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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.