the seventies.....thanks for the daydream, Angles in pirate suits they were....
Hello Editor "Tales of Balboa",
I am looking for information about the S. S. Wheeler that was located at 1115 E. Balboa Blvd. Is there a source of information, photographs, etc that I could have access to?
Our family has been coming to Newport Beach and Balboa Peninsula each summer for about 35 years. The classic 1-2 week beach house rental. So many memories of the Fun Zone and sadly, it is nothing like it use to be.
No more: Scary Dark Ride, Tea Cups, Bumper Cars, Merry Go Round, Balboa Market. Thank goodness the arcades are still there - although a bit long in the tooth. Now we have kids and they are not seeing the "Fun" in the Fun Zone. In fact we have nick named it the "Not So Fun Zone". Yes there are carnival attractions if you like $10 2-3 minute rides after waiting in a long line. Or maybe you can talk your kids into going to the museum and learning centers once (good luck getting them to go twice).
Also, nothing like getting there in the morning with super tourists lined up around the corner with backpacks waiting for the ride to Catalina. And forget about trying to grab a slice of pizza or ferry ride when the self-entitled groms - er junior lifeguards - take over the whole place.
We've gradually moved towards the peninsula over the years and the most recent stay was south of Balboa Pier. Here's something the beach rental descriptions fail to mention: "EVERY DAY, starting at exactly 7:00 am in the morning, you will here the delightful sound of major jet liners taking off from John Wayne Airport". It's like an alarm clock. Count on this.
Still, the area has its pluses: A great beach and warm water. Bike path that if you are up for the challenge, you can ride from Balboa Pier to Huntington Pier for a nice 15 mile (round-trip) bike ride. Balboa island is still charming (on bikes I recommend taking the first alley way off the ferry on the right if you want to get to the main street (Marine). World Class shopping and dinning.
I still love the area, just looking for something that suits my family a little more these days.
I just wanted to write this before the Balboa Brain Trust decides to put another learning center up in place of something fun. Kids are on summer break and want rides/arcades/laser tag and not museums and learning centers. They do that in school.
Beach Bum Guy
Nana Salazar was a year ahead of me at Mater Dei and a friend of my sister Kathleen. Nana used to date Judge Roger Robbins. We ate there a lot in early 50's.
Our parents took us to Balboa the last 2 weeks in August when we were kids in the '40's from Bakersfield. Does anyone remember someone who invented what he called a Doty Board? He let my dad and brother ride it. A rider would stand on a wooden board, probably a little bigger than a boogie board, and hold onto a rope. It had a gas motor and you'd ride standing up. When you let go of the rope the motor would cut off. Doty told Dad it would be the "next big thing" on the Bay.
Loved getting ice cream at the Jolly Roger window and Balboa Bars. And the bump cars, 2nd small Ferris wheel, and merry-go-round at the Fun Zone.
Hello! I am wondering if anyone remembers my grandfather's restaurant from the 50's & 60's? It was Mexican Food on the penninsula just across from the Fun Zone where you enter the ferry. I think the name was Dad's or maybe Nana's, I can't remember. My grandfather's name was Alex Salazar, he and my great grandmother ran the place. It was no frills, perfect for the beach and great food! When I was very young, my mom & her sisters Elenita (Nana), Little Alex & Alice worked at The restaurant and at the frozen banana place in the same building. He also owned Original Pizza by the NB pier. I spent many years running around that place. Bob, who owned the fun zone was one of my grandfather's best friends and was very kind to me. Also, there were trampolines right by the Fun Zone also. Lots of fun growing up around there.
Interesting (old) read:
Seems the subject of cruise ships in Newport Beach is being bandied about again. The local shops may sell more T shirts and maybe a burger. Cruise ship passengers do not spend their lodging and dining dollars on shore however, leading to some opinions that they are nor a positive addition.
Location important in my opinion - cruise ships seem natural in Catalina - maybe not so much in places like the BVI and Jamaica from what I have seen. - here is the link that started the ball rolling - and many are whispering in my ear that this is what all the coming changes are about .... Think the museum has enough staying power to see the day cruise ship tenders land on their docks for the 711 type goodies, sunglasses and one stop boat rentals? - grin
Congrats to Tony in selling Marina WaterSports to the Museum ....two best days in a man life - when he buys and sells his boat business - Aloha
We've been visiting balboa from the uk for the last 18 years and have seen the numerous changes in that time. I always enjoy coming back each year, this year for 6 weeks, parking up in the A street lot and pitching my towel by tower A and enjoying the awesome view. In those years we have seen the MSSSteam groms grow from small boys to young men and enhance their skimboarding skills each year. Go for it. Zane, Grant and all!!!! Our short trips on the ferry accross to the island for a Balboa Bar and lunch at Wilmas are always a delight. My walls at home are covered with photographs of Balboa, the ocean and the ferries, keeping me happy when I'm away from what I wish was my home town! See you in August/September 2014.
It's been a month - are you going to get the Balboa Rental Camera back up and running - it shows a great view of the channel........and I miss it!
My name is Harold Dieckman. My sister and I spent every summer on Balboa Island from 1959, to 1975. Our Grandmother bought a house on Opal Ave. in 1959. I don't remember the address of that one, but it was 3 doors from the South Bayfront. There was actually a vacant sandlot next door then. Directly on the South Bayfront was a little walk up food stand, which also rented pink wooden paddleboards. The following year, my Grandmother sold the house on Opal Ave, and bought 201,and 201 1/2 Ruby Ave. This property stood at the corner of Ruby and Park Ave. on the north side of Park. We spent every summer there from 1960-1975. In 1969, my mother, Charlotte Dieckman, had the house remodeled, and added a custom made black rot iron front gate with the initial "D". Upon visiting the island in May 2014, I was Amazed to find the entire house was different, but the gate with "D" on it was still there. I was glad to know that a small part of my family's history still remains in a place that holds so many happy memories for my sister and I. Sincerely, Harold Dieckman
Don't worry about going back. The bay, pier, and beach front are pretty much the same. The Ferris wheel is still there and the Pavilion as well as the "Penny Arcade" (of coarse, not a penny anymore), shops, restaurants, ferry, etc.
My aunt and uncle had a cabin a block off of the Newport Pier during the 40's, 50's and 60's and I spent many summers there. Lots of great memories of time at Balboa pitching pennies at the arcade and swimming to the floating dock in the bay.
Last week I rented a condo across from the Newport Grammer school on Balboa Ave. (the same school my cousin attended in the 40's, she is 73 now and I am 72). What a nostalgic trip. My husband and grandsons (12 and 15) came with me. We sat on the beach, rode the waves on boogie boards, walked the board walk, rode bikes, went deep sea fishing. What a blast from the past.
If I could, I would spend all of my summers there.
Thanks for this site and the 1951 circa balboa map. Boy did it bring back good memories.
My family stayed in Balboa every summer during the 1950s. We rented a small yellow cottage in an area we called the "Yellow Cabins". Very rustic, with an outdoor shower. The small beach was a short walk away, right in front of a restaurant called (I believe) "The Christian Hut". Very south seas in decor. I went down to the amusement park every day, to ride the merry-go-round, and toss ping pong balls in fish bowls. I almost always went home with a gold fish or two. Even though I was only 7 or 8 years old, I wandered about freely. In the evening, we road the ferry to Lido Isle.These are happy memories from my childhood. Now in my 70s, I'd love to go back, but fear the changes would be too great.
Hi Jim this Phil greiwe i worked at the post office from 1997 to 2003 . I sure miss the town of balboa it was a pleasure to work at that station.I live in Nevada now and enjoy the hot whether .I wood like to see the calender print outs again on the web site. see you
Does anyone remember the Around the Island Ferry that stopped at the public piers? I have been painting the island memories.........larry rolph.com..................I remember collecting all the old Christmas trees from the alley in our patio.........to camp in the forest.....until my Dad came home and we had to take them all back.....................the fire engine would come roaring by and the whole island would run to see what was going on.
I remember being on a boy scout charter to Catalina circa 1964 -5 on the Island Queen. Remember the "islander discount" and having to pay Doug Bombard a landing fee at Two Harbors?
I have heard tell that the current Pavilion PUC permit to Avalon has its origins in those early Island Queen trips. The Queen of Balboa being built in 1974 by Crystaliner / Costa Mesa - same hull as the Tiki and one of the Hornblower boats. Last but not least The Pavilion Queen - converted to a private residence I hear.
I also remember the day the flyer came to town and her first trip to Catalina - still an impressive boat. Bob Black sending her off every morning? - please share my best. He would know about the Pavilion Queen
Does anyone remember Mr. Mikes, Jollys, Red Carpet back in the late 60's?
When did the "Island Queen" make its last run to Catalina?
I lived in newport beach from 1969--1973- we lived by the fun zone in some small yellow cottages.I used to ride the ferry all day long ,for free as a kid, also does anyone remember what the local newspaper was at that time, they have a picture of me as a kid jumping on the boats in the marina, really enjoy your webisite,,thank you
Going through some of my bookmarks/favorites, I
have most of the old/original Tales of Balboa webcam links...this
one is of interest as it still shows the Fun Zone with the carousel
still intact and operating. This is from Oct 11, 2010 (going by the
image's time stamp).
My first house as a "grown up", with 3 friends was
on Island Ave in 1971. Cost $200/month during the school year.
My last home on the Peninsula, in 1975, was a courtyard apartment
on the bay (we called it the Back Bay - but now far up) just past
Lido Island. A lovely shade of pink and now torn down. Somewhere I
have a photo of the Bay out the large picture window. But I wish I
could find photos of the courtyard and design. I'd love to find a
setting like that again!
A tad weird. Clearing out old links from desktop i
tapped on this one. Last visit 9/23/2011. Opened to take a peek at
the the ole home town, moved to Hood River, Ore. 5 yrs ago. The
first car to drive on the ferry is the exact make and model of my
car. Seems someone has taken my place in Balboa. I'm waving from
here, just turn the camera way north, smiles,
Support Democracy. Buy a politician, you can't
afford not to own one.
Thanks for your webcam of one of my favorite
places. I work in a cubicle, so it's nice to have a view of the
outside world. You used to have this camera pointed up a little,
so that you could also see the Irvine skyline, and I think also
Santiago (Saddleback) Peak. Could you please nudge the camera up a
bit so it's like that again?
Are there still copies of your "Tales Of Balboa" book available??
