Ancient West Fullerton
Before you started Sunny Hills High School, drove a car and had friends all over town, what was your mental model of where you lived?
I lived on South Basque near the corner with West Valencia. See the X? That was near Dawn Ambridge, Vickie and Amanda Walery, Wayne Redfearn, Pete Perrone, Tom McCutchen, John Hughes, Gordon and Gary Carter, Mike Staffieri, Rick Raczka, Randy McDonald and others. My best friend then and now was Jeff Nix, who lived on Hill, on the other side of Nicolas Junior High.
Cathy Cogan, Barb Smith, Ellen Sanchez and Nancy Rowe lived on the near side. Cheryl Lindsey, Steve Noonan, and Vern Fotheringham lived way out by the Orangefair. Chuck Estes lived much closer on Brookhurst. Ed Lindemann lived a few blocks south of that. Dennis Challman lived quite a ways east, almost to Richman Elementary School. That was closer to Cheryl and Steve. Marsha McClanahan, Nancy Gannon, Dave Anderson, Kent Evans, Tony Barr, Dave Andersen and Pam Weaver lived 10 or 15 blocks south, across Orangethorpe, close to the Riverside Freeway. Chris Conradi and FUHS friends Linda Haight and Bryant Welles lived across Euclid and close to Orangethorpe, near the Thom McAn shoe store. Gary Heydon lived way out past Richman near Cheryl Gray’s mom’s liquor store. I spent most of my time at Jeff’s house, near Jeannie Christianson, Joe O’Malley, Ronnie Apgar, Terry Laslo, Gordon McPherson, Bill Pittman, Vinny Tulumello and the Haymond brothers Chris and Brad, who lived right by Lynda Muller. Going east on Porter past Kathy Fields’ house was where my pal Bill Stull lived.
That’s what I kept in mind, and didn't learn all the street names necessarily. If I went down ___ onto Elm past Frank Shafer, Candy Fankhouser, Mike Davinroy and the Boies family, just past the Dickens family house, I could turn right onto Orchard where Lolly Beaman lived, or make another right turn on Olive to go past Jerry Cook’s house, past the turn for Greg Westphalen, Nancy Shaw, Chip Campbell and Ellen and Kay, and instead continue to Cathy’s, or keep going to turn by Barb’s place to reach Nancy’s house.
My best friend Jeff Nix knew the neighborhood much better than I did, probably because he was in Little League and Pony League, Cub Scouts and had a big paper route, because he had more friends and he's just more observant. We'd ride around on our 10-speeds in 1960 or 1961 ,and Jeff would say, "Look at that bitchin' '36 Ford panel truck in front of Terry Laslo's", or he'd point out where Donna Baker's cousin lived, or he'd say, "Turn right up at Cathy Keough's house", or say, "Looks like Darcy Streit's on Stacy Smith's front porch," or mention that Michelle Stimpson's dad had a new DeSoto, see? Or "Larry Rothstein's mom canceled the Daily News Tribune", or he'd point out new blooms in David Shaw's mom's flower bed in front, and joke that he'd mow the lawn for Stanna's dad for free, or spot Skinny Einstein (Sandy's older brother) cruising along Orangethorpe by Highland. He'd wave to a man and then tell me "That was Martha Goldstein's dad" or spot Ginger Fields sitting next to a guy in a '24 Bucket T parked by Winchell's Donuts, or shout hello to Jeanne Christiansen walking into Irene's House of Fashion on Orangethorpe, or nod at Ricky Dickens doing yardwork on Elm at Citrus near the Royal Coach Inn, or have the news that Bill Purvis smacked a ground rule double at the Nicolas A diamond, or he'd notice Christy Fox ordering a Coke at McDonald's, or tell a joke he heard Roland Hernandez telling Bill Vasquez and Bob Frabasilio there. He's point out Nancy Potter's house, or Cindy Morris walking to Long's Drugstore, or see Terry Messick and Kathy Burke in the little record store across Brookhurst, or show where Uli Schoettle's dad asked him to throw his paper, or we'd say hello to Ronnie Calvert working under his car, or wave to Greg Tobias or Joel Card or Steve Ohl or Overton Schmidt or Sandy Gess, Carol Davis or Terry Underwood. We'd see Terry Ashton and Eddie Mills playing tennis on the Nicolas court on Olive, or we'd play H-O-R-S-E with Bill McAfee and then maybe Eugene Fernandez, too. If we walked out of Nick's Liquor with our BubbleUp and AbbaZabba or Mounds Bar when Linda Smith, Joyce Olenik and Dawn Meyer were walking in, that made our day. We'd ride past Dennis Fugnetti or David Stough and gave each other The Finger and laughed. When we collected Steelies (ball bearings) at the local garages, or sacks of pennies from the banks to maybe find a 1909S-VDB like Dave McKinney, Jeff was always more highly skilled. Carol Brozowski and Nancy Stratman, say, were more likely to say Hi to him.But we always had a lot of fun and got home in time for "COMBAT" and "The Gallant Men". The time Mr. and Mrs. Nix took us to see "The Longest Day" at the Fox Fullerton was one of my favorite all-time experiences. A couple of times we rode out and walked along outside the Anaheim Drive-In fence, and an usher walked by inside just like a German soldier in "COMBAT". Occasionally we rode to the little coin shop on Harbor near Chapman, where the owner kind of looked like Bill Medley. After Billy Graeber and his family moved to Garden Grove, we actually rode down there once. We rode over to Knott's to look at steady rings in the gift shop, and I gave one to Leanne Linson in 4th grade. No shortage of memories. There used to be a carnival that came to the southwest corner of South Euclid & Orangethorpe once a year, and one day Jeff and I saw a rough-looking carnival worker in line at the market there. He had dotted lines tattoed on his throat and the words, "CUT ALONG DOTTED LINES". We thought that was hilarious!