BREAKING NEWS: VERN FOTHERINGHAM ’66 INKS PACT WITH MICROSOFT
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Passing Memories. (This could be a wonderful, enriching page,)
We all have memories about Fullerton and Fullerton people, but these memories are passing, Many are about people, or events, or details that happened as long as 74 years ago. Could we remember some,for the enjoyment of all? I know 5 people who will.
 

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Above, Brea Boulevard in 1935, in Fullerton. 

 

These memories will pass into dust if we don’t share them.

I have quite a few, and I've mentioned a lot already. My memory isn’t any better than anyone else’s, but these things are important to me, so I remembered. Most of them are unrelated to the others, except as how all our memories become threads in a common tapestry. 

1. I remember in kindergarten at Raymond Elementary School when we went on a field trip to a dairy farm in Dairy City, 1955. All of the kids got to milk a cow for a few seconds. Ryden,do you remember that?

2. We had an old family friend who lived in Sunny Hills and she said that on the early morning in 1957 when the big packinghouse on Commonwealth burned down, she could look out and see the orange glow in the skyline. Anyone else remember that? 

3. Believe it or not, I went out for football in my sophomore year. Before the season started, we were told to go to a dentist across town on State College Boulevard at East Commonwealth to be fitted for mouthguards. That was 1864-1965. Anyone else remember that?

4 As we’ve noted, as late as 1964, Orange County had only a few high schools, and soon after that more and more were built. My mom went to Anaheim High School and graduated in 1941.One of her best friends was a girl from a Swiss-American family that lived in Los Alamitos. That girl rode all the way to Anaheim in her brother’s car for a while, and then by bus. 

5. When I worked a couple of summers at Hughes Aircraft in Fullerton, I met a young man who claimed he could drive through Brea Canyon without using his brake once, and make it to the end in 11 minutes, Is that fast? 

6. Does anyone remember the baseball game ay Amerige Park in about 1961 when the new American League Los Angeles Angels played another team? Was it the Dodgers? I remember Amerige Park was completely full and so were the sidelines, There were a dozen so people sitting on the packinghouse roof across the street to the east, too, 

7. Around 1950 or 1951, there was a 1948 or 1949 Ford coupe or sedan painted a lurid creamy purple in Fullerton. I think the owner was a Mexican-American man, but the point is that many people considered the color of that car nauseating and sickening, I remember standing in front of St. Mary’s on Commonwealth when that car went by, and lots of people protested and said it was horrible. I also saw that car pass on Spadra at Hillcrest Park, Does anyone remember? 

8. Does anyone remember when Jan & Dean came to West Fullerton to play a few songs at the Brookhurst & Orangethorpe shopping center?Marsha McClanahan told me about that, and it must have been 1963 or so. 

9.Of course many of us remember when Spadra and Nicholas had no underpasses, and traffic would have to stop and wait for trains passing, As a little boy, I enjoyed it, because I’d count the cars. Does anyone have a clear mental image of what that looked like? 

10. A few years ago April Wakeman mentioned how kids used to climb up and sit on the feed bags in front of Model Market, while their parents shopped inside -- and there were hitching posts too, Remember?

11. How many of you from Sunny Hills and Golden Hill and Fern Drive used to walk down the ol spur line from behind Model Market to downtown Fullerton? You could buy candy and pop, or go to a movie, or maybe shop, or just walk around. Was it about a 15-minute walk?

12. The late great Richard Posey, ’67 told me once he remembered when Hermosa Drive was a dirt road, A lot of you will remember that, but it was news to me. 

13. Does anyone remember the shooting range located on North Spadra, a few hundred feet north or where Bastanchury was built? On the east side, closer to Loma Linda cemetery. It operated until the mid 1950s. Remember, anyone? 

14. Does anyone remember the interim period when there were quite a few old empty and sometimes abandoned ranch homes around West Fullerton and elsewhere in town? Before they were demolished to make room for tracts of houses? I mean homes where there had been a ranch. I can remember 2 located on Nicholas between Orangethorpe and Valencia, and one on Valencia between Nicholas and South Richman. Being a boy of 8 at the time, I made it my business to sneak into these homes and look around, hoping to find trunks of money, military regalia, Civil War sabers and other stuff of interest to boys. No such luck. I remember one of the abandoned homes on Nicholas was accessible only through a passageway on the ground,and when I  wriggled through, I found myself crawling in a foot deep of old chicken bones. That was my last old house crawl, Did anyone else do that? 

15. Wait -- there was one more, When there was a new tract home near your house, ,or any vacant house,did you and your pals sneak inside? I can remember the exact house on Hill Street that 2 of my buddies and I invaded in 1959. We had no motive except mischief itself, because there was nothing of value inside. We found a door unlocked and with tremendous stealth in the middle of an afternoon, we sneaked inside like Allied commandos in Occupied France. We quickly discovered there was nothing to see or do,but one of us insisted we tour the place, In a back bedroom, my friends suddenly froze and made gestures for “QUIET! SOMEONE’S HERE!” I hopped into a closet and held my breath. That’s when I offered the Lord my entire future life to deliver me from that evil, promised I’d mop the gutters of Calcutta with a toothbrush if I had to. I saw myself with pallid gray skin behind bars at San Quentin and my poor mom weeping desperately at the gates. I imagined myself in a coarse striped inmate suit on a rural Alabama road, swinging a sledgehammer to break stones with twenty other chain gang prisoners, all brawny black men with skin shining from sweat. I imagined Cathy Cogan and Penny Kidwell and Cindy Morris in our 5th grade class at Richman, casually asking, “Is Paul here today?”  Mrs. Olga Piirto would explain, “No, Paul is serving life imprisonment on Alcatraz for sneaking into a empty tract home.” Cathy would mutter, “Oh” and open her geography workbook. When my friends and I determined we were safe to leave that house, I may have sunk to my knees and kissed the ground. I don’t remember.  That ended my life in crime.