If so, how do I order one or where could I have a friend buy one
who lives in Newport Beach?
Sun Valley, Idaho
RE: The Jolly Roger...The JR closed about 1982. I
was one of the last waiters, and the last of a years long tradition
in my family of working there and on the ferry.
When did The Jolly Rodger leave Balboa Island?
@ Gordon Wagner
The freighter that ran aground was the Coos Bay. As I recall it
lost it's rudder and drifted out of control, just missing the end
of the Balboa pier. It beached just west of the pier. People can
e-mail me for a picture. Put Coos Bay in the subject line.
Does anyone remember a freighter than ran aground
off of the point on the peninsula in either 1975 or 1976? I can
remember this clearly but cannot find a photograph of it! Thanks!
I love this sight and I love Balboa and its
history. I am a custom car historian from the era of the late
1940s thru 1956. There were a lot of builders from Los Angeles that
would make sure to have their cars ready Balweek. I am looking for
any photos, slides or anything from Balweek from the 50s. They
would rush to come dance at the Rendezvous. It would also turn into
a carshow with all the beautiful cars on display. They would park
around the Associated gas station and the lot that was across the
street.Thank you in advance for any help. Thanks for the great
Lived Lido Isle many years. Took red car to work
at times. remember Hurricane that took out both piers, Remember
Gambling ship Rex Stored in Harbor. Won a toy sailboat at Newport
Theatre where South Coast Shipyards was later. Worked there as a
kid building Minesweepers and Crash Boats before going into Army
Air Force. Remember Bamboo Room and the R Ballroom well. Mermaid
maltshop & the other one that had 100 flavors. Tried them all)
Also the Japanese Shop in Balboa & Penny Arcade in Balboa.
Attended Harbor Hi 1944 I think. Worked Chas Artz Tackle Store for
12.5 cents an hour in Newport Beach. Also worked of Clyan Halls
Sturdie Toys in Costa Mesa for a bit. Your site brings back
memories thanks Sandy
Mr Sandy Porter
I am trying to find a poster for Bal Week, it
would have been 1967, 1966. I was on the poster, it was black and
white and I was sitting on the beach. If you have one ir know
where I could get one, I would be happy wit a copy.
Merry Christmas Jim.
Gail Stringer Wilson
We miss coming to this area, haven't been there in
a few years. Our son lived in Newport Beach for 7 years, now he's
back on the East Coast which is where we live. We would come out to
see him 2-3 times a year. Have to plan a trip back soon. Merry
Christmas-Happy New Year
Be sure to watch the Christmas Boat Parade, December 18th thru the
22nd. The parade will be passing the Tales of Balboa camera just
after 7 PM PST.
The best Christmas gift I could receive is to see Tales of Balboa
I spent my youth working all over the fun zone, Playland and Bay
arcade the Balboa market, The Pavilion and for Dal
Grettenbergers Harbor cruise. and the old Pavilion Queen My firsts
Saving account was at the old Bank of American building in the
early 60's. My sister Debbie was a go go dancer at the Rendezvou.
Now living in Florida I need to take a look at the bay on the web
cams ever couple of days to remind me of how magical Balboa really
Thank you for coming back
OMG. I was lost when I thought your site was
gone. I am so happy to see it back up. My fondest memories are of
my family trips to the OC. Now as a parent I travel with my own
children to visit family and spend time on these same beaches.
Memories of Tommy's Paddleboards, Christians Hut,
and the Yellow Houses (with real ice boxes) come back with every
Several years ago I sent you a photograph of my uncle, Homer "Smitty"
Smith (Balboa Market). I noticed an email from my cousin, Deborah
(Debbie) Smith. I sent her an email at that time, but never heard
back from her (not sure if the email was good). I have not been in
touch with her since the early 60's, and really wish to now. Do you
have any way of contacting her?
I recall the great breakfasts at Hidi's Cafe, at both locations in
the 70s and 80s. You really felt like one of the crowd when Hidi
insulted you. She made great salsas.
Britta's went into Hidi's second location and was a really fine
restaurant. I miss them both.
Great having the site back up. I first came to
Balboa in 1943 when my Dad was Western regional director of the USO.
We lived right behind Christians Hut. I grew up mostly in Santa
Ana but was off to the beaches of Newport, on bikes, motor
scooters, cars and hitch hiking any free moment. Retired back on
the Peninsula 12 years ago. My wife worked for years at Pavilion
as GM and was partner in the catering operation when we met 30
years ago. Great to see Bubbles and Dillmans starting back up.
Dennis Halloran and Leslie Mason Halloran
Remember, Holiday Tree Lighting on Saturday,
December 7, 5 PM - 7Pm
Be sure to watch the Christmas Boat Parade on
Thursday, December 19. Balboa's own Santa Claus Jim will be the
parade's Santa Claus.
WHERE IS THE COASTAL COMMISSION WHEN YOU NEED
What's going on with the fun Zone bay front
where the bungee jump and the shark ride are. Where are all
the visitors going to stand to view the Christmas Boat Parade. Is
it true that the fun Zone is going to put up bleachers where the
hamster ball was and charge a $10.00 per person fee for people to
use them for just one hour? Why does the city let this happen?
it's obvious palms are being greased right and left by very deep
pockets and there is nothing anyone can do about it.
Do you take donations, or are you independently wealthy? Also, I
will assume that you have noticed that the Ferry Cam has drooped a
bit, and the skyline is no longer visible. The skyline makes the
Keep on trucking, and thank you for your site. PJ Wheeler, born and
bred on the island.
PS: I always wonder about a boy I knew named Derek, who used to
live above the building on South Bay Front, about where the Pilates
building is now...the dock was the Shell Marine Fuel Station...a
few doors down from Dons' Market on the Island. Derek, where are
Thank you, thank you, thank you for taking back
the Tales of Balboa web site. You were missed. Love seeing
everyone's comments about their experiences in Balboa. Having
grown up in Balboa, I also try to see if I recognize any of the
people in your blog in hopes of reconnecting again and sharing
memories. So glad you are back.
Gail (Stringer Brooks) Wilson
Hello. It's great to see your site back up and
running. Thanks for all the hard work.
My wife and I have noticed that your main webcam looks like it's
fallen down a little and the skyline is not longer showing. Just
wanted to let you know in case there is a problem.
FCBzAh Great post .Much thanks again. Fantastic.
top seo guys
What's happening in Balboa.
There are two new eating establishments coming to Balboa. On the
corner of Balboa and Palm, the old Bubbles Night Club / Gallery, Maverick's
will be opening around the end of the year. Maverick's
will be a beer pub and sports bar.. At the corner of Balboa and
Main, the old Karem's / Dillman's / Shorehouse, will be Cruisers. A
restaurant / bar with a beach cruiser theme. Opening around the end
of the year. Remember, Holiday Tree Lighting on
Saturday, December 7, 5 PM - 7Pm. It's going to be a really
big show this year.
Santa Claus Jim will be there for the kids of all ages, handing out candy canes and
autographed Santa photos. The new mural on the wall of the Balboa
Bakery, corner of Main and Bay, is being painted by artists Art
Mortimer and Norm White with the help of an army of volunteer
worker ants. The mural will depict a postcard with with a circa
1918 downtown Balboa color photo. Worker ants needed. If you would
like to help on this great Balboa Mural project, stop by the mural
and ask for Art. The Mural is sponsored by Dick Barker, Community
Foundation of Balboa Peninsula Point.
I'll tell you many things about this little
Hamlet if your interested. I lived there during great and
James Partin 1938 - 1949 Balboa
I was born & 406 E.. central Balboa Ca. We lived across the street
from the "Doll House" My uncle Clarence was manager of the Bamboo
Rm. It was a famous lounge for movie stars and pilots from El Toro
Marine base WW2. Johnny Weismiller (Tarzan) would come down to go
boating and would take us kids swimming in his Tarzan suit at the
beach in front of the fun zone. In those days it was a small beach
with a diving float. Errol Flynn was a regular with his friend
Freddie. There was Pirate's week from 1944 to 1945 lot's of fun.
the commercial fishing boats were right up to P.C.H. Where they
started to build the miracle mile from the Arches to the bridge
over the backbay. There's much more.
HELP PLEASE...I AM MARGIE STERN...LIVED ON MIRAMAR STREET ON THE
PENINSULA FOR MY CHILDHOOD SUMMERS AND ATENDED NEWPORT HARBOR
HIGHSCHOOL FOR SUMMER CASSES AND WAS IN SWIMMING COMPETITION AT THE
SCHOOL. ALSO, WAS A CHILDHOOD FISHER-LADY WITH MY DAD!!! I JUST RAN
ACCROSS THIS PAGE...I AM SEEKING A NEIGHBOR FROM CHILDHOOD...MARY
THOMAS AND PARENTS ALSO ON MIRAMAR...I SURE WISH TO READ AND ADD
MORE...WHO ARE YOU AND HOW DO I KNOW WHO YOU ARE?
LOVINGLY SENT, MARGIE
MARGIE STERN CURTIS
Came to California 2000 and 2001 visited Newport many
times....sailed across on the Bilboa ferry... miss it all so
much....love the lifestyle and the beaches...I love
California.....stayed in Garden grove....thanks for the webcams,
but why do we not the little wheel ride and street view of Bilboa
anymore? best wishes to you all. Howard, Hull, East Yorkshire,
I took a chance to see if the site was back up and was I surprised
to see it is! I know I speak for everyone who visits the site.
THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH for taking care of our memories!!
Jim you're the greatest!
I was feeling a bit nostalgic and went looking for photos of Mr.
Fun Foods online. I started working there for Millie when I was 10
years old, way back in 1979, making cotton candy and washing her
windows. I stayed with her there until 1986. Needless to say,
that was a huge part of my young life, having worked there from my
days at Newport Elementary all the way through my time at Harbor
High. I was just hoping to have a look at the place again. Not
Balboa Beach Treats, but Mr. Fun Foods, as it was then. I was very
surprised when the only picture I could find was the one taken from
the side on your site during the floods. I’m writing today to ask
if you happen to have any others. And if you do, would you please
send them along? It sure would put a smile on this Balboa Girl’s
Blessings and kindness to you and yours.
for many years I have been aware of a story
about the Chevy dealership on PCH in the early 1950's giving away
vacant lots on Balboa Island as a premium for buying a car. Is
there any truth to this?
New camera faces North?
