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dear jim, once again thank you for the nice talk we had yesterday in your gallery - it made my day :-) it was a real pleasure to exchange with you our attitude about photography and how much we both consider it as life-enrichening.
I would be happy to hear from you from time to time about news from balboa. all the very best and please stay happy and healthy -

Jim: My mistake, Dick Dale's place is next to Jetty View Park, not Peninsula Park. Walter
Walter Quigley

Jim, Trying to find your gallery web site; what's the address. Where are you located. Must tell the story of my high school basketball buddy. We were sittin' on the beach in 1964 and in a mood of stupidity I gave him a shove. I had no idea what his capability was that day at 15th Street near The Stuft Surfer, but he twisted me in knots ; I think I had sand everywhere including my mouth and nose. I never got pushy with Scott Scheid again. By the way, our non-profit seeks hard assets in the form capital investment in resort residencial real estate and we will do it on Balboa Peninsula when it is time. I can't think of a better place. Thanks for your Tales Of Balboa and the web cams. Walter, Orange High '65.
Walter Quigley

Yes that was Dick Dales house but that would have been in the late 70's early 80's. He owned a Surf Shop on East Balboa Blvd. and a hair dressing salon on West Balboa Blvd. Dick is a great guy, and a fantastic musician. We became friends and still talk regularly. I was the UPS driver on the Peninsula from 1969 to 1985. The house was originally built by King Gillette, the razor guy. It has been sold a few times. Another notable who owned it was Humphrey Bogart. Lauren Bacall owned the house next door. That is an interesting story as well.

Re: Alpha prefixes for Newport Phone numbers - Oriole 3 and Oriole 5, if I remember correctly. Also, Costa Mesa, in addition to Kimberly, wasn't there Liberty 8? Do I aslso remember in the days of Alley West ( Now 21 Oceanfront) for a while there was a bumper sticker claiming "Woody Drinks At Alley West"?
Good times. good people.

I visit the American Legion over on 15th, right there on the harbor every time I,m in the neighborhood. What a wonderful and very hospitable organization it is. I can not dwell enough on its purpose and mission. We will get through the things that we are going through. What a pristine environment for members to visit and relax. I love The Peninsula. Good Day,
Walter Quigley

Fill me in, That big house out next to Peninsula Park, the last house on the channel as you walk toward the wedge belonged to Dick Dale in the early 60's and maybe beyond. Am I right? Dick is still working and can be found by entert his name into search. He works hard. I sure love The Peninsula. My buddy Scott and I surfed The Wedge back in '64-'65.
Walter Quigley

@Roy Christensen, Re: Woody's The pertinent info is you're looking for is here:

Forgot to add, I believe Woody's last name was Payne not Herman!

Woody did own the restaurant. I believe if memory serves me well, Woody was hit by a car while crossing PCH near the Villa Nova Restaurant, he didn't survive. Woody's was sold and I believe Chuck Norris bought it. Like I said if memory serves me well this is correct. Anyone who knows different feel free to correct me.

Can somebody settle an argument for us. Woody's Wharf restaurant I believe was owned by Woody Herman. Is this correct? Thank you.
Roy Christensen

What was the name of the hypnotist, that did shows at the Villa Marina, in the 1960s? Was the first name Pat? Thanks!

What happened to NANNA'S Mexican restaurant that was right next to the ferry portal landing at the Newport side? The best of food, all home crafted and the price was right, my girl friend Alex Salazar was the grand daughter of Nanna, great people!

Enjoying your great new site. Will gather memories and try to share a few. Grew up on the Island 1943+ (yes, I'm an oldie) graduated from Harbor High 1958. Live in Reno since graduating from UNR.
Sharon Lyman Quinn

What were the alpha prefix phone numbers in Newport Beach? Costa Mesa was KImberly.

Love this new web cam shot of the intersection through the gazebo, the old Studio Cafe on the right and the Balboa Inn across the street.
Gail Stringer Brooks Wilson

There were/are quite a number of well known big band musicians in Newport/Balboa. Possibly the Pasadena//Balboa connection.

I just noticed that the "twin palms" are missing. When did that happen?

Does anyone remember Eugene Studebaker Wierbach and his daughter Sandy (Alex) who lived in Balboa Island? I would love to hear more about them..He may have been know by the name Papo. He was my grandfather and she was my mother..They would have been there in the early 50's

My mother Alex or Sandy dated a musician named Ansel in the Balboa/Newport Beach area. He may have played in the horn section of the Stan Kenton orchestra/band and with June Christy. This would have been around 1953. I would love to find information about him..a last name would help. Information on family members would be awesome.

Wish you would move Camera 7 slightly to the left so we could see the ferry arriving on Balboa as well as leaving the peninsula. Thank you for your consideration.
Ann Norman

Just discovered your site. What a pleasure in reading all about Newport Beach and Balboa. We had a summer home on Anade behind the Library. As a youngster my folks would come down from Pasadena and rent a house on Balboa Island. I've had many haircuts from Mr. Balboa, Bills Market was a great little store. Bill would cash my out of town checks and our two sons would find pop bottles and turn them into money for the fun zone. After WWII when they dredged the back bay they piped the sludge into West Newport along River and Neptune. I purchased a city block out there that for a year it took to bleach the muck out into clean sand. Linda Darnell liked the area and purchased a lot from me. A friend, Stan Ahlman , we formed a partnership and remodeled and built several houses in NB. Our first bid job was a remodel for Ray Milland on Lido. Dillman's was our favorite watering hole and Max always was glad to see us when we arrived. George Pearlan had a couple of stations and would adjust my car to keep it from pinging each summer. Fry of Fry's Market lived across the street from us. The Balboa Beacon published over a dozen of my stories about Balboa, the area has always been very special to us.
Roy Christensen

does anyone remember the local newspaper in Newport beach in 1969 ,I was a little kid and used to play on the boats at the pavilion,and a newspaper reporter came by and took my picture,my grandparents took the clipping out of the paper,but,they passed and I can not find it,I would like to find out how to get a copy and show my kids,thanks for any help
greg graves

Bill Cook -
It could be Chuck Beauvais, who was a prodigious painter in the 60's and early 70's.
I have a couple of his boat scenes, and the (in)famous "pink lady" nude that embarrassed my sister every time her friends came over to find it over the mantle ;)
Marco Torre

Will the Balboa boat rental site be coming back? It's so much better than the front as half the time that is in shadow.
Thank you....

I was your Daily Pilot delivery boy 60-62

It's back!
Thanks so much Jim. Balboa is so important to me, as a place I grew up, and where my family had a business for many years. I think no one else captures the important parts of Balboa and all it means to so many people as you do with this site. Simply by posting email messages you receive from visitors you perform an immense service to everyone who holds Balboa in a special place in their heart. My particular time in Balboa spans the years from 1957 to 1992. Surely the 'golden years' in there somewhere. I treasure hearing from people who love Balboa and the time they were there, either as visitors or residents, or something in between. Every message you post triggers a memory for me. You cannot overestimate the importance of this web site. As I related to your site some years ago, my family owned Playland Arcade in the block between the Fun Zone and the Pavilion from 1957 to 1992. I'd be especially interested in hearing from people who remember Playland Arcade. And to the very many young people who I was so fortunate to have working with me at Playland, THANK YOU. I'd love it if you could post here and relate your memories of that time.
Alan Sandoval

To Bill Cook,
I was the entertainer at Woodys in 1971&1972. Jim would have to verify, but there was an artist named Virgl Partch that used to do sketches I believe.
Mike Murphy

My girlfriend and I use to go to Woody's on Sunday afternoons in the early 70's. For a period of time they had an artist who would rapidly paint great pictures on large canvas, from the back of a boat while speaking to the patrons via microphone. He was quite the artist and showman. My girlfriend, who became my wife, bought one for me and it has been my prize possession, even more so now that she has passed away. He rarely signed the art but he did mine. I am hoping someone can tell me the artist name. I can only make out the first few letters. It looks like Beau ?
Bill Cook

Does anyone here know Sandy Fisher. She lived there in late 80's?

