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August 2010/ Vol 12 No 8 


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From TalesOfBalboa the Book

  It was in the early 1970s when Woody Payne, owner of "Woody's Wharf," Jerry Overland, owner of "The Alley West," and Bear Davis, owner of "Bear's Lair," started a friendly game of one-upmanship. At first the pranks were of little consequence, such as bumper stickers stating "Woody Drinks At Alley West." Then the game started to move to new ground, by the competitors gaining entrance to each others bars after hours, having a few drinks and leaving the dirty glasses on the bar along with a signed I.O.U.. Woody got drunk one night (you could always tell when Woody had reached "bullet proof" when he was drinking Aqua Vix, the Swedish 105 proof liquor). Woody never drove when he was drunk but ALWAYS took a cab. One particular night, Woody got drunk and took a cab home to Bayshores leaving his new 1970 El Camino in front of Alley West. Lawerence and Overland woke up a sign painter they knew, hot wired Woody's El Camino and had "Alley West, Fine Gourmet Food And Spirits" painted on both doors and the rear tailgate. Woody woke up the next morning saw the advertising for his neighbors and was pissed. About 2 weeks later, Woody climbs up the garbage shoot at Alley West, opened the doors for his fishing buddies and they drank until 4 or 5 am compliments of Alley West leaving bottles everywhere and the doors wide open. Lawerence and Overland responded by putting 2 lives goats ON the roof at Woody's. The fire dept. showed up chased them around the roof and the goats jumped into the bay and were pulled out by the Harbor Patrol. But it gets better. Christmas week, Overland and Lawerence walk into Woodys's at 8PM on a Friday night with a 9' flocked Xmas tree and stand it up right in front of the hostess stand. Everyone was afraid to touch it because they were all dressed up. Now the coup d gras. Woody gets drunk one night at Bears Lair and when Bear is not looking Woody grabs Bear’s stuffed teddy bear and high-tails it out the door. Bear is furious and sends Woody a letter stating that if he does not have his bear back by 8PM that Friday he and his employees will march thru Woody's Naked! Woody just laughed. At 8:15 PM in walks Bear and 4 of his employees stark naked, each holding a mug of beer and they paraded thru Woody's. Needless to say Woody scrambled to find Bears teddy.

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Are You Ready?

The next major earthquake is due now.
                BE PREPARED

Stock in at least a week's supply of food and water per person. Keep several flashlights ready at all times.
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When it happens, no one is coming to help.
For more information, call Matt Brisbois at the Newport Beach Fire Department. 949.644-3381



Sundays 10 AM - 2 PM
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Viewer Email & Memories

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


I lived on the balboa peninsula in the early 1980's  I worked at the ice cream stand (dipping bananas and balboa bars in chocolate)  Millie was the owner at the time.  Several of my friends lived in the little yellow bungalows across from the restaurant (can't remember the name).  One night I was at the bar ""Bubbles" and saw Buddy Ebson and got his autograph on a napkin.  I was only 17 so it was a big deal too me.  I miss Balboa and would love to get in touch with some of my old friends.

Hi Jim, a friend sent me a copy of your paper.  I worked at the Alley West and Woodys Wharf in the early 70's and your article brought back many a crazy memory.  Don't forget the kite flying contests and bags of manure on the bar!  Woody actually gave me my first job at his hamburger stand down at T street in San Clemente when I was 12 and he was a mail man.  lol so long ago. 
Thanks again...your paper will now be on my favorites list.  Sunny
sunny miller

I remember when my sister Sunny worked at Woody's hamberger stand at T street in San Clememte. And again at Woody's wharf. She also dated Bear. Thanks for the memories!

Hello Jim: I recall punting and sculling with Mike Mayer from the dock in front of Harvey Mayer's place on the canal circa 1952--before the Mayers moved up on the bluff over the Back Bay. We rented a place on the Island every summer through our friend Margie Hadfield who had a real estate office between the grocery store and dress shop (?). Our parents were close friends and i still own a 1934 MG Magnette my Dad bought from Mike Mayer's. Do you have a current email or other contact info for Mike Mayer?
Michael Jacobsen

The weather eye page is not showing the direction of the wind and speed - plus the gusts in the harbor. Been showing north - 000 since at least Sunday. Could you please get it up and working. I depend on it.  Thank you very much. I sail a lot and love that feature.
Linda Ignatius

Dear Jim,
I understand about not being able to to the interviews anymore and that demand on your time has changed so I would like to offer a sincere and heartful THANK YOU for all you have given us to this point. I know that that there are people in the area that would not hesitate to jump in and help with anything you need to keep up the site. I live in Colorado now and your site is my greatest link to my childhood growing up in SoCal.
I appreciate you and all you do immensely.
Don Vanpraag

Looking for the name of the house band at Christian's Hut in Newport Beach. Looking to find the stage name for Charles PIttinger…wife Edith, daughter Heidi.
Lori Harris

I go to your site frequently and love looking at the webcams, but you have fewer now and even two of those aren't working.  Any help on the way?  They really are nice to watch.
Thank you

Dear Jim Fournier,
I just found your site! It's great.
Attached and following is the press release. If you would like to reprint any of the stories at , please let me know.  Anything you need is yours.  Hi-Res image of our new logo is available.