Glad to see your back! What happened to the weather / wind that was
on the left of the page?
Hooray!! You're back! I am a born-and-raised Islander (popped out
of dear old mom at 121 pearl in 1962, finally left in 1988), and am
SO glad you have taken the helm again! I visit often, still laugh
at the plastic people that live there, and simply enjoy a day of
memories. When I can't physically go, your site is the next best
thing. Next time I'm there, may I buy you a cup of coffee? Would
sure like to meet you!
Dear Jim ~ I am so pleased that my friend Barry
Kazmer has introduced me to your site. I spent many weekends at the
Rendezvous staying slender doing the "surfer stomp" and attending
the wild parties during Bal Week was a risk and lots of fun as
well. I'll never forget when it became mandatory to show ID that
one had residency there or was not allowed entrance to the
peninsula without an address of the party you were visiting. That
was the end of Bal Week a tradition that holds many memories. I'm
pretty sure my first frozen banana was experienced on Balboa
Island. Thank you for bringing forth these memories.
I am so glad to see that you have returned to the site. I always
loved seeing what you had come up with each month and seeing which
old friends had written their messages to you as well.
I have to pick up a couple of your books too. I have the original
book made up from the archives and it has been a treasure!
Just so nice to see this back! Thank you!
Welcome Back, Jim!!
You may have an onslaught of fans next weekend (Sep 7,8,9) as hundreds of
Newport High grads from '63-'67 descend on the Pavilion for a
mass mixed reunion. See you then.
Bob Shaw (NHHS Class of '65)
so glad you're back.... greatly missed.....
I really missed you Jim - glad to see you are
back!! This is the best website for the Fun Zone and Balboa
Village. Thanks for all you do!
Carolyn L Carr
Boy did we miss you Jim! Welcome back!! Just
went thru a hell of a fire here in Sun Valley Idaho and its a treat
to see pictures of Balboa bay again!!
Glad you are back. I was the UPS driver in Balboa from 1969 through
1985. Love the site, it's great to click on the camera and see
what's going on at the beach. Hoping for more cameras in the
future. Take care my friend and we will see you soon. Glad you won
employee of the month as often as you have. LOL!
Steve & Kathy
Steve & Kathy Dull
I can't tell you how glad I was to see this site
back up. It is one of a kind and although I don't live in the area
my wife and I keep kayaks on the Island and we come down several
times a month throughout the year and find the site very helpful
for planning purposes. Thanks again and keep up the good work!
Michael J. Schaaf
Jim. I'm only one out of hundreds, probably
thousands that appreciate your talent. Thanks for renewing Tales
It had to be by popular demand!! Thanks for
bringing Tales back in all it's Glory. Will be looking forward to
the full return
How did Explore Ocean get exclusive use of the
Welcome to Balboa Village sign to display their exclusive Explore
Ocean banners every day?
Where is the weather maps?
Welcome back! We have really missed
Thank you so much for bringing back the
website. I enjoy logging on every day.
Glad to see the pictures again which bring back
very happy memories of a visit in September 1993.
Tony in UK
Nice too see ya back online now every morning i
have something to look forward to big jim from riverside,ca
Thank you for coming back...love these memories.....since 1954
maybe younger..the walks around the island morning and night, fun
zone, swimming across the bay and the paddle boards oh yes and dads
donuts and frozen bananas.
victoria riherd smith
Thanks, Jim! Glad to have you back!
Welcome back Jim! You were missed!
Yaaaayyyyy!!! Thank you for ramping back up.
Thank You for returning, Jim, this is the best
news in a long time
I really miss the weather eye portion of website
Its great to see you back
I can't tell you how happy I am to find Tales of Balboa back
online. Thank you so much for taking it on again. I have missed
all your stories of the past and present. The cameras were my only
link to the bay. I only get to Balboa a few times a year so being
able to link with the cameras makes me feel closer. I've really
I spent two summers in that suit. Very
interesting and hot
The Zoo drive In was Merle's drive In before the
I will always remember the person in the Gorilla suit.
Brilliant....you are back online....I stayed in
Balboa back in 1988 on an exchange scheme from Northern
Ireland....ever since the I have wanted to return.....one day I
good to see you back online Jim - we have
congradulations Jim! happy to see you are back
and that Tales of Balboa is back too. It was nice meeting you last
month on my brief visit to your wonderful corner of the world.
Again WELCOME BACK!
I have been monitoring this site since I
stumbled across it a few years ago while searching for info in the
Prison of Socrates coffee house that used to be in Balboa. The site
was partially operational for a while, then briefly off the air
entirely. Glad to see it's back up and apparently in full
Grew up in the Newport/Balboa area in the 50's and 60's. Lots of
grand memories. Thanks for the site! Keep up the good work.
I worked for Don at he "Original Frozen Banana"
stand. Don would only mix his chocolate first thing in the morning
before any of us employees showed up. He was very protective of
What happened to the Fun Zone? It was casual and
it was fun, it was a family fun spot with reasonable prices.
Now it's the very expensive Explore Ocean, with kids in
uniforms collecting Disneyland prices. Where's the Merry-Go-Round
and the Bumper cars. Thanks for proving that there's nothing that a
bunch of pompous over the hill, so called businessmen can't make a
lot worse. Just to prove they are the legends in their own minds.
Why don't they GET REAL.
What happened to the Merry-Go-Round? Is it ever coming back???
This morning marks 47 years since the Rendezvous
Ballroom burned down. Jim, I am glad to see you are up & running
this great website again. My parents were long time friends with
Art LaShelle, owner/operator of Christian's Hut & the Grey Goose
Apts. My parents lived at the Grey Goose when I was born & I have
many fond memories, pictures & décor items from the Hut & Grey
Goose. I look foreward to your updates about those magical times in
the 40's & 50's...Kent
A boat load of memories. I delivered the Daily
Pilot for the length of Edgewater (1960-63). Just me and the
fisherfolk at dawn.
Thanks for the return of Tales Of Balboa, Jim!
Good Day all,
Looking for pic of the Zoo Resturant at the corner of Mc Authur and
Coast Highway and the Prison of Socrates Coffee House on Main stree
thanks for the return Jim
For Anonymous - Would you by any chance be thinking
of the Villa Marina that was located just before you crossed the
bridge to Balboa Island?? They had nightly entertainment featuring
SKILES and HENDERSON in the lounge and on occasion had a big name
band in their ballroom.
Does anyone the remember the Cafe that used to have
live music situated off Newport Blvd heading towards Balboa island?
They use to have a great bands playing there. Ring any bells?
Couldn't get on your "site" this morning and
suddenly realized how much I missed it! It has to be a lot of
work - but please keep it up. Thanks
Hi Jim! My father (Bud Lincoln) introduced me to your site many
years ago, and ever since I actually moved to Newport Beach to take
care of him, your website has been my mainstay for weather,
earthquake info, etc. I just love it!!! I am especially fond of
the web cam at the ferry crossing, but I noticed tonight that the
time was an hour off, so I’m thinking that it was not changed when
we “sprang ahead” a couple of weeks ago. thanks for keeping up
such a great site; it is a valuable community tool and a real
Hi I am curious about beach house rentals.
Especially if the one on "B" st and Boardwalk. It is the one on the
north corner. Or any in that general area would be really cool.
Stephan B.Clark ( Joe Wiscowiches' son-in-law)
Thanks for Tales from Balboa. I've been reading
bits and pieces here for years now as my historical research takes
me in different directions.
Right now I'm trying to learn more about the "Orange County Harbor
Park" a.k.a "Joyland" which was planned during the mid-1930s, but
was never completed. (They got as far as pushing some dirt around,
I think.) Eventually, a very watered down (no pun intended) version
of the project was built on the same land and became Newport Dunes.
I was wondering if you know anything about this or have stumbled
across any interesting Joyland anecdotes.
Thanks and best wishes,
I check your weather Eye regularly, seems hard to believe there was
no rainfall recorded last night.
I stumbled upon your website by accident. I was
searching for what kind of chocolate is used for dipping Balboa
bars...does anyone know??!! I grew up in CdM...CDM Elementary,
Lincoln and then MDHS '83. Growing up I used to go to the church
on the island next to Dad's Donuts...the best part of Sunday was a
chocolate raised donut from Dad's. When I was in middle school I
used to ride my bike from Shorecliffs, down Bayside Dr (where I got
my first speeding ticket in my first car, a yellow VW bug on the
day I turned 16 and got my driver's license!), across the island,
to the ferry and over to the peninsula to go to the beach. I had
an enormous crush on one of the ferry guys...I want to say his name
was Mike? and he had a glass eye. I can't believe I would ride my
bike all that way just to get the ferry!! On the way home I would
always stop at Dad's for a Balboa Bar....later when I was a
teenager I worked a couple of summers on the island for Alex's
clothing and shoe stores. Dated a guy working at the Jolly Roger
that summer. I loved the island, and the peninsula...as a kid
collected many skeeball tickets at the funzone...as well as (oh,
gulp) taking cotillion at the Pavillion...horrors!!
Anyway...returning to the Balboa bar...can anyone help me out? I
have an ice cream shop in Juneau, Alaska and want to add it and
frozen bananas to my menu...a recent trip to Costco and their
dipped ice cream bar took me back to my Dad's memories...and hence,
the search....thank you for these memories :-)
Does anyone remember The Ice Cream Man shop in
Newport Beach? It was in the block just north of where MacDonald's
is on Newport Blvd
I really miss living there! Parties at the
Gillette mansion, blue drinks at the pier, The Class, playing pool,
laying out at mothers beach, ZOOPort, Yacht racing at the club &
the party the night before, riding the ferry over to the island ...
Thanks for the website .. so much fun & so many good memories :)!!
My husband and I go to Newport Beach often to visit my brother in
law, who's picture I see on your site by the way! It's a beautiful
city and we love taking the Ferry to Balboa Island.
You have a wonderful website which we visit often and dream of our
next visit to your beautiful city and those wonderful beaches.
Thank you for keeping us informed of the "goings on" with the Tales
of Balboa website! It's greatly appreciated.
Was there ever a Bob's Big Boy restaurant at the
corner of Marine and Park (Now Wilma's)
I am Tony and Linda's (Mr. Balboa Barber shop) granddaughter. I
don't know if you will remember meeting me, but I was my grandpa's
apprentice for a year out there, and you came in and took a picture
of us to go with a story you wrote on the shop some months ago. I
don't remember the exact date, or even the month, but I was hoping
there was a way for you to e-mail me a copy of the story, or a link
to it. I am making my grandparents a scrap book of the year I spent
with them, and I thought the story would be really neat to include,
Thanks so much.
