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September 2008 / Vol 10 No 9



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Main Street

Balboa Bay

Balboa Fun Zone

Bay Arcade

Newport Pier

Balboa Yacht Club

Faces Of Balboa

Link Exchange

15th Street
Surf Shop

Agent Mary Lou
Balboa Island
Balboa Island Ferry
Balboa Pavilion
Balboa Saloon
Burr White Reality
Caffe Balboa
Class of 47
Free Newport
Water Sports

Mifflin Taffy
Mr. Balboa
Barber Shop

Newport Beach

Newport Harbor
Nautical Museum

Newport Jet Sports

Newport Landing
Sport  Fishing

Newport Mooring Association

Newport Surf Shots
Yacht Cruises

The Spice Guy
Walk to the Beach

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 The Grand Opening




After operating their small gallery on Palm Street for two years Lisa Rainey and Brock Morrison struck a deal to move their gallery to the much large location on the corner of Balboa Boulevard and Palm Street. Rainey remarked, "I love this art-deco building." After months of interior reconstruction the gallery was ready to open on Saturday, August 2, 2008.

Click To Enlarge
Lisa Rainey greeting the
guests to her gallery.

Over a thousand invitations were sent. A La Carte Gourmet was engaged to supply food and beverages for the occasion.
Finally at 6 PM the doors opened to the public for the first time.  A crowd of over 200 art patrons showed up for the occasion, Champagne and wine flowed  nonstop throughout the evening. 

Click To Enlarge
Mingling and enjoying the art
 was the order of the day

Featured artists Lisa Rainey, Carolyn Hess-Low, Jeff Sewall, Greg La Rock, Jeff Yeomans and Mark Donaldson mingled with the delighted crowd.  Rainey recalls," It was like a huge party. I'm thrilled and excited to be here." The event was so successful the gallery had to be held open past it's scheduled closing till 10:30 PM. The opening was a big success with 7 paintings being sold for between $450 and $1700 each. 
Rainey Fine Art Gallery is located at 515 E. Balboa Boulevard and the phone is 949.673.1382

Time Capsule


From TalesOfBalboa the Book

The Ferris Wheel is an excellent example of good old-fashioned Yankee Ingenuity.  At the 1893 Chicago World's Fair Mr. Ferris unveiled the first Ferris Wheel.  It was an enormous wheel, and instead of seats converted railroad cars were used. Each car could carry approximately 40 people. A Mr. Sullivan touring the fair saw the Ferris Wheel and thought a smaller portable version would be a hit with the traveling carnivals. The Elie Bridge Company was formed in Rowhouse, Illinois. The words Bridge Company were used in the name because it was thought the Ferris Wheel was a passing craze, and the company would convert to making bridges when the craze ended.  In 1903 the first production model Ferris wheel was shipped. In 1936, Al Anderson, owner of the old Fun Zone, purchased a used 1918, 45 foot, model 12 Ferris Wheel from a Seattle firm. Today the new Fun Zone has two; 41 foot six inch model five Ferris Wheels. Built in 1985 and 1978, there is virtually no change in their design from the original 1903 model.  Some of the gears and bearings are still made out of  wood.  Every four years, the Ferris Wheel in use is disassembled and replaced  with its twin. The replaced Ferris Wheel is taken to the Fun Zone's facility and  completely rebuilt and painted. But even the best preventive maintenance cannot prevent the premature failure of one small part. One day the Ferris Wheel gear box started making an unusual sound. In diagnosing the problem, General Manager Patrick Moore and Operation Manager Tom Tunstall found the sound only occurred under certain rare conditions. After a lot of experimenting the pair were able to recreate the conditions that produced the sound. Next to find the cause of the sound, Patrick says, "First thing we do is check the brakes. They were fine. The next is to put your head down close to the noise to pinpoint it." After a period of time it was decided that, as Tom says, "It turned out to be a worn bearing. I just didn't know which one so we replaced them all to be sure." In true testimony to the expertise of Patrick and Tom, the Ferris Wheel was once again running and delivering fun to its passengers. If you would like to buy a Ferris Wheel for your back yard, a new model five, like the ones the Fun Zone uses, costs about $120,000.00.

Pop Quiz

Words of Wisdom

"No one has ever gone broke  underestimating  the taste of the American public."

Feature Cartoon

From London's Times

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Click For More London's Times
Learn To Paint At
Stephanie Bennett's Art School

Bonus Features

Photo Technology at its best!
Woolworth's Menu circa 1960

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


Balboa Gallery On Line

Free Photo Calendar
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Business Phone Directory
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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

Sundays 10 AM - 2 PM
Sunday Champagne Brunch
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

Sunday, September 7, 10 AM - 4 PM
Coastline Car Classic
Big Corona Del Mar State Beach

September 16 -21
Oakley Newport Beach Pro

56th street

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

September 19th - 21st
The 20th Annual Taste of Newport

September 26-27,  9AM-2PM
Rummage Sale
Boutique & Jewelry
Friends Of Oasis
800 Marguerite Ave
Corona del Mar

Saturday October 4,  Noon - 4 PM
7th Annual Chili Cook-off
L Street Park

Sunday October 5, 10 AM
Sandcastle Contest
Corona del Mar State Beach

Tuesday November 4

December 12 - 17
100th Annual Newport Beach
Christmas Boat Parade

Got A Balboa Event For Publication?
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Old Photo of
the Month

Click To Enlarge

This photo of the Fun Zone Boat Company is from around 1950. Note the prices and the phone number.

Got an old photo you would like to share?  Email it with its information to:


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.

How can I obtain information regarding the chili cook-off on Oct. 4th??
How do I enter the cook-off?
What are the rules?
Is there a website?
Thank you!
Marie Mendoza

Dear Jim - bought your book some years back when we moved to Balboa. I remember the section about Balboa's ghost because I live in one of the 2 houses that would have been the parking lot of Ann's Dollhouse. Can you give me any more info on the 'ghost'? What year was he murdered in the parking lot? Any name? Or description of how he appears or looks like? Any newspaper articles on the murder? etc. Appreciate any help you might lend me, I'll explain more in a later email. thanks! steve xenos
steve xenos

Yes, the new Pavilion cam is MUCH better than the previous one was. The new one is higher resolution with a much wider angle and you can now actually see detail after dark. Thanks, it's GREAT! Now we need to get the Main Street cam lens cleaned...I'll volunteer and climb the Pavilion roof!
Sergey Zakharov

Love the new cam of the Pavillion!! What a nice surprise! Thanks!!

Since you have closed the gallery, how can I view your photographs for sale?  I have bought 2 or 3 every summer and was sad to see the gallery closed.  Is there a website or catalog?
Diane Heuser

Dear Jim,
I have been renting with my family summers since the mid 50's.  I usually rent within 5 blocks of the ferry.  Do you know if there are any dog friendly rental available?  Please let me know if you have the time.
Colleen Grace

I lived on Balboa Island from l943 till l948 at l08 Topaz, just across the alley from Seymour Beek.  He let me shoot hoops, and the neighborhood kids would put on melodramas in a little shed in his backyard using lots of katsup for blood.  Seymour's two older brothers were off in the war.  His Dad would often stop by the gaggle of neighborhood kids and tell us how Mrs. Beek was putting salt on his wounds all the time.  Once Mr. Beek took all the kids out for a ride on his yacht in the bay.  My best friend was Barbara Black. We used to roam the alleys for interesting trash.  We went to grade school in quanset huts on Little Island. My cousin Dorothy Nadorff Pier lived on Garnet.  Fond, fond memories of Balboa Island!!
Anita Greene Ferman

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



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