Hi Jim-
Thanks for continuing the gerat website. I want to buy photos of old Balboa. Do yoiu know who sells them?
Thank you for any help you can offer.
Ken Yonkers

I have your webcam set as my wallpaper on my cell phone. I love watching the ferry go back and forth. I watch the people and wonder what their story might be. Thank you for sharing your island with viewers like me who 3 years ago moved away from the closeness of the water, inland. You bring the water and its beauty back to me.
Regina W.

Hello Jim,
Hmmm, what if I was willing to help out.. Doing the leg work and all to make the Paper/site be less of a task for you.
Let me know your thoughts on it.
Don the Beach Comber

Hi Jim,
By now most people in town know, but I would like to impose upon your site for a moment to let everyone who might visit here know that my father, Peter Torre, some time fisherman, founder of Charlie's Chili, some time bartender, and BISPS member, passed away peacefully in his sleep Monday June 28, 2010.
He was in good spirits to the end, but was clear he did not want a big fuss made over his passing.  In accordance with those wishes, his family and friends will gather at Tony's Place in Costa Mesa to celebrate his incredible life July 10th, "around" 1:00 PM
Come by, hoist a beverage, and help us send him off...
Mark Torre

We were at Balboa this past Saturday and went on a 20 min ride on a boat that advertised "Happy Hour at Sea". They took pictures of us and said we could find them on Facebook, but I don't remember the name of the boat. Can you help?

Hi Jim -- Tony and Linda at the barbershop told me you ran a story on them and included a picture of me in the chair.  Do you have an archive on the site?  Perhaps I'm missing it somehow.  I would love to see the story and the picture.
David Follett

Does the Balboa Island Sculling & Punting Society still exist?  A couple of years ago I mailed a letter to their P.O. box, and it came back 6 months later because the rent had not been paid on the box.
Peter Swanson

I Graduated from Buena Park High School in June 1961.  For the Prom that year my steady girlfriend (Judy  Mc.) and I had a great dinner at Berkshires Restaurant.   Those were the days.

I remember the Tale of the Whale Rest very much because I worked there between my sophomore ( 1972 ) and my senior year ( 1974 ) in HS. I went to Costa Mesa HS and worked weekends there upstairs in the Ball Rooms. I was an BUSBOY and would set up the rooms, both sides for Weddings, HS Proms, Business meetings, ect......Also my Mother worked there in the Saloon/Bar as an Cocktail Waitress downstairs between the 1960's until about 1980 or so. The owners Bill & Rita were great people and also took real good care of there employees. For some of you that knew Rita, she passed away sometime in the late 80's or early 90's. I'm not exactly sure when........Bill sold the Rest. and retired to Idaho, I believed to be with his Daughters. Those were great memories and fun times........
John Cummins

Not a memory - well, maybe - but do you know if there are plans to fix the Ferris Wheel cam?
I miss seeing that view each day

I also found a  copy of "Dick's Joint"  in my posession circa 30 years (264/1000) in new condition.......looking for value? THERE REALLY WAS A CAP'N DICK SHAW Richard Blake Shaw, master of the famed character tugboat "Michigan," died unexpectedly while asleep on August 22, 1976. He was sixty years old. A native of Seattle, Shaw attended the Chicago Art Institute and was a regular cartoon contributor to Colliers and the Saturday Evening Post in the thirties. He later was a writer for both Disney Studios and UPA where he was an Academy Award winner for the near-sighted Mr. Magoo cartoon series. Shaw began free-lancing in 1950 in Newport Beach, California, and except for frequent conferences with his long-suffering banker, enjoyed a lifestyle that was the wonder and envy of his many pals. He was a founder and Commodore of the Balboa Island Punting & Sculling Society, an odd assortment of millionaires and bums, known nationally for their boat trip to Las Vegas and train ride to Catalina Island, both Shaw-inspired. Shaw's lodgings, however grand or modest, were always "The Hotel Splendide" and provided a watering hole which Shaw proclaimed "Open 24 Hours a Day." Himself a prodigious boozer, but always a gentleman, Shaw despised drunks. His appetite for, and exploits with the fair sex were legendary, and provided inspiration for the drawings herewith, penned by a world-famous contemporary and carefully saved by Shaw for over two decades. It should be noted that although Shaw abhorred obscenity, like most of us he thoroughly enjoyed vulgarity when redeemed by humor. As a friend, who happens also to be presiding justice of an Appellate Court remarked, "Hell, tnese cartoons aren't dirty they're funny!" Finally, a comment from Shaw's best and dearest friend, Virgil (VIP) Partch, "anyone who would depict my late pal in such fashion must have an evil imagination ... or else have known him very well."
Harold Nemetz

Your link to the Class of 47 doesn't work any more.  Maybe they finally closed it down.

Are you on Facebook?  I am treasurer for Class of 1965 NHHS and we are having our 45th reunion with CDM on October 9, 2010 at the American Legion Post on Balboa Peninsula from 6 to 11 p.m.  I wonder if you ever put upcoming events on your wonderful and informative page?  I lived on Miramar a long time ago and rode my bike up to get donuts on Main Street and my brother delivered papers.  My nephew Mark Underwood works at Davey's Locker.  If you aren't on facebook I think it would be great if you were!  Thanks for letting me comment,
Dale Bremner

Can you please settle a question: What was the address of Wil Wrights Ice Cream Parlor at Dover Dr. and PCH?