Thank you so much for providing this site! Balboa and Newport are
my home away from home and my goal is to live there someday..soon.
Growing up in northern California until i was in 3rd grade the
ocean is deeply ingrained in my blood. We moved back to our native
Montana when my grandpa become ill with cancer but my dad made sure
he saved every dime so we could visit the wedge as often as
possible. one of my earliest memories of defiance was not getting
up off the beach after many requests and just crying when i had to
now i bring my children whenever i can. We drive a little getta and
can make it to the beach from Bozeman, MT for $50 .00:)
I is heaven to me and cant wait to be there live but until then i
thank you from the bottom of my heart for the live cam and helping
me get through the land lock. I love Montana too but Balboa is the
ultimate! Get Sandy for me:)
Kelly Fedge DuBose
Does anyone have "local knowledge" of the
history of "The Hut" formerly a school house, boy scout hut and now
on the property of the American Legion Post 291, Fifteenth Street,
Rosemary De Camp
I sure miss Jiffy Burgers. Wow! I was little
then but were they the 'bomb'!
Can you locate the mural on the Snug Harbour cantina. I would sure
like to see that again. I know they rebuilt the area. The bartender
(Frank) was a tall older guy with a uni-brow. The keg beer was 90
cents and we used to smoke Tiparillos for 50 cents.
I'm hoping to visit the Ferry after seeing it in the lovely 1958
Jane Powell film THE GIRL MOST LIKELY! I'm from the UK but was
entranced by the film
IS THERE ANY PLACE ,HOTEL, BED AND BREAKFAST,
ECT. TO STAY ON THE ISLAND ITSELF WOULD LIKE TO THANKS
Hello again Balboa, Part II:
Jim asked me to finish my story as all of it didn't copy over. I
really enjoyed going over to the Villa Marina to watch Ann Margaret
singing at the Bar Lounge. She was awesome. As a family we would
watch the fishing boats enter the Jetty with binoculars to see what
flags were flying, then race to the Balboa Angling Club to watch
the days catch raised from the boats for the weight, duration of
time to complete the catch. During my time growing up in Balboa,
the skipper of choise was John Vitalich. He grew up on Catalina
Island and learned his technique's from Zane Grey. He was best
friends with John Wayne and even filled in for John in Utah so John
Wayne could go fishing. Both John Wayne & John Vitalich would meet
up at Andy Devine's boat, on Lido Isle, for card games, drinking &
Hello Balboa, Part III:
The main watering hole in Balboa was Dillman's. Bill Dillman &
Karam, Beverly Hills restaurant owner bought the restaurant from
the Robinson family and the name changed to Karam's. Karanm brought
Sammy Milker from his restaurant in Beverly Hills to tend bar in
Balboa. A short time later Bill bought out Karam and Dillman's was
born. I remember family dinners taking place at Dillman's along
with half of the peninsula weekly. Bill turned the running of
Dillman's over to his son, Max. The last time I was at Dillman's
was in the mid 1980's and I ran into Opal Dillman, Max and his son
Jimmy, the bartender. We all talked about the good ole days.
Parking was always an issue in Balboa. I remember Easter week in
the early 1960's, Newport would install road blocks directing
traffic to the parking on the Ocean Front at Palm and bringng it
out from the Pier to Dillman's on Main, by-passing the Market.
There was alot of commotion on Balboa Blvd. so I walked outside of
the Market to see mt Dad in the middle of the street removing all
of the detour signs and re-directing traffic so that they could get
to the Market. Quite a humorous sight. All of the business's shop
keepers were outside applauding Smitty. There was quite a group of
joksters that hug out together causing mayhem. My Dad and a group
of friends left a restaurant close by the Ferry and proceeded down
the boardwalk past all of the cars waiting for the ferry. One of my
Dad's friends went up to the first car in line and informed him
that he needed to advance to the line so that once the ferry docked
he could proceeed to board the ferry. Once the car advanced on the
boarding ramp, the cars behind him all fell into place to board.
Now you have a ferry approaching the dock with no way to get the
cars off. That little joke took hours to correct but provided quite
the visual comedy of errors to the bystanders.
Hello Balboa, Part IV:
In the mid 1960's my Dad found Elk/Deer Hunting to be very
enticing and spent every Elk/Deer Hunting season at a Ranch in
Colorado, prompting our move in the mid 1960's to Grand Junction,
Colorado where my Dad created and opened The Western Slope Feedlot.
He provided the Balboa Market with the fresh beef from the Feedlot
along with a good portion of the game during hunting season. While
still owning the Villa Marina Smitty pu on "FREE WILD DINNER'S" at
the Villa Marina once a year providing the game aquired during
Hunting Season. The only thing that the customer had to pay for was
their bar bill. This yearly Free Wild Dinner's were moved to take
place at Dillman's. Smitty also took the fresh Elk and had it made
into Elk Sausage to present to treasured customers & boat owners
with this delicacy for Christmas presents along with gold Zippo
lighters with the Balboa Markert logo included with the Customers
signature in both the man and woman size for Christmas presents .
He also gave Silver Zippo lighters with the Balboa Market logo
engraved in Balboa Blue and also Gin Score Pads with the Balboa
Market Logo. Dad was very generous to hiw customers holding them in
the highest regards. Since it was quite a feat to keep both the
Market and the Feedlot operating within his high standards he sold
the Balboa Market to Eugene Smith in 1973. Smitty passed away in
the early 1080's. Marilyn currently resides in Costa Mesa. She is
moving to Las Vegas so that we can be closer to each other.
Everytime I went to CA. to visit my Mom we would always make a trip
to Balboa, walk the Blvd.,Boardwalk, Main St. just to get the
feeling of being a native of Balboa back in my blood stream. I
loved that feeling. Since October 11th we have not returned back as
all of our memories are now in our hearts, no longer to gaze upon.
My only hope now is that Balboa can regain it's tight small Beach
family feel for all of the people that still call Balboa home.
Watching your site is like running into old
friends!! The email from Debbie Smith brought back old memories
again. The Villa Marina on Balboa Island was indeed taken over by
Homer "Smitty" Smith along with Max & Bill Dillman, Frank Usedom
(Village Inn Restaurant), Gordy Weavil(Gordy's Bait & Tackle) and
Sammy _____. They recruited me to do the book work which was an
utterly chaotic experience but a treasured one!!
Is there any way you can tell me the date the
above photo was taken?
My friends say that sure looks like me (in blue) behind the wheel
house on the Ferry. I remember a few years ago on a May early
morning when a professional photographer was taking pictures on the
Ferry. We stay on the island every May around Art Walk time. I
would buy a large size copy if I was pretty sure of the ID.
I am writing this to correct some of the information given on the
history of The Balboa Market. My name is Deborah S. Smith. I was
born in 1949 @ St. Joseph in Santa Ana as Hoag was not built yet.
My brother , Dallas N. Smith was born in 1951. My family lived on
Bay Ave. My mother, Marilyn F. Smith ran the Cottage Beauty Shop
out of our home and my father, Homer M. Smith, Smitty, originally a
butcher,bought Wades Market down from the Pavillion, across from
the Theater next door to the Liquor store owned by Coy & Hazel
before I was born. He changed the name of the store to the Balboa
Market. It was a small little store but business boomed. The larger
Market in town on Balboa Blvd. part of a large chain, approached my
dad, told him since he had the majority of the business in town
along with the fishing community provisioning the boats for their
fishing expeditions that he should buy their store as they thought
they were in a bad location. In 1950 the Balboa Market on Balboa
Blvd was born. My mother moved her Beauty shop to the Balboa Inn. A
short time later the Inn sold and she then bought a store located
down from Dillmans. She had the store for 10 years, working in both
her shop and the Market, before selling it to Dee Murphy. Once the
Beauty Shop sold she became fully immersed in the Market.
Customers would call in their orders daily, and the food was
delivered to them in a refrigerated van. Alot of the customers each
had charge accounts provided for ease of shopping. In the late 50's
we moved to the peninsula, 5 or 6 houses from the Wedge on the
Ocean Front. I spent the majority of my time at the Fun Zone and
the Renvdezvous Ballroom watching and dancing to Dick Dale and the
Deltones, Jan & Dean, The Righteous (sp) Bros & The Beach Boys.
Everyone in Balboa hung out there until somone flushed a lit cherry
bomb down the toilet in the mens restroom and the owner closed the
venue. In the mid to late 50's my dad bought a restaurant, The
Villa Marina, over at the exit off Balboa Island. I'll never forget
I just saw the link to the Pavilion interior.
Apparently the restaurant took over the operation of the Tale of
the Whale Saloon and redecorated it with HD TVs. They completely
ruined the quaint, rustic, romantic bar. Why can't they realize
they have a jewel of an operation and leave things alone. You
didn't go to the Tale of The Whale to watch HDTV you went there to
enjoy the beautiful bay and the camaraderie of friends. What a
what was the name of the polynesian restraurant
that was on Balboa bay that burned down in tha early 1960s.
Same question as the last one posted, do ou have
a live camera this year to watch the christmas light boat parade
this year as uyou have in the past years?
I have heard from Chandler Bell of Hornblower
Cruises that I should be able to view the parade through your
website. Is this correct and if so how would that be accomplished?
Just came across your web page by accident and
what a thrill to take the "ride" on the ferry one more time!!! I
married one of the musicians in Gil Evans band in 1940, we met in
Balboa and lived on the penninsula for many years. Our children
graduated from Newport Hi and still go back for the reunions. Just
thought I would let you know that at 90 years I still remember
those years as being the high light of my life!!!!!
Hi, I just inherited 3 silver plated cups from
the 1950s, they have a yacht club flag with orange and black
stripes with a white star in the center.By any chance is that your
Thank's for your time
I think I have previously seen a book for sale
about Balboa and just today saw it mentioned again. Can you tell
me how to obtain a copy?
Hi Editor -
We love to visit Balboa island each year during Xmas and have
dinner/shop and walk the island
and see the beautiful decorations/ lighting that the residents do.
