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January 2009/ Vol 11 No 1    


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15th Street
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Agent Mary Lou
Balboa Island
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Balboa Pavilion
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BB Bridal & Fashion
Burr White Reality
Caffe Balboa
Class of 47
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Mifflin Taffy
Mr. Balboa
Barber Shop

Newport Beach

Newport Harbor
Nautical Museum

Newport Jet Sports

Newport Landing
Sport  Fishing

Toronto Real Estate
Newport Mooring Association
Newport Surf Shots
Yacht Cruises

The Spice Guy
Walk to the Beach































Happy New Year 2009




Mike Donegan is the Voice on the Phone

If you've ever called Catalina Passenger service to make a reservation, the voice you hear will probably be that of Mike Donegan. 64 year old Donegan is a native of Phoenix Arizona who was transplanted to southern California at the age of five.  He started working for CPS 32 years ago as a deck hand on the fishing boats and fill in bartender on the boats. Donegan recalls," When I first started working here, all the guys were the old guys, now I'm one of the old guys. If you've worked here for only five years, your a short timer. It's such it wonderful place to work, the most wonderful thing about working here is the people." Those of you who remember Hidi of Hidi's Coffee Shop will get a kick out this story,  Hidi was always asking if she could get a free ticket to Catalina and Donegean would always tell her, "Only if it's a one-way ticket." Donegan says his two favorite questions are, "What time does the 9 O'clock boat leave." and, "How long does the 45 minuet harbor cruse last."

Click to Enlarge
The view from Donegan's desk

Donegan's favorite job perk is the view of Main Street and all of the pretty girls in the summer. Things have come a long way since the early days, if someone called in to verify a reservation they had to look in two big books. Today they just look it up on the computer. When asked how many celebrities he had seen, Donegan replied, "I saw the back of John Wayne's head once."

Time Capsule


From TalesOfBalboa the Book

In the late 1970s a group of drinking buddies established the University of California, Balboa. With tremendous energy and determination, they set about preparing all of the support materials that would be needed by the students at this campus. Of course, "UC Balboa" T-Shirts, hats and jackets were the first to appear on the scene.  Then came the decals for the students car rear windows, and the ever-coveted bumper sticker, all professing to the world that "UC Balboa" was the best campus in the world. The final and most important item of all, the student handbook was prepared with the help of what seemed like half the town.  This book was to be the backbone of the student's orientation.  It contained a list of "UC Balboa's" football games, Balboa Vs Notre Dame here, Balboa Vs UCLA at the Coliseum. But most important of all, this book contained a full listing of all classes taught at this campus, with convenient cross-referencing.  An example being: Political Sciences 1A (See Lying, Cheating, and Stealing 1A). And of course to fully familiarize the student with the area, there was a photo of the student housing located on the southeast corner of Washington and Bay. The structure is still there to this very day.

Pop Quiz

Words of Wisdom

If you don't talk to your cat about catnip, who will?

Old Photo of
the Month

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Ricky's Court was located on east side of Adams street and ran from Balboa Boulevard to the alley at Harding Street. It was home to many of Balboa's long time locals including Corny, if you've lived here long enough to remember him. Ricky's Court was torn down in the mid 1970s to make way for two duplexes and a Winchels Donut Shop on the Corner of Balboa and Adams, later to become a Pizza Hut. The building is now occupied by an architect  Many thanks to Barbara Courneya for this great old photo.

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Take a Ride on the
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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 10 AM - 2 PM
Sunday Champagne Brunch
Harborside Restaurant

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

Saturday, January 10,  2 PM
Family Concert at the
Newport Beach Central Library
Friends Meeting Room
1000 Avocado Avenue
(949) 717-3800, ext. 2

Monday January 12, 4 PM
Newport Coast Recovery Group Residential Use Permit Hearing
City Hall

Sunday, February 1,  12 -7 PM
Superbowl Party
La Habana Cigar Co.

107 Palm St

Friday April 3, 6-9 PM
Flashlight Egg Hunt
Bonita Creek Park

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Feature Cartoon

From London's Times

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Learn To Paint At
Stephanie Bennett's Art School

Bonus Features


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





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.

