When I was a child in the 60's, my family lived in
Newport Beach. One of our annual Christmas treats was to go to Balboa of
an evening to see the big Santa Claus perched atop a whale being pulled
by dolphins. We loved it! Then we'd find somewhere to buy a frozen banana
and walk the beach. Great memories. I've scoured the internet for a photo
of it, but I guess the city doesn't use that display anymore. What a
I came into your new shop today to pick up a copy of 'Tales Of Balboa". I
mentioned to you that my father, Hal Harriman, had worked at "Christian's
Hut" in the 50's. I was really surprised to see how many of the people in
the stories I knew as a child as friend's of my dad.
My father used to live and work in Balboa/Newport/CDM during the summers
while going to school at UCLA and later while attending Law School in San
Francisco during the winters. When school ended for summer break he would
come down here and tend bar at many of the local establishments. In
addition to Christian's Hut he also worked at the Chef's Inn, Jamaica Inn
and at Reubens. It was while working at Reubens that my dad was roommates
with Gino Boero. The manager or owner at the time told them that they
were no longer allowed to have the same nights off since they would come
in the following night to work a complete mess from their fun the night
Jerry Overland and his wife Tookie lived down the road from where our
cabin was in the San Bernardino Mtns. in the 70's and 80's. Most people
don't know that the Alley located where Baer's Lair was is named after
the "Alley West". I remember Jerry Overland telling me that he made some
kind of deal with Lawrence when he sold his half of the Alley West and
moved to Acapulco. He was not allowed to open a restaurant within so many
miles of the Alley West. By the time he and his 2nd wife Patsy opened the
Alley the rule no longer applied. I still have some recipes from Jerry. A
really good teriyaki sauce. Ron White was a tenant of ours for years
above where I now live. Bear and Woody are names I remember from long ago
as well as Max Dillman. Judge Bob Gardner was a good friend of dad's.
They were friends from the courts as well as through his early years
working and playing in Balboa in the 50s. Art LaShelle used to come into
the Little Knight from time to time, once bringing Red Skelton with him.
Gino Boero I have known all of my life, and he is my Godfather. When we
moved down to Costa Mesa in 1965 Gino and Nicki Boero and their kids (Beth,JR
and Julie) were the first people I remember meeting. Gino opened a place
a couple of doors down from the Little Knight called Gino's On The Hill
where I met a lot of the old Newport people. I also met a lot of other
characters there including a guy named Billy Martin. Peter Torre who
started Charlie's Chili was a bartender at the Little Knight for years.
Other names that might ring a bell are Kenny Russell, a Hawaiian who
would do the Kalua (Burried) pig for all of the local luau's. Grant
McNiff also known as Father Duffy from the time his friends were thrown
in jail, while he was at the store getting more supplies, and he turned
his white button up collared shirt around so it looked like a priests
collar and put his coat back on, went into the police station and
proclaimed "I am father Duffy and I am here to release my flock" after
which he was thrown in with them. Rex Cantebury also known as Sexy Rexy.
Dale Velzy who used to sometimes come to Thanksgiving at our cabin in the
mountains. My dad was also a member of a group called "Amigos Viejo"
which consisted of a bunch of old Newport people including I believe Bob
Gardner and Hans Prager. I don't think the group had any real agenda,
just to get together every once in while and talk story. came across an
interesting entry in your book regarding the Doll House. I noticed that
it's address is where I currently live. I find it interesting to know
that the place where I have my music studio, I am a musician, could be
where Peggy Lee sang. I was wondering if you have any pictures of the
Doll House or if you know where I might find any? I also noticed one of
the names mentioned in your book in the special thanks section, Bob
O'Niel. I was wondering if it is the same Bob I knew as a kid? He was a
big guy with a great big belly. A nice guy who drank a lot. He had a
brother Patrick who got into trouble with the law. He passed away a
couple of years back. Just wondering if it is the same person? I am
enjoying reading about historic Balboa and I love your website.
From The Doll House
Hi! Regarding the email about the book "Dick's Joint & the Captain" by
Dick Shaw -- I too have a copy which I just found while moving out of my
Barber Shop! I have copy #246; published in 1979 by the Punters &
Scullers press, Ltd. and inside is a very nice handwritten note from
Father Duffy. I wonder if anyone remembers Shaw or would like a copy?
That is a bummer. [About the Fun Zone rides.] It was such a blast going
on all those rides as a kid. I think it was a great place for tourists
too. Summer won't be quite the same without all the old familiar places.
In fact, I started going to the Fun Zone when I was five, (oh, about
1952), and would ride on the little boats that went around in a circle.
The colorful boats are no longer there. Good memories of the Ferris wheel
and the Hoagie stand, and of course the carousel. In my teens and even
earlier, I would walk to the Fun Zone with my friends. When I was a bit
older, my boyfriend and I would go every weekend for the donuts at the
corner shop, or get a Hoagie. Do you remember the Rinky Dink? It's been
changed so many times since then. The gas station on Palm (George Perlin)...gas
was only .30 a gallon...what a change, eh? I think the changes of our old
Bal is too much to handle. Woe is me! I have mixed feelings about the
rides being tossed out, as they really kind of make the ambiance of the
place. I don't know what you think about it, but it's sad to know they
will be gone forever.
Have a good day. Finally, a cool day. I thought I'd die in the sweltering
You are truly useless. I turn on the pavillion camera
and some girl in a bikini walks in and all you see is her top and by the
time the camera refreshes she's gone. What good are you
anyway??????????????Figure out who sent this and you win a Coney Island