Can you tell me when we can visit to see your beautiful island Xmas
(I heard it was beginning this Sunday Dec 5th but want to be sure).
thank you -
Hi Jim. My grandfather, Robbie Robinson, was
the Harbor Master of Balboa....appx in the late 1930's and I'd like
to find a book that might mention him for his daughter, my mom. Do
you have any idea where I might find something like this? My web
searches have proved fruitless. Thanks for your time,
I am interested in what models of web cams you are using - they
hi, i would really like to buy your book...how
do i go about that? also i would like to know if you have an idea
as to how i can get additional information on my uncle and aunt,
bob and jay murphy.....i was in NB for a reunion and wanted to meet
with you but had no idea as to how...i intend to visit more
frequently, would there be an opportunity to catch up....i also
want to know how to join your historical society group...my reunion
was the same night as your open mike at the pavillion...thank you
so very much
paige conrad boles
I'm sorry to bother you, but I have spent hours
searching the internet w/o success.
I have a framed print of the picture of the Balboa Pavilion w/ the
nearly bare Newport Beach Peninsula behind it. My aunt would like
to buy a copy as well, but I haven't found anywhere that sells
them. I am writing from Omaha, or I would have just gone down there
and I'm sure I would have found one.
Can you tell me where I might buy a copy over the phone or on line
and have it shipped to Northern California. I really appreciate
your help. I've seen the photo again and again on websites, but
haven't found anything about buying one.
Thanks, Mark W. Woodruff (vacationed annually at Balboa from 1958
Just returned from a wonderful week of rest and
rejuvenation on the peninsula. Ahhhh.....what could be better
I have an original lithograph done by Ruth Hines of "Welcome to
Balboa" that I bought over 30 years ago. Do you have any idea of
Greetings Jim, I wanted to say hello and to see
how the sun sets are. I want to be able to come and get the full
view and being under the ocean skies. Keep up the good works.
In an earlier message I recalled Mike Mayer who
lived on the Grand Canal c. 1948-55 as I had seen his wife Sue's
posting about the Punting and Sculling Soc from 2005. I finally
located them through the defunct email address on your site, but
not until after Mike died of lung cancer in 2008. Mike's dad Harvey
Mayer kept boats and foreign cars running on the Island; his own
maroon 1934 MG Magnette (now mine) was usually parked at the one
service station on the island, catacorner from the Jolly Roger (I
remember when this was opened with an ice cream stand out front).
Harvey got many persons into sports cars, including Virgil Parch; I
have a snap shot of Parch with our crowd at the 1950 Pebble Beach
road races. On another front, one correspondent posts re. Tim
Morgan at the Prison of Socrates--yes that was surely Tim who
mostly lives up north now and rarely plays due to arthritis; we
went to high school together in Pasadena; he hung out on the beach
near the Newport pier looking for girls. Tim's family owned some
rental cottages there. In 1960 he was just getting into folk
music--he earlier performed "Day-O" at our 10th grade talent show.
You may or may not remember me, I worked at Bal harbor in the 80's
(Pete), came across your site by accident, so glad I did, brought
back ton of great memories. I read viewers email and memories, sad
to read some of the businesses are gone especially Balboa Market (I
worked there as well) and very sad to read about Bobbie and Ron are
no longer with us, but that's life! Hope you're doing well and keep
up the great website!
Hi Jim, I noticed that my favorite live webcam
is stuck (the ferry webcam). I wasn't sure if anyone was aware.
It's my connection to "home"
Thanks for all you do.
I'm a fan of your photography; I have a number of your prints
hanging on my walls. Do you sell digital images that I can use as
home screens or rotating photos on my computer? If so, how much are
they and how would I go about purchasing them?
I lived on the balboa peninsula in the early
1980's I worked at the ice cream stand (dipping bananas and balboa
bars in chocolate) Millie was the owner at the time. Several of
my friends lived in the little yellow bungalows across from the
restaurant (can't remember the name). One night I was at the bar
""Bubbles" and saw Buddy Ebson and got his autograph on a napkin.
I was only 17 so it was a big deal too me. I miss Balboa and would
love to get in touch with some of my old friends.
Hi Jim, a friend sent me a copy of your paper.
I worked at the Alley West and Woodys Wharf in the early 70's and
your article brought back many a crazy memory. Don't forget the
kite flying contests and bags of manure on the bar! Woody actually
gave me my first job at his hamburger stand down at T street in San
Clemente when I was 12 and he was a mail man. lol so long ago.
Thanks again...your paper will now be on my favorites list. Sunny
I remember when my sister Sunny worked at
Woody's hamberger stand at T street in San Clememte. And again at
Woody's wharf. She also dated Bear. Thanks for the memories!
Hello Jim: I recall punting and sculling with
Mike Mayer from the dock in front of Harvey Mayer's place on the
canal circa 1952--before the Mayers moved up on the bluff over the
Back Bay. We rented a place on the Island every summer through our
friend Margie Hadfield who had a real estate office between the
grocery store and dress shop (?). Our parents were close friends
and i still own a 1934 MG Magnette my Dad bought from Mike Mayer's.
Do you have a current email or other contact info for Mike Mayer?
The weather eye page is not showing the direction of the wind and
speed - plus the gusts in the harbor. Been showing north - 000
since at least Sunday. Could you please get it up and working. I
depend on it. Thank you very much. I sail a lot and love that
I understand about not being able to to the interviews anymore and
that demand on your time has changed so I would like to offer a
sincere and heartful THANK YOU for all you have given us to this
point. I know that that there are people in the area that would not
hesitate to jump in and help with anything you need to keep up the
site. I live in Colorado now and your site is my greatest link to
my childhood growing up in SoCal.
I appreciate you and all you do immensely.
Looking for the name of the house band at
Christian's Hut in Newport Beach. Looking to find the stage name
for Charles PIttinger…wife Edith, daughter Heidi.
I go to your site frequently and love looking at the webcams, but
you have fewer now and even two of those aren't working. Any help
on the way? They really are nice to watch.
Dear Jim Fournier,
I just found your site! It's great.
Attached and following is the press release. If you would like to
reprint any of the stories at
, please let me know.
Anything you need is yours. Hi-Res image of our new logo is
Thanks for continuing the gerat website. I want to buy photos of
old Balboa. Do yoiu know who sells them?
Thank you for any help you can offer.
I have your webcam set as my wallpaper on my
cell phone. I love watching the ferry go back and forth. I watch
the people and wonder what their story might be. Thank you for
sharing your island with viewers like me who 3 years ago moved away
from the closeness of the water, inland. You bring the water and
its beauty back to me.
Hmmm, what if I was willing to help out.. Doing the leg work and
all to make the Paper/site be less of a task for you.
Let me know your thoughts on it.
Don the Beach Comber
By now most people in town know, but I would like to impose upon
your site for a moment to let everyone who might visit here know
that my father, Peter Torre, some time fisherman, founder of
Charlie's Chili, some time bartender, and BISPS member, passed away
peacefully in his sleep Monday June 28, 2010.
He was in good spirits to the end, but was clear he did not want a
big fuss made over his passing. In accordance with those wishes,
his family and friends will gather at Tony's Place in Costa Mesa to
celebrate his incredible life July 10th, "around" 1:00 PM
Come by, hoist a beverage, and help us send him off...
We were at Balboa this past Saturday and went on
a 20 min ride on a boat that advertised "Happy Hour at Sea". They
took pictures of us and said we could find them on Facebook, but I
don't remember the name of the boat. Can you help?
Hi Jim -- Tony and Linda at the barbershop told
me you ran a story on them and included a picture of me in the
chair. Do you have an archive on the site? Perhaps I'm missing it
somehow. I would love to see the story and the picture.
Does the Balboa Island Sculling & Punting
Society still exist? A couple of years ago I mailed a letter to
their P.O. box, and it came back 6 months later because the rent
had not been paid on the box.
I Graduated from Buena Park High School in June
1961. For the Prom that year my steady girlfriend (Judy Mc.) and
I had a great dinner at Berkshires Restaurant. Those were the
I remember the Tale of the Whale Rest very much
because I worked there between my sophomore ( 1972 ) and my senior
year ( 1974 ) in HS. I went to Costa Mesa HS and worked weekends
there upstairs in the Ball Rooms. I was an BUSBOY and would set up
the rooms, both sides for Weddings, HS Proms, Business meetings,
ect......Also my Mother worked there in the Saloon/Bar as an
Cocktail Waitress downstairs between the 1960's until about 1980 or
so. The owners Bill & Rita were great people and also took real
good care of there employees. For some of you that knew Rita, she
passed away sometime in the late 80's or early 90's. I'm not
exactly sure when........Bill sold the Rest. and retired to Idaho,
I believed to be with his Daughters. Those were great memories and
Not a memory - well, maybe - but do you know if
there are plans to fix the Ferris Wheel cam?
I miss seeing that view each day
I also found a copy of "Dick's Joint" in my
posession circa 30 years (264/1000) in new condition.......looking
for value? THERE REALLY WAS A CAP'N DICK SHAW Richard Blake Shaw,
master of the famed character tugboat "Michigan," died unexpectedly
while asleep on August 22, 1976. He was sixty years old. A native
of Seattle, Shaw attended the Chicago Art Institute and was a
regular cartoon contributor to Colliers and the Saturday Evening
Post in the thirties. He later was a writer for both Disney Studios
and UPA where he was an Academy Award winner for the near-sighted
Mr. Magoo cartoon series. Shaw began free-lancing in 1950 in
Newport Beach, California, and except for frequent conferences with
his long-suffering banker, enjoyed a lifestyle that was the wonder
and envy of his many pals. He was a founder and Commodore of the
Balboa Island Punting & Sculling Society, an odd assortment of
millionaires and bums, known nationally for their boat trip to Las
Vegas and train ride to Catalina Island, both Shaw-inspired. Shaw's
lodgings, however grand or modest, were always "The Hotel Splendide"
and provided a watering hole which Shaw proclaimed "Open 24 Hours a
Day." Himself a prodigious boozer, but always a gentleman, Shaw
despised drunks. His appetite for, and exploits with the fair sex
were legendary, and provided inspiration for the drawings herewith,
penned by a world-famous contemporary and carefully saved by Shaw
for over two decades. It should be noted that although Shaw
abhorred obscenity, like most of us he thoroughly enjoyed vulgarity
when redeemed by humor. As a friend, who happens also to be
presiding justice of an Appellate Court remarked, "Hell, tnese
cartoons aren't dirty they're funny!" Finally, a comment from
Shaw's best and dearest friend, Virgil (VIP) Partch, "anyone who
would depict my late pal in such fashion must have an evil
imagination ... or else have known him very well."
