Balboa - Balboa CA - Balboa California - Balboa Beach - Balboa Village - Balboa Newport Beach - Balboa Island

Your Portal To Balboa California

November 2008 / Vol 10 No 11



Balboa Weather
Every 5 Minutes

Click ForBalboa Weather Eye

Live Balboa Cams

Live Cam Grid

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
BB Bridal & Fashion
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

Click To Visit City of Newport Beach






























 7th Chili Cook-off



7th Annual
Chili Cook-off
A Real Mouthful

The Balboa Peninsula Point Association presented its 7 Annual Chili Cook-Off on October 4th at the L Street Park on the Balboa peninsula. Chair person Alison Ryffel, for whom this is her first cook-off, said, "It's been great meeting new people. It's a lot work." And Alison's work paid off with a great turnout of hundreds of locals and visitors from all over.
Bret Davis a first time cook-off participant from Porterville with his booth, "Davis Del Norte Chili." said "We came here last year and tasted the chili and decided to have a booth this year."
Newport Landing Chef Jose Mundo, a third time participant says, 'It's great. A great way to bring the community together."
Balboa Saloon's Butch Wilson, a veteran of over 50 chili cook-offs throughout California and Nevada states, "I think it's great because it brings the residents together. It's a nice thing for the kids. Low key."

Click To Enlarge
The Bounce House is just one of the activities for the kids.

Gissele Walseta, a Balboa local says, "I'm from Austin Texas where chili cook-off is number one, and they are serious about chili. It's good and it's good chili."

Click To Enlarge
For entertainment, the band "Flail" supplied some great music.

This year, the best chili prize went to the Bay Burger Co. and the best booth was Balboa Boys.
Chair Person Alison Ryffel said she will be be Chair Person for next year's chili cook-off. She adds,"We're looking for volunteers for next year." You can reach Alison at 949.673.3603

Time Capsule


From TalesOfBalboa the Book

In the early forties, Art La Shelle opened Christian's Hut, a Tahitian style restaurant and bar on the bay front, now the location of Newport Towers. Christian's Hut was noted for its great oriental style food, and was always being frequented by the Hollywood set, Red Skelton, Johnny Weissmuller, Fred Mac Murray, and Howard Hughes to name a few.  Joe La Shelle, Art's brother, was an Oscar-winning cinematographer.  One of his better known movies was "The Birds." Much of the food was prepared in a big outdoor cooking pit.  No one could figure out how the filet mignon could be crispy-charred on the outside and rare in the middle. One regular customer was told in confidence the secret was to first freeze the steak, toss it on a white-hot grill to sear it, then drop it into a deep fryer. The downstairs bar area had a sand floor which led all the way to the water where the patrons would beach their boats.  The dining room  was upstairs. Marshall, the maitre d', was given the nickname Francois, because he would kiss the hand of every woman, starting at her finger tips and working his way up her arm all the way to her head.  Marshall's daughter was a beauty queen who married George Perlin, who owned the Richfield Station then located at Adams and Balboa.  George had the nickname "Beast" because of all his body hair.  After the couple was married, they were given the nickname "Beauty and the Beast." Christian's Hut burned down in 1963.

Pop Quiz

Words of Wisdom

Stop organized crime, reelect no one.

Feature Cartoon

From London's Times

Click To Enlarge

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

Bonus Features

How They Got their Start
Play With The Spider
Optical Illusions

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


Free Photo Calendar

Free Adobe Reader Required


Business Phone Directory
Click To Print

Click Here To Print
Free Adobe Reader Required

Take a Ride on the
Balboa Island Ferry


Click Here
To Start

Click Here

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

November 3 through December 31
Ralph Velasco Exhibits Travel Photos
Central Library Gallery
Phone: (949) 717-3870

Tuesday November 4

Thursday November 21, 6 PM
Christmas Tree Lighting
Fashion Island

Thursday November 28

Saturday, December 6,
20th Annual Winter Wonderland
Bonita Creek Park (300 La Vida)

December 7, 2008 11AM - 4 PM
Balboa Island Holiday
Home Walking Tour

December 17 - 21
100th Annual Newport Beach
Christmas Boat Parade

Got A Balboa Event For Publication?
 Click Here


Old Photo of
the Month

Click To Enlarge

On the site of what is now Newport Towers, was Christian's Hut, a restaurant that was home to many of the Hollywood crowd in the 1940s. This photo is the cover of the Christians' Hut's menu.

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.

This is my first time navigating through "Tales of Balboa"..what a great site.  I, like a lot of others, have spent years vacationing in Newport Beach.  My experience started around 1972.  My parents and I began staying at what was called the Sail Inn, now the Little Inn, which is basically located across from Jack's at 27th and Newport Blvd.  Today I'm celibrating 25 years of marriage, and since getting married and having children, we've carried on the tradition of vacationing 2-weeks a year in Newport.  My children love it just as much as I do, and are destined to carry on the tradition.  We've stayed at a beautiful beach house owned by Joan and Joe Tallman for the past 14 years, which is located on 27th, just down from the main drag of  McFadden Square.  We've enjoyed so many memories which include: hanging out at the beach between 27th and 24th, breakfasts at Charlies Chili, late night snacks at the 24 hour donut shop next to the old Scotties Shrimp, spending Friday and Saturday nights at the Fun Zone, watching the Bird-Man of Newport (I think his real name is Ski Meinschein), trying to avoid death while body surfing the Wedge, fishing off the main pier when there was a bait-shop at the end of the pier, running face to face into Brooke Shields by the Ferris Wheel as a 16 yr old boy and almost fainting, going on the Harbor Cruise a couple hundred times, and never getting bored, and just like others I could go on and on...I'll be looking at the web-cams every day...and it will help to pass the time between our visits...we will be experiencing Newport on 4th of July for the first time this coming year.
Brent Coombs

Jim, I think when I was in the other day to Great Mex they have extended the $1.00 Taco Day to Friday.

