The Miss Balboa Could Take 36 People to
Catalina in Only 20 Minutes.
In 1947 Ohmer Clawson - or Vic as he was known
to his friends - opened the Fun Zone Boat Co. on the Fun Zone bay
front. In 1948 the speedboat Miss Balboa was built by
the Ditmar and Donaldson Boat Yard in Costa Mesa. By this time
another speedboat, the Leading Lady, was being operated out of the
Balboa Pavilion. By far the Miss Balboa was the most popular
because it was the newest and most powerful boat, and it could
carry 36 passengers where the Leading Lady could carry only 16.
The crew that built the Miss Balboa.
Left to Right: Lyle Ellis, Ohmar Clawson, Don Donaldson, Dick Ditmar, Ralph Coke, and an
Speedboat rides were all the rage at this time,
and were especially popular during intermissions at the Rendezvous
Ballroom. The Miss Balboa with her 1650 HP Packard Marine engine
could reach speeds of 60 MPH and go to Catalina in only 20 minutes. In 1950 George Means took the Miss Balboa out 7
miles into the ocean to pump the bilge. After disconnecting all of
the oil and gas lines getting her ready to put a new engine for
the coming season, he lit a cigarette and the boat exploded
blowing him overboard. The Coast Guard picked George up, put the
fire out and tied a line on to tow the Miss Balboa into the
harbor. Due to the long line she broke loose and sank in 1000 feet
of water. The other speedboat, the Leading Lady was finally sold
to a Long Beach Firm, bringing an end to Balboa's famous but short
lived speedboat rides.
Balboa's Foremost Art Festival Will Be
Inaugurated The Weekend of
October 4th & 5th
Click For Details
The Other Newport
Beach Web Site
The Web Our Leaders Don't Want You To See.
Click To Visit FreeNewport.com
This year's Perseid meter show will happen on August 12th and
13th. Mark your calendar and don't miss the show.
Click For Full Details
On August 27, 2003 Earth and Mars will be the closest in 60,000
Click For Full Details
For More London's Times
How old would you be if you didn't know how old you are?
Of The Month
Balboa Village Market
Concerts On The
There are only three more weekends left in this
year's concert series on Thursdays from 6PM to 8pm, at the Peninsula Park Gazebo
at Balboa Pier. The admission is free and everybody is welcome.
Balboa's own Rooster
The Diving Platform
Without a doubt, the most popular attraction at the old
Balboa Fun Zone in the 1940s and 1950s was the diving platform. Anchored just a
few yards off the Fun Zone bay front beach, the diving
platform was always in continuous use by swimmers of all
ages. But after many accidents including a broken neck the
diving platform was taken out of service.
I don't usually write letters to the editor, so here is my first.
I thought about your bio on Courney a lot in the past couple of
weeks. Growing up in Newport Beach I remember him cussing
passersby on the peninsula, grabbing his crotch and yelling at
young women. Later, I became a Police Officer in Newport Beach. I
arresting him a number of times. We had a booking sheet all made
up at the station for him, as he was arrested on such a regular
basis. Basically, he was a drunk. Courney was not a
nice person. He was mean spirited, lewd and vicious. I'm not sure
why you felt it was necessary to take up space in otherwise
interesting web site. It seems to me there are a lot of other
people that would be a whole more deserving of a write up than
someone such as him.
IN THE 1950'S, OMAR [The Tent Maker ] MOVED HIS OPERATION TO
21ST ST. IN NEWPORT. UPSTAIRS FROM ONE OF HIS LARGEST CUSTOMERS,
MC NALLY'S BOAT LIVERY. THEY OWNED THE BUILDING AND USED THE
DOWNSTAIRS AS THEIR BOAT MAINTENANCE SHOP. I BELIEVE THAT IT IS
NOW A GLASS CO. ACROSS FROM THE SPAGHETTI FACTORY. I KNOW BECAUSE
I GREW UP PLAYING AND WORKING THERE.
Hello from Ohio!
I used to work at Hidi's in
1978. My sister, Marcella, was managing at the time. Could you
tell me if Hidi is still around? I know it's changed a great deal
since then but it was a big part of my life and would like to know
what 'locals' are still around. I would especially like to know
where/what Hidi is doing. The last I heard she was delivery food
for the elderly.
Thank you in advance for whatever info you can give me.
I found your site while searching for photos of the old Rendezvous
ballroom. We are putting on an event on the Island in April of
2004 to celebrate the Balboa - a dance of the swing era.
The event will attract approx. 500 dancers to the Island. Do you
know of any existing web site that would have a photo of the
Thanks- Alison Plys