Your link to the Class of 47 doesn't work any
more. Maybe they finally closed it down.
Are you on Facebook? I am treasurer for Class of
1965 NHHS and we are having our 45th reunion with CDM on October 9,
2010 at the American Legion Post on Balboa Peninsula from 6 to 11
p.m. I wonder if you ever put upcoming events on your wonderful
and informative page? I lived on Miramar a long time ago and rode
my bike up to get donuts on Main Street and my brother delivered
papers. My nephew Mark Underwood works at Davey's Locker. If you
aren't on facebook I think it would be great if you were! Thanks
for letting me comment,
Can you please settle a question: What was the
address of Wil Wrights Ice Cream Parlor at Dover Dr. and PCH?
There will be a celebration of Ron Whites life on
Sunday, May 16th, at 11am, on the Ocean Explorer out of Davey's
Locker. All of his friends are welcome. It may be best to be there
a bit early to make sure you don't miss the boat. Captain Sandbar
will be officiating.
So long Ron. I can't believe you are gone.
Bud and I had some wonderful times at your parties with Skip and
Ernie, Ron DeLuz and others. Always a friend. Say hello to Bud
for me on the other side.
Gail & Bud (deceased 2007)
I too graduated from High School in Southern
California in 1965 (La Mirada) and moved to Newport during my
senior year - driving the freeway to the Beach Blvd. turnoff
everyday. I don't see anything about Cruising the Newport
Peninsula. That was really popular between 1965 and 1969. Do you
have any 'historical' information' on this?
When I was a kid I had lots of fun there in
Balboa thanks for the memories dad
Ron white was a very exciting man who always had
a great smile on his face. Even toward the end his doctor said that
he had a zest for life. He was a man of different hobbies and
talents. He was a car salesmen, A fisher and Airplane pilot. He
loved his family, friends and everyone around him. But i believe
that in the last two years of his life he became more intact with
his kids and grandkids. I know from personal exsperience. Every
time i saw my grandfather he was always teaching me some kid of
life leason. Before he passed he was making sure that i knew what i
was going to do with my life. He was a man that always kept you
laughing about something. There was never a time with him that you
felt unloved or lonley. Cause he was alwasy right there. He will me
greatly missed and always loved.... By everyone who kenw him, his
kids Steve, Doug, Louie, Vince and Maria. His three Daughter-in
laws Bonnie, Leanne and Mary as well as the Grandchildren. Kevin,
Chris, Sheldon, Niels and Nathen and me Amber. Oh yeah and one on
the way... But most of all his loving wife Nadine White...
One service will be held at His home on May 15 at 2pm and the other
of course at Max dillmans on May 16 at 2 pm.
I also heard there would be something written
about Ron White. I am the Grandaughter of AJ Gibson and grew up my
entire life knowing Ron. He was a wonderful man, always full of
life and had a laugh that I will always remember. He married my
husband and I in 1996 and had many words of wisdom for us. He told
my mother two weeks ago "That was one of my better unions"..always
quick with a joke even at the end of his life. Ron you will be
close in hearts always and missed ~Much Love, Stella
Interesting, what webcams are used for your website?
I understand you are going to be publishing an
obituary for Ron White who passed away on April 17, 2010. We live
in Colorado and would appreciate it if you could forward a copy of
it to us, or let us know when it is published so we can have access
Thank you very much.
Many Thanx to you for putting up a website devoted to such a
wonderful place for so many of us with those memories of years
past. I have my own wonderful memories as I was lucky enough to be
born in the 60's at Hoag, and I got to live and visit Balboa for
all my childhood years. I am lucky because I had both sides
of my family (Watts and Bergeron )from Balboa- my parents both
attended Newport, my older brothers starting out their education
where my dad started his, at the elementary school along the beach.
My grandfather has a memorium plaque amongst the palm trees in the
park by the pier.
This e-mail tho is about my grandmother who has been mention before
in your mails. Hazel along with my grandfather Coy spent most of
their adult lives helping with the development of Balboa since the
30's. They owned Liqour stores (one shown in your 1951 map/across
from Theater), as well doing other businesses. (Remember the
bowling/pool playing in the Pavillion?) As a child I got to be
around all the "good old boys" who met daily at Dillmans where I no
doubt had my first "Shirley Temple" as I sat and listened to their
stories and learned to play cards. They were good teachers!
My father Frank worked the store also and I got to visit my
grandparents house which was across the street from the Wedge.
Can't pick a nicer place to visit. I spent many pennies at the Fun
Zone and my brothers learned fishing from the greats around
there-including my Uncle Bob Watts and Great Grandpa Brader-who
always had on his suspenders and a smile.
Anyways as I could go on and on-I really just wanted to let your
readers know my wonderful grandmother Hazel is turning 98 at the
end of this month and she is still in the area. She was always a
cheerful store owner/worker and I remember all the people that
would drop by just to say hello, if not to buy something. In those
times not many places were down there and definitly not open late
like they were. I marveled at the fact of them knowing almost
anyone that came in. They treated everyone the same-John Wayne to
the families that just came for the summers. I had wonderful role
models for how to run your business. They extended credit to those
that needed it and I was always amazed at how trusting they were.
The stories they and my parents have for that area is priceless to
Grandma isn't now in good health but she has ALWAYS remained
positive and upbeat. I have never heard her speak a bad word about
anyone. She spent many years volunteering with both Newport and
Costa Mesa Senior Centers, along with helping with St. Andrews and
Hoag. Thank you for letting me say thanx to any of your families
that may have enjoyed my families business and thanx to all those
that helped raise generations of good people coming from the area.
If anyone reading this cares to send her good wishes, I hope you
do. She would be delighted people remember. To all those who have
been lucky, like myself in watching Balboa grow and prosper- I hope
the charm of the honest hard working people who helped form the
area stays around forever. It will always be in her heart as well
as mine...Born April 30, 1912 she loves to chat and will still tell
you she has been one Lucky Lady blessed with loving family and
friends!! Just being a good person with a good heart and doing
life in moderation is her best advice to being happy. Think I for
one will stick with that advice.
Hazel Watts c/o 697 Plumer St. Costa Mesa,Calif. 92627 or
email to me-
keep up the great work Jim!
we lived in balboa for many years on 11st. what a
wonderful place to go up groceries were delivered from the balboa
market life was slower then you could walk every where shopped at
the bay store Is sarah richardson around? lots of kind people fry's
market on 15st. crab
cooker @ the pier rexall drug
store blackies rendevrous ball room newport harbor elem newport
harbor high lots of good memories brother john surfed all the time
swam across the bay to the island foggy mornings our lady of mount
carmel mass on sundays dillmans for dinner where did the last 40
years go fond memories
Do you know the name and contact info for the trolley style cab
that operates on the peninsula?
where did the faces of balboa page go? we had just
won a 200 pound pumpkin at the balboa market and there was a
picture of me sitting on top of it. i wanted to show someone that
When I was a kid in the 60's and 70's, there was a
restaurant called the Blue Dolphin....I think it was near
Lido....does anyone else remember it.
My uncle would take us there all the time
At around 3pm on April 7, 2010 I was on my boat
which is on a private pier just down from the Caribe on E.
Edgewater and just about 10 feet from the stern of my boat two
large Dolphin swim by slowly - then circle around between the
piers and the moorings and then head off in the direction of the
Ferry and the jetty. I have spent a lot of time on this pier for
the last forty years and this is the first time I have ever seen
Dolphin. Perhaps this is Bay warming!
" SMALL IS BEAUTIFUL " An art show of over 75
small paintings done in the California "Plein Air" style. Now
showing at the new SOCALPAPA GALLERY in partnership with the
NEWPORT HARBOR HARBOR NAUTICAL MUSEUM. This exhibit and sale will
run through June 10 at 600 East Bay Ave. ( on the bay front board
walk.) Part of the sales proceeds go to support the museum. For
more information call (949) 675-8915 for days and hours.
Albert Stanchfield, Artist member socalpapa
Thanks for the great Web cams of Balboa. We enjoy the opportunity
to revisit Balboa vicariously via the cams.
Please note, however -- in case you were not already aware of this
-- that the Ferry cam has stopped updating. Additionally, the date
is set incorrectly (it's one day behind) on the Boat Rentals cam.
Otherwise, everything looks okay.
Hi Jim -
Did you know that your ferry webcam has been down since the
There was a message in April of 04 I believe from
someone who said they have the last name of Dever and lived at my
Grandma Bobbie Dees address 510 ocean front. Just wondering if you
could put me in touch with this person who is probably one of my
second cousins. Thanks
Jim, my Mom owned the clothing store, Surf &
Sand from '64-'70's in the exact location where you had your own
fantastic store and gallery. We've had our home down on Seville a
the end of the Peninsula since '64. I am writing to you regarding
the 'razing' of The Balboa Market where I worked from the age of
14-18 as everything from a box boy (bagger) to checker to produce
man to butcher. I would like to know, does so-called progress
always have to be insane? Sadly, Balboa is currently a 'drive
through' town where people who live here don't always stop and
patronize the local businesses. When Eugene Smith and family owned
the Balboa Market, they used to have credit accounts at the market
allowing local customers to simply pick up groceries and sign a
receipt, then they would be billed at the end of the month which
was great for families who sent their kids in to pick up
necessities. The Balboa Market also had a delivery service for
groceries which really came in handy for the elderly and in the
traffic of the summer. The Balboa Market also had the best meat
department in Southern California with fresh swordfish I used to
off-load from fishing boats every summer as well. These were all
services that enhanced the lifestyle of local residents of Balboa.
Now I heard the current owner also owns the Catalina Flyer or
whatever it's called and wanted to knock down the building so his
customers could have long-term parking right in the middle of
town. WHAT AN EYESORE! If that's been his plan I doubt he's
really had his heart in getting another long-term tenant in the
Market. However, I don't see why the City should buy the building
then do the exact same thing, especially if they took issue with
his plan. I understand times change but let's look at this on a
brass tacks level; We have an empty building with 10-15 of it's own
parking spaces currently, the location is central, the building is
virtually a landmark with a beautiful mural which enhances Balboa's
character and greets those entering town, and this via
Hey Jim! Long time no typy. Hadn't been on
your site for quite some time. How's biz? So, the Market is
going. Too bad somebody couldn't pick it back up. I see you
must have more than one camera being repaired: the Main Street
one? A friend of mine will be going to Balboa and I wanted to show
her some photos before she got there.