There will be a celebration of Ron Whites life on Sunday, May 16th, at 11am, on the Ocean Explorer out of Davey's Locker. All of his friends are welcome. It may be best to be there a bit early to make sure you don't miss the boat. Captain Sandbar will be officiating.
Steve White

So long Ron.  I can't believe you are gone.   Bud and I had some wonderful times at your parties with Skip and Ernie, Ron DeLuz and others.  Always a friend.  Say hello to Bud for me on the other side.
Gail & Bud (deceased 2007)

I too graduated from High School in Southern California in 1965 (La Mirada) and moved to Newport during my senior year - driving the freeway to the Beach Blvd. turnoff everyday. I don't see anything about Cruising the Newport Peninsula.  That was really popular between 1965 and 1969. Do you have any 'historical' information' on this?

When I was a kid I had lots of fun there in Balboa thanks for the memories dad

Ron white was a very exciting man who always had a great smile on his face. Even toward the end his doctor said that he had a zest for life. He was a man of different hobbies and talents. He was a car salesmen, A fisher and Airplane pilot. He loved his family, friends and everyone around him. But i believe that in the last two years of his life he became more intact with his kids and grandkids. I know from personal exsperience. Every time i saw my grandfather he was always teaching me some kid of life leason. Before he passed he was making sure that i knew what i was going to do with my life. He was a man that always kept you laughing about something. There was never a time with him that you felt unloved or lonley. Cause he was alwasy right there. He will me greatly missed and always loved.... By everyone who kenw him, his kids Steve, Doug, Louie, Vince and Maria. His three Daughter-in laws Bonnie, Leanne and Mary as well as the Grandchildren. Kevin, Chris, Sheldon, Niels and Nathen and me Amber. Oh yeah and one on the way... But most of all his loving wife Nadine White...
One service will be held at His home on May 15 at 2pm and the other of course at Max dillmans on May 16 at 2 pm.
Amber Tapia

 I also heard there would be something written about Ron White. I am the Grandaughter of AJ Gibson and grew up my entire life knowing Ron. He was a wonderful man, always full of life and had a laugh that I will always remember. He married my husband and I in 1996 and had many words of wisdom for us. He told my mother two weeks ago "That was one of my better unions"..always quick with a joke even at the end of his life. Ron you will be close in hearts always and missed ~Much Love, Stella
Stella Sanchez

Interesting, what webcams are used for your website?
Thank you.
Saint-Petersburg, Russia:

I understand you are going to be publishing an obituary for Ron White who passed away on April 17, 2010.  We live in Colorado and would appreciate it if you could forward a copy of it to us, or let us know when it is published so we can have access to it. 
Thank you very much.
Frances Lytle

Many Thanx to you for putting up a website devoted to such a wonderful place for so many of us with those memories of years past. I have my own wonderful memories as I was lucky enough to be born in the 60's at Hoag, and I got to live and visit Balboa for all my childhood years.  I am lucky because I had both sides of my family (Watts and Bergeron )from Balboa- my parents both attended Newport, my older brothers starting out their education where my dad started his, at the elementary school along the beach. My grandfather has a memorium plaque amongst the palm trees in the park by the pier.
This e-mail tho is about my grandmother who has been mention before in your mails. Hazel along with my grandfather Coy spent most of their adult lives helping with the development of Balboa since the 30's.  They owned Liqour stores (one shown in your 1951 map/across from Theater), as well doing other businesses. (Remember the bowling/pool playing in the Pavillion?)  As a child I got to be around all the "good old boys" who met daily at Dillmans where I no doubt had my first "Shirley Temple" as I sat and listened to their stories and learned to play cards. They were good teachers!
My father Frank worked the store also and I got to visit my grandparents house which was across the street from the Wedge. Can't pick a nicer place to visit. I spent many pennies at the Fun Zone and my brothers learned fishing from the greats around there-including my Uncle Bob Watts and Great Grandpa Brader-who always had on his suspenders and a smile.
Anyways as I could go on and on-I really just wanted to let your readers know my wonderful grandmother Hazel is turning 98 at the end of this month and she is still in the area. She was always a cheerful store owner/worker and I remember all the people that would drop by just to say hello, if not to buy something. In those times not many places were down there and definitly not open late like they were. I marveled at the fact of them knowing almost anyone that came in. They treated everyone the same-John Wayne to the families that just came for the summers.  I had wonderful role models for how to run your business. They extended credit to those that needed it and I was always amazed at how trusting they were. The stories they and my parents have for that area is priceless to me.
Grandma isn't now in good health but she has ALWAYS remained  positive and upbeat. I have never heard her speak a bad word about anyone. She spent many years volunteering with both Newport and Costa Mesa Senior Centers, along with helping with St. Andrews and Hoag. Thank you for letting me say thanx to any of your families that may have enjoyed my families business and thanx to all those that helped raise generations of good people coming from the area.
If anyone reading this cares to send her good wishes, I hope you do. She would be delighted people remember. To all those who have been lucky, like myself in watching Balboa grow and prosper- I hope the charm of the honest hard working people who helped form the area stays around forever. It will always be in her heart as well as mine...Born April 30, 1912 she loves to chat and will still tell you she has been one Lucky Lady blessed with loving family and friends!!    Just being a good person with a good heart and doing life in moderation is her best advice to being happy. Think I for one will stick with that advice.
Hazel Watts   c/o    697 Plumer St. Costa Mesa,Calif. 92627 or email to me-        
keep up the great work Jim!
susan watts

we lived in balboa for many years on 11st. what a wonderful place to go up groceries were delivered from the balboa market life was slower then you could walk every where shopped at the bay store Is sarah richardson around? lots of kind people fry's market on 15st. crab cooker @ the pier rexall drug store blackies rendevrous ball room newport harbor elem newport harbor high lots of good memories brother john surfed all the time swam across the bay to the island  foggy mornings our lady of mount carmel mass on sundays dillmans for dinner where did the last 40 years go fond memories
dokie hamilton