To all of my friends and visitors. I'm in the process of doing some small updates and changes. Please excuse any mistakes.
Jim Fournier

Merry Christmas to you, Jim! Sergey, Leslie and Jonathan (former tenants of Rolf & Ruth Laib's "Sand Castle")

A very Merry Christmas to everyone.
Jim Fournier

To PJ Wheeler:
I have no problem whatsoever being a realist and WOW... were you having a bad day when you sat down and wrote this rambling foolishness? Newport Beach in no way, shape or form sucks. It is, and always has been paradise. Sorry that you hate smog, but it is a reality in Southern California. And as for your concern about “the hills” … well, it’ called development, growth, and progress. The attitude of those who live on Balboa remains much as it always has been: friendly, welcoming, and one that clearly represents someone who lives a blessed lifestyle. Arnold now lives in OC, no one cares where you were born, and in all the years that I personally knew John Wayne – he never referred to himself as “Mr. Morrison”. Yes, he did dislike the airport because the take-off flight-path was lmost directly over his home, but why you take issue with OC naming the airport in his memory is … well, silly. I do agree that anyone who arrived in our community after 1978 missed decades of amazing events and history, but that they have been, since 1978, building their own amazing history. And finally, speaking for those of us who still live in and love Newport Beach and South OC, we too are glad that you didn’t spawn any hate-filled off-springs that would probably find themselves more comfortable in the mobile home community that you now reside, rather than the shining star of Orange County, California.
A Life-Long NB Resident

Merry Christmas from Denver. I was out there a few weeks ago and it was really hard to leave,,,,, again!
Grew up in the OC and sure do miss it
Don Vanpraag

Thanks for the new views - altho' I miss the view from your Balboa Gallery by the ferry.

Great new cameras, Jim! Thanks for updating us on the status of the Balboa Gallery. Looks like you got a great spot now!

Thanks for the updated web cams!!
Welcome back! I was going through withdrawal! Love the new camera views!

Thanks for your trouble, great bay views.

Merry Christmas to all of my good friends. Sorry about the problems with Tales of Balboa. Balboa Gallery moved to a new location on the bay front two months ago and it has taken all of this time to get an interner connection. Add to this computer problems and we have a real mess. I'm glad to say things are back to normal. I hope. I've added two new live cams for you Balboa buffs that can't get enough of Balboa. Enjoy Thanks for sticking with Tales of Balboa through thick and thin.
Jim Fournier

Tales seems to be adrift again, too bad.

Now for sale exclusively at Ebay: The Original Soundtrack Recording of Dirty Feet, the 1965 movie starring Tim Morgon. Re-mastered by Karl Machat in Montreal, Canada. See link below or simply go to Ebay and enter, TIM MORGON DIRTY FEET SOUNDTRACK CD We have sent a copy to Tim and Spence Hathaway and folk singer Susan Renaker.
Nicholas and Michael Campbell

does anyone remember where Nana's was located before the ferry entrance ? I do

Collecting bottles on the beach, playing in huge shore break between A and B streets, riding bikes along the oceanfront to school everyday, Balboa theater admission, eleven cents, fear was nonexistent, fishing in the bay.
Ricky Lowe


I just found out that a wonderful restaurant/bar in Balboa that used to be Dillman's, then the Shorehouse at Main and Balboa Blvd. has been taken over, remodeled and turned into a Pizza place called Cruisers. It makes my heart sink to think of those cozy, beautiful red leather booths, classic round bar in the middle, polished wood walls with trophy fish is now a place for bikers who want pizza. The interior has been completely torn out, they kept the round bar but took all the leather away and now have wood planks. I knew Max Dillman well and he personally greeted the diners who went there for full course meals with top notch service and real tablecloths. So sad. I wanted to return for a visit, but now I think, what's the use? All the places I loved are gone.
Gail Stringer Brooks Wilson

Lighten up PJ!

You know, I hate to be the realist, but, the reality is that Newport now officially sucks. Has anybody else ever noticed that many of the late summer days are kind of orange in tint? The inland basin smog is the reason...Catalina used to be visiable every day. Now? To see it is a treat. And what happened to the hills? Looks to me like they are covered with plastic people living plastic lives. And the attitude of people living on Balboa Island...sheesh! Talk about the Hummer driving, small peni* crowd! Arnold would fit right in! And West Newport was always a bit rough and tumble, but now it's alot of folk who would fit in just as well in Palmdale or Lancaster. And this is an opinion coming from somebody who was born on Pearl Street in 1962 (mom couldn't get to Hoag) I know! I lived there untill I saw the worst coming (thanks, Ms. Irvine), and left in '92. Did you all know that John Wayne (Mr. Morrison to us) HATED the airport, and opposed any expansion of it? And what did the county do when he passed on? Renamed OC airport in his honor!
Jim, your site is delightful, but it is about time somebody pointed out that it is far from peaches and cream. Those of you who didn't arrive until after 1978 wouldn't believe what you missed, nor that you actually added to the problem by arriving in the first place. Welcome to reality! I sure am glad that I didn't reproduce and add to the mess that is now Southern California!
PJ Wheeler

I grew up on Oceanfront and A Street and have wonderful memories of after dinner walks on the pier, learning to ride my bike in the park in front of my house and Mom sendign me on last minute runs to Balboa Market for missing dinner ingredients. My folks owned Clarke's Surf Shop on 15th and I spent my childhood riding back and forth between Balboa and the shop - my second home. I miss those days!
I also remember Nana's Restaurant as a favorite spot for amazing food. A family favorite!
Susan Clarke

"Loved getting ice cream at the Jolly Roger window" ...And Sunday morning breakfasts ....and coming of age in Balboa in the seventies.....thanks for the daydream, Angles in pirate suits they were....