I know this will sound morbid but...who's died lately? I was
thinking about Max Dillman and the wonderful prime rib they always
had and it dawned on me he's got to be "up there". Just wondering.
Is Chucky still at the Post Office? I can always phone or stop by
but time is of the essence these days.
Hope all is well with you.
Saw your article on Christian's Hut, I was told it was first built
as a bar and sleeping qts. for the crew of the film Mutiny on the
Bounty with Clark Gable in 1935. Do you know the location on
Balboa, was it on the island or peninsula, before it was moved to
3121 W PCH and when?
Does anyone remember Dan Wark, or the Wark
family who resided on the Island? Dan was born in 1947, and died
in Vietnam in 1968, at the age of 21, after only 3 months of
service. I went to Orange Coast Jr. College with Dan in 1966-1967
and we became best friends. We restored my 1923 Ford Model T
together, sitting on the beach, watching the bikini clad girls, and
sanding on the wood spokes.
Does life get better than that? Red headed, freckle faced Dan Wark.
What a good time we had, before that dark day... August 18, 1968.
Shot in the back of the head during an ambush, defending a rubber
There will always be more questions than answers.
We were young. I wrote a verse for my Balboa girl friend, to music
in 1967 for an album I produced entitled, "Something in the Night."
It said: "Sometimes, I take you with me to the Cliffs of Newport
Beach. We stand and watch the lights of the Peninsula tease the
waters of the Back Bay.
And sometimes, yellow balloons soar high from your fingertips, like
smiling faces in the sky.
And sometimes, we stay at home, and like a child having found a new
piece to a jig saw puzzle, I fall in love all over."
I was an announcer at KOCM FM 103.1 back then. Playing Danny Davis
trumpets while over looking the ocean out the studio windows from
atop the cliffs created a romantic dimension in my life that only I
am eternally greatful for.
Only this unique 1960's setting could touch this 20 year old heart
so profoundly. It could never be duplicated again. Viva Balboa,
and the great times we baby boomers had in this romantic age of
William H. Belter
Hello webmaster, would like to know if you offer
ad space on your website. If so what is your yearly fee for a small
Hi.. love the webcams.. Did you know that
the one facing the merry go round refreshes every 20 seconds.. not
every 10.. It counts down from 10 and then counts down again then
refreshes.. .. Just a heads up..
Hi, Jim. We're coming down there this coming
December for Christmas and we didn't want to miss the harbor light
parade. Do they have the dates set for that yet?
I am outraged that the city of Newport Beach
would buy and tear down the Balboa Market. That building is a
landmark in Balboa. If it was for some useful purpose that would be
one thing but to turn it into a parking lot is horrible. It
continues to show the greed of city officials. I can't ever
remember being in Balboa when the Market wasn't there, it was there
at least ten years before I was born. By the way what was the year
of the photo taken of the Market in its heyday? Balboa is a
charming community loved by many, why does the City feel the need
to destroy that charm? It reminds me of the incident where the City
came in by night and removed the trees from Main Street. They
should be ashamed and the people responsible for this action
concerning the Market should be removed from office. I am sure
others feel the same way I do and we need to let the City know our
outrage, I will make my call today.
I really enjoy your site. I cannot believe how
many years have flown by -- it seems like I was watching the Flight
of the Snowbirds (anyone remember that?) just last year. Has anyone
visited the new and improved Harbor High? How is it? NHHS '76
Pam Kling in Denver here (Mark Ward's sister). just stopping by to
say hi, and I hope you are doing well!. Am still in Denver, and
still working hard with not enough time for play. happily single.
still think of Balboa...and wonder if you know a way to either
forward this to Shelia...or give her my phone number? would love to
track her down and catch up!
going out there to be with Mark changed the course of my life
bigtime. spent the last 3 years hosipcing my step-mom and dad.
they are both gone now. time for me!...
i still see you with your hat, on your bike..and the beautiful
flowers you had...i wonder what mischief you are up to now?...what
crazy people live in the apartments now?...oh the stories you could
take care, my friend,
Hey I just wanted to thank you guys again for getting the funzone
webcam back up and running...
It's winter here in Windsor right now and checking you guys out is
a breath of fresh (read: warm) air. I'm moving to Newport beach
this summer and I can't wait to stop in and see that firsthand
instead of on the cam.
at the expense of sounding a little selfish,
could you please check on the Fun Zone webcam? ;)
I'm planning on moving to Newport Beach this Spring and I check out
your cams all the time! The Fun Zone one has been down for about
two days now....thanks!
Do you have picture I can buy of Snug Harbor Bar ?
I too want to know what happened to Breeze
(bartender at the Class of 47), and also what happened to Ron
White, Ernie and Skipper, and Ron DeLuz and where they are now. I
lived most summers in Balboa from 1940 to 1961 and then again lived
there from 1978-1984.
I live in Newport beach as a kid, lived by the
fun zone,, went to Newport beach elementary school in kindergarten
in 1972 Mr.. Elliot's class, anybody in that class,, love you
Its been a family tradition for many many years now to visit
Newport Beach and stay out on the Peninsula. In the past we have
been renting a beach house from cannery rentals and staying 219
East Balboa Blvd. We love being able to walk on the boardwalk down
to the ferry and Bay Arcade and out to the peir and Rubys. Anyway
we called up this year and it is booked for August So I have been
looking into finding a new place to stay but since I can only see
photos of a beach house would look like I thought I would ask a
local if you knew of some beach houses or beach house company's on
beach side doesn't have to be beach front but something just off
the beach and within walking distance to the fun zone. In the past
we have paid between $1,500 and $1,700 a week. So if you know of
any places you recommend that would be awesome. Thanks so Much for
Love your website! Keeps me updated all year long!
I was just wondering if anyone kept a schedule for
the New (Old) Balboa Cinema. I think it was a bi-monthly schedule
with great double and triple features changing every 2 to 3 days.
I would love to see one and recreate some of those double features
for my family. If someone has one and could post a .jpg somewhere
I would love to see it.
Hey there, I am looking for a job on the ferry
over the weekends or in the afternoons during the week. I'm not
sure if your the right guy to talk to and if not would you be able
to point me in the right direction? Thank you very much and hope to
hear from you soon.
Could have read it in the blab or just local gossip... but been
hearing about a Polar Bear Plunge at the Balboa Pier...
Fact or Fiction... If so, let us know what time... Can't think of
a better way to start the 2010!
Is there going to be a polar bear plunge on New
Year's Day at the Balboa Pier? If so what time? thanks
Merry Christmas to all the people at Balboa.
Greetings from Lima, Peru
It is that time of year again, Christmas Boat Parade. Looks like
you have had some major changes in webcam locations since this
summer. 2 on the Fun Zone, lost the one in front of the Pavilion
and the one in the Bay Arcade has gone away. So just the 4 cameras
now? only the Ferry crossing cam to view the parade, and none to
view the Pavilion and the Flyer boarding area?
It was nice meeting you on the boat for the
Tina's Holiday Cruise last weekend. Your gallery shots are
wonderful and I really like your website. Hope to see you at
I came across your site while poking around on Google Earth. Tales
of Balboa is a fun visit.
Attached are three photos that may interest you for your "Photo of
the Month" section.
The Bumper Car image was shot at the fun zone in the early 70's,
probably "73, as were all of these images.
Art's Landing. . , well is the old Art's Landing. The Boats in the
Fog was shot somewhere close by, as I recall slightly to the south
of the Fun Zone.
I wish you much success with your site.
Hello there... your link for the question about
the red nose reindeer is not hot. Yes, he has budding antlers.
I love your site....its wonderful and delightful....keep up the
Love this place during christmas time, bummer
about the lights not being at Harborside anymore, say it isn't
true!. I am a 40 year CA Native born right at Hoag Hospital in
fact. Work for Balboa Bay Club Resort and have enjoyed the
Christmas Boat Parade for years! I love everything there is about
Balboa and Balboa Island, never ever pass up a Balboa Bar!
It is really sad that the harbor side pavilion
does not put there xmas lights up any more hum bug Mr scrooge
Your month of December web page is very well
done : )
Does anyone else remember the Christmas Tree
Bonfires down by the Newport pier on NewYears Eve? The teenagers
in the neighborhood would go from house to house collecting all the
christmas trees they could. They would pile them into a mountain
of trees down by the pier and set the whole thing on fire. The
whole town came out to watch. I was a kid in Newport in the 60's
and 70's. I remember being amazed by this.
Love your web site! My family used to vacation
on Balboa Island 1955 - 56. We loved to go to the Jolly Roger and
have tacos, ride the ferry to the fun zone and just enjoy that
beautiful setting. My love was sailing and racing the boats that I
built while in high school. My sister and I would get up in the
morning and prepare to go sailing. I would carry the sail and she
would carry the rudder and we would walk down to where the boat was
buoyed. I would sail all day up and down the bay in awe of the
beautiful yachts moored along bay. I sailed all over the bay, even
out the jetty into the ocean when I felt brave. Those times sailing
in my 12 foot sail boat, and racing my B Utility racing boat in the
back bay were the most exhilarating times of my life.
I was a waitress at The Tale of The Whale in the
early 80's. I really enjoyed the people that lived there at the
time. Bill and Rita (Caouette) were especially good to the
employees of the restaurant at that time. I remember Evelyn and her
little candy shop, our favorite breakfast regular's; Helen, who
would always leave a quarter, and Betty, who would always leave a
dollar, a dollar was a lot at that time! My girlfriends and I loved
to go dancing. I dated a few guys that lived in the area, Tim, who
worked at Malarky's and that preppy store next to The Pavilion and
Jeff, a cute blond surfer boy. I'd love to find some of these
people and thank them for the lessons they taught me.
I was wondering if the Tale of the Whale was still
in business. I used to love to eat there at night as it was lovely
with all the lights outside. I have not lived in Orange County
since 1995 and have regretted it almost daily.
Sorry I've been out of touch for so long. I lost my parents and
have spent most of this decade in a very nasty divorce with my
estranged attorney wife. I still find time to enjoy your e-mails
and website. Thank you! I noticed the e-mail from Edward Hill
inquiring about the "casino" sign and thought I should crawl out
from under my pile and respond with a little history.