Hi Jim,
Do you know the name and contact info for the trolley style cab that operates on the peninsula?
pat douglass

where did the faces of balboa page go? we had just won a 200 pound pumpkin at the balboa market and there was a picture of me sitting on top of it. i wanted to show someone that

When I was a kid in the 60's and 70's, there was a restaurant called the Blue Dolphin....I think it was near Lido....does anyone else remember it.
My uncle would take us there all the time

At around 3pm on April 7, 2010 I was on my boat which is on a private pier just down from the Caribe on E. Edgewater and just about 10 feet from the stern of my boat two large  Dolphin swim by slowly - then circle around between the piers and the moorings and then head off in the direction of the Ferry and the jetty. I have spent a lot of time on this pier for the last forty years and this is the first time I have ever seen Dolphin. Perhaps this is Bay warming!  
Jeff Kilpatrick

" SMALL IS BEAUTIFUL " An art show of over 75 small paintings done in the California "Plein Air" style. Now showing at the new SOCALPAPA GALLERY in partnership with the NEWPORT HARBOR HARBOR NAUTICAL MUSEUM. This exhibit and sale will run through June 10 at 600 East Bay Ave. ( on the bay front board walk.) Part of the sales proceeds go to support the museum. For more information call (949) 675-8915 for days and hours.
Albert Stanchfield, Artist member socalpapa

Hi Jim.
Thanks for the great Web cams of Balboa.  We enjoy the opportunity to revisit Balboa vicariously via the cams.
Please note, however -- in case you were not already aware of this -- that the Ferry cam has stopped updating.  Additionally, the date is set incorrectly (it's one day behind) on the Boat Rentals cam.  Otherwise, everything looks okay.
Mike Frandsen

Hi Jim -
Did you know that your ferry webcam has been down since the earthquake yesterday?

There was a message in April of 04 I believe from someone who said they have the last name of Dever and lived at my Grandma Bobbie Dees address 510 ocean front.  Just wondering if you could put me in touch with this person who is probably one of my second cousins.  Thanks

Jim, my Mom owned the clothing store, Surf & Sand from '64-'70's in the exact location where you had your own fantastic store and gallery.  We've had our home down on Seville a the end of the Peninsula since '64.  I am writing to you regarding the 'razing' of The Balboa Market where I worked from the age of 14-18 as everything from a box boy (bagger) to checker to produce man to butcher.  I would like to know, does so-called progress always have to be insane?  Sadly, Balboa is currently a 'drive through' town where people who live here don't always stop and patronize the local businesses.  When Eugene Smith and family owned the Balboa Market, they used to have credit accounts at the market allowing local customers to simply pick up groceries and sign a receipt, then they would be billed at the end of the month which was great for families who sent their kids in to pick up necessities.  The Balboa Market also had a delivery service for groceries which really came in handy for the elderly and in the traffic of the summer.  The Balboa Market also had the best meat department in Southern California with fresh swordfish I used to off-load from fishing boats every summer as well.  These were all services that enhanced the lifestyle of local residents of Balboa.  Now I heard the current owner also owns the Catalina Flyer or whatever it's called and wanted to knock down the building so his customers could have long-term parking right in the middle of town.  WHAT AN EYESORE!  If that's been his plan I doubt he's really had his heart in getting another long-term tenant in the Market.  However, I don't see why the City should buy the building then do the exact same thing, especially if they took issue with his plan.  I understand times change but let's look at this on a brass tacks level; We have an empty building with 10-15 of it's own parking spaces currently, the location is central, the building is virtually a landmark with a beautiful mural which enhances Balboa's character and greets those entering town, and this via

Hey Jim!  Long time no typy.  Hadn't been on your site for quite some time.  How's biz?  So, the Market is going.  Too bad somebody couldn't pick it back up.  I see you must have more than one camera being repaired: the Main Street one?  A friend of mine will be going to Balboa and I wanted to show her some photos before she got there.
I know this will sound morbid but...who's died lately?  I was thinking about Max Dillman and the wonderful prime rib they always had and it dawned on me he's got to be "up there".  Just wondering.  Is Chucky still at the Post Office?  I can always phone or stop by but time is of the essence these days.
Hope all is well with you.