Hello Editor "Tales of Balboa",
I am looking for information about the S. S. Wheeler that was located at 1115 E. Balboa Blvd. Is there a source of information, photographs, etc that I could have access to?
Garry Parrish

Our family has been coming to Newport Beach and Balboa Peninsula each summer for about 35 years. The classic 1-2 week beach house rental. So many memories of the Fun Zone and sadly, it is nothing like it use to be.
No more: Scary Dark Ride, Tea Cups, Bumper Cars, Merry Go Round, Balboa Market. Thank goodness the arcades are still there - although a bit long in the tooth. Now we have kids and they are not seeing the "Fun" in the Fun Zone. In fact we have nick named it the "Not So Fun Zone". Yes there are carnival attractions if you like $10 2-3 minute rides after waiting in a long line. Or maybe you can talk your kids into going to the museum and learning centers once (good luck getting them to go twice).
Also, nothing like getting there in the morning with super tourists lined up around the corner with backpacks waiting for the ride to Catalina. And forget about trying to grab a slice of pizza or ferry ride when the self-entitled groms - er junior lifeguards - take over the whole place.
We've gradually moved towards the peninsula over the years and the most recent stay was south of Balboa Pier. Here's something the beach rental descriptions fail to mention: "EVERY DAY, starting at exactly 7:00 am in the morning, you will here the delightful sound of major jet liners taking off from John Wayne Airport". It's like an alarm clock. Count on this.
Still, the area has its pluses: A great beach and warm water. Bike path that if you are up for the challenge, you can ride from Balboa Pier to Huntington Pier for a nice 15 mile (round-trip) bike ride. Balboa island is still charming (on bikes I recommend taking the first alley way off the ferry on the right if you want to get to the main street (Marine). World Class shopping and dinning.
I still love the area, just looking for something that suits my family a little more these days.
I just wanted to write this before the Balboa Brain Trust decides to put another learning center up in place of something fun. Kids are on summer break and want rides/arcades/laser tag and not museums and learning centers. They do that in school.
Beach Bum Guy

Nana Salazar was a year ahead of me at Mater Dei and a friend of my sister Kathleen. Nana used to date Judge Roger Robbins. We ate there a lot in early 50's.
Dennis Halloran

Our parents took us to Balboa the last 2 weeks in August when we were kids in the '40's from Bakersfield. Does anyone remember someone who invented what he called a Doty Board? He let my dad and brother ride it. A rider would stand on a wooden board, probably a little bigger than a boogie board, and hold onto a rope. It had a gas motor and you'd ride standing up. When you let go of the rope the motor would cut off. Doty told Dad it would be the "next big thing" on the Bay.
Loved getting ice cream at the Jolly Roger window and Balboa Bars. And the bump cars, 2nd small Ferris wheel, and merry-go-round at the Fun Zone.

Hello! I am wondering if anyone remembers my grandfather's restaurant from the 50's & 60's? It was Mexican Food on the penninsula just across from the Fun Zone where you enter the ferry. I think the name was Dad's or maybe Nana's, I can't remember. My grandfather's name was Alex Salazar, he and my great grandmother ran the place. It was no frills, perfect for the beach and great food! When I was very young, my mom & her sisters Elenita (Nana), Little Alex & Alice worked at The restaurant and at the frozen banana place in the same building. He also owned Original Pizza by the NB pier. I spent many years running around that place. Bob, who owned the fun zone was one of my grandfather's best friends and was very kind to me. Also, there were trampolines right by the Fun Zone also. Lots of fun growing up around there.
Stephenie Ramirez

Interesting (old) read:
Seems the subject of cruise ships in Newport Beach is being bandied about again. The local shops may sell more T shirts and maybe a burger. Cruise ship passengers do not spend their lodging and dining dollars on shore however, leading to some opinions that they are nor a positive addition.
Location important in my opinion - cruise ships seem natural in Catalina - maybe not so much in places like the BVI and Jamaica from what I have seen. - here is the link that started the ball rolling - and many are whispering in my ear that this is what all the coming changes are about .... Think the museum has enough staying power to see the day cruise ship tenders land on their docks for the 711 type goodies, sunglasses and one stop boat rentals? - grin
Congrats to Tony in selling Marina WaterSports to the Museum ....two best days in a man life - when he buys and sells his boat business - Aloha
good read:

We've been visiting balboa from the uk for the last 18 years and have seen the numerous changes in that time. I always enjoy coming back each year, this year for 6 weeks, parking up in the A street lot and pitching my towel by tower A and enjoying the awesome view. In those years we have seen the MSSSteam groms grow from small boys to young men and enhance their skimboarding skills each year. Go for it. Zane, Grant and all!!!! Our short trips on the ferry accross to the island for a Balboa Bar and lunch at Wilmas are always a delight. My walls at home are covered with photographs of Balboa, the ocean and the ferries, keeping me happy when I'm away from what I wish was my home town! See you in August/September 2014.

It's been a month - are you going to get the Balboa Rental Camera back up and running - it shows a great view of the channel........and I miss it!

My name is Harold Dieckman. My sister and I spent every summer on Balboa Island from 1959, to 1975. Our Grandmother bought a house on Opal Ave. in 1959. I don't remember the address of that one, but it was 3 doors from the South Bayfront. There was actually a vacant sandlot next door then. Directly on the South Bayfront was a little walk up food stand, which also rented pink wooden paddleboards. The following year, my Grandmother sold the house on Opal Ave, and bought 201,and 201 1/2 Ruby Ave. This property stood at the corner of Ruby and Park Ave. on the north side of Park. We spent every summer there from 1960-1975. In 1969, my mother, Charlotte Dieckman, had the house remodeled, and added a custom made black rot iron front gate with the initial "D". Upon visiting the island in May 2014, I was Amazed to find the entire house was different, but the gate with "D" on it was still there. I was glad to know that a small part of my family's history still remains in a place that holds so many happy memories for my sister and I. Sincerely, Harold Dieckman

Don't worry about going back. The bay, pier, and beach front are pretty much the same. The Ferris wheel is still there and the Pavilion as well as the "Penny Arcade" (of coarse, not a penny anymore), shops, restaurants, ferry, etc.
My aunt and uncle had a cabin a block off of the Newport Pier during the 40's, 50's and 60's and I spent many summers there. Lots of great memories of time at Balboa pitching pennies at the arcade and swimming to the floating dock in the bay.
Last week I rented a condo across from the Newport Grammer school on Balboa Ave. (the same school my cousin attended in the 40's, she is 73 now and I am 72). What a nostalgic trip. My husband and grandsons (12 and 15) came with me. We sat on the beach, rode the waves on boogie boards, walked the board walk, rode bikes, went deep sea fishing. What a blast from the past.
If I could, I would spend all of my summers there.
Thanks for this site and the 1951 circa balboa map. Boy did it bring back good memories.
Carolyn Palmer

My family stayed in Balboa every summer during the 1950s. We rented a small yellow cottage in an area we called the "Yellow Cabins". Very rustic, with an outdoor shower. The small beach was a short walk away, right in front of a restaurant called (I believe) "The Christian Hut". Very south seas in decor. I went down to the amusement park every day, to ride the merry-go-round, and toss ping pong balls in fish bowls. I almost always went home with a gold fish or two. Even though I was only 7 or 8 years old, I wandered about freely. In the evening, we road the ferry to Lido Isle.These are happy memories from my childhood. Now in my 70s, I'd love to go back, but fear the changes would be too great.

Hi Jim this Phil greiwe i worked at the post office from 1997 to 2003 . I sure miss the town of balboa it was a pleasure to work at that station.I live in Nevada now and enjoy the hot whether .I wood like to see the calender print outs again on the web site. see you

Does anyone remember the Around the Island Ferry that stopped at the public piers? I have been painting the island memories.........larry remember collecting all the old Christmas trees from the alley in our camp in the forest.....until my Dad came home and we had to take them all back.....................the fire engine would come roaring by and the whole island would run to see what was going on.
Larry Rolph

I remember being on a boy scout charter to Catalina circa 1964 -5 on the Island Queen. Remember the "islander discount" and having to pay Doug Bombard a landing fee at Two Harbors?
I have heard tell that the current Pavilion PUC permit to Avalon has its origins in those early Island Queen trips. The Queen of Balboa being built in 1974 by Crystaliner / Costa Mesa - same hull as the Tiki and one of the Hornblower boats. Last but not least The Pavilion Queen - converted to a private residence I hear.
I also remember the day the flyer came to town and her first trip to Catalina - still an impressive boat. Bob Black sending her off every morning? - please share my best. He would know about the Pavilion Queen

Does anyone remember Mr. Mikes, Jollys, Red Carpet back in the late 60's?