Thanks to whoever was responsible for getting the Main Street web cam lens cleaned. It looks much better now...not as clear as some of the other cams but a lot better..
Sergey Zakharov

Hello Jim!
I had a random question for you.  I was told several actors who played Munchkins in "The Wizard of Oz" bought homes in Newport together, I'm not even sure which street. I was trying to dig up some research about it. do you have any factual backup to support this story? If so, is it also in your book?
Many thanks!

Hi Jim!!!  Miss you all.  Been traveling and celebrating my birthday month!!!!!  Hope all is well.  Drop me a line when you can!!!!!  Say "hello" to everybody.  Will be home soon.
All my love, hugs and kisses.

We purchased some of your prints before you closed up the shop. We love them and want to add some more to the house. Are any still for sale?
Martin Young

Jim,  Thanks for the great site.  I check the webcams every day, it almost makes me feel as though I am there.  I've been vacationing on Balboa Island since I was a young child.  I now take my 15 year old boy there for 2 wonderful weeks every year.  I have learned so much history looking through your back issues.  We are coming this year for the boat parade, can hardly wait.  There are two different dates listed on your website, the ones on your homepage and when you click on the official boat parade site.  We want to make sure we are there at the right time.  You may want to check this.  Keep up the great work. 
Suzanne Horne

We grew up spending the summers on Balboa Island from the time I was born (1928) until our parents sold the little house on the corner of Topaz and S. Bay Front in the 1950's Once we did the daily required chores of raking the bay beach and sweeping the wide sidwalk along the shore we were free to wander until dinner time, sailing our little El Toro dinghy and the somewhat larger "Doris"-- a racing catboat which was one of the first boats on the bay (since 1917, when my grandfather was one of the founders of the two yacht clubs in town. ) Later we spent time further down the peninsula in a house our father found a little more "civilized" -- meaning that we actually had hot water and an inside shower. But my heart still belongs to that simple little house where we could fall asleep listening to the music from the merry-go-round in the fun zone across the bay.
Doris (Ellliott) Pettersen

Newport Harbor High School Class of '61
My classmates from Newport Harbor High school have been indulging ourselves in yearly get togethers. We're 64 going on medicare and we're worrying if we'll still be loved.
Each Fall, as we prepare for for our 50th reunion in 2011, some of us get together  in our high school home town to assure ourselves we are 1) still here, 2) we've done okay with our lives, (we only know of one of us, specifically, who has been in jail,) 3) we are still appealing in terms of our capacity for friendship and camaraderie. I don't think anyone is particularly concerned about the appeal we fretted over back when we were seventeen.
We were a fortunate group: from where we grew up, to where we landed. We grew up near the Pacific ocean when we could still have fires on the beach, sleep on the sand if our parents would let us, dance at the Rendezvous, ride the Balboa ferry to the fun zone,  ski at Mammoth, body surf the Wedge and even hang out, fairly effortlessly, at Disneyland up in Anaheim. There were no groins sticking out in the ocean, heck, we didn't erode in those days. We did think there was traffic and smog, but nothing like what the area is treated to today. Instead, those who had cars, and there were some wealthy families among us, sped around southern Cal with tans on faces, sand wedged between toes, hair flying in the Pacific breeze with dreams focused on the height of the surf, the blue of the sky and the parties coming up.
Being southern Californians, we lacked snow and change of seasons. We lacked rain, sleet and other eastern phenomenon. We were the children of bouganvilla, frangipani, mock orange, salt air, birds of paradise, frozen bananas, ferries across the bay, the bumper cars, little Corona, Arrowhead, the Jolly Roger and Bob's Big Boy on the Island,  and Catalina off the coast.
We talked about where to meet at the beach, who was having a party and, when we were feeling very serious, where we were going to college. Something like 90% of our graduating class went on to university, but I have to confess we were also of the demographic that were pushed toward higher education. Our parents had high expectations for us. Many of my friend's parents were entrepreneurial, some were children of producers, directors and actors. After all John Wayne, Rock Hudson, Sterling Hayden, Claire Trevor lived in our neighborhoods. My father used to talk about seeing Frank Sinatra and his entourage at Berkshires a restaurant near the Arches and owned by one of our classmates' father. And for those of you in the know, our most famous NHHS (a few years after us) was Dirk Pitt.
I remember spending the night with a girlfriend down on the peninsula who was tended by maids since her parents were traveling abroad. She lived in a mansion where the foyer and living room were decorated with stuffed grizzlies, polar bears, and African exotics; at that age I didn't know what they were,  but I knew they were once huge, dangerous and impressive before (and after) they were mounted.  Her father was a big game hunter, obviously, but I had no clue what he did that afforded  him that luxury. All I knew was that we had a whole wing of her house to ourselves. The differences between some of us from "goat hill" and the shores of Newport may have been impressive, but this was America in the 60's and we didn't care about social differences, we just enjoyed the variety of our friendships. In "our day" there was but one high school, later there were five as the population blossomed. If we thought homes were expensive then, we were clueless what this area would become.
 It's not that often we dip our toes back into the magic of our youth, after all, we are sophisticated adults now, but we took such joy in reminiscing, reconnecting, hearing one another's stories. Life goes by so very fast. 
Look away for a moment and there it went, we realized.  We missed our youthful wit that we produced in one another, our cleverness, the light that gave us magic and the fire that still promises to ignite us 47 years later. Those of us who have moved away take scent inspired nostalgia from the breeze of the Pacific and the eucalyptus on the shore.

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?


Today's Almanac