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July 2008 / Vol 10 No 7



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 Photo of the Month


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Time Capsule


From TalesOfBalboa the Book

It was around 10 p.m. on July 13, 1992, when Bill Kitchens set the auto pilot on his 34 foot sailboat "Vagabunda," for a course from Corona Del Mar to entrance to Newport Bay. As Bill words it, "I was sitting in the cockpit and nodded off with no sails up." The next thing Bill remembers is "Oriental voices shouting and cursing, and crashing sounds I looked out and said oh, shit." His rig was down, and he was under Balboa Pier. Bill lashed the mast to the side of the boat just in time to see the flashing blue-green light of the Harbor Patrol. He was checked over to see if he was hurt, and allowed to limp his boat back into the harbor. Upon arriving at the South Shore Yacht Club, Bill fell and struck his shoulder on the dock, causing multiple fractures, or as Bill puts it, "Adding injury to insult." Later that year, the South Shore Yacht Club presented Bill with the "Most Conspicuous Sailor Award."

Old Photo of
the Month

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The HFS, (Hardly Floats Sometimes), Michigan was the flagship of the Balboa Island Sculling & Punting Society for many years. It is said the Michigan spent as much time under water as above it.

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Pop Quiz

Feature Cartoon

From London's Times

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Learn To Paint At
Stephanie Bennett's Art School

Words of Wisdom

Brain cells come and brain cells go, but FAT cells live forever.

Hi, my name is Herby, what's yours?


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Take a Ride on the
Balboa Island Ferry


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Events Calendar

Taco Tuesdays, All Day
$1.00 Tacos, No Limit, Eat In/Take Out
Great Mex
703 E. Balboa Blvd.

Sundays, 1 PM - 4 PM
Jimi James Live
R&B - Reggae - Funk
Harborside Restaurant

Fridays, 10 PM - 2 AM
DJ Bob D-spinning
Shorehouse Cafe

Mondays thru Thursdays
Pole Dancing Classes
Balboa Pilates

204 Washington St.

1st Wednesday of the Month
 10 Am - 11AM
 Fun at Pirates Cove, 2 - 5 year olds

Newport Harbor Nautical Museum
(949) 673-7863 X 105 Carol Davis

2nd Wednesday of the Month
 Book Club Luncheon 1 PM

Newport Landing Restaurant

Thursdays, 6 PM,  May 15 - Sept. 4
Balboa Beer Can Regatta

Balboa Bay

Wednesday, July 2,  6 PM - 9PM
Winemaker Dinner - Coppola Winery Serving 6 course meal with 6 wines
Harborside Restaurant

Friday,  July 4,  1PM - 3 PM
Old Glory Boat Parade

Balboa Bay

Fridays, July 19 & 26,  8 PM - 11PM
Disco Party Cruise Free Appetizers
Riverboat Angela Louise

Saturday, July 12,  7 PM - 9:30 PM
Billie Holiday Jazz Cruise
Actress/ Vocalist Gloria Hendry performs a musical tribute to Jazz Legend Billie Holiday
Riverboat Angela Louise

Thursday, July 17, 6 PM
Great Mex Taco Eating Contest
1st Prize $200 & Bragging Rights
Great Mex Grill
703 E. Balboa Blvd.

Sunday, July 20,  1 PM
Flight of the Lasers
Balboa bay

Summer 2008 Shakespeare by the Sea
Pre-show activities begin at 6:45 p.m.; show begins at 7:00 p.m.
Bonita Canyon Sports Park (Bonita Canyon Drive & Mesa View Drive), Newport Beach

Saturday, August 2, 2008
Antony and Cleopatra

Sunday, August 3, 2008
A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Wednesday, September 17
Talk Like A Pirate Day
All ages, all day
Come dressed as a favorite pirate
Balboa Branch Library

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Bonus Features

Golf Club Sign
Fly Swatter
The Sixties


Help! I'm a young man trapped inside this old geezer's body.

Editor And Chief
Cook & Bottle Washer
Jim FournierI'd really love to hear from you.





































Viewer Email & Memories

Viewer Email & Memories are published as soon as they are received.
 Keep checking back for new messages.