When did the "Island Queen" make its last run to Catalina?

I lived in newport beach from 1969--1973- we lived by the fun zone in some small yellow cottages.I used to ride the ferry all day long ,for free as a kid, also does anyone remember what the local newspaper was at that time, they have a picture of me as a kid jumping on the boats in the marina, really enjoy your webisite,,thank you
greg graves

Going through some of my bookmarks/favorites, I have most of the old/original Tales of Balboa webcam links...this one is of interest as it still shows the Fun Zone with the carousel still intact and operating. This is from Oct 11, 2010 (going by the image's time stamp).

My first house as a "grown up", with 3 friends was on Island Ave in 1971. Cost $200/month during the school year.
My last home on the Peninsula, in 1975, was a courtyard apartment on the bay (we called it the Back Bay - but now far up) just past Lido Island. A lovely shade of pink and now torn down. Somewhere I have a photo of the Bay out the large picture window. But I wish I could find photos of the courtyard and design. I'd love to find a setting like that again!

A tad weird. Clearing out old links from desktop i tapped on this one. Last visit 9/23/2011. Opened to take a peek at the the ole home town, moved to Hood River, Ore. 5 yrs ago. The first car to drive on the ferry is the exact make and model of my car. Seems someone has taken my place in Balboa. I'm waving from here, just turn the camera way north, smiles,
Lisa Rodriguez

Support Democracy. Buy a politician, you can't afford not to own one.
Jim Fournier

Thanks for your webcam of one of my favorite places.  I work in a cubicle, so it's nice to have a view of the outside world.  You used to have this camera pointed up a little, so that you could also see the Irvine skyline, and I think also Santiago (Saddleback) Peak.  Could you please nudge the camera up a bit so it's like that again?
John Warren

Hi Jim,
Are there still copies of your "Tales Of Balboa" book available?? If so, how do I order one or where could I have a friend buy one who lives in Newport Beach?
Mike Murphy
Sun Valley, Idaho

RE: The Jolly Roger...The JR closed about 1982. I was one of the last waiters, and the last of a years long tradition in my family of working there and on the ferry.
PJ Wheeler

When did The Jolly Rodger leave Balboa  Island?
George Bless

@ Gordon Wagner
The freighter that ran aground was the Coos Bay. As I recall it lost it's rudder and drifted out of control, just missing the end of the Balboa pier. It beached just west of the pier. People can e-mail me for a picture. Put Coos Bay in the subject line.
Dick Vogel
Dick Vogel

Does anyone remember a freighter than ran aground off of the point on the peninsula in either 1975 or 1976? I can remember this clearly but cannot find a photograph of it! Thanks!
Gordon Wagner

I love this sight and I love Balboa and its history.  I am a custom car historian from the era of the late 1940s thru 1956. There were a lot of builders from Los Angeles that would make sure to have their cars ready Balweek. I am looking for any photos, slides or anything from Balweek from the 50s. They would rush to come dance at the Rendezvous. It would also turn into a carshow with all the beautiful cars on display. They would park around the Associated gas station and the lot that was across the street.Thank you in advance for any help. Thanks for the great website
Jeff N.

Lived Lido Isle many years.  Took red car to work at times. remember Hurricane that took out both piers,  Remember Gambling ship Rex Stored in Harbor.  Won a toy sailboat at Newport Theatre where South Coast Shipyards was later. Worked there as a kid building Minesweepers and Crash Boats before going into Army Air Force.  Remember Bamboo Room and the R Ballroom well.  Mermaid maltshop  & the other one that had 100 flavors. Tried them all) Also the Japanese Shop in Balboa & Penny Arcade in Balboa.  Attended Harbor Hi 1944 I think.  Worked Chas Artz Tackle Store for 12.5 cents an hour in Newport  Beach.  Also worked of Clyan Halls Sturdie Toys in Costa Mesa for a bit. Your site brings back memories thanks  Sandy
Mr Sandy Porter

I am trying to find a poster for Bal Week,  it would have been 1967, 1966.  I was on the poster, it was black and white and I was sitting on the beach.  If you have one ir know where I could get one, I would be happy wit a copy. 

Merry Christmas Jim.
Gail Stringer Wilson

We miss coming to this area, haven't been there in a few years. Our son lived in Newport Beach for 7 years, now he's back on the East Coast which is where we live. We would come out to see him 2-3 times a year. Have to plan a trip back soon. Merry Christmas-Happy New Year

Be sure to watch the Christmas Boat Parade, December 18th thru the 22nd. The parade will be passing the Tales of Balboa camera just after 7 PM PST.
Jim Fournier

The best Christmas gift I could receive is to see Tales of Balboa back.
I spent my youth working all over the fun zone, Playland and Bay arcade   the Balboa market, The Pavilion  and for  Dal Grettenbergers Harbor cruise. and the old Pavilion Queen My firsts Saving account was at the old Bank of American building in the early 60's. My sister Debbie was a go go dancer at the Rendezvou.
Now living in Florida I need to take a look at the bay on the web cams ever couple of days to remind me of how magical Balboa really is.
Thank you for coming back
Merry Christmas
Todd Christensen

OMG.  I was lost when I thought your site was gone.  I am so happy to see it back up.  My fondest memories are of my family trips to the OC.  Now as a parent I travel with my own children to visit family and spend time on these same beaches.  Thank You.

Memories of Tommy's Paddleboards, Christians Hut, and the Yellow Houses (with real ice boxes) come back with every visit
Ken Evans

Hi Jim,
Several years ago I sent you a photograph of my uncle, Homer "Smitty" Smith (Balboa Market). I noticed an email from my cousin, Deborah (Debbie) Smith. I sent her an email at that time, but never heard back from her (not sure if the email was good). I have not been in touch with her since the early 60's, and really wish to now. Do you have any way of contacting her?
Pat Taylor

I recall the great breakfasts at Hidi's Cafe, at both locations in the 70s and 80s.  You really felt like one of the crowd when Hidi insulted you.  She made great salsas.
Britta's went into Hidi's second location and was a really fine restaurant.  I miss them both.
Alan Bunnage

Great having the site back up. I first came to Balboa in 1943 when my Dad was Western regional director of the USO. We lived right behind Christians Hut.  I grew up mostly in Santa Ana but was off to the beaches of Newport, on bikes, motor scooters, cars and hitch hiking any free moment. Retired back on the Peninsula 12 years ago.  My wife worked for years at Pavilion as GM and was partner in the catering operation when we met 30 years ago. Great to see Bubbles and Dillmans starting back up.
Dennis Halloran and Leslie Mason Halloran

Remember, Holiday Tree Lighting on  Saturday, December 7,  5 PM - 7Pm
Jim Fournier

Be sure to watch the Christmas Boat Parade on Thursday, December 19. Balboa's own Santa Claus Jim will be the parade's Santa Claus.
Jim Fournier


What's going on with the fun Zone bay front where the bungee jump and the shark ride are.  Where are all the visitors going to stand to view the Christmas Boat Parade. Is it true that the fun Zone is going to put up bleachers where the hamster ball was and charge a $10.00 per person fee for people to use them for just one hour? Why does the city let this happen?  it's obvious palms are being greased right and left by very deep pockets and there is nothing anyone can do about it.