Saw your article on Christian's Hut, I was told it was first built as a bar and sleeping qts. for the crew of the film Mutiny on the Bounty with Clark Gable in 1935.  Do you know the location on Balboa, was it on the island or peninsula, before it was moved to 3121 W PCH and when?
Ed Solter

Does anyone remember Dan Wark, or the Wark family who resided on the Island?  Dan was born in 1947, and died in Vietnam in 1968, at the age  of 21, after only 3 months of service.  I went to Orange Coast Jr. College with Dan in 1966-1967 and we became best friends.  We restored my 1923 Ford Model T together, sitting on the beach, watching the bikini clad girls, and sanding on the wood spokes.
Does life get better than that?  Red headed, freckle faced Dan Wark.  What a good time we had, before that dark day... August 18, 1968.  Shot in the back of the head during an ambush, defending a rubber plantation.
There will always be more questions than answers.
We were young.  I wrote a verse for my Balboa girl friend, to music in 1967 for an album I produced entitled, "Something in the Night."
It said:  "Sometimes, I take you with me to the Cliffs of Newport Beach.  We stand and watch the lights of the Peninsula tease the waters of the Back Bay.
And sometimes, yellow balloons soar high from your fingertips, like smiling faces in the sky.
And sometimes, we stay at home, and like a child having found a new piece to a jig saw puzzle, I fall in love all over."
I was an announcer at KOCM FM 103.1 back then.  Playing Danny Davis trumpets while over looking the ocean out the studio windows from atop the cliffs created a romantic dimension in my life that only I am eternally greatful for.
Only this unique 1960's setting could touch this 20 year old heart so profoundly.  It could never be duplicated again.  Viva Balboa, and the great times we baby boomers had in this romantic age of Orange County.
William H. Belter

Hello webmaster, would like to know if you offer ad space on your website. If so what is your yearly fee for a small text link.

 Hi.. love the webcams.. Did you know that the one facing the merry go round refreshes every 20 seconds.. not every 10.. It counts down from 10 and then counts down again then refreshes.. .. Just a heads up..

Hi, Jim. We're coming down there this coming December for Christmas and we didn't want to miss the harbor light parade. Do they have the dates set  for that yet?
Brian Helsing

I am outraged that the city of Newport Beach would buy and tear down the Balboa Market. That building is a landmark in Balboa. If it was for some useful purpose that would be one thing but to turn it into a parking lot is horrible. It continues to show the greed of city officials. I can't ever remember being in Balboa when the Market wasn't there, it was there at least ten years before I was born. By the way what was the year of the photo taken of the Market in its heyday? Balboa is a charming community loved by many, why does the City feel the need to destroy that charm? It reminds me of the incident where the City came in by night and removed the trees from Main Street. They should be ashamed and the people responsible for this action concerning the Market should be removed from office. I am sure others feel the same way I do and we need to let the City know our outrage, I will make my call today.   

I really enjoy your site. I cannot believe how many years have flown by -- it seems like I was watching the Flight of the Snowbirds (anyone remember that?) just last year. Has anyone visited the new and improved Harbor High? How is it? NHHS '76
Gordon Wagner

Hi Jim,
Pam Kling in Denver here (Mark Ward's sister). just stopping by to say hi, and I hope you are doing well!. Am still in Denver, and still working hard with not enough time for play. happily single.  still think of Balboa...and wonder if you know a way to either forward this to Shelia...or give her my phone number? would love to track her down and catch up!
Pam Kling

going out there to be with Mark changed the course of my life bigtime.  spent the last 3 years hosipcing my step-mom and dad. they are both gone now.  time for me!...
i still see you with your hat, on your bike..and the beautiful flowers you had...i wonder what mischief you are up to now?...what crazy people live in the apartments now?...oh the stories you could tell!!!
take care, my friend,

Hi there,
Hey I just wanted to thank you guys again for getting the funzone webcam back up and running...
It's winter here in Windsor right now and checking you guys out is a breath of fresh (read: warm) air.  I'm moving to Newport beach this summer and I can't wait to stop in and see that firsthand instead of on the cam.
Thanks again!
John Mizerek

at the expense of sounding a little selfish, could you please check on the Fun Zone webcam?  ;)
I'm planning on moving to Newport Beach this Spring and I check out your cams all the time!  The Fun Zone one has been down for about two days now....thanks!
John Mizerek

Do you have picture I can buy of Snug Harbor Bar ?

I too want to know what happened to Breeze (bartender at the Class of 47), and also what happened to Ron White, Ernie and Skipper, and Ron DeLuz and where they are now.  I lived most summers in Balboa from 1940 to 1961 and then again lived there from 1978-1984. 

I live in Newport beach as a kid, lived by the fun zone,, went to Newport beach elementary school in kindergarten in 1972 Mr.. Elliot's class, anybody in that class,, love you website,
Greg Graves

Hey Jim,
Its been a family tradition for many many years now to visit Newport Beach and stay out on the Peninsula.   In the past we have been renting a beach house from cannery rentals  and staying 219 East Balboa Blvd. We love  being able to walk on the boardwalk down to the ferry and Bay Arcade and out to the peir and Rubys. Anyway we called up this year and it is booked for August So I have been looking into finding a new place to stay but since I can only see photos of a beach house would look like I thought I would ask a local if you knew of some beach houses or beach house company's on beach side doesn't have to be beach front but something just off the beach and within walking distance to the fun zone.  In the past we have paid between $1,500 and $1,700 a week.  So if you know of any places you recommend that would be awesome. Thanks so Much for your time.
Love your website!  Keeps me updated all year long!

I was just wondering if anyone kept a  schedule for the New (Old) Balboa Cinema. I think it was a bi-monthly schedule with great double and triple features changing every 2 to 3 days.  I would love to see one and recreate some of those double features for my family.   If someone has one and could post a .jpg somewhere I would love to see it.

