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Photo of the Month
This month we will be adding two new Live
Balboa Cams to the TalesOfBalboa web site. The first cam will be
inside the Balboa Saloon, the second will be inside the Bay
Arcade. The substantial cost of installing these cameras is being
covered entirely by these businesses. Be sure to watch for these
new Live Balboa Cams.
By The 1920s, Balboa was a popular location for the
Hollywood moviemakers. Its pristine empty beaches, calm bay waters and the
ocean surf were just what was needed for exotic movie settings, and the
Pacific Electric could deliver a flat car full of equipment from Los Angeles
in only an hour. The first major motion picture to be filmed here was the
original 1917 Cleopatra. A work crew of eighty men constructed a fleet of 29
full-scale, ancient design galleys on the Balboa Peninsula. After the ships
were completed, the cast arrived by Red Car and camped in tents on the
beach. Local fishermen were used for the more dangerous roles such as
falling in the water, because most of the actors couldn't swim. For the
grand finale, all the ships except for Cleopatra's were soaked with 5,000
gallons of crude oil and set ablaze. Cleopatra's ship was crushed to
splinters upon the rocks at Rocky Point. The old three-master Fremont built
in 1852 and declared un-seaworthy was used for the filming of the original
Treasure Island in 1919. After returning from a day of shooting at sea, the
Fremont sprang a leak and was cast upon a sandbar at the mouth of the bay by
a large swell. The terrified actors, who couldn't swim, were forced to spend
the entire night aboard the Fremont with only a single lantern for light
before they could be rescued the next day. Each tide drove the Fremont
higher up on the sandbar and finally, after several days, she was dynamited.
Shots of the explosion were used in movies for years afterwards.
Hey Jim ....Bob Gardner, rest his soul, was a neat guy - left us
too soon! Now, you're my 'go to' guy!
My mind's almost gone and I need a little help from someone like you who can
still remember stuff! OK ....need to know where Berkshire's was located.
Also, before it was Bobby McGee's, what the hell was that restaurant called.
And ....how come I never read anything about Ken Niles' marina? Remember
Ken? He was a radio announcer for, I believe, KNX. Anyway .....wasn't his
marina located across from what is now Promontory Point? Jeez .....the
forties and fifties in Balboa and surrounding areas (I grew up in Seal
Beach) were truly fantastic decades! Wait .....didn't Don the Beachcomber
have a place next to the Hurley Bell? Wasn't there a place called the
"Castaways"? If so, where was it? What was the street address of Christian's
Hut? There were a number of shipyards and chandlers located on PCH. Wasn't
one of them located where the new Villa Nova is now? You can sure help this
old fart if you will .....it's tough to try to remember stuff and can't. I
still recall what Bette Davis said ......"Growing old ain't for sissies!"
Hey Bette ....you were right!
Hey Jim, how is it going. It just dawned on me that there
might be a few people out there in Balboa who remember the Hodge bros. Frank
and Jimbo. They worked at the old "Arts Landing for a few years, in the
cafe, and on the boats". They were there around 1979-1981 They were from
N.Y. originally, and they made friends easily and knew so many people out
that way. Anyway the reason I am wondering is because they both (seperately)
passed on well before their time. Jimbo went do to complications of diabetes
about five years ago and Frank went about three years ago, from a brain
tumor, and years of substance abuse. They had their problems like everybody,
but as I say they were well liked and someone out there may wish to know.
Also if anyone is wondering "Robert Owen" the clown artist, is living in
Graham WA with his step daughter Vicky. I know lots of people know who they
are they were there for so long ! People would remember "Norma and Pelone"
from 401 bay st. Norma passed some time ago from Cancer and Pelone is
staying as I said with Vicky. I believe he is still painting. Just some info
for your readers.
Thanks Barbara Courneya (Dever)
For More London's Times
A Ride on the
Balboa Island Ferry
If you were around Balboa Pier last January 25th you would seen a
film making. This time it was a commercial for a diet plan.
Watching movie making is like watching paint dry.
2nd Wednesday of the Month
Book Club Luncheon 1PM
Newport Landing Restaurant
Saturdays 3:30 PM
Kyng Arthur: Authentic Reggae
"Cabo Cantina" 100 Main St
12, 11 AM
Art of Adornment: Tribal Beauty
14, 6:30 PM
Just Friends 2nd Annual
16 -19, 7 PM
Newport Beach Jazz Party
19, 3P M
Newport Beach Central Library
19, 3P M
Newport Beach Central Library
Tuesday, March 28
Newport Beach Breakers
April 15 - 17
Mummies: Death and the
Afterlife in Ancient Egypt
April 20 - 30
Beach Film Festival
Friday April 28 -
Newport Ensenada Race
Wednesday May 3 -
33rd Annual Newport Boat Show
Saturday, May 06
Balboa Island Art Walk
Just when I thought your site couldn't get any better, you added
the live cam grid. I think it is a great idea. I like being able
to see all my favorite cams at once to pick the one I want to
watch. It also makes me wish I was there instead of Michigan.
Greetings, I am an old Balboa Islander (my late Grandmother moved
to the island in the 30's, and I was born there in 1953), and in
all this time I've never met anyone who could tell me where the
word "Apolena" came from. The other streets (ie Coral, Ruby,
Agate, etc.) are all gem names. Is it a form of Opalene? Any other
Thanks in advance, Richard
Love the web site! BUT.......the Christmas lights in front of the
Bay Front cam ruin the view! I check it out every day from Boise
Thanks for this web site. I just wanted to tell you I think the
boat parade dates are off by one day. I think the dates are 12/14
Thanks, Mark Elliott
Hello! I've logged onto your website after seeing the
www.talesofbalboa.com stamp on one of the $1 bills I received as
change at a local store. I thought I'd check it out! It's a great
site and Balboa looks like a great place to visit! I live in
Morgantown WV. Happy holidays!
Hi Jim, Merry Christmas and thank you so very much...I cannot
wait. I come from a big family (8 kids) and of course, we
vacationed in Balboa in the mid 60's and early 70's. For Christmas
this year, we are going to play a gift game - each person has to
spend $150 minimum (and you have to provide receipts!) and it has
to be a present you would want to keep for yourself and be willing
to fight for, trade, make deals, etc. Well I saw you in the Fun
Zone over Thanksgiving weekend you gave me one of your calendars -
and I knew I had found the best gift of all. So truly I thank you
and I know you will have 8 new fans from my family. But I am not
letting them in on this until then!!! Many, many thanks. Megan
Jim, Thanks for the great time last night we had a blast, You are
a great brother Im sure you will print this on your web site.
I Love You, Pam
Have a Great New Year Jim.
Carlos, from Lima Perú.
I have received my shipment and I am so
pleased with everything, my book, the poster, and the screen
savers - thank you very much.
Don't believe everything you think.