Hi Jim-
Do you take donations, or are you independently wealthy? Also, I will assume that you have noticed that the Ferry Cam has drooped a bit, and the skyline is no longer visible. The skyline makes the view complete!
Keep on trucking, and thank you for your site. PJ Wheeler, born and bred on the island.
PS: I always wonder about a boy I knew named Derek, who used to live above the building on South Bay Front, about where the Pilates building is now...the dock was the Shell Marine Fuel Station...a few doors down from Dons' Market on the Island. Derek, where are you?

Thank you, thank you, thank you for taking back the Tales of Balboa web site.  You were missed.  Love seeing everyone's comments about their experiences in Balboa.  Having grown up in Balboa, I also try to see if I recognize any of the people in your blog in hopes of reconnecting again and sharing memories.   So glad you are back.
Gail (Stringer Brooks) Wilson

Hello. It's great to see your site back up and running. Thanks for all the hard work.
My wife and I have noticed that your main webcam looks like it's fallen down a little and the skyline is not longer showing. Just wanted to let you know in case there is a problem.

FCBzAh Great post .Much thanks again. Fantastic.
top seo guys

What's happening in Balboa.
There are two new eating establishments coming to Balboa. On the corner of Balboa and Palm, the old Bubbles Night Club / Gallery, Maverick's will be opening around the end of the year. Maverick's will be a beer pub and sports bar.. At the corner of Balboa and Main, the old Karem's / Dillman's / Shorehouse, will be Cruisers. A restaurant / bar with a beach cruiser theme. Opening around the end of the year.  Remember, Holiday Tree Lighting on  Saturday, December 7,  5 PM - 7Pm. It's going to be a really big show this year.
Santa Claus Jim will be there for the kids of all ages, handing out candy canes and autographed Santa photos. The new mural on the wall of the Balboa Bakery, corner of Main and Bay, is being painted by artists Art Mortimer and Norm White with the help of an army of volunteer worker ants. The mural will depict a postcard with with a circa 1918 downtown Balboa color photo. Worker ants needed. If you would like to help on this great Balboa Mural project, stop by the mural and ask for Art. The Mural is sponsored by Dick Barker, Community Foundation of Balboa Peninsula Point.
Jim Fournier

I'll tell you many things about this little Hamlet if your interested. I lived there during great and interesting times.
James Partin 1938 - 1949  Balboa

I was born & 406 E.. central Balboa Ca. We lived across the street from the "Doll House" My uncle Clarence was manager of the Bamboo Rm. It was a famous lounge for movie stars and  pilots from El Toro Marine base  WW2. Johnny Weismiller (Tarzan) would come down to go boating and would take us kids swimming in his Tarzan suit at the beach in front of the fun zone. In those days it was a small beach with a diving float. Errol Flynn was a regular with his friend  Freddie. There was Pirate's week from 1944 to 1945 lot's of fun.  the commercial fishing boats were right up to P.C.H. Where they started to build the miracle mile from the Arches to the bridge over the backbay. There's much more.  


Came to California 2000 and 2001 visited Newport many times....sailed across on the Bilboa ferry... miss it all so the lifestyle and the beaches...I love California.....stayed in Garden grove....thanks for the webcams, but why do we not the little wheel ride and street view of Bilboa anymore? best wishes to you all. Howard, Hull, East Yorkshire, England.
Howard Parker

I took a chance to see if the site was back up and was I surprised to see it is! I know I speak for everyone who visits the site. THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH for taking care of our memories!! 
Jim you're the greatest!

Hi Jim,

I was feeling a bit nostalgic and went looking for photos of Mr. Fun Foods online.  I started working there for Millie when I was 10 years old, way back in 1979, making cotton candy and washing her windows.  I stayed with her there until 1986.  Needless to say, that was a huge part of my young life, having worked there from my days at Newport Elementary all the way through my time at Harbor High.  I was just hoping to have a look at the place again.  Not Balboa Beach Treats, but Mr. Fun Foods, as it was then.  I was very surprised when the only picture I could find was the one taken from the side on your site during the floods. I’m writing today to ask if you happen to have any others.  And if you do, would you please send them along?  It sure would put a smile on this Balboa Girl’s face.
Blessings and kindness to you and yours.
Lauren Jayne

for many years I have been aware of a story about the Chevy dealership on PCH in the early 1950's giving away vacant lots on Balboa Island as a premium for buying a car. Is there any truth to this?
cap'n Mike

Hey Jim,
New camera faces North?

Glad to see your back! What happened to the weather / wind that was on the left of the page?

Hi Jim!
Hooray!! You're back!  I am a born-and-raised Islander (popped out of dear old mom at 121 pearl in 1962, finally left in 1988), and am SO glad you have taken the helm again! I visit often, still laugh at the plastic people that live there, and simply enjoy a day of memories. When I can't physically go, your site is the next best thing. Next time I'm there, may I buy you  a cup of coffee? Would sure like to meet you!
PJ Wheeler

Dear Jim ~ I am so pleased that my friend Barry Kazmer has introduced me to your site. I spent many weekends at the Rendezvous staying slender doing the "surfer stomp" and attending the wild parties during Bal Week was a risk and lots of fun as well. I'll never forget when it became mandatory to show ID that one had residency there or was not allowed entrance to the peninsula without an address of the party you were visiting. That was the end of Bal Week a tradition that holds many memories. I'm pretty sure my first frozen banana was experienced on Balboa Island. Thank you for bringing forth these memories.
Sandra LeMon

I am so glad to see that you have returned to the site. I always loved seeing what you had come up with each month and seeing which old friends had written their messages to you as well.
I have to pick up a couple of your books too. I have the original book made up from the archives and it has been a treasure!
Just so nice to see this back! Thank you!
Barry Kazmer

Welcome Back, Jim!!
 You may have an onslaught of fans next weekend (Sep 7,8,9) as hundreds of Newport High grads from '63-'67 descend on the Pavilion for a    mass mixed reunion. See you then.
 Bob Shaw (NHHS Class of '65)
Bob Shaw

so glad you're back.... greatly missed.....

I really missed you Jim - glad to see you are back!!  This is the best website for the Fun Zone and Balboa Village.  Thanks for all you do!
Carolyn Carr
Carolyn L Carr

Boy did we miss you Jim! Welcome back!! Just went thru a hell of a fire here in Sun Valley Idaho and its a treat to see pictures of Balboa bay again!!
Mike Murphy

Hey Jim,
Glad you are back. I was the UPS driver in Balboa from 1969 through 1985. Love the site, it's great to click on the camera and see what's going on at the beach. Hoping for more cameras in the future. Take care my friend and we will see you soon. Glad you won employee of the month as often as you have. LOL!
Steve & Kathy
Steve & Kathy Dull

I can't tell you how glad I was to see this site back up.  It is one of a kind and although I don't live in the area my wife and I keep kayaks on the Island and we come down several times a month throughout the year and find the site very helpful for planning purposes.  Thanks again and keep up the good work!
Michael J. Schaaf
Jim. I'm only one out of hundreds, probably thousands that appreciate your talent.  Thanks for renewing Tales of Balboa.
Bob Folk

It had to be by popular demand!!  Thanks for bringing Tales back in all it's Glory.  Will be looking forward to the full return

How did Explore Ocean get exclusive use of the Welcome to Balboa Village sign to display their exclusive Explore Ocean banners every day?