Hey there,  I am looking for a job on the ferry over the weekends or in the afternoons during the week. I'm not sure if your the right guy to talk to and if not would you be able to point me in the right direction? Thank you very much and hope to hear from you soon.
Dean Hayland

Hi Jim,
Could have read it in the blab or just local gossip... but been hearing about a Polar Bear Plunge at the Balboa Pier...
Fact or Fiction... If so,  let us know what time... Can't think of a better way to start the 2010!

Is there going to be a polar bear plunge on New Year's Day at the Balboa Pier? If so what time? thanks

Dear Jim,
Merry Christmas to all the people at Balboa.
Greetings from Lima, Peru
Carlos Gálvez

It is that time of year again, Christmas Boat Parade. Looks like you have had some major changes in webcam locations since this summer. 2 on the Fun Zone, lost the one in front of the Pavilion and the one in the Bay  Arcade has gone away. So just the 4 cameras now? only the Ferry crossing  cam to view the parade, and none to view the Pavilion  and the Flyer boarding area?
Tom Scriven

It was nice meeting you on the boat for the Tina's Holiday Cruise last weekend. Your gallery shots are wonderful and I really like your website. Hope to see you at another event!

I came across your site while poking around on Google Earth. Tales of Balboa is a fun visit.
Attached are three photos that may interest you for your "Photo of the Month" section.
The Bumper Car image was shot at the fun zone in the early 70's, probably "73, as were all of these images.
Art's Landing. . , well is the old Art's Landing. The Boats in the Fog was shot somewhere close by, as I recall slightly to the south of the Fun Zone. Photo  Photo  Photo
I wish you much success with your site.

Hello there... your link for the question about the red nose reindeer is not hot. Yes, he has budding antlers.
I love your site....its wonderful and delightful....keep up the great work.

Love this place during christmas time, bummer about the lights not being at Harborside anymore, say it isn't true!.  I am a 40 year CA Native born right at Hoag Hospital in fact.  Work for Balboa Bay Club Resort and have enjoyed the Christmas Boat Parade for years!  I love everything there is about Balboa and Balboa Island, never ever pass up a Balboa Bar!

It is  really sad that the harbor side pavilion does not put there xmas lights up any more hum bug Mr scrooge

Your month of December web page is very well done : )
Kitty Fitzgerald

Does anyone else remember the Christmas Tree Bonfires down by the Newport pier on NewYears Eve?  The teenagers in the neighborhood would go from house to house collecting all the christmas trees they could.  They would pile them into a mountain of trees down by the pier and set the whole thing on fire.  The whole town came out to watch.  I was a kid in Newport in the 60's and 70's.  I remember being amazed by this. 

Love your web site!  My family used to vacation on Balboa Island 1955 - 56.  We loved to go to the Jolly Roger and have tacos, ride the ferry to the fun zone and just enjoy that beautiful setting.  My love was sailing and racing the boats that I built while in high school.  My sister and I would get up in the morning and prepare to go sailing.  I would carry the sail and she would carry the rudder and we would walk down to where the boat was buoyed.  I would sail all day up and down the bay in awe of the beautiful yachts moored along bay.  I sailed all over the bay, even out the jetty into the ocean when I felt brave. Those times sailing in my 12 foot sail boat, and racing my B Utility racing boat in the back bay were the most exhilarating  times of my life.  Photo  Photo
Ron Marchetti

I was a waitress at The Tale of  The Whale in the early 80's. I really enjoyed the people that lived there at the time. Bill and Rita (Caouette) were especially good to the employees of the restaurant at that time. I remember Evelyn and her little candy shop, our favorite breakfast regular's; Helen, who would always leave a quarter, and Betty, who would always leave a dollar, a dollar was a lot at that time! My girlfriends and I loved to go dancing. I dated a few guys that lived in the area, Tim, who worked at Malarky's and that preppy store next to The Pavilion and Jeff, a cute blond surfer boy. I'd love to find some of these people and thank them for the lessons they taught me.

I was wondering if the Tale of the Whale was still in business.  I used to love to eat there at night as it was lovely with all the lights outside.  I have not lived in Orange County since 1995 and have regretted it almost daily.

