Balboa Gold
80-Year-Old Rolf And Ruth Laib Have Been
Enjoying The Balboa Life Since 1939

These High School Sweethearts Are Soon To Celebrate Six Decades Of Marital Bliss.

Teenagers, Rolf And Ruth

In 1939  Rolf and Ruth were High School sweethearts when Rolf's mother brought them to Balboa to visit Rolf's sister. Rolf recalls, "Until we came here I never knew it existed. I liked to fish and I could bring my little boat down. There was something for everybody, mom could shop, dad could fish and kids had the Fun Zone. We liked it then and we like it now."

Rolf And Ruth Were Married On
January 16, 1942.

Because Rolf was only 20 years old, his father wouldn't give him permission to get married. The couple had to wait six months until they were both 21 years old before they could get married at a wedding chapel in Los Angeles.

Married for only six months, Rolf recalls,"Uncle Sam said I need you. They sent me on a vacation in New Guinea."

In the 1980s Ruth (R) worked for seven years with Bee Thacher (L) at the Bamboo Rattan Shop located at the corner of Balboa and Palm. Now a bike shop.

Rolf enjoys reminiscing of the war days and his friends of the 405th Bomb Squad - 38th Bomber Group.

Today the Laibs have been married for 59 years and Rolf says, "And we're still talking to one another." They have two daughters, three grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren. Rolf sums up the secret to longevity as, "Happiness, good living, wonderful family, good doctors and lots of pills."

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Flash Back
Main Street
Then And Now

Circa 1906

Circa 1925

Circa 1938

Circa 1950

Circa 1978


George And Yong Toth

Previous Owners Of The Balboa Market Are Now In The Restaurant Business

Yong is standing in front of their new restaurant, Christo's Hamburgers in Riverside.   They have great food. The hamburgers and chocolate shakes are killer!  

Viewer Email

Dear Jim,  I was just steered to your charming website by a guy from
Japan, of all things.  I read with great interest the article about the old Prison Of Socrates coffee house, where I played many times as one of "The Steeltown Two". 

Two Questions: A.) Is the book available?, and B.)do you happen to have an email address for Tim Morgon, who wrote the article?  I haven't seen him in many years and would like to get in
touch with him.  Finally, your name sounds very familiar, and I have a

vague notion that I've met you.
Best Wishes,
C. Carson Parks

Words Of  Wisdom

A dream is an answer to a question we haven't yet figured out to ask.