Where is the weather maps?

Welcome back!  We have really missed you..........Jim

Thank you so much for bringing back the website.  I enjoy logging on every day. 

Glad to see the pictures again which bring back very happy memories of a visit in September 1993.
Tony in UK

Nice too see ya back online now every morning i have something to look forward to big jim from riverside,ca

Thank you for coming these memories.....since 1954 maybe younger..the walks around the island morning and night, fun zone, swimming across the bay and the paddle boards oh yes and dads donuts and frozen bananas.
victoria riherd smith

Thanks, Jim!  Glad to have you back!
David Martin

Welcome back Jim!  You were missed!
Roy Beard

Yaaaayyyyy!!! Thank you for ramping back up.
Nick L.

Thank You for returning, Jim, this is the best news in a long time
Bill Wakeman

I really miss the weather eye portion of website

Its great to see you back

Dear Jim,
I can't tell you how happy I am to find Tales of Balboa back online.  Thank you so much for taking it on again.  I have missed all your stories of the past and present.  The cameras were my only link to the bay.  I only get to Balboa a few times a year so being able to link with the cameras makes me feel closer.  I've really missed you.
Phoenix, AZ

I spent two summers in that suit. Very interesting and hot

The Zoo drive In was Merle's drive In before the Zoo.
I will always remember the person in the Gorilla suit.
Mark are back online....I stayed in Balboa back in 1988 on an exchange scheme from Northern Ireland....ever since the I have wanted to day I will.
Stuart Mccullough

good to see you back online Jim  - we have missed you........

congradulations Jim! happy to see you are back and that Tales of Balboa is back too. It was nice meeting you last month on my brief visit to  your wonderful corner of the world. Again WELCOME BACK!
tom scriven

I have been monitoring this site since I stumbled across it a few years ago while searching for info in the Prison of Socrates coffee house that used to be in Balboa. The site was partially operational for a while, then  briefly off the air entirely. Glad to see it's back up and apparently in full operation.
Grew up in the Newport/Balboa area in the 50's and 60's. Lots of grand memories. Thanks for the site! Keep up the good work.

I worked for Don at he "Original Frozen Banana" stand. Don would only mix his chocolate first thing in the morning before any of us employees showed up. He was very protective of that formula

What happened to the Fun Zone? It was casual and it was fun, it was a family fun spot with reasonable prices.  Now it's the very expensive Explore Ocean,  with kids in uniforms collecting Disneyland prices. Where's the Merry-Go-Round and the Bumper cars. Thanks for proving that there's nothing that a bunch of pompous over the hill, so called businessmen can't make a lot worse. Just to prove they are the legends in their own minds. Why don't they GET REAL.

What happened to the Merry-Go-Round? Is it ever coming back???
Harvey H

This morning marks 47 years since the Rendezvous Ballroom burned down. Jim, I am glad to see you are up & running this great website again. My parents were long time friends with Art LaShelle, owner/operator of Christian's Hut & the Grey Goose Apts. My parents lived at the Grey Goose when I was born & I have many fond memories, pictures & décor items from the Hut & Grey Goose. I look foreward to your updates about those magical times in the 40's & 50's...Kent
Kent Walker

A boat load of memories. I delivered the Daily Pilot for the length of Edgewater (1960-63). Just me and the fisherfolk at dawn.

Thanks for the return of Tales Of Balboa, Jim!

Good Day all,
Looking for pic of the Zoo Resturant at the corner of Mc Authur and Coast Highway and the Prison of Socrates Coffee House on Main stree in Balboa.

thanks for the return Jim

You're welcome!!!
Charlie V.

For Anonymous - Would you by any chance be thinking of the Villa Marina that was located just before you crossed the bridge to Balboa Island??  They had nightly entertainment featuring SKILES and HENDERSON in the lounge and on occasion had a big name band in their ballroom. 

Does anyone the remember the Cafe that used to have live music situated off Newport Blvd heading towards Balboa island? They use to have a great bands playing there. Ring any bells?

Couldn't get on your "site" this morning and suddenly realized how much I missed it!    It has to be a lot of work - but please keep it up.  Thanks

Hi Jim!  My father (Bud Lincoln) introduced me to your site many years ago, and ever since I actually moved to Newport Beach to take care of him, your website has been my mainstay for weather, earthquake info, etc.  I just love it!!! I am especially fond of the web cam at the ferry crossing, but I noticed tonight that the time was an hour off, so I’m thinking that it was not changed when we “sprang ahead” a couple of weeks ago.  thanks for keeping up such a great site; it is a valuable community tool and a real treasure!!
Lynda Lincoln-Wilson

Hi I am curious about beach house rentals. Especially if the one on "B" st and Boardwalk. It is the one on the north corner. Or any in that general  area would be really cool. Stephan B.Clark ( Joe Wiscowiches' son-in-law)

Thanks for Tales from Balboa. I've been reading bits and pieces here for years now as my historical research takes me in different directions.
Right now I'm trying to learn more about the "Orange County Harbor Park" a.k.a "Joyland" which was planned during the mid-1930s, but was never completed. (They got as far as pushing some dirt around, I think.) Eventually, a very watered down (no pun intended) version of the project was built on the same land and became Newport Dunes.
I was wondering if you know anything about this or have stumbled across any interesting Joyland anecdotes.
Thanks and best wishes,
Chris Jepsen

Hi Jim
I check your weather Eye regularly, seems hard to believe there was no rainfall recorded last night.
Bob Lambert

I stumbled upon your website by accident.  I was searching for what kind of chocolate is used for dipping Balboa bars...does anyone know??!!  I grew up in CdM...CDM Elementary, Lincoln and then MDHS '83.  Growing up I used to go to the church on the island next to Dad's Donuts...the best part of Sunday was a chocolate raised donut from Dad's.  When I was in middle school I used to ride my bike from Shorecliffs, down Bayside Dr (where I got my first speeding ticket in my first car, a yellow VW bug on the day I turned 16 and got my driver's license!), across the island, to the ferry and over to the peninsula to go to the beach.  I had an enormous crush on one of the ferry guys...I want to say his name was Mike? and he had a glass eye.  I can't believe I would ride my bike all that way just to get the ferry!!  On the way home I would always stop at Dad's for a Balboa Bar....later when I was a teenager I worked a couple of summers on the island for Alex's clothing and shoe stores.  Dated a guy working at the Jolly Roger that summer.  I loved the island, and the a kid collected many skeeball tickets at the well as (oh, gulp) taking cotillion at the Pavillion...horrors!!  Anyway...returning to the Balboa bar...can anyone help me out?  I have an ice cream shop in Juneau, Alaska and want to add it and frozen bananas to my menu...a recent trip to Costco and their dipped ice cream bar took me back to my Dad's memories...and hence, the search....thank you for these memories :-)

Does anyone remember The Ice Cream Man shop in Newport Beach?  It was in the block just north of where MacDonald's is on Newport Blvd
Karen Newton

I really miss living there!  Parties at the Gillette mansion, blue drinks at the pier, The Class, playing pool, laying out at mothers beach, ZOOPort, Yacht racing at the club & the party the night before, riding the ferry over to the island ... Thanks for the website .. so much fun & so many good memories :)!!
Linda Pierce