My daughter, Sarah, lives in Newport Beach and I live in Helena, Alabama (a suburb of Birmingham).  I miss her and being able to look at your site makes me feel a little closer.  Thank you so much!
Kathleen Leemhuis

Hi Jim,
I have two questions:
Do you have any old pictures of Glen Caldwell who use to play the piano at the bar back in the '80s?  And.. Do you know what happened to that old piano that was in the pub?
Thank you
Wayne Caldwell


Hi Jim!  Another question....remember when you gave us a copy of the DVD Dirty Feet?  I was talking with someone tonight who would like to be able to buy one for her aunt who is actually in the audience on the film!  Do you know of where she might be able to obtain one? 

I'm so glad to have found this site. A huge Thank You to Jim for doing such a wonderful job!
I check this site out almost every day.  I grew up in Costa Mesa and from the time I was allowed to ride my bike to the beach on my own... I did. (In those days you could let your kids spend the whole day away from you without much of a thought!)
I, like many of you that have posted, moved away from the area some years ago. I have loved the adventures of my life, the places I've lived, friends I've made along the way, and the family that surrounds me. But I'm always drawn back to the beach, Balboa, Newport and Little Corona.  I can't explain it very well, this longing inside to walk on the shore, feel the sunsets, smell the salt air, and feel the freedom that watching the horizon and hearing the pounding of the surf sets deep in my soul.
The past few years I've had the wonderful experience of taking my kids and husband to the waves and teaching them to body surf, and showing them the wonders in the tide pools of Little Corona, snorkeling, cook outs in the fire pits etc. Fortunately, they love it and are willing to go along with my obsession! When I married and we took our first trip to Balboa, my new husband had trouble just laying on a towel, relaxing, feeling the heat of the sun and the cool breeze of the ocean sneak over you. He kept saying, "Is this all you do? What else do you want to see? How long will we be here?" So I began to teach him the art of the beach life. "Well, no this isn't all of it......" We can jump in the waves and play and then lie back on the towels to warm up again. Isn't it cool how you can still feel the ocean's heartbeat when you lay back on the towels? Watch the birds, especially the sand pipers, and watch for the seals and the dolphins swimming in the surf. Let's walk on the beach, or the board walk, go out to the end of the pier and eat, always with a keen eye on what the fishermen are bringing up. Go below the Newport Pier and see through the clear water beneath it, stealing a secret kiss while we are there. Rent a boat, (cause my family's one is long since gone)  and view the homes in the bay, pointing out all the famous that you remember.   The essentials are to ride the ferry, eat Balboa Bars, bring something home that say's, Balboa or Newport, CA, and take as many pictures as can fit on a 2 G card. The most important thing to do, though, is stay all day and then feel the sunset calm your thoughts and fill you with a quietness that only it's beauty can give you. Breath deeply.
Well, I'm happy to say that they all get it now.  We spent this Christmas visiting family and although my brother took us out on his boat for an afternoon, we didn't get much time at the beach. (not enough for me that is)  I was grumpy on the way back home, not getting my needed fix, when my kids piped up from the back seat...... We have to come back soon, cause we didn't get our personal family time at the  beach!...... We didn't get to ride the ferry or eat the Balboa Bars.... or see the sunset........or, or, or........... Oh, Yeah, I'm raising them right!
Barbara Mardock (Schmok)

