Your portal to Balboa, a small Southern California coastal  town. Features about its colorful history and people. Balboa Cams bring you live local views

The First Tattoo Shop
Ardee Allen Opened Balboa's First Tattoo Shop In 1987.

"I Rode My Bicycle Through Balboa And Fell In Love With The Scenery Here."
Ardee Allen

When Ardee Allen came to California from North Dakota in 1983, her goal was to one day own her own tattoo studio. So she saved up her money, and after working in a Laguna Beach tattoo studio for four years she was able to go out on her own.

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Ardee Allen Relaxes With Her
Faithful Friend Woody

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Woody's Dream

Ardee discovered Balboa while on a bike ride, and decided this was the place for her. She opened Skin Works Tattoos at 313 E. Balboa Blvd.

At first Ardee wanted to keep a more subdue appearance, then tattoos became really popular, and as she words it, "Then we really started making money."

Suddenly, everyone from lawyers to gardeners were coming in for tattoos. Ardee recalls, "My lawyer was trading me his fees for tattoos. We get a lot of nurses. In the last few years we get a lot of families. A family event. The whole family gets tattoos."

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A large Selection Of Tattoo Art
Awaits Customers

Four years ago Ardee expanded and added Riff Raf Body Piercing next door to her tattoo studio. She says, "I just thought it went with tattoos. My intent was for it to be half the jewelry I make." Ardee mines her own semi precious stones, then grinds and polishes them herself.

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 A Display Of Ardee's
Handcrafted Jewelry

Today Ardee owns three tattoo studios in Orange County. As for her future, Ardee says, "My ultimate goal is to become a real estate tycoon."

You can find out more about Skin Works Tattoos by going to,


Words Of Wisdom

"You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but can't fool mom."

Whale Watching

  The California Gray Whale makes the most spectacular and longest mass migration of any marine mammal. Gray Whales Migrate Annually along the west coast of North America from the summer feeding grounds in the Bering Sea to the winter grounds of the Baja California lagoons and back again along the Orange County coast during the months of December, January, February, March, and early April. Balboa's Sport Fishing boats offer Whale Watching Cruses so that children and adults may thrill at the sight of these magnificent mammals as they pass along the coast. For further information contact:
Davey's Locker
Newport LandingSport Fishing
Newport Whale Watching

Time Capsule
Big Al's Divorce

Big Al Landis

It was December 1983 when Big Al who was the bartender at The Class of 47 decided it was time for her to get a divorce. She had been separated from her husband Bill Clevenger for several years and he lived in Nevada. Big Al had met her present husband John Landis III and wanted to get a divorce so she could get married to John. Big Al called Bill in Nevada and asked if he would get the divorce. Bill agreed to do so if Big Al would send him $260.00. Big Al sent him the money. Over the next year Big Al called Bill several times asking how the divorce was going and was always given some excuse. Finally Bill had come to Balboa for a visit and Big Al caught him and questioned him at length. Bill finally confessed that he and a friend blew the divorce money on a night at the notorious Mustang Ranch.

Viewer Email

Dear Jim:
My brother and I are always looking for Tim Morgon memorabilia, specifically anything, old photos, Super 8 footage, menus, anything from the Prison of Socrates that others might be willing, at our expense of course, to share.  Would you consider posting a notice of this letter
and with our e-mail address ( and we will share with any others Tim Morgon memorabilia that we have and which others might be looking for.  We are especially interested in any Super 8 footage of the interior or exterior of the Prison of Socrates.  We have forever been trying to encourage Ted Nikas, former owner of the Prison of Socrates to look for the film, "Dirty Feet," that his ex-wife, Susan Renaker,  also starred in and whose song, "Summertime Wine," featured on the soundtrack of "Dirty Feet," which we have in pristine condition, seems ironically to symbolize not only lost youth but also a very lost to time coffee house called The Prison of Socrates.  I'm sure that Tim's mother, Venoa, probably has some of these very items and it has occurred to us to write her at her address on Harding Street but we are reluctant to ask anything of anyone unless they really want to share, but it doesn't hurt to ask here where someone can choose to respond or not to respond. Yours sincerely, Nick and Mike Campbell
9325 Rivera Lane,B, Atascadero, CA 93422
(805) 461-9637

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