My husband and I go to Newport Beach often to visit my brother in law, who's picture I see on your site by the way!  It's a beautiful city and we love taking the Ferry to Balboa Island. 
You have a wonderful website which we visit often and dream of our next visit to your beautiful city and those wonderful beaches.
Thank you for keeping us informed of the "goings on" with the Tales of Balboa website!  It's greatly appreciated.
Cindy Zippi

Was there ever a Bob's Big Boy restaurant at the corner of Marine and Park (Now Wilma's)
Thank you,
vic matloff

Hi Jim,
I am Tony and Linda's (Mr. Balboa Barber shop) granddaughter. I don't know if you will remember meeting me, but I was my grandpa's apprentice for a year out there, and you came in and took a picture of us to go with a story you wrote on the shop some months ago. I don't remember the exact date, or even the month, but I was hoping there was a way for you to e-mail me a copy of the story, or a link to it. I am making my grandparents a scrap book of the year I spent with them, and I thought the story would be really neat to include,
Thanks so much.

Dear Jim,
Thank you so much for providing this site! Balboa and Newport are my home away from home and my goal is to live there someday..soon.
Growing up in northern California until i was in 3rd grade the ocean is deeply ingrained in my blood. We moved back to our native Montana when my grandpa become ill with cancer but my dad made sure he saved every dime so we could visit the wedge as often as possible. one of my earliest memories of defiance was not getting up off the beach after many requests and just crying when i had to finally leave.
now i bring my children whenever i can. We drive a little getta and can make it to the beach from Bozeman, MT for $50 .00:)
I is heaven to me and cant wait to be there live but until then i thank you from the bottom of my heart for the live cam and helping me get through the land lock. I love Montana too but Balboa is the ultimate! Get Sandy for me:)
Kelly Fedge DuBose

Does anyone have "local knowledge" of the history of "The Hut" formerly a school house, boy scout hut and now on the property of the American Legion Post 291, Fifteenth Street, Balboa Peninsula.
Rosemary De Camp

I sure miss Jiffy Burgers. Wow! I was little then but were they the 'bomb'!
Can you locate the mural on the Snug Harbour cantina. I would sure like to see that again. I know they rebuilt the area. The bartender (Frank) was a tall older guy with a uni-brow. The keg beer was 90 cents and we used to smoke Tiparillos for 50 cents.

I'm hoping to visit the Ferry after seeing it in the lovely 1958 Jane Powell film THE GIRL MOST LIKELY! I'm from the UK but was entranced by the film

Marilyn Hays

Hello again Balboa, Part II:
Jim asked me to finish my story as all of it didn't copy over. I really enjoyed going over to the Villa Marina to watch Ann Margaret singing at the Bar Lounge. She was awesome. As a family we would watch the fishing boats enter the Jetty with binoculars to see what flags were flying, then race to the Balboa Angling Club to watch the days catch raised from the boats for the weight, duration of time to complete the catch. During my time growing up in Balboa, the skipper of choise was John Vitalich. He grew up on Catalina Island and learned his technique's from Zane Grey. He was best friends with John Wayne and even filled in for John in Utah so John Wayne could go fishing. Both John Wayne & John Vitalich would meet up at Andy Devine's boat, on Lido Isle, for card games, drinking & food.

Hello Balboa, Part III:
  The main watering hole in Balboa was Dillman's. Bill Dillman & Karam, Beverly Hills restaurant owner bought the restaurant from the Robinson family and the name changed to Karam's. Karanm brought Sammy Milker from his restaurant in Beverly Hills to tend bar in Balboa. A short time later Bill bought out Karam and Dillman's was born. I remember family dinners taking place at Dillman's along with half of the peninsula weekly. Bill turned the running of Dillman's over to his son, Max. The last time I was at Dillman's was in the mid 1980's and I ran into Opal Dillman, Max and his son Jimmy, the bartender. We all talked about the good ole days.
  Parking was always an issue in Balboa. I remember Easter week in the early 1960's, Newport would install road blocks directing traffic to the parking on the Ocean Front at Palm and bringng it out from the Pier to Dillman's on Main, by-passing the Market. There was alot of commotion on Balboa Blvd. so I walked outside of the Market to see mt Dad in the middle of the street removing all of the detour signs and re-directing traffic so that they could get to the Market. Quite a humorous sight. All of the business's shop keepers were outside applauding Smitty. There was quite a group of joksters that hug out together causing mayhem. My Dad and a group of friends left a restaurant close by the Ferry and proceeded down the boardwalk past all of the cars waiting for the ferry. One of my Dad's friends went up to the first car in line and informed him that he needed to advance to the line so that once the ferry docked he could proceeed to board the ferry. Once the car advanced on the boarding ramp, the cars behind him all fell into place to board. Now you have a ferry approaching the dock with no way to get the cars off. That little joke took hours to correct but provided quite the visual comedy of errors to the bystanders.

Hello Balboa, Part IV:
  In the mid 1960's my Dad found Elk/Deer Hunting to be very enticing and spent every Elk/Deer Hunting season at a Ranch in Colorado, prompting our move in the mid 1960's to Grand Junction, Colorado where my Dad created and opened The Western Slope Feedlot. He provided the Balboa Market with the fresh beef from the Feedlot along with a good portion of the game during hunting season. While still owning the Villa Marina Smitty pu on "FREE WILD DINNER'S" at the Villa Marina once a year providing the game aquired during Hunting Season. The only thing that the customer had to pay for was their bar bill. This yearly Free Wild Dinner's were moved to take place at Dillman's. Smitty also took the fresh Elk and had it made into Elk Sausage to present to treasured customers & boat owners with this delicacy for Christmas presents along with gold Zippo lighters with the Balboa Markert logo included with the Customers signature in both the man and woman size for Christmas presents . He also gave Silver Zippo lighters with the Balboa Market logo engraved in Balboa Blue and also Gin Score Pads with the Balboa Market Logo. Dad was very generous to hiw customers holding them in the highest regards. Since it was quite a feat to keep both the Market and the Feedlot operating within his high standards he sold the Balboa Market to Eugene Smith in 1973. Smitty passed away in the early 1080's. Marilyn currently resides in Costa Mesa. She is moving to Las Vegas so that we can be closer to each other. Everytime I went to CA. to visit my Mom we would always make a trip to Balboa, walk the Blvd.,Boardwalk, Main St. just to get the feeling of being a native of Balboa back in my blood stream. I loved that feeling. Since October 11th we have not returned back as all of our memories are now in our hearts, no longer to gaze upon. My only hope now is that Balboa can regain it's tight small Beach family feel for all of the people that still call Balboa home.
Deborah Smith

Watching your site is like running into old friends!! The email from Debbie Smith brought back old memories again.  The Villa Marina on Balboa Island was indeed taken over by Homer "Smitty" Smith along with Max & Bill Dillman, Frank Usedom (Village Inn Restaurant), Gordy Weavil(Gordy's Bait & Tackle) and Sammy _____.  They recruited me to do the book work which was an utterly chaotic experience but a treasured one!!