Jim, Great site you have.  And like many have told you, brings back great memories.  One question.  Is the Balboa Island Sculling and Punting Society still around?  Can they be contacted?  Thanks for the time.
Larry Pim

I was so happy to find this on my computer.  In the early 1960's, my sister in law and I and her two little girls often spent a week or two in the top floor apartment of Mrs. Jackson's house on Balboa Bay in the month of June.  Those were such great days.  The Bay was so gorgeous, especially at twilight when the water turned to silver.  Thank you, thank you, thank you for bringing it all back.
Mary Jo

Hi Jim,
I saw the same question posted, regarding Balboa Gallery. My husband I  honeymooned there last year and saw a photograph in the gallery, we both really wanted. I planned on giving it to him as anniversary gift, but obviously didn't plan on the gallery being closed! Is there anyway to still order a photograph from the gallery? Thank you and I look forward to your reply.
Audrey Duffey

Jim, now that the Balboa Gallery is closed where can I find your photographs?  I have several and I wanted to buy a few for family in North Carolina.  Thanks for your help.

Went looking for the Prison of Socrates today with my son. It was easy to find, even if it is BJ's Pizza. I saw Big Mama Thornton there about 40 years ago. I was about 16 years old. Man, what a show. Big Mama stood outside by the wall talking with my friends an I for about 20 minutes after the show. I'll never forget it.
Bill Odien

Can you give me the name of a hotel or motel on Balboa Island?  I'm looking for something that is clean but not too expensive.  Also, I was curious if there was a place to stay on the Pavilion side?
One more thing, I was hoping to stay somewhere where there is access to "public" beach/sand
Sue Candiotti

Hi, Jim!
I'm hoping you can help me with a little research for my current book.
I recall that the homes in the section of Newport Beach called "Sin City" were built on leased land, owned by, I believe, the Southern Pacific Railroad.  That's why the houses were never sold or upgraded, and became mostly student rentals, because no one knew what would happen when the lease expired.
My questions:  1) When were the homes built?  2) What's the expiration year for the lease?  3) If the lease already expired, what happened to the home owners?
I figured if anyone knew who to ask, it would be you!
Toni Andrews

Like someone else mentioned here, the Main Street webcam =really= needs to be's like looking through smog-colored glasses. :(

Hi, Jim:
 I moved there just in time for Mr. Lilly's 5th grade class at Newport Heights until I graduated in '65 from NHHS. My family stayed until the 80's but now they are all gone from the area. Now I am in Eugene, OR, but we got together with a bunch who had spent much time in the Balboa area and we started in on the "bests": you know, best burger was the original Bob's Big Boy on Marine Ave on the Island. Richards was best grocery store, the Port was the best theater only due to the balcony. Best breakfast was at the Lighthouse off of lower Bayside Drive. Best bodysurfing was a draw between the Wedge and 56th Street. Best date dinner was the Five Crowns. Best beer was at Blackies but Best dive bar was Sid's Blue Beet, right down the pier from the old Fish & Chips place, for which none of us could remember the name. My parents, when they took us there, just called it "the dirty fish place", but the fish was great, better than the Crab Shack. Remember the name? Somebody thought it might have been "Charlies", but it will always be "the dirty fish place" to me.
Bob Shaw

"Scotty's"!!!! Of course! Thanks for filling that in for me, Jim. We rarely got to go there, unfortunately - too disreputable - but Scotty was a classic Newport character. Since we lived in the Heights with five kids, it was usually off to Freddies on 17th, across from HiTime Liquor Store and LaCave. My sister was a waitress at the first Snack Shop in CdM, so we would go there, too, and then he opened the Coco's where Freddies was, so that was where we always went - for a "Nui-Nui Burger". When I was little, a big-time night out was to Christian's Hut. They used to give kids ice cream with real creme de menthe on it. My favorite meal as a teenager, though, was a plate of fries and a lime rickie at the counter of the Jolly Roger on the Island. You should run a "best" section for us old Newporters - I'd love to hear other people's takes on these things. Thanks for a great site.

Grew up down on the Point.  NH class of '69.  I check the cams regularly.  The Main St. camera is always a little fuzzy.  Any chance of a cleaning in the near future?