Hi Jim,
 Sorry I've been out of touch for so long. I lost my parents and have spent most of this decade in a very nasty divorce with my estranged attorney wife. I still find time to enjoy your e-mails and website. Thank you! I noticed the e-mail from Edward Hill inquiring about the "casino" sign and thought I should crawl out from under my pile and respond with a little history.
 The Casino was never actually a casino. It was just a bar. Originally the name was Workman's Casino and was owned by Dad Workman. The name was a carryover from a gambling joint he operated on the other side of Main St. (in the 100 block) in the 1920s. During Prohibition, his was one of the many places in town you could buy alcohol. You would ask for a carton of cigarettes, wink, and he would put a bottle in the box. By the time he moved into the Storey Building, Prohibition had been repealed and gambling had been clamped down on, so he went legitimate. He sold the bar to two guys whose names I can't remember. They may have been brothers. They never cared much for Mr. Workman (few people in town did) and promptly changed the name to Fisherman's Casino, as the sign still reads. The bar days are marked in old pictures by blacked out windows and stainless steel doors in what are now the open arches on the corner, as they were originally. The interior was highlighted by a semicircular bar against the back wall, which was a partition, marked now by a post in the middle of the Mithrush store. At one point they knocked two openings through the partition on either side of the bar and had a dining room in what would, years later, become Hidi's Cafe. When we did the seismic retrofit we pulled up layers of flooring and found the scars where the semicircular bar had been.
 The building was built by Fred Storey in 1930. Balboa Marine Hardware was where the kite store is now. Soto Nishikawa had Soto's Curio Shop on the corner across Main from where the post office is now. He was the first tenant in the space that would later be Hidi's, operating two businesses across from each other. He was very successful until WWII, when he was sent to an internment camp in the Arizona desert. He lost everything and died without a penny to his name after the war. The first tenant in the corner was the Balboa Sport Shop which sold bathing suits and sportswear. Upstairs in the middle unit was the town dentist, Harold Stahler. Above Soto's was the Raymond Beauty Shop. Also upstairs, over the corner, Roland Thompson (the City Attorney for Newport Beach) had his private practice office. In 1936 Judge Robert Gardner spent his first year as an attorney up there. He told me he only made ten dollars the whole year. At the far end of the upstairs, Fred Storey had his office. It doubled as a summer apartment for Rowland Hodgkinson (Hodge) who was the Police Chief. He stayed there when he rented his home out to make extra money.
 As a side note, few people realize as they're walking down Main Street, that Yucca Valley was born there. It was a venture of ten downtown businessmen. Among them were Fred Storey, Roland Thompson, Al Anderson (Balboa Fun Zone), Tommy Boucher (Harbor Master) and my grandfather, John Vogel. They drilled for water, slapped together some buildings, subdivided it and the rest is history.
I guess that's a bit of a long winded way to answer the Casino question.
Thanks again,
Dick Vogel

I sit all day long in cubical land, surrounded by gray, brown, and icky dark green walls, illuminated by harsh fluorescent lights.  Even though it's winter the air conditioning is on all the time.  Your wonderful Balboa cams provide a glimpse of the world beyond.  Hopefully one day I will escape from cubical land and visit your wonderful city and travel across the river on the car ferry.  Maybe I'll even rent Booboo and take him for a walk.  From the millions of unknown cubical workers - thank you!

just happened on this web site sorry to hear about breeze played many nights of cards with him and allways bugged @ work i used to work @ old studio cafe with bruce bradly kerley kyle joe jonsey and terry lots of good memories long time since ive been back also big chuck or down stairs donny would like to hear fom you joe p
joe p

my parents came to Balboa in 1953 from Georgia my mother wanted to see the beach and fish off the pier. My father was in the Marines an went over seas. I attended school there and graduated from New Port Harbor High School there. My mother worked at the Hula Hut and I played on the beach out front and spent many happy hours at the Fun Zone as a teen I danced at the ballroom to the music of Dick Dale I met my husband there  .we moved away but good memories were made there .My parents divorced remarried and stayed on for many years .If anyone knows where Linda Hardy and Isabell Wright are. I'd love to here from them Isabell's parents owned the pet store
Betty Shea

 I am looking for Jeannie Jones, Her Dad Evan Jones ran the Ferry's in the 60's and 70's. She has a brother named Jimmy Jones. They lived at the end of Pearl St. I believe .I am trying to contact them. If you know how to contact them, Please give them my Email and name.....
Thanks   Beau Boise

What is with the image you have on your November calendar?  Its white?

Thanks for the website and webcams. I've had fun with my nephews in New York when I talk with them on the phone as they view me on the internet fun zone webcam.
I have a question about the building in front of the Main St. webcam that was active. It's the building on the corner where the Mirbeth store is located. When you look on the back of the building there is an old logo/sign of a Casino that is faded. We were trying to determine the name of the Casino, but some of the letters were to difficult to read. There is no history about this Casino online. Any history you have on this would be greatly appreciated.  Thank you.
Edward Hill

I cannot get the calendar to come up on any of my three computers
Former Newport Beach Girl, first job was as a barker for the Harbor Cruise at the Fun Zone!
Cindy Hulford
Las Vegas

In response to Bill's email about the Buster Keaton flick:
Today for a college film class I watched another one of Buster Keaton's movies, "The Cameraman," which also shows him boating around the bay with the Balboa Pavilion in the background. I was pretty surprised to see it and found my way here to mention it. Perhaps he or the production company was a fan of the area!
C. Morgan

My Mom used to live down in Balboa during the 70's. My parents were separated at the time and I lived in Northern California. I would always come down to visit her. My aunt also lived down there and met her husband, Robbie Robins. He was the bartender at Dillman's during the 70's. I remember going to visit and we would always go to Dillman's for dinner. I remember the daughter, Diane. I remember her having a daughter. I also remember "Uncle Herbert's Royal Caboose" I'm pretty sure that was the name. It was right across the street from Dillman's. They had the train that would go around at the top of the circular bar and if it stopped over you, you would get a free drink. My uncle is still around. They now live by Bullhead City, AZ. My fondest memory is when for Christmas one year he got me an autographed picture of John Wayne. He was my idol growing up and that was the best present I have ever gotten. He wrote "To Mike, my best. John Wayne 1978" It was his last Christmas. I was supposed to go and visit him, but he got ill and passed away. But I have always cherished that picture and even got to see him once while riding the Balboa Queen and passing by his house. He was standing outside and waved to all of us. Memories are awesome.
Michael Williams