Is there any way you can tell me the date the above photo was taken?
My friends say that sure looks like me (in blue) behind the wheel house on the Ferry. I remember a few years ago on a May early morning when a professional photographer was taking pictures on the Ferry. We stay on the island every May around Art Walk time. I would buy a large size copy if I was pretty sure of the ID.
Thank you,
Ken Evans

Hello Balboa,
I am writing this to correct some of the information given on the history of The Balboa Market. My name is Deborah S. Smith. I was born in 1949 @ St. Joseph in Santa Ana as Hoag was not built yet. My brother , Dallas N. Smith was born in 1951. My family lived on Bay Ave. My mother, Marilyn F. Smith ran the Cottage Beauty Shop out of our home and my father, Homer M. Smith, Smitty, originally a butcher,bought Wades Market down from the Pavillion, across from the Theater next door to the Liquor store owned by Coy & Hazel before I was born. He changed the name of the store to the Balboa Market. It was a small little store but business boomed. The larger Market in town on Balboa Blvd. part of a large chain, approached my dad, told him since he had the majority of the business in town along with the fishing community provisioning the boats for their fishing expeditions that he should buy their store as they thought they were in a bad location. In 1950 the Balboa Market on Balboa Blvd was born. My mother moved her Beauty shop to the Balboa Inn. A short time later the Inn sold and she then bought a store located down from Dillmans. She had the store for 10 years, working in both her shop and the Market, before selling it to Dee Murphy. Once the Beauty Shop sold she became fully immersed in the Market.  Customers would call in their orders daily, and the food was delivered to them in a refrigerated van. Alot of the customers each had charge accounts provided for ease of shopping. In the late 50's we moved to the peninsula, 5 or 6 houses from the Wedge on the Ocean Front. I spent the majority of my time at the Fun Zone and the Renvdezvous Ballroom watching and dancing to Dick Dale and the Deltones, Jan & Dean, The Righteous (sp) Bros & The Beach Boys.  Everyone in Balboa hung out there until somone flushed a lit cherry bomb down the toilet in the mens restroom and the owner closed the venue. In the mid to late 50's my dad bought a restaurant, The Villa Marina, over at the exit off Balboa Island. I'll never forget watchin
Deborah Smith

I just saw the link to the Pavilion interior.   Apparently the restaurant took over the operation of the Tale of the Whale Saloon and redecorated it with HD TVs.  They completely ruined the quaint, rustic, romantic bar.  Why can't they realize they have a jewel of an operation and leave things alone.   You didn't go to the Tale of The Whale to watch HDTV you went there to enjoy the beautiful bay and the camaraderie of friends.  What a shame. 
Gail Wilson

what was the name of the polynesian restraurant that was on Balboa bay that burned down in tha early 1960s.

Same question as the last one posted, do ou have a live camera this year to watch the christmas light boat parade this year as uyou have in the past years?
tom s

I have heard from Chandler Bell of Hornblower Cruises that I should be able to view the parade through your website.  Is this correct and if so how would that be accomplished?
Scott Eaton

Just came across your web page by accident and what a thrill to take the "ride" on the ferry one more time!!!  I married one of the musicians in Gil Evans band in 1940, we met in Balboa and lived on the penninsula for many years.  Our children graduated from Newport Hi and still go back for the reunions.  Just thought I would let you know that at 90 years I still remember those years as being the high light of my life!!!!!

Hi, I just inherited 3 silver plated cups from the 1950s, they have a yacht club flag with orange and black stripes with a white star in the center.By any chance is that your club's flag?
Thank's for your time

I think I have previously seen a book for sale about  Balboa and just today saw it mentioned again.  Can you tell me how to obtain a copy?
Jan Castro

Hi Editor -
We love to visit Balboa island each year during Xmas and have dinner/shop and walk the island
and see the beautiful decorations/ lighting that the residents do.  Can you tell me when we can visit to see your beautiful island Xmas lights?
(I heard it was beginning this Sunday Dec 5th but want to be sure).
thank you -
Dee Lewis

Hi Jim.  My grandfather, Robbie Robinson, was the Harbor Master of Balboa....appx in the late 1930's and I'd like to find a book that might mention him for his daughter, my mom.  Do you have any idea where I might find something like this?  My web searches have proved fruitless.  Thanks for your time, 
Cindy Frasco


Hey Jim
I am interested in what models of web cams you are using - they look great!

hi, i would really like to buy your do i go about that? also i would like to know if you have an idea as to how i can get additional information on my uncle and aunt, bob and jay murphy.....i was in NB for a reunion and wanted to meet with you but had no idea as to how...i intend to visit more frequently, would there be an opportunity to catch up....i also want to know how to join your historical society reunion was the same night as your open mike at the pavillion...thank you so very much
paige conrad boles

I'm sorry to bother you, but I have spent hours searching the internet w/o success.
I have a framed print of the picture of the Balboa Pavilion w/ the nearly bare Newport Beach Peninsula behind it. My aunt would like to buy a copy as well, but I haven't found anywhere that sells them. I am writing from Omaha, or I would have just gone down there and I'm sure I would have found one.
Can you tell me where I might buy a copy over the phone or on line and have it shipped to Northern California. I really appreciate your help. I've seen the photo again and again on websites, but haven't found anything about buying one.
Thanks, Mark W. Woodruff (vacationed annually at Balboa from 1958 through 1979)

Just returned from a wonderful week of rest and rejuvenation on the peninsula.  Ahhhh.....what could be better

I have an original lithograph done by Ruth Hines of "Welcome to Balboa" that I bought over 30 years ago.  Do you have any idea of its value?
Leslie Shaw

Greetings Jim,  I wanted to say hello and to see how the sun sets are.  I want to be able to come and get the full view and being under the ocean skies. Keep up the good works. Sherry
sherry Little

In an earlier message I recalled Mike Mayer who lived on the Grand Canal c. 1948-55 as I had seen his wife Sue's posting about the Punting and Sculling Soc from 2005. I finally located them through the defunct email address on your site, but not until after Mike died of lung cancer in 2008. Mike's dad Harvey Mayer kept boats and foreign cars running on the Island; his own maroon 1934 MG Magnette (now mine) was usually parked at the one service station on the island, catacorner from the Jolly Roger (I remember when this was opened with an ice cream stand out front). Harvey got many persons into sports cars, including Virgil Parch; I have a snap shot of Parch with our crowd at the 1950 Pebble Beach road races. On another front, one  correspondent posts re. Tim Morgan at the Prison of Socrates--yes that was surely Tim who mostly lives up north now and rarely plays due to arthritis; we went to high school together in Pasadena; he hung out on the beach near the Newport pier looking for girls. Tim's family owned some rental cottages there. In 1960 he was just getting into folk music--he earlier performed "Day-O" at our 10th grade talent show.
Michael Jacobsen

Hey Jim
You may or may not remember me, I worked at Bal harbor in the 80's (Pete), came across your site by accident, so glad I did, brought back ton of great memories. I read viewers email and memories, sad to read some of the businesses are gone especially Balboa Market (I worked there as well) and very sad to read about Bobbie and Ron are no longer with us, but that's life! Hope you're doing well and keep up the great website!

Hi Jim, I noticed that my favorite live webcam is stuck (the ferry webcam). I wasn't sure if anyone was aware. It's my connection to "home"
Thanks for all you do.
Sheryl Paige

I'm a fan of your photography; I have a number of your prints hanging on my walls. Do you sell digital images that I can use as home screens or rotating photos on my computer? If so, how much are they and how would I go about purchasing them?
Ed Kramer

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





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