The Casino was never actually a casino. It was just a bar.
Originally the name was Workman's Casino and was owned by Dad
Workman. The name was a carryover from a gambling joint he operated
on the other side of Main St. (in the 100 block) in the 1920s.
During Prohibition, his was one of the many places in town you
could buy alcohol. You would ask for a carton of cigarettes, wink,
and he would put a bottle in the box. By the time he moved into the
Storey Building, Prohibition had been repealed and gambling had
been clamped down on, so he went legitimate. He sold the bar to two
guys whose names I can't remember. They may have been brothers.
They never cared much for Mr. Workman (few people in town did) and
promptly changed the name to Fisherman's Casino, as the sign still
reads. The bar days are marked in old pictures by blacked out
windows and stainless steel doors in what are now the open arches
on the corner, as they were originally. The interior was
highlighted by a semicircular bar against the back wall, which was
a partition, marked now by a post in the middle of the Mithrush
store. At one point they knocked two openings through the partition
on either side of the bar and had a dining room in what would,
years later, become Hidi's Cafe. When we did the seismic retrofit
we pulled up layers of flooring and found the scars where the
semicircular bar had been.
The building was built by Fred Storey in 1930. Balboa Marine
Hardware was where the kite store is now. Soto Nishikawa had Soto's
Curio Shop on the corner across Main from where the post office is
now. He was the first tenant in the space that would later be
Hidi's, operating two businesses across from each other. He was
very successful until WWII, when he was sent to an internment camp
in the Arizona desert. He lost everything and died without a penny
to his name after the war. The first tenant in the corner was the
Balboa Sport Shop which sold bathing suits and sportswear. Upstairs
in the middle unit was the town dentist, Harold Stahler. Above
Soto's was the Raymond Beauty Shop. Also upstairs, over the corner,
Roland Thompson (the City Attorney for Newport Beach) had his
private practice office. In 1936 Judge Robert Gardner spent his
first year as an attorney up there. He told me he only made ten
dollars the whole year. At the far end of the upstairs, Fred Storey
had his office. It doubled as a summer apartment for Rowland
Hodgkinson (Hodge) who was the Police Chief. He stayed there when
he rented his home out to make extra money.
As a side note, few people realize as they're walking down Main
Street, that Yucca Valley was born there. It was a venture of ten
downtown businessmen. Among them were Fred Storey, Roland Thompson,
Al Anderson (Balboa Fun Zone), Tommy Boucher (Harbor Master) and my
grandfather, John Vogel. They drilled for water, slapped together
some buildings, subdivided it and the rest is history.
I guess that's a bit of a long winded way to answer the Casino
I sit all day long in cubical land, surrounded by gray, brown, and
icky dark green walls, illuminated by harsh fluorescent lights.
Even though it's winter the air conditioning is on all the time.
Your wonderful Balboa cams provide a glimpse of the world beyond.
Hopefully one day I will escape from cubical land and visit your
wonderful city and travel across the river on the car ferry. Maybe
I'll even rent Booboo and take him for a walk. From the millions
of unknown cubical workers - thank you!
just happened on this web site sorry to hear about breeze played
many nights of cards with him and allways bugged @ work i used to
work @ old studio cafe with bruce bradly kerley kyle joe jonsey and
terry lots of good memories long time since ive been back also big
chuck or down stairs donny would like to hear fom you joe p
my parents came to Balboa in 1953 from Georgia my
mother wanted to see the beach and fish off the pier. My father was
in the Marines an went over seas. I attended school there and
graduated from New Port Harbor High School there. My mother worked
at the Hula Hut and I played on the beach out front and spent many
happy hours at the Fun Zone as a teen I danced at the ballroom to
the music of Dick Dale I met my husband there .we moved away but
good memories were made there .My parents divorced remarried and
stayed on for many years .If anyone knows where Linda Hardy and
Isabell Wright are. I'd love to here from them Isabell's parents
owned the pet store
I am looking for Jeannie Jones, Her Dad Evan Jones ran the Ferry's
in the 60's and 70's. She has a brother named Jimmy Jones. They
lived at the end of Pearl St. I believe .I am trying to contact
them. If you know how to contact them, Please give them my Email
Thanks Beau Boise
What is with the image you have on your November
calendar? Its white?
Thanks for the website and webcams. I've had fun with my nephews in
New York when I talk with them on the phone as they view me on the
internet fun zone webcam.
I have a question about the building in front of the Main St.
webcam that was active. It's the building on the corner where the
Mirbeth store is located. When you look on the back of the building
there is an old logo/sign of a Casino that is faded. We were trying
to determine the name of the Casino, but some of the letters were
to difficult to read. There is no history about this Casino online.
Any history you have on this would be greatly appreciated. Thank
I cannot get the calendar to come up on any of my
Former Newport Beach Girl, first job was as a barker for the Harbor
Cruise at the Fun Zone!
In response to Bill's email about the Buster Keaton flick:
Today for a college film class I watched another one of Buster
Keaton's movies, "The Cameraman," which also shows him boating
around the bay with the Balboa Pavilion in the background. I was
pretty surprised to see it and found my way here to mention it.
Perhaps he or the production company was a fan of the area!
My Mom used to live down in Balboa during the 70's. My parents were
separated at the time and I lived in Northern California. I would
always come down to visit her. My aunt also lived down there and
met her husband, Robbie Robins. He was the bartender at Dillman's
during the 70's. I remember going to visit and we would always go
to Dillman's for dinner. I remember the daughter, Diane. I remember
her having a daughter. I also remember "Uncle Herbert's Royal
Caboose" I'm pretty sure that was the name. It was right across the
street from Dillman's. They had the train that would go around at
the top of the circular bar and if it stopped over you, you would
get a free drink. My uncle is still around. They now live by
Bullhead City, AZ. My fondest memory is when for Christmas one year
he got me an autographed picture of John Wayne. He was my idol
growing up and that was the best present I have ever gotten. He
wrote "To Mike, my best. John Wayne 1978" It was his last
Christmas. I was supposed to go and visit him, but he got ill and
passed away. But I have always cherished that picture and even got
to see him once while riding the Balboa Queen and passing by his
house. He was standing outside and waved to all of us. Memories are
Hello - do you know where I can find any oil
paintings FOR SALE by artist Shirley Piha of Balboa? She passed
away 3 years ago and lived in Balboa
The web cams are very cool. Is the CdM Xmas walk
on Monday or Sunday this year? (per your home page)
The two new updated web cams are awesome!!! So
clear. Keep up the good work.
Bob in Phoenix
This is great site. Makes me relive my childhood.
I was born at Hoag Hospital the first year it opened and lived at
the end of the peninsula until graduating from Newport Harbor High
in 1971. The memories of walking to town with the quarter to go to
the Sat. matinee and making sure we hit Gundersons beforehand to
get candy. Having the beach and basically the town to yourself in
the winter since most of the homes were summer beach houses.
Sneaking down to the Fun Zone, since we weren't suppose to go
there. Stopping in at the 5 and dime (I forget the name), the
dory fleet coming in at the Newport Pier. The memories are really
alive and Balboa was a wonderful place to grow up - the beach and
Hi, I used to go to the "Prison of Socrates" to
hear a folk singer there. I can't recall his name for sure, but I
do believe, after reading a couple of e-mails on your Balboa site,
that it might well have been Tim Morgan. If so, he did the best
version of "Viva La Quinta Brigada" that I have ever heard. Would
it be possible to contact him? It looks like he has continued to
record and I'm interested in seeing if he has and, if so, if I
might be able to get some of those recordings. Appreciate any help
you could give. By the way, my memories of Balboa are just
wonderful. And sipping coffee and listening to folk music at the
"Prison of Socrates", simple pleasure that it was, highlights my
Hi Jim! We have named the showcase rooms at the
Folk Alliance Region - West conference in Irvine after OC folk
including The Prison of Socrates. Do you happen to have a photo of
this? I'd love to be able to use it on our signage and/or program
How can I get on the link exchange?
Wow - nice site. I grew up on Balboa Island (moved
to BI in 3rd grade @ Corona del Mar Elementary onto Lincoln Middle
School and through high school in '79 from Corona Del Mar HS and a
couple of years at O.C. Jr. College before I moved away!). Worked
at the Orange Julius on the peninsula down from the pier in high
school for a bit (never could get a job on the ferry - but had
friends who did - so I got to cross to work at OJ for free
sometimes! :) Spent many a found nickels, dimes and quarters at
the fun zone! Seemingly spent whole summers in the ocean at ...
was it Big and Little Corona beaches (coast guard side of the
jetty) (is that "cave" accessible - last time I was through there
with my son years ago, it had bars across the entrances and we
couldn't get through it). Lots of fun memories...if I could only
afford to live there now :(
I received the book and really love it.
Considering my roots are there, I was surprised at the amount of
history I didn't know about Balboa. I sure will look through my
photos to see if there's any that might be of interest. I'll ask my
sister Claire & my brother in law. His name is Dean Cordell, and he
ran the paddleboard stand right by you in the 50's, also worked the
Ferris Wheel. My father was Howard Williams, and he was President of
the "then" Central Newport Beach Community Association and was
responsible in a large part for keeping the beaches public in the area
between Alvarado and Island Avenues, and also for the Las Arenas
Tennis Courts & Park up by the Girl Scout House. We lived on Island
Avenue, went to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel church and my sister and I both
went to Newport Elementary in the 50's. Ayway, I'll see what I can
find and will be in touch.
Maureen (Williams) Hewitt
My great aunt and her husband, Bob Murphy, owned
and ran the Rendezvous during the years of the big bands. They
also owned the Bamboo Room. I am looking for any photos, memories,
histories of both places. Nothing was kept by my family. I was
always told the Bob Murphy was the first (now i cannot remember the
original title) Balboa Man of the Year. Also, I am looking for
information about using the Bamboo Room to aide in 'rum running'
during prohibition . Anyone who knew him, my Aunt Jay, and memories
and photos of the Rendezvous Ball Room and /or the Bamboo Room
please contact me.
Paige Conrad Boles
The old breakfast place in Cannery Village was called Snug Harbor.
It was torn down around 2000 and I think the lot is still bare
Nobody ever developed it. It was on the corner of Villa and
Lafeyette or maybe on the corner of 29th and Lafeyette
The Snug Tradition lives on at Malarky's - you'll see them post an
ad for a "snug" breakfast on their ad board still.