Hi Jim:
I really enjoy your site, especially the humorous tales of locals and their pagers. I'm writing an article about Sharon Sheeley, a songwriter who lived in Newport Beach. I'm having a few problems finding resource material to create a timeline of her life. The time periods are:
The first sixteen years of her life, 1940 - 1956 (I have a little info for the year 1956) The years 1957 & 1958. The first substantial information I have begins in 1958 when she wrote the song "Poor Little Fool" for Ricky Nelson. I also have a small amount of info re: her sister, Mary Jo, who dated Derry Weaver (The Hollywood Argyles)
I have bits and pieces of her life through her marriage and divorce to Jimmy O'Neill (Shindig). After the divorce, there is very little info except one very intriguing story about her relationship with Vince Flaherty.
If you have any info, or if you can point me to resources about her life, I would deeply appreciate the help. (Also, any info about her family, especially Mary Jo).
Gary Lee

In response to Gordon Wagner...
I know of the painting you're talking about (or at least one sounding just like it going by your description). We rented the back house twice a year for years from Rolf & Ruth Laib (Laib's Sand Castle) up until the end of 2007 when they sadly stopped renting due to health issues. In the rental unit, they had this picture on one of the walls of the living room. Maybe Jim can go and pay a visit to Rolf & borrow the picture and scan it in for you...but seriously, there has to be another copy of it somewhere...
Sergey Zakharov

I love your site, though it really nostalgic to remember how things were so long ago -- it seems like yesterday my Dad and I would row across the Grand Canal from the little island to buy doughnuts on Saturday mornings.
Is there any chance you might be familiar with a print made from a painting showing the view from the top of the OLD ferris wheel in the Fun Zone? I think it was by a female painter from the 70s. It showed the view towards the Pavilion. I'd love to find a copy.
Thanks again for a great web site.
Gordon Wagner

Hi Jim!
What a happy surprise to see my 1948 photo of "Fireman Dave" as your Old Photo this month. 
We lived on the Island from 1946-1950 and I am trying to find old playmates, born around 1939, who attended grades 1-3 at Corona Del Mar Elementary.  People I'm looking for include Paul Mantz Jr., "Skippy" Hudson, "Chuckie" Cramer, Edmund Mason, Lance Green (or Greenleaf), Laura Beth Burke, Sharon Anderson, Arthur (S?) whose father had the upstairs photography shop on Marine Ave, and "Buddy" Budworth.  Also I'm trying to find people who knew the firechief, Ed Zuby or his two daughters.  I have a photo of Ed Zuby and myself from 1948.Keep up the good work, Jim...we appreciate it.
Dave Howell
Upland, CA
David Howell

I will be renting on the Island from July 5th until July 19th, 2008. We are desperately in need of a one person kayak for that time period. All of the rental companies charge $55/day. For 2 weeks I could rent a nice mid-sized car for that price. Give me a break!
If you live on the Island and have a spare kayak, let's talk. I would certainly be willing to pay a fair price (not $55/day).
Tom Dial  Concord, CA

Hello, I love your website!! Just wondering if you can make your archives more accessible?? Thanks so much!!

Do you have a record of previous weathereye pages going back to 11/01/07?
Scott Felder

Hi Jim,
Will there be free concerts in the Gazebo this summer?
Used to be on Thursdays. Do you have a schedule?
Best, Jeff

Hi there,
I have 3 Beercan races posted on my website.  I'd love to be able to feature them on your website, because so many families love to see the pictures of their sailing friends - my site gets a lot of coverage.
Bronny Joy Daniels

was wondering if they had skuba diving and/or 4 th of july fireworks there?

Your work has been an inspiration for Balboa, love your work.
Case Van Mechelen

gr8 site brutha! can we in the future get a cam of the boardwalk action/scene around "Mutt Lynchs" or "Blackies"? that would be killer! I miss my NB/OC. My wife took a job promo & we had to move to Dallas. We've been away since april of '06. Some day we will get back & retire on the Balboa Pen.............Where I've spent nearly 1/2 of my life. Ill be 45 next month, ouch!

Dear Jim,
Having spent delicious summers on the little island during the early-to-mid 1950's (and submitting a piece of nostalgia on those days to TOB which you were kind enough to publish) and, knowing from a number of return visits over the years that the islands have not changed all THAT much, I'm bringing my "bride" out from West Virginia for a short visit to family in Pasadena in early June.  I thought it might be a real nice thing to get a rental house that faced either the canal or one of the bays and just kick back for a few days (looking at 6,7, 8 of June).  So I thought of you and whether you might know of any such waterfront rentals and just whom I might contact to check on price and availability.  Thanks so much for any assistance you might per chance provide.
Curt Mason, Summit Point, WV
PHS Class of '57.


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