Hello - do you know where I can find any oil paintings FOR SALE by artist Shirley Piha of Balboa? She passed away 3 years ago and lived in Balboa

The web cams are very cool.  Is the CdM Xmas walk on Monday or Sunday this year? (per your home page)

The two new updated web cams are awesome!!!  So clear.  Keep up the good work. 
Bob in Phoenix
Bob Borg

This is great site.  Makes me relive my childhood.  I was born at Hoag Hospital  the first year it opened and lived at the end  of the peninsula until graduating from Newport Harbor High in 1971.  The memories of walking to town with the quarter to go to the Sat. matinee and making sure we hit Gundersons beforehand to get candy.  Having the beach and basically the town to yourself in the winter since most of the homes were summer beach houses.  Sneaking down to the Fun Zone, since we weren't suppose to go there.  Stopping in at the 5 and dime (I forget the name),  the dory fleet coming in at the Newport Pier.  The memories are really alive and Balboa was a wonderful place to grow up - the beach and the bay.

Hi, I used to go to the "Prison of Socrates" to hear a folk singer there.  I can't recall his name for sure, but I do believe, after reading a couple of e-mails on your Balboa site, that it might well have been Tim Morgan.  If so, he did the best version of "Viva La Quinta Brigada" that I have ever heard. Would it be possible to contact him?  It looks like he has continued to record and I'm interested in seeing if he has and, if so, if I might be able to get some of those recordings. Appreciate any help you could give. By the way, my memories of Balboa are just wonderful.  And sipping coffee and listening to folk music at the "Prison of Socrates", simple pleasure that it was, highlights my memories.
Mike Suarez

Hi Jim!  We have named the showcase rooms at the upcoming Folk Alliance Region - West conference in Irvine after OC folk clubs, including The Prison of Socrates. Do you happen to have a photo of this? I'd love to be able to use it on our signage and/or program book?
Steve Dulson

How can I get on the link exchange?

Wow - nice site.  I grew up on Balboa Island (moved to BI in 3rd grade @ Corona del Mar Elementary onto Lincoln Middle School and through high school in '79 from Corona Del Mar HS and a couple of years at O.C. Jr. College before I moved away!).  Worked at the Orange Julius on the peninsula down from the pier in high school for a bit (never could get a job on the ferry - but had friends who did - so I got to cross to work at OJ for free sometimes! :)  Spent many a found nickels, dimes and quarters at the fun zone!  Seemingly spent whole summers in the ocean at ... was it Big and Little Corona beaches (coast guard side of the jetty) (is that "cave" accessible - last time I was through there with my son years ago, it had bars across the entrances and we couldn't get through it).  Lots of fun memories...if I could only afford to live there now :(

Hi Jim,
I received the book and really love it.  Considering my roots are there, I was surprised at the amount of history I didn't know about Balboa.  I sure will look through my photos to see if there's any that might be of interest.  I'll ask my sister Claire & my brother in law.  His name is Dean Cordell, and he ran the paddleboard stand right by you in the 50's, also worked the Ferris Wheel.  My father was Howard Williams, and he was President of the "then" Central Newport Beach Community Association and was responsible in a large part for keeping the beaches public in the area between Alvarado and Island Avenues, and also for the Las Arenas Tennis Courts & Park up by the Girl Scout House.  We lived on Island Avenue, went to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel church and my sister and I both went to Newport Elementary in the 50's.  Ayway, I'll see what I can find and will be in touch.

Maureen (Williams) Hewitt

My great aunt and her husband, Bob Murphy, owned and ran the Rendezvous during the years of the big bands.  They also owned the Bamboo Room.  I am looking for any photos, memories, histories of both places.  Nothing was kept by my family. I was always told the Bob Murphy was the first (now i cannot remember the original title) Balboa Man of the Year.  Also, I am looking for information about using the Bamboo Room to aide in 'rum running' during prohibition . Anyone who knew him, my Aunt Jay, and memories and photos of the Rendezvous Ball Room and /or the Bamboo Room please contact me.
Paige Conrad Boles

The old breakfast place in Cannery Village was called Snug Harbor. It was torn down around 2000 and I think the lot is still bare today. Nobody ever developed it. It was on the corner of Villa and Lafeyette or maybe on the corner of 29th and Lafeyette The Snug Tradition lives on at Malarky's - you'll see them post an ad for a "snug" breakfast on their ad board still.
Aaron Batley

Found a copy of Lord Love a Duck -- a movie made in 1966 with Tuesday Weld and Roddie McDowell and Joan Collins-- and my parents had just bought a house in 1966 on Balboa Peninsula. They filmed part of that film in the old fun zone and I remember hanging around that day watching them film a beach scene on the beach that used to be in front of the Ferris Wheel. In the extra scenes on the DVD they actually show the filming in Balboa on that day in the summer of 1966 and you can see the Ferry going by and the homes on Balboa Island as well. They pulled that old blue floating whale for a scene in the movie and anchored a Baglietto - -which was the Rolls Royce of Italian 70' luxury yachts in that era for some scenes in the movie as well. If anyone wants to see the old fun zone on film get a copy of this DVD. I bought mine from EBay-- and Amazon has it as well. I was 14 years old and remember that day like it was yesterday.
Jeffrey Kilpatrick


Click to visit Balboa Fun Zone Rides

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Editor and chief cook
 & bottle washer
Jim Fournier

I'd really love to hear from you.