Dear Mr. Fournier
I emailed you a long time ago, that I may have these pictures of Ricky's Court somewhere. I am sorry it took so long to get them to you. I was there the day they tore it down. It was the end of an era. You probably get a hundred emails and letters a month so I will remind you... I lived in Balboa when I was growing up until I moved to the NW in 1981. My Aunt was Bobby Mifflin, 'The taffy lady', and I have family in the area even now. I worked in the fun zone when ray and Frank Olson (along with Mr. Kennedy) ran it. I must have heard the recording of the Balboa Bay tour boat announcement ten thousand times when I was working at the Arcade. I would love to hear that again. It started out, "In just a few minutes now....." I hated it then, and miss it now. I worked at Hidi's coffee shop when it was next to the post office. Hidi taught me how to cook and I worked there from 1978-1980 along with Marcella  Portis and Debbie Day. I still remember how to make the salsa that many people swear they saw move while it sat in out on the tables in canning jars. The health dept would never let you get away with that these days. I have been in the restaurant business ever since. I currently own a small restaurant in the quaint little marina community of Westport WA. and it reminds me a great deal of the old Balboa. Back then the locals hung out was Mutt Lynches', by the ferry, and the place to get a nice dinner was Dillman's, or, of course the Pavilion .If you were up past two o'clock, closing the bars, you often found yourself at the Newport Pier eating breakfast at Charlie's Chili. So many good memories tied up in Balboa. It's funny how many of us hold on to this town so tightly. There is truly something special about the place. I have look for many of the people I used to know over the years. I check out your web site hoping to see an email from some old lost friend. I have found some. I know contacts for some: Vicky Solem, Pelone (Robert Owen), Gary Glover, Art Dever, Tim Reiter, Paula Schoepe (Paula's fine foods) Mike Lancelot (Pizza Pete's). I am still looking for contact information for Sean Green, Jesse bailey, John Horn, Tom Menderez, Marcella Portis, Rappit Mike ( I can't remember his last name, but he was the manager at Mutt's before it burned down) Deppie Day, Goomba Jerry and Giovanni and Dean Mund.  It has been so long I was prepared to give up, until recently, when I found Gary Glover after 28 years. Anyway, hope you enjoy the pics.....I threw in a couple of Corny. He was a really neat individual, in spite of himself. Keep up the good work. I look forward to every month's issue.
Barbara Courneya aka Dever aka Fuller

Hi Jim.  I saw your beautiful photos on the wall by the Pavillion yesterday.  The nice people in Davy's Locker told me how to reach you.  I went to high school with a really nice guy who shares your name and wondered if it might be you or someone in your family.  Did anyone in your family named Jim graduate from Temple City High School (near Arcadia) in the early 60's ??  If so, would you tell him hello from Linda "Woody" Whyte - class of '63 .  If it isn't you or a family member may I say anyway how beautiful your work is.  We all hung out around Balboa growing up from the late 50's till now - and I can see the love in your work.  Have a great Holiday, from a new fan
Linda (Whyte) Tindell

We Miss Your Fabulous Gallery :( & You :)!Happy Merry Christmas & Amazing New Year  2009 :):):)!!!

Hi Jim,
I enjoy your site. From 1969 to 1985 I was the UPS driver on the balboa Peninsula. When I worked down there the stores included, Henlines, Balboa Market, Gunderson Drugs, Dees Beauty shop, Bank Of America, Yee Wee Beastie Pet Shop, Balboa Liquor (Cornys favorite place) the Phone Company, Dillmans, The Handmaiden, Winchells Donuts, Bamboo Rattan Gift Shop, The Balboa Theater, and Balboa Cleaners on East Balboa Blvd, those are ones I remember best. On Main street was the Studio Cafe, A Montessori school (where the Inn is now), Heidis Cafe, the Post Office, Donaldsons Dept. store, Blue Sails Stationers, Her Corner, on the corner of Main and East Bay Ave. was a Jeweler, Balboa Bakery, bay Dept store and of course the Pavillion with Davey's Locker. Over on Edgewater was Arts Landing and  the Fun Zone, and Hills Boat Service. I spent 16 wonderful years on the Peninsula and made so many friends. It wasn't like a place to work it was like seeing family everyday. I loved seeing Carl and Julie at Molly Browns and their wonderful Labs Molly and Jackson Brown. I left to become a tractor trailer driver for UPS, I injured my ankle and the constant abuse delivering packages was taking its toal. Leaving my route and my friends behind was possibly the hardest thing I have ever done. In 2006 I retired fom UPS after 38 years but we still visit the Peninsula several times a year. We wandered into a shop last year while at the Boat Parade and ran into Jane Campbell she reopened her shop on Palm Street it used to be on Balboa Blvd (Local Color) Jane and her brother Joe (of Rubys Diner fame) were really great folks and it was wonderful to see Jane again. We don't really see to many people I used to know after all these years, most of the business owners and their business' are there no more. Anyhow thanks for the site it is most enjoyable.
Steve Dull

Will you have the Balboa Boat Rental cam up and running for the Boat Parade? I think this cam makes for better viewing than the Balboa Bay cam. (My 2 worth!!)

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


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